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!

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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.

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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

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

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.

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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!

Blog sig

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

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.

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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!

Blog sig

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

Cowtown, part 2: I’m a marathoner!!

Sunday morning started bright and early, my alarm was set for 4:40AM. It’s amazing I slept as good as I did. My headache finally subsided. I got up, got dressed, made my toast with peanut butter and started on my Cytomax drink.

We were meeting friends in the lobby to head to the race at 5:40. The half, full and ultra races all started at 7:00, in waves. We got there early and took pictures, made one last pit stop and stretched.

Love this one. It’s me and 2 other racers and our husbands and daughters.

shoes Cowtown

 Here’s me and Jennifer before the race, all smiles still!

  IMAG0261

And our whole group before the race. Five of us were running our first full marathons.

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We lined up a few minutes before the start time, we were in corral 4 and they were letting the corrals go about every 2-3 minutes. It didn’t take too long and we were off!

The temperature was in the upper 50′s at this point, a little on the warm side.

Here’s the view in front of us at the starting line.

Cowtown 2014 starting line

It’s a crowded race. 12,000 runners on Sunday morning for 3 races, all on the course at the same time. So it takes a little while for it to thin out a little. We all stay together until mile 10 and then the half runners split off from the full and ultra.

The first time Jennifer and I saw our family was about mile 6 in the Ft. Worth Stockyards. I almost ran straight into this photographer in the middle of the road.

IMAG0272_ZOE_013_1_1

It’s not flat, but there’s only one hill worth mentioning and it’s still shorter than a lot of the hills we run here on a weekly basis. It’s .3 miles and the hill I did repeats on last week is .45 miles long. It’s just that it’s rolling hills the whole time. My quads were screaming pretty early on.

That hill was mile 8, I think and at the top were some of our awesome cheerleaders! We had several friends out on the course in addition to family. It was so good to see them. Jill wore her running shoes to be ready to run when needed. They had bananas for us too.

Jennifer and I are sharing this one. Looks like I’m going after it like it’s gold.

Cowtown top of mile 8

After mile 10 when we split from the half runners it gets real quiet for a few miles. Cowtown has great spectators and there are lots of people out, until about mile 11-14 and it starts to die down a little. That’s a hard part of the race. Fortunately John showed up at mile 11 with Ally and Jennifer’s daughter. He carted both girls all around town!

IMAG0275_ZOE_018_1_1

We saw another running buddy somewhere along there, but I can’t be sure what mile it was. He snapped some pictures of us here and at mile 24 when we saw him again.

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We didn’t see John and the girls again until about mile 18.5 in a park. I could have quit then, it was tough and it was hot. The sun was starting to get to me. So much of getting through a run and especially a race, is mental. I learned a few things Sunday. One being no matter how well or how long you train for something, race day conditions can undo it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of what I accomplished! I started out the race with one goal and soon realized that goal was unattainable and at first it was hard, but I got over it and couldn’t be happier.

This is about mile 19. I was struggling and Jennifer looks so happy!

mile 19 cowtown 2014

Shortly after this Jennifer and I both started looking for a port-a-potty and it seemed like it was 5 miles before we found one. We refilled our water bottles at almost every other station. We ate Mojo bars and used the Advocare Rehydrate lemon gels for fuel. The course stations had Gu and I just cannot do that.

I think this is mile 21 maybe, we saw some more running buddies who had completed their halfs and were back out to cheer the other runners. It was great seeing them!

mile 21 cowtown 2014

The neighborhoods during this part of the race were great. It seemed like everyone was out. They played music, set up water stops in their own yards, had bananas, oranges, beer and even Coke to hand out to runners. It was fairly shady but still a little hilly.

I think I blocked some of it out. If friends and family hadn’t taken pictures, I don’t think I’d have a single course photo. It was too much to focus on water, nutrition, running, bathroom breaks and taking pictures.

Here we are at mile 24, which was full sun. These last 2 miles may have been the hardest. It was in a park along the Trinity River. There were quite a few spectators out and we got lots of cheers by name since they were on our bib. I also got some extra cheers since my shirt said “My first 26.2″. I definitely recommend a custom shirt.

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Mile 25 is where the ultra runners split off, they sorta go straight when we make a u-turn. I hear the Cowtown ultra is a good one, it’s a flat out and back 2.5 miles. We hit mile 25 and saw one last running club member and then headed up a hill in the first part of that mile, then we could see the Will Rogers Coliseum which was our finish line. Unfortunately we had to run around 3 sides of it to get to the finish line. When we rounded the last corner we found Lisa and Jill, two girls I have run countless miles with, they have become so precious to me! I was in tears at that point. Lisa broke the rules (thank goodness) and climbed over the barrier to run us in.

She had finished her half, changed her clothes, got her medal and ran with us in flip flops across the finish line. She’s cheering and telling us we are awesome. I was so glad to see her!  There’s Jill outside the barrier running too.

  cowtown finish 3

cowtown finish 2

My husband had the girls and they were waiting past the finish line. They saw us cross then headed inside to meet up with us. We got our medals, finish line photos, food and headed to find our family and other friends. The line for finisher shirts wasn’t too bad, I had to get my challenge shirt and medal as well. Ended the weekend with 3 shirts and 2 medals.

Cowtown 2014 shirts and medals

We waited around a little while to check on a few other runners. I was starting to get hungry and needed to get out of my sweaty clothes so we headed out to find lunch. We stopped at Mellow Mushroom for pizza. We are getting one here in Rockwall but it’s not complete yet so we found one on the way home.

Once home, I got showered and changed. Grabbed my ProCompression socks, recovery drink and my laptop and landed on the couch.

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I was already starting to get really sore. Sitting down and standing up were becoming increasingly difficult. I never was even remotely this sore for 20 mile training runs so I was a little shocked that it set in that quick and that intense.

Running a marathon isn’t easy. I don’t think I was over confident but I didn’t think after 7.5 months that it would be as hard as it was. It was so much harder than I ever imagined. The temperates got to almost 70 by the time we finished, and it was sunny. We haven’t run in those conditions since maybe last September. And even then, we almost always run in the dark and we weren’t to 20 miles yet. I think next go round I will run a few more runs in the sunlight to be more prepared.

If you had asked me Sunday if I would do another one, I wasn’t ready to say yes. In fact during the race I was saying no more. I told our friend Mark at mile 24 that “this sucks”. It did, and bad. But today, my legs are so much better. I’m happy about my time. I am making goals for the next few months and I think I can say yes to another full.

I am sure I will think of so much more I left out of this post. I will try to follow up with another post about what I learned, mistakes I made, etc. Maybe it will help you out later.

Thanks for following along and for the virtual cheers! I really appreciate it.

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This verse was on the back of my race day shirt.

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

Cowtown race weekend, part 1 {2014}

I don’t even know where to start. The last few days have been a roller coaster. Who am I kidding, the last few months have been. This has been a 7.5 month journey, thanks to “Icemageddon” 2013 and the Dallas marathon being cancelled.

We headed to Ft. Worth Friday night, it just makes the weekend easier to not make that drive in Saturday morning. We ate at one of our very favorite mexican food restaurants, Joe T. Garcia’s. We can’t go to Ft. Worth without eating here.

Saturday morning started with me and Ally running 5k races. I was there to cheer on several friends running a 10k, some running their first ever 10k race! My 5k was just a warm-up for Sunday. My original training plan called for 2 miles that morning, so I took it a little easy (that’s hard to do).  Ally started out really good, then side cramps got her. I plan on working with her on breathing, fluid intake and pre-race nutrition over the next few months. She thought it would be a good idea to eat some yogurt at the expo before her race….YUCK! I can’t even imagine. So proud of her for sticking with it though.

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There she goes!

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My bff Alisha and I before her 10k.

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Gym and running buddy Jill before her 10k. She was a super star cheerleader on the course Sunday morning.

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After those races were done, we found a late breakfast and then went to the hotel to shower and change. I met up with a few more friends to head back to the expo. Cowtown has a good expo, lots of vendors and you can get a free health screening from the UNT Health Center. I wish I had made time to get my BMI checked out.

We shopped and listened to an overview of the half and full course. I got a new running jacket to replace one I had to send back. The zipper wouldn’t zip. Got John a 0.0 magnet for his truck, he’s pretty excited, and Ally got a new pair of Nike’s. Luke’s had their shoes on clearance plus 20% off everything in the booth.

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Ally in true form being silly at the expo.

Ally expo cowtown

I got in a very short nap before heading to dinner. I picked a restaurant that unfortunately was decent, at best. The entertainment made it all worth it. Apparently it was karaoke night there and a few of the husbands got serenaded during dinner. It was pretty funny!

Cowtown dinner

We didn’t stay out too late, most everyone was getting up to run the next morning. We had a few friends there for course support Sunday and I have a feeling they stayed out a little late that night. I was in bed at 8:45 as I was fighting a major headache and still had to pack up and be ready to check out Sunday before the race.

Our first day at Cowtown was busy, but we had fun!

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

Race recap: the (not) Too Hot to Handle!

Sunday was my first 15k race, the (not) Too Hot to Handle! By it’s name it should have been a warm and humid race. We had this crazy cold front come through Saturday which brought rain and cooler temps. It was welcomed with open arms!

This also means that next year’s Too Hot to Handle time probably won’t be as good!

  THTH race

 

My Flat Mama for race day!

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I set two alarms, I’m always afraid I’ll sleep through one of them. The race started at 7:30, it was about 30 minutes from our house but we had no idea how busy the parking would be so we headed out early. I’m glad we did. We literally got a parking spot 5 minutes from the start/finish line. The race was capped at about 4000 runners but it didn’t feel crazy crowded.

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They had a 5k and 15k option. I was running the 15k and Ally the 5k. They had the 15k racers line up first. We were off on time. It felt mostly flat but there were a few obvious hills. When I got home and looked at the data is was very much up and down the whole way. The race is on the trail along the lake. There were a few bikers trailing along but the traffic wasn’t bad. It’s an out and back course which I actually liked this time, I could tell when I was close to the end!

It started drizzling before the race started, but I think the rain didn’t actually start until about mile 4. It was a light rain and very welcome! I actually kinda enjoyed it. Right after I finished the heavier rain started, I’m not sure I would have liked that!

It was a tough race, I ran it fast (for me). I pushed myself. But I’m very happy with my results! Ally had several hills in her 5k, which she isn’t used to running. She ended up with 27:45 and placed 7th in 10-14 year olds. I’m proud of her!

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Here are some of my running and training buds before the race!

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After the race we went and grabbed breakfast tacos and yes, donuts. Some very, very yummy donuts!

donuts

 

It was a great experience and I think I will run it again. Even though I’m sure I’ll never get a repeat of this weather in July!

Ever run a race in the rain? Like or dislike it?

Blog sig

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