What a whirlwind! Friday night, my mom took the kids to my parents house to spend the night and we were kid-free! We got suite tickets to the Grizz game from my work, so we invited Marley and Matt for a night out. Even though the Grizz lost to the Spurs, it was a huge game and a lot of fun to be there. There is nothing like the atmosphere of a Grizz game.
After the game, we decided to stay out a little longer and head over to Overton Square. We checked out Lafayette’s, which was really cool. I didn’t drink, since I was running a half marathon bright and early the next morning, and to be honest, was a bit worried for myself when we got home at midnight! We had a great time. Our alarm clocks went off early, and Brian and I were up heading downtown for the St. Jude Marathon. Neither of us had ever been as spectators (we are sad to say) so this was a first for both of us. The weather was in the 50s, making it extremely difficult to choose what to run in, so I brought extra clothes with me. Ha! Brian and I parked easily and made our way to the start line at Beale and 4th. I choose Corral #5 (8:55 – 9:15 pace), because I was really trying to finish in under 2 hours. Brian held my stuff, walked all over the route, cheering for me and others he knew on the course. I saw him on Beale, around the 5K point, and then again at the 13th mile marker.
I honestly cannot say enough about this race. What an experience! There are really no words. At the start line, I was behind a man wearing a shirt that said “St. Jude dad. I’m running for my daughter, Luca.” I just can’t imagine what that dad has been through. Another runner near me had a shirt saying “Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor thanks to St. Jude.” Incredible! Along the route, there were bands, entertainers, supporters, etc. It was just awesome! Walking back to the car, Brian said “I’m doing it next year!” I really hope he does!
During the race, I stayed with the pacers for the first 5K. After that I passed them, and stayed in front of them until Mile 11. My favorite parts of the race were running down Beale Street and down 2nd, running through St. Jude and seeing the patients, families and staff, through Overton Park, and running down Riverside Drive. This race felt good, much better than my last half marathon. My legs were stronger. The elements going against me were the WIND and running against it, my nose running like crazy, and being really hot in the shirt I choose! Other than that, my body felt great and my mind (let’s face it, miles 9-12 are all a mind game) was strong. At one point around mile 10-11, I realized I probably wasn’t going to finish in under 2 hours. I was struggling, met some rolling hills, and my pace slowed. I started to get kind of worried and tried to push my pace. I got to Sun Studios and could see AutoZone Park (the finish) in the distance and pushed, pushed, PUSHED to the end. I saw Brian at the 13 mile marker and it gave me that last burst I needed to get through. I stomped the finish line, shut off my watch, and saw 1:59:35. I got tears in my eyes and said “Could I have cut that ANY closer?!?!?” About two minutes later, I called Brian and he answered his phone saying “You did it! You did it! You got under 2!! I’m looking at the official time and it’s under 2!” I was so happy. Like, so so so so happy. I met up with him outside AutoZone Park. We relished in the morning all day and most of the next day. Memories I never want to forget with him! My biggest fan and partner, Brian. Now, if we cross the finish line TOGETHER next year – cue the real tears!
Official Stats: Time: 1:59:35
Pace per mile: 9:07
Overall Place: 1,079 out of over 6,600 runners
F, Age 30-34 Group Place: 89 out of 748
After the race, we picked up the kids at my parents house and headed to get our Christmas tree. Which is amazing, because after the Greenline Half, I couldn’t walk for three days – haha! So, we got the tree, brought it home and started getting Christmas stuff out. We ended up going to dinner at Las Delicias that night to celebrate meeting my goal time.
Sunday we went to church, where we saw a couple of the boys in his class in the donut room. Sweet boys! They were so happy to see each other!
When we got home, we decorated the tree with Preston and Margo and finished putting all the Christmas indoor and outdoor decorations up and played with the kids.
What an awesome weekend. If only they were all that great!