Tag Archives: running buddy

Training Journal: Houston Marathon 2019

Yesterday was the big day. I avoided the flu, drove like an old woman to avoid further car accidents, and made my way to Houston

I was nervous from the time I woke up Saturday until the time I woke up Sunday and went out into the cold to wait for our Uber. Richard kept telling me it would be fine but I wasn’t sure. We went to our corrals and proceeded to start our marathons – his 5th and my first.

It was hard. Harder than anything I’ve ever done. There were so many times I just wanted to give up but I couldn’t. Not after everything that happened.

This marathon was a year and a half in the making. I was. Not. Giving. Up. I kept running. Richard started a campaign of harassment/support that got me through the last miles.

I was 9 minutes over. The finish line was being taken down. Rather than letting me and the others suffer for nothing, they led us down a little path lined with pinwheels that was actually really cool, and into the convention center where I was given my medal, shirt, finisher mug, and food. I staggered outside into the sun and dropped onto the fountain to wait for Richard.

Friends, when I saw him I started crying. Without his support and encouragement I don’t know that I would have even signed up for the damn thing if he hadn’t told me he knew I could.

So now I’m officially a marathoner. I’m taking the next week or two off before the Cowtown and then the Pearland half with Richard and Charlotte. Richard also wants to do the Skyline half in April because we are crazy people. I’ll never forget my first marathon, though.

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Training Journal: Divas Virtual Half Marathon…2018?

Amanda and me, getting ready to start. Cold. Remember the virtual half Amanda and I were going to do that ended up turning into a New Year’s Day 5K? Of course the missing packet shows up on January 2nd! After a comedy of errors that included a hellish crick in my neck, we set the date for yesterday. Friends, it was cold. 38 degrees to be precise. Amanda was almost frozen but I’ve run in 19 degree weather so I knew I’d make it.

Since she was running the 5K and I was doing the half, I mapped out a route that would take us out and back together so we could snap a picture of us with our medals before I went back out for another 10 miles. The Diva series is known for its huge fancy medals and before she saw mine Amanda asked if it was a thing with them. It is. It’s totally a thing.

After a quick hug, Amanda went to warm up and I went back to the trail after a cup of water. Somehow it felt like it had gotten colder but I started on my way, having mapped the rest of the route through Trinity Park. Even in the winter it’s beautiful, and I enjoyed it.

It may not have been the best idea to do this the weekend before the marathon but – and I know I never mentioned it before – I have anxiety. I knew that doing the half would make me feel better, whether it proved I’d crash and burn at the marathon or gave me hope, so I decided to do it for the sake of my mental health. I’m so glad I did! I kept a good pace, made good time, and my legs don’t feel any worse than they did Saturday (which was not at all). In order to finish the marathon in the allotted 6 hours, I need to keep a pace of 13:44/mile. Today I ran 13.1 and sustained a pace of 13:29/mile. Yes, I am slow. I finished in 2:56:00, which is my best time since last May, and I almost cried.

I’m still certain I won’t finish in 6 hours. Feeling good or not, I was still tired after the half so I doubt I can keep my pace under 14:00/mile. If I can keep it around there, though, I might be able to finish just a hair over 6 hours and get an unofficial finish. No medal or swag, but I’ll know where I am and whether or not I can finish the Cowtown. The most important thing is that I continue to live by Deadpool’s motto: “Maximum Effort.”

Next year I think I’ll see if Amanda wants to do this again. I had fun and feel extremely good about myself, and I got to spend time with a friend I don’t see much anymore. And that, folks, makes me feel like an actual Diva.

Training Journal: Do It for the Pancakes

I admit it, I like food. And some of the best food is the stuff you eat after a race. Tacos, Indian thalli, stuffed grape leaves, bananas, and possibly my fave part of the Cowtown Weekend: the little cup of vanilla Blue Bell. Today was no different because this morning was the Cowtown pancake social run.

Last year I had to miss it because of work but now that I have weekends off I punched the “going” button so hard I nearly cracked my screen. Not long after that my friend Gemma texted me and asked if I wanted to go together. Pancakes and a running buddy? Yes please!

When we got there it was packed because the entire Fort Worth running community advocates eating pancakes and we saw some of our friends and coaches there too! It was a lot like the Hell’s Half Acre; everyone just got together and hung out beforehand. We chatted, signed waivers, and perused the sale racks, picked up maps, and headed out into the cold to run our chosen distance. Gemma and I selected the 6 mile route because we’re slow and I have a marathon next weekend, and we were off!

One of my fave things about running with a friend is that we can chat and enjoy ourselves for several miles. We had a good time, gossiped, and hydrated properly. In spite of the hills we made really good time and everything was good until I missed a turn. I got us back on track but instead of running 6 miles we ran a little over 10K so we definitely deserved both the sausage and the pancakes that greeted us on our return.

After the pancakes, we hung out at the Cowtown office (it’s pretty big) with 200 of our closest friends. The Cowtown is one of the biggest events in town, second only to the Stock Show, and it assures that any party is going to be a runaway success. Gemma signed up for this year’s race but I am waiting to see how things go in the Houston Marathon this coming weekend. If I finish, I’ll do the half. If I fail spectacularly, I’ll try for the Cowtown full. One way or another I’m doing a dang marathon this year.

I was actually surprised by my pace this morning though! My average was 13:17 and I felt good! It gives me hope that if I can’t finish the marathon in time, at least I won’t take 8 hours to finish. Hope springs eternal, I guess!