"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!

1 comment:

Tommy said...

As always, you both did great. I can't believe you finished in what time you did, with your problems toward the end. Way to go..Keep it up and one day you will be the Star and people will want your autograph>>>

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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