Posts from the ‘Races’ Category

It’s been a while

It has been too long and I appoligize! It has been a crazy year so far and I can’t believe it is almost May!

So here is an update on what has been going!

– We spent new years in Fowler, Colorado with our awesome friends Ledah and Wes Welch. It was a very different experience for us city folk. We stayed on the Welch’s Ranch and did ranch like things, like spending all day feeding cows. Which I thought was quite fun despite the 17degree temperatures! It was a perfect get-a-way and awesome way to bring in the new year!
– Early January I started planning the Trooper McDonald Memorial Race – 5K and 1 Mile walk in Post in honor and memory of our dear friend Jon McDonald who passed away in November while responding to a wreck in Post. The race was scheduled for March 5th! (This will be a post in itself coming soon!)
– The end of  January I had an amazing opportunity to start working for my mom in commercial real estate full time and began studying for my licensing exam.
– February was crazy as I was jugling planning a race, starting a new job and career and taking 3 courses to get my real estate license. All to say I learned a lot about time management! I could not have made it through February with out the love and support of Stuart and my old and new friends! I was blessed to have wonderful volunteers help tremendously with the race and I could not have done it without them!!!
– I took my licensing exam on March 16th and Passed both tests!!! I am not good at taking tests but I knew I had studied and prepared as much as I could. God gave me an incredible peace that morning and I was so excited to not have to retake it!
– Running wise, until a few weeks ago I was not motivated and was so busy that I was not making time for running.
– My running motivation….. the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!! I received my acceptance into the New york city marathon a few weeks ago and that definately got me motivated to hit the streets again. My parents and sisters will be going to New York with Stuart and myself the begining of November for the marathon. Dad will also be running the Marathon and it will be quite an experience!

Their is a brief update on what has been going on in 2011!


The Tyler Marathon

Well Friends I made it. I managed to finish my second full marathon and what an experience it was!

Early Saturday morning Stuart and I started on the long treck from Lubbock to Tyler. I was very hydrated and continued to stay that way so there were many little stops along the way. We arrived in Tyler and started driving the course so that I would know kind of what to expect. As we drove the first 2 miles, I began to get a little worried. These first 2 miles were very large rolling hills. I am tempted to call them mountains for those of us who live and run in flat Lubbock. The first part of the course I would be running out to the airport, along some beautiful tree lined country roads and then back into down town. Once in downtown most of the streets were brick and there was a lot of little turns through neighborhoods. This is know as the historical Azaela district. Then, after what seemed like 50 miles, you would head back to the finish line. And a little side note, the whole course seemed to be rolling hills. I knew this would be a challanging experience but I was still excited and very ready.

We ate an amazing dinner with the Dixons at Joe’s Italian Cafe. This adorable little restraunt. We had the patio all to ourselves and even a little violin serenade. It was a beautiful evening and we loved getting to hang out with Traci and Ryan. They were both running the half marathon.

I managed to get some sleep and woke up around 5am Sunday morning. I was feeling good though. Of course, I had butterfies and was anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time. Stuart dropped me off at the starting line where I met up with Ryan and Traci for the pre-race devotional and then headed to the starting line. This was a fairly small race (250 finished the full) but it was nice because Stuart met me at the starting line and I was able to see him until the gun went off which helped calm the nerves.

At the Starting line with the finish line behind me.

Those first few miles felt great. Didn’t seem to die on the hills like I thought I would. I tried to hold back my pace but I was so happy to finally be on the road racing that it was difficult. I kept a pretty good 9:30 pace for the first half of the marathon. The country roads were beautiful. I had my music going and I was having a blast!!

My legs started to really feel the hills taking their toll around mile 15-17. I pushed through a little and tried to stay possitive but when I hit mile 17 and knew I still had 9 more miles… I fell apart. I became so discouraged. Not knowing if I would be able to make it. I would walk for a quarter mile or so and then try to jog for the last three quarters of the mile. I knew I needed to continue to drink water and take gels but I was getting side stiches when I would so that was quite frustrating as well. I was doing a lot of weaving through these neighborhoods and at one point, I could not see anyone in front of me or any one behind me. I could not motivate myself to keep pushing. I knew I would not make my time goal at this point and was so frustrated! Stuart was able to see me multiple times during these last  miles and he was so encouraging. I don’t know what I would have done without him! I can’t descibe all that was going through my head at that time but I did feel like I was failing, that the last 4 months of training were for nothing and I was doubting myself. Somehow I was able to get to mile 24 and knew that I could make it 2.2 miles! There were not many people out cheering but the poilice officers who had traffic stopped were so very encouraging!! Definitely the best race police officers I have seen! I hit mile 26, turned the corner and there was a HUGE hill! This just made me angry! I trudged up it and saw Stuart, Ryan and Traci there cheering for me. I was going to finish! I was going to do this! I turned the last corner and kicked it to the finish line. Finishing in 4 hrs 47 minutes and 22 seconds. I’m not going to lie, I am not real happy with that time but I finished. I did not think I could. Stuart, Ryan and Traci all cheered as I crossed the finish line and were so encouraging.

I am still reflecting and learning from the mistakes that I made and am trying to decide what to do next. My legs are feeling tons better today and am looking forward to running tomorrow. I am too stuborn to let that be my last marathon, even though I said multiple times “I will never do this again” throughout the course. I will keep you posted.

It’s Go Time!

After almost 6 months of training, the race is almost here! I can not believe it. The past few weeks of tapering have been great! I could tell my body really needed rest and my muscles needed some healing. Last friday I ran 12 miles under a 10 min pace. It felt great. This week I have only run about 5 miles but I feel good. I started to get nervous about my knee on the 5 mile run so I decided to call it my last run and just rest this week. I have not been sleeping well since I am not running and I admit I have been a little irritable. On weeks like this one 1 realize that I am indeed addicted to endorphins! All I have been thinking about is my next run, which is the race. I have been studying the map and the hills and hydrating like crazy! I feel so ready! I can’t wait to bring you a detailed race report with tons of pictures!!!

Sunday morning between 7:30am and noon, if you think about me say a little prayer that all is going well. 🙂

Thanks friends!

Run for the Arts

In April I ran the Run for the Arts 15K race. This was a very big race for me. 3 years ago when I was training for my first half marathon I ran this race and almost did not finish. This is a hilly course and it was a windy day. This year I just wanted to do well. It was a cold, wet and windy day. Since we got home from India I had been preparing for this race. I was ready mentally and physically!

I went out and had a plan to run a steady pace through most of the race and prepare and save up for the final 2 big hills. I did just that and was able to speed up the last 2 miles and finish strong. I felt great! I think I could have gone a little faster but I was so nervous about those final hills and knew they would be tough. I just did not want to end up as discouraged as I was 3 years ago. It was a great day!  I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group! Here is a picture from the race!

I have kind of been slacking off since the Run for the Arts race but am starting Monday training for a half marathon in Irving on June 13th. I will also be racing in a 5K Saturday the 12th with my dad. It is called the Dad Fest. It is a father daughter team race. We ran it 3 years ago and finished 3rd in our age group and this year we are planning to walk away with the gold :).

It will be a fun weekend!

Cotton Patch Run

Over the last month, it has been so nice to run because I love to run and not have the pressure of training. I continued to run with Ledah as she prepared for the Austin Marathon. Which, she ran on Sunday and did absolutely amazing finishing in 3 hrs 52 minutes!! She was smoking! I am so proud of her!!

On Saturday I went out and ran the Cotton Patch run at the Boys Ranch with the West Texas Running Club. I ran the 8.4 mile race and was a little nervous since I had not really been running higher mileage but I knew it would be a good run either way.

It was a cold and windy morning. Plus we were out in the middle of no where, where the wind really blows! Well, I ended up running a 9:09  pace and finished in 1 hr 16 minutes and 1st place in my age group! I was so pumped! My legs were tight and sore but I felt great!! I am looking for the next race and will keep you posted!

Stuart and I are getting ready for a mission trip over spring break, so I am not focusing on races till we get back. I will post more details soon on the mission trip! It is going to be neat!!


We arrived in Houston on Saturday and headed to the Expo to get my bib, t-shirt and look around. It was so crazy! I could not believe I was actually there getting ready to run a Marathon!!

January 17, 2010 finally arrived! I slept great that night which was a surprise since I was so excited and nervous. I woke up ready to go at 4am. I was very calm as I got ready for the morning I had been preparing for for 4 months now. My sister, Stephanie braided my hair wrote “26.2” on my calf and dad wrote “Ali” on my arms. Now I am ready to go. Dad and I head downstairs for breakfast then out the hotel to the convention center. We attended a small church gathering there and got ready to head out to the starting line. This is when I began to get really excited. We saw Stuart, my Mom and Steph standing on the sidewalk down the street from the starting line. It was so nice to see them and calm my nerves.

The gun sounded and we took off. My adrenalin was pumping! I was looking at all the people lining the streets and it felt surreal. I could not believe I was actually running a marathon! My knee felt great! It took me about 3 miles to really settle in and get in the groove, but I felt great overall. I was soaking in everything I saw and enjoying every moment. The next couple of miles flew by! Dad and I were having a blast! The crowd was incredible. People were everywhere yelling our names and encouraging us. Around mile 5 I was impressed by a church whose congregation was outside lining the streets cheering runners on! They were so loud! It was awesome!

We started watching for Mom, Steph and Stuart about mile 10. I was looking forward to seeing them and about mile 11, we see these 3 people running across the street to get to where we are running.  We realize it is them!! I was so pumped to see them and for them to see how good I was feeling!

The next few miles were a little more challenging. I was ready to get to the halfway point! At 13.1 my time was 2:05:51! That is a personal record by 6 minutes!!!

Right after the excitement of 13.1, I turned to Dad and said “I really wish I was done” Dad stopped me from saying anything else and explained, it is to early to be thinking that way! I had to slow my pace way down for about a mile to get rid of side stitches. But then I realized I had just overcome one battle and knew I was going to have to overcome more. I started to notice soreness in my legs and pain in my feet from running on concrete instead of asphalt. With much encouragement from Dad, I was able to stay somewhat positive overall.

I don’t remember when, but somewhere between 15-18 the outside muscle on the bottom of my right foot started hurting. I would stop to wiggle my toes and stretch it out, run for a while and have to stop to stretch again. This continued through about mile 22. 18-22 was super tough! I was miserable and 8 more miles seemed impossible. I focused on making it to the next water stop, where I walked through and hydrated and then continued on. Without Dad there I would have probably walked that whole time. Around mile 22, I looked up and saw Stuart, Steph and Mom! I was so excited to see them!! Mom was standing there with Tylenol, gels and a bottle of water! I gladly took them all! After seeing them and making it through mile 22, I got a boost and was feeling better and ready to finish! Since we had a water bottle we decided to run through the next water stations since I was feeling good and really did not want to stop. It was almost more painful when I stopped and had to get going again.

We were getting closer to downtown and I knew we were getting close to the finish! Mile 23… 5K left… no problem! Mile 24… 2 more… wow I am really going to do this!! Mile 25… ok I am really ready to see the finish line! Mile 25.5… turn the corner, see the Finish Line but wow I was hurting! I knew if I pushed myself I could make it in 4 hours 30 minutes. Mile 26… Kick it!! As we are running to the finish line, the announcer announces our names and Dad yells out “First time Marathoner!!” and the announcer said “First time marathoner Ali, finishing in 4 hours 40 minutes” (Clock time not my chip time). I made it!!! I had just completed a Marathon!!! I was so glad to be finished and was so looking forward to getting my medal and finishers t-shirt!!

Now that my legs have forgiven me and feel better, I can think about how much fun I had! N, when and where will the next race be? I will keep you posted!!

Thank you for all the prayers, support and encouragement!!

Let the Tapering Begin

It has been way to long since I posted and I apologize! So here goes

First of all… Merry Christmas!! It was a white Christmas here in Lubbock! I was so excited about the snow… till I realize I would be running on the treadmill instead of outside. I am not a fan of the treadmill and was very fortunate to make it so far into my winter training without having to hop on one! I did an easy 5 miles on the treadmill Christmas Eve and it actually wasn’t that bad. I took Christmas day off to spend with Stuart and our families. We had a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday was my longest run… 22 miles! I was mentally and physically prepared for it! I felt great! On Saturday we decided we should probably think about running inside because of all the ice, so we headed to a local gym here in town. This gym had a bunch of treadmills and each treadmill has its own tv. Dad, Ledah and myself hopped on our treadmills about 1:30pm and spent the rest of the afternoon running along side each other. Ledah finished her 18 mile long run and Dad and I made it 22 long miles on the treadmills!! During the almost 4 hrs spent on the treadmill Ledah and I talked, I watched a little tv, listened to a very motivating playlist Stuart made me and then watched the a movie that was playing on tv. That had to be the most challenging thing mentally and physically I have done! I have to say that after I finished I was hurting so bad and could not even imagine running 4.2 more miles but after the soreness has worn off I feel great! I know that I am ready and these next 3 weeks will be spent mentally preparing, eating well, resting, stretching and getting excited!

Let the tapering begin!

Happy New Year!! I am excited about 2010!