Tag Archives: running

The 11th Month

2 Nov

With 2014 about 60 calendar boxes away, two self-imposed goals that I was supposed to conquer in 2013 are taunting me from the December 31 box.

I was supposed to run 700 miles this year. Being that I’m only at 415, that is most definitely not going to happen. Maybe I’ll reach 500? Where in the world did I pull 700 from?

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I was supposed to write the book that’s been in my head since spring 2012. I told myself it would be my baby this year since I very much felt the desire to have another child but, at the same time, am wonderfully content and thankful with the two I’m momma to now. Well, I still haven’t gotten any action on that “baby” so I need to get busy. I even bought books that tell me how to get started. The dog ate one of them …

So, I’m setting a new goal. One just for this 11th month. I’m gonna blog. Seems like something I should be able to accomplish. We’ll see!

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Funny Thing Happened on the Way to 13.1

2 Nov

Running one half marathon was surprising enough to me. First of all, I can’t believe I’d set out to do it in the first place. The fact that I actually liked it and wanted to do it again is the kicker.

I did need plenty of time to make sure I was mentally and physically ready though. You know, like a year to know I was going to do that thing that requires dedication and time to training and the test to my willpower. My first half — the Savannah Rock-n-Roll — happened because Ginger made it look so fun. (That’s right. I’m totally blaming you.) I ran it and felt incredible at the end, like I had more to give. I felt like I held back on my pace because of the fear of the unknown since I hadn’t yet run a full 13.1. Training never got me to that distance. I knew that I wanted to try again as soon as I crossed that first finish line.

During the months in between those two distances, Ginger (yep, her fault again) asked if I’d be interested in a half marathon mountain trail race. We discussed how it would be different from our street miles and we should plan on taking it as easy as we could. (There was a 4-hour time limit to finish so we knew we needed to beat that at least.) It was very different so it’s tough for me to put it in my 13.1 group. I did earn those miles though — at times, painfully — so I will claim it. After that run, it was supposed to be smooth training until my second Rock-n-Roll. But then, I started seeing tempting Facebook posts for the AthHalf. Andrew was going to run in it for the third time because he loves it and Uncle Anthony said he could watch the kids so I thought, why not?

I’m so glad I did. Not only was the route and sight-seeing in Athens great, I felt strong and at 2:18 I finished 13 minutes faster than my first half. I also marked my 1,000th mile in that race. In fact, when I looked at Runkeeper after the race, my overall total said I finished on mile 1,000.

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AthHalf 2013

I’ve since added to that with my runs leading up to the Rock-n-Roll this weekend. I thought about running to beat my AthHalf time but I just want to take this one in without any pressure on myself. Maybe next year …

(Not Nearly) Afternoon Delight

2 Oct

I paid to suffer and that’s not the worst of it. I would do it again.

Let me explain.

When I first told Ginger I would enjoy a family camping weekend at FD Roosevelt State Park that ended with a 13.1 mile trail run called The North Face Endurance Challenge, I don’t think I really processed the words “endurance challenge” and the race’s location of Pine MOUNTAIN. Sure, I said. Sounds fun, I said. Because it did. I love hanging out on a run with my bud. We explore, we have great talks and we feel awesome after conquering a distance and crushing some calories.

It sounded like carefree fun all the way up until she emailed that her Achilles was hurting and a specialist told her no way to running – especially no MOUNTAIN trails. First and always, I was worried about her. I know how much she enjoys her runs. They are a part of her. How will she feel not running? I just wanted her to heal so she could run again soon. In the midst of my worry though, I began to realize – I’m not going to have my buddy with me on this frolic through the woods. She suggested maybe Andrew could come with me and run my pace. He’s also a wonderful running pal and a great motivator. Of course, he agreed so it was all set – and then it all hit my ignorance.

Pre-race Pose

Endurance

This event is called an endurance challenge for a reason. It is nothing like the trail I run at Fort Yargo. There parts of it that feel like only goats should be on it – cliff side, rock covered inches of footing. Muddy rocks that serve as bridges to get you across stream after stream. Fallen trees that block narrow paths. The roots of those trees, or possibly rocks, stole my feet from me and sent me down – hard – twice.

Rocks-n-Stuff

That rock slate IS the trail.

The first collision with the ground happened within mile one and I landed like a tree. The crash knocked the wind out of me and I had to jump off to the course for a minute to decide if I remembered what my name was. Luckily, I did and kept moving forward, only to fall again around mile five. Big props to my right shoulder for taking the brunt of that body toss. Ow. I was so proud when the first aid person at the water station asked me, “Ma’am, do you need your shoulder treated?” To me, it really showed what we were enduring. The whole-body soreness days after the event helped remind us of that too though …

Shoulder Boo-Boo

Challenge

I must have said “you’ve got to be kidding” or “this is ridiculous” or “choice cuss word” at least 10 times each mile. Once we started, the challenge was to finish. The challenge was to not lose my mind. The challenge was to not damage my skull that protects that mind. The challenge was to not stop climbing the hills and to stand tall to conquer them like Andrew kept reminding me to do. At one point toward the end, I began telling myself to keep my knees and feet up, pay attention and don’t get lazy. A lot of it was out loud. So was my rendition of “Funky Town” and Andrew’s duet of “Afternoon Delight” with me. (It was prompted by Anchorman quotes after I started saying things like “I love tree. I love plant. This trail was a bad idea.”)

The fun singing didn’t last long though because sure enough, we soon had to scale a hill.

Straight up.

Mountain

Being that this was a mountain trail, it was rare to have a nice stretch for a steady running pace. I don’t know how people finished this and more (some traveled 50 miles!) with such a fast time. They are incredible. It seemed to me that just when I would start to feel like a kid running through the forest (and I actually did at one point and shouted it out through breaths to the trees and Andrew), we would encounter an obstacle from nature. You know, like a mountain. Climbing a mountain wasn’t on my bucket list but I can go ahead and pencil it in just to draw the line through it. Dang.

See all the people at the top of the hill?

Gorgeous Mountain View from a Ledge

Elevation says wha?

Finished

13.1 miles equated to 3 hours and 33 minutes of adventure for Andrew and me. I know he could’ve finished at about 2 and a half had he ventured it at his pace. He didn’t once complain or make me feel bad. He carried my sunglasses and helped me up when I fell. He kept encouraging me with pep talks and coaching me with guidance to make it through.

“You’re doing great, lady.”
“Stand up tall to get deep breaths.”
“Slow it down some, your adrenaline is tricking you right now.”
“We’re married.” (That one came after I made a goofy pose when I saw a photographer on the course. He actually claimed me!)

I’m so grateful to him for his friendship and selflessness. He even stopped to give directions to hikers along our course. He laughed at my jokes along the way and when I asked him if I earned major cool points for my falls he replied, “Not for the falls but because you got back up and kept going.”

So, would I endure it again?

No. I would enjoy it again.

Ginger's Finish Line Photo

Ginger’s Finish Line Photo

I wasn’t sore yet.

Then Came Ten

27 Apr

Where did nine go? It was just here a sleep or two ago. The year was so fun, busy and marked with many changes for our (not-so) Baby Bean.

November 2012

November 2012

You sprouted like crazy. At the end of your Third Grade year, you were frustrated how the older kids would say you looked like you were a Kindergartener. Now, you may likely challenge some of those kids on inches. You are catching up to mine, now almost up to my shoulder. I had you sit on my lap the other day and almost cried. You will always “fit” there (love-wise) but it was then that I realized, you don’t fit there (size-wise) anymore.

Bean Sprout

Bean Sprout – April 2013

A braver Bean also started forming this year. “I’m auditioning to be Elfis in the class musical “Elfis,” you informed me. Out of your shy shell, you put on the costume, rocked the Wii guitar and sang in the microphone in front of three audiences of all ages. You memorized your lines and delivered them in character, getting giggles from the crowd. It was wonderful watching you on the stage and not even flinch when a child yelled out, “That’s a girl! My dad told me!” You even made one boy slap his own face when he discovered you were a girl hiding under that Elvis wig. What a moment.

In Character - December 2012

In Character – December 2012

The year of Nine had you caring about how you did in Gym Class for the first time ever. Each year, they offer medals for how many Phys.Ed. challenges students pass. They are handed out at the end of the year awards ceremony, along with the academic achievements. You always get “gold” for great grades and behavior but you’ve never earned a medal for athletics. You worked hard at this. You came home and practiced volleyball. You practiced stretching for several nights so you could improve your reach test. You succeeded. This athletic spirit also started showing when you ran in Mile Fun Run races. You pushed yourself and earned a place medal. Get it, girl!

Brother First | Sister Second

Brother First | Sister Second

Nine will also be known as the year when you began being ok with saying goodbye to your Barbies and dollhouses. I thought this would be a more gradual process but you made up your mind and started piling the dolls in a box. You gave eighty dolls to bring love to another child. It made room for a zebra-striped reading bean bag and a desk that will take you through high school or longer. You also want to paint over the princess crowns and castle lining your wall with a big purple stripe. However, while you are working your way to “older” things, you still find room in your heart for a few things from your “younger” years.

Annie and Nia

Annie and Nia – January 2013

Your interests also started expanding this past year. Your daddy introduced you and Nate to Star Wars and you couldn’t love it more. You watched all the movies and then watched all the movies again within a few weeks. You know more about the characters and events of the movies than I do and I’ve watched the movies more. The love of the movies has made you love all things Star Wars. Your Angry Birds Star Wars drawing is a great example of that.

Angry Birds Star Wars by Nia

Angry Birds Star Wars by Nia

You are such a considerate and caring person and it really showed this year. You have a helping heart and I’m amazed how you can easily play with children of all ages. Your patience and selflessness with younger children is beautiful. You also genuinely worry about others. You have a compassionate sense of right and wrong and try to protect people from being hurt. That includes yourself. When another student tried to hurt your feelings by calling out your “unibrow,” you calmly replied to her with, “I know I have one. So?” I know this is tough for you because you are a sensitive soul. I am so proud of you and often think of you to remind me how to react to things as well.

Protecting

Protector Bean

Helping Bean

Helping Bean

This year also meant taking boys more seriously. Well really, “boy” more seriously. You’ve had the same “boyfriend” since Second Grade but you never really blushed when you talked about him until this year. Now, things he says to you or gifts he gives you are very special. You keep them close and let us know about things that happened that day around him. All of this is comfortable for us because you are both sweet kids and you tell us EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I’m glad you share things with us. I know there will be a time when you will stop sharing. Thank  you for letting us into your world and trusting us with your heart.

Gift from a Special Someone

Gift from a Special Someone

Your heart also has so much room in it for your little brother. You love him dearly – even when you are nah-nahing each other. He looks up to you too and is proud of you. When you told us about your possible gold medal in P.E., Nate was the first to praise, “Great job, Nia!” I hope you two will continue to be each other’s biggest fans. I can’t explain how happy it makes me to see you showing unconditional love for each other.

Little Brother | Big Sister

Little Brother | Big Sister

It’s difficult to capture the beauty of your heart, Bean, but I hope when you read this it gives you a glimpse of the amazing young lady you are. You are a treasure to everyone who knows you because of your attitude, kindness and hope to bring happiness to others. One example of that is how you love to make up jokes to make us laugh. “Why is my coat on the floor? It’s tired because I wore it out.”

Silly sweetheart, I love you so much. Happy birthday, 10-year-old.

That Happened

7 Feb

There’s a weekend in February I cherish. It’s filled with family, friends and frolic in a city that has my heart. It all started last year when we traveled to Savannah to participate in the Tybee Run Fest.

The complete fest is five races. A 5K on Friday and then a 10K, Half Marathon, 2.8 Beach Run and Mile Run on Saturday. If you run all five events, you run a marathon. Andrew did that last year – and although he declared he would not do that again – he did. He was really ready for it this year though. He’s been on his run streak for almost a year and trained for two marathons during that time. Last year, he finished the Tybee Run Fest races and crashed. This year, he finished the races and danced.

Ready for More Running

Ready for More Running

This 5K was special to me. When I ran it in 2012, it was the first 5K I ever trained for and I wanted my past year of running to show improvement. I’m happy to share that it not only meant a better time for me (from 34:45 to 28:36) and the first time I ever ran 3 miles in under 30 minutes, but it also meant personal records for Ginger, Lee and Andrew. Team Brew/Drink/Run doesn’t mess. (And of course we enjoyed some beer after the race.) It was awesome.

Tybee Run Fest 5K

Tybee Run 5K, Part II

I still can’t believe my average was a 9:14 per mile. That’s crazy right there. I even felt so strong when I finished. My finish line photo shows me smiling and pumped. It cracks me up. I’m such a poser.

Tybee Run Fest

Finish Line Smile

The kids also enjoyed some racing fun during the Fest. Team BDR Jr. (Camille, Ellanor, Nia and Nate) took on the mile run independently. They each earned a medal and were so proud of how they ran. Andrew and Nate got to finish together in that one because they were on pace with each other. I love that.

Team BDR, Jr.

Team BDR, Jr. Ready to Start

Tybee Run Fest 5K

Andrew & Nate Finish Fast Together

Daddy & Daughter Runners

Daddy & Daughter Runners

This visit also meant another unbelievable first for me as Andrew, Ginger and I ran high above the Savannah River and across one of the most intimidating bridges I’ve ever experienced. The Talmadge Bridge is a sight to behold. Andrew and I used to sit on River Street and marvel at it as giant barges stacked with 18-wheeler trailers passed underneath it. The bridge has been the backdrop of many of our family photos. One photo of it even hangs in a matte showcase in our house from a July 4th night of fireworks on the river. I never would’ve thought that I would RUN across the thing. It was incredible and I’m so glad Ginger suggested we use it for our Sunday run route.

I still can’t believe that all happened.

Talmadge Bridge

My View from the Top

Talmadge Bridge, Savannah

On Top of the Talmadge Bridge

Running Bridge Luvahs

Running Bridge Luvahs

Bridge Running Buddies

Bridge Running Buddies

 

I ran 13.1 miles and …

5 Nov

I loved every second of the 2:31 it took me to finish it. Really. I loved it. Just look at my finish line picture. Hilarious proof.

PUMPED

If you’re wondering how in the world I could love such a thing – here’s why I had so much fun during the Savannah Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon:

  • It was in Savannah, Georgia. A beautiful place I called my home for six years. Loved ones live there. I had our babies there. I became an adult there. It’s even more than that though. It was the view on the run. The historic city offered my eyes gorgeous homes, buildings with impressive stonework and character, and trees with personality due to their branches’ unique curves and Spanish Moss clothing. Even better? It was a sun-shiny day.
  • The people were lovely. So many came out to cheer on the runners. Their clever signs along the route – “You think running a marathon is hard, try waiting for you to finish.” “Don’t poop yourself!” “Run, Total Stranger, Run!” “Worst Parade Ever!” “If running was easy it would be called your mom!” – dotted my breathing with giggles and served as entertaining billboards. How could I pass up the small children who held out their hands for a high-five? Neighbors eating their breakfasts and even enjoying mimosas on their front lawns as they tailgated and relaxed as thousands of people passed by their homes. (One house even offered free margaritas!) Sanitation workers lined up and waiting to roll out offered high-fives and words of encouragement. That almost brought the first hint of water to my eyes. It really happened when I passed two neighbors sitting comfortably on their front porches. One was an older woman who greeted us with a kind smile and wave. “Good morning! Good morning!” she sang in such perfect Savannah style. Beautiful.
  • Andrew and Ginger. They are such fantastic running buddies and coaches. It was comforting to go through all the same pre-race, race and post-race feelings together. I didn’t get to run with Ginger the whole time but we started together and finished together – something that made the race so perfect for me. We stood side-by-side in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in Corral 17 as we waited in anticipation for them to set us free. We had to say goodbye to Andrew because he was all the way up in front of the thousands in Corral 4 for his first marathon. (He did amazing and I’m so proud of him for accomplishing it. When he sets his mind to something …) When it was our turn, we did our thing. I knew I wanted to keep my pace nice and easy so I held back from trying to stay with her pace. Twelve miles – and almost finished – later, I saw my friend. I kept looking for her pink skirt and her Brew/Drink/Run shirt and was so happy to see her. “My friend! My friend!” I shouted. We finished together – same time – same pace. We joke that we should’ve stopped at the finish line and said, “No, you go first. No, you.”

Finish Line Friends

The Marathoner and Me

Corral Crowds

  • I ran my race. I didn’t stop once. I didn’t walk. Not even to take off my long-sleeve shirt that was under my tank. “I undressed while running” should be a t-shirt. I just can’t believe how good I felt. Andrew said we were likely banking miles on the hills we run around home and he kept telling to “trust the plan.” All that training paid off. I felt incredible. I now wonder if I should’ve pushed myself more. I was afraid to get burned out. I wanted to enjoy it and I did. Everything from my music (thanks to Facebook friends who offered soundtrack suggestions) to my muscles – it all felt right. I have zero regrets on how I ran it but I think I will try a little harder now. From mile 8, I kept telling myself, “Don’t push it yet. Not yet.” Now that the fear of the unknown is over, all I feel is bliss. Thank you, I’ll have another.

When’s the next race?

Didn’t Look Back

11 Aug

I had a goal. To finish my first 10K. Then, I made it tougher on myself. In my head, I made a time goal. I’d be happy to finish in 1:15 but I’m really shooting for 1:11.

I’m ecstatic to say I actually did more than meet my goals. I surpassed them.

I finished the run at right around 1:08. I can’t even believe it.

First 10K Results

I was really worried about this run too. First, the farthest distance I’ve ever hit before this was 5.3 miles so the fear of the unknown was heavy. Secondly, Andrew and the kids were supposed to be there with me. Andrew was even going to run it as well but things happen and poor Beanie was sick so Andrew made the selfless choice to sit the race out and stay home so I could have my turn. That all made me feel sad because he couldn’t run it and I was also sad to do it alone. The last thing that caused worry for me was that I did not sleep well last night. There were storms and the dog was a nervous wreck. The lack of sleep hit me hard in the morning.

When it was time to run, I started in the way back of the pack. In fact, I was the only one without a stroller – and I was actually behind them. I didn’t want to get caught up with a speedy person because it would make me feel like I need to be faster and I knew I just needed to keep my pace like I’ve been doing with my training. Slow to start, then gradual increase.

When the RunKeeper voice told me my first 5 minutes was an 11:40/mile pace, I knew I was doing good for me. But then, a few more minutes in, she spoke in my ear, “10:18 per mile.” Whoa, I thought. I better slow my tushie down. That is way too speedy for me. I’ll never make it. I still have about four miles to go.

During that time, my pace managed to take me past a few people but it didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t racing them. I was racing me. I never looked back and tried not to think about the distance between myself and the group ahead of me. I just did my thing and it felt so wonderful. The hills were tough and I needed a few short walk breaks but they didn’t keep me from making (and doing better than) my goal. Some Red Hot Chili Peppers helped bring me across the finish line. Rocking.

I’m so thankful to have all the support I do from Andrew. Not only did he really want me to run and give up his race for me, he kept refreshing RunKeeper from home so he could see when I finished almost as soon as I did. I love that, just as I am his biggest fan, he is mine. I suppose that’s how it should be. One of the questions he asked me was if it was as hard as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done but  it ranks up there. I’m pretty sure my next big run – a 13.1 in November – will be much harder. I may have to take a look back at this 10K, just to remind myself I can do it.

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