Being that this Sunday is my 29th half marathon, I dug through Facebook to fine some of my favorite 13.1 running memories from completed races. I loved scrolling through and seeing so many races, friends and memories. I did NOT like seeing how I’ve aged. Lol.
*** disclaimer – Pardon the tired faces, smeared makeup, blurry pictures, etc! Some of these feel like a million years ago and my how I’ve grown and changed!
Before I get into all of that though, I have to show off the dinner I made and the candy sushi we finally busted open. Santa delivered this sugary goodness and we figured tonight was the night!
Paired with sake it was the best. Lol! I’ll be honest, although it was good… I wouldn’t buy anything that was in here normally. My favorite were the little gum drop looking things, but I’m not a fan of the candy with the white on the bottoms and most of this had it. Ginger was the flavor of most as well which I like in a Moscow mule but not necessarily candy!
The concept of the candy sushi was cute though and Lynn and I enjoyed playing lady the tramp with one of the long spaghetti candies that resembled ginger. Plus, the Sake was amazing and just the right amount.
For dinner (and before we actually had candy) I made the Ahi Tuna we had in the fridge. I seared it for the first time and it was delicious!
This is definitely something I will be doing a ton more. One of my favorite meals I’ve made hands down. Yum!
Okay, back to the 13.1 favorite moments in racing. I’m sure I have others as well, but these I have pictures of and they sparked memory. It shows me how far I’ve grown, but how I wish I had done more training when I was younger. No time like the present and my heart is all in now!
1) My first half marathon in 2012. It was the Chevron Houston Half Marathon so no matter who you were, you feel like an elite athlete! From the 30,000 runners to the 750,000 spectators it felt special, big and exciting!
I didn’t train when I was younger and had a habit of always showing up to races with only a few weekly runs in between. I had never ran more than a 10k before this race and I believe it was a few months before this race at a turkey trot. However, I was so emotional crossing the finish line and this is when I fell in love with running. I wanted to do it all!
2) My first marathon the next year! I knew as soon as I completed my first half in Houston I’d want to do the full! I was bad once again though and had never ran more than 13.1 miles before I toed the start line (although I did about 5 half marathons that year). I had started a new job and running was on the back burner a bit, but I was determined to finish! My slowest full to date, but this taught me anything was possible and there was so much I wanted to achieve!
I was humbled of course as it was tough. The marathon is such a different beast than a half. Your body hurts in different ways, you have to mentally get around how far 26 miles is, remind yourself that you PAID for this and the free banana will be worth it 🙂
You Run with your heart and not your legs for a few of those miles!
3) My first age group win for a 5k. I was wearing my half marathon shirt so I think it brought me good luck! I placed second at this race and so the competitiveness in me was sparked. (I look awful, please excuse my younger self. )
4) My first 1st Place age group win at a 5k! I was second overall female so that was also exciting. This was a Christmas race at the beautiful City Centre in Houston, TX, and I was so proud.
5) My first 50k. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around this distance. Plus, this course was a few miles long which was killer at that point. It started at 5pm at night in Farmville Virginia, was 90 degrees out and when the sun went down you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face without a headlamp.
Mental is always my weakness with running and something I’m working on. I think being injured these last few months has really put perspective on just how much I want and need running! How important it is to properly fuel and train our bodies. How bad I want to be really good!
50k and our award was a magnet. Lol!
6) This Fall Foilage 5k in Waynesboro, VA. This was incredible not because I placed (came in 4th), but because it was the first race I ran in beautiful Virginia and the first race where I finally had my person with me. Lynn and I had met earlier in the year, so I was so motivated to do good and make her proud. Was a super slow 5k as I hadn’t ran more than a few times that year but I loved it! The Virginia hills humbled me as well!
You’ll notice how much better the pictures get now that Lynn is taking them at all my races. That or I finally grew into myself and ditched the glasses. Lol!
7) My first 30k and I felt good during this race! This is when I was really putting the work in and it has continued to this day. If only I could’ve been born and blessed with natural talent like Shalane Flanagan or Desi Linden. You know, Olympic athlete talent. God, was that too much to ask for?
Plus, I got to see a lot of my Houston Striders at this race. It was part of the warm up series leading up to that years Houston Marathon.
8) While living in Virginia, we traveled to Pittsburgh so I could run the Marathon! I was also excited as we got to meet up with some Houston Striders that were there as well to run the race!
Hilly. 26.2 miles. Hilly. Hilly. However this marked my 20th Full marathon and I had my fiancé with me. Life was good and we really enjoyed that trip and the city of Pittsburgh. Wish we would’ve had more time to explore. This was one of the most emotional starts and finishes I’ve had.
9) The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach! Why? Well, it’s in Virginia Beach, need I say more?! This one was a hard one for me even though flat and beautiful. Humbled by the distance, but grateful for the experience! Lynn and I both enjoyed the after party as well!
10) I remember this race JUST RUN for a CAUSE and how large it was for a 5k! I came in second, up from third from the year before, but everything clicked at this race. Someone caught me towards the end as I was struggling and helped pace me to the finish. That was pretty cool!
11) I’m going to combine BOTH of the Gusher Marathons in Beaumont Texas I did in number 11. These were only about 5 weeks after the Houston Marathon each year so I was still coming off the recovery and getting back into running from that race. So, running well at these was always fulfilling. Definitely not the show that the Houston Marathon was, but great people and a pretty course. Two loops was a bit tough though!
I also came in third my first year and FIRST my second year (in my age group) so that was pretty exciting. Smaller race, but still proud moments!
12) The 2018 San Antonio Rock n’ roll Half Marathon. This was my first race in San Antonio with Lynn, with her friends cheering me on… meeting Des Linden. I mean, come on! What’s not to love.
Plus, I was putting in some amazing training, and something I swear I will continue to do! I was on the right track until I injuring myself Christmas Eve, but I’m back at it and slowly gaining traction again. I will be back stronger than ever!
You can read this race recap HERE
13) The 2017 Turkey Trot in Temple. First holidays spent with my girl, and Lynn’s Dad and Brother ran the race with me while Lynn and Mom Papke cheered us on at the finish.
This race was pretty large. The feeling in the air for turkey trots is always so neat as it’s lots of families and good vibes all around! I came in second for my age group and 9th overall female so I was pretty excited!
13.1) The National Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC. Our friend Elizabeth had never ran a half marathon before and asked if I would pace her. She wanted to finish in 2:15… and we finished in exactly 2:15. (Clock is off because with 3,000 women it took us a few minutes to cross the start).
I loved being a pacer and I saw a different perspective. I was so proud of her, loved the scenery and enjoyed a different kind of race. I miss DC! I was actually signed up for this years race, but we moved 🙁
My CURRENT favorite race memory (so technically number 14) is last month at my 21st Marathon which took place in Houston Texas where it all began! I wasn’t sure this race was possible coming off injury and hadn’t ran in a month. I had two incredible people there cheering me on. What more could I ask for!?
You can read about this race recap HERE
And just because not enough numbers in 13.1… a few of my other favorites as I scrolled through my Facebook memories!
- My 4th half marathon of the first year of running put on by my wonderful Houston Striders!
- This 10 miler in Clear Lake which was part of the warm up series to the Chevron marathon in January. A girl and I found each other at mile 2 and just stuck with eachother. Didn’t mutter a word, nothing… but we both knew we were pushing each other. If I slowed a bit, she did… if she slowed a bit so did I …. but we pushed. I finished in an 8:30ish pace, and at the time I was so proud of that. Still am! We are Facebook friends to this day as after we crossed we high fived and talked about how cool that was!
I did the Fort Worth Turkey Trot 3 years in a row with my sister. This is the first 10k she completed and I was so proud of her!
This was a third place win and a new 5k PR for me a few years ago. This race also had a lot of athletes attending signing autographs so was very memorable.
Finally, and I’ll stop as this post is SUPER long… My first OVERALL female 5k placement. This was in Fredericksburg Virginia and we later tried on engagement rings, so this day has a ton of memories. I’m now WEARING the engagement ring that I tried on that day and couldn’t be happier! We had so much fun in that State. Memories for a lifetime!
I could go on and on and on about racing memories, everyday running memories, etc. However, these were captured on camera so it was fun to be reminded and to speak about a few of them.
Seeing this also reinvigorated me and coming back from this injury I’m So going to come back tough and strong!
See you at the start line!
QUESTIONS – (Scroll to answer)
– What is your favorite running memory and why?
– What is your favorite distance to run?
– Have any runs this week or any races this weekend?