Tag Archives: 10k

The Training Plan by Jeff Galloway


Here are some great training plan tips by Jeff Galloway!

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A TRAINING PLAN?  When using a proven strategy, a runner gains control over fatigue while improving motivation.  Those who follow the right training plan, for the individual,  tend to improve more, with less injury risk.

WOULD BEGINNERS BENEFIT MORE FROM A PLAN?  Unfortunately, most beginners “run as they feel” or follow conflicting advice.  This leads to confusion and more aches and pains.   The right schedule will systematically increase the type of running needed for a goal, with strategic rest for rebuilding.


1) A longer run builds endurance

2) a hilly run builds strength

3) Scenic or social runs insert fun and keep you coming back for more.

WHAT IS ADDED TO A PLAN IF THE GOAL IS TO RUN FASTER?  The right training plan will gradually increase the speed repetitions needed for the individual goal.  Easier days and rest days must be inserted before and after speed workouts.  To avoid injury, the pace and the increase must be realistic for the individual.

EVERY OTHER DAY:  Most runners — especially beginners — run best when they run every other day.  This allows for the “weak links” to heal.  The very slow long run is usually on the weekend, when there is more time available.  Hills and fun days can be run on the short runs during the week (For example: Tuesday and Thursday)

SHOULD I EXERCISE ON NON-RUNNING DAYS? While you don’t have to exert yourself on non running days to improve your running, exercise will energize your mind, and improve your attitude and vitality — while burning some fat.  So, I recommend any exercise that does not fatigue the calf muscle, such as recreational walking.

DOES VARIETY HELP?  Changing things a bit can improve motivation.  You don’t have to change the “mission” on specific days, but alternating some of the courses or running with different groups can make each day more interesting.

WHAT ARE VARIOUS MISSIONS FOR VARIOUS DAYS? Each type of run bestows a different benefit.  Hill runs build strength.  Drills that work on cadence, gentle acceleration and gliding will improve your running form.  Long runs produce stamina and endurance.

WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER LONG OR FASTER RUNS?  Take it easy on these days.  Do little or no exercise, don’t overeat, drink 8 glasses of water/sports drinks, and focus on how you will enjoy the next run.

SHOULD I SKIP THE REST DAYS TO IMPROVE MORE QUICKLY?  Not Recommended!  It is during the days off from running that the running body rebuilds and improves.  While some runners can get away with running short and slow runs on rest days for a while, these “junk miles” can compromise recovery and lead to injuries.

IF I DON’T LIKE A WORKOUT, CAN I SUBSTITUTE? Following a consistent plan is more likely to lead to success and improve motivation. Those who pick various elements from different schedules experience more burnout and injury.






Jeff Galloway‘s Customized Training Plan!

This is for runners of all levels, from beginning to ultra, with busy schedules or without a local Galloway training program.

Learn more now!

Jeff’s proven method has helped hundreds of thousands to achieve their goals, injury-free. Whether you’re a beginner or a Boston Qualifier, let us customize a plan that allows you to “have a life” while achieving your goals.
Your 6-month Custom Training Plan includes –
• A customized training schedule to your target race over the next season
• Daily email reminders of upcoming workouts
• Based upon your current conditioning
• Drills to improve running form, efficiency, and speed
• For runners at every fitness level, from beginning runners to ultra-runners
• Perfect for those without a local Galloway Program or with busy schedules – See more at: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/customized-training/#sthash.2bhhrWdT.dpuf





























Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 Half Marathon weekend from December 11-13th

  • Jeff Galloway 13.1 – Sunday, Dec. 13th
  • Barb’s 5K Presented by BeeCauseSaturday, Dec. 12th
  • NEW Fit Kids Run/Walk – Saturday, Dec. 12th

Register now!


We’re finally having some much cooler weather around here and can’t wait to get out and enjoy it!  I hope all of you have a great weekend and happy running!!!



As a Galloway blogger,  I’ve been provided tips by Jeff Galloway to share with my readers.  There is no compensation for this post.


Filed under Blogging, Jeff Galloway Blogger, Marathon, Racing, Running, Uncategorized

Tips for Dealing with the Heat by Jeff Galloway

thirsty runner


If you’ve had a summer like we’ve had in South MS then you know what it’s like to try to keep up with your training when it feels like you’re baking in an oven and can barely breathe. This summer, I’ve been spending some time in the pool to try to stay cool and also get some exercise in.

Here are some great tips for dealing with the heat that Jeff Galloway sent for me to post. 



 Dealing With the Heat

Training through the summer can not only be grueling, but down right dangerous.  Here are some tips to train safely and as comfortable as possible in the hot summer months.

Slow down by 30 sec/mile (20 sec/km) for every 5F temperature increase above 55-60F ( every 2.5C above 14C)
When the temperature is over 70F (21C) you may take a 5 minute “cold shower break” every 25-30 minutes to keep cool.
Try to complete your run before the sun rises above the horizon.
More frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase.  If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30
When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building
Pick shady courses on hot days.
Don’t wear a hat!  Pour water over your head
Have an indoor alternative—treadmill, etc
Run in the deep end of the pool, using a flotation belt



In conjunction with the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting, Road Race Management and MarathonFoto will again honor an individual who has made a major difference in the sport with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is for contributions to the sport of long distance running over the course of a lifetime. Nominees, who may be either living or deceased, should have made major contributions to the sport in more than one area, for example as an administrator, elite athlete, promoter of the sport, or innovator as an event director or vendor.

“We are seeking to honor a ‘sport changer’…a person who really made a difference,” says Phil Stewart, RRM editor and publisher.
Nominations from the public are being solicited and will close on August 31, 2015.

A ten-person committee will choose the winner to be announced November 6 at the Race Race Management Race Directors’ Keynote dinner in Hollywood, FL.

Make your nomination now!



How do you deal with the heat and humidity during the summer? What time of the year to do enjoy running the most? I really like running in the Fall and Spring!


Have a great weekend and happy running!!


As a Galloway blogger,  I’ve been provided tips by Jeff Galloway to share with my readers.  There is no compensation for this post.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Jeff Galloway Blogger, Marathon, Racing, Running, Uncategorized

A New Run/Walk Strategy from Jeff Galloway


Jeff Introduces a New Run/Walk Strategy


The 30-second Walk Break

Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run method was revolutionary for three reasons:

1 – Run/Walk/Runners felt better throughout the long run.

2 – Run/Walk/Runners recovered faster and got injured less often.

3 – Run/Walk/Runners went faster with the breaks than without.

Since his introduction of walk breaks in 1974, Jeff he has received feedback from hundreds of thousands of runners. This has allowed him to fine tune Run/Walk/Run to keep people feeling better, staying healthy, and running faster.


The greatest benefit of the walk break comes in the first 30 sec.

Our heart rates come down, the running muscles relax, we catch our breaths, and the fatigue melts away.

After 30 seconds of walking, we tend to slow down.

Here is a typical example of what happens with a 1-minute walk break:

A run/walk/runner averaging 10-minute pace in a marathon using 3 min/1min might walk at a 15-minute mile pace for the first part of the race.

As fatigue sets in, that walk gets slower, and by halfway, the runner may be walking at 18 min/mi.

This means faster running is needed to stay on pace, which creates more fatigue at the end of each running segment, so the walk will get slower, and so goes the downward spiral at the end of the race.

Avoiding the Slow-down

Compared to running constantly, the 1-minute walk break still results in runners feeling better, staying healthier, and going faster, but it can get even better! Limiting walk breaks to 30 seconds, or in some cases even less, while cutting the run time accordingly, gives all the same benefits, with even less fatigue and even faster times.

The Bottom Line

If you are in already using a 30-second walk break or less, you don’t need to adjust. If you are using an interval that takes a 1-minute walk break, keep the same ratio but cut your walk and run times in half. For example, a 1-minute/1-minute interval now becomes a 30-sec./30-sec. interval.  It’s that simple.


America’s Best Places to Run enhances the running experience by offering access to very special running routes. This book gives a preview of the scenery with directions to the start and special instructions to enjoy the area.  In addition to the more than fifty trails and half dozen race venues reviewed in this book it also  includes tips on training for trail running, dealing with elevation, running uphill and downhill, terrain issues, endurance, and time-

Don’t forget to register for the 2nd annual Jeff Galloway 13.1. December 11-13, 2015 brings a fun-filled weekend with the 13.1 half marathon, Barb’s 5K and the new “Fit Kids” run.

Join us in all the weekend events including the Race Expo with exciting vendors and speakers, a festive holiday mood and surprises at the finish line!

Register now at Jeff Galloway 13.1

Have a great weekend and happy running!!

As a Galloway blogger,  I’ve been provided tips by Jeff Galloway to share with my readers.  There is no compensation for this post.


Filed under Jeff Galloway Blogger, Marathon, Racing

Not So Easy In The Big Easy – Crescent City Classic Recap

What a hectic week it’s been! Who am I kidding? It’s hectic around here nearly all the time, lol!  Although, with Easter and the Crescent City Classic jam-packed into one weekend, things did seem a little more stressful than usual around here. It’s taken me nearly all week to write this blog but here it is…finally!!

Since we were going sans kids on this trip, we had planned to start making our drop-offs around 11am that morning to two different grandparent’s houses. (With a brood as large as ours, it helps sometimes to have 2 stay at one grandparent’s house and the other 3 at the other house. So thankful for our parents!!!) Of course, we were nowhere near the exterior of our home at 11am much less dropping anyone off! After several false starts, we were finally on our way sometime after 12 to drop off our first two kids at Jason’s parents’ house. My parents live about 40 miles away but in the direction of New Orleans so after another pit stop back at our house, we headed their way! Jason kept asking me how I was feeling about the race the next day. Was I getting excited, was I feeling nervous, dreading it, hoping for a PR? My answer: “Honestly, I haven’t even really thought about it today.”… And I really had not. Yes, I was aware that a 10k race was imminent but getting 5 kids and ourselves packed and out of the door to go anywhere is a major undertaking (even though the older ones can pack for themselves, it’s getting them to actually do it before it’s time to leave…and that isn’t easy). When we’d finally said our last goodbyes to our little (and big) ones, it took me about an hour or so before I could shake that stressed, rush, rush, rush mode that I get into when we have to go somewhere.

We just knew that traffic was going to be awful as we drove into New Orleans, but, there’s a first time for everything and we cruised right on in with no problems. As we made our way to the Hilton Riverside, we discovered that all the traffic we thought we’d dodged had actually congregated down between the Sheraton and the Hilton! It wasn’t just vehicles but people…everywhere. Most of the ones we saw were scurrying around carrying their yellow Crescent City Classic bags and it made me anxious to go check in to our hotel and head over to the Sheraton and get my own little yellow bag. Our room was great! The best part about it was the awesome view of the Mississippi River. I loved watching the boats go by and hearing the boat horns. Very, very cool.

View of the river and boats from our room.

Another view from our room at the Hilton Riverside.

A quick picture before we head out to the Expo.

Jason has been nursing a sore foot in the last few weeks so we decided to look like lazy runners and take a cab over to the Expo. Our driver was very….impatient, to put it lightly. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled that fast or prayed that hard in a cab. He was blowing the horn and tailgating and I was really surprised we made it. Period. Needless to say, when it was time to go back to our hotel, Jason said he’d risk a little foot pain and we walked back. 🙂

The Expo was great! Last year’s was overshadowed by the super-long lines we had to wait in to get our timing chips to go on our shoes. This year, everyone was chipped and it was attached to our numbers that we got in the mail, so the only line we waited in was for our yellow bag that held that t-shirt we all know we want (no matter how ugly it is) when we sign up for a race! It’s always fun getting the free stuff that the different vendors are giving out and looking at all the various running products they have to offer. Our favorite stop was at the Bondi Band booth and the One More Mile booth! We would have stayed a lot longer but next on our agenda was a late dinner at Drago’s and we were starving!!

Hey, look what I found!

Jason and me at the Crescent City Classic Expo

Food, glorious food!!

After a fabulous (but not too heavy) meal, we made our way back up to our room to get ready for the big race the next morning. Of course, by the time we’d taken our showers and gotten our pajamas on, I realized that I’d forgotten my self-tanner downstairs in our van. If you’ve seen any of my race day photos, I don’t have to tell you that I am a tan-in a can-aholic, lol. It’s obviously not necessary to do this and race but since I look like a vampire right out of Forks,WA if I don’t, I’d rather save everyone from being blinded, lol. In a way, maybe it does help me a little. It’s one less negative thing for me to think about while I’m racing. If I start feeling bad, all kinds of crazy, negative thoughts try to jump in and if I can keep the “you are blinding everyone with your pasty white skin” thoughts out of my head, then great! So…I freaked out when I realized my tanner was way down in the parking garage. Pajama clad, Jason was sweet enough to trek with me across the hotel & parking garage to go and get it so I could put a good coating on before bedtime (and have one less thing to worry about the next day:)).

The next morning, we woke up pretty early so we could go eat breakfast in the beautiful executive lounge the Hilton offers. They had a good breakfast (didn’t have the oatmeal I was hoping for :() and an even better view of the Mississippi River and, on the other side, the city of New Orleans. It’s always nice to be able to get up early enough on race days and not feel rushed. Although, since we seem to be chronically late to nearly every race, maybe we should get up even earlier! 🙂 I’ll spare you the pictures that Jason took of me eating breakfast that morning. Definitely not blog worthy! 😉 Here’s what we saw while we ate breakfast:

What a way to wake up! We enjoyed this beautiful sunrise while we had breakfast.

After breakfast, we hurried back to our room to get our running clothes on. I have to admit that my nerves had finally kicked in just a little bit as I got ready. Even though I hadn’t had time in the last couple of days to think a lot about the race, I had been aware of one major thing. It was going to be really, really hot.  Even the night before as we waited to be seated at the restaurant, I could hear runners talking to each other about the next day and the main topic was the heat.  I wondered to myself if I’d had enough water to drink and reminded myself that my time to drink any more was starting to run out. No need to try to gulp down a ton of water and have to go stand in a mile long porta potty line!  We took a couple of pictures and then headed out. As I gathered up my belongings to take with me, I realized I had forgotten my Nike+ sensor in the van!! No!!! I was freaking out (just a little). That’s like showing up to a race with no shoes, which is a bad thing, unless you’re a barefoot runner, lol. Needless to say, my pre-race warm up was a sprint to the parking garage to get my sensor and a sprint back into the hotel because I had to have one more potty break before we went to the starting line. Disaster averted. Whew.

Getting ready to head to the race

One last potty stop before going to the starting line!

Our walk to the starting line was another good warm up but I could tell it was really starting to get steamy hot already. We saw the variety of runners and walkers on our trip over. These are those folks I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog that brave the heat and must have quite the tolerance for wearing things that would literally drive me batty if I had to run in them.

Thing 1&2 on one side of me, air brushed workout clothes on another side.

Tutus were abundant...even on some guys!

When we nearly to the starting line, we were really excited to see that we had gotten there in enough time to watch the small parade start that goes before the elite runners start their run. We even had this crazy idea that we’d get to see the elites take off and still have enough time to get in line. Wrong. As we got closer to the starting line, there was a race official telling us we had to take a left and go a couple of blocks down. Jason was suddenly in panic mode. It was a fast walk (and jog at times) but we finally made it and started trying to work our way into our correct corral, which isn’t easy. We ducked into the crowd in one spot but realized that tons of people with a different color number were there too and it would be a much slower start, so off we went again trying to get closer to the starting line. When we found a suitable spot and waited for the starting gun, Jason took a couple of pictures of the crowd and then, as I always do, I kissed him goodbye and stared straight ahead. (I try not to focus on Jason when a race begins because he runs so much faster than I do. If I watch him running away, I have this weird urge to chase him and since I’d never catch him, it’s better to just focus on my run and not his.)

Here's the parade getting ready to go. You can see the starting line behind them.

Our first spot in the line up...still not close enough.

Here's a view of the sea of people behind us.

When the gun sounded, there wasn’t this mass of people taking off in a sprint, it was more like a fast shuffle. This was because everyone, except the elites, were way behind the starting line and there’s no need to run to it, at least there was no reason for me to, lol. I would say that basically everyone around us was thinking the same thing.The excitement of the crowd was definitely contagious and I was anxious to start running. As I hit that starting line, I took off with a burst of speed. I ran through the first leg of the race thinking how much stronger I felt this year as compared to last year’s race when I hit the wall extremely early on. I was also very glad that we’d moved closer to the starting line because, although there were some, there weren’t nearly as many folks that had lined up in the wrong spot and so I didn’t have to do as much dodging. It was really hot, especially when we were on the streets that had little to no shade. I was ever so grateful to finally make a turn onto the street that went through a neighborhood and I could move over and run in the shade. By the time I reached the halfway mark, the time clock that they had set up said 33 mins (no idea what the seconds were) but it wasn’t a bad time considering the crowd and heat. Somewhere a little beyond the half way point things started going downhill and I don’t mean the streets!!! I felt like I was going to die. It was SO HOT!! I was feeling weak. My sunglasses even felt too heavy on my face. I kept trying to call up my inner coach…the one that always shows up just in the nick of time. Where was she? Had she sat this one out? Things weren’t going well at all. I had even convinced myself that somehow they had added something to the course. My left brain kept chiming in, “Why don’t you just walk?” “Maybe you should quit and you’d feel better.” “You probably can’t even run that 5k next weekend.” “How did you ever finish the 1/2 marathon?”  “You know you’re never going to make it, it’s way too hot.” “Jason has already finished and is enjoying ice cold water right now.” “Look at all these other people around you…they’re passing you.” “You are so SLOW!” Yeah, my left brain isn’t very nice to me when I’ve hit the wall. It gets ugly in there.  On the final loop before we headed toward the finish line, I looked over and could have sworn I saw people making an extra loop in the distance. I nearly started crying. If there was an extra loop, that was it. I couldn’t do it. I kept pounding the pavement and every step seemed to take every bit of energy I had. Lowest point of the day: A guy in a banana suit passed me as if I was standing still. What had he been doing the whole time? Pacing behind me, waiting to break my spirit even more? I started praying. I pleaded for it to be over soon…to just be able to make it across the finish line without passing out.

We came around that loop and there it was – the Marathonfoto spot where they are up on a platform, waiting for us to run through so they can take our pictures. Significant turn of events. 🙂 If they are there on that overhang thingy, that means one thing to me – finish line in sight!! YES!!! Apparently, I’d been hallucinating or maybe had just caught sight of the race after-party. Oh, and guess who decided to show up for picture time? “She” did. (Better late than never?) I was suddenly kicking it back into overdrive again. I pushed my once seemingly 80lb sunglasses on top of my head and approached the photographers with a big thumbs up, smiling like I’d been cruising effortless the whole way. After that point, it was as if I were as fresh as a daisy. I came across the finish line with both hands up in the air, thanking God that I had made it. Prayers answered. 🙂 I may have finished strong but I was very near the point of quitting not long before that. 

Immediately I began trying to look around for Jason. Last year, he wasn’t able to see me because there had been an emergency at the finish line and they had made him move. It took an hour to finally find each other. This year was going to be different. He had even brought his camera in his SPIbelt so he could get a picture of me crossing the finish. They kept us moving along and I kept searching the huge crowd for him but I couldn’t find him anywhere. We were supposed to meet at the first water stop after the finish line. I got there along with a zillion other runners. Because people were constantly coming from the finish line, it was almost impossible to search the crowd. I waited and I waited. Finally, my phone rang and a strange number showed up. It was Jason. He had been to the water stop but had encountered the same problem I had and finally decided to call. When we were finally reunited beside the water truck, he had bad news for me. He never saw me cross the finish line. He said he waited until the 1:15 point, trying to give me more than enough time and finally realized that somehow he’d missed me, again.  Good news was that he got a picture of a guy dressed in a banana suit. The same one that blew passed me. 😦 I think next year I’ll put the words “HEY JASON – HERE I AM!” on my shirt. 🙂

Can you imagine how fast he can probably go without the banana suit on?

These guys were supposed to be the Blues Brothers, I think. How did they not have a heat stroke in those coats?

Entrance to the big party after the race.

The race after party is always exciting. There’s tons of free food and drinks live bands playing. It was also getting hotter by the second. From the time I hit the first water stop when I was waiting on Jason until the time we left to get on the bus back, I drank 2 bottles of water, a bottle of Powerade and 2 chocolate milks. I was really, really thirsty. (I didn’t stop at the water stops along the race route.) I also found out that Jason started out way too fast and was feeling about the same way I had been feeling during the race. He said that he was feeling the effects of the heat around the 2nd mile and beyond. Running in the heat stinks!  It was getting hotter by the second at the race party so after we took a few pictures, we decided it was time to get back to the hotel and find some real food.

Jason and me at the race after party.

Me with the stage in the background.

Look at the sheer volume of folks still coming across the finish line!

Our next big hurdle was to stand in a very long line in the heat, waiting to get on a bus.

Super long lines and we weren't even at the end!

So very happy to be on a bus (with a/c!!) and on our way back to the hotel!

We were both so thankful to be out of the heat and off of our feet!

The ride back to the hotel was very enjoyable but a familiar feeling on the bottom of my feet wasn’t feeling great at all. As soon as we got inside of our hotel room, I pulled my sweaty shoes and socks off to check things out. Blisters? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve never gotten blisters from running a 10k. Not even when I was just beginning. The only blisters I’ve ever had from running was when I was training for the half and had gotten a few because of the high mileage. I still don’t understand it. In fact, if any of you can think of a reason why I would have gotten them, I’d love to hear! I was wearing my favorite running socks and shoes….nothing new on my feet. I’m baffled.

After getting cleaned up, we went and enjoyed a great post race lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It was so nice to sit down and eat! The restaurant was beautiful and had a courtyard-type area beside it that we were able to sit by the windows and see. By the time we finished eating and went outside, the wind had starting blowing so hard, you’d think a hurricane was on the way. It was like a wind tunnel! It felt so good and I couldn’t help but wish it had shown up a little earlier when I was suffering from heat exposure, lol!

Jason getting ready to enjoy a post race steak.

Gazebo beside the restaurant

Jason documented my "wind blown" look, haha.

There was just one more stop on my to do list before we packed up and headed home. I wanted to go visit the new Fleurty Girl shop close to Jackson Square. I think the wind blew us most of the way there!  That particular part of New Orleans is so beautiful and filled with history. I could easily wander around down there and just look for hours. We found the shop and I even got a few early Mother’s Day gifts. Yay! 🙂

Neat little place that always decorates for every season. They had a bubble machine going. Perfect for a windy, Spring day.

Trying to find the Fleurty Girl shop.

Overall, it was a great trip. The race could have been better but it’s in the books now and we will take what we’ve learned and apply it to the next race we run. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that when it’s really hot and you hit the wall, a 10k race can seem longer and more difficult than a half marathon. I also learned that I have something inside of me that won’t let me quit, no matter how hard I beg at times. Call it stubbornness, call it willpower or even call it stupid but whatever it is, I’m so grateful it’s in there because this is one race that wouldn’t have been finished without it. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great race if you have one planned!

P.S. I completely spaced out and forgot to tell you my finishing time!! My chip time was 1:09:28. I finished 4926 out of nearly 22,000! Jason’s time was 52:24 (PR) and he finished 1364. Great day for him!


Filed under Racing, Running

A little bit of running, a whole lot of blogging and a big race this week


I hope everyone had a great weekend, and if you had races, that they all went even better than you expected! My weekend was busy but we didn’t race because we have the Crescent City Classic 10k coming up this weekend! I’m super excited about this race. It will be my 2nd time running there and Jason’s 3rd. I was expecting Zoe when he ran the 1st time…oh, and I wasn’t a runner then…wow,how times have changed! 

My training days usually start on Mondays which mainly consist of hill work. This week, I bumped my Monday run over to Sunday for two reasons. One was because I needed to get my runs done early this week so my legs can rest up for Saturday and because I had to be at our local tv station on Monday at 3. I’m now the WDAM TV blogger for our county, which is pretty exciting for me! I think it’s going to keep me pretty busy but I also think it will provide a great service to our community. I can’t wait to get started! Going there was really interesting and fun. The folks at the station were extremely nice and gave us such a warm welcome. We were given the grand tour of the station and shown all the ins and outs of how everything works. I even got to pretend I was doing the weather! After meeting with their web manager, we had the treat of getting to sit in and watch their live 5 o’clock newscast. It was a great experience and definitely worth moving my Monday run over one day.

This is me taking a stab at the green screen.

My run on Sunday was done at our school track (I know…I skipped hills).  I purposely went to the flat track because I’m helping my 13-year-old daughter get back into running some. We are strictly working on 1 mile now and she’s doing great. I walk one warm up lap with her and then we run a mile. It was also a good warm up for me because after we finished the mile, I ran my 5k. It was a hot one again and my time was stinky but a bad run is always better than no run at all! I had a little bit of a freak out moment after I finished that day because my left hamstring was so tight and almost felt as if it was having some kind of weird cramp. It stayed that way for a couple of hours and all I could picture was having some type of horrendous injury and not being able to run for weeks. Luckily, I was overreacting just a tad and everything seems ok with it now.

I need to work in 2 more runs this week before we go to New Orleans for our race. I’m thinking that if I do anything with hills or speed work, it should probably be today and then I’ll do a light run on Thursday. The last thing I need is to have weak legs while running 6.2 miles in the heat and humidity that is New Orleans!!  I would love to say that I will beat my chip time from last year but when you are running in a sea of 20,000 people (or more), there can be a lot of chances to be slowed down. We are going to try to line up in the very front of our group. Hopefully, we’ll avoid some of the congestion even though the first mile or so will probably a little hard to maneuver regardless of where we are.

I also received my running skirt and top that I plan on wearing in the race! I don’t usually buy anything specific for a race but I decided to be a little festive this time and get one in Mardi Gras colors. Some brave folks dress up in bunny outfits, super hero clothes and anything else you can imagine…..they are obviously better runners than me!! I don’t think I could function running even a mile in a bunny suit or even bunny ears if you get down to it. I have to keep it simple and keep distractions to a minimum. Hopefully, this outfit will help me stay cool, that’s my biggest concern!

My Crescent City Classic running outfit.

I’m still planning on writing about some of the things I eat before races and supplements but I may have to save that for my next blog. My day has been full and it’s not over yet! It seems like things are always non-stop around our house. I’m really looking forward to Friday night in New Orleans which means getting to go to bed super early! (I bet that’s strange to hear when someone is talking about New Orleans, lol.) I’m also looking forward to eating some really good food and going to the expo. We will take tons of pictures and I’ll post them in my recap of the race.

I hope your Tuesday has been a great one!

Here’s a video I found that was very inspirational to me and I wanted to share it. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

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Filed under Blogging, Racing, Running

Looking back at one year of Running, Racing and Reaching Goals

***Warning:  If you aren’t a runner or remotely interested in running, this may be the most boring thing you’ve read. Ever. Trust me.***

I was never a runner….that’s what I’ve always said.

I would see people out running and think how nice it would be to be able to do something like that but knew I never would because “I’m just not cut out for running”. I would watch with curiosity while Jason got his gear ready for a race the next morning and could never understand why in the world he had to get up so early to be at a race that started at 8 and was 15 minutes away.  It was, in fact, the most uninteresting thing to me in the world of exercise, mainly because I thought it was this big unattainable feat.

I had tried it before. I’d speed the treadmill up and go from a fast walk to a trot and I’d glare at the time ticking so slowly as I felt my legs burning and my chest tight because I could barely breathe. I’d press the button as fast as I could to slow it down and go back to my fast walk. I’d try it at the track. I would try to run the straight parts but most of the time I could barely make it from one end to the other before I thought I was going to absolutely collapse. “Who would want to do this and why am I even trying??” were a few of my thoughts. I would leave thinking, “I’ll just stick to walking.” and (again) “I’m just not a runner.”

It all started innocently enough last year, a few months after I had Zoe. I had started trying to ease into some type of exercise. I decided that taking some walks on pretty days would be one way to do it and I could bring the kids and push them in the stroller. My oldest daughter came too and on the days that it was too cold, she was sweet enough to offer to watch them while I went for my walk. My first walk consisted of walking to the first rest stop, which seemed far enough to me, and then walking back. If anyone is familiar with this part of the trace in Sumrall, you’ll know that I wasn’t exactly pushing it to the limit….in fact, my heart rate probably didn’t even change but I was trying. My next big venture was to walk all the way to the first car crossing, as I call it, and then go back. After a few times of doing that, I had the craziest thing come over me. I wanted to see if I could mix in just a few seconds of very slow running jogging with my walking. I always assured myself that I didn’t have to do it for long and then I could go back to walking as soon as I felt like I needed to. So that’s what I’d do. I would push the stroller for a little bit and then I’d hand it over to Becka and inform her that I was going to run for a min or two. It was more like 30 seconds or a minute but little by little, things were changing. One day, we got to our turnaround spot and I told her that I was just going to keep going for just a little ways more. Instead of walking, I jogged from that point until I was across the first car crossing, which is a pretty good stretch for a non runner! There was another one coming up. I walked until I got to it and then I jogged it too. I can’t really explain the excitement I felt but it’s kind of like when you’re first learning to ride a bike and you actually stay on it long enough to pedal a few times before you wipe out again. You can actually feel it, get a taste of how it could be if you could just keep pedaling. So, I turned around and did it again and then after that, I walked a little and then jogged until I caught up with the kids. I was exhilarated! Suddenly, I began having thoughts that maybe I could try to do this every time and maybe I could actually start trying to run a little more than I walked. Crazy? Yes. Did I try it? Of course.

Fast forward a few weeks to February 8, 2010. I went alone that day. I had my new Nike+ gadget that goes with my Ipod. I’d only used it a couple of times. The last walk/run I had gone on was a few days before and I’d gone 12k (about 7 miles). There was something on this day (Feb.8) that made me decide I was going to just try to start out running….slowly. As always, I reminded myself that I didn’t have to keep it up if I started feeling bad, so I hit play on my Ipod and away I went. Step after step, my smile seemed to get bigger and bigger although in the back of my mind, I still wondered how far was going to be “far enough” and I’d have to walk. I had set my distance for a 5k. Could I do this? As I clip-clopped along, the lady on my Ipod informed me I had completed 1km. All that I could think about was that I was still running and I wasn’t ready to stop yet. Before I knew it, the little voice from my ear buds cheerfully announced “Halfway point”. Halfway point?? Already?? I was really doing this…slowly…but I was doing it. The only reason I wanted it to be over was so I could call Jason and tell him what I’d just done. Then the countdown began. 400 meters, 300 meters, 200….I was nearly there and I hadn’t stopped once. This was huge. My little lady friend on the Ipod congratulated me for completing my run, it was if I’d finished a marathon. I had tears in my eyes but it was from being so very happy. I took the next day off but could only think of when I could go again and when I did (2 days later) I ran 8k. Looking back, I shouldn’t have kept pushing distance so soon but I was in awe of how my body adjusted and how much better I felt. Seven days later, I ran my first 10k distance and made up my mind then that I was going to run in the Crescent City Classic in April. I think Jason probab thought I’d lost my mind.

My first race ever was on March 19, the Irish-Italian Festival in Hattiesburg. It was more so I could get the feel of how it was to run with other people in a competitive environment because I surely didn’t place. I liked the feeling of a race. I liked the excitement and I really liked being there as a racer, not a spectator.

My first 5k race. Italian Irish 5k March 19,2010

Crescent City Classic was only a couple of weeks away (April 3) and it would be only my 2nd race ever! When the race weekend finally came, I suddenly realized I had a some quirks too when it came time to get ready for the next morning. (I also thoroughly enjoyed eating the great pasta meal that we’re encouraged to eat the night before a big race!!) There were so many people there! Jason had tried to prepare me on how it would be because he had run in it the year before but I really had no clue. I also quickly found out that not everyone lines up in their correct corral. This meant that as I was running along, I’d suddenly have to come to a squealing halt and then dart right or left to avoid plowing into a cluster of ladies that were walking and visiting and pulling a wagon and even sometimes had their arms linked. I caught on fast and began looking for open spots before I had to slam on brakes. I think it’s all just part of being in a race with 20,000 other people, unless your one of the ones on front wearing a white bib, which means you’ll never even realize how many people are in the race because you’ll finish before half of us make it to the half way point. After the first few miles, I settled in and truly enjoyed myself. People were everywhere cheering us on, bands played, some even had their sprinklers on and pointed in our direction (I would run out of my way to go right through them too!). When I crossed the finish line I felt like I was on top of the world. The only thing missing was Jason to give me a hug or a high five….literally, he was missing. I immediately decided he had broken a leg or had a heart attack during the race. Funny enough, he was thinking the same thing about me. Apparently, just a few minutes before I finished, some poor guy had a seizure after he crossed the finish line and they made Jason and others move away. So, he missed seeing me cross, finally went back to wait for me and started getting pretty worried when I never showed up. I was waiting in what I thought was our designated meeting spot but I kept moving around because I kept thinking maybe that wasn’t it after all. It took about an hour but we finally found each other and low and behold neither of us had broken bones or had been hospitalized. It was a great experience and also one of the longest races I figured I’d ever run. Ever. Who are those crazies that run those half and full marathons???  Not me, thank you very much.

Before the Crescent City Classic. April 3,2010

Sometime after Crescent City Classic and before the Okatoma Festival 5k (May 1) I began suffering from what I thought were just shin splints. This was really starting to become a problem with my training and on top of that the weather was warming up. I had never run in pain and I had never run in the heat. Mix those together and things were starting to get ugly. I ran a race in my hometown of Columbia on April 24 with a time of 34:41. By the time I finished the Okatoma race a week later, I thought my leg was literally going to break off. My time was 32:54. I was disappointed, I was hurt (physically) and I was suddenly wondering, again, if I was really  cut out for all of this.

Crossing the finish line in my 2nd 5k race in Columbia. We ran in an absolute monsoon. April 24

Crossing the finish line, Okatoma Festival 5k. May 1st

We decided that maybe I should take some time off for awhile and let me leg heal. I was devastated but knew I had to. It didn’t get any better. It hurt when I ran, walked, when I stood still, even when I tried to sleep it hurt. It was time to go to the doctor. They examined me and x-rayed my leg. The doctor said he was pretty sure that it was a stress fracture but that it wouldn’t show up on an x-ray until it had healed. He advised no running for 6-8 weeks. Wow. We bought an elliptical machine to help me through that time but it was really hard to deal with. Anyone that runs on a regular basis will understand what I’m talking about.

I slowly and nervously started getting back into the swing of things again around the end of July. As I began to get back my confidence and strength, I also started wondering about pushing my distance a little more. I mentioned to Jason that the thought had crossed my mind about attempting a half marathon one day. I believe he looked at me the same way he did when I mentioned running the Crescent City Classic.

We began to look at training plans. It wasn’t long before we knew that he’d be ready long before I would be. Because he was beginning to peak with his training, he decided to run the Orange Beach Half Marathon Nov.30 and I ran the 5k. I still was determined to run one too.

After the race in Orange Beach. It was soooo cold that day!!!! November 30,2010

As I began to bump up my mileage, I started to realize that this might be the kind of running I was meant to do. I could run slower (without feeling the pressure of having to be fast) and because I was running a little slower, I could run and run and run. I loved that I could almost forget that I was even running and could just enjoy myself. I even loved my black toenails!

My black toenails from running. Gross maybe....but for me it means I've been putting in major mileage!

We were looking at either the Rock and Roll Half in New Orleans or the half in Long Beach as possible dates to aim for and finally settled on Long Beach. Ironically, it was their Carnival Association’s first time to have a half marathon so I think it was a good fit for me. I didn’t go to bed the night before until nearly midnight, which wasn’t my plan but Zoe wasn’t ready to go to sleep. So after riding all around the Biloxi Regional Airport a few times, we actually drove down to Long Beach to where the race would be held.  That’s when I realized I was nervous. I had never been nervous for a race (I’d only be in a few).  I’d always been a little excited, a little amped up but not really nervous. The next morning, I had settled down some and was ready for the race to begin. We were able to take some great pictures with the beautiful sunrise as our backdrop. The race began and people shot by me as if we were in a 5k race. It was the hardest thing in the world to make myself stay on pace. I didn’t want everyone, including one very fast speed walking grandmother, to pass me! Lots did though and I just kept going at the pace I knew would see me through until the end. There were NO mile markers and my trusty Nike+ wasn’t exactly giving me an accurate reading but the one thing I did know was that, at some point, we had to turn around and at least I’d loosely know where I was. I really needed to know when I was starting to get close to the end because I wanted to bump my speed up. Something I learned that day was this: When you’re running by the beach on a flat, straight course, you can see where the finish line is for a really long, long time. Finally, I had an idea. There had also been a 5k race that morning and I remembered passing their turnaround point when our race started. I knew that when I finally got there, the finish line was close! Another thing I discovered is that when you aren’t exactly sure where you are, it feels like it goes on forever. Imagine my dismay when my Ipod congratulated me for completing my half marathon and I hadn’t reached the 5k turnaround point I’d been searching so feverishly for! The thrill of the countdown of those last 400 meters kind of lost their appeal when it was obvious I was no where near finishing. Kind of a spirit breaker, to say the least but I decided to just laugh about it. When the little lady came on and said I had gone 1 mile over my goal, I just laughed and said out loud, “Yeah right!” I’m sure the people around me thought I was crazy but hey, aren’t we all just a little, especially when we’re getting ourselves through a long run. Finally, the elusive turnaround appeared and I felt rejuvenated. As I approached the end and could see people waiting, it didn’t matter that my Ipod wasn’t feverishly counting down every step I made. I could see my family! My husband was there. My sister and her family were there and I couldn’t resist swinging close and giving them a high five as I passed by and then smiling big for the camera because I WAS CROSSING THE FINISH LINE! I’ve never gotten any medals in my first year of running so when they gave me my medal, I could have been receiving Olympic gold!  It ended almost how I had imagined many times when I had been training and visualizing the finish line, except I had kind of imagined a better time too, but you do those things when your dreaming big. The best thing was that I had set a goal that I would have never imagined even wanting to do a year before and I did it.

Almost to the finish line! January 30,2011

After the Half in Long Beach. January 30,2011

So, here I am now nearly full circle. It’s been a year and I’m preparing for the Crescent City Classic once again with probably a 5k race a few weeks before. I truly can’t believe how far I’ve come in a year and how many possibilities lie ahead of me. I’ll do another half marathon again and my husband and I have even been throwing around the idea of a marathon at some point…but probably not anytime soon. My vocabulary has evolved and now includes words like speed work, pace, PR, long runs, tempo runs, hill training, etc. I’m now making sure I am always properly hydrated and that I eat plenty of protein. I’ve also learned that all carbs aren’t bad. I’ve learned that with the proper clothes and shoes, a run can be a lot more enjoyable and that while my Ipod/Nike+ is a good guide, it may not be entirely correct. I’ve realized that our bodies will adapt. They love to move and even if they haven’t moved in a long time (I don’t mean just to get up to turn the tv on either), they can if you just give yourself a little time to adjust.

We were designed to be active. If we’d been created to sit on our rear ends constantly, we wouldn’t have leg muscles that have the potential to be so strong!  I’ve always known this but now I believe it because after 5 5k races, 1 10k race, 1 half marathon, 50+lbs lost, 1 year and 386 miles later, I’m living it.

My only advice I have is this:

  • If you are thinking about trying out running for the first time – Take a chance and just try. Don’t give up after the first time or two. Give it a chance, give your body a chance. You can do it!
  • If you’ve just started running in the last month or so – keep going! Don’t decide you hate it if you have a few bad runs because bad runs happen sometimes. Find out what went wrong and correct it for the next time. You’re at the beginning of a whole new world opening up for you.
  • If you’re an old pro at this – Thanks for being an example and giving us new folks someone to aspire to be like. Keep on lacing up and putting in those miles. You don’t know who you might be inspiring.

I was never a runner... I am one now.

1 Corinthians 9:24

Philippians 4:13



Filed under Running