Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rock N Fly Blue Angels Half 3-18-17

Half marathon #26 for me.  All week I had been looking forward to this half.  First because it was going to be another "new" half for me and second because it was in Pensacola, Fl.  I love the beach! 

The only problem was my hip/sciatic nerve down my leg had really been bothering me since the MS50 that was 2 weeks prior.  I don't know if it was the rugged terrain that irritated my body or what.  I spent days wondering what I had done wrong to cause this pain to act back up.  All the miles I had put in between October and January with no pain at all and now I was full of pain. As with any runner, we begin to analyze everything we did differently trying to figure out where we went wrong.  OR at least I do! The only thing I had done differently lately was not walk as much.  I had done the past 3 marathons by doing a jog/walk program and now I had recently done the sea turtle half and the MS50 with little walk time.  I figured the running was pounding my spine too much causing my bulging disc to irritate my nerve (my doc has always recommended a jog/walk program due to my DDD.. it's just hard to listen sometimes when your body feels good).  It's not a good feeling when that nerve is irritated let me just tell you! I couldn't even sit without pain in my hip area.  I rolled on my tennis ball for days.  So I went to the race with no intentions of focusing on time or running hard.  My goal was to simply cross that finish line.  Two of my friends, Ashley & Jennifer, were meeting me and we were sharing a room so I looked forward to some girl time. :>) 

It was a beautiful morning with the temp in the 50s.  I was a tad worried about how fast it would warm up.  I really like racing when the temp is 30-40 degrees at start. :>) I was excited to be going on base where the Blue Angels are stationed.  We grabbed a few pictures before the race started.

The start line got crowded fast once they said for everyone to get in their corrals.  They said there were 3,000 runners.  

We had a Blue Angel fly over right before we started.  It was so cool! Here it is......

And then we were off! Ashley who was coming back from an injury had said she was going to take it easy.  Jennifer and I decided we would hang with her.  I was glad about that since my hip was still bothering me.  However, the first 5-6 miles we ran straight.  Boy my hip started hurting badly.  Every time my foot hit the ground the sharp pain went from my toes to my hip. :(  I was so glad when Ashley started taking some walk breaks. LOL  

I took a few pictures along the course when we were on walk breaks. 

I wish I had filmed the water stations.  They were a hoot! The guys were dressed up and even danced for us.  One water station had a water sprinkler.  Here's one picture I got at one. 

I was so very glad when we finished the 13.1 miles!  Ashley had a goal to finish in 2:30 and we finished in 2:20, 10 minutes under goal!  I was very proud of her. 

It was a HOT finish.  I had a good time with these girls, but I sure was ready for either my hot tub or an ice bath to help my hip.  I was not looking forward to the drive home!  I had originally planned to stay 2 nights, but Jenn & Ashley were going on to NOLA to run a race again on Sunday so I decided to get on back home.  Lord knows I got tons to do at my house in my yard!   
So I finished another half.... just barely.. ha  Whew I'm hoping the Rise and Shine half coming up on April 1st will not be anything like this half!  I wish I had not had so much pain so I could have enjoyed the race a tad more.  The only thing I didn't like is we did not run at the beach.  We ran on the base and by the bay area for a short time.  So no nice big sea to look at.  The race itself was very well organized and it was for a great cause.  I love our military!  

Not a great pic of medal... it's real cute!

Me and Jenn eating pizza afterwards

My race bib

"I run because it's so symbolic of life.  You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles.  You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought."  ~ Arthur Blank 

So for me it's STRETCH... STRETCH... STRETCH.. Foam ROLL... Foam Roll... and cross train...and get ready for April 1st! I will overcome this pain to push an ARC child during the Rise and Shine half marathon. :>)  You must dig deep within yourself and find that inner strength!

until next time...... D

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Children's Classic 10K (February 25) & MS50 20K plus 6 (March 4)

Two races in one post :>)  

Let me start with the Children's Classic 10K in Hattiesburg.  I had not preregistered for this race because of my recent work schedule.  I was happy on Friday when I realized that it was a very good chance we would not work on the weekend so I started thinking about going to the race.  The race is for an awesome cause!  It's for The Children's Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi (where I graduated).  Children enrolled there have a variety of special needs and diagnoses.  I love to run when the race supports an awesome cause such as children!

The 10K didn't start till 9 am so I actually got to sleep a little later than normal for a race day. :>)  I wasn't sure if any of my friends would be there since I had not even mentioned the race with me not knowing I was going to be able to go.  I was happy to find my teammate, Stan there when I arrived.

 I had no idea he was in town.  He works all over the country!  As it got closer to race start, I noticed a few more teammates, Katherine, Ronnie, Be and Penny!  It was so good to see them all!

They started by letting the kids do a fun run first.  It was so sweet watching these precious kids.  They were all "CAPEable".  Love that theme! 

Then it was time for the 10K to start.  I had not done any speed work lately so I really only had one goal and that was to try to get in somewhere around an hour.  I had not ran through the USM campus in a couple of years and forgotten all the rolling hills.  It was a challenging 10K.  I meet a young girl at the start line.  I believe she said she was 27 and this was her first 10K.  Once the race started we stayed neck in neck together.  Then around mile 4 after a water stop, I never saw her again.  Somehow I had pushed ahead.  I was now running ALONE which can be boring.  I like to run with someone that is around my same pace because it keeps me running. I finished just under an our.  YIPPIE.  Stan took a picture of me finishing. 

My time was 57 Min... the clock has an extra minute.. they started the ARC riders 1 min before us.

I started to leave and get back home, but Stan and I decided to go over to the timing booth to get our times printed out.  He had ran a new PR and was curious to see who was ahead of him.  I was shocked when they handed mine to me and had me listed as grand master winner! :>)  and he won Masters!

I love the homemade medals! :>)  The kids actually painted them.  I was blessed to run this race for an awesome cause!

Now on to the MS50 20K (12.4 miles) + 6 more.....
The MS50 is a race that I've done whether it be running the volunteer run or the actual race for the last 6 years.  It's a trail run that is local.  It's always a fun race. Tough on body but FUN.  The past 2 years I had done the 50K (31 miles), but decided to tone it down a notch this year and just do the 20K.  A couple of my friends that were planning on running with me had to back out due to injuries / sickness, so I wasn't sure who I'd be running along.  I knew Jennifer was doing the race, but she's a tad faster than me. LOL  My good friend Shine was also doing the race, but had said she was going to hang with her mother.  Seems several of us either have life issues in the way of our training or injuries this year.  It's just been an odd year starting off.  Normally there is a big group of us (R4TKs) at all the races and we have so much fun.

Jennifer had told me at the pool that she was going to run with me.  I just didn't know if she'd actually hang back with me... you can't stop a race horse. :>)  However, she did.  She ran my butt off, but she stayed with me the entire 20K.  Here we are before the race started with Serina, who was walking the 20K with her dad.

Jennifer also took a picture while we were running down a hill! You can tell by my gritting of my teeth in the picture... I don't know how she didn't fall doing that. ha  

Jennifer and I finished the 20K (12.4 miles) in 2 hours 16 minutes.  I think they may be a PR for me, however I seem to recall me and Sunshine running either a 2:15 or 2:20 one year... I'll have to check the results.  Jennifer and I waited around for Pam, my neighbor and friend.  She was doing the 50K and we planned to run the last 6 miles with her.  Jennifer captured this picture of me and Pam on that last 6 miles.  

The trails were so dry and clean! I've never seen them so dry in all the years I've done the race! It was a beautiful day! My whole body was sore however from bouncing around on the trail.  Trail running is supposed to be easier on your body, but I feel that you need to do them often to really know that.  My ankles to my head was sore.  I had to really watch and dodge tree stumps.  It was the first year that I've not fallen! Yeah me! :>)  So Jennifer and I ended up with 18.4 miles total and Pam ended up with 31.  Here's are final picture.

There was also a teammate from R4TKs, Andrea that did her first 50K.  We all took a picture together because her and Pam had ran most of the race together, but it's not on my phone.  I guess it's on one of the other's phone.  We had asked a lady to take our picture and handed her all our phones. :>)  Congrats to Pam and Andrea in accomplishing their first 50K! 31 miles on a trail is a big accomplishment!

LOVE the shirt!

Whew it's been a busy 3 weekends in a row with the Sea Turtle half, Children's Classic 10K, followed by the MS50! I'm glad this weekend does not involve a race.  I get one break before another 4 weekends in a row of racing. :>)  I love this saying that Jenn posted the other day.


Hope your training is going well.  And guess what? Daylight savings begins this weekend! YIPPIE


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...