Its been a week since my last race entry. I had to take one week off just to rest because seventy miles in fourteen days was a bit much for me.
I have spent my time thinking not only of my activism but of how i will enter this decade of my life being a doer and bridge builder. When i say builder im talking so much more than race and natoonality. In this age of the internet we have lost many venues to have civil conversations face to face.
When i enter a race that type of human interaction comes back. People come from all over and within any crowd there is a chance of connecting to whats good in the human spirit. Through the toughest struggles of my life came the strength to make it to the next day. It is my faith that keeps me going but living the word powers my soul.
In the gate i learned a lesson that i knew but hadn't practice. I needed a buddy in that race to push me.Despite determination sometimes we all need a push from another persom to make it. At the end of my journey I took inspiration from all those around me and that was exactly how i made it through.
I saw a medal that described it so much i had to have it. This is not a blog where i sell things, if it doesn't fit into my experience its not on here. I might be to personal but believe me when i say Im honest in my failures and triumphs. I will never lose if I'm always making an effort. I did those miles and im proud.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Its been a week since my last race entry. I had to take one week off just to rest because seventy miles in fourteen days was a bit much for me.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sunday, March 15, 2015
I took the show on the road today. The orginal plan called for a few pit stops along the way but the ride to Jacksonville takes a few hours and i didn't want to miss packet pickup. So i decided to melt away the chunk of miles before the grand finale at the expo.
I wanted to get to 45 miles before Saturdays race where i counted on polishing off the last nine of my 54 in the Gate river run 15k.
I arrived at expo a little after three, i was surprised i had no problem parking and was able head right into the exhibit hall. Received my bib and was directed to shirt pickup where i learned that they were out of womens 2x shirts. They weren't going by size ordered but what people wanted. They had it in mens but the color was neon yellow green. I liked the fusia the women's came in, so i took large. I cant fit it but I will eventually frame it anyway. In fact I wish now that i had asked for a small.
After getting my swag bag taken care of i entered the expo part. It was the first time i have attended a large expo where i could buy shoe brands and gear.
I tried on hokas they didnt feel or fit right.The girls at the booth were awesome though. Looked at a few others brands too but nothing caught my fancy. I also spotted belts that held water bottles, cell phones and accessories. The young lady selling those was a good pitch person and if i hadn't already seen them cheaper in my local sporting good store i would have taken one home.Glad i finally got to see what people in my running groups were talking about though. Then i remembered the day was all about finishing those miles.
The expo area wasnt large though and i wasn't able to walk off much and so i left to do some laps in the parking lot. Now i know I looked tore up, my pants were to big and i had on a dinky training tshirt. I would not have shown up like that but i was tired and frankly was in character mode. I was so deep into getting my fifty four i vowed not to change my shoes or style of dress until after the last mile was done. I didn't know anyone in Jacksonville anyway.
Well, on my way out i ran into a lady from BGR Orlando. Twenty thousand runners and i see one of the few people I ve met at races. thats my luck. On my way out i pasted this guy who for some reason liked playing the Flintstones theme. To funny because yabba dabba do was not how i was feeling knowing i needed ten more miles before race day.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Today i tied my shoes and head out the door . I wasn't running on all cylinders but i was moving.Not even the woman who slammed her door shut when i walked past her car could sour my mood. Im facts neither she or her friends who kept clicking the car alarm was going to ruin my day.
I started slow but improved as the miles built. Then something special happened at mile six. I started feeling really good, in fact i felt strong almost as if i could blaze around the course. If i had not run out of day light I'm sure i could have eaten ten miles easy.
I find it encouraging that my body didn't take long to adjust to the miles. All that's is mental preparation as i work towards the last miles of the journey i find myself struggling. Not in stamina but rather the ability to stay pumped up enough to work through the drudgery of each step.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I knew squeezing these miles into my everyday life would be a challenge but i had this fantasy i could make it a great adventure.
Well the reality is i am getting the miles in wherever i can and today i did what i had to do to make it work.
I found myself at Walmart after surviving a traffic backup from an accident on I-95 and gridlock from an afternoon baseball game. It turned a five minute trip to the store into forty five minutes. Then after shopping i saw rain clouds looming, so i put the few things i picked up in the back of the car and off i went to circle the parking lot.
I only did a mile and maybe three fourths i know it wasn't quite two. The parking lot smell almost killed me. There was an 1960's era VW bus with solor panels out that must have thrown their waste water on the ground. I saw a large spot on the pavement near it and it smelled like urine. It was not the only place on the lot i smelled it but all the combined smells made me cut the walk short.
Then i headed home unloaded the goods and went back to a neighborhood park. I didn't want to but as i near Saturday the miles are building up and i just dont want to do to many before my last day. All in all i knocked out seven and am inching closer to my goal.
There are many types of walks and on the third day of my journey i knew in my heart i needed to take a walk of honor.
So Tuesday I drove to Eastern Florida State College because it was the midway point to my destinations for the day and it would serve as my emergency support point. I usually carry everything i need with me from a first aid kit to food and porta potty but the comfort of having security and an air conditioned place to rest if i became ill or was injured convinced me to park there. I had also hoped to march a loop around the campus and perhaps strick up some interesting conversations with students. I'd had that kind of talk with a group of nineteen and twenty somethings there during the black history luncheon. However It was getting close to spring break though and the student count was low judging from the parking lot. So I made the decision to quickly gathered my supplies for the day and head out to the road to start.
It was a little past noon and hot. I would never be caught out under normal circumstances at that time of day but i told myself the marchers had to deal with whatever the weather brought them and so should I.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
So i got a little down on myself for being on mile six. If i could make my dream come true I'd trek fifty miles through the county one way camping at night and eating pasta dinners like the marchers. Yet my reality is a few road miles a day until i hit fifty four and that's okay.
I'm working on increasing mileage with every segment i do. I've not had a ten mile day yet but the miles I'm accumulating are rewarding. I know i could knock out fifty four on the treadmill in four days but my desire from day one was to take it on the road and in whatever weather comes my way.
So this morning i woke feeling like crap, i had a headache and my arches hurt but walking was still on my mind. I decided to skipped the morning run to let my body recover from the ailments it was battling and by noon i did feel better despite my "senior" pains. In addition I needed to be accountable to my running buddy for the day. A lady in my running group responded to a post i made about my March goals. I didn't mention why because it is not a predominantly African American group but she and some others figured it out, it pays to surround yourself with people who are thinkers. We met at a running spot and walked. For those not in the running community this was an act of kindness that i truly appreciated. Runners run and walking at a slow twenty minute pace is a sacrifice. Im limping my way through life right now and its all i can do to maintain a steady pace. When someone who likes to log miles at a faster pace then you offers to go your pace it's a gift. I throughly enjoyed the conversation and quickly learned how out of shape I am. I was not used to talking while moving as a solo trekker and i struggled with my breathing during the chat. Everything else went well though we logged four miles that officially was 4.7. I top it off later to five as i ended up running an errand and could not resist walking the grocery store parking lot to get the extra tenths of the mile in. Today i say thank you to Keneen,who else but a sister runner would walk with me while dodging horse manure to get an extra mile on the way to fifty four.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
I made the drive to Orlando yesterday for a unity march. I guess i need to back track though.
Friday i was in Publix trying to find something for lunch after scouting our a few places on my selma50 route. So being the age I am i did what most black folk do, i saw a black couple and asked what was going on in the area for the event.
Voila! The wife responded that her organization was having a unity march and prayer service in Orlando. She offered to go out to her car and get the flyers. As we talked by her car i decided that i was going to attend. On Saturday I began the first official day of my trek.
As i walked i noticed the new major league soccer team was having an event. It seemed the whole town was decked out in purple, there were posters everywhere. I spotted a young couple walking down the street and questioned if they knew about the Selma march. They didn't, they were just a couple on a date but i questioned aloud if young folks appreciate or cared about history or the future. The young man said don't assume we don't and have a blessed day. He wasn't pleased with my questioning and that is the way black folks tell people off with out being nasty so to speak. I wished him the same and although these were just two people on a date i hope they do know and respect what has been done for them enough to be the next steps on the foundations in our community and to the world. I also thought what a wonderful sight and how fifty years ago these two wouldnt have been able to enjoy themselves in mixed company for a night on the town. Then I continued on my way arriving early to city hall and i saw no one. I started thinking maybe it was cancelled or no one cared to come. The list of things to do that night was over flowing a concert across the street at the new performing arts center, Elton John was playing in the arena and that soccer party was gearing up.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Although i started this post back in March I forgot to post about this race and now that it's June for some reason don't remember all the details.
I know at the time i started writing this recap i was also planning the Selma trip. Apparently in all the commotion the story was lost in the excitement. So sad and brief detail that it is let me honor the miles.
For the first time on my short race career i broke this event up. I did what i vowed never to do fpr good reason. I was physically unable to make it a one day affair. I completed the miles in two days actually doing fourteen. They were none descript and mostly pounded out training miles.
Weeks later when the medal arrived i felt proud.When the path is easy i tend not to appreciate the effort as much as the tough road. Giving myself a pat on the back for making it through the struggle.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Woke up this morning tired with an achilles that was tender, all from a 5k. Im telling you racing on cobble stones is no joke. The orlando race took me out but i knew i had to get my Swamp miles in.
Since i never race back to back i took on this ome as a virtual. Some people don't like them or call them training runs, i xall them challenges. It's hard for me to keep a good pace when I'm not on a clock. So i headed to a favorite running spot for locals.
Well being Sunday and having four marathons within driving distance of the area i saw none of the regulars. I changed into my race shoes, put the pedometer on (yes I'm high tech lol) and started on my way.
I was stiff at the onset but trudged on despite the sky looking like it would open up and bless me. It took until the mile mark before these old muscles of mine warmed up and let me relax. I was still slow but feeling better about the way things were going and then it happened.
I wanted to stop, i was losing interest but i wasn't tired or hurt. I knew it was the let down from the previous race day so i just made myself keep going and the thought went away. By mile three i had experienced a light drizzle that was more of an April shower in March. I found it refreshing because it was hot. The thermostat on my phone said it was seventy but it felt like eighty. I had not drank much water up until that point either.I learned from my first half not to over hydrate myself so i waited until mile three then gave myself a water and energy drink break.
I continued on and the miles got not easier but more comfortable . I was glad to hit the nine mark because that's generally where i feel home free.
I love doing these long virtuals do to the fact my thoughts move into a zone that is basically my own private race world.They are different than a training session in many ways. First im concerned about time and second i keep tabs on what it will take to conquer the course I've choosen.That's different than my training because all i worry about is staying in shape for distance. It's also differs from an actual race in that i see the people i meed to beat, am subject to being pushed by cheering from strangers or am influenced to speed up or block out competitors moves. Thank goodness i finished this one it showed me i still have work to do.