This morning my dad and I headed out the door early in order to watch the Charlottesville Half Marathon! Leah and our friend Martha were both running it so we wanted to make sure they were adequately cheered. It’s a small race but one with a very scenic course (meaning it started downtown and headed out into the country) so our options as far as finding a place to cheer were limited. Still, we loaded up with coffee and found a grassy knoll at mile 11 to watch them fly by.

The cheer squad right by us was ON FIRE. They did not stop encouraging the runners the whole time we were there.

The weather was beautiful for running, too, but a little on the cold side — I brought out my Uggs and winter jacket one last time to stay warm while we performed the difficult work of drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and watching for Leah and Martha. It was a crisp, sunny morning and most of the runners looked like they were having a great time! It made me excited to be able to fit into my running clothes again (someday) and get out there, but considering my current physical state, just the act of waddling from the car to the grassy knoll was enough of a feat of strength for now.

I didn’t get a picture of them as they cruised by, unfortunately (too busy with my Panera oatmeal I guess) but they both looked strong. We packed up and headed downtown to meet them at the finish!

Considering that there was a race all through downtown (both a half and a full marathon — the full marathon’s second half is all in town) and the first week of the Charlottesville farmer’s market, we lucked out by finding a close parking space right by the finish line!

Here they are sprinting to the finish! They stuck together for all 13.1 miles and finished in just over two hours.

Martha, where’s your medal? — Martha is a very encouraging running partner, by the way. When I did my 10 miles last June, she stuck by my side and talked me out of my “need” to stop and walk several times, which helped me prove to myself that I was capable of accomplishing more than I thought I was.

I really love watching races — as we made our way around town to meet them at the finish we saw a lot of the marathoners on their course and cheered for them from the car — I wish the first half of the race had been set up for more spectator support, though, so we could have seen the first runners go by. (I also wish that doing that would not have required me to be up and out of the house by 6:30, so I guess it’s OK.) Leah and Martha’s next goal is the Marine Corps Marathon this fall so I will start making my signs and practicing my jumping up and down and screaming very soon.

Now Steve and I are getting ready to enjoy what will absolutely be at least our second-to-last baby free weekend. I hope my energy levels can keep up with my nesting instinct!