Category Archives: Races

Texas 1/2 Marathon, Kingwood 2013

This year I decided to do the 1/2 marathon again on New Year’s Day. What a great way to start the new year! Unfortunately, this year it was a bit rainy. However, it did make for almost optimal running with the cooler temps and no glaring sun!

Last year was the year of the pig. This year was the year of the rat. Nice, right?! They did have a cute inflatable rat in a trap though. It looks all shimmery but that’s just because it was raining.

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My running coach, Liz, was there to cheer us on this year! I also met Sandra and Ruth (Sandra in middle) who will be part of our 4 man Marathon relay in March! That was a pleasant surprise.

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We all gathered around the starting line trying to stay warm as we waiting for the sun to rise. The park is closed from dusk to dawn, so we had to wait for the dawn to move in!

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At 8 AM, it was officially start time for the Marathon. I had originally signed Mike and I up for the 1/2 Marathon, but Mike decided he was going to run the full. Yep…not training…just jump in with both feet! Doesn’t he look excited?!

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They counted down the seconds then the Marathon group took off. We 1/2 Marathoners were left to wait 15 minutes to give the first group a chance to spread out some.

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This year I had completed all of my training and came through without any injuries, so I was feeling pretty good! When 8:15 AM hit, I was off like lightening! So fast, I’m nothing but a blur!

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Ok, so I wasn’t that fast but I was going faster than I should have been that early in the race. My adrenaline always gets the best of me. I tried to slow it down a bit but I was already starting to get some shin splints. Thankfully they were gone by mile 3. Normally they have signs posted on the trees with everyone’s name, but since it was raining they didn’t have them this time. However, it was still a nice run.

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The loop goes along the greenbelt trails behind and among houses then wraps around Lake Houston. This is one of my favorite parts because you can always see ducks and other birds hanging around.

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There’s a man-made lake that we also run around after the turn around and on our way back to the start. That’s a nice little loop as well. For the 1/2 marathon we get to go around it twice! This is where Liz was waiting to cheer us on. More cowbell please! This photo was after the first loop. I was a bit more fresh that time than the second.

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I passed Mike several times, as I did many other runners. Since the Marathon people go around the loop 4 times you’ll see them going and coming! I was passed by the two lead Marathoners before I finished my first loop. They were hauling. I believe first place finished in 3:10:00.

When I made the first turnaround, I decided I was going to run until I just HAD to walk. It was too hard to do intervals with all the stopping and starting. Once I stopped running it was very hard to get going again. So, I ended up running (albeit slowly) the last 10 miles of the race! I was hurting toward the end. Mike passed me the last time and made the comment that he was hurting at that point too. Unfortunately, he was just heading out for his last loop while I was about a mile and a half from the finish!

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 3:14:43 which put me at a sub 15 pace (14:52) and was a PR (205 out of 259)!! I was about 9 minutes faster than the year before. I was hurt last year though, so it makes me wonder a bit if I hadn’t been hurt what I could have done. *shrug*

The race photos were kinda funny this year. I looked way too happy (first loop…again!):

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And Mike looked just flat out bored!

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Liz, Sandra, and Ruth were at the finish line. It was nice to have people cheering me on at the finish line! I grabbed a slice of pizza, a couple of chocolate chip cookies (Hey, I earned it!), and some water while Liz and I waited for Mike to finish. He had a goal of finishing in 4 hours or less. His official time was 4:02:43 (9:16/M; 51 out of 248). That is outstanding for someone who didn’t run any further than 10 miles leading up to this! You could tell he was hurting though as he crossed over.

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I was, and am, very proud of him. We grabbed our medals and headed home. He was so cold afterward he was shaking and just couldn’t get warm. We had the heat up full blast in the car and when we got home I bundled him up in flannel pants, a blanket, and my space heater! This is one reason why we train people!! You have to get your body used to the distances. Mike swore he’d never do another marathon but a few days later he was already calculating how to beat this year’s time!

Even though I said I wasn’t going to, that this 1/2 was going to be my last long run, I signed Mike and I up for the FULL Marathon next year! Afterall, what better year to do my marathon than the Year of the Elephant!

 

 

Color Me Rad 5K, Austin, Texas

Who knew that mixing food coloring with corn starch could make for a fun race? I originally was supposed to do the Color Run in Houston back in November, but I had to cancel. Thankfully, my friend Amy had already signed up for the Color Me Rad (horrible name, in my opinion!) 5K in Austin, so I decided to hang with her and Jeremy! We had to wear white to the race, otherwise how would you know how colorful you could get?!

I look a bit like a hospital patient with the headband…oh well! There were quite a few people there trying to get shirts and other race swag. Some people would do anything to stand out!

We were supposed to run in the 10:30 heat, but decided to go ahead and line up with the 10:00 crowd. We had gone out to watch some local bands the night before and the last thing we wanted to do was stand around any longer than necessary!

When it’s time to take off, they spray down the front people with color right away then send us out to the course. There were some interesting outfits! It very much felt like an 80’s party (notice the colorful sunglasses and use of “Rad”!).

Throughout the course there were color stations where they would throw different colored powder on you or spray you down with liquid of some sort! The powder was extremely difficult to breathe in.

If that picture doesn’t explain why it’s difficult to breathe, this one should!

The further you got in the race the more colorful everyone was. I ran toward the middle of the group so I wasn’t as covered as most. Which is a good thing because it was hard enough to wash off the color I did have embedded in my ears, nose, and just about every nook and cranny!

After the race they had “color bombs” they set off now and then, which basically consisted of everyone throwing color in the air. You got one free color packet at the finish line but could buy more if you wanted to. I’d be curious to know how much they made on the color packets alone. I’ll make you a bucket full for $20!

Amy and Jeremy got blasted a lot more than I did! We completed the race in 50:47…not too shabby!

Until next year!

Run Thru the Woods, 5 Miles

Mike and I got to the Run Thru the Woods starting line early. They were setting up the awards stand (sorry to the guy whose bum I caught in this photo) and getting ready for the festivities!

They had all sorts of food, including cookies, brownies, bananas, mixed fruit, coffee and hot chocolate. I got a cup of mixed fruit and enjoyed a little extra breakfast.

They had this huge monster truck called the Whambulance. It was strictly for publicity…of course! It’s so big you can’t hardly see the guy standing by the back tire looking underneath it. It’s a bit dark because it was just breaking dawn (no, not with vampires). I met up with Liz and some of the other people in my running group and we did a warm up before the race. I think we did a little over a mile.

Once I finished with the warm up I found Mike again and we lined up for the start. There were a lot of people there! I was a little surprised because it was Thanksgiving morning, but I was also happy to see the turnout!

They have a Pine Cone Award if you run three specific races in three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). To promote that, they had this little guy walking around!

The horn blasted and we were off. It’s really hard to see in this picture but about a half mile in to the race we had to go over an overpass. It was really quite cool to see all of the people running up and over the overpass. If you click on the picture you may be able to see the enlarged version.

I looked at my watch as I was approaching the overpass and it said my pace was 12:30. That was wayyy too fast for me, so I slowed it down. Why? So I would be able to run the race without fading out and so I wouldn’t get shin splints! However, it was very hard to slow down too much. I had people going around my right side where there was only an inch or two of running room. Really? Go around the other side people!

I was passed by an older woman toward the beginning that chose as my target. I always pick one woman to try and beat so I keep pushing myself to go. As I got up and over the over pass and 80 year old woman passed me. I felt very small at that point in time! Onward and upward!! About mile 1.5 I passed the red shirt lady (she put up quite a fight because she didn’t want me passing) and was ahead of her for a good 1 1/2-2 miles. She went past me as we entered a neighborhood. That was ok though because I was still going to beat her in the end. She was using up her energy, I was conserving until the end. I also picked out a guy in a red t-shirt that was in front of me too. Apparently, I was the bull being attracted to red!

I wanted to reach the 4 mile mark before I saw Mike again. He always comes back to finish races with me, but I want to be as close to done as I can be before he shows up! One of these days I’ll finish before he comes back…maybe! He ran with me back up the overpass, which stinks at the end of a race, and almost to the finish line. As I was going over the overpass I passed the woman in red again because she had gassed out. So, I set my sights on the man and kept plugging away. Mike took my phone and ran ahead so he could get a picture of me crossing the finish line when we had about  1/4 mile left to go. That’s when I decided to really push it.

I turned on the boosters and gave it all I had. I passed the guy and his wife and was feeling pretty good until I rounded the corner and realized I may have turned it on a little too quick! However, I dug deep and made it across the finish line well ahead of the couple. Mike was no where to be found. When I did find him, he told me he wasn’t able to get a picture of me because he couldn’t figure out how to take the photo and apparently I came to the finish line too quickly because he wasn’t ready! All in all, that’s a win in my book! My official time was 1:10:41 which is a 14:08 pace!! Yeah buddy! I was 2126th out of 2150 participants. Mike finished in 35:57 with a pace of 7:11. I know, right? Men….

Pure determination! These are proof photos from the raceshots people…

 

Week 1 Done, Whole30

The first week was tough. I won’t lie. I was tired and cranky and just not feeling it! In fact, yesterday I was ready to just throw in the towel and call it good. I was tired of having to worry about what I was eating, what was in what I was eating, and how much of it I was eating. At least this hit last night after I had made the day cleanly so I didn’t break my Whole30. This morning I’m feeling a little more renewed and will give it one more week. That’s the best I can offer right now.

I made some spicy cilantro meatballs and green beans for dinner Wednesday night. It actually turned out really well! I was a little hesitant after the chicken noodle-ss soup, but I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. Definitely a keeper. I also made it for dinner last night with julienned zucchini. I think I like the zucchini better with it!

Thursday morning Mike and I had a race, Run Thru the Woods. It was a 5 mile race and you had to keep a minimum pace of 15:00 or the sag wagon would pick you up to clear off the course. Being that I was averaging about a 15:30 pace on most of my practice runs I was a bit nervous about this one. Thankfully, I was able to keep my pace up and even finished with a record setting 14:08 pace! Official time was 1:10:41. Official post coming soon.

After the run we went home and watched the Texans game. It went on forever…and ever. Glad they won, but not so close next time guys…mmmkay? That evening we picked up a turkey dinner from Cracker Barrel and went to Mike’s parents’. That was about the extent of our Thanksgiving.

Friday I got up about 8, did a nice weight workout and headed over to my Aunt Linda’s. We worked on finishing up Dakota’s quilt top. I’m debating finishing this quilt and giving it to Jackie instead since I’m not sure a 13 year old boy will like it and doing something football themed for Dakota. He may have to get it for his birthday instead of Christmas though. It’s in the first week of January though so it’s not like I’ll have much extra time!

Saturday I slept in again until about 8. Then after putting up groceries I headed out for my 8 mile run. I forgot my Garmin, so I used an app on my phone. I think the app was wrong and I actually went further than 8 miles. Several times it was telling me my pace was 25:00…I know I wasn’t going that slow! However, I made myself go until it said I hit 8 miles then headed to Academy to do some Christmas shopping. I also picked Mike up a Garmin Forerunner 10. He mentioned a couple of times wanting to know his pace during these races so I got a Garmin that was very basic but still GPS. At dinner he told me he needed my help getting our mule (the car…not the animal) unstuck. “It’ll be easy” he said.

We spent 3 hours getting that sucker unstuck. We also had to get the skid steer unstuck and whole lot of other commotion. Let’s just say I’m glad we got it done without the skid steer dumping into the creek and someone losing an arm with a cheapo chainsaw! I’ll never trust his “It’ll be easy” again. Little did I know my “gift” I bought myself that day would be fitting!

Sunday, Mike and I went to church then he watched football while I met Aunt Linda again and did some shopping. I tried to make some Whole30 friendly pumpkin muffins, ok so it’s not really whole30 friendly since they tell you not to make “junk food substitutes” but all the ingredients were whole30 friendly, and they were a “fail”. They stuck to the pan and tasted like crap.

Aunt Linda and I walked around the Town Market area for a while and ate lunch at Tommy Bahama’s. Once we finished up there I headed home to finish watching some of the games with the family. It was a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Hello Doctor!

Today was my six week follow up appointment from my last dilation. He seemed very happy to see that the shelf has not started forming again. Everything is looking nice and healthy! I asked him if he could tell a difference when he does the dilation as to whether it is getting better or not. He said he could but what happens a lot of times is people with tracheal stenosis know how good it feels after having the dilation (literally, a breath of fresh air!) and they tend to think their stenosis is getting worse (or back to the original state) sooner than it actually is. We become “greedy” as he said. Now, he didn’t mean that in a mean way, just stating a fact. I believe it. I know how great I feel after my dilation that as soon as the breathing gets worse I’m ready to get stretched out again. However, I always wait until my Peak Flow reads 150 or worse before actually doing the dilation. That way, I’m not getting them too soon and causing more damage in the long run.

He said he’s trying to get me to where it’s manageable and I can be one of his patients that’s currently 5-8 years from their last dilation. That would be AWESOME! If I could breathe this well from now on, I’d be happy. Of course, I always have the option of tracheotomy or a resection surgery but those aren’t even on my list right now. I’ll keep managing it with the dilations (sometimes with laser and balloon, sometimes just balloon).

When feeling my throat he asked if I’d ever had problems with my thyroid. I told him years ago (15+) I had hypothyroidism but it’s been fine for the past several years. Something in the way my thyroid felt made him a little uneasy, which in turn made me uneasy! Guess, we’ll see how it goes from here. Next appointment is in 6 months! By then, I’ll have run my Run Thru the Woods 5 Miler1/2 marathon, Color me Rad 5K, Hot Chocolate 5K, and Run for your Life 5K! That’s more races in 6 months than I’ve done in a year!