new victories in new hampsha.

After an intelligent conversation last weekend in Dallas about why Illinois is in the Midwest (it's pretty mid, but far from West), it makes me appreciate the Northeast and all the seacoast has to offer.

Roughly 3 months ago, I came back from a great run in Chicago, called my dad and suggested we run a half marathon together. I know Joe and I know the idea would strike him as "genius" (many of my ideas often result in this thought for him). We did some research and he stumbled upon the Seacoast Half Marathon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Timing was perfect and it was in a location with a bit more scenic views than our beloved Midwest.

Suddenly after nine weeks of training and logging miles, the weekend was here!

The lure of the weekend was taking in all the sights. We started Saturday enjoying downtown Portsmouth and picking up our packets. It's the kind of town you just want to place in your pocket and carry with you everywhere because everything is so freaking cute.

Adorable church on Congress St.

After our packets were picked up, we drove north all of five minutes to the Maine coast. Holy gorgeous. My best educated guess is it's named Maine after its mainly ridiculously gorgeous views. Bless Amanda's heart - she provided a list of "Opportunities" for us to enjoy our time up here in New England. On the list was Nubble Light in York, Maine. After realizing the mini lighthouse found in the middle of the parking lot was not the actual Nubble Light, determination led us to this view of the sunset.

Nubble Light sunset

Ever since Dad got an iPhone,
he's stripped me of my camera happy fame.
And I'm okay with it.

It was a delightful Saturday, but since I'm a competitive person, my stomach spent the day in knots. I was ready to run and put my training to the test. My goal for the race was just to finish with a smile on my face. Luckily, I was not only running with one of my biggest fans, my other biggest fans were cheering us on along the route: my mom and my godfather, Mr. Bob Crowley. Thank goodness for all three.

Pre-race shot. That's a nervous smile if I've ever seen one.

The cool thing about official races is strange fans come out of the woodworks. As seen here:

Every race needs one.

I don't have any post-race shots yet, but I can tell you I sit here, writing this, as a finisher. Miles 1-9.5 were strong until I felt a BOING in my right hip. My darn IT band started acting up and we managed to shuffle our way through the finish line. It was pretty painful, but I was a happy girl just to finish. 13.1 miles is a long way to go for me and the wicked awesome ocean views made me appreciate natural beauty, even while running.

For anyone thinking about running a race (of any length), chose wisely because the US has some pretty awesome hidden treasures to enjoy.
Make it an experience.
Enjoy the experience.
And trust me when I say, it makes it a much more delightful experience overall.


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