Joplin Memorial Half {2016}

It was the race I wasn’t supposed to run.
After last years JMR I swore off running it again in 2016. I said “I was done running long distances” I really should learn to keep my mouth shut. I am pretty sure I will never be done running long distances, I just can’t seem to quit.

So I signed up on New Years Eve and ended up training about half as much as I normally would to run a race. With about 10 days until the race and a sponsored entry Russ joined the fun too. Boy was I SO glad that I had already signed up to do the race this year and would now be running Russ’ first half with him. 

It started the same way it does every year. 

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Selfies

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Stretching

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And 161 balloons released followed by 161 seconds of silence for the 161 lives lost on May 22nd, 2011. Every year I stand there and think of just how beautiful this moment is. This truly is a day to run & remember.

JMRO 9
Think of this photo as a game of Where’s Waldo and see if you can find us :). 

Before I knew it, we were off! I think it went something like this. run, run, run, run RUN! The course for 2016 was a brand new and oh goodness was it the best JMR course so far. It was fantastic. It wasn’t “flat as a pancake” but it was the perfect course through Joplin and followed roads that I run on a usual basis. I felt pretty at home on the course. 

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Through the heart of down town.

JMRO 5
Smiling for the cameras.

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And we even held hands for a minute walking up this hill.
Sneaky Anna caught a photo and I am so glad she did.

The weather was perfect, the hydration stations were incredible, my feet were EXHAUSTED and Anna endured what we will forever call “The epic side cramp of 2016” but we did it, we finished.

JMRO 7
2:17:57

JMRO 8
2:18:02

Sharing all about the #JMR #halfmarathon in a #race #recap today. #RunRememberRebuild Click To Tweet

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I couldn’t possibly be any happier with our results and this guy for running it with pretty much no training. I set out just wanting to finish the race and put up a pretty respectable time for me. Russ was a little disheartened to have lost to me by 5 seconds, but then he gloated that he ran his first half faster than I ran mine. 

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So thankful to have had this experience with two of my favorite people EVER!

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And to have yet another race in the books with this lady. They are getting almost to many to number now.

So that leaves me with the question I always am thinking about this time of the year.
What next?

For the very first times I’m not quite sure how to answer that.
But I am pretty sure I can say one thing…
It will likely involve running 

See you next year Joplin Memorial Run!

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Thirteen Point Freaking One!

Thirteen point freaking one…. I did it!

I almost wouldn’t be able to believe that I did it if my legs didn’t still ache today. It feels like a really intense workout times 100 in the muscle soreness department. I LOVE it. I guess in some ways that may just make me a bit crazy. 

Guys I can hardly explain it, it was AMAZING. I conquered something that I never imagined I could do. And I don’t think I put up that terrible of a time for a girl who has only done 2 5K’s and hasn’t even been running a year.

Lets get to the details.

I went to bed about 9:00, and had the most RIDICULOUS time falling asleep. I was also convinced that  I may end up getting sick to my stomach, due to my nerves being wound tightly . Thank God that didn’t happen. Finally about 10:15 I must have drifted off. 

I Woke up at 4:15, got ready and left the house a little after 5:00. I met up with some of my favorite running gals and we snapped some pre-race pictures!

At 6:15 they started getting us corralled into our pace groups. Next was the opening ceremony which included a moment of silence and them releasing 161 balloons. 

One for each life lost on May 22nd

The race started about 6:30 and we were off!

The next 13.1 miles are by far the most memorable miles I have ever ran. I remember laughing, cowbells, planned and surprise cheerleaders. Drinking lots of water, funny signs, photo-ops and celebrating every mile. I soaked in every memory that I could and I never once thought that I couldn’t finish.

I knew that I could, and I would.

The hubby surprised me with this sign he had made. Gosh, I like that guy!

At the end it mentally all came down to one turn. I knew once I got to a certain spot in the course I would start to see a crowd, hear the cheers and the excitement at the finish line. By the time I got to that point my legs felt like they were made of lead. And for the first time I really felt that I ran with my heart. I think if I wasn’t so physically exhausted I would have been an emotional mess.

And with those last few turns around the spectator area the finish line was in sight and months of training for this moment were so worth it.

Finish time 2:18:24 Avg Pace 10:34

And just like that I can say I am a half marathoner.

This one amazing victory started with a bigger one. Me deciding I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore. Choosing to be proactive and take something on that I didn’t think I could do. 

But by Gods grace I did.

The Joplin Memorial Run’s logo is Run, REMEMBER, Rebuild.

And that is exactly what we did. 
I couldn’t have picked a better race and I couldn’t have had a better friend running beside me  through HOURS of training the past 7 months.
I will never forget this day. 
Now the question everyone has been asking…

Would you run another half?

And that is exactly what has happened. 

I already have my eyes set on another half marathon the beginning of November and I couldn’t be more excited.

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