Happy New Year! I hope you had a long, restful holiday weekend. Mine was full of running and celebrating another year of being alive! God is so good and has blessed me with an active lifestyle and good friends and family to share it with. I am thankful for that.
I hope everyone ate their black eyed peas over the weekend! I know I sure did. My mom made a big helping of black eyed peas and cabbage, supposedly it brings good luck? I don’t know for sure. I just do what I’m told and eat them.
This past weekend was the New Year’s Double – back to back half marathons! And guess what…I am happy to say that I survived! The event was spectacular, the volunteers were awesome, and the course was great. I had a bunch of crazy friends out there doing it with me so that made it even better. If you know me, you know that the tiaras and feather boa was in full effect.
So, day 1 – the race started at 8:15 a.m. which was nice because it gave us lots of time to get out there and get a good parking spot. The race was held both days at the same location – Celebration park, which is in a newer nicer part of Allen (suburb of Dallas). I arrived with a couple of my girlfriends who were all doing the half marathon and we found some of our other running buddies and took snapshots.
I got in the A corral and was ready to go. Garmin on my wrist, fired up and excited. The first half of the race I maintained under an 8 minute pace and was feeling awesome. There were plenty of water/gatorade stations and I utilized them all. Some friends of mine from the Frisco Running Club had a tent/water station too which was nice seeing them out there. The first loop circled around the park and into a neighborhood. When it looped back around I got to see all of my friends and high five everyone. It was really encouraging seeing others out there and kept me going. Around the half way point the course loops back to the start and starts all over again. Mentally this was a little challenging / dull for me but I had my ipod so that kept me distracted a majority of the time. Day 1 my strategy was to basically crush it and go all out which I did. Finished 1:45, nearly a minute and a half from my previous best time which was a PR. I won 3rd place in my age group and received a champagne glass trophy. Sweet!
After round 1 I met up with my friend Ann and my mom for a little celebration brunch at this fabulous restaurant called Bonnie Ruth’s in Allen. If you haven’t been here before and live in the area, you must go! The food is mostly French but delicious and rich. I had the omelet with fresh herbs and goat cheese and a cup of corn chowder soup. And of course a celebratory mimosa. For dessert Ann and I split the kahlua cake which was divine!
I went home following brunch and took a nice nap. For NYE the BF and I went over to a friend’s house and did the whole countdown and rang in the New Year right. Immediately after midnight I knew I needed to book it out of there so I did since I had yet another early race morning. It was fun though.
The next morning, I was feeling somewhat fresh and ready to go. I met up with a girlfriend of mine and we were off on our way. Took some photos with some friends from the Frisco Running Club. One of my buddies, Hamlin ran back to back FULL marathons, day 1 with a weighted vest, day two barefoot. Yep, that’s
crazy dedication right there.
Round 2 I knew would be a recovery run, and it was. It was nice knowing the course already so I knew what to expect. I got into the front of Corral B and lined up then the gun went off. I was a little sore from round 1 so I took it easy, maintaining an 8:30 min pace. The music on the ipod definitely helped me this time.
I finished 1:53, 6th place in my age group which was fine by me. My overall goal for both races was to finish each one in under 2 hours. I had no expectations other than that. It just so happens that I did PR which was so awesome! I loved the double medal they gave us at the end!
Reflecting back on it I am super happy that I did the New Year’s Double. It was an organized race that I would definitely do again. I also love the concept of ending and starting the year on a solid note. It was my first experience doing back to back halfs and I loved being able to challenge myself and push my limits.
This year I am looking forward to coaching another awesome half marathon program with Luke’s Locker and meeting some new faces. I love being able to encourage and inspire others to push their limits and go far beyond what they ever thought possible. It is just so rewarding to see people start out unsure about their abilities and see them grow into confident and successful runners. I only know because I was once that beginner who knew nothing about pacing, proper fueling and hydration. Having coaches that encouraged and motivated me helped me become the runner that I am today.
I am also looking forward to teaching more Danceaton classes this year at 24 Hour Fitness. I am subbing right now still and don’t have my own class but I enjoy the flexibility of being a sub. Tomorrow I will be teaching a class for a girlfriend of mine after work so that will be a good time as always. I see it as everything has its own timing and when the time is right I will have my own class but right now I am taking it all in stride.
I hope everyone has a great week and starts off this new year on a productive note!
Have a good one!