This race was going to be exciting for a few reasons. One, I'm doing well in the run/walk plan. Sometimes I have to vary this but all in all, it's all good. Because of this, I feel my body is getting stronger. Adjustments have been necessary since my birthday a year ago [yes, I said a YEAR ago]. Though I could lose some weight, I do believe a lot of it is age. My skin tone has changed as well as having little aches and pains in my joints. I fought adjustment for a long time but have begun embracing it; hence, I am a better runner and enjoying running again. It's been a while. I have learned to appreciate every day and that I am still healthy. It's all good!
I was better prepared for the race this year even though I could have used another month to train. Last year, I dehydrated about halfway through and had to resort to walking most of the last half of the race. And, I was totally running last year! It was SO hot and there weren't enough water stops!!! So this year, I brought water with me in case I needed it between the stops. Check. Looking forward to running this race again this week. Go, Sea Turtle!
At the packet pick-up the night before, I ran into a couple we know from Laurel. Gary and Anna were eating their pasta dinner. We talked for quite a while. It was so good to see them. They've recently bought a condo in the area so I expect to be seeing them more often at races.
A sweet friend was coming down to race this with me. As it turned out, several friends from where we use to live were here. Tim was doing his first half marathon. I was real excited for him. Guess I'll remember my first half and first full marathons better than any other race. The feeling of doing something so challenging is exhilarating. There's nothing like it. So in a way, I was reliving this with him. A quick pic with all three of us before the race.
Deleica, Tim & I
Deleica and I saw Moe the morning of the race. D learned of her when I shared about Moe having breast cancer. They have now become friends and have seen each other several times since at local races. I really like this pic of us. Longtime friends though we all don't see one another often.
Deleica, Moe & I
D shared with me that a couple more friends were coming down to run the race, too. I was surprised since they had done the Mercedes Full Marathon last week...and that's a tough one! Good to see you two. Getting in line to start...
Me, Ann, Penny & Deleica
The weather wasn't suppose to be in our favor. Storms throughout the night with thunderstorms through the morning. But, God was good and saw us through. There wasn't a drop of rain that fell, the skies were overcast and it was so much cooler than last year. NOT cool, mind you, but cool-ER than last year. To me, this was a blessing!! I was ready for it this time with my water bottle in my belt, ha!
The race went well though it was a little warm for the distance...to me. Crossing the line, we all got our medals. They were nice; I liked the design and colors.
We caught up with Tim. I believe it was harder than he expected...but he finished and that's a great accomplishment. I was thankful that his daughter, Laney, came out to run with him through the finish. She's so sweet. Congrats, Tim, on your first half. Looking forward to seeing you at more. Yes, he said he was interested in doing another...yay!! That means, success!
Folks, you should never take for granted the half marathon distance. It's a long way and many, many never attempt one. So many factors come into play that never would in shorter races. Crossing the line is indeed something to be proud of.
A large group of my Sole Sisters were there doing the Sweetheart 5k. I just love the SS shirts. Unfortunately, mine was always a little small and the dryer made sure that I'd never wear it again. Missed having my friend, Susan, run the half with me this year. We did it last year. Guess the heat done her in...maybe she'll do another one.
Tonya, Lin, Bama Ann, Pat, Linda, Susan & Auburn Ann
Another shot from the pocket. Yeah, when I got home and checked my pics I had MANY that were taken because the shutter kept clicking in my pocket! I did get a good one even if it was by accident, ha! Here you go, Linda.
Linda & Auburn Ann
As I was crossing the line, I saw my friend, Buck. I was so excited to have someone cheering me in. Kent wasn't able to come so I was alone...per se. Yes, he was waiting for ME! Thank you so much, friend! He won in his age group. Congrats!
Just before this, he came up to me and told me that I had won in my age group. I was so excited! NEVER did I think that would happen so I never even checked. From mile 9 on I had to change up my program and do a little more walking so I figured any chance of winning blew away. Well, here you go. I'm a proud owner of this 2nd place award cup.
I can't believe I am running in half marathons again. This is so exciting to me. I am thankful for the Run The Beach Series or I probably wouldn't be doing them. In the short amount of time of 2017, two half's have been completed...plus a 15k. Maybe I need this commitment to keep me going. Do what motivates you. Do what you can...it's all good!
Well, here we go again. Wind! But before you think I'm going to complain, let me say that shortly after starting the race and getting away from the water, the wind and temperature wasn't so bad. The only thing about the wind in this race was the 32 degree wind chill. Yikes! And, guess who forgot her gloves...yep! I think I'm going to pack a diddy bag with things I "might" need so I won't forget them or overthink it and just plain out not take them nearly always making the wrong decision. For instance, gloves, ear muffs, knee straps, etc.
Most everyone stood behind the wall of the stadium that guarded them from the wind. Thank goodness for that wall. For several years now, we all find ourselves either huddled up against it or staying in the ladies room as long as you can without seeming like you're taking up space someone else should have. It's so nice and warm in there. Thank goodness for that huge bathroom!
As time neared for the race to start hardly anyone was moving out to the corrals. It wasn't until about 5 minutes before it started did people begin to move. Once there, I found a couple of ladies that seem to be friends standing close by. They were taller than me so I "casually" huddled close by and let them buffer the wind from me. The day was gorgeous. I love how you can see the sun rise from the starting line.
Off we go...further away from the water. Because we had stood so long outside my hands were frozen. As a matter of fact, right after starting it dawned on me that I couldn't feel them. Oh, where are my gloves!!! At home snuggled in its usual place in a WARM room. I began moving my hands around and I still couldn't feel them and began feeling pain where they use to be. Getting a little alarmed, I began shaking them. It hurt at first but then I realized that if I didn't get circulation moving soon, it would be worse because we were headed for the 3-mile bridge soon, which means subjection to the wind again. Shake, shake, shake...oh, am I running?? I don't even know. My goal had changed...at least, for now. I just got to get my hands moving to prevent frost bite. Yes, I really thought that! After several minutes, I began go get some feeling back in them. I was at the park and could see the water in the distance. To me, that means the race is starting when you get alongside the water.
I love this race. To get to run with water all around and the challenge those hilly bridges always present to me. I just love to run over bridges. The water is just so beautiful and I never think about running because I love to see God's beauty. It's different every time.
As we head to the bridge, I realized I didn't feel the wind any more. Guess moving interior, focusing on getting warm and looking at such beauty helped that. When we began the climb, I felt the wind on my back. It actually pushed you along. It was great!! What a difference to have a tail wind as opposed to the horrible head winds in the last race. Don't think I've ever had wind that helped you along as long as that. I ran about 3 miles!! It felt so good.
All in all, I was so pleased with the race. I continued to do my run/walk plan after the wind-push. I've never placed in this race and I am very okay with that. There are SO many people in it. My time was 1:43:59 with an 11:07 pace. Of course, not my best but getting back on my feet again. I'll take it! One step at a time...I didn't give up nor quit. That spells success!
Coming up in two weeks is the Sea Turtle Half Marathon in Gulf Shores. This is the second half in my 3-part series of the Run The Beach Series. It's good to be alive and well. Now, go
What a beautiful day to race! The air was nice and crisp with blue skies and lots of sun. I have to admit I was quite nervous. It had been a few months since I had raced. I was excited, nervous, had a good plan to use and almost sick to my stomach...all before I left home. I signed up for the Run The Beach Series. This is my first series [I've been wanting to do one for years]. There are three races, all half marathons. This one is the first of the year. I signed up to do them for more than one reason. Yes, I had been interested in doing a series for quite a while now but there was more. I "needed" this to help get me on the track of racing again, to keep me moving throughout the week more than just doing "something", to promote healing of last year's physical issues and one more very important thing, to increase my confidence. There are more smaller reasons but these are the most important.
My training consisted of a run/walk plan. It seems at this time that I am controlling the hip/knee pains I'd experienced all year last year. In this plan I came up with what worked for me: .10 mile walk followed by 1 mile easy running. This had been done a couple of times before the race [.50 mile run had been done several times but upped it to a mile the week before the race and it felt comfortable]. This plan has encouraged me and built up my confidence. I want to run solid so bad and so far using this plan may help me get there again soon.
I saw some friends before the race. A pic was taken to reflect back on the running buddies that had come. Don't get to see them much except for races but it's always like good friends. I love my running family! Thanks, Pete, for the pic.
A brisk walk was done before the race started to warm up. I wanted to begin the race with my mile run. This worked great. The first mile was a breeze and very comfortable. I realized that this plan was working just like I'd hoped it would. The only bad thing about it is that the water stops came up during my run stint which affected my pace. I believe most of my running intervals were in the 10:00 paces. Every time I looked at my watch that's what I'd see...then there would be a stop. I always got water and walked through the stop. When I saw on the map that the stops were over 2 miles apart I felt needed to do it this way. I had a small water bottle in my Flip Belt and probably should have ignored some of the stops and used it if I needed it...but didn't. I'll rethink this in the future.
Everything was going great...until...we left the Backcountry Trail System and hit the beach for the last 3+ miles. I was taken back with the strength of the wind that hit us like a ton of bricks. But this monster kept pelting us solid; not like a breeze that comes and goes, it was solid strong winds! You keep thinking that it will let up but instead the opposite happened. The difference became the strong gusts. We all thought we were going to die! Everyone around me began walking...totally and completely. Occasionally, you'd try to run but no more than a few steps could you make without resorting to walking again. We received colored leis from the last water stop which was at the end of the trail before getting onto the highway. The leis blew back so hard that it blew straight out BEHIND you. Yes, everyone's did this! After trying to get use to the strangling feel and couldn't, that little sucker came off!! It wasn't long before my friend, Diane, came along side of me. She said she had been watching me [I was trying to run so hard!] and said that I wasn't making any progress running and to start power walking. She's super at this...I'm not but was getting worn down. Said we'd probably do better by doing that...until we got closer and we could run in to the end. Still thinking the wind would let up, I looked ahead at the tall buildings hoping that once we got by them the wind would break. Well, NO WAY!! The buildings seem to cause a tunnel for the wind to get stronger. Man...this blew any and all chances of getting a decent time. The end of the race was so hard. I did run through the Finish Line. That was good..........actually good that the race was over after the last 3+ miles of being beaten to death. By the way, got word that there was 15-20 mph winds and that's not counting the gusts! Whew!!
Now that I got the bad out of the way, there were many good things that came about.
1. I felt great. There was no pain until I tried to run against the wind for so long that it seem to be too much resistance. BUT...overall, no pain!
2. My run/walk plan worked. Real pleased that I came up with this ratio. It works for me.
3. My Flip Belt worked well carrying an 8 oz. water bottle. Wasn't sure about this.
4. The temp and sun was great. It was easy to breathe and I'm grateful for that.
5. My hubby was there to support me. Folks, it's a long time waiting for someone to complete long races. If you have someone who does this for you, you are blessed.
6. I did not want to "race". My main objective was to finish uninjured.
7. The bad part of #6 is that I'm a runner at heart...meaning I had hoped I'd finish under 3 hours with this run/walk plan. I finished well below the 3 hours...yay!!
8. My run intervals were much better than I would have predicted.
9. After a successful race, I'm looking forward to solid running again soon.
10. I'm feeling stronger...still cautious...but beginning to love running again. Yay!
Notables that raced were Jeff Galloway and Brett Favre. Cool! I love my running family. Don't think I've ever met a runner that discourages you. They all pat you on the back for a good race effort and encourage you to keep at it...and...look forward to seeing you at the next race. It's a cool family to belong to! Here are a few pics Kent took.
Diane G. looking good.
Wind was horrible even when you aren't in the blast of it.
[These Flip Belts do nothing for the figure!]
Post race talk.
Diane G. and Kim T.
Marsha C. finishing strong.
One final picture and it's of the medal. It doesn't do it justice because it's just beautiful.
Well, there you have it. The first half marathon of the series. Got a lot of racing coming up...long ones, that is. Hope you're doing well in your winter racing. Until next time,
As you can tell from my posts for 2016, not many were made. Seems I stayed in an injured mode most of the year. Like all of you, I want to make all of these resolutions (and I still do) but I must say that I learned last year that's not always the best thing to do. Maybe it's because I'm getting older...or not. Seriously, one thing I did try to do was to make myself accountable to others by telling them what I was or wasn't going to do. Everywhere you look, we are advised that to make accountability work is to "announce" it to others. Unfortunately, that just didn't work for me. And, because I wasn't able to meet those expectations I stayed in a very low mood most of the year. I found I would beat myself up for this or that, give up, give in, stop a class, withdraw from meeting with friends to run, sit around a lot, stop going to the gym, etc. and overall most of the year just felt discouraged with myself. Soooo, this year I'm going to back away from that. My best is MY best...no one else's!
Yes, I do plan to be accountable but not in that way. One thing I found that worked for me was doing monthly challenges. Seems I can stick to a challenge for 30 days better than one that steps on whatever little achievement I may have made. A time or two, I wasn't able to finish one. BUT...on the other hand, I pulled out more than I ever thought I could/would because of injuries, sickness, etc. were all around me. For example, I finished the year with over 1,000 miles on my feet. There were several times that I wasn't able to do anything but walk; and walk I did, even though I thought the goal wasn't going to get done.
I have made friends with "walking" and I NEVER thought that was acceptable as a runner. I looked back over a few friends that are runners but had to incorporate walking in order to maintain miles on their legs during illness or injury, even if it lasted a couple of years! It was then I realized that there's nothing wrong with that. Secondly, I found that walking helped me get out more where if I had had to run it would not have happened. My husband has had to make major changes with his sport and because he never gives up, it pushes me out the door. And, finally, I found it's "okay" to walk...even in a race. Oh, no!! Thought I'd never say that...
Eating has become a problem last year. Off and on, there would be times I would have coughing periods, pulled muscles or injury that kept me from being able to even get out and walk. So, what's a girl to do?? Eat and sit!! I'm paying for this now!
At this time, I want to mention a few people that have encouraged me so much without really knowing it. In other words, I see "them" and what they are going through and their attitude toward their activities. Moe: who never gives up or stops running...who gives it all in the face of a lot of adversity...she never quits! Frances: who never quits...it doesn't matter her how fast or slow she is...it doesn't matter that she has grieved so much after losing her mother...she never quits! Marsha: who after many months of training was unable to complete the race she looked forward to...from what I saw, she was not discouraged but said "there will be more"...she never quits! Susan and Buck: who never gave up on me...always, always including me in their runs if I was able or felt like going. There are others but these have meant a lot to me last year.
I know this is weird, especially after having a hard year, but I still "feel" there are many half marathons left in me. I think of it all the time. I never see myself as "down" from running except at the exact time I'm doing it. There's always a race or distance I'm wanting to get out and do. It's like I am what I was...or maybe what I really am. So, folks, I'm not finished yet! Down, but not out!!
Okay, with all of this last year's garbage said, I want to focus on the future. I have always wanted to do a race series. One came up recently called Run The Beach Series. It is comprised of three half marathons. I went ahead and signed up before the price went up but the first one is in January and is going to push me to get it done. Training became immediate. The race will be comprised of running/walking. The only other time this was "planned" was in 2013 when I broke my shoulder and wasn't able to run for a while. I've had to start over so many times last year and this year I'm going to push through even if it is a run/walk. The second half is in February and I'm hoping I will be up to running it all...but...if I'm not there yet, so be it. It will come!! The final one will be at the end of the year and there's so much time to assure I'll be running solid by then.
Secondly, I'm going to focus more on losing weight. Yep...it has gotten way out of control. There's absolutely no reason I can't do some kind of workout at least every other day. I can do this...I WILL do this!! Losing twenty five pounds should be achieved easily. I'm going to work on this.
Thirdly, I've entered the 1,000 Mile Challenge again this year. Since I did well in it last year and was down so much, I figure I ought to bust this thing open this year. Along with this, other challenges will be entered and accomplished.
This year is going to be a better year. I can just feel it. I hope I can be an encourager to others as some have been to me. Remember to surround yourself with those that build you up and has confidence in overcoming disappointments. They will happen, so move through it. Never quit! That was my motto last year and will be again this year. Beginning NOW, I will be the best I can be with what I have NOW...not what I was or what I will be. Take care of yourself and reach for the stars. They are there whether you see them or not.
Being the best I can be...with my shoes ON! Happy 2017!!
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
3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
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!
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
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
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
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
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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