Tag Archives: Half Marathon

Las Vegas Half Marathon

Las Vegas Half Marathon


Words cannot express what a perfect weekend! I’m running the American Dream one state at a time. The Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas half marathon is one of the top 15 marathons of all time to run and this was my opportunity thanks to 2 wonderful friends who support my goal of running.

While I’m blessed with amazing friends, you never know how people will react with one another. My best friend  Stacey would be meeting lifelong friend Maggie for a weekend together while neither tolerate your day to day girl drama. I knew they would both make the best of it because of who they are, but it couldn’t have been a better connection if they had been lifelong friends.

Friday, November 13
Mom’s birthday

Mom supported my goal too by giving up her time with me to run my dream! I love mornings when I can run and take Austin to school and this happened to be one of those blessed mornings despite the fact I was pressing my luck with time to get to airport. The great start on the day progressed as I rushed to airport… May have been running a little late. 😳
I parked the car, checked bag and security as I approached my gate.

Lay over in Salt Lake City and arrived in Las Vegas where Maggie was waiting at baggage claim… It was a nostalgic moment since it was a month ago at the same place where lifelong friends reconnected after 14 years.

Background… Maggie and I lived across the street from each other in elementary school and grew up together. Life has taken us on different paths and we are blessed to have reconnected. She is a beautiful, successful mother of 3 living in Vegas working as a CEO of a construction company.

We departed the airport and went to the convention center to pick up my race packet.
As we were driving to the convention center, a life long friend called to tell us she was getting married at mile three of the marathon and at the same time she is telling us this, we see a cab driver jumped out of his car and knock a man off his moped by hitting him… Talk about road rage… Could that moped have really been that much of a distraction to the taxi cab?? Smh

Sunday, November 15
Las Vegas Half Marathon Race day!

We have a lazy morning!

Maggie and I venture out for coffee and breakfast from McDonald’s.

Our McDonald’s picnic in the comfort of our souped up Holiday Inn style room strategically placed in an “old Vegas” hotel fueled more life story, friendship building conversations multiplying the love of friends while strengthening the true meaning of life.
We primp and prepare for Kid Rock concert and race. We proceed with cab ride to race start and puzzle walking maze along the strip searching out the start line.

 Kid Rock delivered an incredible show and I cannot wait to see him again. The concert died down as the winds picked up. It was time for me to enter my corral. Maggie and Stacey departed me.

I was corral 23 meaning 22 other groups of people would start this race before me. I believe there were at least 50 corrals.  Large races start in waves providing adequate time and space for the tuners along the course. Your corral is determined by your finishing time putting similar paced runners together. This may have been the largest populated race I’ve run.  I questioned my sanity and love for running as I froze 30 minutes in the corral for my start. It was a battle with myself to quit before I started… A common battle we have in life when we want to take the easy route. My mind played havoc when I knew I could be with my friends having fun verses pushing myself 13.1 miles in high winds and rain.

Finally, I was at the start line and 10, 9, 8… 3, 2, 1 … It is too late to turn back now… I’m owning half marathon #51 state # 15 Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas half marathon.
Despite the abuse my body had endured the last two days and the stomach virus earlier in the week, I felt great. I’m pushing through and running strong. The wind gushed through at rates of 25 to 40 mph with precipitation popping through the miles. The marquees lit up the course with true Vegas charm as the runners progressed down the strip.
At mile 3, the race coordinated a wedding where 195 couples married; one being a life long friend. Amy & Joseph were married in Vegas at a marathon… Unique style!
The course was lined with cheering spectators, music, casinos, and wedding chapels. The uniqueness of the course allowed the miles to roll by in true harmony. Mile 8 led to Fremont Street where I had zip lined the night before. The experience was surreal as I love the Fremont street atmosphere. As I pushed myself for a PR that wasn’t earned, I now wished I would have enjoyed the scenery a little more. I felt strong during the race and thought I was keeping a PR pace. At mile 11, the winds had picked up. Even though I felt I was running faster than usually, it probably took that extra push to fight the wind. I crossed the finish line pissed at myself for not Having a new personal record. The maze through the closed, crowded streets eventually led me back to Maggie and Stacey. Once we were reunited, I let go of my disappointment for a post race picture and meal. They treated me to an incredible steak and lobster dinner with wonderful conversation. It is heartening to know I inspired them to set goals as I pushed through and ran half marathon #51. They assured me it wouldn’t be to run a marathon.

Never give up…you never know who is watching you.

Cab ride back to hotel was interesting since the roads were blocked off still in some areas. While this was the last cab ride of the weekend, a lifelong bond was made between three amazingly, strong women in three short days. Promises of future events were made. We laughed and chatted as we all fell asleep in our super up holiday inn hotel room known as the stratosphere located in old Las Vegas. Maggie and I woke up to a personalized hand written message on the bathroom mirror from Stacey who was already at the airport departing for Dallas. It is the small things that make the most impact in life as I write this blog post with tears streaming down my face as my plane descends on the runway of Dallas Love Field airport.

Run your life or life will run you! Set goals and make them happen! God will provide the way and the people who are to be a part of your course! 💕💗💖

Center of the Nation Series, Bowman, ND

 

North Dakota Half Marathon Completed.

North Dakota Half Marathon Completed.

 

Population ZERO

Population ZERO

Center of the Nation Series, Bowman, ND

Bowman, North Dakota was the location for Day 2 of Center of the Nation Series.  The community was the least welcoming of all the towns we visited.  The restaurant for the group dinner wasn’t prepared for us so we decided to leave.  Those who stayed told us that they had ran out of food and had a bad attitude all together.  The town was small and our choices were narrow, we tried out a local pizza place.  Despite the poor service, the food was pretty good.  A few other runners joined us for dinner.

Daisy and Jeanine were staying with us in the host hotel called WindNorth which looked like a horror movie.   Misty had us watch the trailer from Vacancy and had us all a little scared when bed time came. The hotel actually had a real key; not a key card. The water in the bath tub had a yellow hue for our ice baths. We all chatted about the days, events, and life while preparing for the next day’s race. Daisy & Jeanine were only running two of the five days and would return home after race 2.

We woke up early, dressed, and drove 20 miles to the race location for day two.   The course was adjacent to a beautiful lake with a couple of huge hills.  We had blood hungry mosquitoes join us for today’s race but (thankfully) the first aid table had repellant. After the first loop, we each decided to stop for a hearty layer of OFF to keep the mosquitoes away.  The Bowman race seemed to fly by as I was constantly watching my Garmin to keep a 3 minute run 1 minute walk interval for us. The best part was visiting with other runners on the course and cheering each other along the way.

The volunteers were wonderful about providing a variety of food and drinks for us.  I actually tried coke while on the race today and liked it; Misty, however, not so much. I also had some M&Ms on the last loop and Misty tried olives with corn chips. I did see some marathon runners eating chili and running along. Thank goodness for the bathrooms along the course! After the race, we decided that the food made our stomachs heavy and we would stick with our GU.  There was chocolate milk at the end of each race and I loved it. Chocolate milk is my favorite recovery drink.

After completing the race, we headed to the hotel for an ice bath and so we could pack and prepare for our departure towards South Dakota. We stopped in Crow Butte (population of ZERO) for burger and fries.  Misty had a Huckleberry shake.  Huckleberry is not prominent in the south.  Crow Butte consisted of a small store/ restaurant and a gas pump. It was on sale for $250,000 and the only business establishment for miles (if you are looking for a new adventure).  While in Crow Butte, Jan and Bruce stopped to eat also.  Bruce was running full marathons in the Center of the Nation series.  They were from Connecticut and he stole my heart from the moment he shook my hand.  He was in his late 60’s and ran a fast, steady pace each day. I loved cheering him on.

We arrived in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, checked into Super 8, and rested before attending the group dinner at the Branding Iron.  Belle Fourche was welcoming to all of the runners and my favorite town of the five we visited.

 

North Dakota

State Line Selfie

 

 

 

Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014!

Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014!

 

Texas has smoldering hot summers and I had several races scheduled during the summer months, but never thought it would take three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014.  I thought it would be a good idea to check as many off the list as possible while I was off from work. I knew when fall arrived, I would be busy with work and football (I am super excited to have a freshman playing high school … big deal in Texas… need I say anymore).  2014 has been an unusual year as far as weather in Texas with snow storms and cool days in the summer.  To be honest, it has been nice.

June was great.  I ran a couple of races in nice weather and rescheduled one to take a camping trip with friends. The camping trip was a cabin in Broken Bow, OK and we had a fabulous time.

Great time with friends!

Great time with friends!

July came around and I rescheduled another race to take Austin (my youngest son) and his friends to a video game convention in Austin, TX. They had a great time and I had some wiggle room in my race schedule.

Video Game Convention

Video Game Convention

First attempt at #21 – July 13 was the day for El Scorcho 25K and I was excited about it.  I did not know how to prepare for the race.  It was 5K loops around the Trinity River in Fort Worth at midnight.  It was a hot day in July with a beautiful super moon.  One 5K loop was completed when my stomach started to rumble and a bad trip to the portapotty sent me home.  I have always finished races and not finishing was devastating to me, but I did not see any other option.

Super Moon

Fun night race!

Fun night race!

Second attempt at #21- July 19 Orange Leaf Half Marathon in New Braunfels, TX

I was nervous about a race in southern Texas in July, but I love New Braunfels and it started at 6:30am.  I figured I could survive and I would make it into a vacation for me and the boys.  We drove to Austin to stay with a friend and would get up early, drive one hour to New Braunfels for the race, and then float the river.  Well, I overslept! Again, I was devastated that I had paid for a race, traveled for the race, and missed it due to oversleeping. We did have fun floating the river, kayaking, and at Schlitterbahn Water Park.

Boys and I at water park.

Boys and I at water park.

Boys and I floating the river.

San Marcos River

Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014!

Third time is a charm… not to mention it was local.  My commute was just across town! It began and ended on the football field my boys had played and Austin would play many games over the next four years… ADDED BONUS  finishing on the 50 yard line.

Wildfire Half Marathon

Denton, Texas

July 26, 2014

High Temperature of 98 degrees

I arrived at the stadium, picked up my packet, and was ready to conquer #21! I could do this 13.1 miles of rolling hills on blacktop in smoldering heat… pancakes awaited me on the other side.  I was relieved to see a friend at the start line and we ran the first few miles together before drifting apart.  The next couple of miles were long as I questioned my sanity. About 5 mile, I met up with a couple of guys who we finished the race together.  One was running his first half marathon.  He swore he would never run another one and I encouraged him to run another one in better weather.  The other had run over 50 half marathons and multiple fulls plus he was a cancer survivor.  He was encouraging with interesting stories which made the next 8 miles pass by a little easier.

The heat was smoldering upon my shoulders, the road kill accented the pathway often leaving you guessing what the creature may have been before it was road  kill. There were plenty of water stops and my fingers swelled like small sausage links due to dehydration taking over my body. I could feel the blisters below my toenails and knew I would lose the toenails in the following days.  The last mile was spent walking more than running finishing with a 2:55 finish which I will take since it was Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014! I ran into the stadium and across the finish line.  It was a honor to have Stacey cheering for me at the stadium.  Spectators always add value and love to the course; especially, when they are there for you.  I love when friends and family take time from their schedules to support my goal.  Non-runners don’t understand the love of torture and it fills my love tank when they are there cheering for me. I picked up my medal and a bottle of water before heading to Old West Cafe for PANCAKES!!  YES… pancakes always make a half marathon better.

Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014!

Three attempts at half marathon #21 in 2014!

Finishing half marathon #21 in 2014!

I have completed 21 half marathons since January 11, 2014.  Running the 13.1 miles has not been the biggest challenge in this goal compared to the discipline and commitment.  Is it a mid-life crisis or is it a personal desire to be better??

Challenges of 40 Half Marathons in 2014

  • Running the 13.1 miles is a mental challenge moving one foot before the other 70,000 steps
  • Committing the time
  • The cost of the race and supplies
  • Scheduling and strategizing the race dates and times
  • Weather issues- rain, heat, cold
  • Lonely – several of the races, I have been by myself
  • Sore muscles
  • Loss of toe nails

It has been worth all of the challenges, to have the victory of completing a huge goal and meeting so many amazing people along the way! I know I will reflect over my lifetime the goal of 40 half marathons in 2014!

 

 

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

 

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior honored fallen American soldiers. It was located in Irving, TX on June 8, 2014 and Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior of 40 in 2014.  It was my first race of the summer, school had just dismissed a couple days prior and summer school started the following day. The 5am alarm on Sunday morning is always the time I consider myself insane for a goal of 40 half marathons in one calendar year.  I drove in early that morning because I had heard the construction could cause congestion and delays plus I needed to pick up my packet.  I made it in perfect time, missing the traffic, and I was able to pick up packet, drop off shirt in car, and make it to the start line.  I made it to the start line; only for the race to be delayed due to traffic.

While waiting for the race to begin, I met a new friend.  Her name is Monica and she is active military.  The Wounded Warrior is a fund raiser for wounded soldiers and it was a honor seeing family and friends running for those they love who had been wounded serving our country.  The race was delayed about 20 minutes allowing the rain storm to move in perfect synchronization of race start. The drizzle was enough to keep runners cool as they were on their journey of a 10K or half marathon.

The course was out and back with a few hills.  I felt great along the course considering a little bit of a slosh with the rain.  I had not checked the weather; so, the rain was a surprise leaving me unprepared.  Honestly, I do need to pack the emergency run bag with a hat and poncho.  My time was 2:31 which is the best time I have had in a few races.  I was happy and I knew I had friends and family at the finish line which always makes my day.  Dano stood in the rain waiting for me from mile 6 to 13.1.  My mom and sister arrived after I crossed the finish line.  After the race, we met another friend for lunch.

 

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior Mom, Salena, Christi (me), and Dano

with my mom and sister

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior

Half Marathon #19 Wounded Warrior is in the blog as a nice race for the various reasons:

  • Honors Soldiers
  • Friends and Family at the finish line
  • Awesome after party with pancakes
  • Vendor fair day before (I did not attend)
  • Nice course
  • Tech Shirt
  • Great Medal

Summer Solstice 3 hour race

Summer Solstice 3 hour race

Summer Solstice 3 hour race was race number 20 which means I am half way through this goal of 40 half marathons in 2014! I am considering this goal my “mid life crisis.” I don’t consider myself “middle aged” yet nor do I really think this crazy goal is a crisis, but it is the most rational description for the goal.  I know it is something I will always look back on and think “how did I do that?”  There are several things I look back on and wonder “how did I survive that” like domestic violence, custody battles, being a single mom, and oh not to mention… the dumb things I did as a teenager.  Needless to say, all of these things made me the person I am today which I would not trade.

Summer Solstice 3 hour race was different than any race I have ever done for many reasons:

  • it was a night race
  • it was 3 hour or 6 hour increments instead of a distance
  • it was one mile loops
  • it was a flat course; NO HILLS
  • no medals at the end
  • it was in Abilene, TX

I enjoyed the race.  The one mile loops were not too bad since Jenn ran with me.  I met Jenn at Lake Benbrook Half Marathon (race #3) where she was running with her husband and son.  I was inspired by them and we became friends instantly.  We were able to hash out the problems of the world and discuss parenting while running 15.2 miles in 3 hours completing 1 mile loops over and over again.

The race committee was awesome with the small town friendliness! They had plenty of snacks and the event was well organized. The weather was perfect!! We could not have asked for better weather conditions.  It was cool with a nice breeze.  The most difficult part of this event was the drive home after the race.  I probably should have stayed with Jenn and drove home the next day, but wanted to get home.  I won’t go into detail about the interesting dance moves I made along the way to try to stay awake, but I made it.

I still cannot believe I have completed 20 half marathons in 2014!! My next race is another night race in July in Fort Worth called El Scorcho 25K along the Trinity River and Jenn will be running with me again.

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Nashville Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon

Nashville Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon

Nashville Rock’n’Roll was on and off my list for various reasons throughout the year.  Two weeks before the race, I decided that it was a go.  I finished state mandated test the Wednesday prior and took off on a jet plane on Thursday morning.  I had the opportunity to spend four days with my mom and run through the city of Nashville, TN.  It was a win win for all!

Mom and I  spent the day grocery shopping and preparing for the weekend.  Friday, we went to the Country Music Marathon Expo which is the largest expo I have ever attended.  There were several vendors and THOUSANDS of people.  I used to have anxiety in crowded areas, but no longer  since I have been running.  It is amazing how much running has changed my life. Mom bought me the Garmin VivoFit.  I love it! I have been able to track my sleep and movement throughout the day.  I can also use it with Garmin Connect and interact with other running friends. After all we could handle at the Expo, we stopped for dinner at Logan’s on the way home.    I turned in early for the evening for the big day tomorrow.

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My last race was the Diva Dash in Galveston, TX and since then, I have taken gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol out of my diet.  I felt great with no joint pain, decreased belly fat, and weighed less. I was not sure how my body was going to respond on a long run with the new lifestyle.  I am still learning how to fuel my body naturally.

I woke up early to a nice breakfast made by mom and started preparing for the day.  Before we could leave, I had thrown up my breakfast.  I still do not know what happened, but I had a race to run. We arrived downtown, parked, and found a restroom. It was nice to avoid the portapotty before a race… doesn’t happen often.  I am thankful for portapotties at the times of need… Runners understand the value of a portapotty.  First Baptist Church (located right at the start line) opened their church for the runners to use the restrooms prior to the race and had a free spaghetti dinner the night before. Thank you to the church for supporting the runners.

Rock’n’Roll Marathon Series is methodical about their races and you know what to expect.  This is the 4th race in their series that I have completed and by far, the largest.  There were at least 40 corrals and 36,000 runners. It was overwhelming and people were everywhere trying to fit into the corrals.  It was obvious the runners who were new to the experience pushing their way through while the experienced runners knew they would make their way to the start line as each corral has a countdown and start time.  I was in corral 21 and it was about 7:28am when I started.  The first mile had three huge hills which made me question my sanity. The spectators at this race were zealous and encouraging.  The course was consistently lined with spectators cheering, dancing, and handing out goodies (candy, beer, donuts, mimosas). The bands were amazing along the way; again, the best out of all the Rock’n’Roll marathons I have completed.

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After the hills in mile one, I knew this was not going to be a PR (personal record). So, I decided to have some fun with it and snap pictures of cute guys along each mile.  Downfall was that the really hot guys were ahead of me, but I did take some pictures. One guy caught me taking a picture of him and ran up and posed… busted. 20140512-210953.jpg20140512-211009.jpg

The weather was perfect and the course was beautiful, but the hills were killer.  At mile 9, I received an encouraging message from my principal. At mile 10, I hit a wall.  I had not hit a wall at mile 10 since my second half marathon, but I had never thrown up before a race either.  Mom sent me encouraging messages the next three miles.  There was a GU station at mile 10 (where the full marathoners departed the half-marathoners) and I was going to take it, if it was salted caramel.  They gave me a tri-berry  (funny… I was going to risk it for salted caramel, but not tri-berry) which I like, but was afraid how my body would react since I had not eaten sugar in two weeks.  I overheard the lady next to me wish she had a GU and I gave her mine.  Each water break, I would walk a little more and I finally broke down and had some Gatorade which I think helped me get to the end. I don’t know if it was the sugar, electrolytes, or need for sodium, but I crossed the finish line and received my medal. They had wet towels to cool us and post race snacks to replenish our bodies.

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I met mom and we walked to B.B. Kings for barbecue which was amazing before going home to rest for the remainder of the day.

Nashville Rock’n’Roll Country Music Marathon is by far my favorite Rock’n’Roll series race.  The spectators made this race. The beautiful course was a bonus and challenge due to the hills.

Texas Wine Series Half Marathon

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AGGIE Land Special!

 

 

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Post Race Picture

Texas Wine Series Half Marathon was held at the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, TX and probably one of my favorite races.  Texas Wine Series Half Marathon was the first of the series and has a few small details to work out, but overall it was fabulous.

Abby and I ran the Women Rock the day before and met Misty in DeSoto for the car ride to College Station.  As we were waiting for Misty, I discovered I had not booked the hotel which took me into a small panic.  We were able to reserve a room at the same Marriott, but had to pay a little more. We were okay with that and just happy to have a room.  We arrived in College Station and picked up our packets at the wine store in the historic downtown area of College Station and preceded to the hotel for showers.  (Abby & I had not showered from the Women Rock Half Marathon earlier that morning.)

We checked into the hotel, showered, and headed out for eating and sight seeing. We found a great barbecue place called C&J Barbecue.  I had ribs and brisket and enjoyed every last bite.  Abby and I needed a few maintenance items (blister bandaids and Clif Shots) which meant a visit to the local CVS and Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister, Cushions

Best product for Runners!

 

 

My favorite race fuel! It taste like vanilla pudding.

Misty took us on a tour of Texas A&M University her alma mater! She was in heaven as she explained the Aggie Traditions and showed us around campus. We saw the bonfire memorial, Kyle Stadium, and the “Aggie ring” monument.  Texas A&M University is a nice campus and Bryan/ College Station was a great place to visit.

We settled into our hotel beds to rest for the race.  We woke up, got dressed, and headed to the race site.  It was a beautiful morning with the perfect weather. Messina Hof winery was not too far and sat off of the road. We parked in the pasture and walked up to the start line.  Racers were participating in a group stretch activity or in line for the portapotties ( a pre-race ritual for many). We lined up at the start line (in the pasture) and ran out to the country road.  The course was out and back along the country road.  It was beautifully outlined with a few wildflowers and several trees creating a delightful, quaint stroll through the countryside.  It was peaceful and pleasant without any concerns of the hustle and bustle of the city.  I enjoy the scenery in the city too which I see more often in races than I do the country.

Texas Wine Series Half Marathon

Mile 1

My legs were hurting. This was my 4th half marathon in 9 days, but I knew I would make it.  It was too beautiful to give up and I had come too far.

Mile 2

I had paced myself with a couple of ladies named Kristy and JL, who were doing intervals.  I asked them, if they minded if I joined them.  We ran 4 or 5 minutes and walked 1 minute.  The 1 minute seemed like 30 seconds, but this was working for me.  My legs were not hurting too bad and we were moving forward to our goal of 13.1 at the finish line. It was JL’s first half marathon and she did great! It was Kristy’s 2nd half marathon and she also has a blog. They are both training for their first full in Edinburgh… I am JEALOUS!!

Mile 3

We caught up with an old friend Eyvonne Carter and she ran with us until about mile 11 which is where we all found our own way to the finish line.

Mile 4 through 11

Hills were strategically placed throughout the course making it a little more challenging than the race on Saturday (day before).  The company and intervals made this race fun and I was enjoying hearing each of the ladies personal running journeys.

Abby and Misty both passed me along the way.  Abby had a PR and this was her 3rd half marathon in 9 days! I am so proud of her!!

Mile 12 to the finish line

I decided to pick up the pace, stop the intervals, and move along to the finish line. As I turned into the pasture where the finish line awaited, Misty and Abby were there to cheer for me.  It is always nice to have someone along the course to cheer for you.

Post Race Festivities

BEST EVER!!! It was gorgeous!! The grounds of the winery were adorned with tables covered in white cloth. The pasta was catered by Olive Garden, tacos from a local restuarant, and muffins from La Madeline. The best part was the wine glass and wine from Messina Hof winery while music played in the background.  We were able to sample wines, enjoy the music and beautiful weather, and converse about the race.

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Texas Wine Series Half Marathon at Messina Hof Winery in College Station has to be one of my favorite races.  The tranquil course was beautiful while challenging. The medal was an awesome wine bottle with an actual wine opener attached.  At packet pick-up we received a maroon tech shirt and draw string backpack with “Texas Wine Series” printed on it. The race was well organized and could benefit from more water stops and portapotties. Overall, this was an incredible race and well worth the money.

 

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Big D Half Marathon

"White trash" bag to protect me from the rain.

“White trash” bag to protect me from the rain.

Big D Half Marathon

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Big D marathon was cold and wet, but a beautiful course.

As the alarm went off at 6 am, the dreaded moment hit me when I realized I would be running Big D Half Marathon in the rain.  It was a situation I wasn’t prepared for.  I knew I should have bought a poncho to put in my running bag. I thought maybe I would stop along the way. Mom and I drove to Fair Park (downtown Dallas where the State Fair is held) and there was not time to stop for a poncho, but we did stop at the McDonalds across the street to avoid the porta potty line. As we approached the building, I asked a man outside, “do you have anymore of those ponchos?”  I did not know he was homeless. He sold me his and took off with the money.  Mom would not allow me to where the poncho; so, I wore the trash bag that I grabbed as we left the house.  We parked the car in Fair Park and sat there until the last minute before the race started.  I walked up to the race just in time to start running with the back of the pack (not always the best place to be, but today I did not care).  This is my fourteenth race of the year and my 20th race ever.  I don’t mind cold, but cold and rain is more than I was ready for this 6th day of April.

Big D Half Marathon Mile 1 through 3

During mile 1 as we were leaving Fair Park, I step in a puddle leaving my shoes wet. I thought , “what have I gotten myself into? Who in their right mind would be out here running in this wet, cold weather? What was I thinking to run 40 half marathons in one year?” The rain had slowed down and I removed the trash bag.  We were moving out of the Fair Park area into the nicer parts of downtown Dallas.

Big D Half Marathon Mile 4 through 6

We were running along White Rock Lake.  It was beautiful and chilly as the wind blew off the lake.  I love running around White Rock Lake.  At mile 4 is where the full marathoners and half marathoners separated for a while. I had my Stinger Chews and kept running.

Big D Half Marathon Mile 7 through 10

We are running through beautiful homes which I found inspirational.  At mile 7.85, I hear police horns going off behind me.  I turn around to see the first full marathoner passing me which in my mind is beyond amazing. I am explaining to the other runners what is going on.  All the runners began cheering for him and pushed themselves a little harder after his unspoken motivation.

Big D Half Marathon Mile 11 through 13.1

This is where I experienced the downpour! I started singing, “Singing in the Rain” to the other runners and decided it was time to pick up the pace and be done. The rain avoided my face and fell off my hat.  It was a funny feeling.  My clothes and shoes were drenched. It was a strange feeling to be soaking wet from rain and sweating too. By this time, 8 male full marathoners and 1 female had passed me.  What an accomplishment to complete a sub 3 hour full marathoner in rain and with hills. These runners were truly inspirational; not to mention they all were in great shape.

As we wind around Fair Park, there are plenty of potholes full of water to drench my shoes and chill my toes. As I approach the finish line, I see mom standing there.  It is always nice to have a cheerleader along the way.  I cross the finish line, grab my medal, and we head into the post party.  We sit down to eat the breakfast burrito for a few minutes and then I am ready to go home.

The Big D half marathon was race 14 of 40 in 2014! It was a beautiful course with great volunteers.  The medal was small. The shirt was a tech shirt with the Big D logo on the front.  The post race meal was 1/4 baked potato, egg/ potato burrito, banana, and pork rinds which is more than most give you.   There were a few vendors in the post race party.  I am thankful it was inside because it was cold outside. Packet pick-up was easy at Academy Sports and Outdoors.

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