Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Running Story

Ok, it is time to tell you my running adventures!  Just a warning, it is a bit long since it's a journey of over 9 months!

I was never a "runner", I would lace up my shoes and take the dog out or Reid when he was little in the jogging stroller, but never anything specific (or for very long at all!).  Well, just a little over a year ago, my friend Stephanie charged the Fab 5 (my little group of friends that all hang out together, have kids the same age, etc) to run in the Dam Run X. It was a 5k (3.2 miles) and I said, "sure, why not?" HAHAHA What a joke!! I was terrible!! I was 6 months out of just having Maren and thought I was in ok shape! Well, it was sad, I finished in like 37 minutes, which isn't too terrible, but I walked over half the way and I didn't want to have that under my belt!  So, I left that run thinking I would get out and run more, and life got in the way and there wasn't always time to go without the kids.......blah blah blah, excuses I know!

The Fab 5 at the Dam Run X - May 2011
Steph, Me, Thana, Sarah and Amber

August 2011 - I had promised a friend in Ft. Worth that I would run a 5k with her at the end of September, and I knew that I wanted to RUN the whole thing, so I had been reading a co-workers Facebook page one night about how she and some fellow co-workers were training for a 1/2 marathon in 6 months and were running about 2-3 miles in the morning.  I asked her if I could join in and told her I was slow but wanted to start running! Also, I need to add that I was cordiale to this co-worker in the past, I had only known her for 2 years and we didn't talk all the time, but I thought what the heck, I wanted to make more friends at work! So I run crashed their run the next morning!  They were running 3 miles - well, I made it to about 1 1/2 miles and had to walk, but our coach (Coach Loy Triana - one of the track coaches from the high school and friend) stayed behind and walked with me and gave me tips on training!

Becky, Amy and Erin welcomed me into their "running club" that week and needless to say, it has been Uphill from there!!  I stayed with them in training and by the Rahr 5k in Ft. Worth September 24, 2011 I was able to RUN the entire 3.2 miles and I beat my previos time with 31 minutes!! So proud and needless to say I was hooked and now wanted to be a "Runner"

Rahr Brewery 5k - September 24, 2011
 Joey (my awesome supporter) Aaron and Monica

This was an AWESOME run (lots of hills) and the best reward was free beer from the brewery when we were done!!

After the first 5k, the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming!! I had confidence and was feeling on top of the world! We were training 4 days a week at 5AM before school and it was a great way of accountability when I knew there were 4 people waiting for me to show up! (We have now moved our runs to 4:50am, to get longer runs in before work)

We continued to train and with other friends running as well, I was talked into running a 15k!!! That is just over 9 miles and I had never gone that far before! Well, it was really close to  the 5k, so I was riding on a high and signed up!! CRAZY I know!!  Wow, that was hard, but what an accomplishement it was to finish! AND I ran the entire way! I might have come in last (out of only 20-30 people) but that didn't matter to me! The only thing I cared about was that I finished AND I ran the entire race!

First 15k - October 1, 2011
Thanks to my friend Christina for cheering me on!!

The next week, our town holds the annual Friendship Festival and there is a 5k that morning, so my running group and I signed up to run our faithful streets! We had so much fun and came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd in our age groups!! 

Friendship Festival 5k - October 8, 2011
Erin, Becky, Amy and I

Our next BIG race was going to be the Children's Hospital Red Balloon Race and Relay! This was just a 5k and we had 2 teams signed up and ready to go.  This race was for such a GREAT cause!! My running group was running because our Coach Loy's daughter has HLHS, which is a heart condition and the staff at Children's have been there the whole way, through all of her surgeries.  My firends Monica and Aaron who ran the Rahr with me had a son who also had this heart condition, but did not win his battle.  I invited them to run with us and join the cause.  Together with the 2 groups, we rasied a ton of money to help the Children's Hospital!  This will now be an annual run for my group and we encourage others to join with us!  We had shirts made - our team was "Soles beating for Addie and Landon".

Children's Red Balloon - October 22, 2011
Our Team

 My Running Buddies

Aaron and Joey (again my awesome cheerleader)

Once we got home from the Red Balloon race, things got a little more interesting!  I never began this journey with any intentions to run a 1/2 marathon or anything that big - well, once I started, I was hooked.  A friend of ours is such a big runner and had told us about the RockNRoll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon that was being held at night and on the strip a few months back.  As we got into November, our running group said, you know I think we could do a 1/2 in December!! 
WELL - low and behold - my husband who NEVER turns down a trip to Las Vegas urged me to sign up (I think it was more for his vacation, but oh well).  My wonderful husband and cheerleader and I loaded up and flew to Vegas the first weekend in December.  I had talked Monica into running her first 1/2 there with me too and we also met up with Anne and Shad, Shad has an awesome story - read about it here:  My40by40!! Well, the day came and I was ready to go!! Shad is such an inspiration to run with and he volunteered to stay with me and run my first 1/2 marathon! What an awesome friend!! AND What an experience!! It was incredible!!! There were so many people there to run, I think over 40,000!! It was amazing to see all the people and just to be there was an accomplishment!  The race was awesome and I was so proud of my time!! I was shooting for at least 2hrs 30min and I made it in 2hrs 26 min!! I felt great and was ready to go again!!

Las Vegas RockNRoll 1/2 Marathon - December 4, 2011
 Me and my wonderful hubby standing in the middle of the strip

My 1st 1/2 Marathon Medal

Shad, my wonderful running partner

Back to the real world - work, end of semester tests for our high schoolers....We kept up our running through the holidays and in January cracked down and prepared for the Ft. Worth Cowtown 1/2 marathon!! This is what we had been waiting for!!! Coach T had us working hard and was a great running partner!! He was our official "Waterboy"  On our long 10-12 miles weekend runs, he always had the water sitting out and waiting on us at the checkpoints!  We were more than ready!!  We even ran a 14 mile course and that was amazing!!! 

Cowtown 1/2 Marathon February 26, 2012
Amy, Erin, Loy, Amy and I after the race

My Cowtown medal!! (now if you get more of these, they fit together to form the Texas Star..hint hint next year!!!)

Wow!!!  All of this in just 6 months!! I can now say that I am a runner, yes, I get up at 4:30 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday (6 on Saturdays) and run with my friends (even though I now stay at home with my babies, I still get up that early!!)  It is a wonderful feeling!! On the days we do not run, I can tell my energy level isn't the same and I am not as motivated - but catch me on our running days and I am on top! 
Since then, we have slowed down on our running and run about 3-5 miles in the mornings and 6-7 on the weekends just to maintain.  It is a great release and I look forward to the time spent with my friends!  It is so nice that we live in a small town like Burkburnett, TX because we can be up at 5am and run through the middle of town and no one is on the road! It is such a great feeling! And yes, we do wear protective gear!! My husband bought me armband lights that I wear on my arms and we also have reflectors - We are SAFE!

In March, Wichita Falls' Leadership class decided to hold the THOR (Texomas Hellacious Obstacle Run) which included mud, water and tons of obstacles - it was only a 5k but seemed so much longer!!
A group of about 15 of us runners decided to get together and run it!! We made shirts(ALWAYS) and were in the first heat to go!  It was a foggy, somewhat chilly morning for our area, but it was absolutely incredible!  There were hurdles, a slip-n-slide, tires, bridges, rope walls, wind tunnels - you name it!! We all made it out alive and are so excited to sign up again next year!!

THOR Obstacle Run - March 31, 2011
 They had a professional photographer after the last obstacle coming out of the river! 
Don't I look great!?!?

 Our Group!!! Our shirts say "Run Like a Girl"

Me, Amber and Jodi ready to run!

Ok, so that brings us to today!! On my Nike+ App on my phone, I started recording my runs on August 30, 2011 and as of today I have logged 430.6 miles, burned 45, 192 calories for a duration of 77+Hours!!!!!  There have been a few times that I forgot to bring my phone or it didn't register, but WOW!! That amazes me of how far I have come in 9 months!!  I am very thankful I took a chance and crashed a running group that has now become very close friends and great running partners!!

Here's to the next 430 miles!!!