RR: Thunder Road HM

Most friends know I’m spending most of my time on the Runner’s World Loop now. I was going to write a separate report for Active, but obviously I didn’t get around to it. So, sorry that this post is geared towards the RW community (def check them out…these people are hilarious) but other than a cut and paste I just wont get around to it 
Half Marathon#10 in 2010 was awesome. I had a pseudo goal of beating last year’s time of 2:17:05 but I  also knew I’d be happy with any time as long as I had fun. Pulling yourself out of a sideways car and running 13.1 miles 2 weeks later makes you grateful just to run for the joy of running.
Gotta love a race with a NASCAR theme
Traffic  sucked on the way to Charlotte from Raleigh, but thanks to my new Prius  I only used about 2 gallons of gas getting there (SWEET!). Thankfully  the Expo was open until 9 so my 8pm arrival wasnt a problem. The gear  whore in me put on her blinders and I was in and out of the Expo in a  snap. Sweet! As I left, I saw the finish line assembly…it was really  pretty.
After  packet pick up I started calling my host, Mr. Zoom…whose phone was  going straight to voicemail, which was full. After the MCM debacle in  which it took me half a lifetime to eat, I decided to have dinner alone  first, then figure out where I was sleeping.
Noodles and Co was my friend!

While  eating, I put out an alert to all my Charlotte friends to find Mr Zoom.  He turned up at a happy hour with his phone accidentally on airplane  mode. SMART! So I did was any normal girl would do the night before a  Pikermi…I met him at the bar for a few cold ones 
I only had 2…cant say the same for Zoom

The  6am wake up was harsh…but I had laid out everything I needed the  night before. Including: Senior Runner, Mark Remy, and Coffee Cat!  Unfortunately, Coffee Cat doesn’t share his coffee so we had to stop at  Dunkin’ Donuts on the way. I wish getting to the race was uneventful  since Mr Zoom lives about 1.5 miles from the start (if it was warmer I  would have walked/ran) but pulling into the tight parking garage, I  popped the curb. My window was still down from grabbing the ticket so a  guy nicely pointed out I lost a hub cap. WOW, that’s what a half Asian  girl needs…an old white guy witnessing her inability to drive. Luckily  it’s plastic and my tire was fine…but super embarrassing for the  Jenster.
Once safely in a parking spot, I began to fill my empty  Nathan HPL bladder with some G2. I was careful not to spill, but was  feeling wetness in my lap. HUH? oh, I forgot to connect the tube at the  bottom. I AM THE SMARTEST WOMAN ALIVE! Luckily I was wearing capri  tights so it dried quickly. The bad news was I had soggy TRF pants on  and I still had to go to the bathroom 
Coffee Cat said he  wanted nothing to do with the race – he didnt even want to cheer.  Instead, he said he wanted to stay in the car and watch the hub cap. He  also said something about selling it on eBay if I came back with no  chafing or finishing chute puke.
What a jerk.
The  Convention Center (and its bathrooms) was open and full of pre-race  warmth so once inside I texted CLTrunner hoping for a meetup. SR kept me  company while we waited…and waited…and waited.
Finally  I got in line for the restroom. SR was a little nervous hanging out in  the hall by himself, so he promised to cover his eyes if I’d take him  where no SR has been before…

Yes, I asked a total stranger to take this pic.
SR  and I went back to waiting, and ran into Mark Remy! Who knew he’d be at  a random race in Charlotte? Apparently he really wanted to run with SR.  Good thing I spilled all that G2…it was gonna be a crowded back pack!
People  were starting to head down to the start, so Mark and I practiced our  best race pic faces so we’re bring our A game to the photographers.

Yes, people stared at me when I took this….but people would stare at you too if you were this pretty, DUH!
Getting  to the start was pretty congested. School groups meeting up to run the  5k almost completely blocked the path to the start line. I missed the  National Anthem. I missed the “Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your  Engines!” NASCAR touch they did last year. Nope…all I saw was a lot of  people moving and a wall of humans blocking my way. Boo!
Before  I could pout, Andre the Giant showed up and bull dozed his way though  (Everybody move!!) and I drafted him in…about 4 min behind the clock. I  felt good the first mile, which is down hill, and used that time to  pray to the Goddess of Mercy…thanking her for keeping me safe during  my car accident and asking her to allow me to take on some of Gumbo  sister’s pain, if she was in any. While I dont know if it helped Gumbo’s  sister, I was def feeling it once the hills hit!
There’s not too  much to say about the actual race. The rolling hills, while decent,  weren’t the soul crushers of my last Pikermi. Even though it was obvious  I wouldn’t come close to PR, I was making decent time and it was one of  those races in which the miles flew by…I swear I was hitting the  markers every 5 minutes. It must have been some SR magic. Crossed the  finish in 2:18:24. I think I could have pushed it a bit more given how  good I felt (no sign of puke!) at the end and the complete lack of  soreness after the race. But even though my time was slower, I much  happier with this year’s race over 2009, in which I almost broke down  crying (it was my first run in sub freezing temps ever and I was totally  under-dressed).
Frozzen in 2009!
No  post race medal pic of myself, but I did take one of SR (We lost Mark  around the full/half split…I dont think he’s retired from marathons  and that totally explains why he’s sore). SR got a little G2 on his head but overall I think he looks pretty good post race.

Yes, people stared at me taking this too…because SR is so awesome!
Post  Race celebration included waking upp Zoom, popping the hubcap back on  and inspecting tire, all you can eat sushi buffet, nap time, Santa bar  crawl, Christmas house party, birthday house party, then back to bars.  Oh yes, it was fabulous…pics probably best left off the internet 
Special  thanks to SR, Mark Remy, and Gumbo’s sister for running with me. And I  guess I’ll thank Coffee Cat for not selling my hubcap on eBay.
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