This past Sunday, I ran the Cowtown Marathon. This was my fifth marathon AND my hometown marathon.
Race weekend officially began when I picked the girls up from school on Friday and drove all the way to Alvarado, with only one stop along the way. Not since my college days of commuting from Houston to Alvarado have I had such an easy trip, and I credit this incredible journey to all the many people from our church who were praying that I wouldn’t leave my children on the side of the road somewhere around Fairfield. (Which I have considered doing in the past after Emma has asked for the thousandth time, “What state are we in now?” Texas, Emma. Always Texas.)
We hit the Expo on Saturday morning, met my sister and her kids for lunch, visited with my grandmother and her boyfriend (yeah, you read that right), and rested our feet for the next day. I carb loaded with Wes on Friday for his Saturday race, so I was feeling overloaded at this point and probably didn’t eat as much as I should have. But you can only eat so much, y’all. I tried my best!
Thanks to some crazy race traffic, my parents ended up dropping me off a few blocks away from the starting line about thirty minutes before the official start time. This actually turned out to be a great thing, as it kept me from spending too much time freezing my behind off out in the cold. Oh, for the days that I lived in Oklahoma and thought that thirty degrees was nothing. You’ve spoiled me, Houston! I was actually wishing the start would come quicker so I could get moving and warm up.
And then, the race started, and we were off! And I threw off 50% of the clothing I was wearing before we even got to mile two. Awesome!
I’m not sure what the best part of this race was — recognizing so many landmarks along the way or being met by two cheering, tiny girls at several key points of the course. Up at the top of the list of great moments, though, was when those two tiny girls met me at mile 19, which is typically where I’d be freaking out. Had to keep running and look sane this time, though, because they were watching for me.
Love those girls! (And kudos to my parents for getting them to each spot, which was no small feat, especially with as antsy and excited as the girls were.)
I ended up running the whole blasted thing… up until mile 24 when I realized that if I continued on at my current pace, I would beat Wes’s best time and would have to endure months of his pouting and bruised ego. Oh, I kid. I started walking at mile 24 because I HURT ALL OVER. At the last water station, I dropped my cup just short of the trash can, considered bending over to pick it up, and then thought better of it when the girl behind me said, “It’s not worth it.” She spoke the truth, y’all. If I had bent over to pick it up, I’d still be in Trinity Park today, lying on the ground and moaning.
I still managed my own PR, which was awesome. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, because I had no idea what my PR was going into this race. I’m just that competitive and serious about my running, obviously. I was excited to get my medal and my exceptionally fine pick of post-race refreshments… all of which the girls ate for me. “Yay, Mommy! You ran a — CAN I HAVE YOUR ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE MILK!?!” Sigh.
Thank you for a great race, Cowtown!