Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Flag Relay

Memorial Day. A day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The military. It's a part of my life. It's been a part of my life for over a decade. I'm proud to have served. I'm proud to continue to do what I can to honor those who still serve, those who did serve, and those who paid the highest price. I run. It's what I like to do. I heard about this relay that was happening on Memorial day. It was going from Foley, AL and it was running right past my house to the Naval base. I HAD to be a part of this, so I contacted the organizer and volunteered my team, Team RWB Pensacola, to run 10 miles.
I wasn't sure I would get enough interest from the team, but I figured I'd run all 10 and if I could I'd find people to join me for portions of the run. Turns out others also wanted to run the entire 10! I got an amazing response from my team! I was so proud and excited.
It was a great relay. Chris and Alex from Team RWB Mobile passed the flags off to Jeff, Michael and I. It was an awesome feeling watching them carry the flags over the bridge.
It was 1pm and it was hot. The excitement over the whole thing carried me about 2 miles, then the heat started to take it's toll. Thankfully my husband and the kids and Michael's wife were following us and providing support. I had my camelbak filled with water, but it wasn't until I got cold gatorade from a cooler that I really started to feel good.
My husband wanted to run some miles, so once we got on base we switched and he got to run the 3 miles to the exchange point.
 My kids loved waving the flags out the window and stopping to get out and cheer on everyone.
I love this photo because they look like they are melting. It was seriously hot out there! Fred also joined us on base for the last few miles.
At the firestation we passed the flags to the organizer (Aimee) and her daughter. We ran the last 2 miles with them to finish out the relay. We had a little reminder of why we were doing this run along the way...
 All done!
It was a great run! We will be doing this relay again next year; it was a great way to pay our respects.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

St John's Sunset Run

I signed up to run the St John's Sunset 5k run and Katelynn was going to do the 1 mile kids run. I don't remember why now, but I didn't run the 5k. I ended up just running the 1 mile fun run with Katelynn. While the 5k event was going on the kids played at the playground.
It was an evening run, but it was still hot. Katelynn was so excited! She loves running. Chris got some good photos of us. Maybe not this first one...
But here we are heading off and crossing the bridge. Katelynn did very well on the run. She got a little tired and kept wanting to stop for walk breaks. At the turn around point they had a bunch of Marines cheering on everyone. They gave Katelynn a bunch of high 5's - she yelled that she was ready now because she had high 5 energy! She ran the entire way to the finish.
 Chris got some good shots of us heading into the finish...
 She's still smiling!
 Almost done!!
Every time I do a run Katelynn asks if she can do the kid run. I've discovered that most of the runs in this area do not have kid fun runs. It's sad because she really enjoys them. I sign her up for one every time I find one. Even Denver has started saying he wants to run with Mommy. At the young age of 3, he usually only lasts about 1/4 of a mile, but lately he's been running 2 even 3 laps around the track with me...normally barefoot. I love that my kids love running! I hope when they get bigger that they'll still want to run and that I'm still able to run. I love my little family!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fiesta 10k

I have no pictures from the Fiesta 10k. It, in my opinion, was my worst race. Ever. My time actually was not that bad - 1:03. That's a minute slower then my PR at the Turkey Trot 10k in MD which considering that I walked a good bit of it, is not so bad. Lots of people rave about this run; I personally was not impressed. There are so many beautiful places to run in Pensacola, there was nothing scenic or charming about this run except for maybe the last mile that was through downtown. It started up by the airport and had a decent hill or two at the start. I didn't have any problems until around mile 2.5-3. I had been sick a lot lately with allergies and I just felt awful. I couldn't breath. I would walk a little bit, then I would run, then I couldn't breath, so I would walk some more. There was a lot of people along the course cheering the runners on. Every time people would cheer I'd force myself to run. It was just awful. At one point we ran along heavy traffic and the fumes just made my stomach queasy. I had never been so happy to see a finish line in my life.
Chris and the kids had come to the race but they weren't any where along the course or at the finish. I just felt completely alone and deflated. I don't normally run by myself, and I've only ever ran one or two races without a friend. It's hard to explain. I was so happy to have finished and not given up, but yet I felt horrible. My head hurt. My lungs hurt. My pride hurt. I found that on runs when I'm just not feeling good that I'm my own worst enemy. I kept telling myself how bad I was, why do I bother running, I'm not any good at it, I'm a failure, etc, etc, etc.
One thing I decided after the run was no more races for awhile. I want to enjoy the experience especially when I'm paying for it, and this just wasn't fun. The next thing was to start running by myself a few times a week. I needed to spend some time with just myself and the pavement. Time alone to work on positive thoughts and not negative thoughts. I don't ever want to be in another race where I spend the time telling myself how horrible of a runner I am. That's not why I run. It was a hard lesson.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

T-6 Texan Trot

The T-6 Texan Trot was a fun race! It was entirely on the runway on NAS. You got to walk through their "graveyard" on the way to the start of the race - it had an eerie feel to it thanks to the cloudy/misty morning. I met up with Alyssa before the race and we bumped into Tina from the Ft Walton beach group. We were the only Eagles flying - it's always fun to run into other Team RWB members!!
We started off the run together, but soon it was Alyssa and me, and then Alyssa left me. For some reason mile two was pretty rough for me. I'm not sure why because the entire course was flat. I'm sure I just started off too fast...seems to be my favorite thing to do. I did use the race to break in my new shoes that I bought at the Run as One event - Brooks Ghost. Again, kinda appropriate considering the gloomy race conditions.
I think the biggest surprise of the race was as you were coming into the finish you realized you were running downhill! I look like I'm really flying in this photo!
Chris and the kids were on the sidelines cheering me on. Alyssa finished just a minute faster then me. We waited and cheered on Tina as she finished. Then we headed over for a free massage!! We got someone to take an after photo of us - nice and relaxed from our massages, but still super hot and sweaty.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Run As One

Chris and I took the kids to Ft Walton beach to run with Team RWB and Team Rubicon for their annual Run as One event. They had a huge turnout! It was great to be able to meet so many other veteran's and their spouses. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the camaraderie.
Run As One is an event meant to honor Marine veteran Clay Hunt who was an original member of Team Rubicon and who lost his life with his battle of PTSD and depression. It was impressive to see so many people together running for such an honorable cause. I'm so proud to be part of such a wonderful organization that no only allows me to meet other veterans but gives me the means to make a difference.
They kicked off the event with some pushups. Can you see me in the background holding Denver pretending not to notice that they're doing pushups?! HA!
They had two groups - a running group and a walking group. Since we had the kiddos we did the walking portion. Of course we didn't bring the jogging stroller so I ended up holding Denver the entire time.
The run started and finished right behind a running store, so of course we had to go in. I got myself a nice new pair of running shoes! I'm glad we were able to make the trip out to Ft Walton beach and be apart of something so special.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sunday Long Run

For our long run on Sunday we met up at the Veteran's Memorial Park (same place I'll be starting my marathon in November). The goal was 8-10 miles. If you do 8 miles it's the solid line, if you want 10 you tack on the dotted portion in the map above. It's a nice course, relatively flat with a nice bridge incline part way through. I was feeling really good on Sunday because I took it a little slower this week. I started to feel tired around mile 6, but pushed through to 8. Then Coach Michael asked if I wanted to head back or do 10. I said "TEN!" But I need to change it up and do intervals of walk/run. He took that to mean I want to speed train, or at least I've been harassing him for making it feel that way; I actually quite enjoyed those last two miles. It helped make them go by faster. We did 1:1, 2:1 the entire time. The last set was 2 minutes of running and it was the hardest one, but I finished. Here are my totals. Distance: 10.2 miles. Time: 1:43 (10:05 pace).
Mile 1: 9:29          Mile 6: 9:54
Mile 2: 9:42          Mile 7: 9:59
Mile 3: 9:40          Mile 8: 10:04
Mile 4: 9:52          Mile 9: 12:39
Mile 5: 9:49          Mile 10: 10:29
Overall a really great run. I was excited that our last portion was along the water, however my view was more like the image above. It was extremely misty and foggy, so much so that I joked my hat was sweating because droplets were falling off of it.
I'm very excited by my progress. I'm running faster then ever before and I'm doing it for longer periods of time. No walk breaks (until mile 8 when we broke it down). If I keep this up I'm going to be so strong come marathon time!! I'm so proud of myself for how far I've come over the past couple years with my running. Still can't believe I'm going to do a marathon. I might start looking for a half just to see how far I've come. Gotta put those miles in once we start the marathon plan...which looks like this if I haven't already posted it.
The actual breakdown of the page can be found on Coach Michael's website:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weekly Summary

What a crazy week! Wednesday I headed out to World of Beer in downtown Pensacola for my weekly 5k 'easy' run. Coach says I need easy runs in the schedule. It will get my body use to the pace I want to keep for my marathon. I did much better this week then last! My goal for my easy runs is 11 minutes. This week I did:
Mile 1: 9:44
Mile 2: 9:31
Mile 3: 9:43
I have trouble with starting off slow. I have tons of energy at the start and I end up going out the gate way too fast. This week I constantly said, "slow down, enjoy the run, look at that view!" I found my run a lot more enjoyable then when I'm trying to keep up with everyone else. The group I run with offers a 5k and 10k route option. I eventually want to run the 10k every week. Next week I'm going to tack on some extra distance.
Thursday I met with my trainer. He had a nice little 'surprise' for me - we were working outside. He gave me a 12 pound medicine ball and then we got to work. Now, this was not one of those tiny medicine balls, it was big. There were 4 exercises I did, followed by a 5 minute rest. I'm not sure what the distance I actually covered was; next time I'm going to snag some photos after my workout. I would say that it was the distance of one straightaway on a track.
Exercise 1: squat and throw the 12lb medicine ball up like a basketball (as you throw jump off the ground), run to where it lands, repeat all the way down and back.
Exercise 2: squat and throw the 12lb medicine ball like a granny throw (grab ball off ground, come up between your legs and throw into the air), run to where it lands, repeat all the way down and back.
Exercise 3: squat and throw the 12lb medicine ball behind your head (as shown in photo), run to where it lands, repeat all the way down and back.
Exercise 4: run 700 meters at 80-90%
Rest 5 minutes, repeat two more times.
The times for my run were as follows:
1: 3:29.93
2: 3:42.75
3: 3:29.82
I was so tired. On each run I felt like there was no way I was going to finish without walking. I just kept fighting the urge to walk. I told myself, I got this, I can do this, just slow down a little and you'll make it through without walking. I thought for sure that my last 700 meter run would be my slowest, I was surprised to hear it was my fastest! And when I got home, I had to look up how far 700 meters was! It felt like forever, but really I was thinking about a half mile. It's .435 miles - I wasn't far off!
My trainer said the purpose of these type workouts are to help with my endurance, so that when I'm running that marathon I can push through it. Sometimes I wonder what I talked myself into with this marathon!!
After my workout I got my prize for the pull-up challenge! It was a free two hour rental for either a kayak or paddle board!! I'm super excited. I've always wanted to try both, now I have to figure out which one I want to do the most...decisions, decisions, decisions...
Today is Saturday. It was going to be the start of my speed training, however my running coach had other plans come up so he had to cancel (he's certifying a race course for an upcoming 5k). I can't just go out and do my speed work because Chris has duty so I'm home with the kids. No biggie...I didn't really want to do speed work...right?! I might not get my long run in tomorrow either because of this crazy weather. The past three weeks we've managed to get our long runs in before the storms came; this week we might not be so lucky. This is how I feel about how my weekend forecast is looking...