Thursday, November 15

"T" Town and Cowtown Recap

First I will do a quick review of the Tulsa Run 15k and then move onto my most recent race the Fort Worth Marathon (1/2 for me). We left Friday morning and arrived in Tulsa some 8 hrs. later. The first thing I noticed was it was freezing! Yes my Texas blood has thinned in the past couple of years and I found the cold air to be very unpleasant. Saturday morning started with us scraping ice off the windshield. We arrived at the race in plenty of time but stayed in the warm car until a few minutes before the race started. Even though I was completely dressed for these temps I still shivered as I waited for the gun to go off. The first two thirds of the race for me were amazing. I was right on pace and in the position to make my time goal. I was so happy with my time and how I was running. It was during the last 3 miles that the wheels came off. This of course affected my finish time which was a disappointment but the greater disappointment was how I ran the last 3rd which really messed with my confidence as a runner. 
For time sake I will list my mistakes in order:
1. First I psyched myself out about the last miles of  hills days before the race. Sure enough when the hills came I fell apart.
2. Never run a race without a solid plan on how you will handle difficult times.
3. Always have a solid plan "B" 
4. Stay focused no matter what!
5. Even though you take the tangents don't let a long course frustrate your focus (garmin said 9.41!!!)
6. Never ever, ever ever, try to call your family during a race to let them know you are almost finished.
7. Always put the cell phone back in the HOLDER properly. 
8. Crossing the finish line with your hands down the front of your tights trying to fish out your phone which is sliding down the front of your leg makes for some interesting finish line photos. :/
Although I was extremely disappointed in myself and how I handled the last 3rd I learn some invaluable lessons that have already worked to make me a better runner.
Random thoughts:
It was so cold that we didn't stick around and take pictures. I was surprised they handed out a medal at the end. The tech shirt they gave out was neon green and super cool! Although my family is extremely supportive and never complained I won't drive that long again for such a short weekend, it was too much to ask of them.
Overall my God was faithful and His grace was on display and for that I give Him all my praise.

Fort Worth Marathon Recap:

We arrived in Fort Worth early so we could do a little sightseeing! First stop was the Fort Worth Stockyards. We LOVED this place! Lots of western shops, wagons, horses and cattle it just made you feel like you had stepped back in time.. 

The town brought out the cowboy in all of us! My hubby is one tall drink of water! I thought my hat was perfect for when the bullets start flying
We really liked the Fort Worth stockyards and hope to go back when we have more time to visit.
The weather for the race called for wind, wind and more wind!
The race website was excellent at keeping all of the runner
informed of the storm front that was due to move in sometime during the race. I woke up feeling kind of yucky so I immediately called on friends for prayer. By the time we arrived I could feel the prayers working. I'm usually very nervous before a race but I had such a peace. 
Start of the 1/2 marathon race.
Between the full marathon and the 20 miler there were 1000+ runners.

The race course followed the Trinity River trails which were scenic but at times very narrow especially when the runners at the turn around started heading back. Parts of the course were run on gravel paths and the wind gust would create serious dust in the eyes. I also had to stop and dump out a couple of rocks in my shoes. It was a nice course overall. I felt so much peace running this race even though it would be my slowest race ever I wouldn't trade a minute; I felt His presence carrying me all the way. This race for me was like the culmination of 20 months of giving it all to the Lord...We ran this race together as we had done through all these months.

Action shot! hurting but focused. I wasn't long after this picture that I knew I was going to miss my time by a lot. It was at this point that I just gave my finish time to the Lord.

The race course was very unique and scenic. We ran over bridges and under train bridges with trains running overhead. The park like setting offered the support crew interesting and comfy places to hang out. I love my support crew ♥
Just enough to muster up a small fist pump at the end. Notice the lady in the yellow poncho in the background. The storm surge they had been talking about held off until the last couple of miles. The temps dropped 15 degrees within a couple of minutes and the wind turned around creating serious headwinds again until the turn into the stadium. Although I did not hit my time goal I did succeed in my #1 goal which was to run a smart race and to stay focused. After my failure to keep it together during the Tulsa Run I really felt happy with how I managed the difficulties of this race. I prayed throughout the entire race and felt His pleasure and presence with me the entire time. This was one tough race but I finished with my heart full of worship and gratitude for what He had done!

My favorite medal! soon to be my new favorite belt buckle!