"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg

Weekly Running Log

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Am A Marathoner!!

F.Y.I. This is a long post...

I can't believe I did it! The Rock 'N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon on Sunday was exhiliarating. And I can't believe I've waited until I was 55 to do one...I'm too old to begin such a thing! But I love a challenge and this is what it's all about. This is one of the most exciting things I've ever done in my life. No, it's not like going on vacation. This is something that you have to prepare months for, train for, put your plans aside and brave the weather to push your body to limits it's not gone before. It is something that one can not understand unless you've experienced it. It is amazing! It doesn't matter about a lot of things except that you do your best, listen to your body, fuel it and push it where YOU want it to go.

Discipline, commitment and the want-to are three things a runner MUST have before attempting to do a marathon. I thought the same when I began my journey in running my first half marathon...and granted these elements are there. But this exceeds anything you ever thought before. I can't even imagine all the training and discipline someone goes through to be an Olympian...it's got to be beyond your wildest thoughts. At the beginning of the week, I began watching my diet closely eating lots and lots of vegetables and fruits. I was diligent and lost a total of 5 pounds by the marathon on Sunday. I was not sure I could pull off a decent amount of weight not having the miles to put in this week.

When we came into The Big Easy Saturday around lunch and headed for the Expo, my excitement level grew and grew. I remember feeling like a kid in a toy store last year. So many things to look at and things I've not imagined seeing relative to this new habit I've become addicted to called running. Oh, I'm not talking about the typical shoes and socks, but the original phrased t-shirts, must-have tech "toys", bumper stickers, fuel belts, jewelry, etc., etc. With all of that in mind, my heart skipped a beat as we parked.

We signed in and made Corral changes as Kent was in a different one than I and we wanted to start together. I mean, you MUST have that good luck, last minute smack on the lips to help you through, right? He wasn't around at all last year and I was nervous being alone...excited, but nervous. But he decided he wanted to attempt his first half marathon; therefore, giving us the opportunity to be together at the start. Right after we all got inside, we had our pictures taken at a photo wall.

We weren't aware that the picture was being taken when it was...not much of a smile going on here.

Us three new marathon runners were prepared and smiled continually so we could get a good one out of the bunch.

Though this is blurry, I had the opportunity to have my picture taken with two more Biggest Loser contestants!! This now makes 4 of them I've got a photo with. Tee-hee!

A photo of our bibs with timing chips. Mine was #12062 and Kent's was #20400. The excitement builds!!

Since last year I've wished I had purchased a couple of witty runner's tech shirts so this year there was no thinking about it...I was gonna get some. Also, with this being my first marathon, there were other things I wanted to get commemorating my hard work and new achievement.

And my favorite (I've kicked myself many times for not getting this one last year):

I knew I was going to get a 26.2 bumper sticker for the truck and a necklace with a runner girl and 26.2 on it that I'd seen last year.

The morning of the race was electric! Thousands of people everywhere!! We had many, many friends that ran in these races. Most elected to run in the half. But there were so many I couldn't begin to give you a general number of them. And, even though they were all there, we never run up on any except for one before the race, Alice H. I don't know how many were placed in a corral, but I would guess at lesat 100. You could hardly move so there may have even been 200. Again, I was so excited to have Kent by my side this year. It was chilly that morning especially having to be there early and still dark. We all wore gloves for a while after we started. All but Deleica had extra clothing to discard before the race began. All these clothes were given to the homeless. Here are some pre-race pictures (I hated ours blurred):

We all three had tech shirts made with "Run, (our name), Run" on the front and stats on the back. Except mine was Mardi Gras gold and theirs were white. I think I like theirs best.

Soon we were beginning to move. Oh gosh, I could hardly contain myself! I even began making low squealing sounds...tee-hee! If I could have yelled out without looking like an idiot, I would have. My heart was pounding. The others, not having experienced this before, were excited, too. Then before we knew it, we were on our way. Bands played about every mile. And spectators were everywhere cheering everyone on. It's almost like you're a celebrity and unknown people are rooting and yelling for you. There were many characters along the route, too. Some offering beer, Krispy Kreme donuts, cookies, salt packs, etc., served by several different groups of cheerleaders, men in red dresses, people in pajamas, nurses...all kinds of people. This year was different for me for many reasons and one of those was knowing several different spectators. It was so nice to see people you knew on the sidelines. I hope I don't forget anyone (it will truly be unfortunate because you ALL meant a lot to me). There was Dennis B. (he appeared twice on the route), Gary D., a group from our Gulf Coast Running Club (calling out your name), Bob S. and especially my friends Cynthia and Kent M. who took some wonderful action shots of us. The first one is the Club and the others are from Cynthia & Kent. Aren't they great?

This was so much fun and I don't think I need to say that. We laughed pretty much the whole way!

We ran through gorgeous Audubon Park. All I could think was that this couldn't be in New Orleans!! It's beauty made you want to stay there and run around in circles for the rest of the time. Sooo serene! Wish Kent could have run that way, too. I wanted to be with him at this point, sitting on one of those wonderful little benches watching the ducks and geese as they fly into one of the beautiful little ponds with little fountains spewing soft water sprays. So, so pretty!

Okay...back to the race...as we got into our last 3 miles, running began to take its toll on me in a way I'd not expected. My left knee began to hurt a lot and Frank began experiencing pre-cramping in his quads. We worked through these situations by walking and running a little here and there and it was helping. My knee would stop hurting when I walked and his legs were given relief from cramps. We wanted to run so badly but our bodies weren't letting us. Deleica was encouraged to move on at the point that we saw we would have to walk/run the remaining race.

Turning the negative around, I reminded "us" that time was not of the essence in this race. It never has been. We did not know how our bodies would react at these distances. I set my goal very high to run this race entirely but it wasn't meant this time. I do NOT regret this agressive goal...I WILL do it! Goals are earned, not given! Lessons are learned or discounted...mine will be learned. I do not regret anything I've done during this time. I could easily put myself down but why would I do that? Running a marathon is something to be proud of when you've done your best. I am proud of all of us, the training we were committed to and a great future ahead.

We were all tired and yet felt great in running our best race. A few pictures at the end:

Close to the end of my race, I began to feel that I was getting a blister on my right foot. Though it hurt, it wasn't anything like my knee...and...I knew I was close to the end. When we left I changed clothes and removed my socks and shoes and, lo and behold, I had received a physical racing trophy...a nice colorful one! Ouch!!! Why does New Orleans do this to me?? To make me stand up and say, "you're not doing this to me again"??

The next morning we woke up to a gorgeous sunrise. It was the icing on the cake from a great weekend. This is where light meets night.

Things I did well:
1. Commited to daily training.
2. Fueled regularly during the race.
3. Drank plenty of Cytomax during the race.
4. Packed my fuel belt well (with Ibuprofen & vinegar).
5. Listened to my body throughout the race.
6. Enjoyed every minute!
7. Embraced the tough moments, never gave up and laughed in its face.
8. Was never ashamed by doing my best. I NEVER was!
9. Had a positive attitude and smiled the whole way.

Lessons learned:
1. Workout more with weights/weight bearing exercises to improve my joint strength.
2. Stretch more often.
3. I never gave up when my knee tempted me to. I accepted it as a "caution light" not a "stop light".
4. Put in longer distances to learn my body better.
5. Always have my iPod to keep my mind focused on the end.

Future plans:
1. Continue to run long distances on a regular basis.
2. Improve my flexibility with regular strength exercises or classes.
2. Do my best and strive for more and more and more.
3. Take care of my body so it will take care of me.
4. Decide on another marathon. And, I think I already have.

Yeah, right after I finished I wanted to do another! My mind sought ways to improve before we were on the road home. I never got sore but did experience tightness in my thighs. It was never a problem and I was expecting the usual pain.

My finish time was: 5:36:54 but hoped for much better. The good thing is that I burned 3031 calories!!! Kent's time was: 2:56:59. He made his goal of breaking 3 hours. Way to go, honey...good job!

We are well pleased with our results. We never gave up...that just wasn't in the plan. Kent had said from early on that he would NOT do another long distance race. But now that it's over, I think he's wanting to sign up for the half when I do the whole at Disney World next year...oops! Did I let the cat out of the bag?? If money holds out, that's our plan. I can hardly wait.......again!!!!


Anonymous said...

Great post and even greater RUN! So proud of u!


Ed Wheeler said...

Great report and great pictures, Robbie! Congratulations on your first marathon and to the whole gang! You did it right! Ed

Anonymous said...


Jennifer said...

I am so impressed with all of you! You have learned so many important things about yourself in this great journey, I am happy to hear you are looking forward to more! Cheers!!!

Jodie said...

Congratulations on finishing your 1st marathon! (& you're already talking about the next one!) I also ran it & it was a wonderful day. Making it through that 1st one is probably the biggest running battle you'll ever have & YOU DID IT!!! Maybe I'll meet you running around here soon.

Marty Woleben said...

Well done Robbie!

Much more impressive than any accomplishments I can remember. Dedication and remaining goal oriented are qualities you have to have and you showed just exactly what you are made of. We be proud of ya!


Laura said...

YAY! Congrats to you, Robbie! That's amazing! I hope I can (one day) do a full - maybe when my boys get a little older. You're amazing! Loved all the pics!! (And thank you for all the great comments on my blog as well!!)

Anonymous said...

Awesome report and reflection Robbie! Veteran runners would do well to emulate your enthusiasm and self-assessment. Thank you for sharing!

:-) Don Alexander

Robbie said...

Thank you, everyone! I can hardly believe all of this daily training is over per se'. I am working on my recovery period status and today I ran my first 3 miles and felt great. Walked 3 yesterday. Thanks again for all of your support. It was sooooo much fun!!

2017 Races

  • 12/10/17...MS Coast Half
  • 12/09/17...MS Coast 5k
  • 11/25/17...Kaiser Half
  • 11/18/17...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/11/17...Rotary Oyster 5k
  • 10/14/17...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 02/18/17...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/04/17...Double Bridge 15k
  • 01/29/17...Big Beach Half

2017 Bike Rides

  • 10/01/17...Southern Magnolia Ride [25.85]
  • 05/13/17...Good Life Ride [26]


  • MS Coast Double Down...5k & Half
  • Run The Beach...3 Half's

2017 Goals

  • Back-to-Back Races [Done]
  • 3 Half Marathons [Done +1]
  • 1,000 Miles-No
  • First Half Marathon Series [3 Done]
  • Work on core/strength 2-3 times a week-No
  • Lose 25 pounds-No
  • NEVER give up! YES!!
  • Control/Eliminate refined sugars-Good

2016 Races

  • 10/15/16...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/16...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 03/19/16...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/13/16...St. Pat's Leprechaun 5k
  • 03/05/16...Bay to Breakfast 12k...1st trail race
  • 02/20/16...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/13/16...Double Bridge 15k

2016 Goals

  • Run 1,000 miles-Done
  • Bike 300 miles
  • Half Marathon-Done
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Push through the hard times-Done
  • Cut back on refined sugar

2015 Races

  • 12/19/15...Make It To The Line 4 Miler
  • 11/21/15...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/14/15...Oyster 5k
  • 10/10/15...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/15...PHind a Cure-W/D
  • 05/02/15...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 04/18/15...Zydeco 5k - W/D
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Remember the Fallen 5k
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Boston Strong 5k
  • 04/11/15...Magnolia 5k
  • 03/28/15...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/07/15...Circle K 5k
  • 03/01/15...Gulf Coast Lulu's 10k
  • 02/28/15...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/07/15...Double Bridge 15k

2015 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Overlook past failures
  • Push through the hard times/things

2014 Races

  • 12/06/14...St. Jude's Half Marathon
  • 08/16/14...Pinky 5k Virtual
  • 08/15/14...Howl @ the Moon 10k Virtual
  • 02/15/14...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/01/14...Double Bridge 15k

2014 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • 700 Running Miles
  • Strengthen my Upper Body
  • Recuperate, Recover, Renew
  • Get active in WW
  • Eat Fruit Daily
  • Start Clean Eating
  • Begin Eliminating Sugar from Diet

2013 Races

11-30-13...Stennis 5k
11-23-13...Turkey Trot 5k
11-08-13...Run For The Kids Virtual Half [St. Jude's]
10-12-13...Shrimp Festival 5k
09-22-13...Talladega Half
07-04-13...Wesson 2 Miles
06-29-13...Emz Liverpalooza 5k
05-18-13...Pursuit of Fun 5k
04-20-13..Warrior Dash
04-07-13...Gulf Coast Half-Pensacola
03-23-13...Azalea Trail 10k
03-10-13...Leprechaun 5k
02-24-13...NOLA Marathon
02-02-13...Double Bridge 15k-Pensacola
01-13-13....Gulf Coast Half-Lulu's

2013 Goals

  • 3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
  • 1 Marathon-Done
  • 1000 Running Miles-No, due to RC Tendonitis & Broken Shoulder
  • Eat fruit daily-A little aggressive but better
  • Maintain weight in 130's-Did NOT happen!

2012 Races

12-08-12...FloraBama Jingle Bell 5k
11-24-12...Jingle Bell 10k
11-17-12...Turkey Trot 5k
10-27-12...Jazz Half
10-20-12...OS Rotary 5k
10-13-12...Race for Grace 5k
09-29-12...5k For Katlyn
07-04-12...Wesson 2 Mile
04-15-12...Gulf Coast Half...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
04-14-12...Diversity Dash 5k
03-24-12...Azalea Trail 10k
03-03-12...MS50 20k...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
02-25-12...Kids Need Heroes 5k
02-11-12...Sweetheart 5k
02-04-12..Double Bridge 15k
01-14-12...Pensacola Half

2012 Goals

  • 1 Full Marathon-Marine Corp filled up
  • 3 Half Marathons-2 Down-Sick had to drop 2
  • 20 Miles-Wkly Mileage-Bronchitis kept me from this
  • Cross Training 2x Week-Poor Commitment
  • Weekly Weights W/O-Again Poor Commitment

2011 Races

  • 11-26-11...Kaiser Half
  • 11-19-11...Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-11-11...Thumbs Up for Bill 5k
  • 11-05-11...Senior Bowl 10k
  • 10-22-11...Running the Streets 5k
  • 10-15-11...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 10-08-11...Mullet Run 5k
  • 09-24-11...Waiting for a Cure 8k
  • 09-05-11...Labor Your Legs 5k
  • 07-04-11...Wesson 2 Miles
  • 06-04-11...Bay Fest 5k
  • 05-14-11...Stargazer 5k
  • 04-30-11...Fiesta 5 Flags 5k
  • 04-16-11...St. Benedict's 5k
  • 04-10-11...Gulf Coast Half
  • 03-26-11...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03-19-11...St. Patrick's 5k
  • 03-05-11...Eco 5k
  • 02-13-11...Mardi Gras Marathon

Secrets to Running a 5k

Here is an excellent site for those who have thought about running a 5k race but just hadn't made that move yet. There's tips, directions and even a section on what to wear. If you have never run a race, you are missing out on a lot of fun. You will have support from most everyone you meet. Now for the site...click here to change your life and get started!

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