Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wounded Warriors

Last Sunday was the Wounded Warriors Half Marathon and 10k near Dallas, TX. It was my eighth race, sixth half marathon, and my mom and little sister's first race! They did the 10k, and I couldn't have been more proud. My little sister is 18, she is my sweetheart and had just graduated from high school the Thursday before. She's an short-distant athlete, and played lacrosse a little but had never done a big race.

My mom is my inspiration. My mom has always been on the heavy side, she hasn't been too active or healthy, although when I was a kid we'd go on bike rides, or hike as a family a lot. In the past two years shes started to exercise more, and just recently started to really watch what she was eating. When I told her I saw there was a half marathon/10k the weekend I was going to be in Dallas, she decided to sign up for the 10k and committed to walking it. I have her a training guide (Hal Higdon of course!) and she started her new adventure.

Fast forward to race day: up at 5 to be out of the house by 6. Mom and Haley followed my lead on what to eat before a big race, I've never thought about the fact that I guess I'm a 'seasoned' runner now, that I am not so much a newbie to the sport. I know I have still so much to learn, but kind of cool that I have a routine now! We left for the race, got to the parking garage and walked out to the hotel. As we were walking there were drops of raining appearing, and by the time we got to the hotel it was an all out downpour! Quickly followed by flashes of lightening and the monsterous booms of a true Texas thunderstorm, the race was delayed.

This is us waiting for the storm to pass!

An hour later, the race was back on. Us half marathoners lined up to the start, sang the National Anthem and were on our way. It was still raining, but at least it was warm. Reminded me of my first half where it poured the entire time! About two miles into the race, they diverted us up this muddy hill to the road, and when we were crossing the bridge, we looked down and the trail we had been running on was completely covered with a waterfall. It had rained so hard so fast the stream overflowed and quickly hopped the trail. It was crazy! Back to the trail, we continued on. I was running under a 10 minute pace to about mile 8 and was feeling great! The rain stopped and it started getting warm, my fingers started to swell so I made sure I grabbed powerade at the next stop.

At about mile 10 1/2, the was a little under a foot of standing water on the trail we had to ford through, so sadly that really hit my time. Back running, I knew I needed to hurry up so I could PR. Coming up to mile 12, I walked for a sec then started up again, coming up on the finish line, I pulled on the little Coug flag I had stashed away and got ready for the end. One of my former YL girls from West Point, was at the finish and called out to me! Got a real great picture too:

I finished at 2:20:04.....which means it's an official PR for me! If I hadn't walked through that standing water, I would have been under 2:20, but you can't never predict a race so it is what it is. Taylor ran to me after the race, so good to see her. Found my momma and little sister after the race and teared up a bit, I was overwhelmed by pride and happiness that mom had done it! Best moment of my running career by far.

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