Wednesday, March 19, 2014

K's for Keegan catch-up & reminder

As apparently is my habit lately, here we are in late March, and I am finally putting together a quick K's for Keegan update after two marathons and the first triathlon of the year so far.  I would apologize, but I would doubt anyone expected any more from me at this point in my lackadaisical blogging.  Let's attempt to bring this thing up to speed.

In January, I ran the Houston Marathon.  A dear friend gifted me with a Run for a Reason charity bib through the National Kidney Foundation after the Dallas Marathon was cancelled.  The day was warm, and the race was well-organized.  I was able to catch the whole family, including the kids, at mile 14.  Gray and Alex's friend, Matt, found me again at mile 21, and then everyone was there at the finish to cheer me on.  Considering I had been training for over 20 weeks by that point, I hoped to have done better, but for a first-timer, I will take it.  Keegan crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with me, and that is a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Hugs from Keegan over half-way in

Sure helped to hear these two yelling, "run, Mommy, run!"

Crossing the finish line together

The biggest surprise of the day came shortly after the race.  LaMonica, Keegan's donor's mom, happened to be in her hometown of Houston with the kids, and she came to surprise us at lunch.  Such a blessing and the perfect way to celebrate together!  

Then, it was only four short weeks before the Cowtown Marathon, and I threw in 15K in between.  Gray and I were able to make it to Fort Worth the day before the race and spend some time with two of our best friends, the Currys.  26 miles was a good way to spend my 34th birthday.  I know watching me run probably isn't Gray, Marci, or Todd's idea of spending the morning in FW, but it's been a tradition that means a lot to me.  Next year, I have my eyes on the ultra for my 35th!

I am still a proud member of Team Beads of Courage.
I carry beads with me for every race, and they remind me 
of the strength that Keegan and every child like him exhibits daily.
If they can do it, so can I.

I love the Cowtown race because I'm a bit of a lone-wolf runner.  I like that it is smaller and older.  It gives it a more personal feel.  However, the old-school ways sometimes come back to bite you.  Since Cowtown was the only local marathon after the Dallas cancellation that still had open registration (remember that Houston has a lottery that fills up immediately; I ran on a charity bib), the race was completely overwhelmed this year by the influx of refugee runners from Dallas.  I felt the strain after handing my gear check bag over at the chaos in the sheep barn.  I realized a few minutes later that I had accidentally checked my fuel belt with half my fuel, all my electrolytes, and my precious kleenex (I had been battling a raging sinus infection, fun times).  Since they don't organize bags at the check right away like bigger races, we couldn't find my bag.  With the world's most sensitive stomach and an unseasonably warm day, I left to run the marathon with only two gels and no electrolytes.  I made it through, mainly due to my awesome hubby and friends forcing me to stay positive and driving all over FW to hand me kleenex and encouragement. 

With the year's first two marathons under my belt, it was time to switch gears for the start of triathlon season.  We had a nice warm week, but then old man winter decided he wanted to rain on my parade one more time.  Literally.  On Saturday, a nasty cold front brought in a good amount of rain and wicked high winds, sustained at 25mph and gusts near 40mph.  Not the best conditions to be riding in while wet.  I buckled down and survived, managing to score an early spot at the end-of-the-year sprint invitational and placing 3rd in my age group on the run.  I almost ate it twice on the bike when the winds truly threatened to knock me down, and I learned my lesson on overestimating my swim time.  I will not let myself get stuck in a slow pack of swimmers again.  Oy.

Trying to block out the fact that I'm about to jump in a pool,
then run out soaking wet into 40 degree temps and 30mph winds.

I was pretty happy with the layers that I chose to get through,
especially compared to some of the other yahoos out there that didn't!
I do HIGHLY regret forgetting my toe covers for the bike.
The run felt like I had bricks for feet until mile 2.8,
when unfortunately there was less than half a mile left to go.

Wow, that's a rough picture.
I am not a beer drinker, but Gray truly deserved it after sticking with me during this one.
I would be lost without him.

Well, that catches us up on the year so far, but the most important race is coming up on the 29th.  That would be the Firefly 5K where YOU have the chance to officially join Team K's for Keegan.  We have a great team signed up so far, but we are always looking for more.  The Firefly is a night race where everyone wears glow-in-the-dark stuff to light it up and raise money for Children's Medical Center.  If you would still like to order a K's for Keegan tshirt, please let me know that also.  I must place the order by this FRIDAY, MARCH 21!!  Comment below or email me with questions.  

Please consider joining us and register today!

2014 is off to a pretty good start.  There's still plenty of work to do and lots of opportunities to spread the word about the importance of organ donation through K's for Keegan.  Thank you for your support and encouragement!  You keep us moving along!

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