Just like running marathons, triathlon is something that found me. After my first race, (formerly) Livestrong Austin Marathon, I knew only one other person who had completed a race of that distance and was still very alone in my new interest. At 22, that wasn’t something on my peer group’s radar.
On Saturday, we gathered with three of our closest friends and trekked from Houston to Dallas for the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon and Half Marathon. I’ve been to Dallas more than a couple of times in my life, and well, it’s Dallas. So I don’t have nearly as much to say as I did about the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C..
But! I will say that if you’re making your way from Houston to Dallas, I highly recommend stopping off for lunch in Leona, Texas at The Pecan Grove Cafe. The teeny tiny town only has one hundred and eighty people, and we were surprised how downright delicious their only lunch restaurant turned out to be. Best dream bar of my life!
The race expo had all of the usual vendors there, and the guys couldn’t even find a hat that suited their needs. We grabbed a coupon to Luke’s Locker and drove to the one in Colleyville, where we stayed the night with our friend’s parents.
My friend’s mom made a super cute sign for the race evoking everyone’s inner Jimmy Fallon.
I already went into detail about my Halloweekend, but information about the Marine Corps Marathon from the weekend prior had been sitting half done in my drafts. Whoops! We flew out to Washington D.C. on a Friday and were back the following Monday afternoon. We didn’t have near enough time to see all of the things we wanted to see or go to all of the places that we wanted to go, namely because we needed to stay rested prior to the race and Mark was definitely exhausted after the race as well.
The journey didn’t start with the list. It started with a hangover. It was the day after my 22nd birthday and the primary gifts I received for that one were a cookie cake, a few failures, and a dash of embarrassment. We’ve all been there.
This time it was different. Everything aligned in just the wrong way, all the wrong things happened, and I didn’t like the way it rubbed me. The journey started with a declaration of desperation: no more drinking for
a month–no—a year. And I’ll find other ways to have fun. It’s as simple as that.
After a month of no longer working at the bar, my house was cleaned, my yard was trimmed, I had been journaling the heck out of how I felt about the whole ordeal and I was sleeping outside in the hammock during my son’s naps. I was unemployed, waiting for the fall semester to begin, and I was bored. Boy was I bored. I was ready for something more. Anything more. I didn’t even know where to start.
So I started at the gym. A lot. I was going nearly every day when one day I ran into a couple of my old bar regulars, Mike and Mark. Mark had lost tons of weight, I didn’t even recognize him. He said he was training for a marathon, and I was impressed. I had started running when my son was born, and always thought the “eventual” goal would be to run a marathon.
I went home that night and didn’t like the idea that another person that I know was going to achieve a goal of mine before I was. I then did some research, picked a race, charged it to a credit card (hey, I said I wasn’t working) and although I didn’t write it down yet, I started training to
1. Run a marathon.