Friday, January 30, 2015

Aramco ½ & Chevron Marathon Race Report

Another long overdue Race Report Part #2

 Pre-Race- I have to say that the Aramco half feels like such a big deal! I mean I did the La Port Half over the Fred Hartman Bridge in November and it pales in comparison to the pre-race jitters we all had going in to this race.  I think it’s just the enormity of it all - it’s the city of Houston standing out there and rallying together in support – it’s the thousands of people running vs. hundreds. Not matter why the reason (maybe our shoes were tied to tight…) we all had the butterflies in out tummies and we were as ready as anyone could be.

We meet up and in a flurry of making sure we had everything on our bodies (earbuds, gels,  phones, watches, etc…) that would carry us through the next 13.1 or 26.2 miles and meeting everyone we knew would be joining us in this run – somehow we managed to be set and in our corral ready to go. Ah and Guada showed up and although she didn’t feel 100% better – she dressed to help her fake it until she would make it!! I just love her attitude!

Mile 1-2 – We were off and running! Alma was running the full marathon and was gone like the wind bull’s-eye! Guada teamed up with a few ladies from the Chronicle. Cindy, Clari and I started off in step with each other with hopes to stay by the 12:30 minute pacer and Lety started off with us but somewhere in mile two had moved well out of my sight.  In mile two we found Joseph and Amina cheering us on!! She was so happy to see her momma (Clarissa) out there running and it for sure gave us a pep in our step!

Mile 3 & 4 – I see this as our first big “turn” onto the Heights and over Allen Parkway, the people cheering us on seemed to keep us moving right along, by this time it was the three musketeers – Cindy, Clari and I moving right along! Another turn and we were on W. Grey, which for me is always so nostalgic because of so many years that I worked in this area and everything seems so familiar – Kinda like “Oh hi Office Max remember me?!!”  :)

Mile 5 & 6 – Right where mile 4 ends and 5 begin we were surprised by Joe and Amina again! How cool, was that! I mean in such a huge race with hundreds of people cheering us on there was this tiny person with a smile larger than life smile cheering on her momma!!  Melted my heart each time, of course I would get so excited that I would run up to Amina too and give her some quick loving and crazy screams :) and then if that wasn’t enough Diana (friend and trainer from Fit4her Gym) was on the other side of the street cheering for us too!! She made a super awesome sign for us!! It was like “Hello?!” we belong here we even have our own signs and fans on the sidelines!! Whoop-whoop!!!!!!

In Honor of … I decided to run in Honor of Sara, Josh and Zori, who lost their lives 01/07/2015 … the days leading up to the run were very hard on our community and family, especially for my son. I was overwhelmed with my thoughts and the song “God’s not Dead” came on and in the middle of mile 6, and I wanted to drop to my knees and cry… why? Honestly? I am thankful that my son is here with me today; my heart literally hurts when I think about the parents and what they must be facing now. But also because God is not dead, not in MHS, not in Alvin ISD, not to my son who had to ask God the question why? I run in faith, faith that God gives me the strength when I have no more… and not just in running but in everything I do. 

Mile 7 & 8 – I was a little lost in thought at mile 7 but right before you hit mile 8, there is the split for the full marathoners to head out and away from us only half crazy runners. It get a little crazy right around here as volunteers start trying to guide the traffic one way or the other and that’s when I thought about Alma, I knew then that she had headed out before us and was taking on the challenge of the full marathon without training just on the simple notion that she knew she could do it. I didn’t doubt that she could do it but you know me and I was worried all kinds of ways that she might get hurt! So I mentally threw prayers out her way down the street hoping that they would catch up to her and keep her safe! In mile 8 Joe and Amina were there again and although it was fun and encouraging I felt myself starting to fade!!

Mile 9 & 10 – In the beginning of mile 9 I knew I was in trouble, I just wanted to walk! Being with Clarissa and Cindy kept me chugging along. Then at mile 10 Oscar (Cindy’s hubby) made his appearance! Ha we got a quick picture and off we went again! Right after our water break in mile ten, I knew I was in trouble, my legs were tired and I think that I had let my mind beat me into thinking that I was done…
In Honor of… Cindy dedicated her run to her mommy Estella who passed away 07/09/2014. Around mile 9 a wonderful lady came to Cindy and shared a very special moment with her, as her husband had passed away a day before Cindy’s mommy. Per Cindy’s own words “I felt this overwhelming sense of strength overcome me. It was game on after that!!”

Mile 11 & 12-  At the end of mile 10, told Cindy she would have to push me because I was done, in a state of delirium I might have told her that I would not walk anymore… just running from there till the end –HA! Cindy was the best ever for these last miles she carried me forward and never let me stop. If I slowed to a walk she would hook her arm in mine and say “are you waiting on someone??” “Who are you waiting for?” and “Come on, we are not stopping!”.  Clari fell back a little bit but Cindy would turn around and look out for her telling me “ I can still see her!!” We were both so proud of Clari and how much she had pushed herself for this half.

Mile 13.1 – When I would run with Cindy on the weekend I would tell her to finish strong, the last turn into my street we would run as fast as we could to the end. In mile 13.1 – I hate to say but I had no fast finish left in me, I kept thinking that I was holding Cindy back, but despite that she never left my side. Near the finish I saw my kiddo yelling for me and just as I passed him I saw my hubby and Hailey on his shoulders cheering me on! And just like that once again we crossed the finish! We met up with Lety and waited a couple of minutes for Clari and we were done!

Mile 13.1- 26.2 – Alma was a beast, she finished that marathon, her first ever, like a champ. I am so proud of her, if you know Alma you know there is rarely a challenge someone can put in front of her that she won’t fight to accomplish.  I think the 26.2 took a toll on her physically but  26.2 puts a toll on anyone who attempts to do it – she finished that 26.2 a little bruised (on her toe) and a little sore, but I would bet that she will never be the same again! They say you learn a lot about yourself in 26.2 miles…

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