- All of my plans prior to the actually race were falling through, I was really tempted to stay home. My very dear friend, my sistah Ang, was unable to come with me. I have taken many trips alone, but for not being prepared to be alone, I was in a bit of a crisis before leaving to Austin. During my drive, I prayed for consolation, for a new friend, to run into someone, for someone to somehow figure out a way to meet me in Austin...
And lo and behold, driving down I-10 to Austin, the Van Zandt's honk and wave! I was SO HAPPY!! VERY HAPPY! My friend David Van Zandt passed away recently and I've known his family for a while, but never had much interaction with them as much as I did with David, except for his mom Patti. Anyway - it was really sweet how it was a divine dinner plan!
The Van Zandt's are LOADS of fun! Their high pitch brother/sister banter and the teasing of their mom had me smiling the rest of the night while I prepared for the race.
- I woke up at 3:45. Why? I have no idea. It was way before my alarm went off...okay, only 30 minutes, but still. I was out of the door by 4:30, ready to encounter serious traffic!! I mean, there were only 20,000 people running. Well, there was no traffic...and I was the first at the bag check...and probably one of four runners taking pictures at the Capitol Building at 5:30 in the morning. The good thing about this is that I got the BEST free parking spot EVER!!
- There was a woman from Monterrey, Mexico that I ran into while we waited for the race to start. It started at 7. We didn't cross the starting line until 7:20. Conversation with her was awesome - we had a lot in common. That was the last I saw of her.
- For the life of me, I cannot remember if we had just crossed or were about to cross the start line...This woman tripped and fell. She was going to get up and start back up, but her knee cap was off to the side. She cried for both the pain and the disappointment of not running this race. I felt so bad for her, and hope her recovery will allow her to run again!
- A few minutes into mile one, I heard THE SONG! The song that makes me feel like I'm in a movie with me skipping around and doing twirls. Are you ready? ..........DANCING QUEEN! :o)
- From here on out, I have no idea how each mile went. It's really all a blur. The hills are brutal! BRUTAL!!
- Mile 9 is the only one I can remember! There were loads of people in the yellow LIVESTRONG shirts and yellow banners with a bold black font with words like: Strength! Courage! Finish! And the roads were written all over using chalk with stuff like: You're Stronger than You think! You can do this! Finish strong!
At this point I thought, I can't believe I'm running another half. I was really close to doing a beauty queen cry!! The kind where you flap your hand and tears start welling up in your eyes.
Races are amazing! (Which reminds me that there are a lot of people out there with amazing stories! This man wore a shirt that said: "One day I will not be able to run, but today I CAN!" He's been diagnosed with a muscle something or other and in a few years he'll be in a wheel chair.)
- I ran into another lady from Monterrey! She was running the full marathon! We gave each other pep talks and got to talk a picture together before our courses split. I can't wait to see if they post it on the website!! She was a gem!
- At mile 11, I think, there is a NASTY...I mean - NASTY incline! I didn't train very well for hills, so I wasn't going to fool myself into running this. I walked it. An older lady had her husband give her a piggy back ride. It was kinda funny because she was holding her boobs in place the whole time until she got on her husbands back...hahaha! Anyway - on that hill, I prayed for God to please help me get through this. I was ready to sit it out. I started singing Star Smith's Song - I am Strong in the Lord. When I got to the top, I did a little skip and started running! It was AMAZING to conquer that beast!
- When I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I think I was in shock. I did a SPRINT for what it was worth! Where that energy comes from I have NO idea! But it's amazing!
- Word of advice: If you ever run a race like this, take cash and wait for a massage! HEAVEN! I actually drooled!! HAHAHA!!
- My car was only a few steps from the massage tent. PRAISE GOD! If you know me at all, you know very well, I'm directionally challenged! This was seriously the perfect parking spot!! I pulled out all of my food from my trunk to the passengers seat and headed for home.
- The official finishing time for me was: 3:08:24. Sure, it was slower than my last half (Jan. 17 - 2.45), but I am seriously not at all upset by it! I am SOOOO very proud and thankful that I was able to finish.
a. I didn't train as much for this one because I was recovering from my ever aching feet from the last race.
b. HILLS KILL!
c. The wind will slow you down.
d. I FINISHED!
AND - I have officially accomplished on of my 2011 goals!! YESSSS! I think I'll do another one in the fall. I'll stick with 5 and 10k's until then. :o)
Running is seriously amazing! I encourage you to do it!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon and Half Marathon
Before I forget any details about a race that is already a blur, I want to write it all down! It's going to be in list form because seriously this mile by mile thing isn't going to happen this time around. The race was hard from the start!!