Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Catch me if you can!

Well, just kidding. I'm not that fast, but it seemed pretty clever since I finished the Aramco Houston half marathon this past Sunday! But before I get to that, we'll start off with Friday. I landed in Houston around 8pm and was lucky enough to have one of my very best friends Nicole, waiting for me at baggage claim. We then went to pick up Cliff and headed to BJ's in Sugar Land for a much needed and very late dinner. Anyone who knows me well knows how hungry I get and that when I'm hungry I must eat right then and there. Well, we didn't even get to BJ's until around 9:15pm which was like 10:15pm to me since I'm now on east coast time and I barely even complained! I must say I was quite proud of myself. After dinner, Nikki and Cliff dropped me off at my parents where I got to spend hour or so with Mom and Dad talking their ears off, of course.

On Saturday, my wonderful in-laws, Jody and Phil, came to Sugar Land to see me! I was so excited to see them and even more excited that they came specifically to see me since I was in town :) I am so blessed with two amazing families. We then went into downtown to meeting up with Julie and her brother and sister-in-law, Jake and Danielle, for lunch. We went to a little Italian place called Pronto on Montrose to get some yummy carbs before the race. After lunch Jody and Phil headed towards Katy to see Jody's mom while the rest of us went to the race expo. Julie and I wandered around for quite a while while Jake and Danielle went to pick up Julie's other brother Peter. Once we were tired of picking up free stuff at the expo, we went for a walk around Discovery Green Park. Here are some pics:

Here's Julie and I in front of the pretty wall!


Picture of the pretty wall. There was a predominately pink one on the other side of the park, but this one was closer.

Here's the finish line that we crossed on Sunday!

Pretty fountain/kids water park that I felt the need to take a picture of :)

After the expo we headed towards Peter's house and grabbed a light dinner at Cafe Express. It's never good to eat too heavy before the race if you know what I mean. After we dropped Peter off, we went to their hotel and waited for a few hours until my brother and his girlfriend Olivia could come get me. Surprisingly, they did not get lost. With my family's track record, I expected him to end up in Austin or something (sorry Em).

Sunday was race day. Luckily for my parents, our neighbor was running too so I was able to catch a ride with them at 5:15 in the morning! The temperature was pretty nice, but there was a constant drizzle ALL morning. Despite the slick roads, wet feet and water in my face, the rain was nice because it was able to keep me cool. Now back to the wet feet...my shoes were FILLED with water by the end of the race and it felt like I had bricks attached to the bottom of my shoes. I was on track for under 2 hours for the first 15K of the race. Unfortunately, the last 2 miles were killer. With the move, I wasn't able to train as hard as I normally would and the rain weighed my feet down so much that it felt nearly impossible to keep going at the end. I did make it through those last few miles and was SUPER sore afterwards. It was 100%, completely worth it. I get such a rush out of running and I feel a sense of accomplishment. I ended up finishing at 2:04:45. Not too bad, not my best, but awesome nonetheless. My momma and daddy were there to watch me cross the finish line, right after Clyde Drexler I might add! If you want to see me cross the finish line click here. Once there, you can seach for me by Amy Gougler or my bib number was 23353. You'll see me cross and throw my hands in the air shortly after Clyde jumps up and hits the clock! By the way, I didn't start until 15 minutes or so into the race which is why my time is different then the time shown in the video! 

The most important part of the race is that I had people to cheer me on. It's their support that gets me through every day, every challenge, every race and every moment. I know it's sappy, but I am so blessed to have the amazing, supportive family that I do. My dad has been to EVERY race that I've been in. Too bad he'll miss me at the Disney Princess half, but that's for girls ONLY! ;) I only hope my parents know how much I appreciate their love and support. I try to tell them as often as possible, so here it is in writing in case they forget!

Here are some pictures of me with my parents after I finished!

It was an amazing weekend full of loved ones and I couldn't have been happier. I'm looking forward to my next trip back to Texas in just one week! I'll be back for work this time around, but there is always room for play!

More pictures of Maggie and this crazy weather up north to come. Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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