Big D Half – Almost a PR!

I recently signed up for the Mellew Four Seasons Half Marathon Challenge (http://www.mellew.com/four_seasons.php#content ), which challenges runners to run one half marathon in all four seasons. The Big D Half was my first race of the Challenge! Several members of the Waxahachie Running Club (WRC) also signed up for the Challenge and were running the Big D as their first race while others were finishing the challenge with Big D. WRC also had one member run the Big D full marathon- her first marathon – Go Kaylee! We had a good turnout – about 17 members present.  Awesome group! Great Support!

Big D started out a very hot and humid race. Storms and a cool front were expected to come in while running the race……. but I had my doubts. For a second, I thought the storms had cleared and I was going to be facing yet another challenging race. However, around mile 6 or 7, the clouds and cool air rolled in and rain started falling. What a difference the weather made! The weather was great! Rain was not pouring yet just an off and on drizzle / light rain and the cool breeze was perfect. I could run all spring and summer in weather like this!

It was such an enjoyable race. I felt great the entire race. I am not sure whether it was due to the weather change  or what. But, out of all 3 races, this was by far the easiest. By mile 10, my legs felt good instead of feeling like they were gonna fall. LOL.

Changes made this race:    –  new orthotic inserts for my shoes,     – started the race at a slower, more steady pace     – stopped at only a few water stops instead of all of them      – picked out one runner who ran my pace and stayed up with her; never fell behind     – ran without music or any electronic devise; concentrated on the run (would’ve ran with music but didn’t want to chance ruining my phone in the rain)

All the above could have helped or I just got lucky and had a good race. What I’ve learned from other experienced runners is that not all of the races will go well…. some races will be great and others might be terrible. It just depends. I am hoping that as I  become a more experienced runner, I will become used to being on my feet and my time will only get better. If not, oh well.  I am very pleased with my progress.  I ended up running the Big D in 2 hrs 17 min 55 seconds – Almost a PR! My time at Cowtown was 2 hrs 17min 05 seconds. So Close – Maybe next time.

After crossing the finish line, I headed inside to refuel and get dry and  meet up with the running group to chat about the race and congratulate everyon on their achievements!

My proudest moment after the race –  Being able to walk normally to the car.  For the first time, my legs weren’t sore and I was not walking funny! I was actually able to go home and chase my kids around the house. I even started planning a few short runs over the next few days. Improvement!

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Susan G. Komen – Greater Fort Worth

Today I ran the Susan G. Komen 5K with two friends dear to me – Shaun and Megan Sanders.  They had ran the race last year and were running it again in memory of Shaun’s mom.            

It is easy to see that this is a very emotional race. People everywhere had pink papers pinned to them of loved ones they were running in memory of or those who were breast cancer survivors or those currently fighting this horrible illness. I even saw a group of firemen dressed in their bunker gear running the 5K for a fellow fireman’s mom. It was amazing! There were also lots of funny costumes worn – several shirts talking about Tatas, Boobies, and so on. And even a man running in shorts and a decorated bra! Lol

This is the first weekend that I am running both saturday (5K) and Sunday (half). So, I was unsure how I should run the 5K. I was even contemplating walking it so that I would save more of my energy for Big D Half tomorrow. However, I decided to run it the best I could. My reasoning behind my decision was this: I am in no shape to beat my last Half. But, I can definitely PR my last 5K. So…….. why not go for the PR!

Before starting the race, Shaun and Megan warned me about the first hill of mile one. However, they forgot to tell me about the last hill at mile 3 that was killer! ( Course had changed. They didn’t know either. LOL) I am GLAD that course is 3.2 miles and not more. Way too hilly. So, my game plan was to run at a 8 min 50 sec mile pace since it was only a 5K. It was a pretty good judgement this time because by the time I crossed finish line, I don’t think I could’ve gone any further. My energy was depleted! New 5K PR of 27 min 32 sec. My last 5K was 30 min and a few seconds. So, I am pleased with my progress. Not sure how much faster this injury proned lady can get!

The after party was great! The crowd was not too big and the free food / drinks were excellent. It included: ice cream, strawberry milk, pink pancakes, bananas, oranges, apples, pears, donuts ( chocolate, white powder, and cinnamon), smoothies, water, sodas, etc.

Enjoyed this run – the distance, the course, the music, the food……. But, most of all, loved running with good friends for a good cause! Running to honor Brenda Sanders ….. her memory……her legacy lives on!

Now I must try to rest and refuel….Got a big day coming up — BIG D Half Marathon in the morning! Wish me Luck!

 

 

Rock N Roll – Dallas Half Marathon

Well, I did it! I finished my SECOND half marathon – the Dallas Rock n’ Roll on March 25th! No – running one half marathon was not enough for me. It only made me LOVE running more and had me searching for more races to enter.

The Dallas Rock n’ Roll was a huge race – big crowd of spectators and corralls and corralls of runners. It started downtown Dallas at City Hall and ended at Dallas Fair Park. I had a good feeling about this race and was counting on running a  new PR for  several reasons : 1 – the course was not hilly like Cowtown,  2- I had not had any knee or other running injuries AND  3- I had more training prior to the race!  In my head, there was no reason why I couldn’t beat my Cowtown half race time. I just knew I was going to run my personal best this time.

I was running the Rock n’ Roll with a few running friends. Before the race, we were discussing the course and talking about how fast we had to run in order to break a new PR. In February,  I ran the Cowtown in 2 hrs 17 min. I began the discussion talking about how fast of a pace I needed to run to finish in 2 hrs 15 min. By the end of our discussion, I was thinking how awesome it would be to finish even faster. I was feeling so great. Why couldn’t I run this race in less than 2 hrs?  A few of the other Waxahachie Club runners could do it, so why couldn’t I? LOL……

I begain the race in the same corrall as other runners who could run -sub 2 Half. So, All I had to do was keep up with their pace and I would be fine…….or so I thought. At the beginning of the race, I was able to keep up with the pace for a good 3 miles. However, by mile 6, I thought I was gonna die! Never had running been so hard. Eventually, I began running slower and slower and taking more and more water/ walking breaks as the race went on.  What was happening?

The Cowtown Half seemed so much easier for me. Running a sub 2hr race was no longer in my thoughts. My goal now was only to FINISH the race! At this time, I had  passed mile 11 a while ago and new the finish line was close. I had not seen a sign reading mile 12 and just new that it had been a mistake and someone forgot to put it up or I had missed it. So, I would soon be approaching the finish line!……or woudl I?  Then, I saw the sign – mile 12! What ?#%^&!   I had never been so angry in my life. Lol….. I thought I passed this mile already. It took everything in me to run that last mile. Yes, I stopped for water, some ice, and even took some time cooling off in the water mister, but I finished!

I was exhausted! I walked thru the line grabbing all the post race food/ drinks and kept walking past the crowd and straight to my car. All I wanted to do was sit down in my car, turn the air on, rest, and enjoy my snacks.There was no post race partying for me.

I finished the Rock n’ Roll Half in 2 hrs 23 min – about 6 min longer than my first race. The competitive side of me sat in the car pouting for a few min. Then, the realistic side, said “are you crazy? you ran ANOTHER half marathon and FINISHED! You cannot beat your time every race.  Just be happy with the fact that you are running and LIVING a healthy life!”

And….. as I drove home, I began planning all the next races I will be running!

April 14th – 5K Susan G. Komen Greater Ft Worth , April 15th – Big D,  Heels and Hills – May 6th Irving, May 5th – Crime Prevention 5K – Waxahachie, May 19th – REACH 5K  Waxahachie, June 10th – Wounded Warrior Half, June 16th – Hero Rush 5 K Obstacle Course – Irving, July – Elscorcho, August 12 – Hottest Half, October – Tyler Rose Half Marathon, November – Rock n Roll MARATHON San Antonio!, December – Dallas White Rock Half Marathon………… there are so many races I am leaving out. How will I decide what to choose?

I do know one thing for sure….at  my next half, I will NOT be starting out at a faster than normal pace for myself! LOL. I have learned my lesson!