Race recap: Niagara Falls International Half Marathon

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I finished! I finished! I’ve been cherishing writing this race recap.

What great race!

I love my sister (in the picture above) and her passion for running! I remember when back in April we had set the date of January 2016 as my first half marathon milestone. We were talking and half joking when we decided on a race. Little did I know, she would do anything and everything to make sure I would finish a half marathon. I’ve had a few false starts before and she would not have any of it this time.

Later that month, she called me and ask why not do the Niagara Falls International Half Marathon as our first ever together half (my first half) marathon? What could I say? After all, she had taken all of my excuses away.

She took the I don’t know if we can fly “insert state here” excuse away. She took the “come visit me” excuse away. Au contraire, she came to visit me. If she’s flying from Puerto Rico to Niagara Falls, there’s nothing I can say with these many months in advanced notice to sway her.

I was actually happy about this as I felt she was calling my bluff.

What entailed were months and months of training and preparation to get ready to have fun with her in a road race. Like everything, there were good days, great days and “I-don’t-want-to-go-out-to-run” days. Yet, I was excited about the idea of running for a medal in Canada. How cool to get to run your first half internationally?

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This was a going to be a fantastic family affair event! Hubby had to defer running the 5K as he had tweaked his knee three weeks before the event. However, my little sister and my brother in law jumped at the opportunity. This helped a lot with the whining about being just me and her running… see one more excuse she knocked down.

On the weeks before, I had gotten complacent for no reason really and lazy. That meant, that I had run fewer miles during the week. My sister had told me all along that peaking at a 10-mile long run was enough but in my mind, doing the math I needed to do more.

So, the week before the race I went for an 11-mile long run/walk to prove to myself that I could finish the race. It did gave me peace of mind!

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The expo was on the small side (in comparison with the Buffalo Marathon Expo which I went but didn’t run) but it made it feel more cozy. There my sister and I got matching headbands… because you know that how sisters display their power 😉 For real.

I was so grateful that all the volunteers and spectators were so friendly and cheery! It helped tons in terms of giving a jolt of energy every time I was feeling down. Now, I was ok with the weather… a cloudy 48 degrees.

I prayed like crazy for no rain and we were blessed. Hubby drove us to the starting line so we could have a later breakfast and it was the first time that we noted how far and long is 13.1 miles after all.

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All in all, I ran 275 miles to get to the finish line. And you know what, cliché but true, it was all worth it. I’m so grateful my sister pushed me to run this race.

Like before, I had a tiny panic attack when I realized that reaching the finish line was totally possible. But when I got there, the sense of accomplishment took over and I was almost all smiles. (obviously, I’m not showing you the “I’m dead tired” picture, ha!)

If you ever wish running a race that ended at the majestic Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls this is your race. The course is flat, flat, flat and the camaraderie between runners/walkers is off the charts.

Now, that this is off my bucket list, I’ll share with you how my second half marathon – a RunDisney event – went later on this week.

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