It’s that time of the year again!! Another reason that Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year besides all the holiday music, endless amounts of carbs, parties, and gift exchanges – it has been a tradition that I ran a December marathon every year, dressed up / decorated with some sort of Christmas apparel and jing-a-ling-a-ling all the way for 26.2 miles… Johnny Mathis was right, it IS the most wonderful time of the year!! LOL 🙂
On a side note, let’s not forget that Jesus is the TRUE reason for the season. I use December as a time to remember this special moment, not just Christmas Day. Woo Hoo to the birth of the one and only Savior of the World and my own!!
Anyways… Previously, I simply listened to Christmas music on my ipod or phone. This year, I was like.. why don’t I try an upgrade… I remember using portable, paper based, powerless speakers called “Eco Speakers” on the MS 150 bike trip from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. And I looked it up on Amazon, and certainly, there was a similar thing for $5.99! The only problem was, it was made out of paper, and it wouldn’t stand a chance against sweat or worse, rain.
So I reinforced the inside with duct tape, and outside with package tape. The forecast called for a chance or rain, so I wrapped it around with saran wrap. That’s pretty ghetto, LOL, but hey, it works, and it appeared pretty loud in my house!
On Saturday, I went to the expo after spending time with my parents overnight. I ran into my friend Bianca at the expo, whom was running her first half. I met her at the Rock n Roll Dallas expo earlier this year while I was sharing my faith with running. Her story and what she overcame is just so amazing, and I’m really happy and encouraged to know that she is running her first half 🙂
We were walking around the expo with her mom, and of course, I took full advantage of the free samples of drinks and snacks they had all over… LOL (I guess I am still a codo… ha)
Race day is here… 2015 Dallas Marathon on 12/13/15… It was about 45 degrees that morning with light rain… My friend Denise was nice enough to drive me to the nearest light rail station at the Medical District. I was so glad I bought that rain pancho because it kept me warm while I was waiting for the train to come! When I got on the train, everyone got curious at my costume and the fact that I had eco speakers that played Christmas music 🙂 . These two ladies on the left are about to run their first half.
The reunion tower (left) is one of the hallmarks of the Dallas skyline… my hometown!! You can’t miss it at night. There’s also the Bank of America tower that lits up with a green outline at night. These two buildings are what makes the Dallas skyline unique. Anyways, here’s the start line. Of course I’m willing to take pictures with random strangers. I am in corral B. My friend Bianca is in Corral C. We had an on-time start at around 8:10 AM or so…
When we started, there were periods of light rain, but no heavy downpours during any part of the race. Thank God.
Yeah.. it was a bit muggy the whole day. But hey, it could’ve been worse! As we left downtown, we first headed east, then northwest as we passed through uptown on Lemmon Ave and up Cedar Springs Rd. The foliage was beautiful…
This maniac wasn’t running but he was giving out jello shots… I failed the temptation test on this one 😦 lol He called me the Christmas Maniac
Honestly, I don’t know what to call myself, but people called me the “Christmas tree”. I guess they could be right. Those eco-speakers turned out to be somewhat disappointing! There were times which I could barely hear my own music, but supposedly, if someone were to come with 3-4 feet behind me or to my side, they could hear what I’m playing.
And yes, I was laughing at myself for coming up with such a ridiculous outfit for under $10!! I felt like I could secretly stalk up to people when they’re all serious and stuff, and they would be like, “oh hey!” I was hoping for people to get a good laugh about it, but that’s exactly the point. Laughter sometimes is the best medicine and a good cheer, especially when you’re hurtin’… So ho ho ho Merry Christmas!! Ha
The Lower Greenville area had more spectators the rest. Around mile 8, there was a dad with 2 little ones. As I was passing them, they were like “look!” I was like… awwww!! So I stopped and took a picture with them.
The full and the half split right after mile 9. The crowd really thinned out… But I was like, oh well, jing-a-ling-a-ling!! 😀
The rain essentially stopped at this point. After the half mark, we were running around the west side of White Rock Lake.
At mile 15, I met this guy from Houston named Tom (I don’t have a pic right here but scroll down to the end). This was his first marathon and run above 13.1!! Unfortunately he was having some cramps, but I encouraged him to keep on going!! He’s running Houston in January, so I’ll be seeing him again.
Around mile 18, I came upon the 4:45 pace group. This pacer was pretty cool in that she was giving lectures and factoids about training. I also met this doctor named Eno (just right of me in the red). It was funny that as the pacer was talking about “the wall”, we were hitting mile 19 and there was a hill!! 😦
Hey… this thing looked familiar!! It was the graffiti wall from the expo!
Unfortunately, right before mile 20, my sound system stopped working. So I had a separate MP3 player that was jamming Christmas music for the past 19 miles on the eco speakers. I had music on my phone, of course, if there was a malfunction. The problem was, my phone had the lifeproof case which required a separate adapter for the headphone jack, and just my luck, the adapter was ripping apart!! 😦 I had to stop running and duct tape the adapter, but it was hopeless.
I knew I could keep on going with my headphones, but that would defeat the purpose of why I came out today. I was afraid of taking my phone out of the lifeproof case in fear that rain or water will get it wet. But then I thought about this (I didn’t think about it in depth, but to explain on a blog for people to understand, here it is in detail).
- This race is not about me. I know people are getting a laugh and complimenting my Christmas tree idea, but that’s not the point. God wants me to use this gift of running for a purpose beyond racing and medals themselves.
- On day 10 of the fast I started 10/28/15, I gave up my race schedule to God. In particularly, I gave up my 100 miler that I so eagerly wanted to try again this year, having not done it last year due to injury. In my lowest point, it was something that I struggled to gain control, but finally surrendered to God. I actually had a time goal for the Dallas Marathon, but He was asking me to give that up. For I was too tuned into my GPS watch than I was tuned in to God and seeking Him for guidance, comfort, joy, and peace.
- Luke 9:24 – “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
- Philippians 2:3-4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
- As a disciple of Jesus, am I going to do this for my own glory or to glorify God in the process?
- And I chose to be a light out there today. There are so many people who are under pressure and stress, or in pain. I look at them, and that was me at one point, wondering, when will this be over??!! Why is the next mile not here? How come I am not keeping up pace? Why am I doing this? All this negativity which I can relate too well.
- I came out today as a Christmas tree and I wanted to encourage others to run and bring them some laughter and joy. And yes, by mile 20, I’m sure people are hurting, and there’s probably a lot more than what I could see.
- I am in no hurry today to finish the race at my time. My goal is to take it easy, smile, say hi to people, and encourage those as if they were my brothers and sisters.
Although it probably ate 15 minutes into my finish time, I was relieved when I finally re-wired my speakers to my phone after taking that stupid lifeproof case off… Jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling once again!! I started back up after mile 20. My legs actually felt rather fresh.. probably because I paused for a good 15 minutes. LOL
Then I came across the 5:00 pace group. Man.. he was REALLY pushing us to pick up those feet and start running!! Being a maniac himself, this was his 106th marathon. And he was happy with a 5 hour finish because he recovers more easily than a 4:30. I’d have to agree with that!!
This is so hilarious!! If Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, and we’re all hitting the wall, then it looks like we’re all doomed to get egg’d… LOL
Here we are approaching downtown Dallas as we came close to the finish line…
Finished!! So when I was with the 5:00 pacer, we passed this guy wearing a BMR shirt.. I was wondering what that meant, and it turned out it meant Black Men Run. When the pacer told us to “keep running pick up those feet!!” I actually said hi and asked if I could give him a (chi) push… LOL. So I pushed him, and he actually ran faster!! The power of CHI…!! Ha
I slowed down a little right before the finish (probably bc I was taking a picture.. lol), and here he comes, giving me a gentle push! You reap what you sow!! A biblical truth just came out hahaha… So I decided to put my phone away, and gave him a harder push as we both chi-sprinted to the finish… Pretty cool story!! His name is Hugh and from Dallas, just like me.
So I took a random pic with this 50 states guy. Then, I saw the Doctor Eno from the 4:45 pace group. We chatted for a bit… She’s from Chicago and practicing as a hospitalist. I shared my story about how I became a pathologist and recently went thru trials and tribulations in taking my boards and getting my Texas Medical License…
Both experiences, studying for the pathology boards, and getting my Texas Medical License, were super hard on me, and sometimes makes me wanna cry, having realizing what I went through. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s over, but it truly is. I am now board certified in Anatomical & Clinical Pathology, AND I got a full Texas Medical License. Ultimately, I thank God for allowing this to happen, for it made me a stronger person. During the race, I had several moments when I became fearful or uneasy… And I simply said to myself with relief… I passed!! Thank you Jesus!!
Anyways, Eno was going back to Chicago the next day. And then came Tom – the guy who I mentioned earlier who I met at mile 15, from Houston. He finished his first full!
God is working on me and refining me as a runner/marathoner. He is showing me things which I may not have paid attention to before. For this is not about me or what I could get out of it. Today I can say that I truly enjoyed the marathon, every mile of it, and I give thanks to God for yet another great race with lots of memories, just as the Route 66 from last month.
This is Marathon #14 for me…
Next race: Allen’s New Year Double – Eve Full vs the Houston Marathon