Marathon #15 & 16 – New Years Double / Texas Metalsaw Marathon (12/31/15, 1/1/16), part 2

Okay… So I just finished my 15th marathon in Allen, TX, went back home to my parents house, showered. It was a great way to conquer that course of “dogs and vomit” (ha Libby…😂😂) and redeem myself before I say goodbye to 2015…  Is it time to celebrate? Well, only about 1% of the population or so run marathons. Among those, I guess about 98-99% of the people are done after their first. So I guess the answer for me is NO. I’ll say it again in Spanish. NO. Qué lástima… Lol

I forgot to mention, when I got done with the New Years Double, I tried to chug a whole 32 oz bottle of chocolate milk (they say it’s one of the best for recovery!) but ended up throwing up half 😖😖

By the time I left Dallas, it was about 3:30pm. My ETA to The Woodlands was about 7:30 pm, to Erin & Andy’s place, which I was very grateful that they offered me a place to stay. But I didn’t get there until nearly 9pm, for I stopped every 45 minutes or so to stretch out my psoas and foam roll/flush out the rest of my legs. Lol. I also stopped at a Planet Fitness in Corsicana and got a quick hydro massage, and then carb-loaded at Double Dave’s in Huntsville.

On my drive there… I ate nothing but healthy stuff – 2 bananas, cherries, 1 large avocado, roasted pecan & walnuts, hot cocoa, and alkaline water. It’s all about recovery… recovery… recovery!!

Here we go… #16 – Texas Metalsaw Marathon on 1/1/16!

When I woke up the next day (oh, I almost forgot, Happy New Years, by the way 😂), I actually felt like I was in decent shape. I was a little sore, but not beat. That’s a good sign.

Packet pickup was from 6:30 to 7:30 am. Erin already took off (she was like, I don’t wanna be late and not get my packet!!” Hahahah…) while I was in no rush chatting with Andy at their place… Lol. I was NOT nervous at all even though it was a near 45 min drive to Kingwood from the Woodlands… Weird, but hey I’ll take that over the usual pre-race jitters!

When I got to the site at 7:25, I can already sense that this is gonna be a better day. How ironic right?? The day AFTER you just ran a marathon, is gonna be a better day??!! LOL 😁. Unlike Allen, where we were running mostly on empty fields and uncovered neighborhoods, this one didn’t look too bad at all. The low was a 45, which is still chilly, but at least there were trees to shelter us from the elements. There’s even a chance of rain, but even so, it was like, so what.

God must have been looking down over us with favor that day… Cuz it said 40-50% chance of rain.

 Me, Erin, and Richard at the start line minutes before take off. Supposedly Richard had an injury that allows him to only walk, but he said he was gonna run it. Good for him!

I was showing off my Canadian Maniac shirt which I accidentally bought at the Route 66 Marathon expo bc it looked cool… I didn’t realize it had big freakin letters that spelled “CANADA” on its side… 😳😒LOL. Oh well, I ran Toronto and I got a cousin that lives up there… So I am deemed fit to wear that shirt ha… People were like “let’s go Canadian Maniac!!” And I’d be like “I’m not Canadian!! I bought this thing by accident!!” Lol

This race had a good number of maniacs & the 50 states club people! It was so encouraging to see everyone out there. The weather was just right, the group was small but closely knit.

This was also an out & back course (4 x 6.55 miles) along some hike & bike trail in the neighborhoods of Kingwood paved with… more Concrete!!! Ouch 😖😖 here goes another 26.2 with near zero elasticity ha..
 Here’s Steve Boone, the race director of the Texas Metalsaw Marathon, running the race with us! He was intermittently run walking, but whatever. He’s completed about 600 of these things… Number 601 won’t kill him…

Steve Boone and Libby Jones 😁😁😁🏃🏻 two race directors, both Maniacs like me but much more Maniac than me 😉 I have never, ever met a race director before. Now I’ve met 2 in 2 days. Cool huh?

 Got this Maniac passing by… This isTHE Maniac responsible for getting me curious (in Nov 2014 at Wild Hare) then hooked on being part of the InSane Asylum…

Unfortunately, after the first loop I had to stop and unload some baggage from yesterday… Probably ate too much salad the night before at Double Daves 💩💩 LOL😳

 This is Eddie, but on Facebook he’s referred to as the “Barefoot Bandito”. HA!!! You crazy maYn…

You can see, we were running on trails that span these little mini lakes (or gigantic puddles vs ponds 😀). I believe they’re tributaries that dump into Lake Houston, which I believe dumps into Galveston Bay, which I believe dumps into the Gulf of Mexico, which I believe dumps into the waters of the Atlantic… Lol

 Ran into Angela again! She really did drive by herself, like me, to Kingwood, after the Allen NYD marathon. Since she’s from Plano, she went home and changed like me, but instead slept in her car the whole night! Dang lol. She’s going at a much slower pace than me though. It’s all good…

 One of the things that strikes me the most about the Kingwood race is the main aid station. While its not as extensive as an ultra aid station, it was decked out with more than Gatorade and water! PB&J’s, oranges, bananas, cheese crackers, and candy was certainly a nice treat especially every 6.55 miles!!

By mile 9, I actually fell behind a little and wanted to catch up with Erin to see how she’s doing (well, and the ego part of me wanted to beat her! HA!), starting about mile 10-11, I started to pick up speed. I finally caught up with her right before the half mark, and sprinted back to the starting like a maniac… I mean, AS a Maniac 😜.

Nobody should be doing sprints during s marathon lol.

After completing two loops, now at the half mark and stuffed my face with carbs, I took off again. I felt surprisingly light and comfortable on my feet. It’s as if I figured out how to run again after 39 miles!! Miles 13-16 felt incredibly easy, but then I kinda was losing it again. But I thought to myself, whatever, it’s almost over and I’ll be done soon.

Around mile 22-23, I was running and chatting with Hollie. Her green Maniac shirt was kinda cool! I have no idea where she’s from bc she said she’s a travel nurse and takes full advantage by running races.. Lol. At this point, I felt discomfort in my right knee. Hollie said I could keep going, but I was like, yeah I’ll stay behind and run walk intervals with you since my knee is about to give out lol.

We ran into her friends… And took a fireball shot…  Honestly it was just enough to get my stomach upset but not enough to numb the pain 😔 I saw Mr. Cheese man who was wearing a cheesy hat, too many times but had to get a pic with him bc this is my last loop! I kept on calling him cheese balls for some reason… LOL

 Approaching the finish… I went all out on the last 0.6 mile but was like whatever arrrrrgh!!

 And I finished!!! With a time of about 5:08, which I am very happy, considering this is AFTER running a marathon the day before. I had a slightly faster second half and was faster on my second marathon vs my first, by nearly half an hour!!

 Maniac Zach…

This is the most gigantic medal ever!! Weighing over 3 pounds…
Tejas sized indeed. Everything is bigger in Tejas!

 I swear… Every time I saw this guy he was taking a picture of somebody with his GoPro… Lol
  And here’s Erin coming in…

 And a pic with me, Erin, and Will.

 It’s still hard for me to believe, but just I upgraded myself from a Level 2 (2 stars⭐️⭐️) to a Level 4 (4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, criteria: 2 marathons in 2 days). Allen’s New Years Double on 12/31/15, and Kingwood’s Texas Metalsaw Marathon on 1/1/16. I also find it amazing that my time was faster on my SECOND day, running on supposedly tired legs…

Sure, I have some bragging rights for a while, but looking back and reflecting on this experience, God is teaching me more about faith, trust, and reliance on Him, to not put that solely on my abilities and thoughts. Just 2 days ago, I was paralyzed with fear, self doubt, insecurity, and a near complete lack of confidence in my ability and gift to run. And two days later, I did what I consider “insane”, even 2 years ago. Back to back marathons. Had I not done those ridiculous speed intervals in Kingwood, I may have very well been able to run another marathon the next day, or even a quadzilla (4 in 4 days!). Crazy but true! Deep down, even when m actions and feelings don’t show it, I trust and rely on Him, who gives me strength and the endurance to push through another mile.

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NIV

The first day felt more like a physical/mental/spiritual battle within my own self, while the second day it felt like a “fun with friends” type of day. During the first day, I felt very vulnerable. The second day, I felt from time to time nearly invincible. Personally, the two races felt like a night and day experience.

But on both days, I was required to exercise my patience and self control, two important fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). For every moment was a temptation to go too fast or ahead of myself and burn out (in some instances, I did go too fast, and had to stop myself and re focus on the goal of simply finishing without beating my body up). On both days, I was encouraged to see people with greater testimonies and other maniacs who ran a few hundred races, being out there and having fun.

I remember the day before in Allen when I was doing the New Years Double, I struggled. I cried. I texted my friend Erin at around mile 18, “I am so beat and I have one more lap to go”. She asked me “are you going to stop?” Whoa… That got me alert… Quit being a wuss is what I said to myself lol. I replied, “no, I am going to finish, and then I am coming down to Houston!”

Sometimes my walk with God as a disciple is like that. The devil throws curve balls at us when we are most vulnerable and confused. It’s that moment when you wake up, realize that you’re still in the race, and realize that you’ve gone this far, and that it would be foolish to quit.

Sometimes it comes down to physically declaring “no” to distractions and detractors to our faith and let our actions override our feelings. Despite how tough I felt, I declared, “No!” I am going to finish, and I will come down to Kingwood, in faith, that God will surely be there to be of my help.

Honestly, it makes no difference if I finished both races under 5 hours or slightly over. People ask me how did I do and what is my time, and I am a little frustrated to answer that bc that’s not the point.

The Apostle Paul did not say to Timothy, “I spent 30 years of my life to complete the race to heaven”. No. He simply said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-8‬

Sometimes, or often, keeping our eyes on the Cross is the only way for us to keep persevering as disciples of Jesus. For great is the reward in heaven.

Because at the end, the fastest and the last person on the course BOTH gets a gigantic Texas sized medal… Probably going to collapse my tree next year 🎄😱🙈


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