Latest reviews by Taushah Crawford

(2019)
"Half Marathon 29 complete at the New Orleans Rock n' Roll Half Marathon!"
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Alarm went off early Sunday morning for the race! I was super pumped for the race, but I knew it was going to be tough as my ankle was STILL bothering me and of course I still hadn't really ran except for the Houston marathon three weeks ago.

I got dressed super quickly in my new outfit and somehow was missing a safety pin for my bib. No big deal, at least I wasn't missing all 4 from my nightmare the day before! As long as I didn't forget my fuel, I was on my way to that being the only thing that came true! Lol

I grabbed my music, GU, opened my Nanohydr8 and sat it down so I could eat a Clif Bar before I grabbed my jacket and hand warmers to keep me warm during the wait for the start.

I then promptly left my Nanohydr8 on the desk and didn't realize it until we got downstairs to meet the team to head to the start. I didn't have enough time to run back upstairs to get it so yeah, there was that! I was super mad at myself!

The weather was a little warmer than this as I screenshot this the day before. Way warmer than I like for a race, but I know as summer gets closer it will only get worse!

So, I wished everyone good luck and headed to my coral after the 12 minute walk to the start. Moving forward, I think staying at a hotel that close and not having to worry about parking etc is the way to go!

We listened to a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and I was literally off to conquer 13.1 miles.

The first mile definitely felt the best, but I felt my ankle with every single step. I never got my grove as a result nor was I ever truly able to settle back and take in the race.

That being said, the course was pancake flat for the most part and I definitely want to come back and run again as this would be a great half for a PR!

However, you have to really watch where you are going on several of the roads. When they have signs up as big as the mile markers and they say CAUTION ROUGH ROADS AHEAD you know you better be careful!

The first half of the race was out and back so we were able to see a lot of the runners on the other side of the road as we turned to head back. I was looking for our friends and a few minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder and saw Dan and Sylvia fly on by. I was happy for them as they were having a great race (Dan PRd) but I was struggling to hold my 8:45 pace and it went downhill from there. I ran the whole race but it was harder than it should've been. Jana also passed me at some point but I never saw her! Good job guys!!!

I can't be mad though, I'm grateful for the experience and that I was able to complete with no further injury! I was humbled by the distance and it made me realize yet again how quickly one loses endurance from not being able to train!

The next half of the race we ran past Cafe Du Monde and the smell of Beignets was in the air... I so wanted one!

There weren't as many people along the course as I thought there would be and definitely not as much crazy as I assumed being that this race was in NOLA. However, the course was hard to get to as a result of road closures. Where were the bead throwers?!

That being said, apparently there was a naked woman at some point on the course just chilling on her porch. I never saw this, but apparently I'm the only one.

Once I hit mile 10, I couldn't wait to get to the finish. I had my girl waiting for me there and that is always my huge motivator during the hardest parts of the race. I'm lucky to have a cheerleader at every one I sign up for... and as you know, it's a lot!

I'm so looking forward to getting through Austin this weekend for half marathon lucky number 30 (although terrified by the hilly course) and then getting it together so I can knock the 33k and 50 miler off my bucket race in a few months. After that, smart training and getting my legs back under me to kick some major butt this fall in the 5ks and half marathons is my focus! I have all spring and summer to dig deep and I can't wait! I may kiss the track the next time I'm on it!

We found Karen, Lilvia and Whitney a little after we finished and it was nice to high five everyone on a fantastic race!

We walked over to the after party and sipped on a bit of Michelob Ultra while we listened to some jazz.

They also had a bunch of people walking around on stilts. I can't imagine doing that, I'd bust my butt and knock out all my teeth.

Our friend Glenn was running the full, so we all waited on him to finish then got on a shuttle back to the start so we could head to our hotel and get showered up!

I ate some wheat thins and almost a whole can of these Blue Diamond BBQ almonds. Have you ever tried these? My new favorite!

While I was showering, Lynn took a small nap. That shower was incredible as I was sticky from Gatorade and wet from dumping cold water on myself during the race. Have I mentioned how hot I get when it's warmer than like 40 degrees out?! Well, I do!

Once we were both refreshed, we decided to head to Carousel Bar in the French Quarter. The below explains how amazing it is!

We had some delicious dirty martinis and took in the beauty of the atmosphere!

While we were talking about our trip, we met a super kind couple named Eliza and Bill and ended up spending several hours getting to know them! She was drinking dirty martinis as well and I think between the three of us an entire gallon of olives were eaten. They were like a salty, buttery heaven!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week! Only a few more days till Austin!

Great race and I will be back next year, fully ready and injury free!

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(2019)
"Half Marathon 30 complete! Austin 13.1 one of my favorites despite the hills!"
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Yesterday was a special day and a special race for me for a few reasons!
-Half Marathon #30
-Had half marathon number 29 a week ago
-Third time running since Christmas due to injury
-It was in Austin and we got to see friends and family, so that was the best!!!

Alarm went off at 4:30am and I was so excited to put on my Boo Bear bib. I decided to wear my Brooks Launch 5 for the race and had my ankle taped the day before at the expo. I have to say I'm a believer as I had zero ankle pain during the race, for the first day since Christmas. Now, if that tape could've brought back my endurance that I lost the past few months I would've blown the race out of the water! Lol
We took a little longer than planned to get out the door so I was stressing per usual about finding parking and a port a potty before the start! Right as we were about to make it to our last exit, the above happened. I thought the train was going to try and set a world record and I was getting more nervous with each boxcar that passed. Aahhh!
I was dying of thirst as we waited for the start and Lynn found me this bottle of water. Isn't this type of cap awesome? I've never seen this, now I want this on all my water bottles so I don't lose the top!

I was super nervous for the elevation gain for the first few miles and was hoping my ankle would hold up! I am happy to report that I felt great although my legs were feeling it from lack of running outside of racing these past few month! There was slight downhill for the next few miles and before I knew it the race was half over.

About that point the "rolling" hills started and there were some doozies. My legs at this point felt like bricks and I got a little nervous. Gu was my lifesaver as usual to keep me fueled!

I decided in that very moment to not let mental be my weakness for this race! I knew I wasn't trying to set PRs, I knew I was lucky to be running when I wasn't sure it would be possible a few weeks ago, and I was feeling positive and running FASTER than the half I completed a week ago on a pancake flat course in NOLA! So, I did just that and ran with joy!

There were more Mount Everests to climb and I only walked for a few seconds on one that was so steep at mile 12 it was HARD to run even at a slow pace. So, during those hard moments I got my phone out and took pictures and texted Lynn while running, the short walk break etc.... and it distracted me until I looked up and was at the top! I saw our friend Monica at mile 12.25ish and definitely put a smile on my face! Now to just get to the finish!

I loved everything about this race, and although it was hard, I came out of my running season feeling good and enjoyed the race so much. I was a few minutes faster than last week in NOLA (although much much slower than my best) and although I'm so disappointed that I got injured before three of the races I wanted to come in hard at... I'm grateful. I got to run them all, it made me love running even more, dig deeper than I thought possible, and gave me many more goals.

I will do everything possible to take the best care of myself so I can get through my 33k and 50 miler in the next few months, bust my butt this summer and come back super strong in the fall and winter for some 5ks and half marathons before I do it all over again this next year!

Lynn was waiting for me at the finish, of course, and I was so excited when I saw her because I felt great and no pain! I'm back!!!!! (Knock on wood)

After I finished we walked around the after party. Neither one of us felt like beer, but they had the beer garden, and the whole thing set up better than most of the races I've ran! Lots of things to try and see! Live footage of the race was playing above even which was awesome! Anyone notice the Planters-mobile again!!??

The Chameleon Cold-Brew was incredible and refreshing. Tasted like chocolate milk and I wanted more!

They had the belts you could buy to put the race bling on if you wanted at the finish line. Pretty cool! Gotta love Texas!

We realized at this point that we needed to head to my car as my parking was about up, and Lynn's phone was dead! Plus, we needed to head back so I could shower and we needed to pack up to meet Lynn's parents to pick up the pups!

We met Mom and Dad Papke and our friends Cortney and Isaac at Hi Sign Brewery. The pups went bonkers when they saw us and had to be held the whole time!

It was so good to see everyone and to catch up. Cortney is having her second baby in a few weeks so glad we got to see how she was feeling! Lynn also gave her her Boomf!

After a few hour visit we headed home! We stopped at Chipotle on the way so we'd have dinner. I mixed half my bowl with, yup, you guessed it - more veggies! I have the other half for the next meal :)

Plus, we had to rush home so we could give the girls their Valentine's Day gifts!

Bella loves her outfit and claimed all the toys. Emmy pouted in her Tres Chic tutu but loves it now. She just wishes Bella would let her play. Poooooor Emmy!

I will definitely be doing Austin next year and have huge goals! I'm excited to let my body heal over the next few days as am definitely feeling it! I'm so looking forward to resume training hopefully pain free!

Congrats to all those that completed Austin as well as any workout, race, etc this past weekend!

I'm grateful for all of you being a part of my journey and for listening to me complain about my ankle for the last few months!

It's made me so grateful for the sport, for health, and for my amazing Lynn's support!

I'm ready to move forward!

See you at the Start Line.... soon... and better than ever! Just give me some time :)

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(2019)
"I did it! Marathon 21 in the books at Chevron Houston Marathon!"
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What a whirlwind the past few days have been! I’ve actually felt guilty about not posting the recap the past two days. However, after getting home late Sunday after the race, and being at work for 12 hours yesterday, I wanted to wait until I could take my time and not rush through the post. So, without further adieu, I DID IT!
As you know, the past month has been pretty upsetting for me as I haven’t been able to run since Christmas Eve. I have done everything I could this past month (including missing a half marathon) like seeing a chiropractor 3 times a week, purchasing orthotics, trying ARP, etc… Oh yeah, and not running a single step!

I was so grateful for Mom and Dad Papke this weekend! They came down (along with Wrigley) and stayed with the pups so that we could have an easier time over the weekend. I worked super late on Friday so I didn’t get to see them much, but Lynn got to experience a few different restaurants and breweries with them. Thank you guys so much for coming down as it meant the world to us! Love you!
I was so glad to pack my Brooks Ugly Christmas Sweater Levitate 2’s shown above as I drool over them every time I open my closet. I had my fingers crossed that I would be able to run this race…all 26.2 miles… and cross the finish line in these awesome shoes!!

We showed up to the Expo around 2pm as we made a few detours along the drive down to Houston. I lived in this city for about 15 years but seeing parts of it with my person, who I MET in Houston was very special.
I was so excited to pick up my packet and to complete my 6th Houston Marathon (21st Marathon total), but I had a lot of anxiety as the Marathon is a different animal. Not running for a month, coming off of an injury, not being trained… I was praying to the running Gods all day.

I knew deep down that it may not be possible. That it might at best only be a half marathon finish. I knew it would hurt both physically and mentally (my weakness), but I knew I wanted it!

Lynn calls me Boo Bear from time to time, so I did something different and put that on my bib for this race. When I picked up the bib, the lady behind the counter asked to see an ID for Boo Bear before she would give it to me. We both laughed pretty hard! LOL!

After the Expo, we walked around Downtown for just a few and checked out Discovery Green. It was beautiful! They had an ice skating rink set up, tons of booths and tents in preparation for the next days race… hundreds of athletes and friends. Was so cool! As we were walking, we stumbled upon the finish line (which was blocked off) and I took a moment to reflect. I wanted to cross that finish line so badly. I knew I wanted to complete the full 26.2 miles. I told myself that time wasn’t important at that moment, but if I was able… a smart race was.

Expo PS – I saw my GU heaven #guforit #successtakesguts and my greater heaven… HEADBANDS GALORE! Ya’ll, I NEED more glittery sparkly blinged out headbands. You can see my excited face in the mirror as I took a picture. LOL

After the expo, we headed to the Woodlands to hang out with the awesome Brother Bear Erik! However, Lynn sent me the address and we ended up an hour away in Deer Park. If you are familiar with Texas, it is NOT the same thing. So, after we plugged in the right address, we were on our way.

Erik took us to a few places around the Woodlands and we fell in love with it! We can’t wait to go back and visit already! He showed us the the boat house where he Rows, and introduced us to the wonderful Escalantes! It was delicious! The salsa and queso was perfect, and the grilled salmon salad I had hit the spot! We were all so hungry I didn’t even get pictures of the food, go figure!
As we got back to his apartment, I started getting myself organized for a 4am wakeup call. Cliff Bar, Nanohydr8, Gu and a 5 hour energy. Not necessarily in that order. LOL! I didn’t get much sleep, but I was pumped!
Erik is awesome (He will love me saying that) and I was so grateful that him and Lynn were not only so supportive, but they gave up their entire Sunday morning to cheer me on in 30 degree weather for hours! Life is good, and I’ve never been happier! I love the friendship the three of us have!
Thanks for letting us crash with you Erik, and for waking up at 4am and cheering me on all morning. Meant more than you know! This was at the GRB convention center before we rushed out so I could get into my coral before it closed!

This is me IN my coral… saying see you soon, but not TOO soon… I was hoping with my whole heart that I would cross that finish line! I mean, look how amazing this whole set up is! Looking at it now, I want to go run it all over again… and I can barely walk right now!

I finally felt like a runner again Marathon morning when I was able to put running shoes on for the first time in a month. These shoes even had the little jingle bells on them, and I refused to take them off. Lynn joked that I sounded like a kitty walking around

I crossed the start line and I was emotional right away. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to toe the start so I was grateful from the start. I felt good (but definitely slower) and outside of a half second discomfort at mile marker one, I was okay. I was ecstatic that at the turn left for half marathoners or turn right for marathoners.. I was able to confidently stick to my full marathon plans!
I ran a very conservative race. I knew my body was out of whack, not trained and coming off injury so as I mentioned, getting to the finish in one piece was the goal. The magic of a full is anything can happen as it’s a different animal, so finishing was my goal.

I was solid, although much slower than a few months ago, until mile 16. At that point I could feel every step and walked through the next water stop. My problem, as I mentioned is mental… so once I walk once, I know it will happen again. It was a rough last 10 miles!
The race became 10 miles, and I was okay at that juncture taking a few seconds to hydrate as that gave me a light at the end of each mile. I had several people send me pictures as they had spotted me on the course, so grateful for that! I look awful, but owe the memories to my Houston Striders! THANK YOU! (gotta love the closed eyes)

I texted Lynn around mile 20, and a few miles later she let me know that she and Erik were waiting for me at mile 25. I love that she could track me… and what a sweet fiance!

I was so determined to get there. You can see I was focused, lost it when I saw her, and my eye up close and personal as I ran up to hug her so quickly that was the best picture she caught. I was exhausted and had tears… and was so grateful to see them. It powered me for miles they don’t even realize! Once I left them I had determination!

After seeing my girl, I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line! Once I crossed, another runner named Kimberly stopped and said I had helped pace her since the half way point. It was awesome, because she was also someone who I tried to keep up with. Funny how that happens! We took a picture and high five to us both!

I couldn’t wait to see my girl and brother Erik and they will never know how much being there meant to me! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Crossing this finish line was emotional. I wasn’t sure I would be physically able to complete the race… or even start. The Marathon is a beast, and one I respect. I’m humbled by it every time!
It’s funny. Looking back a few days later I tell myself that I could’ve run better, shouldn’t have stopped to hydrate… I could’ve pushed. However, I know that with each mile I pushed through… I wasn’t only lucky to be doing so, but I gave all the heart I had in those moments. I’m proud of this finish, although it was about 45 minutes slower than I wanted, not my fastest by far… but one of my most proud finishes to date!
I was making all sorts of funny faces talking through the miles after I finished!

I also had someone I met a long time ago come up and say hi! Keith! Thanks for saying hello!

I wore my finishers shirt yesterday and put on my medal for fun. I’m so in love with this sport, and although I have a ton of races on my calendar this year including a 50 miler, I think I want to focus on the 5k and half. I know I can be great at those, so once healed up…. I’m going to own those

I finished in 4:38, which was about 45 minutes more than I wanted even semi trained. However, I’m proud of it. I’m using this past month to be smarter about running, recovery, and everything before, after, and in between. I’ve been humbled. I love to run. I want to be the best version of myself for this sport and I won’t take it for granted again! I fell apart, but I’m proud… and two T-shirts for this race!
Next years Houston Marathon will be an hour faster. Mark. My. Words.

Congrats to all those who ran this past weekend!
Once we got back to Eriks to drop him off, the stairs were daunting and Lynn looked lovingly annoyed as she answered a phone call from her parents on her watch. LOL

Two day’s later I’m sore sore sore! However, I’m excited for the NOLA half in 3 weeks and the Austin (HILLLLLLLLYYYY) half in a month! Let the healing begin!
Sorry for all the typos. I’m sure there are lots of OOOPPPSS!
I’m so grateful for each and every person, experience and mile. I’m back. I will get my grove back. I’m. So. Happy.
See you at the start line!

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