Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sea Turtle Half Marathon 2-18-17

Sea Turtle Half Marathon in Gulf Shores Recap

At first I wasn't sure I was going to make this race that I had really been looking forward to!  Work has been crazy lately and just so happened that the week before the race, things really got crazy.  We were working anywhere from 7 pm to midnight every night.  Our boss told us to also be prepared to work all weekend unless we made significant progress by late Friday.  So it was not looking good at all midweek! 

I told my friend, Robbie, who lives in Gulf Shores, that I was probably not going to make it. I had really been looking forward to seeing her.  We haven't seen each other in months!  She has been struggling with some injuries and I really wanted to see her and encourage her.  And I also hoped I'd get to see Mo, my friend that had breast cancer.  She lives in Perdido and is normally at all the races there.  I was so down and out about work and just plain tired. 

Friday rolled around and it wasn't looking good, but by 4 pm things started to take a turn for the better so I finally got up the nerve to just ask my boss what the game plan was for the weekend.  I had not mentioned to him that I had a race.  I know work comes first, but I sure was wanting to get to the race.  To my surprise, he said he felt we were good, but to stay on stand by for Sunday in case he decided to call us in.  I think he honestly knew we were all just whipped out.  Mental tiredness is a whole different kind of physical and my eyes were wore out from staring at my computer for hours!

So by 6:30 pm Friday I was on the road to Gulf Shores.  I was excited, but also extremely tired.  I kept telling myself that if I could just get there and get in the bed, that I would be good on race morning.. at least I hoped....  It rained off and on during the drive and Robbie texted me telling me it was calling for 100% rain on Saturday...booooooo  Now I was kind of dreading the race hearing about rain.  

I made it finally to Gulf Shores and got in the bed rather quickly.  Saturday morning came early.  We were going to head to the start line around 6:30 am.  I really didn't sleep well.  You know how it is when you travel.... the first night in a different bed... you just don't sleep well... or at least I don't. ha

Saturday morning I did something that I never do, especially before a race!.  I grabbed a red bull at the gas station.  I thought if it could really "revitalize my mind and body" as the can said then I would be ready to run.....because I was TIRED. Boy it perked me up fast.  It was like a super dose of coffee! LOL  I was ready to run.  I was also excited that the rain had came on in quicker than they expected and was gone.  It was overcast and humid, but no rain.  

Robbie and I found Mo inside the hangout.  She was going to be working the race.  Her run organization puts this race on.  It was so nice to see her and she told me some wonderful news! Her latest pet scan was clear! She was all smiles.  The first time I've seen that on her in awhile.  She said they would do another one in a couple of months to check again.  We quickly asked someone to take our picture before Robbie and I headed out to the start line. 

Me, Mo & Robbie

There were some other friends at the race that are on team R4TK so we quickly grabbed a picture at the start line. 

Robbie, Ann, Penny & me

I also saw an old coworker! Tim recently retired from Sanderson.  I remember when he did his first 5K and today was going to be his first half! We talked several minutes about his running and he told me that he'd been doing up to 2 hours on a treadmill! I told him I hated the treadmill.  He said he had really learned to like it and the weather outside didn't interfere with his training. 
Here's a pic of me, Tim & Robbie at the start line.  

And then we were all ready to start.  I saw another old friend, Gary Thornton, way up in the front and gave him a wave and the race started.  I felt great.  I was running with Penny & Ann for awhile and we were all talking about races, etc.  They had both ran a full marathon the weekend before! And a hilly one too! Soon Penny told me to just go one because they were going to slow down some.  I guess their legs were feeling the marathon a tad.. (I know mine would have been!)   At first I didn't want to go on because I love running and talking.  It keeps my mind off the miles, but I just felt so good.  I think that red bull was really kicking in!  But don't worry... I would soon crashed. ha 

The race was an out and back course along the beach.  Going out the wind was not bad, but coming back was a different story!  It was flat and fast.  I kept looking down at my watch and smiling.  I had done so much run/walk lately that I wasn't sure I could maintain a 9 min pace (that's not fast to some..but for me here lately it was), but I sure was doing it.  Yep, and you know what happens when you go out too fast and you get the "big head" thinking you are going to have a fabulous PR? .. CRASH.. ha  well, maybe it was partly the red bull.  My coworker told me I was crazy for drinking that thing.  

Anyway, when I reached the turn around, I kept telling myself all I had to do was maintain that pace back and I was going to get a PR.  Well around mile 10, the tiredness hit me again.  And it seemed stronger than earlier that morning.  I wasn't out of breath from running, but my legs felt like they had 20 pound weights on each of them.  I could barely go! I started doing some run/walk intervals and then I noticed a guy way ahead of me that looked just like Gary Thornton who was also doing some walking.  Soon I caught up to him and was surprised it was him!  He's fast! Like 8 min and under pace normally! I told him there had to be something wrong for me to be catching up with him on the half.  He said he was just tired.  He had recently ran a couple races pretty fast and said he guess it had caught up with him.  The wind was tough on the way back in and it was HOT.  The humidity was getting to me! So we started walking and jogging off and on while talking.  It was good to catch up with him.  Him and Anna recently bought a condo in Gulf Shores.  He says they love it there.

Soon I noticed an older man up ahead of us weaving when we were somewhere between mile 11-12.  Then he walked to the side of the street to grab a palm tree and literally missed it and fell to the ground.  Gary and I both went running to check on him.  He told us he was fine and just needed help standing up.  He had meant to stop at the tree and rest, but lost his balance.  I could tell he was not fine.  He needed to rest, but he insisted we help him up.  So we did.  Then Gary and I both told him we would walk the rest of the way in with him.  We were not leaving him!  He kept trying to get us to just leave him, but we refused.  We ended up stopping 2 more times to let him rest and drink some water while walking him in the rest of the way to the finish line.  There was also a nice lady that stopped that was a nurse who offered to take his pulse and check him out.  She said his pulse was elevated and he need to take it real easy.  We walked arm in arm most of the way in to help him keep his balance.   

Here's a picture of us walking with him.  George Freeman - 85 years young! He's in the blue and Gary is in the green.

As we were walking, we learned a lot about his man.  He had on an old faded out shirt that had "Boston marathon" on it... so you know I had to ask about that. :>)  He had ran Boston 6 times he said!  He also did his fastest marathon at the age of 55 with a 3:04! Simply amazing!!!  He's originally from New York, but now lives in Gulf Shores.  Guess it's true that so many people retire and move to the beach! MY DREAM! :>)

Gary and I walked Mr. George across the finish line while a crowd of people clapped.  I didn't see any photographers during the race so not sure if anyone got us crossing.  If I find a picture, I'd add it later.  My mind totally had forgotten about that PR that I was earlier dreaming of and somehow even with the walking and stopping, I finished a 2:21 half ....guess my actual running time was pretty good. ha  I honestly believe God put me right where he wanted me.  I'm sure he didn't tell me to drink that red bull....but he put me in that spot to see this man fall and help him.  I wonder if I'll be like him when I'm 85.  Lord knows this man could run back in his day! And here he is at 85 just wanting to finish and cross that finish line.  He was still not steady after finishing.  He said his equilibrium was off.  I'm sure eventually he will have to accept that it's no longer a good thing to race and just walk casually.  Oh and he was only doing the 5K which joined the half marathoners on their 2nd mile and finished in the same spot as us.  I hope I know when to stop and quit pushing.  I'm sure that decision for him or for me will be a very difficult one.  Even at 50, I sometimes feel that I'm still 20 until I do something and then I'm reminded that I'm no longer as young as I use to be.  His eyes would light up as he talked about many of his marathon experiences.  You could just see the joy.  We visited for a good while on the bench at the finish line until his breathing had steadied.

I had hoped I'd see Robbie cross the finish line, but we missed each other when I walked Mr. George inside the Hangout where the food was at for the racers.  When Robbie and I found each other, we went outside and grabbed a picture by the Hangout hand.   

I did grab a picture with Tim after he finished too.  He laughed and told me and Robbie we were both crazy running long distance races.  He said that half wore him out.  I told him it was his first and not to quit now. :>)  I hope to see him more often at races!

I also got my feet in the sand for a few minutes while I sat quietly listening to the waves.  I could have stayed there all day!

Robbie and I both talked about being tired and I had developed a bad headache.  All we both wanted to do was go nap and that's exactly what we did.  I slept hard for a good 2 hours.  I had originally wanted to go to the bike shop in Fairhope while I was in town, but due to the nap after the race I didn't have time to make it there before closing time.  

Robbie and I went out for an early supper to catch up a little and then I made my way back home early Sunday morning.  I knew I needed to be home on Sunday in case I got the dreaded call to go to work or so I could get some much needed rest.  It was a SHORT trip, but a good trip.  

Well that's a wrap for the Sea Turtle Half.. here's the medal.

Now to prepare for the Rock'N'Fly half in Pensacola next month.  Looking forward to some girl time there! and isn't much better this week.  I've only gotten 5 tiny run miles in this week.  We have a big management meeting coming up on the 28th and I hope after that things will return to normal.  I don't like when things are out of order and I don't get my runs in. I'm cranky. Hee Hee


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Frosted Fanny 2017 - 1st race of the Quad Burner Series

Seems I'm getting slower at posting after a race.  I really need to do it ASAP because I tend to forget details.  My memory just isn't like those people who you might know that remember EVERYTHING.  Mom and I were even talking about this at Disney.  I told her that I just plain can't remember.  I have to write myself post it notes to remind myself to do stuff.  I use to think it was just part of getting older or maybe I'm just so busy that it's hard, but I have friends who can remember very vivid details about their childhood, etc.  I have very few memories from when I was young that I remember well.  Mom told me she's always been the same way.  Said she is amazed sometimes how her sister can give details on something from their past when she can't remember it herself.  I'm exactly the same way.  I'll have friends that ask me if I remember something from junior high school and honestly I might remember a tid bit, but I can't remember details like they can.  I guess every one's memory is just different.  I have a coworker who has a memory like a huge filing cabinet.  Ask him anything and he can pull it out and give details.  I so wish I could some days! 

So let me get to the Frosted Fanny.  It's the first of 5 races known as the Quad Burner Series.  I love this series!  It's in Bay St. Louis, Ms.  I can easily get up on race morning, drive 1 hour 45 minutes and I'm at race site.  They have packet pickup on race morning also so no need to pay for a hotel overnight unless you just want to visit one of the Mississippi Casinos on the coast. :>)  

Here's our little group before the race.  Love their backdrop! I need to look into one for R4TKs. 

I did the series last year for the first time and loved it! However, last year we all joked as to why they called it Frosted Fanny when it was so hot on race day.  That was not the case this year!  In south Mississippi you can literally have all 4 seasons in one week!  It was a COLD morning!  I had checked the weather and even though it was supposed to be cool they were saying the sun could come out around mid morning.  So when I got up in the dark and grabbed my things, I did not grab any long pants or gloves! I had my bike gloves which have the fingers cut out so my fingers were so cold! and let's not talk about my toes.  They were FROZE.  I hoped once the race started I would warm up.  Thank goodness I had a sweatshirt and a windbreaker jacket in my bike bag! 

Bike ready

 I wore the sweatshirt for the first 2 mile run. 
I think I was praying for the sun to come out. :>) 

So thankful for the ear muffs they gave us in our race swag bag!

 The race was an option of either a Duathlon or a 4 mile run.  I always pick the Duathlon because they help me train for my TRIs.  So basically the Duathlon consisted of a 2 mile run, 11 mile bike and a 2 mile run.  Sounds pretty easy, huh? Yep that's what I thought to the first year.  When my friend Kathy and Frank talked me into doing the series, I thought to myself how hard can a 2 mile run, 11 mile bike and 2 mile run actually be because it is on flat surface. I remember Kathy telling me to be prepared for the WIND>  Well, she was right! Wind can make a huge difference on a bike ride.  Especially the bikes we are riding.  They aren't your old time aluminum bikes that are heavy.  These are carbon and very light.  Most people can lift their bike up with one hand and load it on a car.  So when a big gust of wind hits you, it's all you can do to hang on and hope the wind doesn't make you wreck.  Especially if the wind is blowing into you from the side.  If you are biking into the wind, it's like pushing against a massive force that's trying to push you back.  It can be a very challenging ride even for just 11 miles. :>)  I was so glad I had the windbreaker to wear during the bike segment! and boy my neck and shoulders hurt after the race from not riding lately!

On the bike! So thankful for Gameface taking the pictures and letting us download them for FREE> :>) 

When I came in from my ride my toes were still numb! I almost fell when I un-clipped and put my feet down to get off my bike.  I could not feel my toes! They hurt the entire time I ran the last 2 miles! I actually looked at my watch and thought to myself.. boy, I'm doing pretty good to not have trained for this race.  I had only been on my bike 1 time since Augusta! and I had not practiced biking & running together.  I remember Amanda asking me what my time was the previous year as we were running.  I told her I couldn't remember (ha) and had not looked.  She said she had looked hers up and should have been trying to beat her time, but she was just enjoying the race.  I told her I was also just enjoying although I felt surprised with my times with no training.  I actually felt good except that I was so cold! I looked my time up when I got home and to my surprise, I didn't beat my time from the previous year.  I was actually faster in 2016 and I thought I felt better while racing in 2017.  Just goes to show you that every race is different. 

Last 2 mile run... still wearing jacket and GLOVES... So thankful for Frank who gave me a pair to go over my bike gloves to cover my fingers! 

1st Duathlon of 2017 done! 

 I didn't hang around after the race to socialize because my husband and I had plans with the grand kids in Jackson.  Yes, i was on the road a lot that day!  I was so glad that I saw that Frank & Krista had not started out on their last 2 mile run so I went over and hugged them both and told them good luck and that I was leaving so they wouldn't look for me after wards.  I'm proud of Krista.  She just had surgery and did the run segments in a boot walking.  She's one determined woman! 

So that's a wrap on Frosted Fanny.  I have a half marathon coming up on the 18th of this month (Sea Turtle in Gulf Shores).  Looking forward to seeing my old friend Robbie & Mo.  Both lives there so we will get to visit and catch up.  One day I hope to be retired and maybe live at the beach like them. :>)  A girl can dream, right?  Right now I'm trying to organize my workout schedule and get back in a rhythm.  It had gotten all out of whack when I was working on completing those 3 marathons within 67 days in 3 different states! I'm now back to swimming, biking, & running for the past 3 weeks.  I am aiming to try to not do any exercise on Sunday or at least most Sundays.  I'm sure there will still be beautiful Sunday afternoons that I will want to get on my bike and ride.  However, I use to take off on Sundays before I started training for Augusta last year.  I want to have a complete down day to focus on God, reflect on my training progress, and REST.... maybe even a nap! LOL  I miss those days.  However, this will make me have to do a long run during the week to be able to do a long bike on Saturdays.  I'm praying about it and I know the good Lord will lead me in the right direction and right plan so that I can have Sunday off most weeks and also accomplish the training I need to do for my TRIs.  It's hard to do 3 sports and fit in all the training along with taking care of a house, family, job, etc.  You must find a balance that works for you.  That's what I'm aiming for! My balance. :>) 

Happy Training! 

PS... I should have taken my 15 min rest time during lunch because I'm SLEEPY (I so love shutting my door, turning off my lights, and closing my blinds at lunch most days!).  When I woke up this am at 4:30am to run it was raining so I went back to bed.  Now it's still raining so who knows if I'll get my run in today. grrrrrrrr

Sunfish FAIL 7-14-18

There is always a first time for everything they say....  Well, for the first time I went to a race out of town and after arriving re...