Chevron Houston Marathon Training Week 27

Saturday, December 24, 2016

It took a village but I did it! This morning I ran my longest training mileage yet for this season: 21 miles (34K) and some change. My alarm clock was set for 3 am but I decided to give myself 15 extra minutes. I went to bed at a decent time so I woke up feeling rested. I checked the weather and it was a square 70 degrees out. Ouch. Tank top and shorts weather. I honestly thought they'd be retired by now but what can I say, this is Houston weather for ya.
It felt good to look around and see these faces:
Fort Bend Fit Red Group
When I'm about to take on a big challenge such as marathon training, it's important to me to have several people who totally understand what I go through. These are my people and I'm so thankful they were out there running with me. We also had a great support crew. The good thing about Fort Bend Fit is that we have such a caring group that there were people riding in their cars and bikes just to support us. I was offered coca cola at one point, which I thought was pretty cool. God bless my marathon running buddies! I also got to talk to several friends through the run as well as listen to some old R&B (I'm talking Al Green old) and of course, a few podcasts. I finished feeling great, on my own two feet. God knows that's all I ever prayed for. Now we taper (decrease the miles) for two weeks then is marathon time. Keep praying! 
Today on Once Upon a Run, I want to introduce you to my friend Xavi McDuell. I met her in person in June and thus far we've ran 28 miles together at the 25K and the 30K warm-up races. She's one of the runners featured on the book "People of Memorial Park."
She's a woman who pursues and reaches her goals. She's changed her health and her lifestyle and she encourages others to do the same. She has a great smile and I think she's just a fascinated, kind-hearted human being. Enjoy my interview with her!
Xavi and I in June. I love her smile!

• How did you discover long distance running? 

I discovered long distance running when I became a member of Black Girls RUN! I ran one cross country meet in middle school and it was the worst experience ever! After that I knew running of any kind wasn't for me. But I decided to try again when trying to lose weight at 39 years old. I started Couch to 5K on my own but I joined the group for support and accountability. I fell in love with running as a result. And being around all of these ladies who had completed long distances made me believe I could do it too so I gave it a try.

• What’s your favorite Houston Marathon memory? 
Crossing the finish line has to be my favorite because I didn't think I was going to be able to do it and get my medal. I finished in 6:11 and the cutoff was 6 hrs. I thought the finish line would be closed by the time I got there and I wouldn't get my medals.

• What’s your best training advice for a newbie who signed up to run Houston? 
My best advice would be to respect the distance. Please, please train as best you can for the race and then leave the rest to what I call Race Day Magic. Yes, you will be nervous but when you train well enough, you can trust your training and know that the excitement and energy of the actual race (Race Day Magic) will get you to the finish line.

• What’s your best advice for a veteran who will run Houston in January? 
Believe in yourself! You've done it before so you can do it again. Take the time to actually enjoy the race and the experiences this time around.

• What’s your race morning ritual? 
I don't really have a ritual. I just get up, get dressed and go. I try to eat something on the way and get to the start line on time. Sometimes that's a miracle within itself!

• How has marathon running changed your life? 
It has taught me to never say never for anything. I used to think people who ran marathons were crazy! It was something I said I'd never, ever do! Now here I am with 3 completed and 4 coming up. So I guess I can say marathon running has made me crazy!!

• Would you like to add anything else? 
I am truly thankful for the people I've met and the friendships I've made since I've become a runner. They have truly blessed my life in so many ways.

Previously in this Series:

• Week 1
• Week 2
• Week 3
• Week 4 - Barry Walter
• Week 5 - Christine Soliman
• Week 6 - Ron Booth
• Week 7
• Week 8
• Week 9
• Week 13
• Week 14
• Week 15
• Week 16
• Week 17
• Week 18
• Week 19
• Week 22
• Week 23
• Week 24
• Week 25
Week 26