Go Sharon! You’ve Got This!

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Excited about joining the ranks of other Legacy Runners! Photo by Hardeep Thind.

What a great day yesterday, 1/15/2017 was. I officially became a Legacy Runner and was able to finish with a smile on my face! I have mentioned before that my training wasn’t really that ideal, mostly because I just wanted this to be a finish rather than a time I was going for. I finished in 4:22, not my best, but certainly not my worst.

The night before the race, I didn’t get much sleep because I would keep waking up in a panic worrying that I overslept. What’s funny is that I usually run pretty well with a lack of sleep. If I get in too deep of a sleep, I struggle getting up. I woke up, got dressed, had my granola bar and water/Gatorade, and made sure to go pee as much as I could. At 5:30am, it was time to head out the door!

On the way there, I was actually more calm than I have been at any of my other races. Knowing that I wasn’t trying to go for a particular time made it so much easier, I could just relax and enjoy myself. There’s always a pressure you put on yourself when you’re trying to go for a certain time, but I felt none of that yesterday. Plus, with the temperatures already being in the high 60’s, even if I did have a goal time, that high temperature would have messed with my head. I’m definitely someone who mentally can’t handle the high temps. I shut down when I realize it’s going to be over 60 degrees or so.  Continue reading

This Marathon is a Special One!

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Running my first race at 24, 10 years ago. Obviously, clueless as to what to wear (t-shirt, soffe shorts, big headphones, socks not meant for running).

Well here I am, one week before the Chevron Houston Marathon and feeling a bit unprepared, but very ok with it. I managed to get a few long runs in, not as many as I would have liked, but I feel confident I will finish with a decent time. I didn’t train as I had planned to, but if you read my previous post, you’d know I am totally ok with it. Instead, I enjoyed a few extra meals, a bit more sleep, and gave my body a break. I’ll get back on track this year, as I have some pretty big goals that I’ll write about later. This race will be about having fun and enjoying each step!

The 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon will be my 19th marathon, and a very special marathon as it is the 10 year anniversary of my very first road race ever, the 2007 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It’ll also be my 10th consecutive Chevron Houston Marathon. Once I cross the finish line, I will be considered a “Legacy Runner.” This is a big, big deal to me. I have waited for this moment for the past 10 years. There are currently only 1,664 runners who have completed 10 or more of the Houston Marathons in the CHM’s history. Of those runners, only 377 are female and of the females, only 14 are in their 30’s. I will be one of the youngest female legacy runners (there is only one girl younger than me on the current list). Once I qualify as a Legacy Runner, I have the opportunity to be a pace leader, which means I can lead a group of runners who are trying to finish the race in a certain time. Legacy Runners also get a special bib for race day and are granted guaranteed entry for future marathons. I know to anyone reading this, it may not seem like a big deal…but it is to me!

I’m looking forward to taking it easy and enjoying myself, with no pressure, on the 15th. I really just want to finish with a smile on my face and no aches and pains. I’ll enjoy all the crowds, seeing my loved ones, and maybe even some of the Michelob Ultra around mile 21.  If you’re in town, and don’t mind waking up early (hopefully cold), you really should come out and cheer on the thousands of Houstonians (and from elsewhere) running throughout the streets!

Common Bonds

rsWe all lead such different lives, which is very evident just by spending a few minutes on social media. Whether you are a working girl, a full time mom, or a student, the ins-and-outs of your daily life may vary greatly from that of a girlfriends. Running is something that allows women to feel as though their lives are a bit more parallel to their friends lives. As a 32 year old teacher without children, I know I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule than someone like my girlfriend Renee, who is a small business owner with two active young children. I’m a city girl and she has a beautiful home in the rural area. I can fly off to New York City on whim, where as Renee has to consider accommodations for her children for a quick getaway. We spend our days and nights very differently, but one thing that we have made a connection with in our almost 20 year friendship is running. We were able to come together in 2014 to take a weekend trip to beautiful San Diego, California to run the San Diego Half Marathon. This trip was our first getaway trip together and was so memorable. We spent time catching up on the different aspects of our lives, pushing through the surprisingly hilly course, and celebrating our accomplishment by having too much Ghirardelli ice cream at the end of the night. Although our lives have gone in very different directions as we have gone from high school friends to adult women, we now have a new bond, running. We are girls like you. Do you find running as a common bond with your friends?