Showing posts from 2014

Halloween Halfathon 2014

Yes, it's mid-November and I'm just getting around to the Halloween Halfathon. In a nutshell, Team Hea and Bria had a blast!

We finished faster than I expected: 2:17:52 chip time. That includes a bathroom stop. We averaged 10:37 mins/mile. I'm really happy about that! Because Mike came as support, he helped push Hea and I along perhaps a bit faster than if he hadn't been there. Not too bad, though. Mile 11 was the longest of all (strange how that works), but we still managed a strong finish.

Hubby brought Lance to cheer, but I had told him to expect us no sooner than 2:25. Thinking he was early, he showed up literally one minute after we finished. But he did capture the above photo of all three of us.

One of the best things about this race (besides the wonderful organization, fun medals, and route through Ft. Desoto) is all the fun costumes. I thought Hea's costume was cleverly simple. So many people had run-ready costumes that they must've found online. I cou…

Sunrise Run 5K 2014

Our first race of the season! It's always an exciting time, even though I'm only signed up for two more races at the moment. One of my favorites, the Women's Half Marathon here in November, was canceled for no given reason. I've heard from a reliable source that a low number of sign-ups was the cause. That seems crazy to me because it's always a huge turnout.

Anyway, back to the Sunrise Run! This is one of my favorite 5Ks ever. Karen VanderPloeg, a sweet friend and sister in Christ, created this faith-based race several years ago. Because of her health, she was unable to have the run for the last couple of years. I was so happy when she announced that it was coming back. Many friends from the church I used to attend and the one where I attend now were there either volunteering or running. What a blessing to reconnect with these dear friends, some that I hadn't seen in years!

I understand from Karen that she had major support from the local race director of Flo…

Summer Sum Up

Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Humperdink is.... Wait, no, that's another story.

Today, I'm back after a long time lapse. I've blogged about writing quite a bit over at Writing for the Love. But it's been a tough summer for running. I feel like that every summer, but this one felt worse than others. It didn't rain as much as usual, and I have a theory that the heat index was higher because of it. The humidity...killer.

Although my running suffered from consistency this summer, I still ran fairly regularly. Thanks to the bi-weekly group runs at St. Pete Running Company, I was able to join in a few times and ran with friends new and old.

They think up such fun things for the group runs. More on the SPRC below.

On Wednesday mornings, I got up early to meet a friend, Terry of Running With Jesus. That's always helpful when it comes to having someone waiting for you. Good motivator.

A few times, I decided to run to places like the post office …

Run 4 on the 4th with the St. Pete Running Company

When I set my alarm for seven this morning, I knew there was a chance I would simply turn it off and sleep on since I didn't get to bed until midnight last night. That's exactly what I did. My alarm beeped, I shut it off, and decided not to rise until hubby did. He'd be getting up soon (helping his uncle on a house project), but I didn't realize how soon. Twenty minutes after I shut mine down, his went off. I took that as a nudge from above to stop snoozing and do what I was thinking about doing all day yesterday: go on a run with some strangers.

On Facebook, I had seen a public invitation to come out and run with the St. Pete Running Company, a new store only five minutes from my house. Recently, I ran into Coach Dillon, the cross country coach when I was in high school. He mentioned the new store, so I liked their Facebook page. For today's run, they were calling it Run 4 on the 4th. That sounded great. I wanted to run today anyway, but would've been going s…

I run not to go fast, but to go far

Today I wanted to run to the beach. It's a treat for me, but there's a cost. Ten miles. And I don't get to end at the beach, that's just the halfway point. But I love running to the water. There's just something about it. And most of the route (miles two through eight) is really beautiful.

This morning I left around six thirty. Not early enough. It was soooo hot and humid already. I knew from the first mile that the run would be a challenge to finish, and that I'd end up walking some of it.

Things I should've done differently:

~Gone to bed earlier last night

~Woken up earlier this morning

~Drank more water yesterday

On Tuesday, I got up intending to run about four miles, and ended up doing seven. NOT normal for me. But some kind of fluke cold(er) front had settled over St. Pete. The cloud cover kept me from getting any direct beatings from the sun (not the case today). I thought this was probably the last cool day I'd have for a while. I should keep go…

Happy National Running Day!

I didn't realize it was National Running Day until I saw people posting about it on Facebook. Because I started meeting with a friend, Terry, each Wednesday morning to run, we already celebrated NRD without knowing it!

These days my running averages three to ten miles about three times a week. It's that time of year where starting after sunrise becomes more and more challenging.

When I do manage to crawl out of bed before sunrise (like today), it makes a huge difference. This was a wonderfully cool morning. Terry and I had a great time chatting, getting to know each other better, lifting each other up in encouragement, and praising God for the gift of another day to run.

If I get a late start, I still try to run consistently with my planned goal of every other day. So my punishment for hitting snooze is suffering through the heat.

A few pics from a late start a couple weeks ago at the pier:

I love running downtown. And this particular day wasn't terribly hot either, but a…

Marathon from heaven: Clearwater Part III

When I left off, Alyssa and I were halfway done. We had gotten water twice so far, and we both felt pretty good. At Mile 14, we saw a porta-potty and both decided we needed to use it. There was no line (always nice) and it was clean. Afterward, we got water at the station and went over one last small bridge heading inland. 
The next two miles, we went through some neighborhoods with lots of shade. Although we had none before, I hadn't felt overheated. I think the temp at that point just broke 60. I took my first nibble of Shot Blok at the Mile 16 water station.
Just before Mile 18, we hopped onto the Pinellas Trail heading north back toward Clearwater. The full sun quickly warmed us up, but I wasn't too hot. I mean, it was still at least twenty degrees cooler than the last marathon. And all that water I drank the day before helped, I'm sure.
But poor Alyssa was feeling it. I should mention that she didn't really train for this race. After the X-Country Marathon (from hell…

Marathon from heaven: Clearwater Part II

At 6:30 AM on Jan 19th, hubby dropped Alyssa and I off at Coachman Park. A ride to and from any race is such a blessing. Alyssa and I have decided it's essential for a marathon. We don't recommend driving yourself if you don't have to.
A side trip about my pre-race eating habits: I have finally learned what works best for me and my uber-tender running stomach. It tells me loud and clear what it does and doesn't like.

The problem? During long runs when I haven't eaten the way my body wants me to, what I have often felt is motion sickness. At least, that's the closest thing I can compare it to.

Once in the fall during a late evening run with Hea (18 miles), it felt like that creature from Alien was about to burst through my diaphragm. Mainly because I ate a sea salted almond around mile eight. Body rejected. It should've been an unsalted almond, but now I can't eat any type of almonds before or during a run. The other thing I've learned is that my sto…

Marathon from heaven: Clearwater

After running three marathons that went from bad to worse, I thought it must be impossible to enjoy a marathon.

I'm overjoyed to be proven wrong. Of course, training and eating right makes a difference. The right shoes make a difference. Some of those things affected my previous marathons, and I finally learned what my body wanted to eat, how it wanted to train, and what shoes were best for me.

A lot of prayer has gotten me through each of my marathons, and there is something wonderful about how terrible they were before Jan 19th. It's much easier to say that in hindsight, of course. I had to rely on Jesus, lean on him, draw strength from him in my weakness. It's a great place to grow.

From the moment I started distance running in college, I became the Anti-Running Runner. It was this burden that I knew I had to carry if I wanted to get through any of my jogs. There were always things that helped, like running with Alyssa and other family and friends. But it's always …

Why Alyssa and I are running another marathon

Why??? Are you crazy???

That is the question. Why would Alyssa and I do another marathon so soon after the Marathon from Hell?

There are some good reasons for us to do the Clearwater Marathon on Jan 19th. At least we think so.

We had a free race coming after the Halloween Halfathon in 2012 where we didn't receive medals until later in the mail. We received a sincere apology AND a complimentary race from the race director (unexpected and very kind) to any of their events, so we naturally chose a marathon.

This race can't possibly be worse than the Marathon from Hell.

We're pretty trained up already.

The course is mostly flat (and we believe them) with a few bridges and spectacular views.

This is probably our last big race together for quite a while. We'll be staying together the whole time chatting, whi…

Marathon from Hell Part II

To pick up where I left off...

Around mile 11, I started feeling it. I'm convinced it was full-on 85 degrees at that point, it was so hot. That same feeling I usually get around mile 18 came and I was already struggling. Alyssa promised to stay with me, and we slowed the pace. Jenni went ahead on her own where she experienced those heat stroke symptoms I mentioned in Part I. It felt like a really long two miles to get the halfway mark. In my mind, I kept thinking, We have to do this again. Ugh.

And then we were introduced to the sand pit. That's right. A sand pit. Not hard sand, but a half-mile stretch of really loose sand that none could go around. The only answer was through. Shoes sank in, making it almost impossible to run through it. We sort of skip-walked through. At that point, I realized that I was not happy. I was struggling before, and now I was getting angry. Because the website made absolutely no mention of the half-mile long sand pit that we would have to go thro…