*This post ended up being really long and I almost put it into two different post but decided just for simplicities sake I would just keep it as one post, so I apologize for the lengthy post!
On New Year’s Day we had part 2 of the New Year’s Double race – there’s nothing like waking up to a new year and setting out to run a race! I loved the idea of the New Year’s Double events and it’s such a great way to get people involved in all different kinds of races and to get people excited about racing – whether they do a 5K or a marathon, whether they do both days or only one, I LOVED the idea.
After a stressful experience the day before I had told mom she didn’t need to come out the next day and I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she didn’t, however, she’s a tough lady and decided she wanted to finish the challenge and go back for more! I had also signed up for the 5K for the second day (since I had never raced back to back days before) and so I decided that instead of running the 5K I would just walk the whole thing with her. It was nice to spend that time talking with her and even though she was all bandaged up I was so proud of her for going back out there.
We both completed the 2 days and so we had gotten a medal each day (something really nice about this race was there were medals for all finishers in all distances BOTH DAYS!). Each day was half of a circle that would fit into a larger “plate” at the end of the second day. We each got our second medals and plates and decided to call it a day to relax!
I know that I said yesterday that I was frustrated on New Year’s eve at the lack of medical support and personnel at this race – and while that is something that was bothersome, this race was a really fun race and a great idea. I have had the pleasure of meeting the race director and I know she works hard on the events she does and overall I would say this was a great turnout and everything was done very well. I loved the t-shirts and still wear mine all the time!!!
The rest of January was actually a really hard month for me – the weekend after the New Years Double I went out to run an 18 mile run and only made it 13 miles. I was experiencing full body pain that I had never experienced before and after 13 miles I couldn’t take it. I figured out later that I hadn’t fuelled properly during the first part of my run and that really took a toll on my whole body. Lesson learned! However, that run left me mentally shaken and questioning my abilities to actually run a marathon. I had been running hard core since October and had at least 2 more months are hard marathon training ahead of me and my body was just refusing. I unintentionally decided to take a 2 week break from running and only do cross training. I really needed to listen to my body and let my head reevaluate what I was doing and where I was going. This may or may not have been smart but I feel like it was worth it to listen to my body and not push it (besides, I came back stronger than ever in February to run one of my best months ever!).
I had had hopes of making it to Houston for the Marathon Olympic Trials but sadly that didn’t happen. I had family in town and had been so busy travelling and racing all fall that I just needed a break. I know I did the right thing then and don’t regret my decision but man I’m sad I missed out on that experience!!!
My “running break” may have lasted longer than two weeks had I not had a half marathon at the end of the month; but thankfully I did and I was able to get my booty back into gear! In January of 2011 I had signed up for The Four Season Challenge – that was where you run a half marathon in each season for a special medal and t-shirt. My first half marathon, Big D (readabout it here!) was the first race of that challenge I ran. Then I ran the Hottest Half (here) in August and the Tyler Rose Half (here) in October. This was the last race and I was very excited to finally see a goal come to fruition.
*side note – I would have never imagined when I signed up for this race that I would have raced so many other races in between! I remember signing up for this challenge and questioning my sanity in running FOUR half marathons in a year. Silly, silly me! If only I had known…..
On race day Alex had the pleasure of being my race chauffer for the day and we had an early start. The weather was cool and overcast that day – perfect running weather! I really thought this race might be a disaster, however I didn’t care, I just wanted my 4 seasons medal and to be done! I hadn’t been running in two weeks and mentally I was still a bit of a mess. This was a smaller race and it was at White Rock Lake so I knew the course fairly well but was also not too excited to run around the lake yet again. I wound up running this whole race with Michelle which was awesome! I was so glad for the company and I hadn’t seen her or run with her in a long time. We ran the first 8 miles which is much more than I anticipated running. We walked/ran the last few miles and both decided we wanted to be in under 2:45. We had to push it the last mile but I crossed the finish line in 2:44:xx. I was happy with that and was glad to have my medal and extra dry fit shirt!
After the race Alex and I ate a quick lunch and then I had to hurry home because I was flying out with my family that afternoon to go to Disney World! I had never been to Disney World before and I was so excited to be spending a week there with my family (thanks Dad and Denise for footing the bill on this mini-vacation!) I will try to do a whole post on Disney World, I mean how can you not spend 6 days in the Happiest Place on Earth and NOT have lots to say about it?! But for now, enjoy a few pictures from the trip!