Tag Archives: Race

Diva Dash Half Marathon

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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.

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Women Rock Half Marathon

Women Rock Half Marathon

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

Bearathon Half Marathon

Bearathon Half Marathon

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Only picture from this race and it was taken by a student when I picked up my bag.

Awaken on Saturday morning at 4 am by the alarm.  At this time is when I question my sanity.  Wo in their right mind wakes up at 4 am to travel 2 hours and run? I preceded to get up, dress for the race, and start on my way.  It is dark and lonely on the roads to Waco. I stop in Hillsboro for a breakfast burrito and at this time, a light drizzle has started to fall.  The lady at Whataburger was nice and told me I was 20 minutes from Baylor and rain should hold off until 10 am which was all good news to me.  I continued on I35 to Waco, pulled into a dark campus, and parked close to the race festivities. I ran to the student center for my bib and packet, checked my bag, and walked out the door just in time for the race to start… NOTHING like making to a race just in time to start.  I was able to save myself from the portapotty stop while in the student center… always a bonus for a runner ( I am not too proud to use a portapotty… much better than “pantsing your poop!)

We were off… running through the campus of Baylor University for the first mile. I was surrounded by college students on a beautiful campus and fellow runners all out for one goal… to finish!

The transformation within yourself between the start line and finish line conquers fears, creates discipline, and builds confidence.

It means running with and through pain.

It means believing in yourself.

It means encouraging others.

At mile 2, we ran past the Budweiser plant which I found ironic, but promising.  I love a beer after a race, but there was no beer a then end of this race.  The course curved through Cameron Park and the Methodist Children home.  The college students cheering the runners along were amazing with incredible energy; not to mention some were handing out BACON! What a marvelous idea- BACON is simply the best.  It will take care of your protein and salt in one shot with yummicious taste!!

I knew I had a double this weekend and next; so, I thought I would take it easy, but try to stay at 2:30 finish time.  Earlier in the week, I had messaged a Baylor alumni friend about the elevation– good thing I asked him and not the elevation chart or I would have stressed all week.  Now, the joke is… before you run a double, you ought to check the elevation chart.  At mile 6 I text the Baylor alumni, ” OMFG these hills are a BEATCXH!” His reply, “Welcome to the Hill Country” with an inspiring “You can do it.” It gave me the motivation I needed at the moment to push forward.  The course was treacherous, but beautiful. I do want to take the boys back over the summer to hike, camp, and canoe.

At mile 9, I ran with a Baylor senior named Casey who was running her first marathon.  Poor girl… Bearathon Half Marathon is not a good choice for your first marathon. I encouraged her, shared some recovery tips, and she went on to finish.

At mile 11, I saw a group of ladies with shirts that read “I survived the Bearathon Half Marathon Toughest Half in Texas.” WTH… How am I just learning this??

#9 was not easy, but it was in the books!

Bearathon Half Marathon is the toughest race I have ever done.  I will do it again to conquer it. I feel like it got the best of me this year.  It was the first for me in a series of 4 half marathons in 9 days. I liked the medal and the shirt. The post race was a few vendors, but nothing was left when I arrived.

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon in Beaumont, Texas was race number 9 in my goal of 40 and on my 40th birthday!! It was a great trip and race!! On Friday, March 7, Mom and I left for Beaumont after school and arrived  at the hotel about midnight after picking up the rental car, Lisa, and Cortney.

Gusher Half Marathon  starting line was on the campus of Lamar University.  We arrived early to pick up our packets and prepare for the race.  I love the energy that surrounds the race and today was no different.  The energy was high, the runners were excited, and the weather was perfect. The National Anthem was sung beautifully and a minister led the prayer.  It was the perfect runner’s prayer.  The minister understood runners with his prayer of time and personal records. The countdown began and we were off.  I had my first mile in 9:30 and came around to see Mom on the bridge taking pictures. At mile 2, I had to stop at “Johnnie on the spot” for a potty break which scared me. Anytime a runner has to stop for the bathroom, there is a fear of the time lost or the alternative… UGH! The great part about this race was several “Johnnie on the spots” and no long lines along course.  Miles 9 and 10 seemed to be filled with hills and a head wind to push through. At mile 10, my music stopped and while turning it back on, I saw an encouraging message from a friend telling me, “happy birthday and that International Women’s Day is perfect as a day to celebrate me.”  I continued the race feeling great and pushed through to have a PR for the year with an 18 minute improvement over the last race. The volunteers were amazing with plenty of water stations throughout the race.  There were ’80s and Hawaiian themed water stations and one with singing volunteers. The technical shirt and medal were great too! When I came across the finish line, mom and Cortney were waiting for me.  Mom caught it on video and the announcer mentioned my goal of 40  half marathons this year and that it was my birthday! Mom enjoyed the race environment and was entertained with watching people cross the finish line.

Gusher Half Marathon

After the race, we visited the vendors and had a beer before heading back to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, we decided we were hungry and we were going to go to a fast food place real quick.  We are in our sweaty clothes and mom was in her pajamas.  We end up at Floyd’s for great seafood looking quite shady.  The waiter was great even though he only knew Cortney existed at the table.  He brought me the best bread pudding ever, called the restaurant’s attention to sing “Happy Birthday” to me.  We went back to the hotel to rest before cleaning up and going to the hotel across the street’s restaurant bar. We met a man named Marcus from Germany who was with Elton John.  The bartender and other guests made my birthday special! We skipped back to our hotel as a conclusion to an ideal day! I feel so loved and appreciate mom, Lisa, and Cortney for a great birthday! Gusher Half Marathon was a great race and the people of Beaumont did a fabulous job.

 

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Cowtown Half Marathon

20140302-205245.jpgCowtown Half Marathon is in Fort Worth, TX and benefits The Cowtown C.A.L.F project providing local children with shoes. It warms my heart to know children are benefiting from my running habit. The volunteers are always friendly and the race is well organized.  The distances vary from 5K, 10K, half, full, and ultra.  You can chose to do a challenge consisting of 5K or 10K on Saturday and half, full, or ultra on Sunday.  The medals are spectacular and the expo is great too.  You receive a finishers shirt at the end and a shirt in your packet pick up.  As you finish the race, you enter the coliseum for water, fruit, ice cream, and warm chicken noodle soup which was an awesome post race treat that warmed the heart. I recommend this race to anyone and everyone. It is a great family event and Fort Worth is a great place!

Saturday, I went to the expo and was swept in by the energy of runners.  You could feel the excitement in the room plus I was on a mission to check out the other races repesented and register for future races at a discount.  I was able to register for Women Rock (March 29, 2014 in Grand Prairie, TX) and pick up my packet and I also registered for a new race that was going to be on the Lewisville Dam… SCORE… it was inexpensive and close to home. I also bought a cool Wonder Woman  cup from the Gypsy Runner.

After the expo, I went to my friend’s house to prepare for dinner when I realized I forgot my good running shoes.  I had already been having foot problems and knew it was time for new shoes. I had to decide do I run in my old worn out shoes that I had on or buy a new pair. Pearl Izumi is across the street from my friend’s house.  I walked across the street, was fitted and bought the shoes.  The young TCU student who fitted me was great and the shoes were my favorite color.  We will see how it goes running in new shoes … Sunday at the race. We went to Ol’ South Pancake House with friends for the German pancake.  I love the German pancake and will run a marathon to eat one any day. We had a great visit and headed back to Cindy’s to sleep. Saturday was a great day and I am excited about the Sunday’s race.

The alarm goes off at 5am and my love/ hate relationship begins.  I love running and the pleasure that goes along with it, but I hate waking up early.  I dress and head out the door.  Since I stayed at Cindy’s, I was only ten minutes from the start line.  I park and walk over to the start to wait. I observe the runners surrounding me.  There are first timers, professionals, chivalry, small, large, and all races of runners.  It makes me happy to be surrounded by people with the same goals who are working to be healthy each day.  I know the half is the shortest distance today and there are people running a lot further than I am today.  While waiting, I meet a nice lady named Chris who lives in Allen and we chat about running and raising children… my two favorite subjects.  We run together for the first mile until I had to stop and tie my “new” shoes… oh no… how are these “new” shoes going to work… I am already tying them… this cannot be good.  The weather is perfect for race day.  I could not ask for better conditions in all aspects of this race… oh wait… the “new” shoes.  They were going to be the test.  I have always heard don’t run a long race in shoes that have not been broken in.

I am in coral 6 and the race has started. 15 minutes later, I am crossing the start line.  The race is crowded and my first mile was slow going. The volunteers and fans were great encouragement. The course was great until mile 9 where me met a huge hill on Main Street. Lululemon had the best signs and were giving out Hershey Kisses. Overall, the race was full of excitement and encouragement for all. I was disappointed with my time.  I finished with 2 hours 41 minutes which was my worst time since my first half years ago.  I was adorned with the fabulous spur medal, went through the food line, picked up my finisher shirt, and headed home.  When I got home, I went to bed and only woke to lead a short boot camp for my friend Dee. I went back home and back to bed as soon as I could.  I had a low grade temp and felt horrible with could have contributed to the slow time.

BTW, the new shoes were great! No blisters and no more pain in my arch. I love them and look forward to buying more Pearl Izumi running shoes.

Cowtown half marathon has to be in my top ten for several reasons.  One being it helps out local youth and two, it is close to home. Cowtown Half Marathon is #8 of 40 in 2014 as my goal to celebrate my 40 years of life!

Are you going to run Cowtown 2015?

 

Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon

20140218-221708.jpgStonebridge Ranch Half Marathon

Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon  has race #7 of 40 in 2014.  I decided I would run 40 half marathons for my 40th year of life.  Since I decided on the goal, it has been my primary focus.  I have been scheduling, registering, planning, booking hotels and travel, and expediting my goal.  My social life is running and for the most part has been fine.  So, if you are planning a wedding or event you want me to attend, please review my race schedule. As far as recovery time each week, my body has been fine.  I have been more particularly about my sleep schedule though.  I know I have to keep my body healthy to complete this goal.  I have had some tendinitis in my right foot and have been trying to take it easy while wearing comfortable shoes to work.

Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon has been the closest race to my home so far.  It was nice to have a race 45 minutes away and not have to get up too early.  Cortney messaged me through the Runner’s Corner about being running partners for the Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon.  We met at the race and ran together to the end.  She would have had a much faster time, if she would have left me behind.  Cortney is a 24 year old with an amazing personality and zeal for life.  I felt like she was my new found niece by the time we finished.  I am excited that she will be running more races with me before she leaves for California to go to school.  She encouraged me and others on the course as well as the volunteers along the way. My time improved by 2 minutes which is great considering the hills on the course. She pushed me to run faster while telling everyone along the course that I was running 40 half marathons for my 40th birthday.

As we crossed the finish line, Gina Paul ( a lifelong friend) was there with flowers for me and making a video.  It meant the world to me that she woke up early and drove to McKinney to cheer for me. We posed for pictures, grabbed water, and departed.  Gina treated me to lunch at La Madeline.

Overall, Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon was a great race.  It was close to home, well organized, and had friendly volunteers.  The tech shirt and medal were nice too.

Race Day Checklist

Race Day Checklist

Tomorrow makes race number seven for 2014 and preparing for each race has become a ritual.  I can only imagine how it will be by number forty.

  • Months or weeks before, I register for the race
  • Week of the race, I am stalking the weather.
  • Night before the race, I set all of race day items out, charge electronics, and set alarm.  Of course, off to bed early.

Electronics

 

  • My Garmin 405 tracks my pace, heart rate, mileage and has a GPS. I have a love/ hate relationship with my Garmin and one day, I am going to run without it to see how I do.

  • I use my iPhone to play Pandora.  Pandora keeps my run interesting with a plethora of music from Christian to Digital Underground.  It is amazing how it always plays exactly what I need to get through the next mile.
  • Earphones

Attire

  • Brooks Adrenaline are the shoes I have worn for years and absolutely love them.
  • Enell Bra – a supportive bra is important for good breast health and to be pain free.  I ache when I see ladies not properly supported while running.  My shoes and bra are my most important assets for running.
  • Lululemon Running Tights! I bought these last week and I am so happy to be free of chaffing in strange places.

 

  • Ininji running socks save toenails!

  • Shirts vary depending on race and weather.

Fuel

  • Pre-race –I take 1/2 serving of Advocare spark with 1/2 serving of Advocare muscle fuel and 2 tablets of Advocare O2 Gold.

  • During the race -Clif Shot Gel (90% organic) Vanilla is my favorite and taste like vanilla pudding.
  • Post-race –Advil and Advocare Post workout recovery.

Extras

  • Running belt is similar to a “fanny pack.”  It holds my Clif shots and phone.
  • Dry clothes to change after the race.  I have learned that changing after a race lessens your chance of yeast infection.
  • Glide- helps with chaffing which I happens around my bra.

I hope you find this information helpful for you.  These are the things that work for me and may change as I learn more about products on the market.

What products or rituals work for you on race day?