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Wow!  What a month March was.  Just a few years ago, March used to feel like the longest month of the year.  As time went by the  month seemed to get shorter and shorter.  This year, it FLEW by!  I can’t even believe it’s almost April already.

After a week in San Diego for work and a week of having something to do every night, it was time for the Livermore Half Marathon.  This race was recommended to me by a friend who ran it last year and loved it, I trust her opinion, so I thought, I’ll try it!

Packet pick-up was fairly simple.  I have to say, the only thing I didn’t LOVE about this race was they didn’t have race day packet pick-up.  They only had it as part of their “VIP Package” where you have to pay an extra fee in order to pick up your bib and t-shirt.  Being that I’m trying to do a half marathon a month, paying extra to pick up my bib isn’t really in my budget.  It just bummed me out that I had to drive all the way to Livermore after work on Friday, during rush hour, to pick up my packet.  It would have been way more convenient to have the option of race day pick-up.  Anywho, in the end, it wasn’t horrible, just an inconvenience.

Packet pick-up!  Bib and super cute t-shirt.

Packet pick-up! Bib and super cute t-shirt.

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Race morning, Rob, Bella and I got up early and headed out to Livermore at around 6:30am.  We got in a little bit after 7, found parking and headed over to the start.

Start line fun!

Start line fun!

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Since Rob wasn’t running, him and Bella were my official cheering section during the race.

My official cheering section!

My official cheering section!

I liked that it started right downtown.  Livermore has such a cute downtown area, I feel like we should hang out there more often.

I had some warm up time and then I headed to the start line.

Ready to start!

Ready to start!

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As I was waiting to start I spotted the 2:10 pacer.

Hello pacer!

Hello pacer!

I have never run with a pacer before, but I though why not try it out?  I have finished in 2:10 before, so I thought I could at least try it out to see how I would feel if I stayed at a specific pace the entire time.  I wish I caught her name, but I think running with her really helped me get my PR in this race!

The first few miles were nice and easy, through downtown and through Sycamore Grove Park toward Wente Vineyard.  The weather was perfect.  A nice breeze hit me every few minutes, which made for a nice break from the sun and when we ran through the park, there was some nice shaded areas.

After we passed Wente we started back toward downtown, up through some rolling hills.  Nothing too steep, but still a bit hilly.  At around mile 9, I was still with the pacer, but feeling really good and also feeling like I could go faster.  She encouraged me, saying if you feel good, just go, so off I went.

Thank you 2:10 pacer for encouraging me to go ahead!  You were the best :-)

Thank you 2:10 pacer for encouraging me to go ahead! You were the best 🙂

After the rolling hills we hit the vineyards, some really beautiful scenery on this course.  I had a great time just looking out over all the vines and hills and taking it all in.  Plus, I was still keeping a really great pace!  YAY!

Through the vineyards and over some VERY bouncy bridges...

Through the vineyards and over some VERY bouncy bridges…

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I was back in downtown before I knew and and loved seeing the crowd out cheering everyone back in.

The last mile in I saw my cheering section (Rob and Bella) and Rob started yelling saying two more turns and your done, so I booked it and crossed the finish line at 2:06:30…one whole minute faster than my last PR!  YAHOO!!

Running it in!

Running it in!



After I crossed the finish line, I got my ginormous medal and wine glass!

Hello coaster medal!

Hello coaster medal!




I grabbed a banana and found Rob and Bella.  He asked if I wanted to stay for the wine tasting, but I just can’t drink wine after running 13.1 miles.  So we headed back to the car and drove back home.

Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  Thanks to the race organizers, to my 2:10 pacer and to all the Livermore residents that came out all over the course to cheer.  I’m definitely going to do this next year!

Next race up is the Santa Cruz Half Marathon.  Can’t wait to do some beach side running 🙂

QOTD:  Are you able to drink wine or beer right after running a half marathon?