It seems like I do this a lot lately but I'm going to apologize now for this extra long post. There will also be a ridiculous amount of pictures. :)
Friday. 11-11-11. Veteran's Day.
I had a race Friday morning that I was pretty excited about. This was the inaugural race of the Veteran's Day Run that was being held in cities across America.
I got up bright and early at 5am on that Friday morning. I should say we got up early. Chuck insisted on going to support me and I did appreciate it. Five am is early but the temperature outside was cold. I admit that I had second thoughts about going when I stepped outside.
I stumbled around like a drunk zombie at that early hour. Again, this is why it's so important to get my running gear together the night before when I'm still coherent.
I munched on a couple of crackers with peanut butter smeared on them. Drank a little Rock Star for a caffeine jolt.
When we arrived at Bear Creek Park it was so cold! 34*!! Most of the runners were huddled in their cars in the parking lot. No one wanted to stand outside and freeze. The moon was still out and shining brightly.
I think we all wanted to just sit in our warm cars but the draw to pick up our tee shirts and visit the bathrooms got the better of some of us. There was frost on the ground!
Oh my gosh! It's so cold! People are jumping around in place and rubbing their hands together. There's a line for last minute registration. And I pick up my tee shirt. Brrrrr!!!
Why are we doing this again? Oh yeah!!!
Chuck and I shuffled back to the car and laughed about how cold it was. I half-joked that maybe I should just grab one of those medals and leave and call it a day. Ha ha ha ha!! No? I have to earn it?
Then it's finally time to line up. We get started late but that's ok. It turns out that we will be running on a jogging path loop at the park. We just have to circle it 3 times and we're finished. This turns out to be closer to a 10K than an 11K but I sure wasn't complaining!
There were several active and veteran military running the race too. They wore red, white and blue bibs while us civilians wore black and white bibs. These guys ran in combat boots and camo pants!
Even though it started out very cold the runners (myself included) warmed up fast once we got started! That's me with the blue jacket tied around my waist. I'm so glad Chuck was there to take it and my gloves for me. Since it was a loop I got to pass him 3 times during the race and say hi. :)
Runners were shedding jackets, hats and gloves all over the place. You would have thought that this was some game of strip running!
I developed a side stitch around mile 1 and it lasted until mile 3.5 or 4. Ouch!! I'd like to say it slowed me down but who am I kidding? I'm slow all the time!
Going around for another loop. They had one water station set up but we got to pass it three times.
I completely zoned out during the last loop. I didn't "wake up" until I came to a mile marker that had flags and said "Mile 5". Woohoo!!! Almost done!!!
There were people running with flags. People thanking the military. It was a very nice race.
Finally it's my turn to cross the finish line. I'm looking down because I have this fear of tripping over the timing mat that's across the path.
Yay!!!! I was slow but that's not unusual for me. My calves have been so tight lately! I wonder if it's the shoes, my form or both? No clue. But I was one happy girl once I got that pretty new medal.
This lady was fantastic! She was the announcer, sang the national anthem and cheered the entire time!! She was so enthusiastic!! I love it. Hearing someone cheer like that does help to give you a boost of energy.
Time for coffee and donuts! Oh so many choices!
Oh yum. Chocolate filled. I can't remember the last time I had one of these. Bliss.
What a fun morning! This is when the runner's high sets in. Love the new bling. And it's funny....the more time that elapses, the better the race (and my performance) seems to get in my mind. Strange.
Feeling a little guilty about having that donut (or was it two? I'm not telling) and the fact that some of the pictures that you didn't get to see showed some bulges and rolls (Am I supposed to be trying to lose weight still?) I ordered very sensibly from the IHOP menu when Chuck took me out for breakfast. Under 400 calories and I only had one piece of toast.
Ahhh. A new race shirt. Love it. :)
6.08 miles of running fun! :)
That night the whole family was signed up to do a fun run/walk at Sam Houston Race Park. A night race! Sounds fun and different! Plus it's only 1.1 miles so I didn't hear too much complaining from everyone.
Fortunately the day had warmed up considerably because I'm not sure we would have gone had it been cold like that morning!!
This was the Energizer Night Race so the bunny was everywhere. A lot of good "energy" at this race!
After walking around a bit and checking out the booths, we were given some glow sticks and some pink bunny ears. Picture time!
Notice the headlamps on the kids' heads? We are required to run (or walk!) with them during the race. They were provided in our packets. Cool!
Someone is always trying to sneak into a picture.
Dang it, Chuck! Stop it! He just couldn't stand it.
Ok, great. Now it's a game. Let's see who can get in a picture at the last moment. My "special" family.
Glow sticks make life more fun.
Rachel!!! I almost got a good shot of Charlie.
Really, Charlie?! As you can see they were all having a lot of fun with this. Any why is that lady praying in the background? Maybe that we'll stop this nonsense?
Awwww. A good shot. Believe me, there was a little boy trying to jump in there. He just missed. ;) I'm on to you, kid.
It's time to line up!!! 11K runners line up front.
It's a beautiful night with the moon out. Everyone seems excited and ready to go! This is at the horse race track in Houston. Us 1.1 milers stayed in the parking lot while the 11K guys hit the streets then came back to the parking lot. Twice.
Omg! The giant Energizer Bunny comes out and gets the crowd pumped up. Cool! Well, I was pretty excited about it. He was banging on a bass drum. We waited for him to stop but he just kept going, and going, and going and going..... (because he's the Energizer bunny...)
The 11K runners take off and then we get to move up closer to the start line.
Even though we weren't being timed, Charlie was feeling competitive so we ran off and on. We'd race each other. The kid is pretty fast!!!
It was so cool to see all of the little headlamps bobbing in the night!
We cross the finish line!!! After the race we were treated to a barbecue dinner and a free beer. Well, Chuck and I had a beer. Not the kids. ;) (I just looked at this picture and see that I did this in my old pair of Asics! LOL)
All of the runners were sitting on the ground and having a picnic under the moon while great music played. It was such a great time!! I really wish you could have been there.
Charlie certainly had fun! And everyone approved of the chipped beef barbecue sandwiches we had. Yum!
It's tough to get good shots at night. Chuck is hungry! We all were.
And what did we all get? Yep, a fun medal. Charlie has been wearing his like a necklace every day.
This was such a fun race that I think we all would like to do it again next year!
Chuck did end up hurting his knee pretty bad. Well, it was already hurt but this seemed to do further damage so we ended up not going to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Instead we were all lazy Saturday. Sometimes it's nice to take a little break and just lie around.
I asked Chuck, "So did you like not doing anything Saturday? It seemed strange to me."
He says, "I'm not sure I liked it!"
That's ok. We made up for it Sunday! I'll tell you about that tomorrow! ;) But Friday was a terrific day. We all slept very well that night!