Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Fundraise?

I’m often asked this question.  I’m not an eloquent speaker or writer, but I’ll try my best to tell you why I’ve started fundraising.   Have you ever had the feeling your life would not be remembered after you were gone? I kind of had that feeling a couple years ago.  I imagined someone standing up to talk about me at my funeral and they didn’t have much to talk about.  I mean I could picture them saying she was a mother, wife, friend, etc.  But then what else would they say.  This really hit me hard for some reason.  Maybe I was in a dark place at the time.  Not sure…  but it lead me to sign up for the St. Jude marathon as a hero to raise money for St. Jude back in 2013.  It was the most humbling experience ever!  It was then that I realized it didn’t matter what was said at my funeral.  Sitting and listening to a mother talk about how each day she wondered if her child was going to live and die will break you.  I soon realized that life’s not about me.  Not that I didn't already know this... it just hit home a little harder.  It’s about helping others.  I never dreamed in a million years that I would even be able to raise money.  I’m not one for asking people for anything.  I’m very independent.  When my kids were small I usually ended up buying everything instead of asking other people to buy from their school or sports fundraisers.  And how could I not think about the one perfect person that had already set the example for us?

Jesus Christ Set The Perfect Example of Helping Others

So I’ve ran a ton of races where it was ALL about the BLING (oh and I do have some nice medals)…. But now I look for races that have charities attached.  I recently signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon for the Fisher House Foundation.  This is an organization that helps military families.  Maybe you know of a family that has used a Fisher House.  I had not until this past weekend.  While sitting at church one of the ladies that always supports me came up to me and begin telling me how proud she was that I had signed up to raise money for Fisher House.  She said she had stayed at one before with her daughter.  She talked about how wonderful the organization was in helping military families.  I was so glad to hear this from someone that had personally benefited.  Now I’m even more pumped to raise some money. :>)  

I have a small goal of $600 and I hope some of my friends will help me out.  I challenge each of you to watch the video on my page and read up on the Fisher House Foundation.  So many military men and women are risking their lives for our freedom.  Shouldn’t we all want to help them?  Here is my link to my page:

And don’t worry…. I’ll still be raising money for St. Jude also.  I will continue to do the St. Jude race for the kids as long as the good Lord allows me to! I’ll give you a chance to make a donation for them in a couple months.  

I’m glad that I’m in this “season” of my life where I can run and raise money for such awesome organizations.  Help me accomplish my goal by helping others.  Look at it this way... a $10 donation is just 1 lunch missed in today's times and we all probably won't starve from missing one lunch. :>) 

~For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.~
--Galatians 5:13

“We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I am a RAGNARIAN! 8 friends, 3 trails, 1 billions stars, overnight camping .... TAILS FROM THE SIPP

This post may be long and I'm sure I will leave out so many details cause a relay over 2 days can have lots of happening things! Let me first say I had a BLAST.  As always this is about "D's" adventures, so it's all in MY perspective.  Others on the team will probably have different perspectives. That's whats so cool about life.  We all have different takes on the same thing. :>) 

What is Ragnar? (Info from their website)

Here’s what we do: long distance, team, overnight running relays that take place in the most breathtaking places in the world. Teams come together to conquer a course over two days and one night, and push their limits (AMEN), on little amounts of sleep (AMEN), with friends and a community of runners by their side. 
Your Ragnar experience is as competitive as you make it. Rally your team and battle the other teams in your division for the top ranking, or simply make it your goal to cross the finish line together (That was our goal!)! Ragnar is about coming together and accomplishing something we could never do alone. From an elite runner to the generally active individual, Ragnar is the perfect race for anyone.

Teams of 8 (or 4) will come together to conquer a series of three trail loops that start and finish at Ragnar Village. The adventure starts on Friday at the Georgia International Horse Park, a former Olympic venue situated outside of the city lights of nearby Atlanta. Runners will run on top of granite slabs, across small bridges and through forests filled with Georgia pines, streams, ponds and wildlife. This venue features the perfect mix of natural beauty, challenging technical uphill sections (AMEN), and flowing, gradual, descents. Get ready to celebrate with your team all night around the campfire where you can enjoy friends, s'mores, music, movies, and a billion stars overhead!

From Friday to Saturday, each teammate runs all three loops. Runner 1 runs the Green Loop (hard), then Runner 2 runs the Yellow Loop (harder), Runner 3 runs the Red Loop (really freakin' hard), Runner 4 runs the Green Loop, and so on until every runner has completed the three loops. The total mileage for each runner is close to a half marathon.

So now that I have told you a little info on what a Ragnar actually is let me know tell you about my adventure!

Thursday after work Kathy, Sara and I leave my office around 5:15 pm heading to Georgia.
We barely got on the interstate heading North and the bottom literally fell out! It was raining so hard we could not see anything in front of us.  Cars were pulling over on the side of the interstate.  Our driver, Kathy, just kept pressing on.  We were barely going 25 mph! I was praying really hard.  I couldn't see anything and I was praying for the good Lord to direct her driving.  It was very tense for a good while before the rain stopped.  This put us behind schedule.  We finally made it to Georgia around 11 pm and we were so very tired.  Luckily one of the guys on our team had a ton of hotel points so he had reserved the 8 of us 2 rooms for Thursday night. We didn't have to report to camp site to check in until Friday morning.  And BOY was I glad to get that 1 night in a hotel even if we slept 4 to a room because the next night in the tent was something I'll never forget!

The other half of the team had left on Thursday at lunch heading for Georgia, so they set up our tent late Thursday to get us a good spot and we didn't have to do that early Friday before running. We had a great spot.  We were close to the music, camp fire, and main event start line.  We didn't realize however that we would have to lug all our camping stuff for what seemed like a mile from our car to the tent! We looked around and everyone had those wagons you see people with at the beach.  We were so wishing we had a wagon.


 My shoulders were killing me by the  time we unloaded everything and got it to the tent site.  AND you had to get everything out of the car! There was no leaving anything thinking that if you needed it you could go back for it later! They made you move ALL vehicles after unloading like 2 miles down the road and shuttled the driver back to camp. No vehicles were allowed to stay parked at the site.
Our set up tent before we unloaded all our crap. :>) 
I'm so glad that they didn't really enforce the rules on camp size!!! We didn't think we would be able to use all 3 compartments of Kathy's tent until we saw everyone else setting up big tents.  There is no way we could have made it with 8 people and just 1 section of the tent! The wind was too cold to sit outside or sleep out there!
After we unloaded
Some had very nice camp sites! Notice the hammocks that zip up!

Friday morning we were there early so we had time to walk around, check things out and shop at the Ragnar store.  and YES, I bought some things. I own more run clothes than work clothes. Hee Hee  They had some really nice jackets that several of us bought.  It was a beautiful sunny day, but the wind was CRAZY! The wind was so bad that it made it very cold sitting out in our chairs at camp.  Several of us sat with blankets wrapped around us. There were some really cool camp sites! Some of these people must camp ALL the time! They had hammocks that zipped up so you could lay in them and zip yourself up to sleep and get out of the wind.  BOY I was wishing I had one of those late Friday night cause that ground was so HARD! Every bone in my body hurt! And since I'm getting a back shot this week I have to be off all types of pain medicine for 7 days so there was no Advil or Aleve for me.. booo booooo
Amie and Kathy sporting the new JACKETS.

So our start time on Friday was 2:30 pm.  We were all pumped and ready to get it started.  We huddled up for Philip to give us instructions and I asked if we could say a prayer.  Sara snapped this picture of us as we gathered around and prayed.  I didn't even know she took the picture until later when I saw it on Facebook and I LOVE what she wrote because I firmly believe you must first seek God in ALL that you do! I must share her words....

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20) ~~~ All good things start with the Man in charge!!! Ready or not, 120 miles, here we come!!
Tails from the SIPP ready to START!~

We had to go watch a safety video first and then we were able to pick up our packet with our team number, etc.  During the video the guy said if we wanted to each runner could have 1 pacer go with them on their loop so of course all of us started planning who we would run with on each loop.  You know us crazy RUNNERS..we love to get in extra MILES.  Kelvin started us off followed by Kathy, Me, Kim, Sara, Amie, Philip & Stan.  I had the 6.7 RED loop as my first loop.  Kathy said she wanted to run it with me after doing her 4.6 loop (which ended up 5.1 on everyone's watches), however when she came in and I was standing there to start she gave me that "kbyrd" look and said NO.  So then I'm like ... oh my... if she says no after doing 4.6 miles how bad is my 6.7 miles going to be... I mean she's a beast! She loves a challenge and she was telling me no.  Stan was standing there and immediately said he would run the loop with me.  He had previously asked and I had told him that Kathy planned to.  He wanted to get extra miles himself.

Since the Red Loop was my first loop.. remember what the Ragnar website said... Red Loop (really freakin' hard).  I'll give you my take on the red loop.  The red loop starts out flat and in an open area for about 2.7 miles.  It's a good time to get a really fast pace because after the initial 2.7 miles .... you will SLOW down.  Stan was running with me and he had also ran the green loop with Kelvin to start off (yes, he's a beast too).  He was saying as we were running that he sure did think the green loop was harder than the red... HOWEVER, after that initial 2.7 miles on the red loop he quickly changed his mind.  LOL He then said the red loop was the hardest loop.  After the 2.7 miles you turn into the woods. NARROW trail (like maybe 12 inches), tree stumps, and steady climb up the mountain. Soon it opens up to these granite slabs.
I can't imagine running them in the rain! The slabs are huge and the course goes right over them.  They are uneven and tons of places where you could lose your footing.  It's beautiful but tough.  Not to mention you climb uphill on them and then come downhill on them.  AND I'll be honest.  I'm in the middle of this ironman training and do not want any broke bones, so I took every step very carefully.  Some of the team ran as hard as they could each loop, but not me.  I did my loops with precaution.

Stan took this of me starting out on the RED LOOP>
They put colored bands on us as we started our loop so we wouldn't forget what loop we were on and go in the wrong direction.
Grabbing a selfie while Stan took a picture of the river. 

So when I'm about to finish my red loop, I'm remembering that I told Kim I would run her loop with her directly after my loop and I realize that I am NOT going to do that.  Now I know exactly why Kathy had said no to me.  The loops were challenging and you were ready for a break after your own loop.  We were all thinking initially how most of us are ultra marathoners so how hard could a 6.7, 4.6, or 3.8 mile loop be.  Trust me we all discovered how hard after we did them.  We all decided we really didn't want those extra miles.  We would just stick with doing our own loops.  I was so relieved that Philip was standing there and said he would run with Kim.

Oh and when we ran it was HOT.  The wind did not seem to blow inside all those trees! I was a total sweaty mess after my 6.7 mile loop.  And did I mention we are camping.. NO SHOWER.  Nothing but Porta Potties.  I was so glad I had stumbled across these awesome athlete wipes! I wiped down, changed clothes, zipped up my nasty clothes in a zip lock bag, and waited for my next loop which wasn't until midnight.

I had thought I might get some good shut eye until my next loop, but you could hear so many different conversations going on in the camp.  Not to mention that even though I was laying on a really thick sleeping bag the ground was so HARD.  I had to turn every 15-20 minutes because my body would be hurting so bad.  It was HORRIBLE.  We were also all keyed up and keeping watch on each runner and telling each other when it was time to get ready to do the next loop.  In the beginning we were all out at the start line cheering each other off and watching each other come in, but that quickly faded as the day turned to night. Philip had us a plan where whoever was out running would text when they were 1 mile out so the next runner would know to head to the start gate.  It worked great.  He really did a great job planning everything.  He knew all of our normal paces and had staggered us in the run order accordingly with a plan.  He's goal was for us to finish in 24 hours.  We ran slightly over that.  We SLOWED down a lot during the night. It's tough running in the dark on those "technical" loops!
A look inside our tent.  That's my feet... I was resting before my midnight loop.
Sara, Kim & Amie in tent

Me and Kelvin sitting at camp wrapped up in blankets and ear muffs :>)  

So my 2nd loop was the yellow loop... Everyone called this loop the "Technical" loop.  I was kind of concerned since I had to run this in the DARK and at midnight!  Let me just say that I didn't think 4.6 miles could be hard and I knew exactly why Kathy had told me no after she had ran it. LOL  It was very tricky.  Lots of climbing up with sharp turns on the mountain. It actually felt like there was NO downhill.  I only thought the red loop had narrow paths, but this one took the cake.  I only saw 2 other runners the whole time I was on this loop.  I could see tons of headlamps in the distance which was really cool.  It was EXTREMELY dark! I was so glad I carried my little flash light along with my headlamp because I used both!  I was so happy again to see that sign "1 more mile".  I didn't realize that while I was running that it started to rain back at camp.  When I arrived at the tent and unzipped to crawl in tons of bags were stacked up on my sleeping bag! I was like what the heck!  Then I heard one of the group say that it started raining and they had to grab all the bags outside and throw them in the tent.  It took me a little bit to move them around so that I could "kind of" stretch out on my sleeping bag.  I was so uncomfortable! I wanted sleep so badly.  I did doze off and on, but didn't get any REAL sleep before daylight.  I heard each runner in our group and in the tents around us as they came in from their loop or went out on their loop.  I hate I don't have any pictures from the Yellow Loop!  It was just too dark for pictures.  I'd love to show you some of the course on the yellow loop!

Saturday morning.. waiting to start my last loop.. the guys in the background having coffee by the fire. 
Some of Green Loop.
I was glad my 3rd loop was fairly early in the morning on Saturday and it was the green loop which was only 3.8 miles.  Yes, I made the mistake of thinking ONLY 3.8 miles.  I mean how hard can 3.8 miles be when I've ran 31 miles straight on trails before.  Well, after no sleep, no shower, and again all the challenges on the trail I realized 3.8 miles is freaking hard at a Ragnar.  We all did actually. LOL  We all started saying.. I'll pay someone to run my last loop.  Hee Hee  We were tired and ready to be done.  I was dreading that 5 1/2 hour drive home also.
Kathy and I being silly after we were FINISHED at the REI booth!

After Kathy and I got our last loop over we walked around, branded our very own sheath to store our medal in (so cool!) and chilled while waiting on the others to finish.  As the day progressed it got HOT.  When Stan finished our last loop for the team we were all so EXCITED.  They handed us our medals and told us they would be mailing us 8 more.  They made a typo mistake by putting Atlanta, VA instead of Atlanta, GA.  But what's cool about the medals is if you put all 8 together they are a puzzle and the back of them form a Ragnar saying.  We quickly took a picture and then begin to pack up.  It was then again that we wished we had a WAGON!  We had to lug all that crap forever to the parking lot! Kathy and Amie had went to get the vans, but they wouldn't let them stop and us load our stuff at the entrance.  They had to drive down in the parking lot and park and then we had to carry our stuff all the way down there!  I was burning up and so very TIRED.  My shoulders were aching again so bad and I wanted to pop 3-4 Advils but couldn't!

My sheath

The back of our medals put together. The puzzle complete. Absolutely LOVE this!

We were finally loaded and on our way.  The sun was beaming in through that windshield and as we drove my eyes got so very heavy! I wanted to sleep so badly, but Kathy was driving and I wanted to try to keep her awake also.  I offered to drive some, but she drove the whole way there and back!  I know she had to be wore out!  Maybe that's why she said she slept all day Sunday.  She deserved it!  When I arrived home Saturday night late I didn't even unload my stuff which is HIGHLY UNUSUAL for me.  I like to unload, unpack and put everything up as soon as I get home from travel.  But I didn't this time.  I let everything just sit in my car.  All I wanted was a bath and my bed. :>)

So would I do it again??? Not anytime soon. ha  They have a race series that has races in several different states, but I don't see it as a series that I'm jumping on board to do. LOL Maybe next year, but as for 2016 I'm done with Ragnar races.  Would I recommended it? Certainly! If you want to do something to challenge yourself... it's a good one to do!  We did have fun sitting around our tent site talking and I did love the challenge of the trails.  We all accomplished something that most won't even try.  I'm more tired today (Monday) than I've ever been after a marathon, ultra or sprint TRI (I didn't rest enough Sunday.. I cleaned house), but it's the good kind of tired where you know you did something worth wild. :>)  I'm not sore like after running a marathon... I'm just TIRED... probably the lack of sleep & travel along with the challenge on the trails. And for those PEEPS that said, "You were ONLY required to run 15 miles each."  PLEASE GO DO IT. :>)  BTW our total time was 24 hours & 46 minutes which averages 12:22 .. pretty good for TRAIL RUNNING! 

I know I left out so many fun details, but if I told it all this post would be FOREVER long. I will say that I learned just how funny Sara is on the trip! She's hilarious! Glad she rode with me and Kathy. She's new to Team Run4TheKids this year so I'm so glad I got to know her better.

Here's also a video I made from some of the pictures I took on the trails. 


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Traditions TRI 4-9-16

Today was the first TRI of 2016 for me.  It was a sprint TRI which consist of a 1/3 mile swim, 17 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run.  This was a new TRI for me.  My first time doing it so I was unfamiliar with the area in which the race was to take place.  Earlier in the week my friend who was also doing the race told me that her sister lives like a mile from the race area and invited me to go down on Friday and stay with her at her sisters house.  This was great because I had just planned on going down on Saturday morning which meant driving at 4am to make it on time.  It worked out great.  We left Friday after work and headed to the coast.  We arrived at her sisters a little before 7pm.  She has a beautiful home.  Her daughter had a cheer competition in Florida so they were gone and I got the "Princess room" as Kathy called it.  We decided to go grab supper so we could get in the bed early.  When we walked outside, we quickly realized it was very COOL!  Kathy & I both just looked at each other and said .. "what the heck are we thinking?.... swim is going to be COLD in the morning."   I was in the bed by 10pm and it was so very comfy that I feel asleep pretty fast.

When I woke up around 4:30am my stomach was in knots.  I was questioning what the heck I was doing a race for when I could be home sleeping in.  I looked at the temperature and it was 46 degrees.  That made my stomach hurt even worse.  I told myself I was crazy.  I tossed and turned trying to go back to sleep since we didn't have to leave their house till around 6:15am for the TRI. There is no need for makeup or hair when you do a TRI! So it literally takes like 5 minutes to get ready.  I wished I had some coffee. But I heard no one else up.  I lay there getting more and more nervous.  I then opened my app called Jesus Calling to read the devotion for the day.  It was EXACTLY what I needed!

I was reminded to quit trying to "problem solve" what I was about to face and just turn my mind back to God.  He's got me ALL the time! :>)  I felt a peace come over me.  

Soon I heard Kathy up and it was time to go.  By the time we got our bikes set up we were freezing!  It was so cold.  The wind was blowing which made it worse.  We kept looking out at the lake and laughing saying we had to be crazy.  One guy who didn't have a wet suit was calling out in the transition area saying.. "I'd pay big bucks right now if someone had a wet suit to sell me".  He was literally freezing and laughing at himself.  
Kathy's husband snapped this picture of us waiting to start the swim.  By this time we had on our wet suits and were warm except for our feet.  My toes were froze!  

I was pointing back to that cold water .... laughing that we were about to get in it. 

Finally it was our turn to start.  We started together basically... 5 seconds apart.  Kathy had joked all morning saying she was going to try to keep up with me in the water.  I had just laughed at her.  See I can swim all day long in the pool with no problem, but I usually freak a little in open water.  I guess I'm a true girly girl cause I don't like the dark water, the mushy stuff you walk out on, seeing fish, or weeds that grow tall sometimes and your feet touch them.  All that stuff just freaks me out!  

But today when I hit the water I felt at peace.  Kathy and I were steady beside each other for a short distance and then I lost sight of her.  I almost turned around to look, but I figured she had gotten ahead of me.  See when you swim properly you have your head down in the water and you can't see.  I tried to count 5-7 strokes each time and then I'd come up to glance ahead to make sure I was still traveling in the right direction.  I never saw Kathy again.  When I saw the finish line up ahead I picked up speed and was so excited that I finished the swim with no panic attacks.  I never had to turn over on my back or stop to rest.  I was slow and steady, but kept going.  This is what I had wanted to do for months!  When I exited the water I saw a friend and knew that Kathy was not out yet.  So instead of running to transition to get my bike I took my time and walked.  When I passed her bike I said to myself... please God let her be ok.  I started getting my wet suit off and trying to dry my feet off to put my socks on so I could ride my bike next.  But the whole time I was glancing towards her bike waiting on her.  Finally I saw her coming it.  I was so relieved!  I pulled my bike over to her and she immediately told me to go on.  She said she was fine.  I was going to wait on her, but when I saw her face I knew that she was good to go.  Plus most days she can catch me and beat me on her bike.  She's very strong on the bike.  So off I went.  
Kathy's husband snapped this of me on the bike.

So thankful that Byron, Kathy's husband was there to support her and take a couple pictures of us!  
So Now I'm off on the bike and I soon realize everything that Kathy's dad had told us was so true!  He lives there and he is an avid biker.  He told us while we were waiting to start the swim that the bike was going to be HARD.  Coming from a man that bikes often and had bike the course route, I was concerned.  Let me just say that he was right on! It was one hill after another.  I had to stand up 3 times on the bike and push hard to get up the hill.  My quads were burning.  There was a girl that I've seen often at races that is a member of a TRI team.  They all were matching suits to the races.  I saw her getting her bike ready when I exited the transition area on my bike.  By mile 3 she was hot on my tail.  Soon she passed me, but then we hit another hill and I passed her.  I quickly got a look at her calf to get her age.  Yes, they write your age real big on the back of your right calf.  I was shocked she was only 37! It as then that I got a little tiger in my eye I guess you can say cause I was hanging with her neck and neck and I knew from past races how strong she was.  She would catch me on the downhill but then I'd pass her on the uphill every time.  By mile 10 she looked at me and said.. "you are strong on these hills.. good job".  Boy that made me smile coming from someone that was much younger than me.  I actually finished slightly before her coming in.  Whoop Whoop.  I was so very happy with my bike pace today on those tough hills.

I did see Kathy on the bike and she was not far behind me at all.  See... I told y'all she's strong.  It didn't take her long to get caught up.  

Now it was time for the run.  I was also very happy that I had no issues with my clip on pedals today. I quickly changed out of my bike shoes and into my run shoes.  My legs felt numb.  I started running and felt like I was barely moving.  I looked down at my watch and my pace was 9:10!  Boy I was shocked.  However, that didn't last too long cause we turned off the road into the woods.  I had no idea we were doing a trail run. LOL  And it wasn't just your normal trail.  It was sandy.  Like beach sand.  The sand was thick and I could barely run in it.  I was so glad when we got that half mile out of the way and was back on the road.  We continued out on the road about a mile to a turn around stop and then it was back down the road and back into the woods.  I saw Kathy again on the run and we gave each other a high 5.  :>)  I was so very glad to see that finish line.  My total time was under 2 hours!! I had hoped for just 2 hours because I knew this race was just "practice" really for me and Kathy.  We are building our base before Ironman in September.  So I could have pushed hard at some points during the race if I had been really trying for an awesome time.  I think that's what makes it even sweeter.  I didn't go full out and I still finished in under 2 hours.  :>)

This gives the full breakdown of my race day.  As you can tell my 1st transition from swim to bike was over 5 minutes!  I certainly could have shaved that down some in a "real" race, but I wanted to make sure Kathy was out of the water before I left out on the bike.  I'm just so happy with my 1:50 over all time!  OH and when I looked at the results they had me in the 50 age bracket.

 I've read where some races classify you in the age you will be during the year.  I won't be 50 till July but they had me in there.  I finished 6th place in my age group.  My cousin finished 3rd and she also qualified for the senior olympics!  I'm so happy for her!  She's been doing a lot of TRIs lately.  From Sprints to Half Ironmans and now she says she's going to do a full Ironman.   She's Pamela Jones on the list.

I love Kathy's finish picture! You can tell how happy she is here! LOVE HER!

When I started this journey of training for the ironman in September, I had no idea that Kathy would join me on this journey.  I was determined to do it alone but it's so much better with FRIENDS! She pushes me to do better.  I'm excited for what the future holds for us.


Now to prepare for our RAGNAR TRAIL RELAY next weekend!  We'll be camping in a tent and running with our team of 8 over a 24 hour period.  So be looking.... there will be a post after our adventure.  Can't wait to see how it all turns out and maybe... just maybe.. I'll get a couple hours sleep. :>)

Until then... Happy training... remember 1 hour of training is only 4% of our day.. NO EXCUSES>

Deleica ... 

Oh BTW the water was AWESOME.  We were freaked out over nothing. It felt great when we got in.. not  FREEZING like we thought.  Maybe it was because it was warmer than the air outside. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Some days you run for you..... and some days you run for others!

Y'all knew they'd be a blog post after the race today... Didn't ya? :<>)

Let me start by saying .. WOW!! What an incredible experience!  All week I was so excited, but also a little nervous.  It's a big deal to take someone else's child and push them during a half marathon and maybe a bigger deal to take a child with disabilities.  First of all two hours is a long time.  Some of these kids can get upset at the smallest things.  Not knowing the child personally can make it even harder.  You may not know the right words or actions to use if the child was to become upset, agitated or even sick during the race.  So yes, I was nervous.

Friday night I ran to get my race shirt and bib and just happen to meet the mother of the little girl that I was supposed to help push.  OH ....the mother was so excited for her child! She said Mackenzie was a real joy and that she would love the race.  She told me how she was non-verbal, but that I would be able to understand her if she tried to tell me something.  This mother really put me at ease.  I went home and felt really good about pushing her daughter.  She had laughed and told me that her daughter who is 8 was going to do a half marathon before her.

Well then this morning when I arrived for our meeting with the Ainsley Angel group and parents for our instructions pre-race, we were informed that little Mackenzie was sick and wasn't going to make it.  My heart just sank.  Her mother was so very excited about this opportunity.  We were told that they would try to get us a kid.  I was thinking there is no way at 6am that they'd find one ready to ride....... BUT I was wrong! Christie, who is a parent of one of the children and also a triathlete!, told me that they had Drew coming.  She assured me that he'd be fine.  He arrived and was ready to get in the chair and go.  Our team had the biggest chair! It was like a LIMO compared to the others.  It was long and big. :>)  Drew would just smile every time I asked him if he was ready to go.  OH and it was windy and COLD.  We were all freezing standing around.  Even Brody, Christie's son, said it was COLD> :>)

We started 5 minutes before the other racers.  We decided that we would switch every mile on who was pushing so that no one person pushed for a long time.  I was very excited about that after my first mile push. hee hee  Boy them hills were TOUGH! When we started out we were going like 9:30, 9:10, 9:15, ....... you get the picture..  I was like what the heck are we going so fast for when we got so many miles left to go.  I guess we were just excited.  We slowed down a little, but still maintained a pace slightly under 10 minutes even when we stopped and took pictures and drank water! So that just tells you that we didn't slow down much when actually running.  My sciatic nerve pain has been so bad the past few weeks that I was just hoping that I could finish without too much pain.  Somehow in all the excitement and sheer joy of watching Drew's face, I totally forgot my pain.

People would call out his name or give him a high five as we passed them and he ate it up!  It was awesome!!!  I'm so glad I took my GoPro and grabbed several pictures!  I made a video with several pictures in it.  I hope Drew gets to see it.  I think he'll LOVE it!  He love Seymour!

I don't know what me and Kathy would have done without Eric, our partner, on the hills.  He was so much taller than us that he could push his weight down on the stroller and push harder up the hills.  He did ease up the last 2 miles and as soon as the race was over he came up to us and said he just wanted to tell us that we were two of the toughest women he knew! Boy that made us smile! :>)  I told Kathy we got an upper and lower workout today!  She said we should get double miles on our team mileage challenge.  I agree.. hee hee  

I love what the ARC does in Hattiesburg and I LOVE that I was given the opportunity to be apart of pushing the kids.  It's something that I will cherish forever!  There was even one runner that came up to us during the race and asked if we needed break.  We told him we were fine, but what a nice gesture! I saw him again at the finish line and we congratulated each other and I wish I had gotten his name!

So another half in the books for 2016! If you ever get a chance to be apart of the Ainsley Angel group..... DO IT! I have a new respect for anybody that pushes a stroller for 13.1 miles!  And what beautiful scenery running through USM's campus today!

That's a wrap for now! Got to go take care of my son who had his wisdom teeth out yesterday.  Think I'll get him a big baked potatoe to eat.  He may be 22, but he's still my baby! My heart is so sad for a family in my hometown that lost a child yesterday in a car accident.  Please pray for them.  The grandfather was driving so it's going to be a hard road for them.  May God comfort them all.

Have a bless day! Love, D

Acts 20:35 By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Sunfish FAIL 7-14-18

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