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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!