The morning began with an early wake up call. I ate very little and then met Katie of Katie Runs This in the lobby to catch our shuttle to the expo. We dropped our bags at the gear check and wandered around chatting with the other runners.
Katie and I pre-race
Wouldn't you know we ran into more of our running idols! I'm still surprised I didn't suffer a heart attack this weekend! Dean Karnazes was hanging out with Bart Yasso at the starting line. Bart introduced us (again... I met Dean previously on his 50 states tour) and Dean graciously agreed to pose for photos with us. I also ran into the Altra Zero Drop crew again. I seriously love those guys!
Dean and I
Altra Zero Drop crazies
All too soon it was time to line up. I decided I just wanted to stay under 30 minutes and then we were off. The first mile I was right on target with a 9:30-ish. The second mile I started to warm up and my legs began to pick it up of their own accord. I saw low-8's on my Garmin and made a conscious effort to pull it back. I knew that attacking the hills of Bethlehem at near-PR pace would really hurt later! Third mile was in the low-9's and then I just kicked it into the finish. My official time was 27:49. I still remember not too long ago when that would have been a PR and now it's just a steady state-type run!
5k done! One down, two to go!
After I finished I wandered around a bit to stay warm until the 10k began. I watched some runners finish and then I checked my medal into my bag and headed for the 10k corrals. Once again I put myself farther back than I really wanted to in an attempt to be conservative. I have NEVER run a 10k before! They just aren't a popular distance around here I guess. So I wanted to race but I also didn't want to ruin my experience for the half marathon in the morning. I settled on aiming for just under an hour finish.
The gun went off and we all shuffled forward. Soon enough I was running side by side with Amanda of Run To The Finish and we settled into a 9:30-ish pace. For the first half we ran and chatted and stayed conservative. In the second half my legs once again decided they didn't want any part of easy or conservative and sped up. It was probably a good thing because I came across the line in exactly 59:30! Exactly where I wanted to be!
Two races down, One to go!
I went to gear check and picked up my bag and jacket before I walked back to the finish shoot to cheer in my friends. As I cheered in runners I looked up and just happened to see Kelly of Slipping Slowly Into Pain! Some of you might know him better as Lace_up on the Runner's World forums. We've been talking about meeting up forever and it just never happened so I was beyond thrilled to see him not 15 feet away. I ran around the fences and to the other side of the chute to say hello. It turns out his wife, Jo, was also running so I had the pleasure of meeting them both!
Jo, Kelly, and I
After we parted ways I went back to the hotel and showered and changed before heading back to the expo to enjoy the festival. The first thing I did was get the rest of my books signed, of course! I was able to get Bart Yasso, Mark Remy, and Matt Long to sign my copies of their works.
Mark Remy made me a little runner drawing!
Bart Yasso rounded out the autographs in my Big Book of Marathon Training
After getting all of the autographs I've ever dreamed of, Katie and I headed off to the Run Chat Tweet Up. If you don't know what Run Chat is then you need to get on Twitter (if you're not already there!) and start using the hashtag #runchat every second and fourth Sunday of the month to talk shop with a huge community of runners! After the tweet up I got to spend some time chatting with Scott and Dave, the creators of Run Chat. Super nice guys and pretty awesome runners as well!
Scott (@iRunnerBlog), Me (@runbanshee), Dave (@RunningBecause)
My Jeep now sports a #runchat sticker
I wandered back to the expo just in time to see Shalane again. We goofed off with the Runner's World cover photos for a bit before I became too hungry to hang out any longer.
I cracked up for this one!
Katie and I decided that meat and beer was on the menu so we headed to a restaurant for wings, mozzarella sticks, spring rolls, chicken tenders, queso and this:
After a little bit of down time at the hotel we had one more appointment for fun and games. A pasta dinner was served in the ArtsQuest building and I ate with Golden Harper of Altra Zero Drop and had the chance to ask him lots of questions, both running/shoe related and otherwise. Once again I was amazed by the knowledge and desire to educate all of the Altra team exudes.
SteelStacks at Bethlehem
The nightcap was a speech by Matt Long about his accident, recovery, and what he's been up to since his book was published. Katie and I grabbed a beer and settled in for an amazing presentation. It was extremely hard to keep our eyes open after such a long and exciting day but it was worth it nonetheless!