Saturday, December 27, 2014

Almost new years 5k

The weather report said the temperature would be in the eighties today, not bad for Florida this time of year and certainly a little hot for a race. Lucky for me my weather app told me it was about seventy three at 9:30 when i started the almost new years eve race.
I really was not up for this event for two reasons. First it's December  27th and second my gut was still full of christmas junk food and this body was not feeling very athletic that early in the morning. Now I know i shouldn't have done it but i had a lettuce,tomotoe and egg sandwhich on whole wheat toast for breakfast. I can't say why i craved it but i threw caution to the wind and downed that bad boy before the race.
By the time i made it to the course i was feeling better. I changed my shoes and hit the road. Right away an old couple caught up to me from nowhere and passed me. I know they we seniors because the wife wanted to take a day trip to the villages. For those that don't know thats one of the largest senior communities in the country. Then a friendly guy passed me and he was older than them. This man was moving and he soon faded from my sight. I continued to struggle along at snail pace despite the indignity.
Then i began thinking how my speed had gone down hill so fast. The injury to my knee years ago has left me unable to bend it fully. It's hard for me to run because i can't completely make a fill turning motion on the bad leg.  What I'm basically doing is a half bend with the bad knee which puts pressure on my entire frame.
Because of this handicap i wear out shoes like crazy. The bad knee grinds into the ground and wears out while the sometimes good knees shoe is hardly worn. It has added up to ten pairs of sneakers alone this year.
As i walked along checking my time i thought about the situation and one thing came to mind. Keep moving the weight will drop and the speed will come. I was already hitting eighteen minutes and wasn't close to mile. I was sadden but not ready to quit.I made the decision to hit the trail instead of the usaul loop i run. I was bored witg circling and the change was supposed to inspire me.
It worked i hit the dirt road and circled a nice trail carefully watching for snakes. I saw nothing just me and whatever was hiding in the scrubs.The change of worked unril mile two,after that i just wanted it over. Ir was a beautiful day for sure but i couldn't  shake the fact my foolish decision to eat the breakfast i did was coming back on me. Yep, i did the last mile in prayer mode. I need a potty break but refused to use those portable ones. When the pedometer  hit 3.1 i ran for the car and headed home to take care of business. Never again is all i can say, Ill be sticking to my prerace ritual of bananas and maybe a muffin. So Almost News years is in the book.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Year in review

As the year draws to an end i have one race remaining on the "14" docket  i feel it's time for a review. Having come to the almost half way point in my race calender reflecting back a bit is necessary.
Let me begin with the fact that I have trained hard since June for what is supposed to be a landmark year in my life.
I Starting with a goal to reclaim my physical and mental health to make a change in the direction i was allowing my life to travel in.So in September i got the party started by completing my first race.
From that day to now these old bones have finished twenty races which included a miler that almost killed me on Thanksgiving day, an assortment of 5ks, a 10k, and 3 half marathons. Along the way I met some really nice folks at races and learned the hard way to do research on the events i pick.
I did have some setbacks early on, due to pushing myself. My bad knee gave out just before my first in person race and i have struggled through it ever since. After the twenty year old knee injury could no longer be ignored, I made the decision to switch from run/walk to just plain walk. A woman on a mission has to keep it moving and thats what i did. It took some time for me not to be embarrassed by it though. I had to embrace the saying "my race my pace" before i let go of the shame though. The bright side was i discovered the joy of remote racing.
Once I discovered that i could sign myself up for virtual editions of realtime races to save money and check my progress by showing up in person for them in the following year it was on.Thus far it has worked great with a one exception.
I also suffered a disappointment or two. The women's race series in St Petersburg was cancelled, thank goodness i got my money back. I thought of traveling to another girl themed race but was to tired emotionally and physically to enter the run like a diva event in St Augustine. Im sorry for not being able to cross off a womens race this year in person but it will be done in 2015. My major set back happened in November. I gain weight after my mother took ill and fell into a funk. Unlike the past i had events to complete and with a broken heart i managed to complete them without training. This path saved me and while i put the November slump in the setback category it also represented my biggest victory. When times get hard i have always buckled down and did what i had to do by changing direction and focusing on everyone else. This time i took care of business keeping myself in mind. Bam, its what i needed to pull through the crisis and claim victory. I'm still struggling but Im stronger and carrying less baggage.
What i have learned so far is to not let road blocks derail me. No more rushing to signing up for a race early no matter how good of a discount i get if it's not a virtual.  I am stuck running races in person now that Im not interested in traveling to anymore.  Its not a good way to start the new year but i will make the most off it. I also learned to get in where you fit in. Joining moms run this town was a great decision but black girls run hasn't worked out yet. I see them at races but have not really been to any of the runs. I might have been expecting to much from that group because they are not a force in my local area. Surprisingly my Girltrek experience continues to inspire and i will keep close to them in the new year but let go of the group leader title. The real lesson here is my solo journey crosses many paths and i need to continue using those shared experiences to encourage myself and lift my game to where it needs to be.
Summing up my experience thus far i can say it's been good. I  learned the does, don'ts and must that a newbie should and hope to make corrections in the second half of  my 2014/15 season. Bring on the New years, this sister is ready!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mount Dora

With the holidays approaching i hadn't had time to put this race to paper. I completed this one in every parking lot in town, okay sort of.
Started off doing seven miles on my mapped out route but then had to run some  errands. So yep i took to the grocery store parking lots to finish it off. Ive never been more determined to get thirteen miles done.
The holiday bustle really kick my butt into high gear. I would have never finished this commitment  in the old days but the best part about this experience is triumphing over my own apathy. I had to get it done and hold myself accountable. Thankful to have finished it and put another notch in my over coming adversity belt.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I was unable to register for bgr walkb4urun at the begining of my race season because the event sold out earlier in the year. Lucky for me the end of the year made for a better time to complete it.
I would be less than honest if i said i followed the program too. I downloaded it and never looked its way again. I had already finished eighteen races and had my own routine going. So instead i simply kept my walking schedule and realized a day before the 20th that i had this event.What's a woman to do when she's busy. Well i put on the pedometer and used it while hitting the outlets.
Yes i did, the mega shopping complex with parking a mile away proved to be the perfect place to mow down 3.1 .  I don't enjoy or like shopping but this year Im so blessed to still have my mom it was worth it,plus trudging through shoe stores while completing a 5k seemed fitting.
It certainly was a good plan of action. I pulled off a little more than three miles, found the shoes mom had been asking for since summer and finished Christmas and Kwaanza shopping all in one trip. I have to say it was a good day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Best Damn Walk

Im not fond of hills but i have a thing for bridges. It's probably the views that help me deal with the inclines and thats why i decided after a long break in my race schedule to map a route that took me over the causeway. Let me tell you it was not just any bridge, i have at times referred to it as my nemises. Today however it was an old friend waiting to welcome me back. My journey started alone unusual for a Saturday when it is always filled with bikers, sightseers and runners. I had the beast to myself and i liked it. The only other souls around were two kayakers below me that were fishing. It wasn't until i reached the first summit that i saw another walker. Then the crowds began flooding the narrow lane to beachside. For me it meant that i had people to pull me along, because i tend to meander if its to nice a day. Within the crowd there were no serious runners though. I think everyone was just trying to make an effort to stay in shape for the holiday season. I was no exception the only claim i could stake was i was not conquered by the twi mile span. In fact i started amd ended strong a testament to my training this past summer. Once over the bridhe stage it was the long crunch of miles that gripped me. To be exact it was nine more miles of working to stay mentally strong. The distance never bothers me but keeping positive has been a problem. I learned in my first half to just keep moving, so at least i wouldnt slow to a crawl. In hindsight i had no worries, my pace was good and the route was interesting.To be honest i didnt remember to look at my ending time but it was around four hours certainly faster than my first one and now that i think of it fitting for a beach type medal.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I don't know when it happened but I'm hooked on racing. I know Im not fast but just thinking about the finishers high makes me excited.
I don't mean to sugar coat my plight during the race though. The start is the worst for me.That's the point where everyone and their great grandma passes me ( no joke). Even walkers clear out on me. Ive come to accept this but it is the span between start and finish that i crave. I roll in so many emotions after the crowd of runners clear that i swear I'm sybil. Only im not sure how many voices i talk to myself in. Go ahead laugh but the conversation goes something like this.
"Why the heck did you signup for this". "This whole thing is bullcrap". "I hate this course". " Who is that man with the sexy legs. He's not all skinny like those other guys." "You can do this girl, God gotcha back". "Good cause im not feeling it." " its a great day for a run, what nice views. I should take a picture,  naw". "Wait a minute who the.. is that a straggler, thank God im not last". " Let me speed up so they don't catch me". Im thirsty but no way ill drink that water with their nasty fingers in the cup." "How much longer is this damn course i know it's measured wrong". "oh theres people at the finish line, let me speed up like i ran this thing."  "What the world, this isn't the medal i saw on the website. What you mean that was last years picture and why is it so little. Next time im doing the half i need serious bling".
Yes i know its crazy but the mind does what it has to do to get( through. I don't have anyone waiting for me to cross the line so when i do the most exhilarating things have already happened to me. Things like making it up a hill, surviving a bridges steep incline or beating the heat. So as i watch the post on my running groups sites i become hyped. I want to be there at those races too.
Its been three long weeks now and i have counted three major races i could not attend. Im ready to train and get back my mojo,the road is calling.