The Plano Balloon Fest Half-Marathon

Goofy Training

Week Six, Days Four and Five

I feel like I’m getting my weeks confused – how is training going by so quickly? Those really long runs look so far away when we first get our training schedule and now they’re inching closer and closer.

I did run 21 miles this weekend but it certainly wasn’t the best showing. Saturday’s 8-mile hill route was fine and I felt pretty good. Sunday’s half-marathon was less than fine, but I did manage to finish so I’m happy with that. Actually, you know what? In honor of my friend Angi who always looked on the bright side, I’m going to focus on the good things about the Plano Balloon Festival Half. In fact, I’m going to list ten good things about the worst race experience I’ve ever had.

1) As mentioned, I finished.

2) The medal is nice.

3) It was pretty cool to see all the balloons flying overhead at mile 2 and I got some good shots on my phone.

4) I learned that in the future I should carry Tylenol and Nuun tablets. There wasn’t a medical tent on the course and for the first 7 or 8 miles, the water stations only had red powerade and water. There is something in red powerade (and any fruit punch I’ve ever had) that gives me a migraine.

5) After mile 8, I was able to find blue Powerade and the added electrolytes kept me going.

6) The mostly teenage volunteers along the course were super friendly and nice.

7) There was some shade at mile 8-ish

8) As a good reminder that anything can happen on race day, I (and a lot of other people, including some of my friends) started getting chills and goose bumps and light-headedness around mile 7 and it got worse as I went. Since I didn’t see any medical support, I slowed down a lot and eventually walked all of the last four miles. But what I didn’t do was freak out like I did when my phone died at mile 14 of my marathon last year. Keep calm and carry on, and so forth.

9) The little girl, maybe six, in her front yard with her mom and younger siblings who was chanting, “Everybody wins! Nobody loses!” WTG, little girl.

10) (Which should really be number one) My TNT friends who waited for me to finish, coming back to check on me before I crossed the line and then following me to the medical tent. (I was fine. Just heat and my blood pressure dropping too much.) My friends always wait for me at the end of group runs and races even when I tell them they don’t have to. I mean, it can be an hour sometimes that they wait, but they always do. Friends like that are worth a hot, slow slog through Plano.

About Elizabeth

Running and thinking about life one step at a time.
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