Saturday, November 1, 2014

Afterglow: Duke City Half Marathon Report

I've been relishing in the afterglow of completing my first half marathon! It was truly the greatest experience! My training was just what I needed, friends and family surrounded me, and the weather couldn't have been better. I've been savoring the sweet taste of pride and success upon keeping this commitment to myself...and honestly I haven't wanted to write about it because that somehow makes it seem like it's over...even though we both know that's far from the truth! So, then, where do I begin?! Well I'll pick up from where I left off in my last post...I was in Dallas!!

Erika, Drew and the kiddos showed up Tuesday evening in Dallas Giving us a little time to explore the area before driving back to ABQ. So here's a quick look at what we did:

Got up at 0545 to go for a 4-mile run

Checked out the amazing Dallas Arboretum!

So many pumpkins!! <3

Played with the nephews!

Kicked some booty in the gym with Erika!
And all too fast it was time to head home..but that only meant we were getting closer to race day and the entire family being in town!! I'm so glad I was able to make a trip back to Dallas. Last November is when this weight loss journey really took launch and Erika and David have played such a huge part in encouraging, inspiring, and motivating me!

So in the blink of an eye the entire family had made their way into town...Erika, Drew, and kids from Florida, David & Elise from Texas, and John & Lauren from Illinois! When we're all together we look a little something like this:

Olivia, Erika, Lauren, Adrian, John, David, Elise and me!

Ander, Erika, Abbie, Andrik, Sam and me

Family Selfie!

Me, David, Mom, Abbie, Amanda, Ben, Elise, John, Lauren, Ezra, Laura, Dad, Olivia, Andrik, Sam, Adrian, Drew, Erika, and Ander! Yes, that's everyone!
 It was truly wonderful having everyone together again! Even if it was for a fleeting moment I will cherish it forever. Before we knew it, it was Saturday evening and time to get ready for the run in the morning...this, of course, involved going through all the loot we acquired at the Expo! I got 2 free t-shirts (in addition to my race shirt) at this expo so that was really cool!! Here's a picture of all the goodies I collected:

Saturday evening we headed off to bed and Sunday morning came before I knew what hit me!
This was me before 1/2 marathon relay in Dallas at 259 lbs


210 pounds and about to run the entire 13.1!

In the Car waiting in traffic

Ben and Amanda waiting in traffic too!!

We had planned on getting to the race by 0600 but because of a late leave and traffic we ended up getting there with just enough time to pee, wave hello to everyone, and jump into the run (literally)! I was a little stressed out, if I'm being honest because I didn't want to be late but looking back it worked out for the better because I never really had time to be nervous about the run...we just took off!

Just getting started!!!

I didn't take that many pictures in the morning, before, or during the run...but thankfully David and Erika made up for my slacking! The first four miles flew by and I felt really good...I had my first energy gel Gu (espresso love because David said it was amazing...and it was) at mile 4. I wore my hydration belt (water bottle holder) because I didn't know how many hydration stations they would have...I'm really glad that I did! 

Almost to the halfway point...notice the photo-bomber behind Erika!!

Before I knew it we were at the turn around point! My dear friend Krystal and her momma were at the halfway point holding up signs for me which was amazing and super encouraging to see them! At mile 8 I had another Gu (jet blackberry..delicious) and started to feel a little sore in my right knee but other than that I felt good. Miles 7-10 seemed to take a little longer, even though we maintained a pretty consistent pace the entire way through!

At one point I had to looking over my shoulder (being sure not to spit on someone like I had accidentally done before in Dallas) I made sure the coast was clear. There was no one directly behind me so I went ahead and spat...well shortly after that this guy passes and says, "Thanks a lot!" I know that I did not shower him with my saliva...but he seemed to think I was spitting at him or being intentionally rude even though I truly wasn't! So be forewarned...if you ever run with me...I spit!

2.1 miles left!

Anyways, before I knew it we were at miles 10, 11, 12, and 13!! At about mile 11 a woman came from behind us and said, "I'm joining your group" we then informed her she was welcome and had made a wise decision...Erika then told her that we were celebrating my weight loss...I told her how much I have lost and she was super excited. So we all chatted together for a while. She told us how she had walked with a man for a bit who had hurt his knee or ankle and so she stayed with him until he was able to continue on by himself. That was really cool to hear! Don't you just love how loving (null the rude man who passed me ;] ) other runners are?! That's one of the many reasons I love running! I learned her name is Kathryn! She ran with us until about mile 12 and then she fell behind a bit. There was never a doubt in my mind that I'd be able to complete the run..but something happened at my 12. I realized that I was doing this: I made a promise to myself and I kept it. No one else went out and did the training for me. No one else ran when I didn't feel like going. No one else forced me to run when I'd rather sleep after getting off work...I promised myself I would do this..and I did.

1 mile left

About 0.5 miles left!!

 I was able to hold my emotions together until about 0.3 miles were left and you started hearing the cheering. I was starting to run faster and all my emotions were catching up with me! As we rounded the corner where the finish line was in site dad was there waiting to run the last bit with us (and that's a man who doesn't like to run)!! 

Dad, Me, random man in green, David, Abbie, Billy (thanks Erika for the awesome picture)!!

It was all I could do to draw in each breath as I started to cry with an overwhelming since of pride, joy, and excitement...and then it got worse when I saw my entire family (WITH AMAZING SIGNS)...all lined up cheering for me and my siblings!! 

I had no idea they had made signs!!

Touched my heart to read their inspirational thoughts!!! :D

Now if that's not love I don't know what is!! <3

It is a moment I don't think I will ever forget! I finished the whole 13.1 miles in 2:36:09 an 11:55 pace!! :D I am super happy with that finish time! My goal was to finish in under three hours and ultimately by I beat both of those goals!!


Billy, Abbie, Me, Drew, Erika, and David!!

 After we finished my calves were really tight so I just tried to stretch them out and rub it was only painful for about 10 minutes then they eased up. Maybe 15 minutes after finished Kathryn, the lady we had ran with had finished and she came up to me and said, "Thanks for sharing your story, you really touched me! I'm so proud of you" and she started to cry! It was so sweet to hear that from someone I didn't even know. You never know where you're going to make an impact!

Dad, Ben, and Amanda all completed the Duke City 10K!!! I am super proud of them for getting out there and completing their 10K even though they didn't get to train like they would've hoped to. The fact that they kept their commitment and did it makes me super proud and excited for them! 

Everyone except Sam and Ander!
So now you've heard it! First half marathon done...a million more ahead of me! Next one on the calendar is the Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon in Dallas in May 2015!! It sounds like more of my siblings may want to join in on this run we may have another family extravaganza on our hands in the near future. A year ago if you would've told me that I'd run a half marathon I probably would've laughed in your I see I'm capable of so much! I love it...and I don't want to stop!! So if you're sitting there reading this thinking you don't have it within you to complete promises you've made to yourself I'm here to call it...BS!!

"You're braver than you believe
and stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think!"
- Christopher Robin

Alright I'm almost done...I just wanted to share a couple more pictures...Saturday evening I had said to my siblings, "dang it I didn't get stuff to make posters!" and that was pretty much it...apparently what I didn't know is that I had been secretly totting around my own posters in my car and they had made them right under my nose without me noticing!! Thanks Elise (and Elise's coworkers who helped make amazing signs) and David (and Ben and Amanda for letting David and Elise use your printer) for putting together some amazing signs for me! You guys are awesome!!

If you're from NM you'll appreciate the poster on the right!!

This poster is extra special because David and I learned how to twerk like this ice cream cone that is featured in Katy Perry's music video, "This is how we do!"

Katy Perry Music Video ft twerking ice cream cone

Alright, that's all I've got for now! Will write soon about the fun I've had hiking with my sisters! :D

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