The whole week was so surreal from the actual bombings to the outpouring of human kindness to the manhunt that took place a mile from where I used to live. The range of emotions was just exhausting.
Saturday morning I was signed up for the Tarheel 10 Miler. This is my second 10 mile race and I really think I like this distance. I knew that I wouldn't PR this race because the course is way more challenging than the Cherry Blossom (it takes place in Chapel HILL after all). Plus I woke up just feeling like it wasn't going to be my day. I set my goal to finish (under 2 hrs would be nice) and just have fun and being out there with my fellow runners. I ran this race solo so I lined up towards the back and took it easy.
I've run a few hilly long runs with my awesome training partner, Bang, so I was feeling ok at the start. The course wove through UNC's campus and the surrounding areas. The first 5 miles were ok, but I was having trouble finding an even pace. Seriously. I'd sprint a mile and almost die the next. I walked up a couple of the more challenging hills but for the most part was feeling good. At mile 6 was a massive down hill section that was pure fun.
But I knew what was coming after it. I had heard the legend of Laurel Hill all throughout the Winter. A mile long hill, relentless, soul crushing hill so intense they set up timing mats at the bottom and top of it just to time how long it took people to get up it.
I'm not going to lie. I walked most of it. My left foot was starting to hurt really bad and I was getting really tired. By the time I got to the top I just wanted to be done so I did my best to finish strong. I was about 5 minutes off of my Cherry Blossom time, which was expected given the tough course. Honestly, I was happy just to finish.
|Loved the medal.|
That night and the next day my left foot was hurting bad. Normally I would not have attempted to run on it but Sunday afternoon was the Boston Memorial Run in Raleigh and there was no way I was going to miss it.
|The Start/Finish Line|
One of our local race directors came home from running Boston and immediately recruited all of the local race directors, running groups and running stores to put together a run to show our support for Boston. From the onset they were expecting about 200 people to show up. By Sunday afternoon there were well over 2000. When it became obvious that there was going to be a huge crowd, the city of Raleigh closed the roads and provided officers for the course.
Before the race there were kind words, a moment of silence, a bagpipe playing of Amazing Grace and the National Anthem.
|Lined up to start|
After we finished, Bang and I stayed at the finish line to cheer on the people coming in. There were still so many people and it was just a love fest of runners cheering and high fiving one another. It was truly one of the most amazing running experiences I have ever been a part of.
|Me and my run bud, Bang. There is no |
one else I would have wanted by my side more for this run.