Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Trail Half Marathon - aka Girls' Trip

This weekend we had a huge group of friends/runners = frunners, descend upon the happening town of Huntsville, Texas to run the Love Run Half Marathon.  Last year, it was Catherine and I and we had so much fun that we decided to make it a yearly trip and get a bunch of people to join us!  Mission accomplished! We had me, DK, Lisa, Cassie, Royce, Julie, Fiona, Catherine, and Teri! So much fun! 

Dinner at the Farmhouse Cafe the night before!

We went to the Farmhouse Cafe the night before for dinner...Oh my gosh - so good. Every time I go to Huntsville, that is where we always eat. It may or may not be because they have wonderful pie...Along with other delicious food.

A lot of this back at the hotel waiting for dinner ...
After dinner we all hung out in the hotel room and then passed out ready to head to the park for packet pick up in the morning. 

I love this park!

DK and Teri getting ready for the race.
Woke up and got out of the hotel and to the park by about 7:15 with a race start of 8:00.  We hit a huge line of cars trying to get into the park since this year they charged for entry into the park.  Things went pretty quickly though and soon enough we were parked and ready to go.

The gang minus Lisa before the big race...I think she ran back to the car for something...
Looks like a good number to me! Let's do this.
Off we go, into the woods of the Huntsville State Park.  Can I just say how much I love this park?  I was thinking as I ran this course how this is my "Bubble of Love" as Corina calls it.  Every time I am here, I love this trail even more. The woods are beautiful and it doesn't matter if you are going 13.1 or 31 on the trail, I simply love it! Maybe it is because I did my 50K on this course and had such a wonderful experience on it - I don't know but I love this park and these trails and I will be back every chance I get.
OSP- In my element...I love Huntsville!

Lisa, Cassie, and Catherine...
I ran the first 3 miles or so with Catherine, Cassie, and Lisa and then I kind of took off on my own.  Royce, Fiona, Julie, and Teri were up ahead. We saw them on the Jeep road out and back part of the course and I thought maybe I could catch up to Royce although he was a good ways ahead  of me...I eventually did and then my next goal was to see if I could catch Fiona and Julie - although honestly, I didn't think I could. They were going at a pretty good clip.  I tried to remember what they were wearing and I knew Julie's shirt was maroon because I liked the A&M color.  So I just kept running much of that time on my own through the forest.  It is amazing how running through the trees on a trail completely alone can make you feel so peaceful and empowered. So much time to reflect and just be in the moment - no music, no talking, nobody but you.  I love it!  Eventually I saw their shirts, pink for Fiona and maroon for Julie, they were just up ahead...far enough that I could see them but also far enough I had to really push to catch them.  Every once in a while they would disappear around a bend. Finally, I caught up to them and was pooped out!  I think that was about mile 6ish.  We ran together a bit and I went ahead a little and apparently Fiona decided to come with me. I didn't realize this until I was walking up a huge hill and she came up behind me and yelled at me to run the hill, not walk!  What??? She is crazy! So off I go, trying to catch Fiona since she snuck up on me all ninja like...Well, apparently while she was hollering at me to run, Julie was yelling at her from behind to say that we took the wrong turn and were off course...Oops!  We didn't hear her and there were at least 2-3 other people around us running the wrong way and we just kept right on! I noticed after a while there weren't any flags in the trees, but for some reason wasn't concerned since I was following a lady. We kept running and didn't even realize were off course for sure until we ran back onto the course!  We ran into people at an L turn and had to jump over logs to get back on course. Then I knew...we were off.  Three-tenths of a mile off. We missed the turn and never ran the dam.  Oh well.  I was just glad we got back on course - who knows where we would have wound up! At that point, Fiona tells me to go, that she isn't feeling well and to go on - her last words of encouragement "Don't let the girl in the grey and green beat you - whatever you do." Okay, so off I went...I knew grey and green girl...and there was no way I would let her beat me after that.  Poor girl, she had no idea...I don't care...I beat fact, I never saw her again after that because I was not going to let her even get close.
This is how it happened...

 Finished off the run pretty strong with an overall, 11:57 pace on trails for 12.8 miles.  That is the fastest I have done trails for that long.  I could definitely tell that the speedwork Adam has had me doing was helping because normally when my legs would have fatigued, they were still powering through.  I thought maybe I could catch Teri since I had missed out on .3 miles of the race, but no...she is so speedy I couldn't even catch her with a .3 mile difference! I did find her at the finish line!

Teri's award - first trail race and she got 3rd place in Female 30-39! Who does that? My awesome speedy friend!
No wonder I never caught her!
Some of my favorite peeps! We will be back next year!

Love this race!

We got everyone across the finish line and had some lunch.  This race is so wonderful.  Great volunteers, great course, food afterwards, and they even reimbursed the park entry fee by putting a $5 bill in your packet! It made for the perfect race/trip/getaway weekend!

Off we went, back home, but not without a stop to Buccee's because Teri had never been. 

The girls with Buccee the Beaver

 A quick stop at the Collin Street Bakery for goodies for the husbands and kids that we had left behind for the day and a half we were gone and we were back on the road towards home.

My runner friends are more than just friends...They make me laugh and they love me...They are just a part of an extended family to me! I love ya!

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family to let me go and do fun stuff like this and also to have the wonderful fun friends to go and do it with!  I love you all! 


  1. I endorse this RR so hard!! I love the OSP and the Bubble of Love!! Will have to put this on the calendar for next year, if only for the trip to the Farmhouse!!! Congrats on a great race!!

  2. I love that YOU love Huntsville State Park so much--it is very near to my heart as I worked there in college. Looks like I need to add this race to the calendar for next year, you make it sound like so much fun. Congrats on totally owning it too!! Rockstar!