Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chevron Houston Marathon 2014 Recap

Here's my written recap! Enjoy!

Race Expo 
We arrived at the expo 30 minutes before they closed. I wanted to kids to come because they would not be there for the big day. I was impressed with how easy the process was. The staff was super helpful as well. I gave them my QR code, they asked for my ID and I got my packet.
Got my package!

Our running group was also part of the Bank of Texas Challenge which meant we got private "bathrooms." I was so thankful for those because we had no lines to use the restrooms before the race. We had time to quickly look at a booth that sold running clothes for $9! We bought a few things and headed home.
Leaving the Expo

Pre Race 
My husband has been the hero of my story. He took care of me so that I could rest. He took my Tapper Madness with a forgiving heart and yet reminded me I don't need to be mean. I got a lot of rest because we had so much help! The day before the race we went out for lunch and watched a movie. It was lovely. When we got home all I had to do was to get ready for the race. I put my bib on my clothes, packed all my stuff and went to sleep around 9:30 p.m.
All ready to run!

The Day of the Race
We left home before 5 and my husband dropped me off at George R Brown I quickly and happily found my running group. I put my gear on the check in area and got weighed in. I thought that was nice of the organizers. In case you get too dehydrated they would know how much liquid you need to recover. My blogger friend Sarah was running too. We got a picture together:
Blogging and running. How fun!

My husband found parking and and stayed with me til I had to get in my corral. The running group's tradition is to take a group photo, pray and do our Hooyah! (I'll have a video of it for you later). So after we did that it was time to go to our corral.

Running Group Folk. So thankful for each and every one!
The New Course
We must have waited around for 10 minutes til it was time to go. The weather was perfect. So perfect that I had to get rid of my throw away jacket in 0.8 miles! Houston has a new course this year. Because it was my first year I can't tell you how the old course was but this year's was pretty nice. The streets were filled with exciting spectators. It was so touching to see all the support along the course!

I saw my friends Stuart and Karlyn around mile 6. It was such a blessing to see them! They made this super cute poster. My friend Lisa was there supporting her husband so I had a chance to see her a few times and I finally met him! It was funny cause she kept telling me he was in my running group.
Thank you Hudson family!
I was able to hang with my group of running buddies until mile 17. I was surprised that I didn't need any music cause between our conversation and the crowds I was pretty entertained. When I did need music my iPod was not working in my favor so I talked to myself, gave high fives and talked to whoever else needed a little help. If you're ever wondering, it is possible to cover 26.2 miles without earphones.
Here's me trying to keep up with my friends. They're fast!

By mile 20 I saw my friend Janna who brought a friend to support me. When she took this picture I was telling her "I need yall."
got this from her Instagram :)

Soon after that, my friend Breanne joined us. I was so happy to see them, their company kept me focused yet distracted from being tired. I shared a crazy though with Breanne and she told me 'you might want to look to the right." That's when I saw this and I broke down:
My amazing friends!

The Ugly Cry. It was bound to happen! Thankful for friends!
Yes, my MOPS friends totally surprised me and came out to support me. I tell you, God totally loves me. I am so blessed to be part of an amazing community of friends who support me from far and near! Kathie left the group and joined the run. She's ran Houston a few times so she had great tips to share.

The Finish Line 
I had at least 2 friends with me until Mile 25-ish. When I was getting closer to the finish line God sent a bunch of Fort Bend Fit folk to keep pushing me to finish. They were on the side of the road, cheering, coaching and each word meant the world.
I was so tired but out of the depths of my soul and incredible energy rose up and I ran faster than ever with my index fingers pointing up to the sky. As I crossed the finish line, the MC screamed: "and crossing the finish line is... LISTERINE!"

Yes. My one moment of glory turns hilarious because instead of putting my first name on my bib I put my last name.

It was finished! I crossed the finish line of my first marathon! Thank you God!

Lessons Learned
It took a village but it was possible to run a marathon. It took small steps. It took taking care of my health. It took recovery. It is possible to run 26.2 strong and injury-free! Glory be to God!
Thankful for this journey!
I am working on another video with footage from that day. Here is a video where I answer some questions from friends. Thanks for coming in this journey with me!


Read about my Training here

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