The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The One About The Cowtown Half Marathon {2013}

This race was a race I had been looking forward to for several months. I don’t actually really remember what is was that caused my sister to want to run a half but I do remember being in Ohio when I got an email that she said she thought she might want to run one and could I help her figure out training. I was of course excited but honestly I wasn’t sure how serious she really was. I made her a training plan and would ask her occasionally about it but I didn’t want to push her, I wanted it to be her idea. We officially started training on December 24th with a pre-Christmas family run.

Training started out well and we got a couple of long runs in together but then one or both of us got sick, I was away for a couple of weekends and things just got busy. Rachel had already put in a couple of long runs but she still hadn’t signed up for the race so I kept waiting for her to tell me she didn’t think she wanted to do it anymore. I know I would have been disappointed but I would never want to force her to do something she didn’t want to do. I told her from the beginning that it meant a lot to me that she wanted to run a half marathon but in no way would I be disappointed if she decided not to do it. However, I did tell her that I would encourage her to follow through with it once she committed to the training. I’m so glad she did.

Sunday morning was another early start of 7am so we were up and out the door by 4:30! It was also another cold morning but not quite as cold as it had been on Saturday and we had our toss away clothes so we were good. We were able to use the bathrooms indoors and then take all our stuff back to the car before heading into our corral. On the way back to the corral I used a port-o-potty one more time, like always and we easily found our corral and waiting. Dad and Denise found us before the race and wished us luck, they said they would be at the starting line and we knew mom was up there too. We couldn’t hear anything at all that was going on at the start line so I had no idea when the race started. Mom said it started right at 7 but we just kept waiting and waiting. We were in corral 4 but it seemed to take forever to get moving.

We shed our sweatshirts as we approached the start line and then we were off. Rachel was so great, I was worried that she might be nervous or freaking out about running but she never seemed to be nervous at all. I was actually feeling really well considering I had run a HUGE PR the day beforehand, I wasn’t sore and felt rested so that was really good. I was still a little unsure how my legs would hold up for 13 miles but all I could do was do my best. We started out on a downhill portion as the sun was rising; it was honestly one of those “this is the most perfect morning and I’m doing one of the things that I love the best with my sister, could life be any more perfect right now?” moments.

The first 2 miles were a bit rough as most are on any race; you are weeding through people, finding your pace, settling in and warming up. Rachel did well but I know she was having a hard time adjusting to the fact that her legs went from being cold from standing around to warming up all of a sudden. She mentioned that this was something new to her since all of our long runs we just set off straight from the house and we have no chance to get cold. Our first 2 miles were probably a bit too fast in hindsight but they honestly weren’t that bad and some of that is just race excitement that can’t be helped.

We agreed to run out the first mile (or 2) and then start our 6:1 running/walking. I know we ran the first mile out to get out of the crowds and I want to say we continued on to mile 2 but we may have taken our first walk break around 15 minutes in, I can’t really remember. I tend to zone out when I’m running and forget when I’m supposed to walk and at what minute.

At mile 3 we saw our Dad and stepmom for the first time. It was great to see them and hear all their shots and cheers! It was also about this time that we passed the 5K mark although we forgot to step on the timing belt so it didn’t send mom a text to let her know where we were. Before we knew it we were at mile 4 and climbing a short incline. Rachel did great up the hill and then we took another walk break and she took the first half of her GU. Those first 4 miles just FLEW by for both of us, we couldn’t believe we were already at 4 miles in. We were chatting and enjoying the gorgeous weather. About mile 5 Rachel requested that we just run for a bit and not take a walk break, she said that her stomach would bother her when we stopped but felt ok while running. I said sure and we slowed down just a tad but kept running.

As we approached mile 6 we were heading into the history stockyards of Fort Worth and this was a portion that I was really looking forward to. We hit the 10K point at exactly 1:10 and immediately saw my dad and Denise again. Rachel and I had so much energy through this portion! We were feeling great, the crowds were great, seeing our parents and running through the historic part of Fort Worth just really gave us a pep in our step, mile 6 was actually our fastest mile of the day. At the half way point Rachel and I sang our “Half Way There” by Bon Jovi song, like always and kept on.

I could tell that mile 6 really gave Rachel a boost and I kept telling her she needed to slow down. I didn’t really want to hinder her but I also knew that we still had half a race left and we were currently sitting at one of our faster paces so I tried to be smart and keep her in check. Miles 6-9 were are fastest miles of the day but I’m glad I kept her in check. I was still feeling good at this point and also quite confident in our abilities to finish in our goal time, but I also have done enough races to know that there was still a good portion of running left.

About mile 7.5 we started walk breaks again about every 10 minutes or so. Right before mile 9 Rachel took some water and a bite of banana that they were handing out. Up ahead of us we saw a huge hill, the hill that we had to climb. I have to say I was excited for it and was ready to head up but I could tell Rachel wasn’t quite as thrilled. We walked for a bit at the bottom so that we didn’t have to stop while on the hill. At the base of the hill we saw Dad and Denise one last time and I told them to expect us in around 2:20; I was serious at that point and had high hopes of finishing closer to 2:20 than 2:30 but the next 4 miles were a bit rougher than I had planned.

We almost made it to the top of the hill without walking but Rachel was wearing out so we walked the rest of the way up. Once up there was a flat portion through Sundance Square. I made her run to the 10 mile marker flag where we took another walk break and I took a GU. She took a little bit more of her GU too. I could tell that she was starting to wear out some and we had run a good race up to this point and I didn’t want her to give up just yet. I could also tell that she was getting hot, even though the race had started at 7 the sun had been up and out the whole time and it was starting to warm up. Miles 10 and 11 were pushing as much as we could and me trying to encourage her to keep a consistent pace, she did really well despite the fact that I could tell she was getting tired.

We walked up another hill around the mile 11 marker and then we had a HUGE decent and I told her to run as much of this out as we could. At mile 12 we took a walk break and I could really tell she was getting tired. I tried to be encouraging but not too pushy, I wanted her to finish strong and reach her goal, she had run such a great race I really didn’t want to see it fall apart in the last mile.
As we were coming into the finish she took a few walk breaks here and there but she kept moving and I was proud of her. At one point she told me she felt like she needed to puke but I told her that she could puke at the finish and we were almost there, haha.

I LOVE this picture of Rachel

We finished in almost the exact same place as the 10K so I knew when we were getting close. I told her that once we turned the corner she was going to give it all she had and we were going to make goal time. We saw mom with her awesome sign and then a little ways down dad was there and Denise. The really cool thing about our finish is that the announcer announced our names together as we crossed the finish line!

I stopped my Garmin and looked down and saw 2:29 I was so happy and relieved at the same time. I showed Rachel and the look on her face was priceless. We had a sweet moment to hug and celebrate our victory and then stumbled our way to find water and get our medals. We wished that someone had gotten our hug on camera but alas that did not happen so we reenacted it later!

I could not have been more proud of Rachel at that moment, she did a fantastic job and worked really hard. I know those last few miles were tough for her and I partly blame myself for that but she did great. I was so relieved that I was able to help her get there. I’ve never paced anyone before and especially after racing the day before, let alone racing to a PR. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t have it in me to keep up and help her reach her goal. But thankfully my legs were great the whole run and I was able to help her achieve what she set out to do. However, I in no way take any credit whatsoever for her getting to that finish line, that was all her! She did all the work, she trained she pushed herself and she ran a great race. I just happened to be there to keep her company!

Over all this was a fabulous race! The weather could not have been more perfect, the course was great and I loved running with my sister. All in all it was a great racing weekend. I’m really excited too because just like I said, Rachel is already wanting to do another one so I know there will be more training and running together in our future! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The One About The Cowtown 10K {2013}

This past weekend I ran the Cowtown 10K as a part of the 2 days, 2 races Cowtown Challenge. I mentioned before that in 2011 Cowtown was the very first 10K that I ever ran and it was actually a pretty terrible day (it makes me laugh now, so many newbie mistakes!) I also mentioned that I was really excited to see what I had in me on race day and I was not only hoping to PR but also try and break the 60 minute mark.

Saturday morning came bright (well not really bright, it was still dark out) and early at the great hour of 4:00 am. I live about an hour from Fort Worth and the race started at 7:00 am. I also had to pick up my packets for myself and my sister. It’s really nice that they offer race day pick-up on Saturday because since I’m already driving out there 2 days having to go on Friday would have been way too many times out and back.

Alex and I arrived right at 6 and found FREE parking (another thing I love about Cowtown is free parking. Have I told you how much I hate having to pay to park at races?) I had no trouble at all getting my race packets for both days as well as my sister's for the next day. I was able to use inside bathrooms and even bought some gloves at one of the booths since it was freezing out! Then Alex and I sat around until 6:50, I wanted to stay warm as long as possible. It was about 38 degrees out and while I like running in those temps I do not like standing around in them. As we were leaving the exhibit hall I took a super speedy port-o-potty break one last time, took a photo and made my way into the starting corral. I told Alex I’d be back in 60 minutes and I truly meant it.

I really had no idea how the next 6 miles would pan out but I felt great, I felt really confident and I knew that I was going to give it my best shot without over-doing it for the day. I got fairly close to the front and right at 7 we took off. The course was exactly the same as I remembered it before. We start on 2 small uphill climbs and then after the first half mile we spend the next mile and a half going mostly downhill through old neighborhoods. I spent a good portion of the first mile dodging people and trying to find a comfortable spot, I forget just how many people walk a 10K! I’m glad to see them out there but it’s a bit annoying in the first few miles when every other person is walking. My first mile was pretty slow at 10:18 but in hind sight I think it worked out well.

My second mile was much faster at 9:25 and I told myself I really had to slow down, however, most of that was downhill so I tried not to freak out too much. At mile 2 I was still feeling really strong and I was breathing great and warmed up by then. About mile 2.5 we turned out of the neighborhood we were in onto a pathway that goes around a park area. I remembered from 2 years ago not really liking this portion and it was pretty much the same thing this time. Its pathway wasn’t well kept so there was lots of uneven parts and it was kind of narrow in parts. At the 3 mile marker there was a guy yelling out the time and I looked down and my Garmin only said 2.8 on it. I kind of freaked out thinking that the course must be short or my Garmin was freaking out and how was I supposed to know how close I was too my goal?! I actually then told myself that if the course was short then that would make my goal time easier to reach (I felt guilty for thinking such things but when you are out there running it comes to mind!)

We were only on that pathway for a little over a mile and I passed quite a few people along the way; the half way point really dropped a few people and I’m not going to lie, it was very motivating to start passing walkers half way in. I actually don’t remember what my splits were for the next 4 miles I tried to download my Garmin data last night and something went wrong with it so I don’t have them currently. I do know that at this point I was sitting at about a 9:44 average (I needed a 9:39 for 59:59).

Right before mile 4 there was another guy out yelling times to people but no mile marker flag, I was still confused thinking that the course was measuring short but then I saw the 4 flag and my Garmin as it turns out was spot on. Miles 4 through 5 were fairly quick miles running through some back areas of town and then eventually ending up by Montgomery Plaza to head back to the Will Rogers Coliseum. At mile 5 I looked down and realized that I was sitting at a 9:42 average pace and I was still feeling good so I pushed just a tad bit harder. Up to this point I was feeling great and breathing strong, I could still talk, although there was no one to talk to and my legs felt good.

At mile 5.5 I looked down and saw my average pace was now sitting at 9:40 and there was no way I was going to let a sub-60 minute finish slip away from me at this point. I wasn’t winded and I felt strong so I gave it just a bit more push. With half a mile left we were running by the park where we had run El Scorcho and that brought back some fun memories but there was also 2 inclines right here that I thought were super rude! I would say that the last 3 tenths of the race were definitely the hardest, I wanted to stop so bad but I just could not make myself stop no matter what. I had told myself I wouldn’t push too hard but I decided that it was all or nothing and that if pushing for half a mile was the worst of it then so be it.

My Garmin beeped the 6 mile mark and I could see the turn ahead of me I actually thought that was the final turn but there was one more up ahead, I just wanted to be done. My Garmin was at 58 minutes and about to switch to 59 minutes. I gave it everything I had and then I saw Alex waiting there and that was all I needed to give it one final push to the finish. I finished in 59:49!

It’s hard to describe just how I felt at the finish line; I’m not sure I would say elated, although I was excited. I think a much better way to describe how I felt would to say I felt fulfilled. Running has taken me so many places and it hasn’t always been easy for me. I’m not a natural runner, I don’t have a family background in running and speed does not come easily. But I have worked hard and I’ve put in a lot of time. I wasn’t necessarily training to run a sub-60 minute 10K but it was a goal of mine. I think in that moment I just felt like I was satisfied with my training and my efforts. I always knew that deep down inside of me I had the ability to reach my goals and dreams when it came to running, it was just a matter of letting myself believe it and embrace it, and that’s what Saturday was for me; it was embracing the fact that I CAN be good at something I set my mind to.

When I started running 2 years ago I sometimes wouldn’t make it out of a 13 minute mile pace and running anything sub 12 seemed impossible. I’ve always said that if I could find a happy spot at a 10 average pace then I would be good. Well let me tell you those 10’s only made me hungry for more. I honestly never in my wildest imagination thought I could see 9’s come across my pace average, never! But to be even more honest, those 9’s feel so much better than any 10, 11 or 12 minute mile did. I would also be lying if I didn’t tell you that those 9’s make me even more determined than those 10’s did. It’s a vicious cycle but I think I’m better acquainted with that beast now and know what I’m up against.

But for now I’m going to let that PR sit and just let it bask in all the glory that comes with it. I’m not sure when I’ll run a 10K again but I do know that I have bragging rights and I am super proud of them!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 10}

This past week was fabulous; hands down it was probably the best racing weekend I have ever had! I don’t want to spoil the race reports that I’m planning to have up later this week so here’s just a small tidbit of what went down.

Week 9 (Feb 18-24)

BodyPump + 3 miles

Done (4 miles)
5 miles

Elliptical 45 min (3.6 miles)
3 miles

5.7 mile run

Cowtown 10K

Done NEW PR!
Cowtown Half Marathon


30+ miles

33 miles

Monday I took the day off since I had run Sunday.

Tuesday night was my usual BodyPump class and I really pushed myself that night! I’ve got a wedding dress people and I want my arms to look A-mazing! I also did 3 mile post BodyPump that were actually kind of hard.

Wednesday the weather was actually really rainy and windy and very cold and I hadn’t packed anything warm enough to wear outside so I headed to the gym but couldn’t fathom the idea of another treadmill run so I hoped on the elliptical. I couldn’t tell you the last time I workout out on the elliptical but I would like that think that it was good for me to mix it up a bit.

Thursday I went out for an easy run just to enjoy the run, I wasn’t sure if I would do 3 miles or try to get 5 in to make up from the day before and I wanted to go an easy pace. I think that wound up being pretty successful.

Then if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know what an awesome racing weekend I had out at Cowtown. I will do separate posts for each race and will have those up at some point this week! I cannot wait to share with you guys just how awesome my sister did. I can definitely say hands down that this was one of my very favorite half marathons.

Today I am taking a complete rest day and I intend to fully enjoy it; my body is tired!

Here’s what the rest of this week looks like:

Week 10 (Feb 25-Mar 3)
BodyPump + 3 miles
6 miles
Little Rock Half Marathon
22+ miles

I’m taking a step back week since I’ve been running a lot lately. I also will be heading to Little Rock, AR this weekend for my bachelorette party and to run the Little Rock Half marathon! I am super excited for a fun girls weekend and one more race!

I hope you all have a great Monday! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

The One About Racing Cowtown This Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday I will be participating in 2 races as a part of the Cowtown Challenge. On Saturday I will be running the 10K and then on Sunday I will be running the half marathon with Rachel as she sets out to complete her first half marathon. I’m not going to lie, I am beyond excited for these 2 races!
The Cowtown 10K was my very first 10K race that I ever ran 2 years ago (read here) and I have only done one other 10K since then (read about that here; that was also the day I got engaged!). I know that on Saturday I plan to go out there and race the 10K; I am in great running shape right now and I know I have a pretty decent PR in me, the question is just how much do I have in me? I would absolutely love to go out there and shoot for a 60 minute 10K and honestly, I really think I could do it.

Most of my runs have been sub 9:50 lately and have felt fairly easy and comfortable. I know I would be fully capable of pushing myself for that extra bit of wiggle room to be able to see a 59:59 on the clock.

However, the 10K is not my only race this weekend and it’s definitely not the most important race. If I were only running the 10K on Saturday I would most definitely, 100% go out and aim for a sub-60 minute race. If I weren’t running with my sister for her first half marathon on Sunday then I would probably go for it too and take Sunday easy.

But here’s the deal, Rachel is fast; and dare I say that while right now we are pretty good for each other pace-wise I know that one day she can/will be faster than me. She has nailed all her training run and her long runs have been outstanding! I have been beyond impressed with her and her ability to run so well, which means there is no way I am going to do anything to jeopardize my ability to run well with her on Sunday. So on Saturday my goal will be to see a sub-10 minute pace average for the race.

Now I do realize that puts me awfully close to my sub-60 minute goal, in fact heart-breakingly close but I want to run well. Last night I ran 5.71 miles with a 9:44 average and it felt good, great even.

 I could have totally kept that up for another half mile and so if I feel exactly the same way tomorrow as I did last night then you better believe I will be going for it. But I’m going to listen to myself and if I at all feel like I’m pushing myself way too hard then I’ll back off. I have figured out that I could even get a PR with an 11:15 pace average which I know is fully doable. Clearly I put way too much thought into this but seriously, as much as I am not a numbers person I really love the numbers when it comes to running! 

So there, that’s my goal for Saturday: to PR hopefully with a number somewhere in the low 60 minute range, or less.

Now, as for Sunday I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for this race. My sisters are the most important people to me and so to share something that I love so much with one of my sisters has been amazing. Training with her and running with her has made my heart so full of joy. I have felt blessed beyond belief to wake up on Saturday mornings and run with her. Rachel has pushed me to be a better runner just as much if not more than I have pushed her to be successful. She has impressed me every step of the way I know she is more than ready to go out and run a great race. We have been chatting back and forth this week and aside from being less than thrilled with our wake-up time on Sunday morning I think she’s ready.

Thankfully she doesn’t get quite as caught up in the numbers as I do and she’s much better about not being as hard on herself as far as time is concerned (middle child for you!) but I do know that she would like her race to reflect the training that we have done. So other than our goal to finish a strong race we have a goal of trying to maintain an 11:30 pace average for the day. That gives us a finish time of 2:30. I know this is definitely something that she is capable of. Our plan, as it has been with our training runs will be to start off with a 6:1 set (running 6 minutes and then walking 1 minute) and then eventually work our way up from there. In training we would sometimes hit 10 or 12 minutes before a walk break so hopefully race day we can do the same. I bought her a handheld water bottle for her birthday so she will have that with her and we experimented on training runs with GU so I think she has that planned out as well.

Our mom is going with us and dropping us off and staying for the race. Our dad and stepmom also plan to come out and spectate as well with signs and all. I remember them being there during my first half marathon and I loved seeing them along the way. We have the best, most supportive family and I am truly grateful. Sunday is Rachel’s day to shine and if I’m being honest here then I should probably tell you that I would bet money on me crying at the finish line, I’m just emotional like that. I keep thinking back to my first half marathon (you can read about it here) and honestly as proud as I was of that day it was kind of a disaster and a disappointment for me; it took me a good year and a half to really get into a good racing groove. But I am so excited for Rachel because I have high hopes that this will be a great first half marathon experience for her. She’s already told me that she wants to keep running and do more races in the future and if she’s already saying that now I can only imagine how elated she will feel at the finish line. You know exactly what I’m talking about, you’ve all been there too, that awesome feeling of “when can I do this again!?” Yeah, I’m excited for her to have that feeling.

So those are my thoughts for this weekend. Everyone wish Rachel good luck and I’m sure we will be posting on twitter (@unlikelyrunners) and instagram (unlikelyrunners) all the racing fun if you want to follow along!

Is anyone else racing this weekend?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The One About The Livestrong Austin Half Marathon {2013}

I love this course. LOVE. IT. Call me crazy but I really think that this may be one of my favorite race courses ever. I love the hills and the challenge, I love the start and finish at the capitol building and I love the spectators and the city of Austin. This was my second year to run this race (read last year’s race report here) and while I would have really liked to race this course this year I decided to take it easy and spend my time chatting with Tyly instead.

Alex and I headed down to Austin on Friday evening after work, we were spending the weekend there with my sister and brother-in-law and we had plans to celebrate my middle sister’s birthday, which was Saturday, but more on all that later. Saturday I slept in and it was absolutely glorious, I cannot remember the last time I got to sleep in like that and it was definitely what I needed. Once up Alex and I made our way to the race expo to pick up my packet, cruise the expo and find some lunch. We also wanted to walk around the University of Texas campus because that’s high on Alex’s list of law schools (he got an acceptance call earlier this week!).

After getting my packet we walked around and bought some Nuun, got 4 free water bottles, score!! (my mom says I have a problem with water bottles, I’m not sure I know what she’s talking about….) and then I found some great sales at the Luke’s Locker booth. Saturday was filled with many other fun activities but I’ll save that for another post.

Sunday’s race had a 7am start time and while I don’t particularly like the early morning wakeup calls I definitely like the earlier starts. My sister lives about 25 minutes north of Austin and so we left super early to meet Tyly by 5:20 right outside of the downtown area. We wanted to carpool in and take one car so that we could find each other easily and not have to worry about paying for 2 cars to park. Alex navigated us perfectly and we found a parking garage with free parking right by the capitol building with absolutely no trouble at all. Alex proceeded to take a 3 hour nap while Tyly and I went in search of port-o-potties and the start line.

We were able to use the port-o-potties twice with no lines and take our picture by the finish area and then we stood and waited until it was time to head to the start area. It was cold but not too cold and we both had toss-away sweatshirts on so we were good. Right at 7 the race started and since there were no corrals it didn’t take too long to get to the start. I like that they don’t have corrals and it actually seems to work fairly well for this race and I’m not sure why; there’s not confusion, they have times posted to line up by and people just seem to be courteous of that. I also love that they start on the front lawn of the capitol building; for someone that loves Texas history and takes pride in their state as much as I do this race is like heaven on earth to me. Imagine standing there getting ready to do something you absolutely love, in front of your beloved states capitol and then seeing the sun rise, it cannot get any better, it just can’t!

I mentioned last week that I would have liked to race this race and see what I had in me, especially with the tough course and hills which I really like but I decided that I wanted to stick with Tyly the whole time so I told her that I was at her mercy for pace and walk breaks. The first 2 miles were in the downtown area and there were some small rolling hills but nothing major. We ran the first mile and a half and then I told her that my advice would be to save some energy because we wanted to be sure and run as much up the hills as we could but starting and stopping on hills is hard. At mile 1.5 we started following a 4:1 run to walk series and we kept that up at least until mile 4. At mile 2.5 we started the big 3 mile climb up Congress Street. I really like this climb and I think there are some great crowds in here and fun shops to look at and well I just like the giant climb!

Around mile 4 Tyly started feeling a bad blister so at a water stop we stopped and she got some Vaseline to put on it. From there we tried to stick to a 4:1 but honestly I’m not sure after that if we really had anything set in stone or not. I tried to encourage her to run as much as possible and she would let me know when she needed a break. The first 4 miles flew by for me and then mile 5 seemed like the longest mile in the world! We were getting to the top of the hill where we turned along the highway to head back down First Street; First Street is one giant downhill and it comes as such sweet relief after that huge climb you just made. We ran as much of this portion as we could trying to make up some time from the up hills and the walk breaks. This was a good 2.5 mile stretch of downhill and we did really well.

At mile 8 we are crossing back over the river to go left along the river along Caesar Chavez. Once we crossed the river I knew we were heading into a somewhat boring (to me) portion of the race but I also knew there weren’t many hills. Right after crossing the bridge and turning left there was a crowd of people cheering and there is a lady in a wheel chair kind of off to the end of the group sitting and giving out high fives so I of course ran over to her so I could get a high five, so sweet. Then I look up and about 2 feet next to her there’s Bart Yasso just standing by himself cheering people on and giving out high fives. I was so dumbfounded that I actually forgot to give him a high five but that most definitely made my day! Bart Yasso, on the course just cheering for people, how cool is that?!? Pretty darn cool if you ask me!

Right after that there is always the Livestrong sponsored water stop and cheer section and let me tell you, they are so motivating! There are so many people cheering and yelling and encouraging you, they do a really great job and I remembered how awesome it was last year and this year was no different. Tyly and I were still plugging along running as much as we could and walking whenever she needed; we were definitely walking more now but she was hanging in there and not getting mad at me when I would make her run again, which was good! There was an older couple around us about this point and the guy was pushing his wife along who was clearly struggling for the day. They were making us laugh because the husband was clearly a much better runner and better trained and he was getting frustrated but trying not to, he would run ahead some and then come back. The wife kept telling him to go on and go ahead but he kept saying that he’s stayed with her for this long there’s no point in continuing on. We were laughing and wound up talking to them some. He actually told me that I looked really familiar and asked me if I ran other races that he might have seen me at. Oh mister, if you only knew! Haha. He had run the Dallas marathon and some other recent races and said that he must have seen me before. Clearly I have a problem with racing…

last BIG hill is done!

At mile 11 the full marathoners and half marathoners split and we turned right to head back downtown. There was one more huge, giant hill at the end of mile 11 and I ran up the whole thing! It was killer but totally worth it. Tyly ran up most of it and I was so proud of her. I knew she was getting tired and I was pushing her when I knew she would rather be walking but we were right at mile 12 and I knew she could push just a little bit more. The last mile we wove through the downtown streets and up a few smaller hills. Right before mile 13 we merged with the full marathoners which I always like. I knew we had a right turn ahead of us and then a left turn in front of the capitol building to the finish. I told Tyly that once we made that first right turn I wanted her to give it all she had because we had only about two tenths of a mile left. That girl took off on me; I was sprinting to keep up with her! I was actually starting to wonder where she had been keeping this energy and thought she must have held back to school me at the finish haha. I saw Alex at the finish and then a few yards down were my sisters and bro-in-law and their 2 friends. I was so excited to have them at the finish line!

Tyly and I finished in 3:02; half marathon #20 was in the books for me. I have to say that after that race I have so much respect for people who may not be all that fast but still get out there and do it anyways. I don’t mean to offend anyone at all by this but: the faster I get the more respect I have for those that are slower. Again, no offense to anyone at all, in fact quite the opposite, I realized that I worked just as hard, if not harder while out there for 3 hours as I would have if I had raced it and gone for a 2:25 like I had wanted. Sure I have worked hard for the speed I’ve gained and sure I should be proud of that but hats off to those of you that spend 3+ hours on a race course accomplishing a goal, that is no easy feat and you have my utmost respect. Time is completely irrelevant at the end of the day; I did the very same distance as everyone else and therefore gave it my all. Sure it was hard going someone else’s pace and sure I walked a whole lot more than I’m used to but I didn’t work any less that day than I would have if I had gone out and run it like I’ve been training. I’m glad that I was able to spend time with a friend and I’m glad that I was able to be at the finish with her and I would do it all again given the chance! It’s good to push yourself to do new and different things and I will never regret choosing to spend time with a friend over racing for the sake of a certain time on the clock. Austin will always be there and I love that course so much I know I will be back; I can race it some other time for sure. But Sunday was a day to invest time in a friendship and enjoy Austin. The weather could not have been more perfect and I could not love a race course any more and I had the best time out there!

Once done we easily found our people and I was just so glad my sisters and Alex were there, it made this race really special to have them there. I then went in search of my Marathons of Texas Medal; I earned that thank you very much! 

probably my favorite race picture EVER!

And then we went in search of food trucks! That turned into quite an ordeal to find food trucks but once we got that straightened out we enjoyed a lovely lunch. It was a gorgeous day and sitting outside was great. After lunch, Alex and I walked to the other block to stop at Gordough’s, the gourmet doughnut place for the most sinfully good donuts ever, ever!

I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Austin; celebrating my sister’s birthday, spending time with family and running with a running friend all just made my heart so full!

read Tyly's race report here

Monday, February 18, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {week 9}

I wish I had time to talk about my week because it was a good one as far as workouts are concerned, especially Wednesday night but I’m tight on time today. So for now you will just get my recap chart and then a look at this week’s workouts. I plan to post later this week my thoughts on this up coming weekend of races, I just might be extremely excited for them!

Here’s what I did last week:

Week 8 (Feb 11-17)

BodyPump + 3 miles

Done (4 miles)
5 miles

3 miles + yoga

3 miles

3 miles

Austin Half Marathon

27+ miles

And here’s what I have planned this week:

Week 9 (Feb 18-24)
BodyPump + 3 miles
5 miles
3 miles
Cowtown 10K
Cowtown Half Marathon

30+ miles

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start, I know several people had today off, I did not. But tonight I get to celebrate my sister’s birthday yet again so I’m looking forward to that!