Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Was Runnin'

I did it.  I finished a half marathon.  It wasn't easy and it wasn't what I thought it would be.  But it was something that I would do again. There aren't any words to explain the feeling of being out there on the road by yourself for miles.  It's just you and random strangers. (and your music, perhaps some Gu or Chews)  I loved it.  When you do finish you feel so accomplished! We drove out to Ft. Worth on Saturday.  Before we checked into the hotel we did our packet pick-up! I love packet pick-up.  We get our Bibs, goodies, and T-shirts. 
My Packet Pick-Up
Preston, picking up his packet!  It is kind of far away, but I was standing in line for mine and couldn't move. He is under the Marathon sign. 
Our Bibs!  I loved that it says, "1st Time Running" on our bibs.  I felt special. 
For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant and each ordered whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meat balls.  It was fun to see all the tables around us fill up with other runners ordering the same thing.  I was starting to get nervous, yet excited at the same time.  I was actually going to do this! Preston was doing a full and he seemed cool as a cucumber! I was only doing half, I had to act professional. We went to bed early with a wake up call at 5:30am.  The race started at 7:00am with a shuttle from the hotel taking us to the starting line.  We were downstairs waiting with about 50 others at 6:15am.  I was awake and ready to go! Once we were there, there wasn't much to do besides sit around and wait. 

Then it was time.  I was doing this.
Corral #5
My goal was to finish.  I didn't focus that much on time.  However, I set my phone to a timer so I would run 4 mins then walk 1 min.  It worked fabulous the first 7 miles.  Then I realized I hadn't walked in awhile. Wait a minute!!  I unzipped my SpyBelt and pulled out my phone.  My app was on PAUSE!  Dang it.  I clicked resumed and started back on my course until about mile 9, then it happened again. Ugh.  At this point my feet were on fire and I could feel blisters were trying to stop me.  I started my power walking.  It gave me a chance to take some pics and reflect on life. "what do I want out of life?" "do I really hate olives?"  

Entering the Stock Yards of Ft. Worth
Hello Downtown!
I finally made it across the finish line.  In the past 2 miles I saw our neighbors and my in-laws.  It was so wonderful to see people we know cheering us on.  It was a surge of energy that I never knew I had!  They waved and clapped and I gave out hugs of happiness.  When the races are in Dallas mile 12/25 is right by our house.  We usually set up camp with a boombox playing Eye of the Tiger.  I know now the waves, smiles, and high fives we get while out there really are genuine.  Never underestimate the power of a smile.  It will encourage one to no end! 
I did it! Selfie with my medal.  Although all I see now is the very tall guy behind me with the fanny pack.  How?! I don't understand this angle.  People to my left (looking at photo) are normal size. But the guy to my right is HUGE. 
 It was now my turn to wait on Preston! Within 10 mins of me being finished I got a text from him asking if I had finished.  He knew my pace from training (or lack of) and guessed right on target! I let him know I was finished and that I was waiting along with his parents at the finish line.  We stood at the gate channel watching and cheering on those we did not know until we saw our Preston come around the corner.  There he is!!  I got so excited I ran along the gate not even caring that my right toe was bleeding.  Preston just ran his first marathon!! 
There he goes! 
Getting his water on the way to his medal. 
We Did It!
After we took a moment to sit and relax, we went back to the hotel to shower and check out.  Preston's parents suggested a restaurant in Sundance Square called Bird Cafe for a late lunch.  They got there before us and ordered an awesome appetizer.  Honey and Bread! It was perfect.  Preston dined on a Brisket Burger and I a Grilled Cheese.  We loved every minute of it.

On our way back to Dallas we were still excited on our accomplishment and stopped off at Capitol Pub.  When Preston and I first got engaged he lived off of Knox/Henderson in Dallas and we would often walk to Capitol Pub.  It was fun to go back over there on a Sunday Funday!  We had a couple of beers and people watched until it was time to go home.  I had to go to work the next day (dang it) and we both were starting to feel the soreness of what we had just done.  We did however take our medals with us everywhere that day.  Because we could. 

I can honestly say Sunday, February 23 is my 2nd favorite day ever.  It was something that we both wanted to accomplish in our lives and we did it together.  I will never forget that.  The 1st favorite day of my life is our wedding day.  Which just happens to be today!  Well, not today we got married, but 3 years ago.  The past 3 years have been amazing.  It went by so fast!  There are still awesome moments we have that bring us to tears of laughter as well as moments of shaking our heads saying, "this is sad...we need to grow up." But the best part of all it is that we are not alone.  And seriously, that is what it's all about.

Happy Anniversary Preston! You're my favorite. 

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