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Race Recap: The Gusher Marathon

The Gusher is a really big deal around here!  It’s my favorite race of the year because everyone runs it!  It’s running with friends and it’s just a great running community around here!  It’s just a good time! I was ready to tackle the second of my two marathons in six days!

On Friday night, I was really pumped about the race I felt like I was going to PR!  I wanted to PR because it’s the Gusher!  Saturday morning didn’t feel the same way.  I couldn’t sleep Friday night so when I woke up earlier on Saturday morning things weren’t normal for me.  I ate my breakfast and did all my pre race things but I was just feeling a little off.  I was kind of nervous or anxious, I couldn’t really tell the difference at that point.  I think I was just anxious about running the marathon and having to do a double loop of the course!  The double loop was something I was dreading!  Plus, I had a lot of pre race things to do: pictures and warm up which kind of left me feeling a little rushed.  I didn’t have that moment to settle down and I kept losing my stupid gloves!

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Yep! We’re built with LOWFAT chocolate milk!

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The Strutters! And yes, some people were photoshopped in cause they missed the picture! We’re so awesome I can’t even stand it sometimes!

The start of the race was a little frantic for me cause of those gloves, but I needed them even though the running weather was perfect. It was a little windy and I worried about my hands. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to my hands.

I had a plan for this marathon. I was going to start off slow and pick it up at the end. Guess what? I started out faster than what the plan called for so I tried to slow it down. It just felt too slow but I didn’t blow it out of the water. It was a nice reserved pace for me.

Willie’s injury started acting up in the first mile so we had to stop running together. He told me to go on but I was worried he wouldn’t continue…especially since I didn’t see him again until the second loop! But I was going and it felt ok. It felt slower than my usual but it was fine. I was shooting for a 4:45 – 4:50 which would be 7 minutes faster which I thought was doable.

Around mile 6, I decided I needed to make a pit stop to toss my cookies. I thought about it at mile 5 but I kept going. I was still early in the race and I didn’t want this to bother me the entire time. I still had 20 miles to go so they could have been miserable or I could have made it better. I stopped to handle my business and after that I felt fine. I picked up the pace a bit to try to get back to on track. I did a really great job of making up the lost time. I was only a 30 seconds behind my plan when I made it to the half way mark! If I stayed on track I could still make the time I wanted.

Passed through the start line again and it was good! Nothing major so I kept going. I took a walk break after the 13.1 just to regroup and fuel up. I talked to myself for a minute saying it wouldn’t be that bad because honestly, it wasn’t that bad. The first half flew by really quickly for me. I enjoyed the new addition to the race which was a bike time trial. It gave me something to focus on during the long stretch of road heading into downtown.

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I passed by all my buddies heading towards their second loop around mile 14 but I still hadn’t seen Willie yet! I finally spotted him at 2.5 miles and he was walking. I felt so bad for him because he really wanted to run this race but he ended up walking the entire 13.1 miles. I was so proud of him for sticking with it! Let me tell you, he amazes me every time we get out to do these things. He’s a got a fighting spirit and he would crawl to the finish line if that was the only way he could finish!

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The race was pretty chill. Around mile 19 I started to feel the second marathon in my legs but it wasn’t bad where I couldn’t run. The hardest part of the race was fighting the wind on the way back (on both loops) but the second loop was challenging because you know, I was tired!

Along the way I saw Tony who was struggling but I kept going in our last mile, he was really struggling so I tried to run it in with him. In the last mile though, mentally I lost it. I couldn’t stay focused on getting to the end. My mind kept wandering! When we crossed the finish line he told me thank you but the fact was I needed him just as much. He gave me something to focus on and if I fell behind him he would push me forward. I needed it! I crossed the finish line in 4:58:48! Not bad for the couple of stops I needed to make and losing my focus in the last mile.

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So you know what? I’m not getting faster as a marathoner probably because I run too many of these things back to back. BUT I am staying consistent with my time when I’m actually running the race so I can’t complain about that! I just like going out there to run!

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I wanted to pace my first 13.1 with Tyson at 2:18-2:20 but I had a sneaking suspicion Tyson was going to run faster than what he thought that he was. We all started together, but Tyson was primed from the start. I knew he was going to PR. His previous half was 2:28 and this go round he pulled a 2:13:01. Big difference eh? And I would have blown out my legs running with him so I’m glad I took one for the team here. Congrats to Tyson for a MAJOR PR!

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And Missy was a last minute addition to race with Emmy. They were holding down the 5K for us! Ironically, they finished the 5K at the same time with Iram finished his half marathon so they are in EVERY picture of Iram at the finish line! Isn’t that kind of funny? I went to get Emmy a necklace so she could have a medal too for finishing the race!

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Me and my fellow maniac! I'm proud of Jes for PRimg her #marathon today! You know what that means? She's gonna have me running the Gusher marathon again next year!
When Jes finished and PRed her marathon, we had waffles again! It’s becoming a tradition for us now! She finished her marathon in 5:58 only proving my point that I made to her last week, she can do it! She did great! I’m proud of her too!

All in all, The Gusher was a success! It was my first TEXAS marathon! I had a great time running with my friends and just loving the moments. The two loops weren’t bad at all and maybe next year I’ll do it again! This race is amazing because every turn you see a friend!  It’s great being able to be motivated by friends and to cheer those same people on! It definitely helps to hear a familiar voice out there.

So many people accomplished a lot of first time things on Saturday!  Congrats to everyone who crossed the finish line!  Big thanks to Amie and Richard and all the volunteers of the race.  I couldn’t write this post without you because I wouldn’t have anything to write about!  The aid stations were well stocked, the course well marked and lots of support and love along the way.  Thank you for making this event what it is.

Congrats to Buddy and Kacy for running their first marathons too and in good time!

It’s March 10, 2014 and I’ve run 4 marathons in 2014! That’s crazy, right? It’s never something I thought I would do and I LOVE IT!

Race Recap Running

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