Tag Archives: Medal

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

Diva Dash Half Marathon

20140520-222942-80982485.jpg

Galveston, Texas 15 0f 40 in 2014

Diva Dash Half Marathon

 

A month has gone by since this race and I have not been able to bring myself to blog about it. It was by far my worst time, but time has nothing to do with the essence here. What happened at the end of the Diva Dash Half Marathon has scared my mind and broken my heart.

Garrett and I woke up early and headed to Houston to pick up Danielle before headed to Galveston.  We chose to commuted between Houston and Galveston; so, Danielle could be a part of the weekend.

The highlight of the trip was the time I had with a lifelong friend Leila (terrible part is we did not take a picture together).  I loved the time we had together. She has been sick for a couple of years and had convinced me to do the 10 day detox diet with her which I did.  The detox changed my life and helped me to find some inner health problems of my own. I will share in another post. We enjoyed lunch, shopping on the strand, and the Diva Dash Half Marathon Expo.

I spent the remainder of the evening reading about the detox diet and watching meaningless television in the hotel.  We woke up early, picked up Danielle, and headed to Galveston.  They let me out close to the start line.  I found the port-a-potties and my way to the start line. It took me about 3 miles to find my mojo which is unusual and I still don’t think I ever found it by my time in this race.  It was humid and hot outside. The course had a couple of small hills and ran along the seawall.  The scenery was amazing running along the beach and seeing the winners pass you on their way back. The second person on the return was a 12 year old runner which was inspiring to see. 20140520-222946-80986649.jpg

At mile 13, they adorned you with a boa and a crown to cross the finish line which was a nice bonus, but always the Diva Dash Half Marathon’s key attractions.  At the finish line, you had the choice of champagne or Ginger Ale which I love both.  I chose the champagne.

As I approached the finish line, the officials directed us to the left.  On the right, the emergency response team was performing CPR on a young lady.  I knew the outcome wasn’t good when they carried her away and there was not any response from the CPR.  My heart aches as I write this.  She was there on her bachlorette party and was to be married in two short weeks after the race.  She had run many marathons and had a heart condition un-diagnosed heart condition.  I will forever be shaken by the Diva Dash Half Marathon. Read more about Kaytie Joyner here.  God bless her family and fiance. 20140520-222951-80991816.jpg

Diva Dash Half Marathon was race 15 of 40 in 2014 in Galveston, TX.  It was a woman’s race which I loved the support and encouragement of other women along the race. I loved running along the beach.  The heat and humidity was tough and my time was bad.  The finish line story leaves me with a broken heart for Kaytie’s family and friends.

20140520-222951-80991447.jpg20140520-223021-81021322.jpg

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.

20140512-210930.jpg

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.

20140512-211052.jpg

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.

20140512-211039.jpg20140512-211029.jpg

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.

Women Rock Half Marathon

Women Rock Half Marathon

 

20140410-175909.jpg

Abby & Christi at Women Rock Half Marathon

Women Rock Half Marathon was race #12 of 40 half marathons in 2014.  It was an inaugural race held in Grand Prairie with some fun perks that are unique to the racing scene.  The  start and finish line were on the baseball diamond of Grand Prairie Air Hogs Stadium which was fun.  The finish line was adorned with shirtless fit men for after pictures.  The finish line gift was a diamond and ruby pendant, but we were able to purchase medals which is great to keep for my collection.  The post race drink was champagne with a nice champagne flute imprinted with the “Women Rock” logo.  A nice black dri-fit jacket with the “Women Rock” logo printed on the back was part of the goodies for Women Rock Half Marathon.

I was excited about this weekend because both races had unique post race experiences and I had friends with me.  I would not be running solo.  Saturday morning, I woke up and loaded the car with running gear and a suitcase for the weekend. I picked up Abby in Flower Mound and we headed to Grand Prairie for the Women Rock Half Marathon. The race did not start until 9:26am which I felt was late for a Texas race in late March due to the heat by noon.

This was my 3rd race in 7 days and I was feeling it, but kept on.  Abby stayed with me through the race.  She wanted to take it easy for  a PR the next day and she had never experienced running with a friend.  We were able to talk about parenting, running, and marriage.  She has so much wisdom for  a 28 year old.

The course was quite boring looping through the perimeter parking lots and sidewalks of the stadium.  We learned what a “swap meet” was because it was in the parking lot that we were running around. In some places, we were jumbled up with several other runners making it impossible to pass. The volunteers were great; especially, the “Black Girls Run” groups.  There were not enough water stations for the Texas heat.  I could feel myself swelling up due to lack of water and I saw a couple of ladies cramping up at mile 12.

Just short of 13.1 miles, we turned into the stadium took a stroll around the bases and finished the race crossing home plate which was another fun twist leading into the post race festivities. Our finish time was 2:30 which I was happy with considering I was tired and it was hot. We received our pendants, a towel to wipe the sweat off, and baggy of snacks before heading to the champagne tent for our champagne flute full of champagne which was a nice treat after a long, hot race. We mixed and mingled for a few minutes before heading out to meet Misty for the trip to College Station for the Texas Wine Series Half Marathon on Sunday.

 

20140410-175924.jpg

20140410-175955.jpg

20140410-175940.jpg

 

Overall, I enjoyed this race for the post race festivities. The course left much to be desired and needed more water breaks.  The post race festivities and the goodies made up for the shortcomings in the race plus running into the stadium, around the bases, and into home plate was a nice spin on things too.

20140410-180017.jpg

Texas Wine Series Half Marathon

20140406-222929.jpg

AGGIE Land Special!

 

 

20140406-222952.jpg

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.

20140406-223011.jpg

 

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.

 

20140406-223027.jpg

20140406-223049.jpg

Rock’n’Roll Dallas Half Marathon

#10 of 40 in 2014

#10 of 40 in 2014

Rock’n’Roll Dallas

Rock’n’Roll Dallas Half Marathon was #10 of 40 half marathons in 2014.  I had a personal record (PR)at this race last year with a time of 2:19.  I was tired and knew I would not have a PR this year. It was chilly outside with a headwind.  I was tired from the busy day before and the Bearathon half marathon in Waco.  Austin had planned to go with me and we were going to meet Casey and Voon on the train, but those plans fell through.  Even though I had several friends running the race,  I was on my own.  I parked my car at Farmer’s Branch train station and I caught the train to West End.  I was able to check my bag and precede to corral 13 for the race.

The race started and the corrals moved through. At mile 3, I had to walk and questioned myself about 13.1 miles when I am walking at mile 3. My Garmin died at mile 10 and my phone died at the end.  I felt like I was floundering with my routine, my run, my thoughts.  I most definitely was not on my game today.

I finished the race, received my medal & post race goodies, picked up my bag, and got on the train. I met Gina and the boys at On The Border for brunch which was the best part of the day.

Rock’n’Roll Dallas Half Marathon is a fun race with thousands of participants.  The course is pretty and there are bands spread out through the course.  Plenty of water stops and portapotties along the course too.  The technical shirt and medal were both great. Rock’n’Roll series marathons are well organized.  You always know what to expect at each race.  I plan on doing several of the series this year throughout the United States. They offer additional medals for completing more than one race in their series.  I honestly believe they have figured out exactly how to maximize profits for a race series.  Even though Rock’n’Roll Dallas 2014 was not my best race, I still enjoyed the race overall.