FRIDAY AFTERNOON WHEN BRANDON GOT OFF WORK WE HURRIED  OUT THE DOOR HEADED NORTH TO THE WADDELL & REED KANSAS CITY MARATHON . EARLIER IN THE DAY I HEARD THAT IT WAS SNOWING IN KANSAS AND BEGAN GETTING EXTREMELY NERVOUS ABOUT RACE DAY AND THE CLOTHING OPTIONS WE HAD PACKED. LAST MINUTE I THREW IN 2 THROW-AWAY LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS AND WE WERE OUT THE DOOR.

AFTER A LONG DRIVE IN THE RAIN & SNOW WE ARRIVED AT THE EXPO 30 MINUTES BEFORE IT SHUT DOWN SO WE DIDN'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO LOOK AROUND, BUT THE EXPO WAS IN A GREAT LOCATION WITH FREE PARKING. WE PICKED UP OUR PACKETS, BIBS, TECH SHIRTS, BBQ SAUCE, AND LOOKED AROUND FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES. WE DIDN'T STICK AROUND LONG BECAUSE WE WERE STARVING! 

WE JUMPED BACK ON 1-35 AND FOUND A PIZZA HUT JUST A FEW MILES AWAY FROM WHERE WE WERE STAYING FOR THE NIGHT. WE ATE PIZZA, DRANK A BIG CUP OF WATER AND HEADED TO MY AUNTS HOUSE WHERE WE WERE STAYING THE NIGHT. WE LAID OUT ALL OF OUR RACE DAY CLOTHES AND FUEL AND HIT THE SACK AROUND 10:00 HOPING FOR A GREAT NIGHT SLEEP. 

OUR ALARM WAS SET FOR 4:00AM. THAT WOULD GIVE US PLENTY OF TIME TO GET AROUND, FEED GRAYSON, AND HEAD OUT THE DOOR AROUND 5:00AM. G-MAN HAD OTHER PLANS. HE WOKE UP AROUND 3;00AM AND STAYED AWAKE UNTIL 4;30AM OR SO. OUR SLEEP WAS CUT SHORT (OH THE JOY OF TRAVELING WITH A BABY!) AND B AND I WERE PRETTY TIRED. WE LACED UP OUR RUNNING SHOES AND WE WERE OUT THE DOOR A LITTLE EARLY, READY TO RUN.

WE GOT DOWNTOWN AND AFTER FINDING OUR EXIT WAS CLOSED AND NOT REALLY KNOWING WHERE WE WERE GOING WE FOLLOWED SOME OTHER CARS AND ENDED UP EXACTLY WHERE WE NEEDED TO BE. FREE PARKING JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE START/FINISH LINE. WE ARRIVED WITH OVER A  HOUR BEFORE RACE TIME AND IT WAS SO COLD OUTSIDE SO WE WAITED IN THE CAR FOR A BIT BEFORE WE MADE OUR WAY TO THE CROWN CENTER TO FIND THE RESTROOMS AND WAIT UNTIL RACE TIME. 

WHILE IN THE CROWN CENTER WE STUMBLED UPON THE PACE GROUPS AND THAT IS WHEN I MADE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF THE DAY: I DECIDED TO JUMP IN WITH THE 2HOUR PACE GROUP. ABOUT 6;45AM WE WALKED OUT TO THE START LINE, I KISSED BRANDON GOODBYE AND SENT HIM ON AHEAD WITH THE 3;45 MARATHON PACE GROUP. MY NERVES WEREN'T TOO BAD. I WAS PRETTY RELAXED, AND MET SOME AWESOME RUNNERS. ONE GUY WAS RUNNING HIS FIRST 1/2 AND HIS GOAL WAS TO COME IN UNDER 2 HOURS, ANOTHER GIRL FROM TULSA WAS RUNNING WITH THE SAME GOAL. OUR PACE GROUP LEADERS GATHERED US AROUND AND TOLD US THE MANTRA: 2 HOURS 2 DAY WAS GOING TO CARRY US THROUGH, AND IT DID!

THE FIRST 6 MILES LITERALLY FLEW BY. THE BIGGEST HILL OF THE RACE, LIBERTY MEMORIAL HILL WAS AT MILE 3 AND IT WAS PRETTY BRUTAL. THERE WAS A TURN AROUND POINT AFTER THE BIG HILL AND I SAW BRANDON IN THE SEA OF RUNNERS AND IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. THE MILES JUST STARTED ROLLING BY. ONE HILL AT A TIME. MILE 8 IS WHEN THE RACE SPLIT, THE HALF MARATHONERS TURNED LEFT AND WE SENT THE MARATHONERS ON STRAIGHT. MILES 8-11 WERE PRETTY MENTALLY TOUGH FOR ME. MY LEGS WERE BEGINNING TO FEEL IT AND I WAS STARTING TO HUFF AND PUFF PRETTY HARD WHEN WE WOULD ENCOUNTER HILLS. APRIL, THE PACE GROUP LEADER SAVED THE DAY FOR ME. SHE WAS SO ENCOURAGING, HELPFUL, TOLD FUNNY STORIES ABOUT HER 9 MONTH OLD BABY BOY, SHE KNEW THE COURSE SO WELL, WARNED US ABOUT UPCOMING HILLS, REMINDED US TO BREATH, AND SHE WAS ONE OF THE REASONS I FINISHED THE RACE UNDER MY GOAL TIME. 

MILES 11-13.1 WERE ALL DOWN HILL OR FLAT AND IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO PUSH THROUGH AND FINISH STRONG. AT THIS POINT I WAS AN EMOTIONAL MESS AND EVERY TIME I SAW A BABY CHEERING IN THE CROWD TEARS WOULD FLOOD MY EYES KNOWING MY BABIES WILL ONE DAY STAND IN THE CROWD TO WATCH ME ACCOMPLISH BIGGER GOALS, AND THEN HOPEFULLY I WILL GET TO STAND IN THE CROWD TO WATCH THEM ONE DAY TOO. 

THE FINISH WAS GREAT. WE TURNED ONTO GRAND AND THE STREET WAS LINED WITH SPECTATORS CHEERING. I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE WITH A TIME OF 1 HOUR, 59 MINUTES, AND 18 SECONDS. JUST SECONDS BEFORE MY GOAL TIME OF 2 HOURS, AND A 6 MINUTE PERSONAL BEST TIME!

AFTER I FINISHED I HAD GRAND PLANS ON HEADING BACK TO MILE 22 TO CHEER ON BRANDON BEFORE HIS BIG FINISH, BUT I GOT TURNED AROUND AND COULDN'T FIND THE STREET I NEEDED TO HEAD DOWN, I GOT EXTREMELY COLD AND DECIDED TO STAY NEAR THE FINISH LINE AND WARM UP IN A NEAR BY BUILDING UNTIL IT WAS TIME TO SEE B COME ACROSS THE FINISH LINE. IT TOOK BRANDON 3HOURS 45MINUTES AND 4SECONDS TO FINISH HIS 5TH MARATHON AND I AM SO EXTREMELY PROUD OF HIM FOR PUSHING THROUGH AND HAVING A GREAT TIME DESPITE BIG HILLS AND TOUGH TRAINING. HE IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST MEN I KNOW, AND I HOPE I GET TO SEE HIM CROSS FINISH LINES FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES! (STAY TUNED, MR. ARMSTRONG MIGHT WRITE A RACE RECAP OF HIS OWN LATER THIS WEEK!)

AFTER B FINISHED WE ENJOYED OUR FREE BBQ SANDWICH, STOPPED AT PANERA FOR SOMETHING WARM TO DRINK AND HEADED BACK TO OUR BABY. WHAT A SUCCESSFUL DAY WE HAD IN KC!

OVERALL THE RACE WAS GREAT. THE COURSE WAS BEAUTIFUL. THE HILLS WERE TOUGH. RUNNING THROUGH THE DISTRICTS OF KANSAS CITY WAS ENTERTAINING. THE CROWD WAS GREAT. EVERYTHING WAS WELL ORGANIZED AND WE WOULD RECOMMEND THIS RACE TO ANYONE! 

I WORE A CHAMPION ZIP UP TOP, AND CHAMPION PANTS FROM TARGET, A NIKE SLEEVE OVER THAT, AND MY UNDER ARMOR GLOVES I ENDED UP TAKING OFF AND CARRYING ON MY HANDHELD NATHAN WATER BOTTLE. I FUELED WITH THIS BAR, THESE ENERGY BEANS, AND NUUN

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK BRANDON'S MOM FOR MAKING THE TRIP WITH US. FOR DRIVING WHEN WE WERE TIRED AND WATCHING GRAYSON WHILE WE RAN. ALSO, THANKS AUNT BARBARA FOR LETTING US STAY AT YOUR HOUSE AND FOR FEEDING US LUNCH AFTER THE RACE! THANKS TO MY MOMMA AND DAD FOR WATCHING MISS A, THE WILD ONE! LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT CHEERED US ON BACK HERE AT HOME! YOUR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD TO US! 

 


10/22/2013 1:42pm

This gave me tears too! So neat that you got to see Brandon while you were running!

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