Rock n’ Roll Dallas 2015 re-cap

Since I never got my New Orleans full recap up, I figured I’d better get busy on this one ASAP! This race was a different one for me, in a good way. It’s so fun to be there when your friends hit their goals they work soooo hard to achieve!

Rock n' Roll DallasHalf Marathon2015

Ally went with me to the Expo and packet pick up on Saturday. She likes to go and shop, of course!

RnR expo 1

RnR usually has really good expos, large, with lots of vendors. This one was better than New Orleans was, but the one in Dallas 2 years ago was still the best. Brooks has a huge showing at these expos too.

RnR expo brooks

I was looking for headbands but didn’t find the ones I wanted so I’ll just order them online. We grabbed a cute shirt from one booth then had to back and get the head band for a friend!

This was the best I could get from her. She’s a mess!

Ally RnR

Snapped a picture of the course map.

RnR Dallas map

I checked the elevation and saw there were some hills, but I didn’t realize how hilly it was. More on that later.

Dallas big 2015

When I got back to my car my MRTT (Moms Run This Town) magnet had been flipped upside down. I assumed it was someone from Rockwall but apparently the Allen chapter loves this game, someone there was the culprit. Too funny! So, if you see an MRTT magnet on a car, it’s perfectly acceptable behavior to flip it upside down. She took a picture (and so did I) and posted it in her chapter group. Be sure and leave the license plate out of the picture. :)

flipped mrtt magnet

That night I finally made a choice on what to wear (or so I thought). I had it narrowed down to tank top, maybe shorts, maybe capris. If it rained I wanted capris and since that was still a maybe I chose capris. I took my throw away sweat shirt but forgot my gels.

RnR Dallas flat mama

Got up at 5:15 on race day, got dressed, had breakfast, grabbed my stuff and John took me to meet friends to head out.

The race started at 8am, we left Rockwall at 6:15, thinking that was plenty of time to get parked and get into our corrals. We barely made it. But at least we didn’t have a bunch of time to stand around and get nervous! Two years ago when I ran RnR Dallas it was a point to point race, you parked at the end and they shuttled us to the start. This year it was point to point again with about 1 mile in between start and finish. No shuttle. You basically were on your own, park where you can and walk it. I disliked that very much. We parked easily but had at least .5 miles to walk to the start.

We got to the race at corral 1 and bag check was at corral 15. It was very crowded along the corrals but we got to bag check and found a ton of port-a-potties, took care of that and headed for our corral with about 12 minutes to spare. We got into our corral and took a picture, sang the National Anthem and we were off. They didn’t waste any time.

The weather was gloomy looking, I kept thinking it was going to pour down rain on us, but it never did.

RnR shoes

There were four of us, we’d all been training together the last few weeks to help two of the girls hit new goals. They both badly wanted a sub 2 hour half, their first. We stayed together for about 4 miles, then broke into two groups. It’s hard to make that choice to push a friend unless you really know they want you to. I was torn between staying with her and leaving. I was afraid she would be mad either way, even though she told me to go. (She wasn’t mad at me, but still wants that sub 2.) We are all busy making goals for the Fall.

RnR pre race

I ended up running on my own for a little while, saw a few friends on the way. Luckily Anna had an extra Gu on her and had given it to me just in case. It was salted watermelon and not the worst I’ve had but it’s so thick. I really can’t hardly stand it. I use the Advocare rehydrate gels but I was desperate. I made it to about mile 8 before I needed it. I just ate it slowly.

Got to about mile 9 and caught up with the other half of our group and finished the race with them. Anna was still on target for a sub 2 hour, she was fighting for every step. I have been there. You want it so bad, you just have to convince your legs to cooperate. I think she had mostly 8:50 miles until that point.

We hit the mountain at mile 10, it seemed to go on forever, and that slowed us down. We were still ahead of the 2 hour pacer so we had time in the bank. I would run a little ahead to stay on the 9:10 pace and would slow down some then speed up a little. We were bouncing around at that point, but still pushing forward. We got passed by the 2 hour pacer somewhere about mile 12, I think. It was all kind of a blur after that, like a scene from a movie. You are in that final stretch, you get passed but still don’t quit.

Up ahead we see runners from Rockwall cheering and I tell them Anna needs a push, we are so close! The 2 hour pacer is still in front of us, we have less than 1/2 a mile to go. I’m staying with the pacer to try to draw her my way, our other friend is with her and just ahead cheering and telling her she can do it. She dug deep and sprinted ahead of that 2 hour pacer in the final stretch, we may have even been in the finish line chute. Seriously it was a blur. Got it by 3 seconds.

Here we are literally right after crossing. The look on Anna’s face tell you how hard she worked! I’m sure you can guess which one is Anna! I have the biggest grin on my face, such a goof!

Anna rnr finish

We grabbed our medals but still weren’t sure if she came in under 2 hours, that pacer could have been off. We got Gatorade, potato chips (seriously the best post race snack ever!), and then headed to the engraving tent to check her time.

RnR Dallas finish

My friend Cynthia also go her first sub 2! These ladies are rock stars!

RnR Dallas post race

We caught up with several friends that had hit their goals that day. It was so fun hearing the stories and celebrating with them!

2015-03-22 10.47.03

We found coach and took more pictures, got our stuff from gear check and went to get our free beer. And take more pictures!

Rnr pic with coach B

We have some pretty awesome runners in our group, quite a few are headed to Boston next month. They were out there cheering us on at this race.

rnr finish line party

Here’s my medal, I forgot to take a picture of the shirt.

rnr dallas medal

John picked me up from the finish and we tried a new place for lunch, Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. I had some ridiculously good food. Yes, that’s bacon on a skewer.

rnr dallas lunch

We shared fries and rings for all three of us.

rnr lunch fries

I got the grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto and tomato. So YUMMY!

rnr dallas lunch grilled cheese

After that, we headed home and you would think I’d be sitting on the couch…..

Wrong. Laundry, vacummed the house, cleaned out the fridge and did the dishes. Thankfully I talked John into going to the store for me. Oh and Ally had softball practice. The season starts this weekend!

Now our group is busy making goals for this fall. No matter the pace, we are all training together, cheering and supporting each other and just running.

2015-03-17 07.10.31

What are you training for?

Do you make goals? Write them down?

Happy running,

Blog sig

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Hot Chocolate anyone?

This was oddly my first official 15k race. Ally has been asking for a year to run this one so I finally broke down and registered us both for the 15k.

Hot Chocolate 15k

It wasn’t easy training Ally for a 15k while I was still training for Nola. The mileage just didn’t work and she won’t get up at 4:30 during the week to run short runs. I had to rely on the weekends and her getting in a few miles a day at school. Fortunately, I think she has some natural talent and ability too. She made this race look easy.

Her longest run was 8.25 miles, that was 6 days after I ran Nola. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get it done, but it was a good run. It was for our MRTT virtual so there were a lots of ladies out running and one just a little faster than me ran ahead with Ally the last 4 miles or so. That is what I love about running with a group. These moms take care of each other!

We definitely got our money’s worth. It’s not what I would call a “cheap” race, but we sure did get a lot for our money! We got a nice jacket, hot chocolate and chocolate fondue at the finish, a big medal and free video of us finishing and free photos.

hot choc swag

I had initially planned to let Ally run by herself, she told me to go on. I started out a little faster but slowed down to run with her. (honestly she probably would have passed me anyway). We kept the first 6 miles at a mid 8 range, then dropped sub 8 to the finish. She got ahead of me a little but I caught her at mile 7.5 to finish together (mostly). She was about 5 seconds ahead of me at the finish line.

Ally HC

I run hills a lot, but I was a little surprised at how hilly Dallas is. Mile 5 seemed to go on forever and then bam, mile 8.5 we had to climb a bridge to head into the finish. Ally took those hills like a champ!

Here I am chasing her to the finish line.

Sarah HC 2015

The weather was chilly at the start. But I knew we’d warm up quick. I tossed my gloves at mile 2 and Ally was tying that jacket around her waist shortly after.

This is a big race, a lot of people participate in the 5k. If I had one bad thing to say, it’d be not starting on time. But in all fairness, I don’t think it was the race directors fault. There were so many people that were late. I have never seen that many people be so late to a race. The 15k corrals were trying to line up and the 5k’ers were still coming in from the sides. Finally they stopped them and made them wait until after all the 15k corrals were gone then they started another corral for the 5k.

I would run this 15k again, but I’m not sure I would run the 5k. They did have signs up at the front corrals that said “no walkers” and they were making announcements about it and if you wanted to walk to please move to the side of the road. I feel like they did a good job at crowd control considering how many people were there.

This is one of my favorite pictures!

HC 2015 finish

Here’s the finish line goodies.

HC fondue

Ally really enjoyed the chocolate! Unofficially she placed 2nd in her age group (14 and under). Her award is supposed to be mailed in 6-8 weeks.

Ally chocolate fondue

Here’s most of the group of ladies I run with every week!

Pavement pounders HC 2015

After our group finished, we headed to lunch. I had already let Ally choose since it was her big day. We love to eat in Dallas anytime we can, so I was glad she chose Chuy’s. It’s one of our favorite tex-mex restaurants.

I really enjoyed this race and running with Ally. Looking forward to the next race!

Have you run a Hot Chocolate race?

What are you training for?

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Dallas Marathon race review

I’m finally getting this done. The last few weeks have been a blur. I really enjoyed my time off at Christmas and got stuff done at home. But got no blogging done at all.

Dallas Marathon

The Dallas Marathon was supposed to be my first full in December 2013. But a little ice storm kinda halted that plan, the race was cancelled 2 days before. The runners registered for that race were given a special discount price to register for 2014. So, the Dallas Marathon 2014 became marathon #2.

Training for this race was not as good as I had hoped. I missed some long runs and was just not emotionally in it. We had some loss in our family in the fall after moving in the summer. Things were crazy to say the least.

This was a large race, but very organized. I was impressed.

The expo was great, lots of vendors and lots of free goodies! Runners like that kind of thing.

Dallas expo

We grabbed our shirts and bibs and did a little shopping. I bought new sunglasses and a FlipBelt. I broke the cardinal rule of not wearing anything new on race day. I ran 26.5 miles in a new FlipBelt. It worked out though. I’ll get a review of that up soon!

This was my view the day before the race. My foot had started hurting just a little bit, so I thought maybe I’d try staying off of it.

feet up

The phantom foot pain was in my arch, it started 8 days before the race. I was supposed to run 9 miles, ended up with 4. I was hoping it was just a fluke. It didn’t hurt all that week then started the day before the race.

I laid all my clothes out the night before. I always do this to make sure I have everything. I ended up not wearing the compression socks in the race. My shoes are 1/2 size bigger than I normally get and these socks are thin. My shoes were a little too loose.

Dallas flat mama

When I bought these shoes I purposely bought a 1/2 size bigger because the last pair I bought seemed a little too tight. Now I’m afraid that’s what might be the cause of my foot pain.

Hubby drove me to the race, he dropped me off then he and Ally went to get breakfast. I met up with my group and we took pictures, stretched, used the facilities, twice. I’ve put a lot of miles on the road with these ladies, and about half of them are training to run their first full in New Orleans this month.

Dallas marathon group

This girl is one of my best running friends. She doesn’t let me quit, she also blames me for her speedy pace. I’ll take it.

Me and Alisha

I headed over to my corral to get in my spot, stretch a little more and clear my head.

corral A

The race started at 8:05AM. When I signed up for this race, I had a lofty goal and sometimes life happens and those goals change. I decided to start with the corral I had originally been placed in. I wanted to see what I could do. I started out great, felt good. I was confident I could PR. My foot wasn’t hurting at first.

I did not carry water in this race, I decided to fuel at the water stops instead. I prefer not to have the extra weight while racing. We ran through Highland Park and the fire department there had a huge flag hanging over the street, it was amazing. This is a great course, you see lots of Dallas. Most of it was familiar to me.

I saw John and Ally maybe about mile 4-5, can’t really remember. I handed them my sunglasses. I would not be needing them. The forecast was humid, warm-ish and rain. I was actually relieved at the light rain that came periodically. I was not ready for the downpour that would come later.

I hit a BIG wall at about mile 15. My splits clearly show I started out too fast (rookie mistake) and paid for it later on. I saw John and Ally at 15 and 17 since it was an out and back at White Rock Lake. I stopped at about 16 at the aid station to have my toe wrapped. I was starting to limp from my toes rubbing blisters on each other.

The pain in the arch of my foot came about mile 18 or so. I was pushing through, my pace was slowing, but I would rally from time to time. The course was fun, there were tons of people out cheering but it was rough. I’m not gonna lie.

I was walking a bit at 19 so I stopped to take a picture.

mile 19

My friend Lauren was meeting me at mile 20 to run with me. I have never been happier to see her in my whole life. I’ve only been running with her since summer. She’s my new hero! I was whiny, I was not a good running friend. It was starting to rain. I wanted to quit running all together. That whole wall at 20 that everyone jokes about, it’s real. It’s no joke. Looking back, if I hadn’t started out so fast I probably could’ve pushed through that a lot easier since I had a friend to run with.

Lauren ran as far as she could, right about mile 25.5 and turned around and ran back 6 miles to her car, in the rain. What a trooper. The rest of the girls were waiting at about mile 25.something. Alisha got me as far as she could, one of the girls got this picture. I am seriously telling Alisha I am never, ever, ever running a full marathon again. Like, I may never run again at all. HAHA. She just told me to run.

We kinda look like rock stars here.

Dallas mile 26

It rained off and on the last 5-6 miles. Then it poured. I retrieved my medal and gear check bag in the pouring rain. Now I’m getting cold. Thankfully the Dallas convention center has covered roads all around it. Everyone was hiding under there. I called John and he was able to find me pretty quick. I changed clothes in the car. Something I never thought I’d do, but I was cold and wet. We got lunch and headed home. I did get a 9 minute PR, I’ll take it.

We got our 2013 medals after completing the 2014 race.

Dallas marathon medals

Marathons are no joke. You don’t go into them lightly. Most people can’t just get out and run 26.2 miles without months of training. It’s a hard race, even if your only goal is to cross the finish line standing up. I don’t walk away from a full marathon feeling good. I feel defeated. It’s weird, I wish I could explain it.

This is a good race, it’s not as flat as I’ve been led to believe. Chances are I’d run the half again. Not sure about the full.

Happy running!

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

2014: My year in racing {link-up}

Thanks to Montana over at Pretty Lil Mudder for hosting this link up!

  2014- My year in racing

Here is my run down of racing this year!

  • Most Scenic Course: Dallas Marathon, this course went all over Dallas. There was always something to see. Lots of pretty houses, Greenville Avenue, White Rock Lake, Highland Park Fire Station had a flag flying over the street, it was amazing to see! I’ll get the re-cap up soon.
  • Best Expo: Dallas Marathon. Lots of exhibitors, lots of freebies plus I found a great pair of Sunglasses and snagged a FlipBelt.

Dallas expo

  • Best Post-Race Food & Beverages: Cowtown. They had the usual but also had soup and ice cream.
  • Best Swag: Cowtown. I got 3 shirts and 2 medals for 2 days of running.
  • Most Unique Medal: Cowtown. It’s a 3 year series, all buckles.
  • Favorite Race Shirt: DRC Half (Dallas Running Club). It’s long sleeve, tech and bright pink.
  • Favorite Overall Race: I guess DRC Half. As far as races go, they were all well run, good courses, but DRC now holds my PR. It was during a rough time and I needed that race and needed to know that I could do it.
  • Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc): Dallas Marathon
  • Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing: Patriot Half, I fought real hard to just finish this one. Set out to make this my first 1:50 half but it became about finishing on my feet. That was a rough day. You can find the recap here.
I had a lot of races this year, lots of goals. Some of them a little lofty (ie. marathon goal). It’s ok to have lofty goals, but I also needed a realistic goal. I accomplished a lot this year, had some set backs, but am pushing through.

New Orleans Rock N Roll is January 26, 2015. It will be my first race of 2015. Other than that I don’t have much I’m registered for. I need to make some decisions about what to run next year.

Be sure and check out the other bloggers list, you might find your next race!

Jeanette: Fit In Louisville (http://www.fitinlouisville.blogspot.com)
Amy: Running Escapades (http://runningescapades.com)
Melanie: Runner Girl in a Rocking World (http://runnergirlinarockingworld.com)
Erika: MCMMamaRuns (http://mcmmamaruns.com)
Krystal: The Runner Within (http://therunnerwithin.com)
Tamsyn: Fat Girl to Ironman (http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk)
Erin: Love for Running (http://loveforrunning.com)
Sammy: Peace Love & Ice Cream (http://peaceandloveandicecream.com)
Kelly: Miles to Go (http://miles-to-go.org)
Sue: This Mama Runs for Cupcakes (http://thismamarunsforcupcakes.com)
Lara: Uptite Mamas (http://uptitemamas.com)
Kristin: Kristin’s 5k (http://www.kristins5k.blogspot.com)
Montana: Pretty Lil Mudder (http://prettylilmudder.com)

You can link up your racing recap for the year until Sunday!

 

Happy running!

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Marathon Monday: training update + a PR

So, I decided to run a half marathon yesterday. I’ve never waited until the last minute to sign up for a race. I am a planner. But since I no showed Michelob, I really wanted a half this fall that I could PR. The Dallas Running club puts on a great race, the half starts and ends at White Rock Lake, it was a pretty course, but I’m not sure I recall the streets or much of what I saw. I was so focused on running, and putting one foot in front of the other.

Nuun hydration

I still do not know how to dress for fall or winter. I laid out my tank and arm sleeves with capris, then the morning of decided on short sleeve and arm sleeves. Big mistake. I should have worn shorts and tank top, no arm sleeves. It was cold at the start but by mile 3 I was ready to throw those arm sleeves in the lake. I just couldn’t get them off! I wore a fairly new pair of capris, I’ve run in them before but yesterday the seam and tag rubbed a raw spot on my thigh. And it hurts!

DRC flat mama

I started out with the 1:50 pace group. Earlier in the year my fall goal was 1:45 for a half, but after not hitting the 1:50 goal for Patriot in May I wasn’t sure that was possible. So, I figured I would start with them, get warmed up and then get ahead. By mile 3 I pulled away from the 1:50 group and was able to stay ahead. I gave myself mile 9 to regroup and take in some fuel before giving it all I had left the last 3 miles. I was in familiar territory at the lake at that point so I was ready. I held between 8:05 and 8:15 most of the race. So, by mile 10 I was ready to go sub 8 pace.

DRC me and Lisa

That last mile actually went pretty quick. I think it helped that I knew where the finish was, I knew it was almost over. I was visualizing that finish line, keeping myself pumped up. Ended up finishing in 1:47:48. Better than I had hoped but I still want a 1:45. I feel like on that course I could have done better.

DRC medal

Why not run a half marathon for full marathon training?

After the race John and I had brunch at a restaurant near the lake. I’ve eaten there several times, but yesterday the service and food were a little lacking. I was so hungry I kinda didn’t care much! Spark and a Mimosa….it makes things better.

DRC breakfast

It’s 6 weeks until the Dallas full marathon!

marathon training

Training last week:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Track workout, was supposed to be 12×400, but only got 4 done. The sky was lit up with lightning that morning so we cut it short. Got about 2.5 miles total.

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Half marathon

We’ve had a lot of stuff happen in October personally that has left me tired and unable to add more workouts in. I really miss those days at the gym and will be working hard to get it added back. With only 6 weeks to the marathon I need to get back on track. Sometimes you really have no choice when life happens.

Did you race this weekend?

What are you training for?

Happy running!

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Marathon Monday: training update

It’s Monday again. The weekends seem to go by quick these days. I did get several projects done at home though. I’ve been wanting to paint some of our furniture and finally got it done. I need one more coat on the top and a layer of wax. It’s kinda sticky right now and I’m afraid the paint will scratch off. I probably should have sanded it down a little.

I’ve had this desk for probably 13 years, but never did anything with it. It’s in Ally’s room now. I think it was my grandmother’s but she doesn’t remember having it.

Before

Old desk

After

Old desk painted

Night stands in the master.

Before

2014-09-27 09.22.35

After

night stands after

Let’s get to the training update.

marathon training

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: Gym day, elliptical, weights, sauna

Tuesday: Track, 2 mile warm up, 4×800 with 200 recovery, 4×300 with 300 recovery, 1 mile cool down

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 6 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 15 miles

I normally use Wednesday as a workout/running day, but lately since I’m off I’ve been using that day to unpack and get things done at the house. This week I’m planning to start running again on Wednesday.

I am officially signed up for the Michelob Ultra 13.1 in Dallas on October 25. I ran it last year and it holds my PR. I’m planning to break that this year. It’s a fairly flat course and part of it is on a path that’s not concrete, it was so nice to run on. Last year it was the Allstate 13.1, here’s the recap if you want to catch up. It was a fun race!

That’s all I’ve got!

Have you painted furniture before?

Did you race this weekend?

Did you workout today?

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Throwback Thursday {link-up}

I am loving this Throwback Thursday link-up. I’ve been going through old posts and reading race re-caps. It’s been fun!

TBT final link up

Here is the re-cap of my very first half marathon, it’s also one of the first posts I wrote so it’s kinda blah. Not too many pictures and the paragraphs are all run together. It was on the Blogger platform and now I’m on WordPress, so things are a little wonky.

Hope you enjoy it!

Patriot Half marathon 2012 re-cap

2012 Patriot Half Marathon

2012 Patriot Half Marathon

Link up an old post and drive new traffic. The link-up is live until Friday evening.

We only ask a few things from you:

  • Link up an old post.
  • Follow your hostesses.
  • Grab the button, put it on your post or side bar.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Please don’t “link and run”. We are hoping to drive new traffic to your blog and appreciate the same in return.

You can find us all over the web!

 

Happy running!
Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Find your strong: Patriot Half Marathon recap

This race is in my blood it seems. I know how tough it is, but I love it because it was my first half.  I set out to run this race and get a PR. I have been training toward that goal and I know I have it in me. That being said, I did not accomplish my PR, but I fought for every mile and every step on Monday. I came very, very close to that PR and I will get it.

Find your strong

I rested all of last week because of my ankle. I got 4 miles in Saturday morning as a test run. I knew if I couldn’t do it pain free, then Monday was out of the question. I ran it pain free and so far still no ankle pain. I will not forget to stretch and roll like a rock star every single week, pretty much every other day for the rest of my life.

The expo was on Sunday, I volunteered to work our Moms Run This Town booth for a few hours. I grabbed mine and Ally’s packet the day before and we were set. That night we had dinner with a few friends and I got to bed early. I wasn’t too nervous yet. I didn’t realize it yet but I wasn’t drinking enough water. I had the minimum amount but really should have had more. Hind sight, right?

I had to be at the race at 6:15 on Monday to work packet pick-up. I got up at 5AM, got dressed, had breakfast, had a few minutes to sit (pace). Then grabbed my friend Lisa and we drove the 5 minutes to the race. We helped out and then the picture taking ensued. I don’t even know how many group pictures we took, it was like the paparazzi or something.

Patriot 2014 collage

The weather called for rain and what we thought would be a downpour. It ended up being super cloudy at the start at 7:45 AM, temperate felt ok at that time. I never checked the humidity but I’m told it was in the 80% range.

I met up with my pacer, Melissa. We’ve been running together for about a month or so, she offered to pace me to what I had hoped would be my first 1:50 half. We did a little warm up, I talked with Ally once more about where she was going to line up. (She was running the 5.75 mile leg of the half relay). We had the prayer and we were off.  First few miles were good. We tried to start on pace so we wouldn’t have to make up time at the end. I’d rather keep even splits than have to worry about how to make it up later. I decided not to carry water this race. I went back and forth on not wanting to have to carry it vs having the water when I wanted it. I did pretty good for the first few miles.

I got to mile 4 and it was like I hit a wall. This wave of heat coming off my head and chill bumps, I was seeing spots. I couldn’t figure out where this was coming from. I got some Gatorade and started on my Advocare Rehydrate Gel. I was planning on waiting til mile 5 at least but decided I needed it. We walked a minute, Melissa assuring me we were fine on time. I was having trouble getting my breathing under control so she was reminding me of that as well.

We started up again and were coming into the first hilly section of the race. I was feeling better and breathing was getting under control. I never thought to check my heart rate on my watch, but I knew there were times it was high.

Here we are heading into mile 5 or 5.5, I’m smiling and starting to think I had a grip on things.

2014-05-26 12.53.02

After the turn around at the park I got to see Ally and cheer her on right before I started up a series of 2 hills. This was also about the time it started raining. Looking back I think the rain helped keep my breathing under control and heart rate down. If I think about when the rain stopped it was about the time things got bad. I had moments of greatness in this race, I was running like a champ. Then there were times when Melissa was literally telling me to take deep breaths, keep my arms down and relax.

We got these hills done and got a nice big downhill and a little bit of flat-ish running before heading into the last of the rolling hills to the finish. If I remember right mile 10 was pure greatness. I felt good, I took the hill with great form. We were still on pace, I was telling myself and Melissa how much I wanted this PR. I knew I could do it. Mentally I was ok. Physically I wasn’t but I kept on. Melissa was dumping water on my head and chest, trying to keep me cool and focused.

We took the last of the hills and made the next to the last turn, we were in mile 12 and my body gave up on me. I had to stop in the road and Melissa had to take hold of me. A guy I didn’t know came up behind us and grabbed my other arm. We stood there a few minutes, I knew enough that I was letting my PR slip out of my grasp.

This is the worst and best photo. I got to experience first hand what a great running community I’m a part of. Literally being held up to finish a race. Words cannot express my emotion. I have never, ever fought so hard for every step, every mile. I wanted this so bad and I can honestly say I left it all on the course.

Patriot half 2014, finish

I had no idea how bad off I was at this point. I only knew I wanted to finish. We tried telling the guy to go on, I didn’t want to ruin his race too. But there was no way he was leaving us. So we took off running, really slow, but running. I had to keep moving. We rounded the last corner, the finish line was in sight but might as well have been 3 miles away. I had to walk again, being held up.

patriot 2014 half, at the finish

I had enough fight to finish the race running but as soon as we crossed the line they both grabbed me and the medics had hold of me pretty quick. I don’t remember much, other than them telling me I didn’t look good, my eyes were red, they were dumping water on me again, laying ice packs on my neck.

I had to stay put for a while. I did get to eat an icee and a few small cupcakes, I guess the sugar was what I needed. They took my blood pressure and just watched me for at least 20 minutes but it seemed like forever. I missed my friends finishing and I felt so stupid at the time. But looking back I am a fighter, I went after what I wanted and even though I didn’t get it (this time), I didn’t give up.

And somehow through all that I took 1st place in my age group, something I have never done in a half. I am able to be excited about that now! Final time 1:52:22. It’s a course PR but, Allstate from last year holds my PR at 1:52:02.

Ally ran her relay like a rock star! She had the 1st leg, 5.75 miles, at a 9:10 per mile pace. I am so very proud of her! I cannot wait to see the things she will accomplish!

Ally patriot relay 2014

If you are in the Dallas area or willing to get there, the Patriot race is a tough course but one I highly recommend. The crowd support and finish line area is great. The parking is easy to get in and out of. It’s mentally and physically challenging but can bring out the fighter in you! Registration for 2015 is already going on and it’s at a great price.

You never know how you might affect someone in a race. I got to be the recipient of someone giving their time in a race to help me. And someone else emailed me to tell me I helped her early on in the race when I didn’t even know it. Sometimes all it takes is a positive attitude and a look of determination that someone needs to keep going.

Try to remember that the next time you feel like giving up.

Happy running!

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I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Wednesday Wonderfulz #4, Race edition

You know that saying “a day late and a dollar short”? Well I am almost a day late and a post short.

This month has flown by and I’ve been busy and distracted and unfortunately the blog is suffering. But  I’ve been thinking about this theme for a while and am excited to share my favorite races with you.

And don’t forget to check out Lynda’s post at Fitnessmomwinecountry. 

Wednesday Wonderfulz final 2

I’m coming up on the 3rd annual Patriot Half Marathon, this half was my first. It will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first half and last year it was my first sub 2 hour half. I have a PR in mind for this year as well. It’s in the town where I live, our Running Club hosts it. We have home field advantage of being able to train the course. It’s so great to run a race surrounded by so many people you run with every week.  You can find my review of last year’s race here.  If you are in the Dallas area come join us! You can find info on the 5k, half relay and half marathon here. 

2012 Patriot Half Marathon

2012 Patriot Half Marathon

Next up is the Healdsburg Half Marathon. This was my first destination race and first costume race. I made a Minnie Mouse costume to wear. It was my second half marathon. John and I had a great trip to San Francisco and the wine country for this race. I love that area and can’t wait to go back. This race is pretty popular and usually sells out early. I ran this race in October 2012. It’s a point to point race and at the end there’s a costume contest, bands, wine tasting and food! You can find the info on this race here and my re-cap here.

Healdsburg Half Marathon 2012

Healdsburg Half Marathon 2012

Several others top my list of favorites, most of them are half marathons. The Cowtown Half and 5k/10k will always be on my list of races to run. Zooma Texas Half, also has a 10k. It’s a tough course but such a fun race and fun weekend.  You can find more race reviews on my blog on the Races & Discounts page.

I love to race. It brings out that competitiveness I didn’t remember I had.

Do you have a favorite race? Link it up below, it’s open til Sunday night. Please be sure and follow your hostesses and use the Wednesday Wonderfulz button.

You can find us all over the web!

Sarah:

Lynda:

 

Happy running!
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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Hilliest half in Texas, aka Zooma Texas recap

I had the best time this weekend and seriously challenged myself on what I affectionately call the “hilliest half in Texas!” (be forewarned there are lots of pictures in the post)

Zooma recap

Last October I was selected to be an ambassador Zooma’s Texas race. This was by far, one of the greatest experiences of my blogging career. I had the pleasure to meet, work and network with an awesome group of ladies over the last few months.

ZOOMA Ambassador Badge 2014

Last Friday my friend Jennifer and I loaded up my car for a night away. We stayed in Bastrop near the Hyatt because of cost. We both decided that we are starting a Zooma fund so we can stay at the Hyatt next year. It will be worth it!

We got to Austin in time for lunch and stopped on 6th Street to find food. We found a great pizza place complete with free parking. Check out Frank and Angie’s Pizzeria or Hut’s Hamburgers while you are there. We got a slice of pizza and a salad for $7.

pizza from Frank and Angie's

We got to our hotel in Bastrop, checked in, took a 20 minute power nap then headed to the Hyatt. We were going to just figure out where to catch the shuttle and get our packets but we fell in love with the Hyatt so we ended up staying the rest of the day.

We got to the Hyatt Friday and hit the expo, got our packets, did a little shopping, then walked around the resort. It has a lot to offer and will make for a nice weekend getaway. My favorite spot was the rocking chair overlooking the Colorado River.

Hyatt collage

We had plans to head out and find dinner but at the expo they were handing out pasta samples and somehow Jennifer and I were unable to leave. When we arrived for dinner we also discovered they had this chocolate fountain. It was insanely good.

2014-04-11 18.07.42

After dinner we met up with the other ambassadors for a group photo.

Zooma ambassadors

Me / Landi / Tempie / Megan / Farrah / Lora / Amy / Fernanda

Zooma really takes care of their race participants. We had a “mocktail party” that night with Honest Tea and our swag bags were loaded. In the reusable bag was our tech shirt, hat and Feetures Socks.

Zooma collage

We headed to bed about 9:30, the race day alarm was early. We had to be at the bus stop no later than 6:30AM. Race started at 7:30. It was slightly warmer there than in the Dallas area, so we opted for shorts and tank top.

Since we were staying off site we had to park across Highway 71 at the high school and ride a shuttle onto the property on race day. It was nice and easy, no problems at all. Biggest downside was having to get up an hour early to make all that happen.

pre-race Zooma

We got to the Hyatt and found a place to stretch and hang out until the race started. It was probably the smallest half marathon I’ve run, it was kind of odd lining up towards the front. I actually saw the starting line. I lined up with the 1:50 pacers, with the hopes of anything under 1:55 on this course. Started out with them and kept up for a few miles. The hills started getting to me a little and I fell behind but was still on target for my goal.

Zooma elevation2

It was a pretty course, along country roads lined with bluebonnets. The course support was great, from the water stops to traffic control. I was very impressed.

pre-race Zooma 2

I learned that I don’t know how to run down hills well. My toes are very upset with me. That’s something I will be working on. I also learned that when I want to quit I have to dig deep, real deep and find strength I didn’t even know I had. I love running half marathons, they are just enough of a challenge to me without me feeling like dying. Saturday was the hardest half I have ever done. I was struggling mentally and physically. My splits show where I wanted to quit and they also show where I rallied and didn’t give in to those feelings.

I’m very proud of my time. It’s not my fastest but I was trying to compare my PR to the flattest course I’ve ever run and this was the hilliest course I’ve ever run. So considering my time on this one was just over a minute slower, I’m ok.

Zooma shoes and medals

Zooma knows how to do a finish line. There were yoga mats and foam rollers to use. The food and expo was set up, the hotel also had towels out for us to (pass out) on the hill overlooking the river, complete with a band. We laid there in the sunshine refueling and catching our breath.

Zooma foam roll

Zooma post race rest

And here are some of the Zooma Ambassadors post-race. This is an amazing team, several placed in their age groups. I’m proud to know them!

Zooma ambassadors post race

Check out some of the race recaps by the Zooma Texas Ambassadors:

I highly recommend this race, despite the fact that it’s hilly! It’s a challenge and we all need that sometimes. But it was so much more. It’s amazing the feeling you get accomplishing something that’s difficult. You look around you and you see all these other women smiling, laughing and crying because they just did it too. It may have been their first or their 15th but the feeling was mutual.

It was great to spend time with my friend Jennifer. You can’t go wrong with a girls weekend.

I’m looking forward to this race again next year!

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1