Within the past couple of weeks Jason and I have both achieved big things in our "extracurricular" lives. Success for us may differ from that of other people but we definitely achieved some personal goals.
Our first success hit for me at our Dallas half marathon. My personal goal for this run, being our last long run for the season, was to get at least below my time at Fort Worth of 2:38. There were a few things I was worried about regarding this race. I DID NOT want it to be hot and the weather man was mentioning rain. Well the good Lord was watching out for us that day, as far as the temperature went. It was nice and cool, just the kind of weather I liked to run in.
As we all know, Jason took off ahead of me being in at least 5 corrals ahead. (corrals are determined on what time you said you would finish the race, during registration) On the other hand my running buddy Jami took it easy during this run due to recouping from prior breathing issues. Before we started our run I reminded Jami that she was to keep it easy and I was to not turn around and see her there. The race began and I took off at a decent pace, weaving in and out of the crowd of people. Within the first 5 minutes I look to my left and who would be there but my buddy Jami! I gave her my "look" and said "what are you doing here?" She started giggling and assured me that it's only been 5 minutes and that she would take it easy she promised. Throughout the race I felt extremely good. My breathing was under control. I wasn't experiencing any pain in my body and as I ran mile after mile I realized I was pacing myself well and I may achieve my goal of being under my PR. I stayed focused the entire way. I remember reminding myself to look around and check out the scenery as I ran. The course was actually through a extremely beautiful part of Dallas. I remember checking out the immaculate landscaped yards, filled with the most amazing tulips, that lead up to extravagant homes. I had a moment when a random stranger interrupted my intense focus to let me know if I didn't twist so much when I ran I wouldn't expend so much energy. As many of you know I can give deadly looks when I'm not thinking about it and I tried very hard not to let my annoyance come across my face. I politely said "Ok" and "Thank You."and quickly plugged my headphones back into my ears and continued on my way. As I hit mile 11 I had convinced myself that I would come in around 2:32. Not a bad time but at the same time I was secretly hoping for 2:30. Right at mile 13 I looked over to my right and there ran beside me the 2:30 pacer. I couldn't believe it!! I was right there where I wanted to be and I knew that if I pushed just a little harder I would come in under 2:30. So that's what I did! I ran harder and came across that finish line at 2:29. :) I had surpassed my secret goal and how proud I was! I looked hard throughout the crowd, looking for my coach and best friend. We had spoke before the race and told each other we would meet in the family area under the H. Sure enough I found Jason waiting for me under the H, wrapped up under his shirt looking frozen. I thought it was strange and asked him "are you cold or something?" I hadn't realized how the temperature had dropped or that it started to rain. All I could think about was the goal that I had just achieved! Jason asked how I did and all I did was smile and show him my watch. :)
Our second success story comes from Jason. This past weekend Jason completed his first open water, Olympic triathlon. I wish that I could have Jason give his side of the story and maybe someday I can get him to but for now this is all from my point of view. It started Friday afternoon when we headed to Kemah to pick up Jason's packet for the race. My grandparents and mom had headed there earlier in the day, with their RV, to set up in the RV park where we would be staying for the weekend. After packet pickup we went over to have dinner with them before heading back home. We had to be back in order to watch Marcus in his first baseball parade and game. Saturday morning we were up early for the parade and then later headed to his first t-ball game. After those events we headed to Kemah, with Katlyne, to camp out with my grandparents and mom. Yes we are use to going 90 to nothing all the time. :) As we pulled up to the red light that would take us into the RV park Jason noticed smoke billowing out from under the hood of his truck and I was driving! Jason told me to run the red light if I could and get us into the park in case the truck died. So I looked for an opening and I took it, gunning the gas I ran the red light! Luckily we pulled up to where my grandparents were parked . My mom came out with a puzzled look on her face and I told her of my daring act of running the red light and how the truck was overheating. Needless to say this kept Jason and his mind busy for a while. My grandparents grilled hamburgers that night and we enjoyed great family time. As night fell over the RV park we all climbed into the RV to watch a movie and get ready for bed. Jason needed to be in bed early, atleast to rest his body. It was tough sleeping that night partly because of nerves and partly because of the bed. The dreaded time of 3:30am came to quickly but luckily mom was up making coffee. Jason and I got up quietly and got dressed. Him in his triathlon gear and me in my orange "Team Harrison" shirt. We loaded his bike and other required items and headed for the boardwalk. We found a place to park, Jason checked his tires and added air as needed and we were headed to the transition area where he would keep his bike and lay out his shoes and other gear. I walked Jason to the area where he would load the boat and then be taken out to the open water to await starting the race. After leaving him it was my job to get the rest of the family there and find a good spot along the race course to "set up camp." Little by little our family showed up in their orange "Team Harrison" shirts, chairs slung on their backs, excited to watch Jason race. When the time got closer to 6:45 Katlyne and I headed toward the area where the racers would emerge from the water and continue to the transition area. We were quickly followed by Jason's mom, stepdad and my grandmother. We stood there patiently waiting, well Kate wasn't very patient. The announcer came over the PA to let us know that they are running a little behind. Finally at 7:20 the pros were let into the water and the race began! Swimmer after swimmer came onto shore and we anxiously looked out into the water hoping to see Jason emerge. We saw a group of swimmers coming in, all looking like a school of fish swimming across the ocean. FINALLY Jason's head popped up from the group and our group of orange shirts erupted into cheers. I ran toward the area where Jason would come out of the water and continued to run beside him cheering him on all the while dragging Kate, with her "Jason is our Hero" poster, behind me. One of the most interesting part of the whole race happened at this moment when Jason hit the ground and the volunteers pulled Jason's wetsuit off with one quick swoop and handed it back to him. Kate, me, Jason's parents and my grandmother headed back to wear we were camped out to finish watching the race with the rest of our crew, Jason's aunt and uncle, my grandfather and mom. Up next was the bike portion of the race. After a while we started to worry because he should have been in, or so I thought. I was worried that maybe his bike was giving him trouble but soon after an hour we saw Jason coming in to drop off his bike and start the running portion of the run. Once Jason was on his way we moved our group to the finish line. We stood there cheering on the different racers as they came in. We were amazed at the ages of these different races. One man that stood out to me was a 62 year old man that came in well under 2:30. Wow! I'm amazed and inspired by that. As Jason rounded the corner we were sooo proud and impressed by how quickly he just ran his 10K after swimming 1500 meters and biking 25 miles. I was highly excited about his race and couldn't wait to hear him talk about his next one. However it took Jason until the next day to really get excited about racing again and his excitement grew when he saw his official time of 2:56.
Up next, our long, crazy bike ride of 180 miles from Houston to Austin next weekend. Here's to sore butts!! :)
As I reflect back on our season, I am amazed by the advances we have made in our "extracurricular" lives. Of course it's not over yet nor will it be for a long time. But if we continue to excel year after year like we have this year we are going to achieve great things!
Until next time,