Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thirty-Three Percent

Well, it's been 5 days since my half marathon, and I think I am finally back to standing & walking without uttering a verbal "ohh" or "ugh."

This half was a completely different experience than my last one...

Back in the spring, I (almost) never missed a training run. I ran when it rained. I (foolishly) ran when there was ice on the ground. I ran when I was in pain. I ran. I ran. I ran.

My first half marathon almost didn't happen for me for two reasons:
1. We thought I had a stress fracture in my foot, three days prior to the race
2. There were horrible storms the morning of the race. There were rumors it would be canceled, but after a 2 hour delay, the sun peeked through the clouds and we were off!

My time for my first half marathon was 2 hours 31 minutes and 43 seconds.

::fast forward to preparation for second half marathon::

This summer, nearly every run was a mental struggle. It was hot, my legs felt like they were full of lead, my skin got itchy due to the heat... and I was just too tired.

The cooler temps that rolled in yielded a few good long-distance runs, but my 10-mile run the Sunday before the race, well, it was a real tough one. 10 miles is far!

During my drive to Dallas last Friday, I just kept praying for a strong mental state, no injuries, and that I'd have fun while running. (Fun is a component that I don't usually think about while pounding the pavement.)

Momma flew in for the event, and once I picked her up at the airport, we went straight to pick up my race packet. Afterwards, we decided to drive the race route so that I'd be mentally prepared for any of the hills or tough spots of the course.

Overall, it was a pretty flat route, but there was  and a back-to-back steep hills portion and quite a bit of construction. The ever-concerned Mommacita was worried I'd trip and fall. #klutz

I was a healthy mix of excited and nervous the morning of the race. I knew that I had not prepared as well as I had in the spring, but I also wasn't fighting an injury like I had been before. Thank goodness Momma was there to be my cheerleader; She is so encouraging!!

I should also mention that she took a video of me at the start line, and I totally tripped on one of the legs of a metal barricade while she was filming. Yep. As I said, klutz.

The first couple of miles were a real test of my mental stamina. The "Mile 2" sign is always tough because the immediate thought is, "It's only been two miles?!" But then all of a sudden, I found myself at "Mile 6."

The second half of the course was along Katy Trail - which Momma and I obviously couldn't drive, so it was a total surprise the whole time. It is gorgeous with a paved sidewalk trail and shade trees.

I was actually enjoying myself quite a bit during the race, but then things took a turn around Mile 9. My quads were getting tight and I was just living for that next "Mile __" sign. I finally gave in to the pain and walked for the first time for about a quarter-mile during Mile 11. (Sidenote: this was already an improvement because in the spring, I walked on and off for the last 4 miles)

Unfortunately, the pain got worse while walking, so I pushed myself to start running again. For that last mile and a half, I kept saying aloud, "I can do all things through Christ. All things through Christ who gives me strength. That means you, legs. Keep going!"

You guys, the moment I turned that last corner and saw the finish line, well, I started crying. Tears because of the pain, tears because I was so close to being done, tears because I saw my mom and that gave me permission to feel all the pain, and then tears because I saw that I was about to beat my time from my half marathon in the spring.


Oh yes, I found the last little bit of energy that I possessed and put some pep in my step to finish strong.

Then I absolutely collapsed into Momma's arms. So, if you see pain written all over my face in the picture below, you'd be correct. But darn it, I did it and I got my medal!

So, as I said above, I am finally back to walking without pain -- 5 days later. And I'm 33% of the way through my fall/winter half marathons. Five weeks until the next one!

And just when you thought that was the end of the story...

I took some time to check two 26 while 26 items off my list while in Dallas!

First up: Explore Klyde Warren Park

It was pretty busy, but what a fun way to see the park! There was this small dog hanging out in one of the splash pads, and it was absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, as soon as I pulled out my phone to take a picture, the dog decided he'd had enough fun for one day. There is an awesome reading nook at the park where you can borrow a book or magazine while you're there. There's also a great little putting green. Not to mention the restaurant on the grounds that was packed with people.

However, I was there for the food trucks. I had done a little bit of research online and decided that I wanted to try Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, home of "The Best Grilled Cheese in Texas." Well, I haven't had any other grilled cheese sandwiches in Texas, but I can say that this was a darn good one! Ham, cheese, bread, yum.

Next: It was time to hunt down those B_G statues! I had a lot of fun with this item on my list.

The first statue that I found was a complete accident - it was right next to the start line of the half marathon. However, the picture I took before the race was far too dark, and as we addressed earlier, I looked like walking pain afterward.

I think my favorite statue that I visited was the Frankenstein & Witch combo at Klyde Warren Park. What a fun project! Way to go Big D.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I simply had to check out the new Sprinkles Ice Cream. As a dedicated customer over the past few years - helllooooo sugar addict - I felt like it was my duty to support the new shop. I'm so generous, no?

All kidding aside, what a fun concept and it was delicious! How cute are the mini cupcake toppers?!

Well, that's it kids. You better believe that I'm going to take some time to relax this weekend. I've also got a list of Loops & Belles tasks to do this weekend - including photographing a few new products to share with you all.

I'm getting so excited for Deluxe Winter Market! (That's right. That's my biz name listed on their website under "Artists." SQUEAL!!)

Alrighty, have a great weekend!

xoxo, E

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