Monday, April 21, 2014

2nd Half Marathon of 2014: Rock 'n' Roll Dallas

Photo Highlights from the Rock 'n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Weekend

Hello, friends. As I type this it's 3:30am the morning before the half marathon...not the Dallas race but instead, the Rock 'n Roll Raleigh race on April 13th. Despite my hard work, a technology breakdown led to the loss of my Dallas blog file and now I'm left with no time to rewrite before heading out today for Raleigh. As a compromise I've decided to publish the photo highlights here and then hit the road for the drive to the race.

Thursday, March 20th:

With Jim in town working all week we opted to stay in a room at the Hyatt House,
 complete with full kitchen for "home cooked" meals.

Breakfast today before I spend the next 6-8 hours working on my computer
 and returning phone calls:
Poached eggs on avocado with salsa & a glass of OJ.

Jim returned to the hotel in time to squeeze in a quick run with me just before rush hour.

Jim runs ahead along the beautiful Katy Trail in downtown Dallas.

A view of Uptown Dallas from a bridge along Katy Trail.

Not the most scenic stretch here but I am so thankful for this gorgeous weather.

I heard on the news this morning that today is National Happiness Day.
I'm celebrating with this 5-mile run on a perfect spring day in Dallas.

All along the Katy Trail there are hotels and restaurants that cater
to the runners going by. Here there's a "run up" window if you
prefer to break from your workout.

You can find free water all along the trail--so wonderful!!

Another view of the town as we make our way back to the hotel.

If you're staying near the American Airlines Center, ask your hotel concierge
where Victory Promenade is--this was the closest access to the Katy Trail.

American Airlines Center.

Having some fun as a tourist. 

Dinner tonight was a big salad (this was only my first serving).
I love being able to prepare my own meals!

Friday, March 21st:

Getting ready for the race...

An Emily sighting! And today is her birthday so she's showing off
the cake that fellow RnR Gypsy, Andrew Pelletier, dropped off for her.

And speaking of Andrew, we find him just after our visit with Emily.

This is Andrew's hometown race and next up, he'll be joining us
in our home state for the Raleigh Half Marathon.

After such a long winter it's so nice to see outdoor dining again.
We stopped by the Nodding Donkey to catch some of the NCAA March Madness scores...

...then went across the street for an appetizer at Boxwood.

Artichoke spinach dip appetizer.

Another perfect day in Dallas.

Virginia Mamone of TeamUP arrives from Las Vegas to work with me this weekend.

We spend Virginia's first few hours in Dallas working on our CMTA sign for the meetings and the race.

This is how to spend a Friday night!

Saturday, March 22nd:

Michelle and her son, Carter, greeting us at the Dallas area
 CMTA support and action group meeting.
Michelle is the group facilitator, inspired by Carter,
and you can learn much more about this inspirational duo by following their blog:

Kelly Millard of Allard is here to share information with the group
regarding the braces that Virginia and I wear.

Virginia shares her story with the group, an emotional journey of being
diagnosed with CMT and then learning that her children
had also inherited the disorder.

I award Carter with the Get Back UP medal and thank him
for inspiring me with his courage and strength.

A well-earned medal for sure!

Thank you so much to the CMTA Dallas for the invitation to meet you!
I truly believe we're all in this together, and that by joining forces
we can make each other stronger.
I'm looking forward to running for you this weekend!

Virginia enjoys a Texas-sized order of onion rings. 

Sunday, March 23rd--RACE DAY:

Team CMTA!

In addition to celebrating the CMTA today, we're also celebrating
with Joe Harris, who is running his 100th Half Marathon
 here in Dallas today. That's Joe in the middle with
the 100 toy medals we bestowed upon him. :-)

Michelle gives him a photo frame of "100 hugs" ...gotta love the RnR Gypsies!

A look-alike card for Joe!

I was recently matched with my little buddy, Andrew, through the
I Run 4 Michael organization. Andrew and his brother, Nathan, have
Juvenile Arthritis which causes extreme joint pain, swelling and
inflammation on a chronic basis. Nathan, I know you have
your own runner-buddy, too, so this one's for your little brother! 

Dan Evans (Season 5 Biggest Loser) is our friend and fellow RnR Gypsy,
running today to inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Thanks, Dan--always great to see you!

This was so cool: We met this man, Dr. Reed Hogan, at the starting line
and ended up finishing the race with him, too.
He came up to us and said "I can't believe I'm seeing a CMT t-shirt...what
an under-servrd, orphan disease that is!" He wanted a photo with us but also hopes
 to get some CMTA gear for himself so he can help us to raise awareness.
Thanks, Dr. Hogan!

National anthem being sung before the start of the race in downtown Dallas.

Another large Rock-n-Roll crowd!

And we're off! We're running towards Dealy Plaza and the historic
 book depository where JFK was shot.

A perfect day for running, not too hot and not too sunny.

The JFK museum store across from the Book Depository/JFK museum.

The "Grassy Knoll" of JFK assassination lore.

After 13.1 miles in beautiful Dallas we spot our RnR gypsy friend, Dorcas, at the finish line.

And then we found Virginia cheering us on to the finish!! 

Virginia was spreading joy and raising awareness for the CMTA with her beautiful smile.

The temperature dropped throughout the morning so we were all happy
to get on the warm shuttle bus back to our hotel.

Cheers to our friends at the CMTA Dallas, and to my lil' buddy Andrew--you
helped us get through the 13.1 miles today! 

The shuttle bus dropped us about a mile from our hotel so
we had some fun along our chilly walk back.

Run, Virginia, Run! (Aren't you grateful for your Allard braces now?!)

TeamingUP in Dallas today was great fun for a great cause.

And now for some well-deserved down time in Dallas: shopping
and eating in the Bishop Arts District.

Virginia's snack board...

Beth's snack board. :-)  Okay, so I continued to share my bounty
 with Jim and Virginia but in reality I think I ate more than my share.

I don't want to let her go back to Vegas. Thank you, Virginia, for
sharing your story and your strength so graciously.
This is one reason I'm grateful for having foot drop: gaining friends like you!

A celebratory glass of red wine with my makeshift,
homemade Salad Nicoise after a long Get Back UP weekend.
Monday, March 24th:

Perfect weather for flying as I catch the sunrise before catching my flight back home to NC.

This was the 5th running of RnR Dallas but just my 3rd in a row here.
I love this course and despite taking it slow, taking photos along
the way and visiting with spectators on the route,
Jim and I still finished the race in 2:06.

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