Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Half

The Texas Half in Dallas was a fantastic race. It is not too big and not too small (there were about 1,000 runners) and it was very well organized. I highly recommend it!

Saturday morning started bright and early at 5:30am when Megan and I got up to start getting ready. I took a quick shower and then ate a Clif Bar and drank a Starbucks Doubleshot (breakfast of champs).

At 6:30, our friend Kourtney came over to our room (she was staying in the room next door with Emily and Amy) and me, Megan and Kourtney headed to White Rock Lake. Emily planned to run with us, but she has been plagued with IT band issues all fall and was unable to train.

We made it to the boathouse at Winfrey Point around 7:00 and had time to park, get our shirts and bib numbers, and make a bathroom stop before the gun went off at 8:00. We all pretty much had the same goal for the race - stay together, have fun, and keep a nice and steady pace.

The race FLEW by! We talked and laughed the entire time. The route was basically one huge loop around White Rock lake, and the weather and scenery were beautiful. Kourtney did an amazing job for her first half-marathon - she never slowed down or walked once, she just got it done!

Before we knew it we were heading back to our cheering section and the finish line at Winfrey Point. My mom, Emily, Amy, and Kourtney's husband Cassidy were all there to cheer us on. We finished in 2:24 - 6 minutes faster than our projected 2:30 finish time. The Texas Half is definitely in my "top 5 races" list!

Kourtney and Emily

Emily, me, Kourt, Megan, Amy

Me, Kourtney, Megan
(the sun was pretty bright!)

Lunch at Cafe Express post-race

Dinner at Cheesecake Factory Saturday night...I had a slice of this while we waited for our table!

I had such a fantastic time in Dallas this weekend and look forward to moving back much closer to my family this summer. We are already planning on doing another half marathon together in the fall, but this time hopefully Emily will be running with us!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Memory Lane

I landed in Dallas Friday afternoon and my mom and sister picked me up from DFW. We headed to Arlington for lunch and to visit our childhood home. It was so crazy to be back there! We lived there from pre-school through 5th grade, but I haven't been back to visit in 16 years!

We went to Braum's for lunch (a delicious hamburger & ice cream place) and then stopped by our old house. It was crazy to see! It was for sale, so we walked around the backyard and peeked in the windows.

I loved that house because it had a huge, amazing backyard with a 2 story playhouse that my dad built, a tree house, a half court basketball court, and a long split level deck. It was sad to see that it is all overgrown now and the tree house is gone.

We also talked with our neighbor who still lives in the house next door. She had a precious 8 week old dachshund/chihuahua puppy! After looking at the house we drove by our elementary school and Lake Arlington. It was such a surreal feeling to be back in the places I knew so well as a child, but are just memories now.

We headed back into Dallas to check into our hotel and meet up with our cousins, Emily and Amy. When they arrived we went to get dinner at J. Pepe's, a Mexican food place that was close to our hotel. It was so good to see Emily and Amy-they are the most hilarious people I know and the four of us (me, Megan, Emily, Amy) have been BFF's since birth. I can't wait to be back in Louisiana with them!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and turned in early-we needed to rest up for the race!

Braum's = delicious

Dachshund/chihuahua puppy!

Lake Arlington

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Questionable Reading

So I'm at the airport going through security when a TSA agent looks at me and says "Girl, what are you reading...?"

I looked down at my bag and saw this peeking out:

Which is the top half of this:

I said "Oh, it is about a guy who got run over by a bus." She gave me a look like "yeah right" so after I got through security I did this:

PS: The girl in front of me got a more, ahem, thorough screening and it was crazy! I thought people were maybe overreacting a bit with all the hype around the screenings, but now I believe it.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shoes Are In

My new pair of Nike Free's arrived yesterday! I took them out for a short run this morning and they felt good. I did take a spill on some black ice though!

It has been cold & snowy here for weeks, which has resulted in some pretty icy sidewalks. Since I run in the dark, it is not always easy to distinguish a clear path vs an icy one, but I like to think this helps with my agility.

Heading to Dallas tomorrow - can't wait!

The Livestrong Free's

The result from my slip down!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Texas Half

Just over five years ago, on a cold, dark December morning, my sister Megan and I pulled up in front of the American Airlines Center in Dallas. It is probably most famously known as the home of the Dallas Mavericks, but on one day in December each year it is also home to the starting line of the White Rock Marathon.

Megan was anxious and jittery that morning as she prepared to toe the line of her first marathon, and I just stood there in awe of my surroundings, and her. She had trained diligently for months and was in great shape. I definitely felt fat and pale standing next to her, and there are pictures to prove that was actually the reality of things. I had never seen so many people of all shapes and sizes and abilities gathered in one place to do what a lot of people think is the unthinkable - run 26.2 miles. On purpose. During the time span of one morning. And pay good money to do so!

This morning in December of 2005 was my first real introduction to the world of endurance sports, and from that moment I was hooked. I'm actually not sure what the motivating factor was for Megan to get her to sign up for the marathon, but I am forever grateful that she did. And thankful that she invited me, my sister Michelle, and my parents to Dallas that weekend to be a part of her marathon experience. One year later, in November 2006, I began training for my first marathon. Five years later, I am still running and training every week and loving it. I have an active and healthy lifestyle, have made lifelong friends through running and have been able to travel to places I probably never would have visited (such as the exotic Columbus, OH) if it weren't for a race. Needless to say, I am thankful I was a spectator that December morning! If you are a runner, know that you could be inspiring someone to start running - just by getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other.

All that to say, this weekend I will be heading to Dallas to meet up with my mom, Megan, my cousins Amy and Emily and friend Kourtney to run the Texas Half. I suppose I am feeling nostalgic because this race will also be held at White Rock Lake. After running a 15k this summer, Emily and Kourtney decided that they would like to train for the Texas Half. Unfortunately, Emily has been plagued with IT band and knee issues all fall and will not be able to run this weekend, but hopefully we will get to do a race together this year. I am looking forward to the race, but more excited about spending time with my family! Hopefully I will have a race report and pictures posted fairly soon after I get back home.

With three of my favorite people in the world -
me, Emily, Megan and Amy in May 2010

Kourtney, in an amazing picture with a dachshund bride!