So Finally I was in Bosnia ready to run my first marathon! We got there in the beginning of the week and my race was that Saturday. Emir and I did a couple easy shake out runs that week leading up to the race. On Friday we drove to the Plitvice National Park where the race was being held. We had booked a hotel room for that night. The nice thing about races in Europe is they start later. The race started at 9:30 and we literally were staying at a hotel in the park so I only needed two minutes to walk to the start line!! Friday night we got our bibs and goodie bags. They also had a pasta dinner that was INCLUDED in the fee for the race. Side note the race only cost the equivalent of $15 and not only did it include the pasta dinner the night before but also lunch after the race AND admission for the whole weekend to the national park. Now that is a deal! Anyway I had some trouble sleeping that night because I was pretty nervous but come morning I was ready. The race started out well. The first few miles were flat or downhill and I was coasting. The nice thing was that Emir's 10 miler followed the same course as the marathon and we all started together. So I had a running buddy for the first 10 miles. After the first few miles, the steep incline began and didn't stop for 3-4 miles. It was soooo hard!! But it was nice to have Emir there with me to help me keep going. Just before the 10 mile mark we had to part ways :( Emir told me he knew I could do it and that he thought the worst of the hills were over. Well he was wrong. About a quarter mile after we parted, another steep incline started and this one was at least 5 miles long before it started leveling off. It was HARD!!!! After that there were some general ups and downs but nothing like those mountains. I was guzzling water and downing gels like it was my job. The aide stations were interesting. They had full bottles of water and these giant sugar cubes that people were licking. At one point I pulled off to a wooded area to take a potty break but other than that I never stopped until I crossed the finish line. I was so tired and so emotional that when I saw Emir waiting for me, I started crying! I couldn't believe it that I, a girl who could barely run to first base in high school just ran a MARATHON!!! I was hurting sooo bad, I couldn't even stand but I was so happy and so proud of myself. Emir was too and when we got back to Emir's family's apartment I called my mom and dad. I could hear them beaming over the phone. It was awesome!!! As bad as I hurt afterwards I knew I had to do that again.
Back in present time. I've had a rough time since last post. Our beloved greyhound Junebug went to heaven. We adopted her 12 years ago before we were married, actually we were still in college. She was our first baby together and meant the world to us. The day I had to take her to the vet was so hard and so sad. I had 18 miles to do that day which I did but I'm not going to lie, I definitely cried during parts of it. Then on top of that Emir left that night for a ten day work trip to England and Spain. Which is ok, I'll miss him but I'm happy that he was getting to meet his work team finally. The bigger piece is that I have the kids alone for 10 days. You don't realize how critical having that second person around is. It has just been non-stop cleaning, cooking, dressing kids, driving kids, putting kids to bed not to mention trying to get my stuff done like running. It's been pretty exhausting. Oh and did I mention I also came down with a nasty case of mastitis???? UGH It was soooo painful and made me feel like I had the flu. Luckily a couple of days on antibiotics made it start feeling better. But despite all this, I was able to get all my miles in. Pretty proud of myself for that. This past weekend I stayed at my parents with the kids. There was a 9.3 miler at a state park near by put on by the local road runner group. Since I was scheduled for 12 and 10, I did 13 on saturday and decided to do the race Sunday. It was awesome. I just showed up with a signed form and $5. It was freezing but they had a fire pit going and vats of hot chocolate. It was a Hawaiian theme so some people were dressed up and they gave us lais at the end. The race was called the "Teriible Tyler" due to this awful hill that we had to do twice. Even the rest of the course is full of ups and downs but it was fun. It was so nice to run with a big group of people who love running. Afterwards they had a huge spread of food and drinks. I just thought it was great! They have about 7 or 8 of these types of races which they call their winter series. You can either sign up for all of them or you can just show up like I did and pay $5. Totally worth it!!!