Everybody had excuses. Nick's foot had been injured, Amy signed up pretty late in the game, and I had bronchitis, but that didn't stop any of us from making the trip to Agoura Hills to run a half marathon.
The course was the same as the last time I was here and I knew just what to expect.
The mini breakfast that we thought was complimentary ended costing an arm and a leg. Poor Amy woke up with some kind of infection that left a good portion of one side of her face numb. But still we were all smiles and ready to do some running!
Three years ago on this course I ran my first half marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes. As I was training to take on the course again the goal was just to beat that and get anywhere under 2 hours. The fatigue and trouble breathing that came with bronchitis just a week before the race, dashed those hopes, but I was well enough to just run it anyway.
The event photographer caught this picture of me a mile into the race just smiling. It felt so good to be out there, part of the event and running with the masses.
There is always such a charged atmosphere and a camaraderie at the events that I love. The bystanders even had a sense of humor as they came out to support!
My body was tired just a few miles in, and the climb up the hills made my breathing a bit ragged, but all my usual aches and pains from running were non existent. It was one of my slowest running days, but I gave it everything I had in the condition I was in, and I finished!
In spite of finishing about 20 minutes slower than I had trained for, I felt like I had a good race. Because of my last two experiences in St George it felt so good to put on that finishers medal.
I would have loved to finish in under 2 hours like Amy and Nick did, but that race will have to wait for another year and likely another set of obstacles to tackle.
Nick managed to handle the hills, stop for a gazillion potty breaks, and still come in smiling!
Amy is proof that you don't need to feel your face to have a good race.
And I was just grateful for a good trip, with fun friends, and a race that I finished!