This summer I made a commitment to myself to give up Dr Pepper and get back in shape. I didn’t sign up at a gym or for any classes or products. I just decided to do it the old fashion way – hard work, dedication, and determination.
My husband was a runner. I would never say that was my strong suit. He taught me how to run using an app called C25K a few years ago. But I overdid it and hurt both my feet, later wound up in the hospital in adrenal crisis, and then tore up my shoulder requiring surgery this past winter. It was a downhill spiral of personal distraction.
When I started working out again, I returned to what worked the first time. C25K coached me every other morning for 8 weeks. As I got closer to “Run a 5K” on my app, I had Jonathan start looking for a race. As a teacher I tell my students, “What’s the point of working hard if you’re never willing to test your ability to see how you stack up to others.” It was time to practice what I preach.
We found a 5K in Plano during their balloon festival. My parents took me to the huge hot air balloon festival in Alburquerque, NM years ago. I loved it, so I was super excited to go to this one even though there would be less than 50 balloons instead of hundreds. Jon signed me up and it was set – Race Day!
My children and I aren’t morning people, so no one was real fond of the 5AM wake up call via Dad during the weekend. But we all arose and made it to Plano around 6:15 where we were provided specialty parking. (A nice touch by event planners)
The balloon launch was scheduled for 7AM, but at that time there was one balloon spread out flat on the field. The half marathon start time was 7:30. By then, we were able to take the following pictures of the balloon field. One of my favorites.
It was nice to be so close to the balloon field. If you arrived early enough, you had prime time seating. Well done by the festival.
And then it was time to race:
Setting up my race music still snuggled in my sweatshirt.
And I’m off with hundreds of others.
While I was running, the balloons flew overhead creating an awesome variety of views. My family took photos of the launch as I ran. Here are some of their shots.
My kids thought they were freezing, so they stopped to warm up their hands. 😉
My husband loved the flying pig.
My kids had a little fun picking balloons out of the sky.
Finally, I crossed the finished line.
I actually felt pretty good about my run. My goal was to run it under 35 minutes which I did. I know that sounds slow to the long distance runners who knock out a 5K in 15-20 minutes, but I’m just not that kind of runner. I could train forever and never reach those times. They just aren’t realistic for me. I was just happy I was able to run it all, and I didn’t feel like dying at the end.
As I cooled down, we took a walk around the festival, and I snapped some pics of some character balloons.
All runners received a free breakfast. This was a little more difficult to locate, but we finally found the line. It was pretty good actually. They served bananas (of course), yogurt, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and orange juice, coffee, or water. Nicely done by the event!
The festival was full of food carts and a variety of booths. There were kite flying demonstrations and a concert going on too. It was a very well done festival and event.
If your in the DFW area next year, check out the Plano Balloon Festival. And if you’ve never experienced the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, add it to your bucket list and go!