Showing posts from 2013

Marathon from Hell Part 1

Completed marathon #3:
X-Country Marathon in Alafia River State Park Nov 17, 2013

Started with hubby, Alyssa, Jenni, Hea, Mike, and Zach. The course was two 13.1 laps around the park.

Completed half due to injury: Hea

Completed half due to no desire to finish this ridiculously unfun trail race, plus didn't care whether he ever finished a marathon in his life: hubby

That means we lost two out of seven people in our group alone. There were likely a lot more DNFs at this race.

I imagine there are worse marathons. The Sahara Desert Marathon, for example. The hills in places like San Francisco make it difficult to even compare to the X-Country Marathon in Florida. There are inclines, not hills. Therefore, I resisted titling this post Worst Marathon Ever. It was my worst ever, but there are so many factors contributing to why some races are tougher than others.

This one was tough, first of all, because it was 85 degrees and humid. Total fluke. No one's fault. It didn't help t…

Reindeer Run 5K in Sea World

I know I said MARATHON FROM HELL post would be next, but I'm interjecting with a quick Christmas race update....and then I swear the marathon post (in two parts) is coming!

On Dec 14th, I ran this fun Christmas race with many family members. What a blast! I was sad to miss the Jingle Bell Run 5K that I've done for the past three years in a row in St. Pete.


Running through Sea World was amazing. Alyssa and I ran together the whole time. Aunt Elena, Aunt Alicia, and Uncle Warren walked the race together with Alicia's friend, Kim. This would actually be a great race to walk because there's so much to see. They had beautiful Christmas decor. We got to see the dolphins. There were lots of picture spots. So wonderful and fun. And it snowed on us.

Alyssa had spoken to several friends who were running the race, but she didn't expect to find any of them in the crowd of 4,500. We're at the starting line (rather, in the crowd about a quarter mile away) and she sa…

PR 10K back in May

Long overdue post, I know. The terrible marathon post will be next.

Back in May, hubby and I ran the Police Appreciation Run 10K in downtown St. Pete. At least one of us has done it every year since it began in 2011, and I'm sure we'll do it every year to come in support of Lorraine Yaslowitz's (wife of a fallen officer) foundation.

This inspiring race video was made by Erik Mathre.

To see me and hubby finishing, scroll to 4:47.

Also you can click here for a link to his photo gallery from the race.

Something amazing happened that day. I wasn't trying to PR, just wanted to keep up with hubby. So I guess if I want to PR in the future, the goal should be to keep up with someone faster than me.

We started off too fast for me with a group of his buddies. I thought to myself, I'll keep up for as long as I can, and I'll back off when I have to. I expected to slow after three miles (halfway) but that point came and went, and I still had hubby in my sights. He and som…

Now on Amazon: Lance & Ringo Tails

Sorry for the shameless plug, but I will be back to talk about the WORST MARATHON EVER! shortly now that my book is finally published.

Paperback now on Amazon just in time for Christmas!
Lance & Ringo Tails:
The wild adventures of a dog and a cat as told by their human

Paperback: $9.99 on Amazon and CreateSpace
Kindle Edition: $3.99
(Prime members borrow for free)

To buy your copy, use the links below.

Paperback: $9.99

e-book: $3.99
Kindle Store (Prime members with a Kindle device borrow for free)

Marathon tomorrow

There are seven Team SPOR Runners doing the X-Country Marathon tomorrow at Alafia River State Park. Hea, Mike, Zach, Alyssa, Jenni, hubby, and me.

I'm trying not to think about it because I'm quite nervous. But I know it will be fun, especially with our great group of people.

I've been focused on my fiction writing lately, so I haven't been updating on my training, but I'm as trained as I can be. Now I just need to relax and give it to God because it's out of my control.

Hea and I did 21 miles together three weeks ago. I've got a blood-blistered toe to prove it. After horrible 16 and 18 milers, I was relieved the 21 went as well as it did. No major issues (didn't feel the toe until it was over).

The following Saturday we did 12. Last weekend hubby and I did 8. Oh, tapering. So lovely. This last week I carbed up and today I'm doing my eating regimen that I discovered works best for me on runs longer than a half marathon distance. Every two hours, I…

14 miles and up

Hubby, Hea, Mike, and I are in full swing with marathon training. We also have three other friends who will be running the X-Country Marathon with us in November: Alyssa, Jenni, and Zach.

We have a team! So we came up with a team name and shirts.

TEAM SPOR RUNNERS because some of us live in SP (St. Pete) and some of us live in OR (Orlando).

I know, it looks like we left of the T in SPORT. Or, as one of my forum friends described it, that the E in SPORE is missing and we're a "group of escaped infectious lab test subjects from some fungus-based zombie disease, a la The Last of Us."

In my mind, SPOR rhymes with Thor so we can raise our fists and shout, "By the power of SPOR!"

Anyway, Friday night Hea, hubby, and I ran 14 miles. We had fun, chatted a lot which helped the time pass, but it wasn't easy. Especially since next Saturday we're scheduled to run 16. The miles just keep going up and up.

I still haven't posted about the Police Appreciation Run…

Vlog: Running with Dad

I visited my family in Yuma, AZ for a week in August. Mom, Dad, and a sister live out there. I happened to fly in the night before Dad's birthday. He turned 62.

So naturally, we got up and ran six miles together on his birthday.

I had to work hard to keep up with Dad. He likes to say he was trying to keep up with me, but he's just being nice.

I'm so blessed to have a running family. So many people in my fam run (most a lot faster than me).

Dad and I are training for marathons. He's doing the Yuma Marathon in January, and I'm doing the X-Country Marathon in November. He's done...I want to say five marathons now. I'm not positive about that, but he did his first marathon in his fifties. For about a year, he had knee problems and took a break from marathons. Now he's back and feeling great.

At Gasparilla one year, he ran a 3:55 (yes, a sub 4-hour marathon).  He was ten minutes off the Boston Qualifier. Now that he's over 60, he has the chance to…

Vlog Adventures In Running: Locked Out

Today, Lance (my dog) and I got up and ran three miles. We do a certain route that involves circling the big park near our house and some running through neighborhoods. At one point, I thought Lance could run without his gentle leader.

However, as soon as I took it off, he slipped his collar. I tried walking on and calling him after me, which often works, but he decided to play keep away. Of course, this made me nervous. Thankfully, we weren't beside a busy road. He stayed in the grass, and soon had to pee. When he squatted, I darted up and got the collar and leash back on.

Disaster averted!

That is until we finished. In the vlog, I explain our next disaster.

Thank you, Jesus, that the iTouch could pick up our wifi outside! Hubby came home and saved the day. Next time, I'm tying the key to my shoelaces.

The Claw Run 10 Miles...and a BIG surprise at the end

Back on April 28th, I ran the Claw Run 10 Miles with hubby, Hea, and Mike. Our friends Robert and Russ ran the 5 Miles. This race in beautiful Alafia River State Park has become a favorite of mine. I can't believe someone had to talk me into doing it the first time.

We ran through forest trails, up and down hills and berms, through a green valley that smelled like mint, slid on our butts down steep slopes, splashed through ankle-deep water, and waded through a waist-deep river (probably my favorite part because it's a wonderful cool down).

The best of all was that the four of us stayed together. Usually I'm at the back of the pack but someone is always kind enough to stay with me like Hea or Alyssa (who sadly couldn't make it this year). But this time, we ran as a group and felt like a team.

Of course, staying together still meant staying with the slowest person (me), so I was especially grateful that everyone stuck to the plan. Later, it became clear why Mike, the f…

A lovely day for a 15K

I have yet to blog about the last races I did before summer. Next time, I'll blog about The Claw Run 10 miles, which turned out to be quite a wonderful adventure with a big surprise at the end. After that, I'll blog about the Police Appreciation Run 10K where I had a great time with my hubby.

In the meantime, I was thrilled to run 15K (about 9.3 miles) on Wednesday because I haven't gone that far in a while.

The summer heat has been ferocious, so it's difficult to go more than 3 or 4 miles at a time. I still refuse to get up early enough to avoid the sun, so I have to suffer for it when I do run. I've been fairly consistent, running every other day between 2 and 6 miles. My neighborhood is okay, but I like some variety in scenery.

I searched how far it was to the nearest beach (Treasure Island). A round trip was about 15K. I decided to run part of the route on Monday to see how it felt. Much of it was beautiful with lots of cloud cover, which I appreciated. I got …

Adventures in Running: My First Marathon

I've been MIA on this blog for a while. My focus has been writing and editing my fiction efforts, but I promised to share my first marathon adventure, so I'm finally going to do it.

AIR: My First Marathon
Disney January 2009.

It was the week before my wedding.

No lie. Seven days after running my first marathon, I walked down the aisle and married my best friend. I DO NOT recommend this to anyone. Wedding time frame part, not the marrying best friend part. That I highly recommend.

In my defense, I signed up for the marathon prior to getting engaged. The wedding date worked out best for whatever reasons. I can't even remember why now. The six months leading up to the marathon/wedding were probably the most stressful of my entire life. Marathon training takes so much time and energy. So does wedding planning. On a positive side, most of my family came to cheer my marathon finish because they were already in town for the wedding. That was a huge blessing.

My dearest cousin, A…

A few words about Boston 2013

Due to the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I'm holding off on sharing my first marathon experience. That post is coming next.
I don't usually comment publicly about current events or politics. I talk about my faith in Jesus Christ every once in a while. When I do, I try to share my relationship with him and how it relates to my running rather than preaching to others.
Outside my usual boundaries, I'm compelled to share my thoughts regarding the acts of terrorism near the finish line in Boston. I'm so sad and so horrified. My heart broke when I saw the news coverage. I couldn't watch some of it, and I couldn't look at most of the pictures. It was too horrific, and I wasn't even there.
Now that one suspect is dead and one is caught, I want to scream at them, how dare you? How dare you try to destroy what I consider one of the most beautiful expressions of the human spirit to strive and persist in adversity, even against the cry of one's own flesh?…

Honda Grand Prix 5K 2013 (and not complaining)

I almost forgot to write about this race. Maybe because I ran it alone, which I almost never do. Of course, I ran into some wonderful friends like Karen and her family and Dawn and her family, so I didn't really feel alone. That's the great thing about racing locally. I can pretty much count on running into a friend or two.

I started this post to complain about my terrible attempt to run eight miles today, which turned into a sluggish six miles where my face cracked under the heat of the sun (like a dummy, I forgot sunscreen). When did complaining ever help me anyway?

Instead I'll mention that I did the Honda Grand Prix 5K last Friday in a chip time of 26:56. Pretty great for me! I was feeling good at first, probably started a little faster than normal, but for the most part I think I held the pace well.

According to the calculator, I ran 8.68 minute/miles.

Really, that's fantastic for me. Praise Jesus for consistency and persistence even when I have a rough run like …

Announcement: Marathon #3 with hubby

That's right. I'm doing it again. And hubby is doing his first marathon.

What marathon are we signed up for and when?
The X-Country Marathon on Nov 17, 2013

This is a trail marathon in beautiful Alafia River State Park (east of Tampa). Same place where we run The Claw Run 10 Miles. We're signed up for that race again at the end of April.

Hubby doesn't like road races, but has wanted to run a marathon. When we found out about this trail marathon not too far from us, he said he would be interested in doing it someday. That day is now officially on the calendar. And it's not expensive. Only $55 for early sign-up. Hea and Mike are signed up. Hopefully, Alyssa will be able to join us, too.

I once swore that I would never run a marathon. And then Alyssa talked me into Disney 2009 which was the week before my wedding. I don't recommend that, by the way.

After the Disney Marathon, I swore that I would never run another marathon again. Well, except maybe I would run the …

Not in the mood, but doing it anyway

Sometimes, I don't feel like running. But I'm sure I'm not the only one.

At one point, this was my default setting. I rarely felt like running, and only ran because I thought I should. When I first started distance running in college, I pretty much hated it. It took about two years before that changed. By the third year, I actually admitted to someone that I loved running.

Yes, that's right, running. I love you.

No, it would never give me a ring, but the shiny medals will do. It doesn't even bother me that everybody gets those.

You know what else, running? I hate you.

My tag line for this blog is "I love to hate running." It's the best way I can describe the relationship.

I managed to run three times this week, and I'm proud of that. I had a hard time getting out there. Sorry for the TMI, but I especially hated running this week for a personal reason. Many of us call her Aunt Flow.

For me, one of the best ways to prevent myself from skipping jogs…

Weedon Island Trails

There are certain places where I love to run. Weedon Island Preserve is one of them. It's far enough away now that I don't often get to run there. Plus they don't allow dogs.

Hubby and I decided to run there yesterday for about an hour. He knows the trails, luckily, because I would get extremely lost without him. The trail run is hubby's favorite type. I also love trail running. It's like an adventure. And Weedon is really pretty.

My pace is much slower than hubby's, so he decided to make it more challenging for the first two miles. He filled a bag with forty pounds of sand. Then he put that bag in a backpack. Then he put that backpack on his back.

Yes, hubby is hardcore. Those who know him will not be surprised by this. Me, on the other hand? I can barely carry myself during a run. So the first two miles, we were at my pace, but hubby kept up like a champ. And even sped up as we got back to the car where he dropped off his pack.

Friday cooled dow…

Tangent: my first e-book publication and a contest

As described in my profile, I'm not only a runner but also a writer. Some of you may have visited my writing blog, but for those who haven't, I'm taking a tangent from running chat to announce my first e-book publication.

I have two wild and crazy pets who are so adorable and fun. Lance is an English Springer Spaniel and Ringo is a long-haired domestic cat. A few months ago, I started writing fictionalized short stories from their perspective. I started a blog to promote the stories.

Contest: Right now, I'm running the first contest on the Lance & Ringo Tails blog. Click the link, post a comment anywhere on that blog, and you'll be to entered to win a set of handmade bookmarks.

Tail One: The first story is available now. Click the title to purchase for $0.99 in the Kindle Store. Amazon Prime members can borrow for free.

O Brother, What Art Thou?

I'm already working on Tail Two and having a ton of fun with these stories. I hope to have a new story released on…

St Pete Rock N Roll Half 2013

After my rare and delightful runner's high, I pretty much expected a runner's low. The twelve-miler was a week and three days prior to the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, so I decided to rest until the race. I ran one stair jog, but that was it.

The half marathon was tons of fun, especially while running and chatting with my dear cousin, Alyssa. Like last year, they had bands every mile. Music helps mentally boost me. Catching up with Alyssa for 2:21:47 (our chip time) feeds my soul.

 Our good friend, J.J., spotted us on the course, so we got to have some of the race documented. I don't like carrying things, such as phone/camera, so it's really nice to have friends taking photos.

This was not a low after all, but nothing close to the high either. Around mile nine or ten, I felt the normal challenges of a half marathon. Legs hurting, my right glute started going numb, making it difficult to lift my right knee, and I was pretty much ready to be done. All the usual things…

Vlog: Running HIGH!

Verse speaking to me: 1 Corinthians 9:26
Song speaking to me: Starálfur by Sigur Rós

Today, the goal was twelve miles after work. My last twelve before St. Pete Rock N Roll Half. Thursday is not my early day, so hubby asked me to be careful running downtown. Inevitably, it would be dark when I finished. I estimated 7pm so he'd have an idea when to expect the call with a panting, "dun." He's got good reason for concern, as you will see later in the post.

I don't even know if I can describe what happened. The entire experience was surreal.

I started out kinda fast for me. Then I thought, just go with it. Maybe you can finish quicker, less running in the dark. If not, whatever. I'd slow down when I needed to.

The weird thing is, I didn't need to. It was almost out-of-body, but not quite. I felt the visceral experience that is a runner's high, and I LIKED IT.

Even when I got home, it didn't go away. So naturally, I made a video of my runner's hi…

Oh, Stairs

About once a week, I try to run stairs. Some weeks I miss, meaning the next time will likely be harder. Stairs are not forgiving when missed.

Florida, for the most part, is flat. I have relatives near the Clermont area where there are some rolling hills. Not in St. Pete. I don't think overpasses count.

Often, I run stairs at the five-story parking garage at work. My routine is to jog up and down seven times. The quick workout makes me feel like I've accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Why? Because it hurts! Stairs never fail to push me. I'd like to be able to do more, but I'm usually dragging and out of breath by the last rep. Especially if I've missed a week or more.

 The way down is not always better than the way up, either. At the beginning, sure, it's nice. But soon jelly legs kick in. I think I could grab the rails if I needed to prevent a tumble.

Why are stair jogs important to me?

Living in a flat area, I struggle when I have a race…

Ten and Two

I had planned on doing a twelve miler tomorrow. I get off work early on Fridays, so it gives me time to finish before dark.

While arranging my schedule, I decided to get the twelve done before the long weekend (my dedicated writing weekend, see writing blog). So last night, I split up my twelve into a ten and a two.

I changed after work (my usual routine), and ran the downtown St. Pete waterfront route that I love. Beforehand, I planned to do eight miles. Because it would be getting dark by the time I finished, I would leave and run four more around the park near my house.

Something happened, an extremely rare occurrence for me. I felt so good that I decided to keep going and do ten miles. Thank you, Jesus, for those moments! It makes me feel like a real runner.

As my last blog showed, more often I have to do LESS mileage than I plan, and walk when I don't plan on it.

There were probably a hundred people running along the waterfront, which makes me happy. Run, St. Pete, run! The …

Vlog: January Heat & The Color Run

Hot, humid, and had to walk. There's the pain I've been waiting for! Yes, it was a tough one. And I expected it to be hard, so that probably helped me in the long run. This vlog was taken last Friday during a nine miler with a little walking.

Even though I intended to run ten, I'm still happy with my progress. The St. Pete Rock N Roll Half is several weeks away. I've got time to keep building.

In Orlando over the weekend, I got to cheer for my cousin, Alyssa, and her roommie, Jenni. They did The Color Run 5K with some 10,000 other people. That would be A/J (my heroes) that I've blogged about many times.

Love these girls.

They described the race as extremely casual and fun. Many walkers, some joggers, and four color stations where they spray/cover you. Even more coloring at the after party (pic).

I definitely want to do it next year. There's one in St. Pete that my friend Rachel did but the race was already full. I better sign up early.

Next Friday, I'm try…

Honking at Runners (please don't), Stretching, & Sunburn

To the person who honked at me today: you may be someone I know, but I have no idea.

As a general rule, if you honk because we know each other, I will probably never figure it out in that moment. It's too hard to make out a person's face in the car, especially tinted windows. I am a spaced-out kind of runner. I'm aware of my surroundings, but not so much auditory awareness. Meaning loud noises are shocking and usually obnoxious. I'm almost always listening to podcasts. Not so loud that I'm unable to hear things around me. But it means there is someone talking in my ear and I'm trying to listen, whether it be Two Gomers Run For Their Lives or one of the many fiction podcasts I subscribe to (Dunesteef, TGMG, Journey Into, Podcastle, Escape Pod, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Roundtable Podcast) which are all really good and entertaining. Helpful distractions while running.

The thing about getting honked at while running, it never has the intended effec…