Chevron Houston Marathon Recap + lots of pictures + In love with this sport

What a whirlwind the past few days have been! I’ve actually felt guilty about not posting the recap the past two days. However, after getting home late Sunday after the race, and being at work for 12 hours yesterday, I wanted to wait until I could take my time and not rush through the post. So, without further adieu, I DID IT!

As you know, the past month has been pretty upsetting for me as I haven’t been able to run since Christmas Eve. I have done everything I could this past month (including missing a half marathon) like seeing a chiropractor 3 times a week, purchasing orthotics, trying ARP, etc… Oh yeah, and not running a single step!

I was so grateful for Mom and Dad Papke this weekend! They came down (along with Wrigley) and stayed with the pups so that we could have an easier time over the weekend. I worked super late on Friday so I didn’t get to see them much, but Lynn got to experience a few different restaurants and breweries with them. Thank you guys so much for coming down as it meant the world to us! Love you!

I was so glad to pack my Brooks Ugly Christmas Sweater Levitate 2’s shown above as I drool over them every time I open my closet. I had my fingers crossed that I would be able to run this race…all 26.2 miles… and cross the finish line in these awesome shoes!!

We showed up to the Expo around 2pm as we made a few detours along the drive down to Houston. I lived in this city for about 15 years but seeing parts of it with my person, who I MET in Houston was very special.

I was so excited to pick up my packet and to complete my 6th Houston Marathon (21st Marathon total), but I had a lot of anxiety as the Marathon is a different animal. Not running for a month, coming off of an injury, not being trained… I was praying to the running Gods all day.

I knew deep down that it may not be possible. That it might at best only be a half marathon finish. I knew it would hurt both physically and mentally (my weakness), but I knew I wanted it!

Lynn calls me Boo Bear from time to time, so I did something different and put that on my bib for this race. When I picked up the bib, the lady behind the counter asked to see an ID for Boo Bear before she would give it to me. We both laughed pretty hard! LOL!

After the Expo, we walked around Downtown for just a few and checked out Discovery Green. It was beautiful! They had an ice skating rink set up, tons of booths and tents in preparation for the next days race… hundreds of athletes and friends. Was so cool! As we were walking, we stumbled upon the finish line (which was blocked off) and I took a moment to reflect. I wanted to cross that finish line so badly. I knew I wanted to complete the full 26.2 miles. I told myself that time wasn’t important at that moment, but if I was able… a smart race was.

Expo PS – I saw my GU heaven #guforit #successtakesguts and my greater heaven… HEADBANDS GALORE! Ya’ll, I NEED more glittery sparkly blinged out headbands. You can see my excited face in the mirror as I took a picture. LOL

After the expo, we headed to the Woodlands to hang out with the awesome Brother Bear Erik! However, Lynn sent me the address and we ended up an hour away in Deer Park. If you are familiar with Texas, it is NOT the same thing. So, after we plugged in the right address, we were on our way.

Erik took us to a few places around the Woodlands and we fell in love with it! We can’t wait to go back and visit already! He showed us the the boat house where he Rows, and introduced us to the wonderful Escalantes! It was delicious! The salsa and queso was perfect, and the grilled salmon salad I had hit the spot! We were all so hungry I didn’t even get pictures of the food, go figure!

As we got back to his apartment, I started getting myself organized for a 4am wakeup call. Cliff Bar, Nanohydr8, Gu and a 5 hour energy. Not necessarily in that order. LOL! I didn’t get much sleep, but I was pumped!

Erik is awesome (He will love me saying that) and I was so grateful that him and Lynn were not only so supportive, but they gave up their entire Sunday morning to cheer me on in 30 degree weather for hours! Life is good, and I’ve never been happier! I love the friendship the three of us have!

Thanks for letting us crash with you Erik, and for waking up at 4am and cheering me on all morning. Meant more than you know! This was at the GRB convention center before we rushed out so I could get into my coral before it closed!

This is me IN my coral… saying see you soon, but not TOO soon… I was hoping with my whole heart that I would cross that finish line! I mean, look how amazing this whole set up is! Looking at it now, I want to go run it all over again… and I can barely walk right now!

I finally felt like a runner again Marathon morning when I was able to put running shoes on for the first time in a month. These shoes even had the little jingle bells on them, and I refused to take them off. Lynn joked that I sounded like a kitty walking around ๐Ÿ™‚

I crossed the start line and I was emotional right away. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to toe the start so I was grateful from the start. I felt good (but definitely slower) and outside of a half second discomfort at mile marker one, I was okay. I was ecstatic that at the turn left for half marathoners or turn right for marathoners.. I was able to confidently stick to my full marathon plans!

I ran a very conservative race. I knew my body was out of whack, not trained and coming off injury so as I mentioned, getting to the finish in one piece was the goal. The magic of a full is anything can happen as it’s a different animal, so finishing was my goal.

I was solid, although much slower than a few months ago, until mile 16. At that point I could feel every step and walked through the next water stop. My problem, as I mentioned is mental… so once I walk once, I know it will happen again. It was a rough last 10 miles!

The race became 10 miles, and I was okay at that juncture taking a few seconds to hydrate as that gave me a light at the end of each mile. I had several people send me pictures as they had spotted me on the course, so grateful for that! I look awful, but owe the memories to my Houston Striders! THANK YOU! (gotta love the closed eyes)

I texted Lynn around mile 20, and a few miles later she let me know that she and Erik were waiting for me at mile 25. I love that she could track me… and what a sweet fiance!

I was so determined to get there. You can see I was focused, lost it when I saw her, and my eye up close and personal as I ran up to hug her so quickly that was the best picture she caught. I was exhausted and had tears… and was so grateful to see them. It powered me for miles they don’t even realize! Once I left them I had determination!

After seeing my girl, I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line! Once I crossed, another runner named Kimberly stopped and said I had helped pace her since the half way point. It was awesome, because she was also someone who I tried to keep up with. Funny how that happens! We took a picture and high five to us both!

I couldn’t wait to see my girl and brother Erik and they will never know how much being there meant to me! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Crossing this finish line was emotional. I wasn’t sure I would be physically able to complete the race… or even start. The Marathon is a beast, and one I respect. I’m humbled by it every time!

It’s funny. Looking back a few days later I tell myself that I could’ve run better, shouldn’t have stopped to hydrate… I could’ve pushed. However, I know that with each mile I pushed through… I wasn’t only lucky to be doing so, but I gave all the heart I had in those moments. I’m proud of this finish, although it was about 45 minutes slower than I wanted, not my fastest by far… but one of my most proud finishes to date!

I was making all sorts of funny faces talking through the miles after I finished!

I also had someone I met a long time ago come up and say hi! Keith! Thanks for saying hello!

I wore my finishers shirt yesterday and put on my medal for fun. I’m so in love with this sport, and although I have a ton of races on my calendar this year including a 50 miler, I think I want to focus on the 5k and half. I know I can be great at those, so once healed up…. I’m going to own those ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished in 4:38, which was about 45 minutes more than I wanted even semi trained. However, I’m proud of it. I’m using this past month to be smarter about running, recovery, and everything before, after, and in between. I’ve been humbled. I love to run. I want to be the best version of myself for this sport and I won’t take it for granted again! I fell apart, but I’m proud… and two T-shirts for this race!

Next years Houston Marathon will be an hour faster. Mark. My. Words.

Congrats to all those who ran this past weekend!

Once we got back to Eriks to drop him off, the stairs were daunting and Lynn looked lovingly annoyed as she answered a phone call from her parents on her watch. LOL

Two day’s later I’m sore sore sore! However, I’m excited for the NOLA half in 3 weeks and the Austin (HILLLLLLLLYYYY) half in a month! Let the healing begin!

Sorry for all the typos. I’m sure there are lots of OOOPPPSS!

I’m so grateful for each and every person, experience and mile. I’m back. I will get my grove back. I’m. So. Happy.

See you at the start line!

11 thoughts on “Chevron Houston Marathon Recap + lots of pictures + In love with this sport

  1. That’s brilliant Taushah, well done. Though you’ve finished many maras you had to dig deep for this one and it will be all the sweeter. Those shoes are obviously serious running shoes, not just gimmicky? Not that I’m about to try them ๐Ÿ™‚

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