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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Shoes Won a Race Without Me

No, my shoes didn't become possessed and take off running on their own, although if we ever add a Fiction section to this blog that might be a good short story idea.


So What Did Happen?

I volunteered last weekend at Girls on the Run 5K.  Girls on the Run is a great organization.  They train girls 8-13 to run a 5K, while teaching life skills and developing self confidence and an appreciation for healthy activities.  I knew it would be a lot of fun to see these girls run their first race, and it was!

It was 16 degrees on Saturday, so I bundled up.  Dressing to volunteer at a race is not at all like dressing to run one.  If you are debating whether you might need an extra layer, the answer is yes, you will.  Runners often say "It's only cold if you're standing still", and you are standing still a lot when you volunteer.  So add that extra layer, and go ahead and throw a blanket or two in the car just in case.



What About Those Shoes?

I was stationed at packet pickup, and shortly before race time I heard the announcer say that someone was in need of women's size 8 running shoes if anyone had any they could borrow.  I wear size 8 shoes.  I was wearing my Nike Livestrong shoes, which I don't usually run in, but they are running shoes.  I use them for walking or biking, since I need running shoes with a bit more support.  Since I never bothered to take my snow boots out of the car at the end of last winter, I changed into my boots and offered up my shoes to the runner in need.

I had no more volunteer duties, so I joined Jeanette to watch and cheer for the runner girls and their running buddies.  There were lots of tutus, crazy colored socks, and funny hats.  There were also lots of families running together, which was really neat to see.



A New PR? I Wish

As we moved over to the finish line, the announcer stopped us and told us that my shoes were in the lead.  Sure enough, the first runner around the corner was Britany wearing my shoes (pictured, right).  She hung back at the finish to let the Girl on the Run she was with finish first, since the race is really all about the Girls.  Her time was 24:54:9 - the fastest any of my shoes have ever run a 5K.  Maybe next year I'll try to beat my shoes, but for now that's the house record.


Hug a Runner!  Share the Sweat!

Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day, aka G.O. H.A.R.D., is tomorrow, November 20th.  You can register for the virtual race for only $5.95, all of which goes to support Girls on the Run, and you'll be entered to win some fun prizes as well!  Find out more about the virtual race and other fun ways to participate in Hug a Runner Day at

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Marathon Number 2

Sorry the delay in my post, but I kinda wanted a few days just to soak this in for myself.  I haven't really talked about it a lot because its hard to describe how I feel, so lets see how I do.
A group of 6 of us decided early last spring to run the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon.  5 of us ran Charleston together, with the addition of our friend Keisha Rathbone, whose husband was already part of our group.  We decided to follow the same plan as before even though it was a first timers plan.  Because of all my teaching, the three running days a week are easier for me to follow without overtraining.  ok......hahahaha I overtrain.
My training went really well, all my long runs went faster and easier than the time before.  We also used lots of long trail races as our long runs, making the training more fun as well.  Unfortunately, I also suffered from lots of leg cramps and a back injury, so I had some really good, and really poor races along the way.  A month before the marathon I realized I was worrying so much about times and pr's that I was loosing my bliss, so I made the decision to enjoy running first and foremost.  The Cherokee Half was my first race getting this back and I love it.
It was very cold at the beginning of the race, about 40, but was supposed to warm up to mid 60's during run.  I was layered well, but did have on shorts.  Everyone knows I always freeze so my muscles were really tight all morning.  From the first mile I could tell that I would be fighting leg problems this race, I've felt it before, I know.  My hope was it would hold out as long as possible, the end of the race please?  I ran the first 12ish miles with my friend Alice.  I knew I wouldn't be able to hang with her the whole race because she is able to kick it in last half much better than me, but we held together good until the split.  I did, however, push how fast I had planned on starting, but I really didn't want to run alone, and then I decided, well, it is a race, push it a little.  By pushing I mean I hit my 9:40 and then 9:30 pace quicker than I had planned.
At about mile 14 or 15 my legs were fighting cramping everywhere.  At this point we also entered the Savannah State University Campus.  These students lined the campus everywhere, cheering us on, singing, giving us high fives.  When we ran around the track they were lined up all around, cheerleaders were there, athletes, and someone over the loud speaker cheering us on.  It gave you chills.  I stopped after this to loosen and stretch quickly, but I think I should have done that sooner.  At mile 20, right inner thigh completely locked up.  I mean, you could see the cramp sticking out of my leg.  I was across the road from a med station.  I debated, and then decided to visit the med tent.  They gave me salt, not much because I was also using Gatorlytes, I massaged and iced my legs, while I watched the 4:15 and 4:30 pace groups go by.  At this point, I knew I would just be finishing this race, but I was going to finish this race.  Sprayed down with Bio Freeze I started back.
The last 6.2 miles are kind of a blur, the pain, a few steps walked and then the determination to finish strong.  These 3 stages repeated the whole last 10k.  This is when I turned on my music, but sometimes their bands or music were so good I would turn it off.
At mile 25, I ran up to one more medic tent, grabbed salt Gatorade, sprayed my legs with bio freeze and vowed to not stop again.  And I didn't.  I was so afraid I would lock up again, but I continued to pick up my pace, slowly haha.  At 26 miles when I entered the finishers chute I was extatic.  I finished the race, on my own!!! Best .2 miles of the race.
Normally, old me, would have obsessed about the slower finish time. 4:54 and some change where last time I was 4:33,  I would have obsessed about the speed I started with, or should I have worn my older shoes, etc etc etc.  Of course I wish I had been faster and not hurt as bad, but how can you not be proud when you just ran 26.2 frickin miles.  It wasn't a fluke, it wasn't a one time thing, I AM A MARATHONER!  This race was harder that Charleston by far, I hurt more during and after, but I learned more about myself this time.  I can do this...I am strong,.. I am determined.... I want to see how far I can push myself.  And I love this crap.  Will I do another marathon, why yes I will.........
AFTER I RUN MY FIRST ULTRA IN JANUARY.  Stay tuned to my insanity

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon Recap

photo by Kathy Helmond
While we wait for Laura to tell us about her marathon yesterday, I'll recap last week's Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon.  This is one of the biggest races in Indianapolis every year.  It also has a full marathon, a 5K, and a kid's one mile fun run.  There are several official cheer zones set up along the course, and many businesses and neighborhoods along the course hold their own cheer parties as well.

My Monumental History

In 2012 I ran the 5K.  At that time, I had been running for almost 5 months.  I had not yet run an entire 5K without walking some, but I was hopeful that would be the race I finally did it.  Race day was really cold, with wintry precipitation expected.  I had not run in the cold weather yet, and did not really know how to layer properly, nor how to breathe.  I made it halfway before I had to walk - I just really had such a hard time catching my breath in the cold air.  Shortly after I finished, it began to sleet, which later changed to snow for the people running the longer races.

I was not planning to run this year's Monumental.  I had such bad memories of the 2012 race that I didn't want to repeat it, even though I know how to layer and breathe in the cold now.  Although most of the ladies in my fall training program were training for one of the Monumental races, I said after the Hendricks County Half Marathon in September that I was just going to take it easy until mid-November, when it would be time to start training again.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Marathon Motivation

I had a little fun with a baby picture of Starr, making a motivational post for Laura as she got ready for today's Savannah Rock 'n Roll Marathon.

Laura finished in 4:54:32, and Mark finished in 4:37:50.  Great finish times!  I can't wait to hear all about it!