Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon – Race Recap

Sunday morning began with my alarm going off at 4:20 AM. I got out of bed and went to go wash my face to help myself wake up; I was tired, but excited! Robert and I needed to be out of the house by 5 AM since the race began at 6:45 AM, and we had a 45-60 minute drive to the race area in Las Colinas. I ate a small banana and a Clif bar about 2 hours before the race start, followed by a bottle of Nuun infused water. We arrived to the race area with plenty of time to spare, and met up with one of my best friends, Long, who was running the half marathon as well. We stretched, and were feeling energized and ready to run!

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However, the weather had a different schedule in mind. Half an hour before the race start, it began to pour down rain with thunder and lightning in accompaniment, and the race was delayed for an hour. While we waited I noticed someone wearing a runDisney hat, so we chatted with him, his wife, and their friend, and found out they were fellow Disney fanatics as well; the conversation was so much fun and made time to go by quickly!

The thunder and lightning subsided and we all made our way to the race start, and I left my iPod with Robert so it wouldn’t get ruined. It was still raining hard, but I did not mind. Even though I knew I would have a higher risk of getting blisters, I was pretty ecstatic that the temperature was not scorching hot!

The race started and Long and I ran together for about the first mile or so, then he bolted off to earn his own PR goal. I wanted to beat 2:30, but since the weather was cooler than I expected, I decided to try and stay with the 2:10 pace group. The race path was great; we were always on pavement and the majority of the time was spent running with gorgeous trees surrounding us!

The first 6 miles went very well; my legs were feeling good and I was keeping up with the 2:10 pacers. However, around mile 7 my legs started feeling heavier and heavier, and eventually I lost sight of the 2:10 group. I kept telling myself that those I was running for had endured far worse than this and that I could endure this for them! Also around this point, I realized that I was at about the same pace as another girl next to me and we kept each other motivated through the next 3 miles (if you are reading this, thank you Choe!). About halfway through mile 10, she needed to walk and told me to keep going. I knew that the finish line was less than a 5K away so I tried pushing my pace a little more.

For the most part, I was able to avoid the big puddles of water by temporarily running on the grass, but I reached a point where there was absolutely NO choice but to run through ankle-deep water. All I can say is this – thank goodness this did not happen until mile 11 because that was the point where I truly began to fear blisters. My shoes and socks were absolutely soaked.

Although the blisters were on their way, I quickly got over it and all I could think about was the finish line. I was definitely going to PR, but by how much? No, I was not going to make it in 2:10 but judging by my Garmin, I was going to be close to it! I pushed myself as much as I could for the last part of the race, and made the final turn. I ran past Robert, my parents, Long (he PR’d with a time of 1:48:02), and another one of my best friends, Ben, who had made it out to cheer for me and Long! I sprinted and crossed the finish line with an official chip time of 2:13:48 – I PR’d by 27 minutes!

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Elation and pride filled within me as I went to meet my cheer squad. However, even though this race was a huge personal triumph, it was far more than just a race; it was my way to say thank you and to give back as much as I could for those who have fought for our freedom.

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So, thank you to all of the past, present, and future members in the United States military. You are true heroes!

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QOTD: Have you ever ran for a cause you were passionate about? Did it help motivate you during the race?

14 comments

  1. WTG Lauren!!! Ankle-deep water and blisters and PR!!! Congrats! You rocked it.

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  2. Wow, 27 minutes! That rocks! I saw a picture of the standing water on the course and all I could think was yikes! Part running, part swimming?

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    1. Thanks Lesley!! Yes pretty much all I could think when I was going through the water was dang did I unknowingly sign up for a triathlon here? LOL

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  3. Michelle DavenportJune 12, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    You go, girl! Beating your PR by 27 minutes is AWESOME! I'm signing up for the Dallas half marathon in December. If you are interested in doing that, let me know. I'm doing it with a few other people, but it would be awesome to do it with you. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks Michelle!! The Dallas half marathon sounds fun, I will look into it! Would be at a great time too, I could run that one for time and then run the Tinkerbell Half in January for fun :)

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  4. Amazing! What a great PR! And running after pouring rain and treading through water! I love races that have pace groups. For my last half, I wasn't able to start with the pace guy, but I spent the first half of the race trying to catch up with him. It really helped to have something to look for. :)

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    1. Thank you Kim! This was the first time I've ever tried utilizing the pace group, I found it very useful! Only downside was the people holding the signs tended to draw crowds so I felt like I was on peoples heels for part of the time lol!

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  5. I'm so impressed!! What a fantastic race you had and such an amazing cause. I would love if something like that was around where I'm at. I'm so pro-military personnel. <3 Congratulations on such an amazing PR!

    I have yet to run for a cause. But one day I'd like to do the Marine Corps Marathon. Bucket list race right there <3

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    1. Thank you so much Meg! Marine Corps is on my bucket list too :) And yes, go military personnel!!

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  6. Wow for a PR and a double WOW for beating it by 27 minutes! You Rock Girl!! What a great cause to run for, reminds me of the Run for the Dream I did in Williamsburg that was for wounded warriors too. That medal looks pretty heavy. Cool!

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    1. Thank you!! It is most definitely a great cause to run for :)

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  7. Way to go on that awesome PR! I'd love to do a Wounded Warrior race eventually. It's such a great cause.

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    1. Thank you so much! You definitely should, it is such an inspiring race!

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