Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 is basically in the books............ Time to focus on 2017

Wow! What a year!  Last Christmas I got this card from a fellow runner, who I've never meet in person.  We got to know each other on Facebook through a running group.  That's what I love about runners.  We are like FAMILY.   




 AND BOY DID I ENJOY THE JOURNEY. 

I can honestly stay this year has been a BIG one is many ways.  Maybe because I turned the BIG 50 in 2016, or maybe because I'm just plain crazy about doing races.  It was a jammed packed year of many new things

Usually around this time of year, people sit back and reflect on what they did or didn't do during the year and make new goals for the new year.  I've been working on my scrapbook for this year and just flipping through all the pictures from each race brings back so many memories.   You know there is a saying, "Stop Wishing. Start Doing.", well, I can honestly say I did just that this year.  

Several opportunities came about during the year which helped me accomplish so many bucket list items.  Here is just a brief list of things I did this year. And if my count is correct, I had almost 1,200 miles running, 1,500 miles biking and 94 miles swimming for 2016. 

Back to Back Challenge (two half marathons in the same weekend)
Push an ARC child in a race  (half marathon & 5 mile race)
Ragnar Trail (Atlanta)
100 Mile bike (Century) Ride
First Half Ironman 70.3
Marine Corps Marathon
3 marathons within 90 days (2 down ...1 more to go to complete in a few days)
Stay at an all-inclusive resort for my 50th

So much fun! Now there are some things I didn't accomplish also! I did not get this jelly off my stomach area! I didn't get my arms back toned like they use to be! I didn't exercise my core enough.  I started the year off pretty good working on all of those items, but as the months went by and my training schedule increased, I slacked off on those things.  I can tell a difference too! Core work is so important for runners.  It helps with your running.  My pace is a lot slower now than it was in the beginning of the year.  Maybe that's also due to the fact that I'm doing more jog/walking here lately than I use to.  My big toe joint is literally about to fall apart due to arthritis.  My sciatic is bothering me more lately.  Maybe due to age, maybe due to running, or maybe just plain old arthritis in general.  All I know is when I jog/walk rather than run full out, my body likes me more.  It's much easier to recover from 26.2 miles when using that approach.  So maybe in the future I'll just be slower... who knows... But I know one thing, it won't stop me.  Actually exercise helps me feel better.  And any doctor you talk to will recommend exercise for arthritis.  :>)


So true in so many ways!  However, it also reminds me of a few sayings that stick in my head.

1.  I can and I will
2.  If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never go run.
3.  Don't just dream about it, TRAIN for it
4.  The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people can you CANNOT do.
5.  What we seek we shall find.
6.  Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
7.  Believe & act as if it were impossible to fail.
8.  Avoiding failure is to avoid progress.
9.  There are 7 days in a week and SOMEDAY isn't one of them.
10.  "Finished Last" will always be better than "Did not Finish" which always trumps "Did not Start".

So what's on the agenda for 2017????  I have honestly been debating for a couple of weeks.  So unlike me!  Maybe due to the amount of money I spent in 2016 on races.  For the first time in a couple of years, I kept up with every dime I spent that had to do with my exercising.  Shoes, Travel, Race Registrations, Clothes, etc.  AND let me just say that It's a good thing I didn't have a small child in daycare or a teenager at my house or I would be BROKE> hee hee  So I'm thinking I may need to tone it down a tad bit this year. :<(  I do have a couple of things I want to do around my house and also the fact that we didn't get our normal work bonus there is no extra funds to play with for races.  When you add in all the travel cost for out of town races, it can really add up fast.  AND then there is also the one thing I've been putting off for 3 years now.  I need bladder surgery.  But to do it, I have to promise to give my doctor 4 weeks of no running.  Well, I've just been to busy to do that here lately.  However, it's becoming more of a MUST than an option so I'm going to have to do it in 2017.  

TRUE!!!!

I really wanted to do a couple of 70.3s next year, but not sure that's going to work.  I have debated and debated about registering for Augusta again.  I just LOVE that race.  However, I'd also like to try another one.  Augusta is a fairly easy swim being it's downstream, so I'd like to try another 70.3 to help improve my swimming.  If I don't make a decision within the next week or so, it will be sold out and I won't have to worry about thinking about it.  That's the problem with BIG races.  Registration opens like 9-10 months before the actual race date and sells out within a month. So you don't have time to debate.  Maybe since I've debated about it this long, it's just not meant to be next year.  Guess we'll see.  

So what have I registered for as of today? I started registering last week for a couple of smaller races like the quad burner series which I also LOVE.  They offered a big discount if you registered early so of course I got in.  Check them out:


I actually made a list and when I typed it all up, I am just AMAZED that I'm already signed up for basically 15 races.... well technically if you count Dopey as 4 races like it truly is then I'm registered for 18 total races already! WOW  I may only get in one 70.3 during 2017, but that will be OK.  I will take care of this bladder issue so I can really enjoy life again.  So here's my list as of today.  They say if you write down your goals or say them out loud to someone that you are more likely to actually do them.  Most of these are local that I can drive to.  Only like 3 are out of town and will require travel expenses. 


During 2016, I had a big poster in my office that I had ordered from ilovetorun.org where I marked off each day that I did some type of exercise.  It was a visual to remind me to do something.  I remember one day my boss walked in my office and asked what the heck it was.. ha It looks like I did pretty good during the year.  Only a few days are not marked. And we all need REST days! Don't forget that. :>) 


So whatever your goal or goals may be for 2017, go tell someone or write them down.  Make you a visual so you'll remember to do them.  It helps me.  Maybe it will help keep you focused.  I actually just had a new pair of running shoes delivered to my office, so I can't stop now.  Ready to try these babies out for Disney. 

Altra Paradigm 2

I'm sure hoping these help with my toe issue since they have a bigger toe box.  

Well, lunch hour is over. I may have to come back later and edit or add to this post.  But for now that's  wrap for 2016.  Oh wait... I only thought I had ran my last race of 2016 the other day! The Steam Whistle 15K is always on January 1st, but this year due to the 1st being on Sunday, I was just reminded that the race in Saturday the 31st.  So one more race for 2016 and then it's a wrap. :>)

May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! 
Much Love, D




















Monday, December 19, 2016

Soak up the Run - (Half Marathon #23)

Half marathon #6 for the year and the last one of 2017 to end the year!  Whoop Whoop



This year has just been crazy.  I think because of me turning 50, I was determined to do a lot of different type of races.  It's been a jammed packed year that's for sure! More on that topic later, but first I must share my experience of my last half marathon of 2017. 
Notice the name on my bib... 

This half marathon was not planned.  It came about through work.

Check out our shirts Sanderson gave us! 

  Around June Sanderson, the company I work for, offered to pay registration fees for any employee that wanted to run the race called "Soak up the Run".  It would be to benefit Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital.  So you know I couldn't turn that down.  I love doing things that help others.  My son has also been a patient at Blair so I know first hand what a wonderful job they do with kids.  So I signed up before I really thought about the date.  The date of the race would be the weekend directly after me running 26.2 miles at St. Jude.  Crazy me even debated doing another 26.2, but finally decided to do just the half.  I'm glad that I did because I got to share it with 2 of my dearest friends.  

Krista and Frank had both signed up to do the full 26.2 miles at St. Jude, but a couple months before the race decided to back down to the half.  Krista has a bone spur on her foot that was causing her horrible pain and Frank ended up having shoulder surgery.  

Krista's foot was in such bad shape by the day of Soak up the Run that she told us she would probably have to walk most of it.  I told her that didn't matter to me.  I walked to walk/jog with her and Frank.  It had been awhile since we had ran together, so I wanted to visit and just enjoy the race.  I will say it was hard at times with people passing us for me to not start running.  I guess that's just the competitive side to all of us. Hee Hee

It was a COLD morning!  The race was a straight shot basically.  We would run down highway 90 along the beach.  The full marathoners started 13 miles down the road from us half marathoners at the same time (7am).  It was so pretty looking out at the Mississippi gulf coast.  We do have pretty beaches even if our water isn't that pretty.  And they've really done a lot to improve the beach area.  Several brand new bathrooms along the beach.  Very nice buildings.  

We meet up with a couple other Sanderson runners and one of them drove us to the start line and dropped us off.  So glad she did that for us!  We didn't have to worry with catching the shuttle.  

Here's a picture we took when we got out at the start line.  

Krista, Conner, Lila, Anna, & Me


Krista, Frank and I started in the back since we were going to walk mostly.  We jogged/walked for a good bit until Krista's foot was hurting badly then walked mostly.  Here's a few pictures I grabbed of them along the route. 

Krista & Frank walking and talking to two other racers.

 You know... Frank NEVER meets a stranger. :>)

Group Selfie


Around mile 8-9, I could tell Krista was in a lot of pain.  I started praying hard.  I begged God to give me her pain.  I felt so bad for her.  But she was determined to finish.  She wanted it so badly.  Around mile 10-11 when the first marathoner passed us, it gave her another spark.

She's running again...determined to finish

 She started back jogging a little more than walking. and yes, you read that right.... the first marathoner! I told Krista and Frank when he passed to just look at him.  He didn't even seem to be struggling.  He was just running so peacefully.  He was going to finish 26.2 miles in around 3 hours! AMAZING.  We on the other hand were going to finish 13.1 in 3 hours. hee hee   Here's a few race photos. 










This guy walked most of the half and carried the flag. LOVE







We all finished.. TOGETHER.. just under 3 hours. 
We had a good time! We talked about races we love, races coming up, family, team, Christmas, and many other things to pass the time. I love these two! Praying for a speedy recovery! Krista had surgery on Tuesday after the race.  She's currently in a boot for 6 weeks.  And Frank is doing PT on his shoulder.

And then I saw another friend of mine that I rarely get to see.  She lives in another town.  We only get to see each other occasionally at races.  She's fighting a battle again with cancer.  She told me her medicine is causing her running to be slow.  I told her I'm just amazed that she's still running!  I had to grab a quick picture with her!


Well that's a wrap for 2017 basically.  It's been a busy year.  I'm still trying to determine what I want to do next year.  But first I've got to get Dopey done! It will be the first week of January.  I'm looking forward to a trip with my mom and doing 48.6 miles in 4 days.  

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It's time again to focus on setting those goals.  Remember if you write them down or say them out loud to someone, you are more likely to complete them.  I've not even begun to set mine.  I need a little downtime to think. :>) 



Merry Christmas, D


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)








  


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hobble then Gobble


Each year the ARC host a run on Thanksgiving day.  The Arc of Southeast Mississippi (Arc) is a United Way non-profit organization devoted to providing community-based services to individuals with mental challenges and their families.

I LOVE this race! It's for a great cause and also let's you burn off some calories before you gobble.  This year I was asked if I would push an ARC child like I did back in April at the Rise & Shine half marathon.  Of course I said yes.  I didn't have a partner.  My friends who normally run the race were at Disney and my other friends had personal things going on so I told Terri to just pair me up with someone my pace for the 5 miler.  She told me not to worry that she already had someone in mind. 

Waiting on the race to start

Race morning I meet my sweet ARC child, Anna and my pushing partner.  I can't remember my pushing partner's name! I think it was Kelly, but maybe Kim. I hate when I can't remember stuff! I only meet her one time so don't judge, please. I do remember what all we talked about while pushing sweet Anna.  She had also recently completed her first half ironman, so we had much in common.  We had a great time pushing Anna.  Anna is nonverbal, but can give great high 5s and she loved to make a buzzing sound with her mouth while we did the race.  She was all smiles. It's just a blessing to see these kids enjoy things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do.  

The Freedom Riders have done a great job! Check them out:




Getting lined up and ready


Crossing the finish line 

Terri and Jason have done a great job organizing the FREEDOM RIDERS

I plan to push again in 2017 for the Rise and Shine Half.






Running makes me HAPPY when skies are GREY

The phrase "Running makes me happy when skies are grey" sure was the truth for the St. Jude Memphis marathon!  


I have to start this post by first talking about my team!  As most of you know, I started a run team called Team Run4TheKids 3 years ago.  Each year we have grown and raised more money for St. Jude.  This year our team quickly grew to over 70 members!  That number includes kids of team members that also ran in Memphis and contributed to the whopping $50,000 we raised! Yes, you read that right.  We raised slightly over $50,000 this year!! 
  






Even I get tired during the year asking people for donations.  Sometimes I want to just take a break.  Raising money is hard work, BUT then I'm always hit by the reminder of all those kids fighting cancer.  I'm sure they get tired and they probably just want to say .. "I'm over this.. I'm taking a break..etc".  But they don't! They NEVER give up.  They fight constantly.  So when I'm feeling burnt out on raising money or asking for donations, I remind myself of why I'm doing it. It's not for me or about me.  IT'S FOR THE KIDS. 





I had hoped our team would reach $40,000 earlier in the year and was simply blown away on race week when our total hit $50,000.  God sure shows out when he wants to.  Doesn't he? :>)  After seeing that total, I was even more anxious to get to Memphis to run for those sweet kids.  All week the forecast for the weekend was not looking good at all.  It was calling for rain on race day. :(  


I wasn't going to let a little rain get me down though!  There is always a silver lining to the clouds! This year was even more special for me because my mom and daughter were both doing the 5K as heroes! We left Thursday when I got off  work and headed to Memphis to stay at our favorite place the Peabody.  Oh how beautiful it was again this year!  They go all out with the Christmas decorations.  






Friday was beautiful.  We kept saying how we wished that had been race day.  It was perfect.  We had thought about going to see Graceland after leaving the race expo, but decided to rest our legs. I let my mom shop at the expo.  She was thrilled to get her a Christmas ornament with her name and 5K written on it.  I soaked up her joy of her first time.  It was thrilling to listen to her talk about the race.  


Erin, Mom & me at Expo



Sellers tribe! So proud of ALL! My SIL is 6 months prego and she completed the half marathon along with my niece (her daughter)! 
Erin at the van that everyone painted on at the expo


Friday night pasta dinner for heroes is always special to me.  It's not about the free pasta meal, it's every year I learn something new.  This year a parent of a St. Jude patient spoke about her daughter.  It was very touching.   See her daughter didn't survive cancer.  She had recently passed away, so I can't even image how hard it must of been for her to stand up there in front of 2,300 people and speak.  My eyes were once again filled with tears.  Something she said really stuck.  Did you know that on average 1.5 families walk into St. Jude's door 7 days a week and hear the words "your child has cancer"? WOW! that is 7 days a week! Even on Christmas day someone will hear the words, "your child has cancer".  Now if that isn't a reason to become a hero for St. Jude then I don't know what is.  This neat picture was taken during the dinner where we were asked to turn on our phone flashlights and hold them up.  This is us showing light of hope. I'm honored to be in this picture.   That's what heroes do..they give these kids a light of hope to fight their cancer.  Check it out. 




Me and mom at pasta dinner




Friday night is usually the night I'm getting all my stuff out so on race morning all I got to do is grab it while they (mom & Erin) normally sleep.  Well, not this year!  It was so much fun watching them debate on what they were going to wear and them laying out all their stuff in a neat little area in our room.  They were both excited.  Even my daughter joked how in the past she had always moaned when I would wake them up getting ready early for the race and now they would be up earlier than me because their 5K started at 7am and my marathon didn't start till 8:30am! YIPPIE.  


Race morning was cold, windy and COLD.  The rain had not started and we all were hoping it would hold off until we finished the marathon.  The sky was GREY.  Not a peak of the sun.  I walked mom & Erin to the start line, grabbed a picture of them and then went back to my room to stay warm.
Leaving the hotel for start line. 

They ready to start the 5K

Aren't they cute!



Can you tell my mom & Erin had fun? :>)


I ended up missing a couple of my teammates that I normally like to run with before the marathon started.  I guess most of us were in our rooms waiting until the last minute due to the cold and several went to see their children at the 5K.  I did however, get with Shine.  We had previously discussed that we would run together.  She told me that it would be slow.  Said she had only gotten in a 15-16 mile training run due to her going back to work.  The dang oil field crash as affected so many of my friends!  

CRAZY PIC B4 RACE

JUST 23,000 RUNNERS

ALL SMILES BEFORE THE WORK STARTED!


Shine and I started out a little too fast in my opinion.  We both felt good.  I love to run when it's cooler temps. However, by the halfway mark we had slowed down a good bit and even ended up walking most of the last 7-8 miles. She even started a song at each mile .... "20 mile shuffle.." ha    OH and did I mention that the misting of rain started about halfway into our marathon!! GRRRR  

We ran into some reindeer

Even Santa ran



Santa cheering us



I had ditched my gloves early on when my hands got warm thinking the temp would continue to warm up.  That DID NOT happen!  It felt as if it got colder the longer we ran.  My fingers were numb the last 5-6 miles.  I couldn't even tear open a peanut butter pouch.  My fingers would not work right.  I was so ready to be done.  I must say that it was the first marathon I've done where I've been that cold at the end.  





The cheers you get from families standing out on the street at the St. Jude Hospital is simply amazing.  I can barely run thru the campus without crying every year.  One kid was wrapped up in his wheelchair holding a sign that said, "you are helping save my life".  Talk about getting chocked up!  Shine and I were hollering out thank you to all of them for being out in the cold damp weather to cheer us and one boy hollered back real loudly... "NO, THANK YOU!".  At that point I couldn't hold it together.  Shine either.  We couldn't even look at each other we were so chocked up.  That just motivated us to keep pushing even with our bodies wanting to quit.  You know they say sometimes the biggest problem is in your head! You've got to BELIEVE.  I tell that to all my friends that ask me how do you actually run 26.2 miles.  





We ended up doing a 5:42 marathon.  My longest time, but hey I finished. That's all that counts really.  I do sometimes have a person's voice in the back of my head saying "race results are forever on the Internet and people look at your times", but I just laugh now when I hear that voice.  I think I've mellowed since turning 50. Hee Hee.  My only goal is to finish and cross that finish line.   I'm proud of Sunshine.  We could have turned at the half, but we didn't.  We were determined to do the full marathon.  A couple of times she asked if we were going to finish in the 6 hour time limit and I would reassure her we were going to.  Even if I had to pull her across the finish line. :>)  That's that teammates do, right? 


Shine taking off her shoe...foot bothering her again.. hee hee

+

WE FINISHED!!!



Took me and hour to warm up.  I went back to my room and sat in a hot tub forever until I could finally work my fingers.  Mom, Erin and I went out for an early supper and was back at the Peabody having coffee and desserts by 8pm.  The rain never stopped.  We decided not to go walk on Beale or try to go see any Christmas lights due to the rain.  We were all laid up in bed by 9pm.  Guess we all getting OLD.. hee hee  


St. Jude Dessert made at Peabody

Can you tell she's happy. LOVE


I'm so proud of my mom and Erin for doing the 5K.  It was my mom's first 5K!  She was so proud of her medal.  I'm also so proud of the team.  We had a couple that either had to switch to the half instead of the full due to injury or didn't get to come to Memphis... BUT each one of them helped raise that $50,000! AMAZING!  

I'm ready to start planning 2017.  I have people ask me sometimes if I'm going to keep doing this every year and my response is.. "YES, AS LONG AS GOD ALLOWS ME TO RUN/WALK, I WILL BE AT ST. JUDE IN MEMPHIS WITH A TEAM."  
4 Years of being a hero and MORE to come!

What's the meaning of life? Are we here for a reason? YES... I believe one reason is to help others.  I will continue to help St. Jude kids as long as possible.  

Happy training peeps! Remember... consistency is the key.  We all have bad days.  Just don't give up! I've got to get ready for Dopey now and one more half marathon before the end of the year.  Oh and Mom's doing the 5K with me at Disney too! Can't wait!! 

MUAH, D




Southern Magnolia Bike Ride

The day was finally here...... BIKE RIDE! A couple of us had decided a few months back to do the Southern Magnolia bike ride.  Not sure w...