Happy Monday! I hope you all had an excellent weekend. I feel like we need to catch up, yes? Well let’s recap the festivities from the past few days.
Friday after work my girl Tammi and I went and had a little date at my favorite Uptown sushi spot. Sushi – probably my favorite way to carb load for a marathon. Good eats and girl talk were shared.
Saturday morning I was up bright and early for the Cowtown Marathon Expo! I made the 20 minute drive over to Ft. Worth to grab my race number and other materials. Saturday was the 5K/10K portion of the race and Sunday is the Half/Marathon/Ultra distances.
The expo was fairly small so I was basically in and out of there but first I had to stop off at the pickle booth. They were giving out some tasty pickles and also pickle juice which aids in muscle cramps. I tried some bloody mary pickles which were a little spicy but oh so tasty!
Saturday night was a fairly chill night. My mom spent the night at my house since she was my cheerleader for the day. I laid out my race clothes and had everything ready to go.
Race morning I was up around 4:45 am to eat my cookie dough flavored power bar and get my things together. We were out the door by 5:15 and made a quick stop off for some coffee before we headed out to Fort Worth! We parked and made it there just before 6 am. Just in time to stop off at the restrooms and find my friend Jeanette for a quick pic.
I was in corral 2 so I made my way up to the start line. To take more pics of course.
Around 7:05 am we were off! Gorgeous course mostly starting off a little bit downhill. My friend Toni came up behind me and we ran together for a little bit. She had just gotten done running the Carlsbad Marathon in California so I got to catch up with her for a bit and chat! My first mile was right at a 9 minutes, perfect conversational pace for me. We got to trucking along and entered the downtown area. First 5K down, many more miles to go.
I parted with Toni shortly after this because I was feeling great. I decided that I wanted to bank a little bit of time in the first half of this race. Since I had no real goals I decided early on that I wanted to finish the first half of the race in under 2 hours and then see what I could do in the back half. We hit 10K and entered the beautiful Ft. Worth Stockyards.
Lots of spectators here and running on the cobblestone made for a good time! I vividly remembered this part of the race from when I ran the half last year so I enjoyed it. I picked up the pace here a bit and was feeling good so I figured, what the heck. Soon I looked ahead of me around mile 9 and I saw an incredibly steep incline. Again, I remembered that this was the toughest hill from last year. I made my way up and thought of this little mantra I shared with you not long ago.
‘Mounds of opportunity’ just kept floating around in my head. I decided from that point on I would coach myself up every hill I encountered. I would say it over and over again, out loud…not really caring about who heard me. I would say it…and a little voice in my head would say…’say it again‘. ‘Believe it this time’. Crazy right? Anyway, it helped. I hit the half marathon point and was feeling pretty much like a rockstar.
At this point the half marathoners had detoured and finished their race…and the ultras and 26.2ers just kept trucking along. We hit a few more rolling hills and entered a pretty shaded neighborhood with lots of spectators outside with their kiddos and families cheering us on. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging. I stopped at just about every water station and grabbed both powerade and water and took tiny sips. I also ate my energy jelly beans whenever I felt like I needed them…just munching away. Towards the later miles they were also giving out pieces of banana and some orange wedges…don’t mind if I do, thank you. I hit 20 miles feeling pretty dang awesome and holding steady.
For just a moment there, I thought in my head…I could break 4 hours today. Just knowing that in the back of my head (especially after October’s mediocre ‘for me’ finish time) kind of made me a little excited. After I hit mile 22 I started fading a bit and my pace slowed down. I never truly walked for this entire race but with the temps rising to 70 that day and the hills that just wouldn’t quit I knew I couldn’t maintain under a 9 minute mile. I tried with all my might but my legs were tired. The wind picked up a bit and I took a double espresso Clif energy gel around mile 23-24.
I had actually never tried this one before and bought it on a whim. I LOVED it! I will definitely buy more of these in the future. It tasted just like a delicious cup of coffee…which was just what I felt like I needed at the moment. I ran along the beautiful Trinity River and of course had to snap a pic.
At mile 25 we broke off with the ultra peeps and headed home. Another little incline but then straight on downhill into the finish. I picked up the pace a bit when I saw that finish line. #6 complete.
I saw my mama at the finish and the volunteers let her put my medal on me. We stopped and took some post race pics. How awesome is that sign?
4:04 finish. Pretty sweet for having no goals whatsoever for this race. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I am so happy with that time. I know in the near future I will be breaking 4 again with a rockin’ PR and I can’t wait for the next one. I have to say that I enjoyed this race no matter the outcome. The course, the friends, spectators, volunteers made this race an incredible one and one that I will always remember. I conquered those mounds of opportunity.