Racing for Hope Journal Entry 15

Alright, so it’s been a week and a half or so since I ran the Silos Waco marathon. It’s been hard to put into words how I felt about the race/experience. I’ll start at the beginning.

Our flight to Austin, Tx was uneventful. Our girls love to fly! We then got our rental car and made the 90 min drive to Waco and our Airbnb. This is where the fun began! Our host doesn't live in the house but in an apartment attached. She came out to meet us while we were getting back into the car to go to dinner. She freaked out because we have kids and she doesn’t rent to kids. She is the one that accepted our rental and we said we had kids. After that, there were no more issues with our accommodations.

The next day we got up and went to the branch Davidians compound, I love true crime and cults so stuff like that so this was a must for me! I will just say… it was an interesting experience. Not what we were expecting. Then it was off to the Silos for packet pickup! After getting my bib and race shirt, we hung around there and ate at a couple of the food trucks! We were able to meet some the Brave Like Gabe volunteers. They had a table set up where you could write your “why” on a post-it note and place it on Chip Gaines’ truck. It was powerful to see. Of course, my why is my wife and all of the other cholangio warriors. The volunteers were so wonderful, they even gave me a pair of sunglasses! The next day we drove to Austin so I could eat at the Mecca of bbq, Franklin Bbq! Which was absolutely amazing!!! Totally worth the 1 hour+ wait! Then it was back to just rest and prepare for the race in the morning.

On race day, my mother-in-law dropped me off at the shuttles that were taking everyone to the start line. After a quick restroom run, I jumped into the start corral nervously. Why am I nervous before all of these runs?? After a few minutes of walking around the corral nervously, I decided I was going to look for a running cancer patient I follow on Instagram. And through all of those people, I find him and his wife! I got to tell him how much of an inspiration he is to me! I was able to get a picture with him. Then my socially awkward self walked away and got ready to run. About two minutes later they sent us off. A mile into the race it was so hot and humid that I was completely soaked in sweat. It only got worse from there. I didn’t feel awful the first half of the race, but I swear as soon as I hit mile 13, it started to go down hill. I couldn’t cool myself off enough. I couldn’t keep my heart rate at a decent beat per min, and I couldn’t get enough water in me. I will admit that I wasn’t able to train like I wanted and needed to prior to this race.

Mandy spent a week in the hospital in the end of March and then needed a few procedures. I hate leaving her side when she needs me. My training takes a backseat on those days. When I was nearing where I knew Mandy and the girls were going to be, I was doing my best to continue to run/walk even though it was more of a walk/faster walk at that point! It was amazing to see my family their supporting and cheering me on. There was also another surprise in store for me. Claire Condrey, with the CCF, brought her family out to support me as well! Seeing them helped to propel me to the end of the race! When I finally see the finish, I notice that there is no one in front of me and no one behind me. So I literally finished all alone. It was such a weird feeling but somehow fitting. I know that so many on the cancer journey feel alone even if they are not, and I want everyone to know that you are not alone!! After the race, we went into the silos again. I got a very much-needed chili cheese dog and took some pictures. I really can’t thank everyone that has shown me support during this enough! I’m not sure I could make it through these races without it, especially my wife, Mandy. She sends me encouraging texts and somehow she sends them exactly when I need them the most! My final race time was 4 hours 50 minutes and 29 seconds! I can’t wait for the May run (even though it will be even hotter)!!