Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bird-in-hand Half Marathon Report

This weekend the family packed up and headed to Amish country for a family run weekend. Bird-in-hand, PA is only 60-70 minutes away but it feels like we are in a completely different time. The people are SO nice, the land is not over developed and there are horse and buggies everywhere. This race benefits their local fire company and the whole community took part and made all of us "visitors" feel so welcome. I think this race is typically a lot more low key but Runners World ran an article in it which equaled a lot more turn out!

The race weekend started on Saturday with a kids run - Gavins first run!

Then there were hot air balloons...

Then they had a bonfire but the kids were too tired so we retired to the hotel room... the hotel room was the least favorite part of the trip. With a family of four and two kids we need a suite but I didnt book it soon enough so we were cramped into a regular sized room. And to make matters worse - way worse - our room stunk. It smelled very damp. It was gross!

I got everything ready for my race and attempted to get some sleep..
Granted sleep did NOT come - with the stinky room I kept imagining bed bugs. Then I kept thinking I felt something on me... it made for a very very long night. And of course Bre decided 3 am was a great time to wake up.

Morning came and we headed out

And that ends the actual race pics :(  I didnt run with a camera because I was INSANE - I misssed so many amazing picture opportunities. And Eric lost track of time at the hotel and didnt come back in time to see me finish.  uhhhhh... took the family and they didnt even see me run :(

It was NOT my best run. I did not hill train nearly as well as I should have. It was HUMID and hot. The hills! I forgot my Garmin so had no clue what my pace was. And did I mention the hills I didnt train for.

My official time was 2:32 - thats 13 minutes slower than my last half marathon.

Sites on the run:
1. I ran 2-3 miles with a newly married Amish couple. She was in the long dress of the Amish and he was in his suspenders and long sleeve shirt - both with Garmins and tennis shoes :)  After 30 min or so running and talking with them, she asked her husband if it was ok if she ran ahead because she wanted a new PR. And off she went leaving us in her dust :) FREAKING AWESOME!
2. A 9 year old and his dad. I passed them at mile 2. From behind they had the EXACT same running stance - it was adorable. Not so adorable when the 9 year old, now on his own, passed me pretty quickly at mile 11!
3. The water stops were outside of the 1 room school houses and it was the Amish kids handing out the water. So cute.
4. The whole community - the Amish kids hanging on the fences watching us run past, the farmers plowing their fields with horses, the gorgeous Amish houses and yards.

The entire time I was running, I was thinking wow I wish I was running with a video camera... it was so pretty.

The good:
1. Started on time
2. Great turn out
3. Talkative group - atleast here and there.
4. Well stocked water/powerade stops
5. Beautiful scenery
6. I ran up EVERY single hill!

The bad:
1. I hate hate hate running by myself and missed having a partner.
2. I forgot my Garmin - I like to know my pace. I tend to slow down without realizing it without it.
3. I wish I would have brought my ipod for the end when I was struggling.
4. The last 4 miles were very very hard for me. Not sure if its the recent change in diet and my body not being used to it yet, the lack of hill training, lack of sleep or what. But I promised myself I would NOT walk and those last few miles I walked four different times. Granted only for a minute or so but still.

I thought ALOT about my 5k VIRGIN friends. The first 3.1 miles I dedicated to you all... and Jennifer B.  there were two different times I thought of you specifically. Mile 2.5 and mile 7 had CRAZY hills (and mile 7 did not show that big of a hill on the map!) and during those I thought of the funny things you would say to get me over them and me cussing at you while you were trying to make me laugh! The last 3.1 miles I kept trying to think you you all aswell... every time I wanted to stop I reminded myself ... if this amazing group of women can run 3 miles and go from NON runners to AWESOME runners then I can get through this last 3.1!

All in all it was a great time. Im glad I did it!
I was TIRED when I got back to the hotel room though! Oh and note to self... DO NOT WEAR GRAY pants... you sweat and look like you peed your pants!
So whats next????

I cannot believe I am going to say this. I am SHOCKED that I want to do this. Roni over at has once again inspired me. Whats next???

Its time to add to the credits list that I am a bad ass tough mudder mother! Im currently getting a team together and in June 2013 we will tackle the Tough Mudder. I have some major work to do from now until then... goal weight and some major upper body strength training. OMG I feel like I may have gone insane!


  1. Next year I WILL be there!!! Sounds like a blast!!!

  2. I use to live in PA. I lived close enough to Amish country to call it a day trip. I miss it!

    Congrats on finishing your run! I know those hills can be tough, but you did it. Walking or still did it!

  3. looks like a blast! I may have to go that one!!
    My Tough Mudder was canceled today. :(
    You'll love it!

  4. Congrats on your progress and races. I'm thinking of doing this race this year. What hotel did you stay in? I'm bothered by mold, too.