This past weekend I double upped with a 5k on Saturday and a half-marathon on Sunday plus I added 5 miles after the half on Sunday to give me 18 miles for the day.
Sounds crazy, right? It is but I have only 4 weeks until I lace up my shoes and throw down 26.2 miles so it was a necessary evil. And one that just helped affirm that while my legs may be tired and the sweat may be flowing from my pits, my mind & heart are ready to tackle this.
And what’s the thing they say about running being mental? Yeah. That. Anyway, less about marathon madness and more about race shenanigans!
For the past 4 years, I’ve ran the 5k portion of this race. It’s actually the first 5k I ever participated in (before I was hit with the running bug) and has kind of been a tradition for me since. I considered running the half portion last year but had already registered for the Houston Half and since I was fairly new to running longer distances, I wasn’t sure if could handle it.
Besides Miracle Match boasts as being the Toughest Little Marathon in Texas, so it was a little scary as a newer runner. Below is the elevation change/hills for the half marathon course from my Garmin.
I knew after I finished the 5k in 2013 that I would sign up to run the half in 2014, just to see. And when an email showed up in my inbox with a discount code for signing up to do a double race weekend, I couldn’t say no. Also, 100% of the proceeds of this race goes to Be The Match to help people who need marrow transplants.
Yeah, not 80% or 90% but 100 freaking percent. How amazing is that? It was also one of the most personable & personal races I’ve ever run. I would highly recommend this race to anyone – even out-of-staters. On to the recap.
January 25th, 2014 5k
The weather was cold. With wind chill in teens & upper 20s so I went with running tights, long sleeve shirt, pullover, gloves (touch screen that I scored from my MIL over Christmas!) and a headband.
Overall, good choices. I was definitely over the gloves by Mile 1 and considered chunking them at My Emilie (who was awesome and volunteered at the water station!) but didn’t want to seem like a drama queen so I powered through the finger sweat. I didn’t want to really push crazy hard for this simply because I knew I was planning on doing the half the next day and overall, these races were set up as part of my marathon training. Last thing I want is an injury.
Time: 38:25 with a 12:23 average per mile.
My 2013 time was 40:30 with a 13:03 average per mile, so maybe not a 5k PR but definitely a course PR! Since starting to run one of my favorite things has been to do the same race each year (if possible) just to be able to compare. It’s a great way to remind yourself of where you are and that the work you’ve put in isn’t in vain.
Here’s a few race pictures from the 5k. They turned out, in one word, glorious. I seriously couldn’t stop laughing at myself when I checked them out. (Yes, it’s true, I’m easily amused.)
Once I crossed the finish line, Emilie & I had a girls day where we went to Target and then carb-loaded on some Italian food at Johnny Carino’s. I thought about taking a picture of my Smoked Chicken & Jalapeno Ravioli to share with you but then I took one bite and pretty much shoveled the rest in my mouth at an epic speed. It was amazeballs and I have no regrets.
January 26th, 2014 Half-Marathon
The weather was warmer (in the 30s) and it really was a great weekend for a race. Based on my experience for the 5k, I opted to not wear gloves and a headband. I thought I might still need a pullover so I started the race with a newbie I picked up at Target during our Emilie & Tam day. I’m actually wearing it today as I type this and y’all, it’s wonderful. I love it. The brand is C9 and everyone should have one. I wore running capris instead of tights (Christmas present from My Emilie. Have I mentioned lately how much I love her? Because I totally do.) and I recently purchased a SpiBelt to try/use for my marathon. This was the first race I’ve used it with and it did wonderful. I’ll do a review on that in a later post.
I started the race telling myself I’ll run as I’m comfortable and try to focus on just getting to the 13 since I had planned on running 5 more miles afterwards (and I did!) to make my total for the day 18. Almost immediately I felt a presence right next to me, same pace, same relaxed mode for at least a quarter of mile before she turned to me and said, “ 12:30 pace?” and I turned back and said, “That’s the plan. Fingers crossed, right?”
We introduced ourselves (side note: runners are amazing and wonderful and crazy friendly) her name was Adrian and her dad/sister were also running. We ran the first 6 miles together before we hit the hills. Once we got to the hills my plan was to speed walk up them and run down, her plan was to run the entire race so for the rest of the race I was a minute or two behind her.
This was at Mile 5 right before I ditched my pullover (thanks Adrian for holding my watch!) and just tied it around my waist. She really helped pull me through and it was nice having someone to run with for a bit.
At Mile 8 I got bacon. Like, literally, I got bacon. We were running through a residential part of the race and there was a group of 5-6 college kids in front of their home cheering runners on with cowbells. One girl had a giant bowl and as I got closer, I heard someone yell, “We got bacon!” So as I ran by I grabbed a handful and yelled, “HELL YEAH”. They started jumping up and down screaming, “SOMEONE TOOK THE BACON!” I popped a piece in my mouth and immediately regretted it. Not that it wasn’t tasty but it was bacon and kind of dry and I had no water for the next half mile.
I’ve decided that at any point in my life when I think something is going to be great and it turns out to be a bad decision I’m going to call it “Got Bacon”.
Yo, I decided to run a marathon but then I got bacon when my legs fell off at mile 21.
The race split up based on the race you were running right after Mile 5 too – the half went straight, the full & relay turned left and the 10k turned right. The half & marathon courses met back up around mile 10 I believe.
At Mile 11, the lead racer for the full marathon passed me. So basically this dude ran 26 miles faster than I could run 13. Dude was in beastmode.
At about that time I met another running partner (didn’t grab her name but she was from the Dallas area and said she loved the course and it was better than the Austin 3M she ran the weekend before – winning!) and we talked for about a mile before I started getting eager to finish and decided to push it a bit.
I wasn’t expecting to run this (much harder) course any faster than my last race since I still had 5 miles to throw down but y’all, TOTALLY PR’ED ON THIS BITCH.
Time: 2:56:09 with a 13:26 average per mile.
When I crossed the finish line I was thrilled! I really think it helped that I had people to talk to during the race to keep my mind off the mileage.
I picked up my extra swag (for running two races, I ended up getting 3 shirts!), my medal and seriously considered grabbing a free fajita & margarita but instead I booked it to my truck and then to the house to finish up my mileage for the day on the treadmill.
I was exhausted by the end of it but I didn’t sit down (I do have a kid/husband to tend to) and tried to keep myself busy in hopes that I wouldn’t be too crazy sore come Monday. I finally sat down at 7pm to watch a movie with the husband and I didn’t make it 15 minutes before I passed smooth out. I woke up around 9pm with stickers on me (thanks Lillie) and a husband telling me I’d be more comfortable in our bed.
I moved around a lot on Monday to ward off the soreness, and it wasn’t too terrible. Mostly if I sat for an extended period of time (desk job, woohoo) and then sat up and by Tuesday there wasn’t much soreness left in me. HOWEVER, I did manage to chafe fairly bad on thighs (even though I wore capris) so I busted out the Desitin and am now aware that for my marathon I should probably have some Vaseline I can get to incase I need it.
Overall, this was a beautiful course that you should totally do. It’s for a wonderful cause and they really do a great job at making it personal. There were signs along the course for motivation and the volunteer stations really out-did their selves.
Until we run again!