Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

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I just ran my first race since the Rock n Roll Seattle marathon back in 2016! Seriously, how has it been that long ago?! The Happy Girl Run, 5k, 10k, and half, was this past Saturday and all I can say is, wow, what a race!

When NOW© decided to partner with and sponsor me in the Happy Girl Run I was instantly pumped to get a re-do at the same half I ran back in 2014. When I first did it I had no idea it was part trail course. Don’t misunderstand, they mentioned it multiple times on their website, but I didn’t look at any of the course description. Lesson learned. This time around I knew what I was getting into and was excited to have another shot at it.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

A heartfelt thank you to NOW© for being such a huge part of my journey and to Happy Girls for providing an awesome race experience for women in Spokane!

Training

Those of you who follow me over on IG know this spring I dealt with a not so lovely static issue. One minute I was fine, the next I was bending over to grab some half and half for my coffee and couldn’t stand back up! It happened that quickly. I learned in a split second to never take my health for granted because it could change when you least expect it.

For the next month I was in a lot of pain. Rest, stretching, and chiropractor visits slowly had me able to function like a normal human again. But multiple times, just when I thought it was behind me, I’d do a workout or lift something, twist wrong, and the pain would come back, though thankfully never as bad as initially. This had me adjusting my running and strength training plans a lot.

Needless to say training this year didn’t go as planned, but I knew if I allowed myself rest, got the proper nutrition and ran as much as able, that when the day came I’d be able to check off the 13.1 miles.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

Packet pick-up

This year packet pick-up was at the Davenport Grand. They had it on the second floor right beside the outdoor terrace and bar. What a fun idea to have packet pick up and share a quick drink with a friend overlooking Riverfront park before heading to bed early in preparation for race day.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery, Davenport Grand

Happy Girl Run: race day

I was surprised how nervous I was waking up on race day! Part of the jitters had to do with how long it had been since I participated in a race, and the other part was because of my past injuries. Taking 2017 off from running, feeling better and then my static issues had me a little scared to push myself. Injuries are the last thing I want to deal with right now.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

I woke up, had a cup of coffee, a English muffin and half a banana. Then Travis and I piled the kids in the car and took off. Tyrion wanted so much to see me start and finish. He talks about being a runner all the time and it makes this mom heart so darn happy. He’s already faster than me!

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

I found my cousin at the start line, Chelsey, one of Spokane’s best relators! And when our wave went off we stayed together for about the first 6 miles.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

Mid half

Around mile six Chelsey dealt with some knee issues so we separated. I was telling Travis that mile 6-10 was so weird. I kept thinking I was in the wrong mile, I missed mile sign 9, and it seemed like mile 7 – 8 went on forever. My right foot started to hurt a bit and I just felt off. Once I passed mile 10 I got back into my groove again. However this part of the race also started the climb back up to the start line.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

I ended up walking the hill pictured, as well as a few more that followed. It was intense and my right foot was hurting pretty good at this point. Once mile 12 hit I let out my inner Ellie Sattler. She’s literally who came to mind when I passed mile 12.

The finish

The finish line was perfect. Travis, Tyrion, and Evelyn were waiting for me and it was such a special moment to give both the kids high fives just before I passed the finish line. You can hear Evelyn in the bottom video singing “go, go, go” and “mommy, mooooomy, mom!” It was too cute!

I actually beat my 2014 time by about 7 minutes. I’ll take that considering towards the end I was going so slow the thought crossed my mind there was a good chance I’d be slower than last time.

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At the end Happy Girl had free beer, bacon, and several other treats for everyone to snack on while recovering. So many happy ladies were laughing and exchanging race stories as they sat around in the lawn area enjoying the perfect race weather.

What makes happy girl different

Instead of medals Happy Girl gives out jewelry. The reasoning behind this is they want you to be able to wear your accomplishment daily so you can look down at it anytime and realize what your’e capable of. In 2014 they gave out necklaces, and this year it was bracelets. They also give out shirts for the half, (which I really liked this year) and socks for those running the 10 & 5k.

Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

Once home I immediately chugged some NOW© BCAA’s big 6 and had a protein drink. Honestly I was surprised how quickly my recovery was. I was sore on Sunday but by Monday morning there was little left and by Tuesday things were back to normal. The biggest pain I had was the blister between my toes on my right food. I’ll spare you a picture of that. But let’s just say it looked like I had six toes instead of five! Yeah, ick.

Would I do Happy Girl again? Yes! But next time I’d hope my training would go smoother so I could really take a chunk out of my finish time.

Next up: the Leavenworth half marathon!

It’s the first Saturday in October and this is the one Travis has been training along side me for! We can’t wait for our little get away and hope the weather, and our bodies, hold up so we can enjoy a bit of the fun Bavarian town after our half is over!

You may also like:

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Running with kids: Half marathon training for parents

Eryn Whalen,Happy Girl Run 2018 half marathon recap & recovery

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