Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Divas Half Marathon in Peachtree City, GA

In September, I headed to Peachtree City, Georgia for a half marathon and fun 4-day trip with my MRTT co-leaders Jen, Erin. Sara and Ashley (yes, there are 5 of us - we need that many for our active chapter of 500+). My best friend since I was 6, Chelsea, also came along.  I had looked forward to it for nearly a year, ever since my awesome husband gave the go-ahead after the race was announced and then decided that it would be the stage for a national MRTT meet up.

Pam photobomb!

On the first evening, after a great meal at the Mellow Mushroom, we headed to the race expo (in our 2 sweet rental cars - tiny little Nissans) to pick up our stuff. This was also the first time I was able to meet Pam, as she/MRTT had 2 large tables set up. I may or may not have teared up a little just SEEING her and the booth set up from across the room. Ahem.

After wandering around, chatting, buying some goodies...we did what any red-blooded American woman would naturally do. We headed to Target! Mostly we were going for snacks and wine.

WINE. AT. TARGET. (This needs it's own line). 

Me with just SOME of the products we donated!
Also while at Target, we stocked up on feminine products for a donation drive that was being done by MRTT for girls in a certain area of Africa who don't have access to these items and, as a result, end up skipping many days of school for their periods - or even dropping out completely.

Finally, we headed back to our hotel and spent the rest of the evening chatting. The ladies presented me with a  necklace bought from the MRTT booth as a "thank you" for bringing us and our chapter together. This made me cry. Of course. You will see that is a theme here....

On Friday we explored, relaxed, and just did whatever we felt like at the time. Chelsea and I enjoyed a long, sweaty walk which took us through one of many of PTC's golf courses; we had some comments about being brave. But we weren't being brave, we were just lost! The problem was that PTC is filled with Golf Cart Paths. In fact, it's the "golf cart Capitol". But there was no way for us to see when we moved from "safe" path to "oops".  You would think one could tell, because a golf course looks like a golf course...but much if the scenery along our path looked that way too, and wasn't a course!
Trying to look tough during a very hot & sweaty walk with my BFF.

Friday night we had a great experience at a local Italian place. The most notable part may have been the super cute Italian guy who helped us each pick a wine we would enjoy via his great suggestions, letting us taste and trial and error. Really though, I would have been happy to just hear him talk, regardless of what he was saying. THE ACCENT!!  *swoon*

Enjoying an AMAZING meal at a great little Italian place with fantastic service and live Italian music.

Afterwards, we headed to a chapter leader mixer where we mingled, and exchanged little homemade pins each chapter made to represent their home state or town.. Everyone got a tote bag to put pins on and tried to collect them all. There was pizza, drinks and giveaways of MRTT goodies. I got to chat with Pam for a bit and we BOTH cried.  I'm pretty sure she was overwhelmed all weekend at really experiencing first hand just how far MRTT has reached and the impact it has had on so many women. We had leaders who even traveled all the way from Canada to be there! 
After the mixer, it was back to the hotel to prep for the morning craziness....and try to get some sleep!

Chapter leaders at the mixer - and Sterling of Sterling Promotions - he does a lot of our gear for us and it was awesome to meet him after exchanging so many emails! He even knew who I was right away when I approached him and gave me a big hug. Great guy, highly recommend his business.
Pam and I - once we were able to finally get ourselves together after a little cry-fest. So thankful to this woman for starting the group that has helped me in more ways than I imagined it would. And so thankful I could meet her!

Saturday morning - RACE TIME!!  We got ready and hopped a shuttle to the start, where we participated in a MRTT group photo. Many didn't make it due to logistics, but it was still a great picture. MRTT members mostly had on these pink camo flower clips in their hair, and it was awesome to look out at the crowd and see the flowers EVERYWHERE. I think Pam said we had about 300 known MRTTers registered...about 10% of race participants.

We managed to gather a lot of MRTT members for the picture, but there were just as many who missed the photo, too.

As for the race...the race was tough. Really tough. I started off with another chapter leader I'd met the previous night. We ran together and chatted for a bit before going our separate ways, and my mental battle began. It was an unfamiliar course filled with constant rolling hills, paired with hot weather and 100% humidity. Luckily much of the course was shaded, but it was still by far the hottest I've been whole running. When we finished, we were quite literally soaked, as in could wring out our shirts and left dark butt prints of sweat after we sat down on a curb. My time was 2:20:30 - far from my PR but I was thrilled with it, all things considered. I knew going in that it would be hot, humid, and difficult. I just felt proud to finish feeling decent (nasty and sweaty, but decent).

Coming up on the finish!
Left to right: Me, Jen, Ashley, Sara, Erin. WE DID IT!

The rest of the weekend was again spent doing whatever we felt like...and often times, what we felt like was lounging by the pool. Saturday night we stayed up late celebrating. Lots of laughs and good memories made!! It was a really fun trip and I'd love to visit again. PTC is a very pretty area, with plenty to do. We never had a bad meal and veryone is so nice (southern hospitality definitely rivals Minnesota nice).

And you can buy wine at Target.

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