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



Weekly Running Log

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Azalea Trail 2013

The Azalea Trail Race has always been a favorite of ours.  Kent has run it for YEARS, then I finally followed suit though a lot later.  I had been dealing with a horrible headache for two weeks and thought it was from the sinus/allergy problems I had been having.  Pollen has been so bad this spring!  But one day I realized that it wasn't my sinuses but a tooth!  I had gone for almost 2 weeks needing to see a dentist instead.  The first of the week the pain had gotten bad [just before the ATR the coming weekend].  I had the opportunity to run with my new friend, Amy C., and had planned on 9 miles.  It wasn't long before we started I was having to start walking some!!  I rarely ever walk; but I was hurting so bad.  She gave me her dentist's name and I dropped by the office before getting back home.  X-rays revealed an abscess which equals pain!!  Oh, no!  To make a long story short, I was able to take care of this the next week...with slow recuperation. 

Well, this blog is not about dental issues...so back to the race.  As it turned out, I ran pretty good.  Better than I ever expected.  Coming off the marathon and still not getting in many miles, I was afraid I was pushing it to run hard but I ran as I felt and am so glad that I did.  I met up with my friends Deleica and Serina [and her family] at the Expo the night before the race, as well as my FB friend, Mindy B.  Mindy and I had not met in person before but we knew each other when we saw each other.  She had her cute little boys with her and her friend, Stephanie [I think was her name].  Mindy is absolutely the cutest, sweetest person in reality as she is online! 


My group decided to meet up at the fountain on race day.  Okay...we thought of one fountain and they thought of another.  Can you believe that Deleica looked down the street and "happen" to see us pass by??  Well, we got connected to start the race and it wasn't due to meeting at the same fountain, ha!


Here we all are:  Gary T., Kent, Me, Deleica C., Dennis W., Serina W., and a friend whom I did not know.  Thanks, Ms. Dennis for taking the pic!

As we headed to the Starting Line we see the usual young ladies in the beautiful antebellum dresses.  They were so pretty.  There weren't as many this year as before.  As a matter of fact, there wasn't as much hooplah on the course either.  Wondered if it was due to it supposed to be raining at this time.  Thankfully, it held off until after the race.  Ran into my friend, Diane G., from Gulf Shores.  It was good to wish her well on her race. 


And, here we go:


The course was changed this year in reverse.  I think I liked it better.  I do know in the past that it was always hard to run fast at the end because you were in the blaring sun.  With it being in reverse, you ended up on Government Street where it is real shady and beautiful. 

Deleica, Serina and I started out running together.  There were so many people around us, we all wished each other well in their race because it would be hard to stay together.  Not long after we got going...and I mean not long at all...we struggled trying to stay together.  Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and my friend, Mo, came up beside me.  She and I race nearly every race in the Gulf Shores area.  As a matter of fact, we ran the entire ATR race together.  It was good to hear that she is able to race after her breast cancer surgery recently.  She is one strong cookie!  I wish I had her running ability.  She's run 145 marathons!!!  People were coming and going and weaving all around and after about a mile or so I noticed that I was alone with Mo.  I looked back several times but never saw either of the other two...they just disappeared. 

Someone got this pic of me [in the green Rock 'n Roll shirt] as I finished.  Mo's husband was calling out to her and someone was asking where he was.  I was pointing to him and, believe it or not, that's his hand raised on the other side of the girl in front with the black cap.  Is this not the funniest pic? 


I did not have my camera with me this year.  Guess I should have gone to the car and gotten it, but didn't.  I always do better than this.  But we ran up on a good friend, Nestor A., and he always has his trusty camera.  He's the one that ran the marathon in with me and took pictures all along the way.  Thanks, again!!  Here's one with us...he's the best!


After the race, we ran up with so many people we knew.  It was like a runner's reunion!!  I loved every minute of it!!  Some we knew from the Gulf Shores area, Pine Belt Pacers Club and Gulf Coast Running Club.  So many of us got awards. 

The GCRC won 3rd place in the Team group.  Congrats, guys!  Ya'll did great!


Mike B. [left], Leonard V. [middle] won Masters and Mark K. [right] won Grand Masters.  This is the Team Group pic.  All three of these guys are super fast and super nice!!!  I honestly do not remember if the girls team won, but I do know they are really fast, too, and usually do. 

Kent got 2nd Overall Male RW in the 5k and Nestor got 2nd Overall Male RW in the 10k.  Tanya D. finally snapped up the 1st place Overall Female RW!  I'm so happy for her!  She had been disqualified the last couple of years, though she came in first.  Racewalking is hard and in good races like this one, there are judges along the course.  Roger W. got 4th Overall Male RW in the 10k.  Here is a pic of RW Winners: Kent, Tanya, Roger and me without Nestor [he was taking the pic and I didn't RW either].


Here is a pic of Gary T., me and Kent.  Forgot who took the pic.  Drat it...I can't believe I didn't have my camera!  We talked consistently about the "next" or "best" race to do.  Isn't this normal for runners??


When we left the Civic Center, we met up with Nancy P.  She is rehabilitating well.  I know she can hardly wait until she can "cut loose" again.  I wish her the best.  She invited us to the GCRC tent so we walked over there before leaving.  Lisa M. was being honored for her first Ironman she completed in Mexico a couple of weeks ago.  She did amazing!  There was a large banner draped on the tent.  It was a surprise for her from what I understand!  Had a nice visit with Bob C. while we were at the tent.  We love that group though we haven't had much time to spend with them this year.  We've really missed their great races!

I was so excited to see that I had placed 5th place in my age group!!  My Garmin registered 55:41 for 6.23 miles at a 8:56 pace!  There are so many runners, the ATR awards the top 10 in each age group.  There were 54 in my age group this year.  Fifth place is the best I've ranked at the ATR, though it wasn't my best time [which I got 8th place].  I was only off my PR one minute and am satisfied with my time.  Our medals are not with us right now so I don't have a picture of them to show you.  There were 2392 runners in the 10k and 1890 runners in the 5k. 

Now...to get this tooth OUT...and recuperate as soon as possible.  I've got a half to do in a couple of weeks and I don't want this to take me down!  I'm also doing a "March Run A Mile A Day" Challenge.  It's been a challenge to say the least.  I will leave you with only one thought.  When you think you are out, don't think again...just go

Run 4 It

Monday, March 11, 2013

Circle K 5k & Leprechaun 5k

I'm posting a couple of races this time.  The first one is the Circle K 5k done on March 2nd.  Kent racewalked and did well.  It was on Pensacola Beach and, boy, was it cold with VERY strong winds!!  Man!!  I thought it would blow your clothes off.  Needless to say, as soon as I finished getting pre-race pics, I headed to the car to wait for him to come in.

Even racewalkers have to warm up!  I'm already in the car keeping warm.



If you notice, it doesn't appear as though anyone was very happy, it was so cold.  People were all huddled around any building or person they could close enough to before lining up.  Brrrrr....  Despite the cold/wind, it was an absolutely gorgeous day! 
Kent coming in strong

They had great post race food!  There were Subway sandwiches, red beans and rice, different flavors of Jerky, chips and flavored Green Tea drinks.  Also, sweet potato turnovers.  It was all good! 

Kent was awarded 2nd place.  Actually, he was first.  They gave the first place to a female and didn't correct it though she came up and got the award herself!!!!  Regardless, he got a nice cap, a paddle ball set for the beach, and a $10 gas gift card from Circle K Stores. 


Next race is the Leprechaun 5k in Robertsdale.  Temperatures were much nicer just a few days later.  I decided to run this race though it was still a little too early to be running hard after the marathon.  I knew I could do the distance but my legs aren't completely where they should be but I wanted to give it a try.  Thought if I could do it under 30 minutes then that would be good.  We liked our shirts.  Though they are not tech, they are still nice quality shirts. 

I ran well and felt good.  The out-and-back course was nice.  It's funny how you don't realize a descend in the road until you are returning and it becomes an elevation.  Though it wasn't much, it was about half the distance.  The same with wind.  You don't realize there is an 18 mph wind when it's against your back but when you turn around and face it, going uphill, then you begin to suck air.  I'm glad I made good time going out because it dropped a little coming back.  BUT...all I could think about was how good I felt and that I was running better than I thought I would...still hoping for a 10 minute pace.  My legs felt good and not sore. 

After coming in, I ran to get my camera to catch Kent coming in.  He had another strong race. 

This week's race, again, had good post-race food.  There was great pizza...soooo good and hot.  Then we had Irish Stew, in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Note to self: take pics BEFORE we start eating.  But then, you may not want to see ALL we eat either, ha!

And, when it was all said and done, we both came out winners.  Kent was the First Overall Male Racewalker and I got GrandMasters!!  It's become harder to get the GrandMasters Award nowadays for a couple of reasons.  One is the fact that younger, strong runners have entered the 50+ age group and I'm nearing the Sr. GrandMasters age and the other is that I am more focused on distance running which slows me down in shorter races.  I've lost interest in 5ks because it seems I don't begin to "warm up" until 3-4 miles...which, in essence, the 5k race is over.  But...with that said, it made me feel really good to know that I can run faster than I thought I could especially since I had not run hard in MONTHS, due to training for the marathon.  Don't get me wrong...my time was terrible but my pace was better than it had been for a while.  But I did get under a 9 minute pace...sooooo much better than ever expected.  I'm looking forward to stronger, shorter races now.
Us and our awards.


And, here are our award cups up close.  They are nice and large. 

We loved these two races and hope to do them again next year.  They were really nice and fun! 

We ran up with Tanya D. from the Coast.  She has lost a ton of weight since we saw her last.  She looked great!  We, also, saw our friends from LA Fleet Feet.  We see them a lot running in races in the area.  They are a great group of folks.  Thanks, Diane G., for taking my picture here.  You did great, too!  Good job, Mo!  You're comeback from your recent cancer surgery is amazing...keep up the good work!

Well, that's it for now.  Let me hear how your runs are going.  And, if you're not running, it's time for you to get out and

Run 4 It

Monday, March 4, 2013

NOLA RnR Marathon-Part 2 [long]

I apologize for not getting this out sooner but there was no way that I could.  Being on the road nearly every day has taken all my time. 

Back to the story...

As I got off the shuttle and started walking to the corrals, I noticed many, many photographers taking pictures for the race.  I got mine took as much as I could, not knowing if any would come out OR [considering the model] not sure they would be any good.  This way I was hoping I'd be able to choose the one I might want to get.  It was pretty cold and everyone was wearing warmer clothes.  I rarely wear gloves but had to have them on. 

The temp was suppose to be a little warm and I knew once my body warmed up that these things were coming off.  As it turned out, within the first mile they were on my belt.  But it wasn't long after then that I noticed that they had come loose and fallen off.  I hope they fell together so someone will have a pair to use and not just one. 

I met a lady just before we started running.  She was alone, too.  Her husband initially signed up for his first full, then she decided she would, too.  Then he found out that he had to work and would not be able to go but she decided to come on.  They live in N. Carolina and both are in different branches of the military.  Her name is Amy J.  This was her first marathon.  She is in her early 30's and had planned to walk/run it but mostly have fun.  She had not raced much before.  But she had run track in school.  We stayed together until about the 11th mile when she dropped back to walk.  Our first miles were at a great pace and was much faster than what she had trained for.  But, as you know, if you are a racer, the adrenaline of a race cannot be contained for long. 

I had hoped to reach the half marathon mark close to 2:48.  I arrived at that point in the race at 2:22.  I felt so good!!  And, it seemed easy.  Passing the 14th mile, I made a "pit stop".  It was there that a water table was set up and it was time for a GU; so I thought it would be to my advantage to go ahead and do my "chores" while I was stopped instead of stopping again another mile down the road and kill more time.  It was all working out great. 

Shortly after this time, I saw a good friend of mine from our GCRC Club, come by.  It was Mark K.  He was flying!!!  I yelled out but don't think he heard me...OR he was so focused, which is probably the case.  I was so excited to see him and see him running so good.  Little did I know what was ahead of me.  I got to thinking when I got to the difficult part of the race just how fast he really was.  I don't know how he could run so fast!! 

Then, I entered the 15th mile.  I could tell I was getting a blister or something on the top of my left foot.  All I could think about was "here I go again"!!!  I ran a little further and then decided to stop and see what was happening.  After all, I still had a ways to go.  I took off my shoe and saw blood all over my sock!  I had hoped that all it was was that my sock had knotted up on top of my foot and I could straighten it out and all would be okay...NOT!!  Every step I took burned from that blister rubbing.  This killed my race!!!  I became so disappointed...SOOOOOOOOOO disappointed.  By mile 16, I knew I was going to have to start walking.  Every step I took, I hurt.  All because of this dang blister!!!

Now, running a marathon is as much mental as anything else...provided you have trained.  I learn so much and guess I always will.  I began to get my head back on.  There is nothing that will prepare you for blisters or things of that nature.  I'd not had a single one.  As you are told, I ran in what I had planned to run in on my longest mile, the 20 miler.  The only exception was that I wore shorts instead of longer pants.  I wore my belt with ALL the stuff I tote around, the same socks, shoes, everything.  Nothing happened.  It was all good.  Then this happens in the 15th mile!! 

Okay...I've got to get hold of this.  My goal this time was to finish strong and uninjured.  But, the racer inside me wants to beat a time!!  I just can't help it.  As it got closer to the race, all I could think about was coming in by a certain time...AND I thought it was doable.  AND with the great time I had at the halfway point, it only confirmed my thinking that it was not only doable but achievable...pushing me harder to focus on "time".  Well, when this little issue popped up and changed everything, I had to think about what my real goal was.  Now, I do NOT think that a blister is an injury but something that demands attention...DEMANDS, I say!!  It's like a tiny rock in your shoe that you can't get out...it gnaws at you with every step but you're not hurt. 

I had been running alone for a few miles now.  The race course was altered due to the heavy amount of rain they had been getting; which they were to get more on race day.  Thankfully, the rain held off until after the race when the bottom fell out again.  The course moved us into an area that was NOT flat.  There were 3 hilly bridges with an additional smaller hilly one.  They were steep enough that many were walking up them.  This was NOT in my plan...especially in the latter part of the race...so not in my plan!  This wasn't bad enough but that we had a turn around to do and cross them all again!!  Can I say that I was NOT a "happy camper" right now. 

As I got to the first bridge, I looked ahead and noticed someone running about the way I was.  My first thought was that he was hurt or something happened.  The thing about runners, you can never tell by physical appearance as to how they can run.  It's all about the training.  As I got closer, we began talking and running together.  Aubrey was really nice with a family and lives in Mobile.  He is a Highway Patrolman.  We didn't make a pact or anything but one would run ahead a little, the other would catch up, we'd run together...it was back and forth. 

By the 19th mile, my quads were getting fatigued. Not planning on a walk/run plan, it put more stress on my quads than I had hoped.  Then I came off one of the bridges [I don't remember which one] and looking to my left was my friend, Nestor!!  He was sitting on the bridge abutment watching the runners.  We saw each other about the same time and I yelled out to him and asked what he was doing there.  A few weeks ago, he had said that he would come and run with me the last 10k.  I was so excited.  But a couple of weeks ago, his son had a soccer tournament scheduled for that weekend and was not going to be able to make it.  I was so disappointed.  As it turned out, the tournament was canceled due to all the rain we'd been having.  We've had lots...and the fields were too wet to play on.  When I saw him sitting there I almost cried with excitement.  He said he had come to run me in and I was even more excited!  I don't know how he found me because he did not know that the course had changed.  I bet he ran 2-3 miles before he got to this location hoping he had not missed me.  With our run and him getting to me, I bet he got in 10 miles!  This was the nicest thing someone has done for me!  Thanks, Nestor, you'll NEVER know what this meant to me!!!  And, on top of that, he brought his handy-dandy camera.  It is rare that I get pictures of me in a race.  After all, I'm not an elite runner where the photographers take pictures of every step I make...nor do I come in at a super fast pace.  Here are a few pics.  I won't bore you with many.  But all I can say is that now I have enough to make a good scrapbook...yay!!

This is the second bridge second time over.  It doesn't look like much but you can't see over it yet.
 
Feeling good here.

Me and Aubrey.

One of my favorite shots...I'm off the ground!!

And, crossing the line.  I'm glad Aubrey and I crossed together since we had run the last 8 together.  The time is incorrect since it was a delayed start for each corral.


 And, the best yet...

Here's my great medal!


Nestor and me at the Finish Line.  Thank you, friend!! 

Shortly after crossing the line, my friend, Gina M. came in.  Isn't she beautiful?  Great job, girl!

Caught up with Amy J. at the end.  So glad we got our pic together.  Great job on your first marathon!

Then a last pic of us two couples.  Love this one!

Oh, and btw...Gina was just featured in Women's Running Magazine.  She's lost a lot of weight, happily married with 5 children and now loves running.  She is truly an inspiration! 

There are so many people I want to mention that ran in this race but for fear of forgetting someone and hurting their feelings, I just mentioned those I had pictures with except for Mark. 

I took away a lot from this race.  Like Aubrey told me while we were running: "I have a lot of respect for those that run marathons".  And, I do, too; though this is the only one he says he will do.  Said it was a lot harder than he expected it to be. 

The last 6 or so miles really test your skills.  Not only in your training and running, but mentally.  How you adjust to the unexpected things or disappointments in the race is probably as important as the race itself.  Though I initially thought I would not run another.  I'm not so sure now.  Guess my only deal with a marathon is all the time it takes preparing for it.  I now have my sights on the Disney Marathon next year...we'll see.  One thing for sure will change and that's my fuel belt!!  It is now history!!  Way too heavy and I must learn to adjust with less.  Yes, I can do it...I can do it! 

When it all comes down to it, I did exactly what I had hoped: to finish strong, uninjured and have fun.  I've got to get my "racer" mentality out of a marathon.  Oh, and...I got a new PR!!  Finished 5:29:11 hours!  Under 5.5 hours!!  So, it is all good.  Now for the recovery.  Until the next race, I want you to

Run 4 It

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!!]