Sunday, February 16, 2014

Will Run For Kingcake

   Well folks! I have completed my 2nd race and my first 10K of the new year! For the second year in a row I ran the Mardi Gras Mambo 10k.  I have to say: I LOVED IT!! I had a blast! I was nervous going into the race because it had been almost an entire year since I had ran 6.2 miles continuously. I was worried it would take me longer than my friends who opted to run the 15k which was an extra 3 miles and that my legs would lock up due to the longer distance. I am happy to report that according to the official time keepers of the Mardi Gras Mambo I finished the race with a time of 1:11:52 AND my legs didn't lock up. I was super stoked about this! According to my Nike app I finished in: 1:10:13. However, my runner friends and I had a long discussion regarding our apps and how the race coordinators measure the miles. We found that all of our apps were slightly off compared to the actual race course. For example, my Nike app yesterday told me I ran a total of 6.44 miles when the race was a 6.2 race technically. I would love to go off my Nike app because it helps me when I am training but also because it obviously makes me look like a bad mama jamma running my 10K yesterday. After much debate I have decided to go with the official chip time from the race and look into re-calibrating my Nike app so that it is more accurate.

My recap and thoughts:
I was very fortunate this year to run with a great group of ladies! I ran with my favorite running partner K.J of course but also our good friend Rebecca and her really good friend Kitty! Along for the ride up there and back were Kitty's daughter and her daughter's best friend. The two girls were great! They were so kind to watch all of our stuff and were there to encourage us before and after the race. They were super sweet and made sure that we got food and drink after the race as well. This year, thanks to Rebecca and Kitty, we decided to dress up for the occasion. Rebecca made us amazing headbands and we all wore shirts, custom made, that read, "Will Run For Kingcake" Kitty and Rebecca took it one step further and made adorable tutu's to wear. For those of you who know me, know how much I love to be matchy matchy so naturally I was totally down for having matching shirts and headbands!! We actually got a lot of compliments on our outfits. I also loved the fact that we were unified as a group. It was so great to ride up to the race with us all talking, laughing and encouraging one another. It was even better to watch each of my friends cross the finish line.

Before the Race 
My 3 friends ran the 15K portion of the race. I was there to see all of them cross the finish line and I was so proud of their accomplishments but more importantly the fact that they didn't really let their time be a factor or an issue. Some were hoping to do better than they had done but ultimately, as discussed on the way home, we were all grateful for the blessing to be able to run and to run well. As I was waiting for my friend to cross the finish line I was able to watch tons of other people cross that finish line, some of them for the first time. It was so great to see the relieve and the excitement on their faces as they finished the race. One of my other really good friends ran her first 10K that day and I was really fortunate to not only see her cross the finish line but be there to snap pictures of her and be there to congratulate her. When you really break it down, running isn't about who is fastest. A good friend once told me that running is a community, a group of people who in the end are there to support you and congratulate you on your accomplishments! This is exactly what I witnessed yesterday while I was both running and standing at the finish line.

                                                                       The Headband          

The Front

The Back                                                            

The spectators at the race were AMAZING! There was so many people standing throughout the route yelling and shouting encouragements. There was one patron who actually had his little sound system set up outside of his house playing some jamming music to help boost our energy. At one point in the race, a fellow racer tripped and looked as though she had sprained her ankle. It was great thing to see so many other runners stop to help her out and notify the police so that she could get the proper care. It's things like that, that give me hope in humanity in a world that sometimes is full of mean and hateful people.

All in all the Mardi Gras Mambo did not disappoint. There were some things that could have been done a little better such as the water stations being better positioned with colder water and the venue not running out of food after the race but those are minor things compared to the scheme of it all. I want to say thank you to my little group of running buddies who, throughout my running hiatus and now, have always been there and encouraged me to do my very best. They have been very encouraging. My friends and family members who aren't runners have also been really great. They encourage me to do my best but also to take care of my body.

The Finish Line 

As I complete each run whether it be a training session or a race, I realize more and more how blessed I am and how much the Lord has a hand in my life. I love running and I am so grateful that I am able to do it again. I am incredibly grateful for all my friends and family members who continue to encourage me in not only my running but also as I continue to earn my college degree!

I look forward to my next 10K which takes place in March. I will be running a local race for St. Patty's day with my BF and running partner K.J.  Stayed tuned for another blog update and of course pictures with K.J and I wearing matching shirts and headbands. :) I know it's sickening..


The route

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