Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2015 St. Jude Marathon/Half-Marathon Weekend

Most of you that read my blog know that I was not always a runner. In fact, this running gig is still very much new to me. I'll never be one to say that "running is my jam", but I do enjoy the challenge it gives me; I definitely enjoy the physical results; and I enjoy the friendships I've made because of running. Back in 2013, my neighbor Angela asked me to start running around the block with her doing a program called Couch 2 10K. That led to Josh challenging both of us to run a half-marathon and the rest is history. I've now run 3 half-marathons (5/3/16 Update: It should be four, but the flu sidelined me from the Rock n' Roll Half-Marathon in New Orleans this year.) My first half-marathon was supposed to be the 2013 St. Jude Half-Marathon in Memphis, TN. That race was going to be the culmination of my year long decision to start running and stick with it. If you remember that was the year of the bad ice storm, and after driving all the way to Memphis, we found out the race had been canceled. I ended up transferring my race registration over to the New Orleans half-marathon and ran my first half there. In 2014, I trained again for the Memphis half-marathon and that year I was able to complete it with Josh running right alongside me. 

When sign-ups for the 2015 Memphis Half-Marathon began in May of 2015, I didn't waste any time and signed up again to run. Josh and I have always signed up to be St. Jude Heroes as part of our running program and that basically means that on top of running the half-marathon, we each pledge to raise $500 for St. Jude Children's Hospital. It's not much, but I'm thankful for the little bit that we're able to contribute (through the generous donations of friends and family) and give back to St. Jude's Hospital. To my surprise this past year, a big group of my running friends decided to sign up for the half-marthon as well. Woo Hoo! (I'm thankful they signed up too because in the middle of training, Josh injured himself and spent several weeks where he couldn't train. I was grateful to have my girls with me) The five of us-me, Angela, Rosalie, Carie, and Brandi-trained together all year long. I'll be the first to say that having the support and commitment of a group of friends definitely helps your training. Those early morning runs ONLY happen because you know there's someone waiting in the middle of the street for you to get your booty out of bed and onto the pavement :) 

The Memphis Half-Marathon weekend finally arrived and we all caravanned to St. Jude for the race. Josh and I finished raising our $500 on the road (Thank you to all the last minute donors!) and we were both able to reach our fundraising commitment goal. It was rewarding to get the email below and know that we were able to help a family going through such a difficult experience. 

If you sign up to be a St. Jude Hero, your name gets put on a car they have at the Runner's Expo. I love seeing this car because it is crammed full with the names of all the people who not only are going to run the race, but raise money for St. Jude's Hospital as well. It's very heart warming to see. Once I found our names (thankfully, they're in ABC order) I snapped a picture of them. 

We picked up our running gear, went to carb load at a nearby restaurant, and then got ready for bed. It was going to be an early morning! 

I had all my gear laid out before going to bed. I was READY TO RUN!

Even though Josh wasn't able to run with me this year, I'm glad he came to support me. This was going to be my first half-marathon without him by my side, but I knew he'd be cheering me on the entire way.

We took a group picture before we headed to the starting line. We were all so nervous!

Rosalie, Brandi, me, Carie, Angela

So many people from all over the country come every year to run this race and it's always amazing to see the huge crowds of people. The organizers of the race usually have 13 corrals so they can do a staggered start (to prevent us from running over each other). Each corral is usually jam packed with people! The five of us stood on the sidelines and kept waiting for a corral with runners about our pace to pass by and then we jumped in.

Just a couple more pictures until race time!

The race was great this year, but I definitely missed my hubby running with me. All of us girls ended up getting separated, but it ended up being okay.  The running app I use was not displaying correctly (probably due to the sheer number of people also using their cell phones) so my time was not nearly what it should have been. It kept telling me I was running a certain pace but it was about a minute behind. Even still, I finished with a decent time and the main part is I finished :) We each got our finisher's medals and waited around at the finish line until every one of us finished. 

3rd half-marathon completed!

Way to go, Angela!

Good job, Brandi!

Carie, you rocked that run!

We're done and we all survived! Love this group of girls!

Another half-marathon in the books :)

The 2015 St. Jude half-marathon was over. We did it and we survived! I can't wait until next year!

5/3/16 Update:
I just signed up last night to run the 2016 St. Jude Half-Marathon again this year. Once again, I've pledged to raise $500 for St. Jude Children's Hospital. If you'd like to be a supporter of St. Jude, click HERE to donate. Your gift helps a family in need at St. Jude where no family ever has to worry about payment to receive treatment for their child. Thanks for you help! 

1 comment:

Aja said...

What a great accomplishment! I am not a runner (I do HIIT sprint/walk/jog once a week and hate every bit of it), but I do an early morning boot camp class most days and I definitely agree that having friends there helps motivate those wake ups! So fun that you all do these marathons together!

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