Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated's Boule, our bicentennial convention and largest gathering, returned to the city of Houston last week after FOURTY years!Read More
wooooooo! more than 27,000 runners from all 50 states and various countries participated this year. WHAT a turnout and what a blast i had! it took a record 41:00 min JUST for everyone to get across that start line. soooo many people. finishing my half marathon was my ultimate goal but seeing so many fit friends along the way was icing on the cake (that i'm eating later).
CONGRATS, RUNNERS!!!! WE DID IT!
friday afternoon, we headed to the GRB Convention Center for the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute EXPO.
i have made visiting this EXPO a friday tradition since 2009.
follow the feet, Dego!
we went straight to pick up my race packets,
i know, i look a lil' 'Hell Raiser-ish' (remember that movie? lol) but i will get back to this hair of mine in a moment. keep reading!
then we visited a couple of the vendor booths. Dego saw that basketball and it was all over. nobody else could shoot it but him. nobody.
this was Sonny's first time attending the EXPO with me! all the other years he was working at his engineering job. a lot has changed for us in this past year!
ready!!!! kinda sorta not really!!!!
saturday morning, it was 5k time! i parked right in front of the Toyota Center and booked it to Discovery Green.
i squeezed right into a good lil' spot at the 7:00 min per mile mark this year! last year i was back by the 13 min mark.
done in 30 min and some change! i found some fit friends and started snapping victory pics. great job Ayesha! she did the half marathon the next day and we literally ran into each other during the race.
beautiful, buff, natural sisters, Ama & AJ! #HairGoals i was crushing HARD on Ama's pineapple top! AJ competed in her first bodybuilding competition a few weeks ago.
then i ran into my Soror, Arlene before and after the race!
i had to go teach my Lifetime class after running but i wanted to go check out the post-race food first. so i did...and the line was crazy long and i didn't have enough time to wait. so i walked out of Discovery Green and tried to go back the way i came (i.e., walking right into the flow of post-race people traffic) and a security guard immediately warned me that i could NOT do what i was about to attempt and that i'd pretty much have to walk all the way down towards Minute Maid park first and go around. i was like, "but i parked by Toyota Center and i need to get outta here, sir!". that's what i get for being greedy, LOL. out of nowhere though, this guy appeared and said "it's ok, i'll escort her since i need to go tell people to keep moving along anyway." WHEW. so off we went! i saw the back of his jacket and thought, angel indeed! he definitely saved my butt. i would not have made it to teach on time if it weren't for him.
oh yeah. Jason's Deli has always been a favorite of mine. i got the manager special: half turkey sammich w/ fruit & side salad bar. oh and some un-pictured self-serve vanilla fro-yo.
back home to get ready for the next day!
sunday morning, i got up and headed down town to the GRB.
this was around 6:30 as the runners were heading out to the start line a few blocks away. MAN IT WAS COLD out there! but the GRB was nice and toasty and i did not want to leave.
waiting and being random....
taking my traditional starting line selfie and talking myself through this!
why he so salty back there though? bwhahaha
i wore my Fearfully & Wonderfully MADE shirt by Active Faith Sports. a few spectators saw it along the route and shouted "Amen!"
the race officially started at 7am, but i finally made it to the start line around 7:21.
but not before running into one of my 5:30am crew Lifetime class members!!
and we're off! about 2 miles into the race a heard a bunch of commotion. naturally, i turned around and proceeded to have a good laugh.
look, it's a Wookiee!!! Chewbacca had no idea how much he lifted my spirits! i ran with him for a while and EVERYBODY he passed shouted his name. everybody!! hilarious.
i so wish i could have taken a pic of all the ridiculously funny signs i read!!!!!! here are a few that made me bust out laughing:
*at the 5k mark* "You're almost to the finish line! Wait, my mistake. " -Steve Harvey
"Remember when this sounded like a good idea?"
"You feel like crap, but you look good."
"You run better than the Government."
"Could you hurry? We're freezing."
"Worst Parade Ever."
"I love your endurance. Call me 713-229-3390"
"Pain is temporary, but Facebook posts are forever."
"You trained for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married."
aaaagh, there were SO MANY. a sign contest needs to be apart of this event, seriously.
was having a little hip soreness at the halfway mark but i kept going. i even had to pee before we started but i kept putting off using the port-a-potty and never did! passing mile 12 and entering downtown made me one happy girl. time to book it.
mama is on her way, boys!! Sonny told me Chiso turned around and said "Papa, this is not very fun." waiting does suck sometimes, Chi!
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we DID that!!!
couldn't wait to hug my boys and find more fit friends. HEB was handing out ice cream sandwiches and i couldn't wait to kill mine! then... Chiso happened :)
great minds think alike :) Lifetime Fitness instructor and trainer, Milton, finished strong today! his wife, Jessica, is preggo with their first child! congrats to them and their expanding family.
ran into my girl Pam....again! she run yearly as well; always fun chatting it up with her!
soooooo proud of Nike. she said FORGET a 5k, i'm taking on a half marathon for my first race.....ever!!! she wanted to cross it off her bucket list...... and she did.
in 2 hours and 30 minutes at that!
i ran into my girl and supporter, Angel! she got to meet Chi and Deg in person, lol.
afterwards i sat down to stretch and wait for Papa to go get the car so we could go EAT! all i wanted was a burger from Jerry Built! they wished me luck on Instagram so they had been fresh in my mind ever since. thanks again, guys! that burger did not disappoint!
never does. #LookAtIt #GoneIn60Seconds
thanks for reading! i put off my post-race nap to blog so GOOD NIGHT!!! :)
Q: do you have a favorite race or event you participate in annually?
go time! i do believe this is the longest start line i've ever been in.
it took about 9 minutes just to get to the very front and start running! all that body heat kept us warm though.
i left my house late (unsurprisingly) and with the street closures and all ended up parking pretty far. i pretty much ran a dang 5k through downtown before the race started! i don't ever pay for parking downtown if i can avoid it; i'd rather walk and just save a few bucks. i was tempted this time though cause i didn't want to be late, but i made it, whew.
#atomicphotobomb & #selfiewhilerunning. the reason for that face is because i was contemplating that 24 min PR i set the night before!!!!
so i didn't find the white rabbit to follow but i DID find a black gorrilla. or whatever that was. i had to speed up to get this pic cause he was BOOKIN' IT.
stats were posted tonight and my official time was 26:41! i did set a PR of 24, but i'm thinking if i actually take the time to train correctly then maybe i'd actually hit it or come close smh! i love the challenge and i'm up for it.
done! grateful to cross yet another finish line. i just can't get enough of that feeling.
so Sonny has been in Nigeria all week long for work and was supposed to touch down in Houston at 5am this morning. however, his flight was canceled and he had to hop on the next available one. i sure would have loved to see him at the finish line, but i did find two of my gorgeous Sorors there, Ayesha and Crystal. they are both doing the full marathon tomorrow; run hard ladies and good luck!!.
last shot before heading to catch the tail end of the boot camp class i teach with Brian every saturday.
adding to my medal and t-shirt collection!
after boot camp? a leg workout with my trainer, @showtimefitness of course!
'what seems impossible today will one day become your warmup.' yes. i remember running my very first 5k a few years ago and not moving or lifting a finger afterwards for like 3 days straight! i was crazy tired & super sore and could have easily said 'screw running'and never did another race again. one of the hardest decisions we face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder. well, i chose the latter! how do you get better at something? DO IT MORE! no earthly idea how many 5 and 10ks (1 half mar) i've done since then but because i refused to quit, consistency had me up in the gym post-5k yesterday beasting through an intense full body workout with my trainer @showtimefitness. and you better believe there's a full marathon on my to-do list! just keep going. don't quit. consistency is key.
i actually love being trained as much as i love to instruct the trainings with my own clients! Brian is awesome at what he does and i always learn more than a handful of things from him.
then... i headed to Luby's for dinner to celebrate. i can ALWAYS count on a great, tasty, healthy meal from there. i don't care that the population is 80% senior-citizen per my husband! i have so many childhood memories from Luby's. it was a sunday, after church staple for my family growing up. anyway i got the salmon, steamed cabbage, seasoned carrots, pickled beets & cucumbers, and...... yes. THE BEST EVER. if you don't like mac n cheese we cannot be friends!!!!!!!! i earned it and i enjoyed every single bite.
WHAT big fitness goal have you set for yourself this year?
pre-race breakfast was 2 egg whites and a big bowl of expanding oats (1/2 cup rolled oats cooked in 1 cup water and 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk) topped with frozen blueberries, banana chunks and cinnamon! i normally don't eat THAT much before a long run, but i woke up so hungry that i had to put something in my system that would stick.
walking to the start line with no rain this time! last year it rained the entire race AND during the post-race party, boooo.
traditional feet pic :lol:
52-53 min and some change later,
DONEZO! the route was a tad bit different this year and there were hills, hill, and mo hills, whew. that Allen Parkway is a beast.
oh how i wish i could have taken pics of all the inspirational and funny things i saw:
1. i had just made it to the halfway point when a woman on a bike heading the opposite way yelled out 'it's fit foodie!!!' are you kidding me!? if you could have SEEN my face light the heck UP as i cheesed, waved, and yelled hello back! i could not see you very well at ALL but THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY YEAR, LADY!! XOXO!
2. spectator sign: 'don't stop! ain't nobody got time fo dat!'
3. people often run in teams or 'centipedes' and are linked together by a rope of some sort so that they can finish together. teamwork at its finest! i passed a team with a gentleman running alongside his IV. i did a double take for sure! yes, the stand with the wheels, the fluid bag, the WHOLE NINE. he was out there doing his thing. if he can....
4. one thing i did NOT witness was someone biting the dust, hard. happens every year. people, you gotta watch where you are going, especially running in the streets of downtown Houston. *knocks on wood*
ran into a college buddy of mine just before hitting up the post-race party. amazing run, Warren!
first things first, had to get my t-shirt before the line got too crazy. this was nothin.
i tucked it away in my bag cause i needed two free hands for all the samples i was about to acquire!! here we go:
could it be? yep, Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches and fruit pops.
stopped by the Clif Bar sample station,
the My Fit Foods associate called this mixture 'Morning Glory'. it's brown rice, eggs, lean ground turkey, and cheese all mixed together. it was good and something i'd throw together at home for sure.
fresh fruit (bananas and oranges), cereal bars, and scones were provided by Whole Foods,
and Fuel Kitchen supplied the breakfast tacos this year, not HEB. they were delicious though- i had eggs and chorizo in mine. a friend has been raving about the Philadelphia location to me and i can finally go experience the food for myself, sweet! great turn out again this year! always a pleasure and honor to participate in helping preserve Houston's bayous, trees, and the environment :)
goodie bag, food, coupons, t-shirt. it's a wrap. time for a nap.
there were tons more sponsors there, check out the ones i didn't mention.
4 years running and counting!
Q: have you eaten at Fuel Kitchen & Health Bar? is there one in your city?
light energy snack on the way to the race in the car- pistachiooooos.
*flashback* this is my awesome friend Krystal and i with our baby bumps exactly one year ago at the Bayou City Classic 10K 2011! we were both expecting boys and finally met them about two months later.
i couldn't tell ya what our time was cause we talked about baby stuff the whole way and didn't even pay attention. great times.
it rained the entire time!!!
i threw my shoes into the washing machine along with my soaked clothes afterwards- the rain did not let up. steady drizzle from start to finish.
making my way through the rainy downtown streets to the start line.
first time for everything! put a towel over my head, secured it with my visor, turned on my ipod, and just ran. i finished around 54 minutes. this race had THE best post race food yet- breakfast tacos, chicken breast / fresh fruit bowls, and protein bars galore.
i even saw made-to-order toastadas!! i didn't get one though cause i already had waaaay too much crap in my hands.
they upgraded from regular cotton t-shirts to the jersey/mesh-like material this year.
i cleaned up, huh!
i saw spindletop (one of our anniversary dinner spots) in the distance and took one last shot before heading home.
my first and only niece is having her 1st birthday party today! i sped home and got ready for the festivities. i kept my hair wrapped and pinned underneath that towel during my run. even though it was completely soaked through, my hair didn't look half bad after i let it air dry. which is great cause i sure didn't feel like flat ironing it.
my sis-in-law and i at her daughter's party:)
i will be well prepared for a day full of screaming kiddos as my son's 1st b-day approaches, whew. i sure could use that extra hour of sleep we are losing tonight!!