You know the saying: Earned, never given.
In March, I was finally able to run that half marathon I had deferred from last year. Was it worth it? The Sarasota Half Marathon starts in the dark, and the route immediately heads up the Ringling Bridge to Lido Key. Florida may be flat but they make up for that in bridges that go up to the sky, I think. Even tougher is the downhill. With the race, we ran around St Armand's Circle and back over that bridge. As usual, I went out too fast. It was very humid and I struggled. But I finished, PF and all, and was rewarded with a beautiful medal. I also got to meet Mary Beth, who was part of our bloggers weekend in Panama City Beach!
The mother of all finisher medals, for me not only this year but overall, was the one from The Big Sur Marathon. I don't normally run races for bling, but this medal was coveted by me like none other. It's actually a handcrafted ceramic medallion, strung on a leather cord. Big Sur and that part of California is pretty boho, and this medallion captures that feeling. Big Sur was a race of a lifetime for me, a bucket list race, and to be able to run it was something I will never forget. Training was tough, with not nearly enough running as I continued to battle PF. Kristina vowed to stick by my side and she did, running the entire race with me. We finished hand in hand and I sobbed as we crossed the finish line. Big Sur is not a race to PR, in my opinion. It is an experience that must be savored. This will be my forever favorite race and piece of bling. I look at it every day and it reminds me that dreams do come true. It also is a grateful reminder me of the man I've been married to for the last 28 years who lets me chase my dreams, but keeps me grounded. "Not a second honeymoon," he said. Wrong. It absolutely was.
On Memorial Day, I ran a local 10k for Salute, Inc, a charity that benefits veterans and their families. This is a really low key, local affair, and there is no bling. Unless you win an age group award, which I did! I had a lot of fun running this one fast and playing cat and mouse with another woman after mile 4. It's always fun to do well in your hometown and this race made me happy.
Another local holiday race, the Stampede, is run on the 4th of July. This is a larger field than the Salute 10k, but still no bling. For our AG awards, we received commemorative snifters! I always enjoy creative awards, and every year this race hands out something interesting.
What was your year in racing like? What was your favorite medal of the past year? Was it because of the way it looks or because of how you earned it? Do you run races for the bling?
I'm of course linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word, which is decorate. And with the ladies of Coaches Corner, Debbie, Rachel, Lora, and Susie! I'm also linking this post up with Courtney for her Year of Running link up! And finally, with Tuesdays on the Run--Marcia, Erica, and Patty are hosing a blingfest!