The Georgia Half Marathon Expo + Pre-Race Thoughts.

After an hour of hot yoga at Ember Hot Yoga‘s Open House to stretch everything out one last time, Mom and I hit the Publix Georgia Half Marathon Expo to pick up our race packet (and free swag, duh).

As hard as it was to pass all the vendors at first, we headed straight towards the back of the expo to pickup our race packets. Luckily, packet pickup was a breeze! There was no line and the volunteers were very friendly, even when I asked them what the hell a streaker was. The first order of business after getting our gear…

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Paying the nice folks at KT Tape a visit to have my troublesome left knee taped! I felt extra special because apparently, I was the only person to come through needing tape for chondromalacia patella issues. It is kind of expensive ($20 a roll), but if I can run without the bulk of my knee supports in the summer months, it will be worth it.

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The official race gear was awesome! They had everything you could possibly slap a logo on – water bottles, pint glasses, coffee cups, shirts, hoodies, hats. If you wanted a special way to announce to the world that you ran 13.1 or 26.2 miles, they had it.

The expo had just about everything I had hoped for as well – registration information for tons of other runs near and far; samples of yummy food like tiny Larabars, bags of Food Should Taste Good chips, and full jars of Biscoff spread; discounted running gear; and things I never thought I could possibly need but suddenly were absolutely necessary. Not to mention, Publix was ON POINT. Right when you walked in, they had a mini grocery store with their full organic line and samples of everything from organic lemonade and hummus to soymilk and a delicious wheatberry salad. All of that goodness and they were giving away free cutting boards? Where shopping is a pleasure indeed.

My favorite expo activity? The Publix photobooth with silly props and a choose-your-own backdrop. It took about five minutes and the help of some on-lookers for us to get our 13.1 hand signal right but check out these nerds:

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After nearly two hours at the expo, we attempted to drive the course but somehow got lost around mile 3 and ended up on the interstate, so we did what any self-respecting non-city dweller would do and headed back to the ‘burbs to get some froyo. Peanut butter + chocolate + Reese’s + gummi bears + sprinkles = holy yum.

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The second we got home, Mom and I dumped our bags on the kitchen table like kids on Halloween night and started getting everything ready for tomorrow morning. The official race shirt is awesome! A nice (albeit super slim fitting) white v-neck women’s tech tee with a cute little shamrock and the phrase “Bring your best” PLUS the Atlanta skyline on the back in green? Doesn’t get much better than that for a St. Patty’s race.

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I always find my mind racing during the night before a race. Training for this half didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had hoped. I followed my training plan religiously until I hurt my knee in late January. From then on out, I took it easy – sometimes too easy – always paranoid about further injuring myself.  Of the 150 miles I was scheduled to run throughout my 11 weeks of training, in actuality I ran about 100. However, I just keep telling myself whatever happens tomorrow happens for a reason. My first half-marathon time was 2:37, and honestly, anything faster than that will make me a very happy gal. Of course, I have a private time goal in mind, but if I don’t reach it…well, there’s always the next race.

The most important thing about this race? Tomorrow is my mom’s first half-marathon! I can’t wait to hi-five her when she crosses the finish line and to take our picture with our medals afterwards. So unbelievably proud of her…I hope to be half as badass as she is when I am in my fifties!

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Pizza has been consumed, 4 a.m. alarms have been set, and playlists have been made. Next up on the agenda: painting our with green nail polish and shamrock nail art and a good night’s sleep (ha!).

See you at the start line at 7 a.m., fellow racers!

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