Sunday, January 25, 2015


This race was difficult because i just wasnt in the mood but i headed out at 6am to get the party started. The one thing people should know about me is i dont like dark courses. Secondly curvy  routes drive me crazy.
So what happened, it was still dark as i watched other runs get out their cars and stretch. One skinny lost looking soul wondered around bewildered looking for a friend that never came. As he took off in his pickup i thought thats a shame you should have stayed and run anyway.
That's exactly why as i sat in my own car waiting for the sun to rise and freezing to save gas, i knew i had to get it done.  It wasnt long after that a car pulled in beside me. I watched as a woman got out and fumbles through what i assume is her running gear in the back. She looks like someone in my running group but i am blind in the darkness of the morning  and not sure. After watching her for awhile i finally rolled down my window to ask if shes with my group and discover its her. She and another running buddy then convinced me to start early but i was a little nervous about it still being dark. She convinces me to barrow her extra head lamp and i agree. I had one in the back of my car but since she offered it saved me from digging for my own.
We were finally off, I made it less than a mile with before the bad knee decided run/walk is not our thing. We parted with them as the light of day was about an hour away.
I held onto the  lamp tightly because i was not in the mood to put on my head and i dont wear other peoples stuff. It didnt take long before the tandam was out of my eyesight and i began to shine the light on and closely watched every bush, tree and soul passing. I also aimed it at cars too, even the nice houses on the quiet street were not above suspicion
I moved for what seemed like hours before finally making it to the first water stop. Another reason i don't like dark races the water station was two miles in, the lack of sun scrambled my internal mile-o-meter. None the less I started to feel good about doing the half marathon. There were more than a few runners passing me but i was at peace with my own pace.
Dawn had creeped in on me enough to really take a look at the houses in the neighborhood i was going through. One the ugly house on the block reminded me of Draculas' castle. It was brick and sat back off the road not many trees but for some reason its facade was dark. There waa not a good spirit about this place and it wasn't my imagination. Im not surprised the house next to it was for sale i couldn't live next to it. I spead up in case Egor bust out to grab a new victim.
Just after passing Dracs pad I hit the five mile water station the sun was fully out at this point but it was still only in the high fifties and cold.
It was susposed to rain so I wasn't wearing my usaul running shorts. Instead i was sporting neon orange basketball length shorts that were better suited to repel water although i knew they weren't totally water resistant.  The decision turned out to be a big mistake. They kept bunching up on one side making me pull them down every few steps untill i said to heck with it and suffered through the misery.
I was thankful to have been near the halfway mark at that point. Certainly a good thing as I noticed by mile seven my leg with the bad knee was starting to drag. It wasn't hurting yet i was concerned about the noticeable shuffle i developed. Added to these misfortunes was living the horror of the courses twisted roads. I mentioned they drive me crazy and really that is the nice version. I tried singing (my voice peels paint) and day dreaming about tropical paradise to forget the purgatory i was in but nothing helped.
When i started out it was too dark to see how twisty the road was but coming back the never ending curves brought dispair around every bend in the road that didn't see the final bridge. Adding to this predicament I couldn't find my good micro fiber socks that morning so the not so cheap eleven dollar pair i decided to use was called up to the plate. They fell down on the job i think they were only good for one race.They are now shot, my feet were not happy with them.
By mile twelve i had had it. The last mile went easy but my brain  was drained.  I have told myself no boring runs and still i end up on these type courses. All i know is its over and thank the lord.


Received the swag and it was so disappointing.  The back of the medal was smudged i couldn't even shine it clean.The shirt was cheesy and smelled like cigarette smoke and the disposable jacket had a mildew smell to it. They will not get repeat business out of me.I have entered cheaper races and gotten better quality.

Friday, January 23, 2015

MLK 5k Walk

There was no scheduled MLK races in my neck of the woods and i did not have a community service project lined up so i took to the streets with a group of locals for the annual three mile march to honor the civil rights hero .

In recent years it has become a tradition for me to checkout the parades and festivals around the state for the holiday and this year the 5k walk meant something special to me. Im taking back my health and looking to set an example in my town of what just thirty minutes of walking can do. I knew at the end of the parade vendors would be selling fried fish dinners, mac and cheese, and all kinds of cakes and pies. These are foods our community and southerners in general need to leave alone or change the way we prepare them. I'll leave that lecture alone though. On the day of the walk I parked at the local auditorium which was the site of the mlk festival and ending point for the parade. They dont have shuttles so i had to walk back towards the starting point to meet up with the marchers. I caught up with the group midway and settled in behind a local high school band. It's a shame that the kids in the band were the only diversity i saw. Along the way i had am interesting conversation with a lady who was sporting her AKA shirt who told me she graduated from central state university. The sororities were out in force the deltas are always out but it was nice to see zetas and sigmas too. By the time the freedom march made it to the civic centers parking lot the crowd that didn't walk had picked up. Yes i was disappointed that other cultures in the community especially black islanders and Hispanics didn't show up. This is a celebration all Americans should embrace though. Our country needs to unite and stand together but i degress. It was a good walk and i felt honored to have met some postive people.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Took a hike

I woke up friday morning and the thought of doing five miles didn't thrill me. I have not ramped up my training for the new year yet and i am feeling the effects.
I signed up for this Clearwater race so long ago i forgot about it. So i made sure to leave the house early for the Tampa area to get my walk on.
I took on this race as a virtual but if i had known i would actually be in the area i would have gone in person. Instead i walked the fairgrounds were i was attending a show. It was not the most beautiful walk but served its purpose.
I did three miles of nice paved path, got in a few stairs but not many. I tend to avoid those like the plague. I had intended to pass the miniature Vietnam wall exhibit on display too but i forgot about it there were to many distractions.
The main culprits were food booths. Im talking cheesesteak subs, hot dogs  (i don't even eat beef anymore) , fried onions and peppers, loaded frys with bacon and deep fried chicken on a stick. Now i only had a bottle of water so all the wonderful  aromatic smells were killings me. I didn't really want any as i gave up eatting that way but it smelled so good it brought back memories. Thats why i decided to finish the course in the vast parking area. There were no distractions out there just dry campets and an occassional shuttle.
The last two miles had me circling  on a half grass,dirt and tar area around the exihibition halls of the fairgrounds. My feet were tired and it was a less than exciting way to eat a five miler but i got it done. Multitasking is an useful art Im so glad i haven't let a little thing like business get in the way of my race routine. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Conquering the cold

When i left home the thermostat in my car read fifty four, by the time i got to Jacksonville it was thirty nine.
I had the heat on full blast and good thing i did because i drove around looking for metropolitan park for nearly an hour. It's not like I'm unfamiliar with the city but between construction,bad signage and it still being dark at 6am it was an adventure.
I was so thankful to have finally made it to a parking spot in the Jaguars stadium that the cold didn't concern me that much. I made a dash from there to packet pick up and then back to put the goody bag in the car. Not much was in there except the shirt so i slung it in the back. After that it was off to find the local BGR congregation. They were welcoming even though i started my I'm going to be last routine. They were having none of it and told me to run my race. Once introductions ended It was nearly show time so i took my place in line with the walkers. As i waited i watched people with gloves and full body hugging outfits pass me. One lady i talked to had on a parker. I don't know how she ran with it but she beat me. I didnt bother to dress warm. The last time i tried to wear layers i regretted it when i started heating up and couldnt take anything off. I will note that when the start signal went off i can say i was warm. Maybe not toasty but comfortable enough to not feel cold chills.
I hit the start strip and was off on what i thought would be just another 5k run. Nope this one was different from the beginning. I noticed a large crowd still around me, and they were all walkers. It was an unusaul situation for me to be in as I'm always alone within the first minutes of the race. Yet there i was with a crowd of people doing my pace. I looked to my left and saw a very thin lady in a red bathrobe looking jogging suit that reminded me of the eighties. She had a pink knit cap on her head from the same era. For some reason she touched and inspired me though i never saw her face. I just was happy she was put there showing me she could do the dang thing but i did wonder if she had been sick, she appeared fragile in build.
Then i looked behind me and saw people and felt uncomfortable. I had never experienced that many walkers slower than me. Two of them were Black girl run husbands. The wives were doing the half, i thought that was awesome.
My hands began to get cold enough to feel numb within a block, so i made a fist and kept opening and closing then placed them in my pocket. At that point i was consumed by having warm hands. I had my eyes on the view across an empty lot to watch the sunrise but i had not completely taken in my surroundings. I kept wondering why i started smelling coffee. That's when I looked up to see the Maxwell house plant. Hope the caffeine lovers had their jolt before the run because the aroma was a killer. It was a dark roast for sure and way to strong for me but the smells went with the morning walk theme at least. A nice brew and great views of Jacksonvilles skyline for breakfast, good to the last memory (couldn't resist ). By the time we came to the fork in the road where the 10k kept straight and we veered left i was in a groove. I watched a member of bgr and her running buddy keep pace as turned to leave them. They were run/walking slow but steady. I got the impression it was one of their first race at the distance. Looking at them I witnessed the power of support. In that moment while i watching them churn on down the line i knew i could benefit from a walk buddy like that. I picked up my own pace as we turned left towards the landing which is in the waterfront area. Assorted members of my back of the pack club began making their moves. We were closing in on the two mile mark and the space between me and them widened. Surprisingly my knee still felt great but i was afraid to take a chance with its well being by moving with them. I stayed behind them and ahead of the stranglers at a steady pace. Heading back around the same bend all the runners start from had me anxious to finish. Yes i felt accomplished because earlier i contemplated if i should even attend. Not even the half marthoner who said loudly as we passed "oh those are only the 5kers" to a friend, could dampen my spirit i was happy. As i walked i met a bgr and we talked for awhile it did feel good to not be alone as i headed home. I discovered we both were not only in bgr but girltrek and I was rocking my trekkie colors too. Would have done red but having retired my red shoes from the road there will be no red or pink outfits until i get new kicks. A woman must be coordinated. I logged the final stretch with a light sprint at the finish and it was over. This event goes down as a wonderful experience for me. Yes this was the best damn race i have been to thus far.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year the story continues

I started off the year with a 5k on my favorite loop route. Circular courses usaully drive me crazy but this loop always has plenty of interesting distractions to keep me amused. I'm not saying that i have not gotten bored with it at times but i tend to like the convenient location and the fact it doubles as a trail.
The morning of January 1st was sunny with a temperature of about 70. We had torrential rains the night before and there was still s dampness in the air. In fact it smelled a bit swampy as i made my way around the route avoiding large puddles. I had originally  planned on doing a solar bear run on the beachside but i woke up Thursday morning and decided against it. I knew the new years resolution people would be out and i wasnt in the mood for my knee is still bothering me and the stress of running the long causeway to the beach with that kind of crowd didn't seem very appealing. I wanted a walk to gather my thoughts on what i wanted to accomplish in the second phase of my race season. Working on my speed is the obvious one but there are many more things I'd like to do in 2015 that will require a considerable amount of training. So I'm putting new goals on my table. These are simply things that have begun to weigh on my heart as the races start to pile up in the finished pile.
I plan to fulfill a few of these bucket list desires starting with the one at the top of the page. Yes i need to get my triathlon off the vision board and accomplished this year.  I did learn recently that i am training for a sprint not a full and so at least i won't embarrass myself saying i did a tri and having people think i finished an iron man! Especially since I have never done a full marathon and its certainly not on the to do list this season.
Second i need a road trip maybe a destination race, haven't decided but it would be nice. Also want to win my age group at leaat once that may be a more difficult task yet not totally off the doable scale. Im saving my biggest dream just for me but its a crazy one, my whole walk i was thinking about it.
All that thinking got me two miles, drats i was not happy, i wanted the third mile done. I have become bored with 5ks and frankly think i might have to do less of them this year.
However i got it done and already had my medal. I quick check of my mailbox had a bulky delivery tucked inside. It was my new years eve and new years medal from brazen. I thought i signed up for remote but found out i didn't so i contacted the organizers who then sent out both and the double bonus together. It was pretty cool  that i picked up the package new years day. Although i must say i thought that last years medal was what i was getting. It had a cool Pegasus on it. Imagine my shock to find maybe the worst looking medals ever. Yes they were a nice size (guess size doesnt matter if it aint bumpin) but the bonus wasnt big or intereseting. New lesson for me look hard at the year on medals pictured. The ones i saw were previous years and they were awesome. This years, ekk not so much but i like the brazen team i will run another of their events but i have to see the medal first. Now i need to find more January races, the show must go on.