Category Archives: Family

New Month with New Goals (And how in the world did I become a race director?!)

Well, a new month is finally here…I guess it’s been here for about 11 days now, lol.  June was very eventful around our house. So much, that I never had time to finish writing that fussy little post I began countless times!  The title was: “Does this heat make me look fat?” and I still may use it one day, lol.

That particular blog was basically me agonizing over the fact that it’s really hot and I don’t like it one bit. And because I’m not a fan of broiling when I go run, I’ve cut back my runs considerably lately. Of course, because I’ve cut back my runs, it makes me automatically feel, well…you know, fat and lazy…and if you ask my family, maybe a teensy bit grouchy at times. It also hasn’t helped that we’ve been really busy lately with lots of summertime activities and by the time I’m able to go run, it might be 9 or 10 at night. Seriously. After feeling down in the dumps over my lack of running when and how much I wanted, I finally decided that I could either keep feeling bad or put on my big girl running shoes and do something about it. (I figured I should take a little of my advice that I give my children and be grateful for what time I do have.) So, on the days that I know I probably won’t get to go and run, I have started using our elliptical machine again and then if I get to go anyway, great! At least once a week, I dress at lightly as possible, bring my water bottle and bite the bullet and go run at the Longleaf Trace. It’s my favorite spot to run my longer runs. It’s always pretty hot and I haven’t run a truly “long” run (more than 6 miles) in a really long time but it’s so much better than running in circles at the track!!!  As for the other days, I have come to peace with the fact that I’m going to be running at night and for now, that’s just the way it will be. Soon enough, it will be cooling off and it will be time to start training for our next half marathon. I think that it’s just hard, for me at least, to go from training hard during the week and running races nearly every weekend to training not nearly as much and no races. It was a shock to my system and I felt almost depressed, as strange as that may sound. In a nutshell, that’s basically the blog I was trying to write for nearly a month.

Now that I’ve given myself a good kick in the rear for acting like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, I’m trying to use this time to work on my form and just kind of be in maintenance mode. We’re also getting ourselves ready mentally to start our half and full marathon training. I think it’s never too soon to get your mind focused and geared up towards looking forward it. I know it takes a lot of physical endurance but I can tell you that if you start thinking that can’t, your body will most likely listen.

Speaking of races, we have one coming up this weekend! Yeah, it was kind of a surprise to me when I found out too. It surprised me first when I was told that it was July 23 and then an even bigger surprise when Jason said he found out that it was actually the 16th.(Here’s a link to the race, if you’re interested.) In a way, I’m excited to have a race to look forward to and in another way, a little anxious. We went Saturday to see what the course would look like and if it’s where we think it’s going to be, then, wow. Just wow. Do you remember that time several months ago when I was so worried about a race with all of those hills? This one may be worse. Especially when you factor in the heat/humidity. I’m trying to tell myself to not fret over it. (Back to the mind over matter/visualization thing.) I know that I’m going to have to take it slow for the first half of the run because it uphill nearly the whole way. On the other hand, while I can cruise coming back, part of it is pretty steep and if I’m not careful, I’ll use up a lot of energy trying to “put on brakes”. Jeff Galloway talks about “gliding“, which is what I’ll need to concentrate on when I’m running the 2nd half of the race.

Here’s how he explains it:

What are gliders? Many of us incorporate gliders into our runs without even realizing it. When you run down a hill, using the momentum of the last few yards to relax while keeping the same speed for a few steps, you’re gliding. With practice you can stretch the distance of this glide, riding the wave of momentum farther and farther. You can even learn to adapt this technique to flat ground.

You can click the link on gliding and see his full explanation of  how to do them and why they can work for you. I will admit that I haven’t done hill work lately which means I haven’t practiced this technique lately. *Mental note – I might need to go do hills tonight…. 

I probably won’t have a PR that day but I’m going to do the best I can and go slow if I need to. The important thing is to have fun and finish, right? I’ll try to post an update on how it went and pictures. Here’s one of me from a previous race:


Another thing that is going to be happening soon is the Race for Grace 5k Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run to benefit Grace Link Kids which is an outreach of Grace International.This idea began during a conversation with my brother about putting on a trail race someday, even though I’m not even a trail runner and it somehow grew into this!! After having a meeting and forming a committee, I (of all people..if you know me, you’ll agree, lol) was chosen to be the race director. I have only been in races and never even helped with one, so you can imagine my surprise and panic mode that I was suddenly in since I’ve never considered myself a “leader”. Luckily, we have several other people who are great with planning and know people who can advise us on things that we have questions about. We really want this to be a fun event that is family oriented and something that runners and their families will want to participate in again. Most of all, we want to be able to have lots of folks participate so we can help as many kids as we can. By the way, if you have any race planning suggestions or advice for me, I’d LOVE to hear from you!! We are planning our second meeting this week and hope to have the final details ironed out. Here is what we know for sure: It will be held September 24 at 8:30am at the Longleaf Trace Gateway, which is behind USM (See directions below). There will be race t-shirts, prizes for the winners (age group categories to be decided on soon), water and snacks afterwards and some fun stuff for the kids too. We will be listing it on the Mississippi Track Club site and the Pinebelt Pacers site too. We’ve already listed it as an event on Facebook and made a page for it too so you can keep up with updates there. If you don’t have Facebook, no worries because I’ll update things on here and Twitter and Grace International has a page started on their website and will post info there too. I’m really excited about it coming together and I hope I’ll see lots of you there!

The temps are looking like they are going to be pretty high this week so remember to stay hydrated and take your water bottle with you when you go outside to exercise!

I hope everyone has a great week.

*Directions to the Longleaf Trace Gateway*

From I59 take the Hardy Street exit and go east on Hardy Street to 38th Street (second light).  Turn left on 38th Avenue and then right at the next light at 4th Street. The Gateway will be on your left at the foot of the water tower at the northern edge of the USM campus. 

From US Highway 49 from Jackson: At Mendenhall turn south on Highway 13. At Prentiss turn west on US Highway 84. The Trace crosses 84 just south of its terminus at the park in Prentiss. Take a side street to the beautiful park (see pictures below) and parking area. For the Hattiesburg terminus see I59 instructions above or the US Highway 49 directions below.

To access the Trace at Sumrall or Epley from Highway 49: Turn west on 42. Turn left on Epley Road (first paved road) to go to Epley, or straight to continue to Sumrall. In Sumrall turn left on 589 and the parking area is a few blocks on your left. 

If you are coming from Mobile on US Highway 98 or from the coast on US Highway 49 (they intersect just south of Hattiesburg): Continue (or turn) west on US 98 to I59 north to Hardy Street. Then follow the directions from I59 above.  

US Highway 49 Directions: If you are familiar with Hattiesburg and USM, another more scenic way to get to the Gateway Southern Miss is to stay on 49 into Hattiesburg, and then turn west on 4th street (watch for signs directing you to the Gateway. You will get onto a frontage road that will take you to 4th Street (4th Street passes over US 49). The Gateway will be on your right across from the football stadium. That way you get to see more of the fabulous hub city and USM. To start at Epley or Sumrall, follow the directions above. Going North, Highway 42 will be on your left about 3 miles after you cross under I59.


Filed under Family, Racing, Running

Good and Bad Runs, Ipods and My(Difficult)Quest to Step Lightly

Hi everyone! No race reports from last weekend. We had considered running one on Saturday but decided to skip it and take the kids (and Flat Stanley – my nephew’s book project) to the Jackson Zoo and State Capital. It was such a fun day and even though we could have run the race that morning and then gone on our trip, we might have felt a little less than energetic by the time we got home that night.

Buckled in and ready for an adventure with our family!

Since I don’t have a race recap to give you, I thought I’d ramble on about a few things that have gone through my thoughts this week while I was running or during my few and far between moments of quiet time around here.

Isn’t it amazing how you can run one day and feel like you are most likely the worst runner that’s ever stepped foot on the earth and then, a couple of days later, you go for a run and feel like you could go on forever? This was my experience a few days ago and then on Monday. Last week it was hot and I mean super hot. (I’m sure you get so tired of hearing me fuss about heat but, guess what, it’s only going to get worse because summer is coming, haha!) I decided to go for a run on Thursday afternoon. Jason said to bring the kids, along with the jogging stroller,and he would just meet up with me after he finished up his run because he was already running at the same place. I’d been talking to my friend, Stephanie that day, who’s just beginning her journey as a runner, and she said she’d love to come along and run with me. We’ve tried several times to get together for a run with no success, so I was thrilled that we’d actually get to go. She’s still doing running with walking mixed in and I thought, since it was so warm, it would be a great day for me to take it slow and enjoy getting back to the basics. We all met up as Jason was finishing and I could tell by the sweat pouring off of him that it was going to be a lot hotter of a run than I had anticipated. I grabbed up my Ipod and ushered Steph over to our starting point, making sure to only put one earbud in my ear so we could visit a little while we ran but I could still hear my music too. I, probably like at least a few of you, don’t like running “unplugged”! For some people, they’d rather hear their breathing and feet hitting the road and stay in tune with their body. For me, I’d rather have something moving me along, especially on those runs when I start to struggle. Sometimes it just takes turning on that certain song and I can switch off my left brain that’s trying really hard to convince me to stop and switch my right brain on and push through until I feel strong again. I think if I only had my labored breathing and sluggish sound of my feet to listen to during that time, I’d probably not be able to make it. That being said….we weren’t more than 2 or 3 mins into our run and my Ipod stopped. (Noooooo!!) I was in shock at first but then remembered what was going on. Now that I have my Nike watch keeping up with my running, I don’t bring my Ipod inside after every run and plug it in to recharge it/upload. I had a miniature freak out and then decided I shouldn’t set a bad example for my new-at-running buddy. I did complain outloud (just a bit!) but decided that we’d probably visit more without the music  anyway. Problem was, since she was walking/running and I was running/running, we weren’t together the entire time. I would run with her and then when she’d stop for a walk break, I’d run ahead and then turn around and come back to meet her. By that time, she’d be ready to run a little more and then we’d repeat the process. (Did I mention it was really hot that day?) By the time we had about a mile left, she told me to go on ahead and finish my part of the run out. I did it but was suffering from the torture of having no music and lack of air to breathe. After I finished, I trotted back to Steph and walked back with her. Jason had been taking pictures of us as we started our run out and was taking some of us coming back too. I was so thankful he didn’t snap any of me after I’d finished because it would have been ugly, lol! I gave Stephanie a quick hug and told her goodbye and was secretly a little happy that she didn’t stick around to see my misery in full force. I was nearly lying down on the back of Jason’s car, eyes clenched shut in pain because so much sweat had gotten in them, and feeling like I had probably just done the worst job in the world at being a good example of a runner. Honestly, for a day or two, I really began to wonder if I was losing my running mojo. That’s not a good feeling, by the way.

Just beginning our run. Pretty sure at this point my Ipod had already fizzled for the day.

Zach and Zoe relaxing in the jogging stroller.

I was pretty disgusted with how my run turned out that day but, keeping in mind that a bad run on one day can make your next good run feel great, I headed out on Monday to try again. I was thankful for much cooler temps and a chance to redeem myself from my less than impressive performance a few days before. It was a cloudy, unseasonably cool day and it felt wonderful! I went there knowing I was going to run more than 3 miles but also knew that I couldn’t run as far as I wanted because our cat was at the vet and had to be picked up by 5:30. It was already almost 4pm so I scrapped my dreams of running 7 or 8 miles and opted for a little over 4-ish. The run that day was one of those that I didn’t want to end. I felt great, the weather felt great, my Ipod worked great…everything was..well, great. I’m not sure if it was truly the best run I’d had in a while because it was that good or if it just was in comparison to the train wreck of a run from Thursday. Either way, I finished feeling strong and excited that probably weren’t as bad as I had thought they were. I’ve said over and over that the heat is basically my kryptonite. Now I just need to remind myself of this when I have a bad run on really hot days!!

Now here’s something I’d like to ask you about: How do you run? Do you startle people when you approach them from behind because of your stealth-like stepping or is there no need to say a word because your feet do all the “talking” as you clip-clop along? Unfortunately for me, I’m in the second category. As I mentioned on the Run Like a Mother page today, I feel like a Clydesdale when I’m running (and not in the glorious, majestic way). I make so much noise and I know it’s not a good thing but I don’t know how to stop! Believe me, I’ve tried. Yesterday, while out running with my husband (who’s not only a faster runner than me but a stealth-stepper too), he was trying to help show me (again) how to take those ever elusive lighter steps. I tried and tried but no matter how I changed my stepping, the noise stayed! What’s the deal? His theory is that I’m pressing down with my foot (into the road) instead of pushing the pavement away. Seriously, I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to this. I know what I need to be doing but somehow I can’t implement it. I’ve heard that Chi Running was helpful in learning how to run lighter and wearing Vibrams can help too. I’m sure I’m losing a lot of energy by pounding it into the pavement and I’d probably even knock off some of my time if I could ever figure it out. Have any of you had this experience and how did you fix it? I’d love to hear any suggestions that you might have for me!! I’m going to post a pic of my feet while I’m running. Maybe you can see a problem that I don’t?

How's my driving?

 I forgot to mention that our run yesterday (besides obsessing over every step I took) was a really good one again. It was another cool afternoon and the company wasn’t so bad either. 🙂 I love being able to run with Jason although I know he probably feels like he’s going at a snail’s pace, he never complains, only encourages me and that means a lot to me.

So, those are a few of my thoughts this week. Zach is already out of school for the summer and my older kids have next week and they’ll be finished, which means our Florida vacation will be just around the corner! Our racing will significantly slow down during the heat of the summer but I’m sure I’ll still have more than enough to blog about. I’ve still got to fill you in on our Nike watches, some of my supplement/eating tips and I’ve got to keep you up to date on my quest to become a quiet runner (and faster one too).

In regards to my Ipod dependence that I mentioned earlier, I wanted to see how many of you have (or don’t have) a music dependency when you run. So, here’s a quick poll I’ve set up just for you:

One more thing! My blog has had over 3000 hits as of this week since I created my first post on March 22, 2011. This is so exciting for me (even though I’m sure some blogs get that many a day, lol) because when I started out, I figured I’d have mostly family and a few friends reading it. I never dreamed that I’d have as many readers as I do and I want to thank YOU for that! I also appreciate all of my other fellow bloggers that have linked my site to theirs, Rod’s Racers for promoting my blog and Facebook page and to the ladies at Another Mother Runner for profiling my blog on their site and sending a lot of new readers my way.

Thanks again to all of you for being such an encouragement to me! (And for looking over my writing errors that I’m quite certain I miss sometimes.) 🙂


Filed under Family, Running

What a Difference a Year Makes! – Okatoma River Run 5k

Saturday marked the last “scheduled” race on our calendar until this Fall and what a race it was! This year there were 38 walkers and 109 runners participating – lots of fast ones too!

The night before started out how so many race nights do. Late going to bed and then I couldn’t fall asleep right away because of nerves (see why here). Of course, we were running a little behind the next morning, but not nearly as bad as some race days. When I walked out the front door, Jason was already running up and down our street trying to warm up since it was obvious that we wouldn’t have time to when we got there. I decided that my warm up would probably have to be the trip from our vehicle to the table where we pick up our packets. (It was.) Adding to the stress excitement of the morning, that same gentleman who was at the Run for the Roses 5k in Prentiss (see my blog about that race here) and was announcing the whole time on a megaphone was there….on his megaphone again, lol. He certainly knows how to put me into high gear. There’s nothing like hearing how much time you don’t have to really get your heart rate going. I finally got lined up and ready to go with about a minute to spare. I didn’t get as close to the front as I had envisioned that I would be but it was good enough. One of my concerns was racing with my new Nike GPS watch. I think I must have looked at it five thousand times during the race! (I promise to do a review soon!) 

Looks like I'm doing some kind of strange march here.

The weather was really pleasant that morning, which was something we’d all been praying for (at least I know I had!). I started out a little faster than I should have but once I looked down and saw my pace, I reigned myself back in a bit because I knew I needed lots of energy until the end. This particular race course is no cake walk. It has lots of hills, some that are long, gradual ones that can wear you out if you aren’t ready for them. I actually felt like I handled the hills better that day than any other race that’s had hills before. I kept telling myself that my goals were this: 1. Finish 2. Beat my time from last year 3.Try and finish under 30 mins. I decided that if I could obtain even 2 of those goals, I could go home saying it had been a good race.

Lots of people passed me at first. I expected it but it still bothers me. I just kept telling myself to keep a steady pace and keep chugging along. By the time we were 2 km into it, I noticed that some of the people who had passed me early on were slowing down a little and now I was passing them. When I made it to the park, which was close to the half way point, I’d finally pulled away and didn’t have anyone immediately beside or behind me anymore (of course, I can’t be positive about the behind me part because I refused to look but I didn’t see anyone when I turned the curve, lol). I used that time to slow down for just a minute and take some deep breaths to get ready for the next really big hill that was waiting for us when we exited out of the park. I was dreading it but I knew that the sooner I could get up it, the sooner it would be behind me! Before I knew it, I was over the hill and on the last leg of the race. I was feeling a little tired but had no idea if I had someone gaining on me and because of that, I was afraid to slow down. I also was watching my time closely and knew that I had a good chance of finishing under 30 minutes. (In the back of my mind I was wondering if I’d made a mistake when I slowed down some in the park….)

Here I am coming up the last hill before reaching the finish line. (It seemed much higher at the time!)

As I turned on to the street and topped the hill, I saw the clock and it was still under 30. I saw my parents cheering, I saw Jason’s mouth yelling (couldn’t hear what because my music was too loud) while he was frantically trying to take pictures of me. It was going to be close. I ran as hard as I think I’ve ever run in my whole life. The clock seemed to be ticking away so fast!!! One last look up as I approached the finish line and I saw 29:58. That was all I needed to see as I ran under the clock. I threw my arms up in the air. I’d made it!! 

I have 2 pictures from that moment:

One from Jason here –

As you can see, Jason was a little too excited and missed me. Luckily, he did get the clock in the picture! 🙂 I couldn't help but laugh at this one...had to post it!

One from my mom –

My mom did a great job of documenting everyone's finish that day!

Jason finished in 22:27 and won first place in his age group!

Jason running for the finish line!

Several members of our family participated that day.  Our son Tyler ran it in 28:01, Jason’s sister, Donna ran with a finish time of 31:02, his brother’s wife, Delana ran and finished in 27:45 (winning 1st in her age group too!) and his mom walked it in 43:37 (winning 1st in her age group!). 

Tyler finishing strong.

Donna approaching the finish line. (She's only been running a couple of months now!)

Jason's mom heading towards the finish line.

Click here for a complete list of results from the race, courtesy of the Mississippi Track Club. They always know how to put on a great race!

I was very happy that several in our family participated and lots of our friends did too.

Here's Jason with his sister, sister-in-law and mother after the race.

I was super excited that my parents were there to watch me!

My parents and me.

Jason with his 1st place trophy.

My sister-in-law, Delana with her 1st place trophy and me.

Tyler and me after the race. (He'd already changed out of his running clothes.)

Here I am with Cherie who (beat the socks off me) won 1st Place in our age group with a time of 26:20!

This is my friend, Lakeisha Barnes, who signed up this year as a runner in the race!! She has been on her own fitness journey in the last year and is one of the strongest, inspirational women I know!

After being a bundle of nerves and not sleeping much the night before, and running behind that morning, I have to say that this year’s race was a drastic improvement over last year’s. Not being in pain is the biggest thing I’m thankful for but I’m also grateful that I’m a little bit faster too..or maybe just a little less slow!

First goal: Finish – CHECK

Second goal: Beat my old time – CHECK

Third goal: Finish in under 30 – AlmostMy official race time was listed as 30:01, even though I initially thought it was under 30. It’s ok though and you want to know why? Because I won my FIRST TROPHY with that time anyway!!

Holding my trophy for 3rd Place in my age group.

Two out of 3, plus a trophy isn’t a bad day at all in my opinion!!

Last but not least, here’s a picture of the girl I beat on Saturday:

This is me finishing last year with an official time of 32:54.

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan

P.S. Look who I ran into after the race, talk about my lucky day!

I was shopping for my mom a Mother's Day gift and Elvis just happened to walk in!


Filed under Family, Racing, Running

Okatoma 5k Race tomorrow – I think I can, I think I can!

Here I sit on another race day eve and our vow to “go to bed as early as possible” seems to have fallen through…again. We have a sweet baby girl that seems to just know when there’s a race the next morning or if I need to go run, lol. Maybe she just doesn’t want to miss out on something exciting. 🙂 I guess it’s probably a good thing that we didn’t go to bed too early because I’d nearly forgotten to put my running clothes in the dryer. That would have been an unpleasant little surprise in the morning, especially if we’re running late. 

I must admit that I’ve had a little anxiety going on over this race tomorrow. I really don’t know why. We have run in a lot of races this season and it’s only a 5k. Maybe it’s because last year’s race is associated with lots of pain, physically and emotionally, for me. Also, it doesn’t help that Jason has been talking about it non-stop about it being a huge race for weeks, lol!! Oh, and my parents will be there to watch me race for the first time ever too so, of course I’d like to do really well for that reason. I’ll be using my new Nike GPS watch, which I’m not quite used to yet. I’ve run with it twice but still find myself waiting to hear my Ipod count down the distance for me. So…maybe I do know why I’m a little amped up after all, lol. The last couple of mornings have been really cool and I’m hoping that we can squeeze in one more for the race tomorrow. It would be so nice to have the weather working in our favor! It’s supposed to be 49 tonight…so we’ll see! 🙂

As I drove my son Tyler around the race course today, I kept saying, “Now here’s another hill but just remember to pace yourself and you’ll be fine.” Finally, he stopped me and sweetly said with a smile, “Mama, the hills just don’t bother me. I never really even think about them.” What?? It made me wonder if I should think (or not think) more like he does. I’m working hard tonight to think positive and remind myself that I’ve done this many times and I can do it again. I ran hills in a race last month that put the ones in tomorrow’s race to shame…and won 1st place in my age group. I can do this!! (That’s me thinking positve. :))

Besides trying out a new watch this week, I’ve also tried a new food. I bought Chia seeds yesterday after reading about them and learning how great they’re supposed to be for us. I ate some this morning mixed up in my oatmeal and then actually drank some in my water this afternoon. They aren’t bad at all! I did feel super full after drinking them but I think that’s part of what they’re supposed to do. No tummy problems to report and that’s always a good thing for me. Since today has been the first day of me eating them, I’ll let you know more about what I think of them as time goes by.

Tomorrow isn’t just a race day, it’s also a huge milestone for Tyler. His first prom is tomorrow night! He also won a trophy in band on Monday night for most improved. It seems just like yesterday that he was Zach’s age, who by the way, graduated from K-4 last night! It’s been an exciting week and we’re so proud of both of them (and the rest of our children, of course). Time really does go by so fast….

Unless you’re running and then it can go pretty slow. 🙂

I think it’s finally bedtime for us. Have a wonderful weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Racing, Running

Columbia’s Relay for Life 5k recap – A family thing

Another week is beginning to wind down around here and that means that we have another race day coming up on Saturday. The Okatoma Festival River Run 5k is Jason’s hometown run. He calls it his “Super Bowl” of races mainly because it’s a race he’s run in since the very first one which was about 15 years ago and because this race usually signifies the end of our racing season. (Although we are kicking around another race or two in the next few weeks this time.) Last year’s Okatoma race was awful for me. If you go back and read my very first blog, you’ll see that, besides being a new runner (only 3 months), I was injured with a stress fracture too. Obviously, I thought I only had horrible shin splints and ran it anyway (not a wise choice). This race on Saturday will be a sort of redemption for me, which puts a little pressure on me, to say the least. I know I can run faster than I could last year. I’m not in pain. So, now it’s time to put my positive thinking cap on and start focusing. I had been doing hill training pretty faithfully in the last few weeks but I didn’t do hills last week and I didn’t do them this week but I’m going to trust my body, my legs. I’m thinking it’ll be an appropriate race to listen to “Tick, Tick Boom” by The Hives for a little bit of motivation: “You know I’ve done it before and I can do it some more, I’ve got my eye on the score…”  The last few days have been really cool in the mornings. Hopefully, that cool weather will hold out for Saturday morning (even if it’s just until 8:30)! I’m just going to keep visualizing a great race.  I’ll update you in a few days on how it went. 🙂

The race last Saturday in my hometown was a good one as far as race courses go and the weather was really pleasant. It’s also fun getting to go stay the night with my parents and visiting with them. There were 61 people in the Relay for Life 5k put on by The Columbian Progress. Our oldest son, Tyler joined us for this race. My sister-in-law, Donna even drove over and ran in it with us too. She’s only been running for a couple of months now and is doing great! I keep telling her that I’m glad we’re in different age groups because she’s getting faster very quickly and I’d have to start worrying about some serious competition. We actually ran together for a large part of the race and finished pretty close together. I did a better job on this race of pacing myself and not feeling like I was going to collapse towards the end. I had just enough energy saved up to finish out my last km really strong. My time was 30:32 and Donna’s time was 31:16. She’s already reaching times that took me nearly a year to even get close to!! There’s no telling how fast she’ll be in a year. Like I said, it’s just a good thing we’re in different age groups! 🙂

Donna and me in the background of this picture. (Pink shirt & green shirt) *This picture was taken by The Columbian Progress

Donna approaching the finish line!

Jason running in with me towards the finish line.( I don't even know what to say about my hair that day!!)

Almost to the finish line! (I loved this picture for only one reason - both of my feet are off the ground!! Woohoo!)

Jason had a great race that day. His finish time was 22:25 and he finished 3rd overall!! He’s never done that before so it was a huge deal. I’m so proud of him!! He’s been working really hard. Tyler had a really great finishing time too. He hadn’t run in 2 weeks and still had a time of 27:49. I think he has the potential to be really fast with just a little practice.

Here's Tyler getting ready to cross the finish line. *Picture taken by The Columbian Progress

Top 3 Finishers Overall *Picture taken by The Columbian Progress

The disappointing thing about this race is that after paying $30/entry fee, they didn’t have anything but water (no bananas or oranges) afterward and no awards for age groups…actually no awards for anyone. I know it was more of a charity race but it’s nice for runners that have worked hard and done well to be given just a little something to recognize it. (Even a certificate printed out would have been ok.) That’s just my opinion though. I’m not much of a complainer about races so as Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Besides those things, it was fun and of course, helped out towards a really good cause which is Relay for Life.

My best buddy, Stephanie, showed up to cheer us on. (I somehow got Jason's number stuck on my skirt when I gave him a hug, lol)

Jason and me after the race.

Tyler and me

I received my new Nike GPS watch in the mail 2 days ago so I plan on blogging about it soon and letting y’all know what my thoughts are on it. So far, I think it’s going to work great. I still haven’t gotten everything figured out on it but I will. I’m definitely going to miss my Nike lady’s encouragement in my ear but I do like the GPS.

More to come on the watch….


Filed under Family, Racing, Running

Baby, We Were Born To Run! (Some a just a little slower than others….)

It was another super busy week and weekend for us…again. I think major news for us will actually be a week or weekend when I can blog and say that nothing in particular happened at all. I’m not sure if or when that will ever happen but I’ll be ready to blog about it if it does! 🙂

We had the Relay for Life 5k in Columbia on April 30, which is my hometown and a big reason we have run in it the last 2 years. We also had a huge day on Wednesday of last week when we had the rare opportunity  of meeting and running with Chris McDougall, author of “Born To Run” , ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek and Chris’s trainer, Eric Orton. I also had the honor last week of being featured on as their “Follow This Mother!”. Talk about my head spinning!!

Here’s  a recap of our meeting with The Naked Tour 2011 folks.

When I say naked, please note: naked feet or minimalist shoes. 🙂 Recently, my brother, John Wesley and his wife, Jennifer have gotten interested in walking/running and since they were having some problems with really bad shin pains, they decided to try the Vibram Five Fingers shoes. While they were at Sacks Outdoors, one of the workers told my brother about the “Born To Run” book and that the authors were coming down for a group run, book signing and to talk about the inspiration behind the book. After reading the book and finding that his shin pain was subsiding from wearing the Vibrams, he was really looking forward to getting a chance to meet them.  He mentioned it to me and even though I had heard of Chris McDougall, I have to admit I hadn’t read his book yet…but as a fellow Vibram owner, I was interested. My brother read the entire book in about a day and then eagerly filled me in on the story during a run/walk we took one evening. The story is amazing. (I won’t ruin it for you here, just in case you’d like to read it yourself.) Even after only hearing the condensed version, I was about as eager to meet these runners as my brother was. I told my husband about it and he agreed it would be great to get a chance to run with these guys and hear what they had to say.

When Wednesday came, there was some doubt about whether we’d get to go or not. That was the day that all the severe weather was moving across our state and Alabama. (My prayers go out to all those people that have been affected because of the tornadoes. Please find a way to donate and help them if you possibly can!!) We were very fortunate that day and didn’t get the really bad weather but because it was very threatening outside, we were waiting until nearly the last minute before we made a decision about heading over to Hattiesburg. Jason’s mom had said that the little ones could come and stay with her if we decided to go so, in our usual running late fashion, Jason decided he’d take them over and let me get a head start. We both wanted to run if possible but figured if we rode together, we might miss out completely. (I was very appreciative that Jason was so sweet to offer for me to go on ahead, even though I would have gladly taken the kids.) My brother had gotten there really early and had been texting me before I’d left, urging me to get there as soon as I could. When I arrived, a fairly large crowd had already gathered in the parking lot and I had to make a grand entrance (unfortunately!) by driving through them. As I parked and started gathering my things up, my brother had found Chris and was chatting with him. Suddenly, Chris started saying, “C’mon Gina, get moving! You’re holding us up!”, jokingly of course. I guess that’s what I get for being late, lol. When I got out of my car, he came right over and spoke to me. Chris came across as a genuinely friendly guy that’s full of life. I told him that I have a running blog and he asked would I write about them? Well, you know the answer to that! 🙂

Group gathered up before the run.

We all walked over and joined an excited crowd of runners…some with their tennis shoes on, some toe shoes and other barefooted as the day they were born. The 3 guys introduced themselves and then opened up the floor for questions before we ran. Secretly, I was hoping that there were going to be lots of questions to give Jason some extra time to get there. Finally, the questions had ended, the race course explained and Jason was still no where in sight. I felt terrible because I knew how badly he’d wanted to run too. I left instructions with my brother to tell him where the run was going to end, still hoping that somehow he’d show up and then took off, trying my best to keep up with the crowd. I’m sure that nearly everyone there was running at a “comfortable” pace and were enjoying the “relaxing” group run. I, however, felt like I had never run a step in my entire life. Was I the only person there that was about to die from a lack of oxygen??? It was also one of the more humid days, most likely because of the bad weather in the area. Oh, and we went up a giant hill first thing. That was just great. Immediately I was thinking this run wasn’t one of my smartest decisions I’ve ever made.  As we sprinted ran along the streets, I saw Jason pulled over on the side of the street up ahead. He was waiting to get a shot of us coming through. (He took pictures of me, by the way, but as the author of this blog, I decided not to include said embarrassing picture, lol.) I made a quick decision. As soon as I was right in front of him, I ran across the street to him. Looking a little confused, he asked what was going on. I told him, “It’s your turn, I’m done. They’re all too fast for me anyway!” 🙂 He gave it quick thought, handed me the camera and took off to catch up with them. I knew he had a better chance of having an enjoyable run than I would have anyway, plus, I really felt bad that he had almost missed the whole thing. Happy that I’d had a chance to participate for even just a little ways, I drove back over to where the run would be ending and waited to take pictures of them.

And we're off....That's me in the blue shirt, black capris trying to keep up! (Thanks to my brother for taking this picture.)

Sacks Outdoors provided great refreshments afterward.

Lots of books for everyone!

Jason (white t-shirt and scub bottoms) running with part of the pack that included Scott Jurek (yellow shirt).

Jason (white shirt) finishing up his run with Scott Jurek (bright yellow shirt) and the rest of the crew.

During Jason’s half of the run, he was able to run with Chris and visit with him and then ran with Scott and talked to him too. They were all so friendly and extremely interested in what everyone had to say. They made sure that they ran with each group, what ever their pace was, and chatted with them and answered questions. After the run was over, everyone gathered outside for a few minutes to have a snack and some water while Chris and Scott signed a few autographs and talked to the media that was there.

Scott signing a few books after the run.

We then went inside and each of them spoke to us and answered questions. Each person had something different to bring to the discussion and I learned a lot of stuff I never knew. I learned that we are the only animal that is built to run for really long distances because we sweat. Our bodies can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals. I also learned that while guys are better at sprinting, women are better at endurance running. In fact, the longer the distances, the stronger most said they felt. (I have to say that I’ve expressed the same feeling when I was doing my half marathon training!) Go Ladies!! 🙂

Chris McDougall and me

Jason, Chris and me

Eric Orton, Jason and me

Scott Jurek, Jason and me

I learned that Scott Jurek is a freak of nature – in a good way, of course!! Actually, it was absolutely amazing to hear him speak about running ultra-marathons. He said he has to set an alarm on his watch so he’ll remember to hydrate every 20 mins or so when he’s running in places like Death Valley…..DEATH ?  He also talked about running for 24 hours on a 0.7 mile loop (And setting the American record, by the way: 165.7 miles!) ….if you know me, that would be an absolute nightmare to run that loop even for an hour!!! He comes across as an extremely humble, peaceful, nice guy. It was great getting a chance to meet him.

Chris speaking to us.

Scott speaking about ultra-marathon running.

Chris McDougall has a very fun, free spirit about him and that’s what he wants running to be for us again. He doesn’t want running to be something that we dread or hurts us, which is what was happening to him several years ago until he began training with Eric Orton. He stresses that we weren’t born broken, we were born runners and that sometimes it’s the shoes we’re wearing that are doing more damage than good.

At the end of the night, they had a huge door prize giveaway. One of the first winners of a pair of Vibram Five Fingers was – Jason!! I won a pair of Injinji toe socks – woohoo!! (Jason declined a picture or else I’d insert a pic here. :))

All in all, it was an evening filled with fun, learning and meeting new friends. I don’t really have a final verdict on the whole barefoot running thing just yet. I wear my toe shoes some and have even run in them a little bit. Those suckers have certainly made me sore in places on my feet that I didn’t realize could be sore but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. You’ve probably noticed the shoes I run in. They are pretty much the furthest thing from “minimalist” as you can get. I’ve decided that this summer, when race season is over, I might try to run a little more in my Vibrams. I might decide I love it and never go back or I might decide they’re great for hanging around the house in and that’s it. When it comes to running, there is so much I don’t know yet but I’m learning everyday. I don’t want to miss out on something that could make my running even more fun and efficient (*faster*) if it’s out there. I will say that I don’t foresee a time when I’ll be ripping my shoes and socks off and running with nothing between my sweet feet and the asphalt but air….but I’ll never say never. A little over fifteen months ago, I wasn’t a runner…. 🙂

Sporting my Vibram Five Fingers

I hope you’re all having a great week and staying active!


Filed under Family, Racing

A bad run is better than no run

Don’t worry, you aren’t seeing things! I know I just posted a blog yesterday and it’s absolutely unheard of for me to post back to back but I wanted to share with you about my awful run last night.

Yesterday was one of those days that seemed never-ending. (Much like today…hmmm.) Basically, it’s just been one of those weeks around  here. I wanted to work in 3 runs this week before the race on Saturday and I still may be able to get the 3rd in tomorrow night. Last night was one of the times that I was dying to get out and go and it just seemed like everything was working against me. One reason I wanted to go was so I could try my new running clothes that I’m planning on wearing in the Crescent City Classic. If there’s nothing else you do before a race (besides train a lot, drink a lot of water, train some more, and eat right), please try out anything you have that’s new!! The last thing you want to do is find out 2 miles into a 10k that your pants are too baggy, that your shoes are rubbing your heels or your shirt is riding up. So, that was my big concern last night. I wanted to go run and see how the outfit felt, just in case I had to make an emergency trip to the post office to send it back!

Zoe was super tired. We had spent part of the morning on a field trip with Zach and she’d only had one nap. I just knew she’d go down fast and I could head out for a quick run and be back in no time, right? Wrong. Somehow, on days that she’s dead tired, she digs down deep and finds energy that I only wish I had. Long story short, it was after 9pm by the time she went to sleep, after 9:30 by the time I changed into my clothes and nearly 10 when I started my run. Added on to that was the extra awkwardness I felt because our school was just finishing a baseball game up and a zillion people were still there. I do not feel comfortable running when people are possibly looking at me. I know it’s silly but surely someone else feels that way too and that’s why I’m admitting it. (Now you know you aren’t alone. :)) Races are different. People are supposed to be watching you then. Training is a time when I don’t want to have an audience because sometimes I’m feeling like I’m dying and I know it shows. Other times, I’m feeling pretty great and I might sing or play the drums and that looks kind of weird too. So…it was a little awkward getting out there and running in new clothes with people everywhere that possibly knew me or my family, on a track and it was hot. Really hot.

Good news first: My clothes basically felt great. The only complaint I had was a pesky tag that kept sticking in my side like a knife the whole time. I’ll make sure it’s long gone by Saturday. Other good news was that the run itself, meaning the time (31:23) and pace (6:16/km), wasn’t awful after you factor in the heat and 81% humidity. Yes, 81%. I knew it was hot but had no clue that it was so humid until I got home.

Bad news: I started out in a semi-panic because of all the people there so that means that I took off running way too fast. You would think that now I’d say that after the first mile I finally settled down and found my comfort zone…but I didn’t. I ran like a crazy lady…a crazy, sweaty, oxygen deprived lady that felt like everybody there was staring at her. (Looking back, I’m pretty sure they weren’t.) At 3.98 km, I had decided to just quit. I was near the bleachers where I’d put my keys and I looked down at my Ipod and brought my thumb over to hit “stop”.  “Don’t you dare stop!” was the sassy voice I heard coming deep from inside of me. Thank goodness “she” showed up! She quickly reminded me that I had tried all day to be right there – running. I was there for a reason and it was time to suck it up and finish what I started. She also reminded me that I would kick myself for stopping and, it’s true, I would have. I finished. It wasn’t pretty. It was ugly, in fact, but I did it and now I’m glad I did.

Sometimes we are going to be outside of our comfort zones and  we have a choice to make: to push through it or stop. I’m really glad I pushed through, even though it wasn’t easy. I think we all have that little voice inside of us. I hope you’ll decide to listen to it when you think you can’t make it another step. You may be surprised at what you can do!

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.   

~Peter McWilliams~

If you don’t step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, the number of situations that make you uncomfortable will keep growing.   

~Theo Pistorius~


Filed under Family, Running

Running in Circles

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 2 days and I’ve started and stopped about 20 times, so if I sound a little scatter-brained throughout it – it’s because I am! 🙂

It’s been another busy week around here. My days have been so jumbled up that I’ve only gotten to run at night, which is not my preference unless it’s scorching hot during the day. My normal hill training night (Monday) was spent riding out severe weather, so I pushed it over to Tuesday. By the time I finally got out of the house, it was really late and I decided to go to our local school’s track and push hills over to Thursday. My run Tuesday night wasn’t too shabby. It was actually really chilly which is fine by me! I ran a 5k in 30:02 (woohoo!). I think I’m still in disbelief that I’m finally speeding up a little. You’ll rarely, if ever, hear of me running any farther than a 5k when I go to the track. I just don’t like running in circles! If I had to choose, I think I’d probably enjoy running longer mileage on a treadmill (I don’t enjoy treadmills)  than on a track, which is why I spend most of my running time on the Longleaf Trace. That being said,  I’ll take what I can get and go where I can when my choices are limited.

We went to visit my parents yesterday (Thursday) and the kids had such a fun time playing with them. Zach finally got to go fishing with my dad and caught 15 fish! By the time we got home, ate and got the kids ready for bed and asleep, you guessed it, late again. I’ll admit, it’s been really, really hard getting out of the house and going to run this week. I think most of it had to do with it being later at night and I leave the house already feeling pretty tired. When I can go during the day, I’ve still got a little energy but by 9 at night, I’m just ready to do nothing. But, I know that if I don’t go, I’ll completely regret it and I almost always feel more energized after I’m finished.

When I arrived at the park, I stepped out of my vehicle and was shocked to hear, “Hey, Gina, is that you??” It was my niece and my sister-in-law out walking/running. (They’ve been to the last 2 races that we’ve been in and my sister-in-law, Donna, ran most of the way in the last race! I’m so proud of her!) It was so nice to get to run my first lap with them last night. They helped get me motivated and out of my slump I was feeling like I was in. After they left, I didn’t try to overdo since we’ve decided to race on Saturday and hills usually leave my legs feeling a little spent for a day or two afterward. My run was good,32:23, but not nearly as fast as my run on Tuesday night but that’s ok. They don’t all have to be personal records especially on hot, muggy nights when you’re running hills. What I haven’t done lately is add extra mileage to my runs. I’ve got to get back on track with that next week because the Crescent City Classic is 2 weeks away and I have to be ready!!

Something amazing has happened in the last week or so that has not only taken me by surprise but has also touched and encouraged me. I’ve had at least 5 people either call me, email me or text me to let me know that they’ve started walking or running because of reading my blog. Some have just contacted me to let me know and others to ask a question. You have to know that when I began this journey, it was to improve my life and my health. After my experiences (good and bad) in this last year, I’ve had an overwhelming need to share it with others. I didn’t know if anyone would even have an interest in what I had to say but since it doesn’t cost anything but a little time here and there, I had to try.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a running expert. I’m just someone who has experienced what consistent physical activity can do to change your overall well-being. I get tired, I get frustrated and  even discouraged at times but I see where I used to be and where I am now and that keeps me motivated. I don’t proclaim to know it all or even half of what is out there to know but I do promise you this: I will always do my best to share what knowledge I do have with you. I’m constantly learning – usually from mistakes – but I think that’s when I learn the most. I mess up, I try again and sometimes I mess up again but I learn. I want you to hear about my good runs but I also want you to hear more about all those bad ones because that’s what make the good runs, great! I want to write about how painful the speed workouts can be and how hard it is to run hills some days because if I do well running a race with hills, you can see that the training works (even if I do complain!). I’ll also share anything helpful that we stumble up on, whether it’s a book or gear or just something that’s kinda cool.

For you wives and mothers out there (husbands and daddies too), I will be the first to tell you that it’s going to be difficult on some days to get out of the house to go run or walk. Sometimes you may have to go later and sometimes you may have to go earlier. Other days, you may have to load those babies up and bring them with you or if that doesn’t work, scrap it and remember that you can always go tomorrow. Even though it’s extremely important to take care of yourself, your family needs your attention too and some days it’s impossible to get away (unless you go at midnight, lol). I don’t want to ever sound like I’m being selfish about my time spent exercising.  I devote all of my days (and nights) to my family and I’m so thankful that I have a husband that provides for us so I can be with our kids everyday. I think that if I take an hour out of the day, usually 3 days a week, to go run my stress away, it’s a good thing for everyone (they agree, by the way). 🙂

I always find that I handle things so much better after I’ve come back from running and I bet you will too. I used to be on anxiety/depression medication but not anymore. Running is now my medication and it works so much better!  Just remember that you aren’t just doing this for yourself….you’re doing this for your kids and for your spouse too. You are setting an example that will be a positive influence in their lives. I don’t want it to be a shock when they see me in my running clothes, I want it to be as normal as seeing me in pajamas at night. I want my kids to see that being active is a part of their parents lives and hopefully they will want to be that way too.

One of the best running books, in my opinion, is Jeff Galloway’s Book on Running. We are constantly referring to it. If you ever get a chance to pick up a copy or even borrow a copy, get it and read it. He’s extremely knowledgeable and stresses the RUN-WALK-RUN™ method so you can stay injury free and have a more positive experience. We were loaned our first copy and then promptly headed out to buy our own. (By the way, this is only my opinion and I haven’t been compensated in any way to endorse this book.)

Jeff Galloway's Book on Running

I know I’ve been long-winded today with my writing but I’ve been so excited to tell you about what’s been going on and to let you know how much you’re encouraging me. I’ve touched on a few things today that I will go more in-depth in on another blog. I’m so excited for all of you that have gone out and taken those first steps on your journey to a new and healthier life!!  Whether you’re running, walking, biking or something else, ease into it, be patient with yourself and most of all, enjoy it!  I want you to see that if I can do this, you can do it too!

We’ll be racing tomorrow in the Run for the Roses 5k. I’m afraid it’s going to be super hot and muggy but I’m really looking forward to the experience after reading about all of the fanfare that goes along with that race!

Have a great weekend!

Here’s a little inspiration:

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Running

In a fog today…Running with the F.O.G. in the morning

Well, it’s finally Friday and boy, has it been a long week! In fact, today has seemed more like 2 days. Zoe decided that she wasn’t tired last night and didn’t go to sleep until after 10pm. After we finally got to bed, I couldn’t go to sleep and then when I would drift off, she would wake up or the neighborhood dogs that come to visit our dogs would show up and start a barking frenzy. Finally, around 2am I fell asleep but still not completely because Zoe is the lightest sleeper in the world, so I’m constantly up and down checking on her. By sometime around 5am I woke up and was sure that the house was either on fire or just our room was. It was so HOT!! Apparently, one of the kids had bumped the heater up a notch or two on their way to bed and I didn’t realize it until I woke up sweating as if I’d been out working in the yard. Of course, Zoe woke up (again) as I stumbled around to go turn the inferno down. She needed a little milk, so I fixed that too. By the time I got back into bed, it was still unbearably hot, I was wide awake, the visitor dogs were back, again, and I couldn’t go back to sleep at all. 😦 Three miserable hours of sleep make for an extremely long day.

My big plan was to get the older kids off to school and wait for Zoe’s 9am nap and then I’d jump in the bed too and either sleep until she woke up or until it was time to pick Zach up at 11:20. (As you can tell, I’ve done this before. Naps are wonderful!!) I fed her breakfast, we played, we watched Barney and then I carefully made my way back to her room, praying that she was at least a teeny bit sleepy. I put her in her bed and quietly slipped out, biding my time until she finally stopped wiggling and fell asleep. A few minutes went by and I started thinking I was in the clear. Nope. “Maammmmaaa!!!” You know the saying, “If I had a dollar every time…”? Well, if I even had a quarter for every time “Mama” was yelled in this house and maybe 50 cents for every trip I make trotting into that baby girl’s room everyday, Jason could surely stop working for good! 😉 Back to my pity party story, nap time just didn’t happen for either one of us this morning. She wasn’t sleepy and the April Fool’s joke was on me for even entertaining the thought of napping. There’s been no chance since then because after I picked up Zach, we had to take her for a checkup and a shot. (The last of her shots until 5, yay!)

I’m so glad that it’s finally bedtime for the little ones even though she is in her room now emptying her bed out for the 4th or 5th time and saying “Oh No, Mama” so I’ll come back in there, lol (it’s nearly 10 now by the way). I know this stage won’t last forever. It just seems like it on days like this. 🙂

Oh and did I mention that we have a race in the morning at 8? That was the whole reason for this little blog tonight but my mind seems to wander when I’m sleep deprived.

We’ll be running in Sumrall at the Run with the F.O.G. 5k. I’m a little bit more nervous about it than most races because of some wicked hills. Jason ran it a couple of years ago and said he *thought* it only had one big hill. When we drove the course yesterday, it was like a stinking roller coaster! I’m not amused. Hills don’t freak him out like they do me. I’ve been doing some hill training lately on Mondays but aiming it towards the Okatoma 5k on May 7. I guess I should just look at this as a little extra hill training for the week and quit freaking out about it.

The great thing is that I bet I won’t lose a minute’s sleep tonight over that race in the morning when I finally go to bed, if I ever make it there.

I’ll update on the race hopefully tomorrow!

Here’s the race info:

Click to access fog.pdf

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Running

Slow is the new fast

It’s been a few days since I’ve had a chance to sit down and blog, mainly because things have been pretty busy around here. We had another 5k race on Saturday, March 26 which was the Doctor’s Day Dash (I’ll come back to that in a moment), Sunday was my oldest son’s 17th birthday, dentist and doctor’s appointments abound this week , AND the weather cooled off. ( Yay!! Thank you, Lord!!)

Saturday was the Doctor’s Day Dash at the Longleaf Trace Gateway at USM. There was a pretty large turnout for it, which we expected since it was free, unless you didn’t pre-register and then it was only $5.00 to run or walk in it. I thought it was a really well organized race and the weather, compared to the race the weekend before, was much more tolerable. Even though we had planned to get there early enough to warm up for a few minutes, we were running late. Our warm up ended up being us trekking through the parking lot as quickly as possible to go get our race packets, take them back to the vehicle and go to the bathroom, of course.

The bathroom seemed to be the biggest challenge on this day! The line was a mile long and some brave girls were even sneaking over to the men’s room. The countdown for the race was down to about 2 mins or less and there I stood with about 5 ladies in front of me. Why oh why was I thinking that 5 women could all go to bathroom in 2 mins or less?? Jason finally convinced me to try the men’s bathroom, but, as my luck would have it, it was occupied too by women. I looked back over at the ladies room. With about a minute or less to go before the race started, low and behold the bathroom had cleared out (apparently they had given up on it, as I should have)! I made a mad dash from the bathroom and there was about 20 seconds left before the gun fired. With my heart pounding, I feverishly wiggled my way through the crowd to get closer to the front, stuck my ear buds in and pressed play on my Ipod just in time. That’s not the best way to begin a race, by the way. 🙂

Besides the awful start, I really felt good while I was running, once I finally settled down and was able to get to a good pace. I don’t usually start near the front but gave it a try because Jason had suggested it was much easier than using so much energy passing people at the beginning. He was right!  I felt only a little fatigued around the 2 mile mark but after allowing myself a few seconds to “get it together”, I was ok again and feeling strong. As I approached the finish line, for some reason I had decided my time was going to be slower than usual. I don’t have a clue why I was thinking that…maybe just not getting my hopes up? I hadn’t even looked at my time on my Ipod, just my pace. I was only about 100 meters or less away and I glanced up at the numbers on the clock that I had been dreading to see. I couldn’t believe it. Surely I was hallucinating? I looked over again….it had the number 31 at the beginning!!! Not 32 or 33…Thirty one!! My unofficial time was 31:08. Fastest ever. Now, for you really super fast runners that are reading this, I know you’d probably choke on your sports beans if your time was ever this “slow”. For me….the person that considered getting a tshirt that says, “This is my race pace!”, it was a huge deal! In the race the weekend before, I had set another PR,coming in at 32:04, even though the actual race results were jumbled and it shows me coming in behind Jason at slower times. (He was behind me that day, for once in history, only because he was pushing Zach and Zoe and I’m pretty sure he was still holding back.)

I really thought that it would be awhile before I could surpass my time of 32:04. He kept saying for me to try and start closer to the front and try to aim for 31:59. So, that’s what I did and I couldn’t believe it. I’m so thankful to have Jason to encourage me, give me a high five when we meet each other in passing during our races (He’s always the one on his way back and I’m on my way to the turn around!) and cheer me on at the finish line! Oh, and he set a PR that day too by running it 22:30 *unofficially* AND won 3rd in his age group!!

Overall, it was a really great day. I didn’t win any prizes or medals but sometimes the best prize is accomplishing something that you thought you couldn’t and running into the arms of the people that you love. I did both.

Leave a comment

March 31, 2011 · 3:04 AM