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

Weekly Running Log

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Olympian Sightings...And Another Half

I was so excited when I heard that two Olympians were going to speak to the runners at the Kaiser Half Marathon packet pick up on Friday. Not being a runner for very long, I was only familiar with one of them. But Kent knew very well Johnny Gray because Kent has run for many years. He knew of Johnny's great 800 meter records and Olympian status while I was only familiar with Deena Kastor's records and Olympian status. Not trying to put them in "idol" status (and hope I don't anyone) these two athletes are great role models for runners. Johnny Gray still holds national records; he retired from running at age 40. He's now in his early 50's and is a coach at UCLA. He had some of the best sayings like: "If you give it up, you have to make it up"...speaking of not running as hard as you're able to at the beginning of a race you have to push harder at the end to make up the loss of time and it may be too late. I think of a negative split of sort. "Proper preparation prevents poor performance". "Impossible" means I'm possible...I love that one! He had several but these are all I recall right now. Deena said "You've got to believe it to achieve it". She also talked about if you want to be the best, then don't try to copy another. To try to improve in any way you can. I think of "be the best YOU can be" mindset. If you follow someone else's program you may reach the same level as they are; but if you want to be better than them, then you've got to figure out something different in order to beat them. Don't believe when someone tells you that you can't do something or try for something that seems impossible. It can be done! They had many good motivational messages that applies so well to running and life. After their talk, they had informational cards with all their stats on them that you could have with their autograph. I just happen to be first in line...what can I say, I was just standing there and wallah...the table opened up. Here's a picture of Johnny's card and autograph followed by my favorite, Deena's.

And, check this out...I'm soooo proud of this one!!

On to the race...I felt pretty good the morning of the race and felt I had everything ready to put on and go. I did this race last year and was really looking forward to it again this year. A friend of mine from Laurel, Deanna, and her family did it, too. This year she brought friends. It's a really nice course.

I've been running differently in the last month with really nice results. I had hope these changes would be applied effectively in my long races. With one long run down, I thought I'd give it a try in this race. As with all races, it is so easy to start out fast. Adrenaline flows like Niagra Falls, strong and somewhat uncontrollable! It was exciting to be doing another half. I reorganized my music, had a GU (though I've never used one in a half before) and felt prepared.

The first 3 miles were on the Backcountry Trail and I was running as I had planned. My pace was faster than expected and I was ahead of schedule. Mile 4 began on County Rd 2 going south to the Beach Rd. then east to Orange Beach where we went back onto the Trail System, to make a little over 2.5 miles...VERY windy miles! Man, it was strong. Oh, there wasn't a gust that I felt cause it was just wind. I almost got tickled thinking how in the world could wind withstand all the gorgeous sun and beautiful skies and views. It actually became a bit of a challenge. Many runners around me were talking about how tough it was. For me, I knew it wasn't going to last long because I've run this stretch of the highway several times before and turned around right at the trail head where we were headed. It was like I could hold my breath that long...well, not really...but you know what I mean. Glancing at my watch I was concerned that I was losing time with the headwind but, lordy be, I was maintaining the same good pace I had been. At the end of 4 miles, I was keeping a 9:38 pace, my best ever in a half marathon.

Back on the trail, I was feeling good still, but decided I better slow down a little because I was afraid I couldn't keep this pace up for 8 more miles. Oh, up to this time, I've had to get water at every aid station. This is rare for me. Usually, I have a sip or two twice in a half marathon but I couldn't seem to get enough water...and I drank a good bit each time. Coming up on Mile 10, my pace was back on track, 10 minute pace.

Then it happened!! I started getting cramps on the top of my left foot...slowly and not hard at first. I kept running hoping it would go away. At Mile 11 I loosened my shoe strings and it eased up some, but it wasn't long before it got more painful making me stop and stretch my foot in any way to get the thing out! I was getting so mad. I get cramps in strange places that make it so hard to get it stretched anyway and this place didn't surprise me. It wouldn't stop. I didn't know it yet but my running stride began to change to accomodate running with this cramping. I thought if I could walk a few steps I could get it eased and maybe pick back up running again. When I stopped, a guy came up beside me and said, "don't stop, you're pacing me!" Don't think I've ever paced anyone before and it made me feel good and I felt somewhat responsible to help him. He was a barefoot runner. We talked for a little bit and it helped me push harder. Then it hit...Mile 12!!! Immediately, I had to stop. My cramps got so bad and by now I was being plagued in both feet. I tried to ignore it and run...but that did NOT work at all. I pushed on more trees in one mile than any of these trees had ever seen! I was applying pressure in any way I could, and groaning became my close friend. I was hurting so bad. I kept up with my friend for a while, but he eventually went on. Another guy tried to encourage me but his words just didn't get through. So, with all of that, I decided to accept my plight and walk/run in. Another man caught up with me and I had seen him race in 5k's many times in this area. I had a very sharp cramp and he stopped to see if he could help thinking it was in my legs but no one could help my problem. He was mostly walking. As soon as I could, I would try to run. I'd pass him and have to stop and he'd catch up. This happened several times. One time I got so mad, I yelled out "I refuse to quit!!!" and didn't care who heard it. He was standing right there then. I'm sure he thought I was crazy.

I make one promise to myself and that is to run through the Finish Line of any race I'm running. And, that's what I did as you can see here. Whew, this thing is done!

I love running long runs and I shouldn't have had trouble with this one. It really came as a surprise. But I wasn't prepared either. First and foremost, I had not trained well enough. Having done a few half's already, I took it for granted that not having the miles in the last couple of weeks, I could whip this out easy. Distance running, friends, cannot be taken lightly. This is something you do well only if you treat your body correctly. Secondly, I'll find some way to carry some ACV with me in case of cramps again. That seems to help. And, finally, I had changed up the music on my iPod. Though I really like it, for a long run, it got really boring. I repeat several songs throughout to pick me up during my run but it got tough hearing them over and over and I couldn't stand to hear them another time-but this can be fixed!

Kent ran in the 5k instead of racewalking and received 3rd place in his age group. Deena presented him with his award but I didn't have the camera ready. We had no idea he was going to receive an award and on top of that getting it from her! Surprisingly, I got 2nd place and, no, there were more than three in my age group, ha! Oh, there were two more trophies...when I took my shoes off, I had a nice trophy (blisters) on both feet and a HUGE burn that my shirt rubbed under my arm! The worse I've ever had...it was so big and deep! Thankfully, these two things can be fixed in the future. Regardless of my trials, I still like this race course and would love to do it again. I am also pleased that I maintained and kept a little better pace for nearly all the race until the cramping set in. Therefore, I feel the race was a success on a gorgeous day!

Next week, is a new week and I plan to get my running back in order. Until next time...

Run 4 It!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pensacola Turkey Trot 5k & Athlete Focus

Though last week's running did not go as intended, I tried to make up for it by doing a long run anyhow. With that being said, I only ran 3 times to keep from completely killing myself with going so far above the 10% rule. Boy, did I break it this week! I ran slow in the 11 miler to try to head off any possible injuries I may incur and it seemed to help. The last of the three runs was a 5k race. And, being a race, I used it as my speedwork for the week.

Saturday started out being quite a dreary, misty morning. Decisions came on us fast starting with what to wear. The temp gauge read one thing but it felt so much colder than that! I mean, I was hunkered down under a blanket going over there. By the time we got ready to embrace the Starting Line, I had changed shirts 3 times!! I'm so glad I ran with the one I did.

About the second mile, the rain began. My body had heated up and I could use what little bit of cool rain that found itself against my skin. It was so light and refreshing. It wasn't long before I touched my hair and knew I must have looked horrific...wet, wet, wet!! Not having my curly hair now, I could just imagine how I must have looked. Thankfully, I was over halfway finished. When I saw the Finish Line, I felt stronger than during the race and I was able to run faster and faster. I passed several people during the last mile and many toward the end. When finished, I went to the truck to get my camera and in hopes of catching Kent as he came within the block of finishing. The truck was parked in a lot between the last two racing streets. Being drenched, I grabbed the camera, trying to keep it dry, and headed to the nearby corner. I really wanted to get some real action shots of him. One thing I noticed is how much support everyone gave the participants, even the police officers. Here are some action shots of him at this point. Notice the support.

Here he is coming across the line. Check the race supporters clapping on the left. By the time he got there, he was completely drenched! There were the most racewalkers, I mean, FAST suckers, I've seen to date.

The post-race activities were fun. There were bagels, coffee, turkey chili, fruit and drinks. The warm coffee was quite welcoming as we cooled off pretty fast. Again, I was impressed with the encouragement everyone received that won awards. Whether they knew you or not, they whooped and yelled for everyone that won a medal, even the children. It was so much fun and you felt so much a part of everyone else. Here is a picture of us looking like wet rats. At least, we fit in with everyone! We were all rough looking characters at the end.

When the results came out, we were surprised to see we both had won something. There were 507 runners and 88 walkers- 2 races, 2 minutes apart!! A pretty good turnout considering the weather. He won 2nd place and I won 1st place. I hated I didn't get GM cause all the overall winners got turkeys and awards! But, there was no way...that girl was FAST and I'm carrying 13 pounds too many (that means a lot more wind resistance, ha)!!! Okay...that's another story.

There was a group of young men that "dressed" for the holiday: a pilgrim and several Indians. They woo, woo, woo, wooed throughout the whole race and the pilgrim kept his hat on the whole way. It was quite windy going east but thankfully, we didn't go that direction for long. It was fun to see and hear. On top of that, I think only one was wearing running shoes; the others were costume appropriate shoes. Don't know how they did it.

The next pictures are of two real sweet ladies. The first one is Inge. She had a very strong accent and had run several half marathons. She was real interesting to talk to. This picture is really not a good one. She was beautiful in the face; my photo skills are poor at best!! She's 65. They are headed to the Keys with racing all along the way heading to one there.

The next photo is of Gay. [Again my photo skills are terrible; she looks great.] She's 78 and lives in Pensacola. We've talked with her and her husband several times at different races we've run down there. They are amazing!! They're so active and seem so in love. I hope we'll be that way. She's a very kind lady, too.

I am amazed at the older ladies that run in the Pensacola area and are in really good shape. I'd venture to say that they are not on medication or very little. Folks, stay active. I'm blessed to have met several ladies that are strong beyond their years.

The Turkey Trot 5k course was great...fast and flat!! We LOVED it and hope we can put this on our schedule to do again next year. I hope you recall the great athletes I focus on from time to time, Inge and Gay this time. They should encourage you to keep going when you have those "down" days. Now, get off that couch and...


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thumbs Up for Bill 5k

This race was created to honor our friend and fellow runner, Bill Gasparrini, who was diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer 2 months ago. It was a 5k held at 7:00 PM put on by the local Run n Tri Company. All monies collected were given to a charity selected by him. The oncology unit at the local hospital will be using this donation to assist those that cannot afford to have treatments, travel, etc. Almost $7000 was collected. There were almost 300 runners/walkers and many, many more family, friends and supporters.

I decided early on that I wanted to focus on Bill's kindness and strength by honoring my husband, who I love so much. We ran/walk it together and with most every step, I was so mindful of knowing we are in good health and have each other. It was an honor to walk in this "race" and to honor the one (Bill) who has taught me so much already.

Being a superb athlete, Bill denies all the reasons one should contract this horrible disease. He just shouldn't have it! I mean, aren't we all trying to "justify" why one has cancer; i.e. smoking, overweight, genetics, etc.? Well, none of these seem to apply. As a matter of fact, this is his second battle with this dreadful disease! When he was a very young man, he was given this diagnosis and it was not a pretty picture then...very bleak. With very aggressive treatment and a great faith in God, he overcame and God saw fit to bless him with a longer life. He has since touched so many lives, with Kent & I being two of them. We'd have never known who he was had God chose to take him home waaaay back then. Our lives are blessed and richer because he is here.

He has run many races throughout his life including marathons and triathlons...AND wins many, many races of all distances. He is a quiet, strong man of 60 years, a doctor and extremely healthy. I say all of this because since his diagnosis he has become a person who I would love to pattern my life after. He faces EVERY day positively whether it is during the terrible chemotherapy treatments, days of sickness and/or pain, or facing the "good" days, he amazes me that he can inspire those who have not a problem in the world! To give you an example, when he was first diagnosed, a FB page was set up as a diary/encouragement of posts. One of the very first posts he made was entitled "the top 10 things I like about having cancer", except he couldn't narrow it down to ONLY ten! Can you believe such a thing?? And it has been one amazing journey since. Though he wasn't able to participate in the race, he handed every one a Thumbs Up patch as they crossed the line.

About all I can say to end is that I look forward to each and every day when new posts are being made. I'll leave you with a few pictures I took at the race.

Now...Run 4 It...because you CAN!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Senior Bowl 10k

Update #2: Got notification this afternoon that they will mail my award to me. I'm so happy now. The staff person I spoke with on Saturday said they would not mail them. It should arrive the first of next week. I know this doesn't mean much to most of you, but I still like to have an award in my hand when I've won a place in a race. This may wear off, but for now, I really enjoy looking at all of my trophies!

Update: I just saw where I placed in my age group and didn't know it!! Boo...they have the poorest way of gathering the stats. We waited over 2 hours for the results and when they came out my name was listed as 7th...so we left!! After looking up the results online, it only shows 3 deep winners but they gave 5 deep in each age group. I'm so aggravated that we waited for so long and left without my a medal. I bet I asked 10 times whether I had placed or not...oh, well. At least, I can say that I have placed every year that I have raced this one. BTW, they will NOT send it to you either...

Helllllooo, everyone!

Let me begin by recapping the week. Sunday (10/30), I purchased a new pair of shoes: Asics Gel Nimbus 12. I've tried different shoes but always go back to Nike's Pegasus 27+. After examining my feet, Donnie (the owner of the store) handed me a pair of the Asics to try on. They felt fine but didn't have the 'cushion' I so love about my Nike's. He said that they were not distance running shoes and that Nike admits to that, too. Since I am loving distance running and after talking with him (doctors from Mobile and Pensacola refer their runner-patients to him for fitting their shoes), I trusted his evaluation and decided to give these shoes a try. We'll see how they work for me.

Cross training is a little hard to do when you don't have a gym or indoor pool at your disposal. So this week I incorporated walking in lieu of the typical cross training methods. I used the Asics but they will have some breaking in to do before I trust them to run long in.

Monday...3.5 miles walking as I put off my long run to Tuesday.
*Tuesday...15 miles running at a paved trail system. It was wonderful and I loved it. I walked 1 mile before and .25 mile after.
Wednesday...3.21 miles walking with weights, floorwork and core workout.
Thursday...4 miles running with .5 mile c/d. Sore and tired.
Saturday...Senior Bowl 10k. Did not feel good before the race.

*In Tuesday's run, I averaged a 10 minute pace which is the best yet for this kind of distance and I was comfortable the entire time. Yay!!

What a beautiful day Saturday was for a race! Perfect temp, beautiful skies and running excitement in the air. I saw everyone I knew was going to be there at the Senior Bowl 5k/10k Races, except for two. This is a miracle in and of itself because there are so many runners that participate. Most of the time, we know of several who are going but rarely or never see them.

After a few potty stops before lining up, I was feeling like I was going to race on empty; otherwise I felt great! Around the 4th mile I began to feel better and actually felt like I was ready and able to 'race'. Of course, that's a little late in the game. But that's okay, too. It was just one of those days and I am glad I ran. My race got stronger and stronger as I came to the finish and even achieved a negative split. Needless to say, my time wasn't as good as I'd hoped. But as I neared the Finish Line, I was feeling strong and fast AND the best part...the time was waaaay less than what my watch had! What?? How can that be? I always 'claim' my watch as the right time and distance but how in the world could it be 2:28 minutes slower?? Boy, was I puzzled and even claimed that their clock was wrong. After all, every clock I saw on the course read 0:00.

Kent was at the end waiting for me. This has only happened a couple of times since I've begun running seriously and hearing him cheering me in felt amazing...I really liked that! It makes it soooo much more exciting. He had such a big smile on his face and I was so glad to see him.

I'll admit right here and now that I am terrible at remembering my PRs but he remembers both of ours, even my competitors! I don't know how he does it, but I've learned to rely on him and this ability. He was yelling to me that I had a PR. I couldn't believe it since I had not felt well for the first half of the race. Then looking at my watch, everything just seemed to be a blurr.

As soon as I could get to my computer, I downloaded my watch and noticed that it was showing 2:28 minutes before the start of the race. What in the world did I do?? Obviously, I had turned it on when I was checking my iPod...I'd never done this before! It registered zero feet and the 2:28 minutes. Thankfully, it began registering my miles correctly so I could delete that "lap" to get the correct time...whew! Although I did not reach a PR I'm excited about my negative split, a pace under 9 minutes and seeing all my friends. It was a great day!

Kent achieved a PR with his racewalking and that was a great milestone for him! I'm so proud of him and all the hard work he puts into this new endeavor. Personally, I could NEVER do this. Racewalking is hard work and there are just too many rules to go by. It deserves more attention than it gets. Good job, Honey!

We enjoyed sausage jambalaya, Chic-Filet sandwiches, Powerades and coffee. There were other things but we weren't interested in those: hot dogs, beer and bagels to name a few.

The beginning of this week has started out kinda weird...no running but VERY busy. At least, I got in a little something today. Until next post...keep on running!

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!

Free Online Health Calculators & Nutritional Databases

* Calories Burned Calculator - you choose the activity, total minutes doing the activity, and your weight.
* Target Heart Rate Calculator - you choose the activity, total minutes doing the activity, and your weight.
* Food Database - you type in the food category, the food and the nutritional label will come up.
* Weight Maintenance Calculator for Women - you input the info and the calculator will come up with the amount of calories to maintain your weight.
* Weight Maintenance Calculator for Men - same as for women.
* Body Mass Index - find out your BMI with this calculator.
* Healthy Weight Calculator for Women - determines your healthy weight for your height.
* Healthy Weight Calculator for Men - same as for women.
* The Longevity Game - a fun question and answer game that finishes with your "lifestyle" and how long you'll live. [I finished with a great 93 years of age!!]