Sunday, October 16, 2011

Running of the Bulls

We are at it again.  The Lunar Rendezvous Run gang would now be reuniting for the Houston Texan's Running of the Bulls.  This time, we had a new gang member in my little one who would be running in the Toro's 1K. 

The Lunar run had 523 runners participating.  This race would be much larger, and the kid's run had sold out!  I think there were a little over 2000 adults running today.  Big difference!  When we made the exit to get to the Reliant Stadium, there was a line of cars already waiting to get into the stadium parking lot.  Leslie was already there, and she called to tell us there were soooo many people! 

We met in the parking lot for our before picture!

So my family made their way into the stadium, and we lined up behind the start line.  Leslie and Justin stayed close to the front of the line, and we made our way closer to what we thought was the back.  We had about twenty minutes to wait, and come to find out, we were no where near the back of the line.  When we did look back, there was a sea of people behind us.  We decided to stay put, and thought they could just pass us. 

It got to be that time, and they started playing loud music.  That was fun, and kind of got the blood pumping.  We started off with Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up.)  We took off with a great pace.  Really great, and I kind of freaked out because I didn't think I could keep up that pace.  And as fast as I thought we were, we were being passed up left and right.  I debated on slowing down or trying to get through that first mile.  But we made it though the first mile at a pace of 12:37.  To greet us at the mile mark in addition to a water station was a marching band!  How awesome was that!  We walked while we drank our water, and then kept going for mile two.

We kept going, and we had a hill to climb.  It was actually a ramp, but it may as well have been a hill.  I was tired, and my legs hurt.  I looked over at Kelly, but she was living up to her title, Grace Kelly.  She seemed to have dissappeared and some other woman who obviously didn't run 11 miles yesterday was there next to me.  She was making it look easy.  I was inspired, and then I found my zone.  And it was great!  But it was short-lived.

We were running through another parking lot to reach mile two, where we were met by Texan's cheerleaders in knee-high pink boots.  And they were cheering for us.  Our pace of this mile was 14:02.  We walked as we drank our water, then we walked for a few more seconds.  Because I wanted to, because if it was up to Grace, I'm sure we would have been jaunting it all.  We rounded the corner, we were heading back to the stadium.  We could see the runners already making their way to the end.  Kelly said, "We're almost there!  This is easy!"  And then I wanted to trip her,  I said, "Are you the same person who ran 11 miles with me yesterday?  Because you're making this look easy.  I think you are a pod person, and this is your pod running with me!"  We had another ramp and then we were back in the stadium parking lot.  The music could be heard again, but we still had to go all the way around the building to get to the back.

Kelly was so encouraging, but I still asked that we take a quick walk break right so that we could finish strong.  Our last mile pace was 13:28. We were at the tunnel where you run in and we could see the finish line.  We had a nice little downhill ramp, and we took advantage of it and ran it in to the tune of Animal.  We crossed the finish line and high-fived each other.  It only took a second to find my husband.  My little one was on his shoulders and met me with a high five.  My dad gave me a hug, sweat and all, and told me that was awesome!  It was a great finish!

But I have to give props to Kelly.  She was in her zone.  The whole time!  She felt really great, and you could tell.  She was fabulous!

I had to get Millie out for her run, so almost immediately, we started our way back out to the parking lot. She didn't seem very nervous, but once we got there, there were so many adults!  She made her way to the end of the line.  Kelly was behind me, and I told her that all the parents were freaking me out!  We decided we would just run with her.  I had thought that I might if she was nervous or scared, but she wasn't.  She was already worming her way to the front of the line.  They said "Go!" and she took off.  I think it was a full two minute before she realized that we were running with her.  She turned around and Kelly was right behind her.  I had made my way to the sidewalk beside her to try to keep up.  She was running!  She made it about half way through her run and then she walked a little.  When we made it to the end, I told her, "That's the end, sweetie!  Run it in!" 

She was awesome!  We waited aroud for a few minutes.   The lines for our free refreshments were awfully long, so my dad suggested we go to Denny's for breakfast.  Yes!  Not that I like Denny's but food sounded good.  First we had to get Millie's medal. 

She was so proud.  I was so proud.  The way she tackled that run was just amazing to me.  She was so brave, and not at all intimidated by the crowd.  She was happy to recieve that medal. 

I'm waiting for them to post the official results.  I can't remember what they are now.  But I know that the Garmin says we finished in 42:34.  That is 3:12 faster than the Lunar run! I also remember that I was not last in my age group.  That's always good. 

I wish I would have found and stayed in my zone.  But I think in addition to the physical, today was mental too.  I let my mind get away from me, and I paniced with my new faster pace.

But on the plus side, I have a faster pace.  Better get used to it.

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