Monday, October 31, 2011

Monster Dash Recap

This was the first year for this race.  Proceeds from the race benefit the Andy Mac Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization that serves local Ducheene Muscular Dystrophy affected families to help create times of happiness through integration, activities, opportunities and support.  It also supports those who reach out to touch the lives of those with disabilities by sponsoring scholarships through Milton High School.  The Andy Mac Foundation has awarded 9 scholarships since 2009. 

The organizers expected about 30 participants. They got more like 100!  Due to the expected small turn out, they only had awards for the top 3 male and female finishers.  According to the race director, they just didn't think enough people would show up.  There were pleasantly surprised.  I was told that they would definitely have age group awards next year.  

When I run in a smaller race like this, I have an easier time judging who my competition is.  That wasn't the case with this race.  Knowing that I wasn't competing against anyone made it harder to concentrate.  I am very competitive!  I have to be honest, I even had thoughts of skipping the race.  I know right?  What the hell was I thinking?  Anyway, the smarter me talked me out of that stupid idea.  

The race director must have told us at least 5 times that it was a good route and that we would enjoy it.  Well, I don't know about enjoying it.  We started on the school track and then headed out the gate to the street.  Within 3 minutes, we were faced with a pretty big uphill.  That lasted til about the first half mile.  We had a small downhill and then right back to another uphill.  That finished the first mile.  The next couple miles was winding in out and out of neighborhoods and then a run through the local cemetery.  The final 3/4 mile had it's own character.  There was a long steady uphill and then the route finished by going into the parking lot.  That meat going up a very steep hill and continuing to the track.  There you had a small downhill side walk and onto the track itself to the finish line.

The hills really slowed me down.  I had a hard time keeping my pace under 8 minutes per mile.  I have to admit though, I really enjoyed the finish on the track.  I never ran track in school and I took the opportunity to sprint my way to the finish line.  I stopped my Garmin at 24:07.  Not bad considering my lack of motivation at the start and the hills.

While I was feeling pretty good about my time, I again looked at my Garmin.  That's when I noticed the distance.  The route was .1 mile short.  Add that into the equation and the time wasn't very good at all.  In fact, it came out to over an 8 min/mile pace.  Definitely not my best time for a 5K.  Like I said though, the hills were pretty tough.  Something I'll have to work on next time.  Yes, they'll be a next time!  I'll definitely do the race again.  Of course, they'll have to fix the course and add age group placements.  

Oh and I was able to run with one of my teachers from school.  Katie Huggins, one of our art teachers, knew the one of the organizers.  Here is a picture of Katie and I just after she finished.

Katie and I
Well, that wraps up another race report.

As always, remember "Real athletes run, all others just play games!"

Ok, you all have to check this video out! Funny as hell!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Managing Cramps

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Garcon Point Bridge Run Recap

Not the best shirt ever! The color - yuck!
Once again, the Santa Rosa Education Association put on a great race.  I should point out that they use volunteers for all aspects of the race.  They do not have a race director.  Volunteers from the organizations that benefit from the race organize the whole thing from beginning to end.  And I have to say they do an awesome job!  Here is a link to their website:

This is my second time running this race and I will probably keep it as an annual event.  For one, I live in Santa Rosa County and my children go to school here and, well, like I said, it is a great race!

The temperature was just about perfect.  Probably in the high 40s or low 50s.  This is a one-way race.  You take a bus from the Lowe's parking lot in Gulf Breeze to the toll booth on the norht end of the bridge.  Then you get to run back for 4.8 miles with 3 miles over the water!  Like I said, this is a great race.  There is the usual 'hump' like you have in just about all bridges and a small, and I mean small, downhill just before the finish.  As long as you don't get a strong headwind, it's a good run.  One you can PR in if you are running good.

I got the the bus area early like I always do.  I'm not one of those runners that can show up 30 minutes or less before a race and then off we go.  No, I have to get there early so I can calm the nerves and get my warm up run and stretches done.  So, like I said, I got there early.  The start time for the race was 7:30.  I got on the bus at about 6:30.  By the time they took off, we got to the start at about 6:45.

This is where things got a bit interesting.  Like I have mentioned before, I like to get a good mile warm up before my runs.  This time was no different.  After I got done with my stretches and the usual potty stop, I headed out for my warm up run.  Now I don't know if I have mentioned this before on this blog, but I have asthma.  It is pretty much controlled and I don't have to use an inhaler often.  However, the cold is a good trigger for an attack as well as nerves.  I usually take a couple puffs of my inhaler before every race.  For those races like this one where I have to take a bus to the start, I use the inhaler before I board the bus.  Well, this time I forgot.  So, combine the nerves and the cold, and bam, asthma attack.  I probably hadn't gone a 1/4 mile when I started to wheez (sp).  Not bad mind you, but wheezing none the less.  I actually considered getting on one of the busses and going back to use my inhaler.  I didn't!

I got my warm up mile done, got back to the start and relaxed a bit before the race.  We did the anthem and then we were off.  Like I said earlier, this is a 4.8 mile race.  I didn't want to start off too fast and not be able to finish strong.  I keep my pace around 7:45.  First mile, no problems.  Was holding a steady pace.  Had a young lady about about the same pace and her and I stayed together for about a mile or so.  Right around the 2nd mile, I started to feel heavy in the chest.  I could really hear my breathing.  The wheezing was worse then it had been on the warm up.  Oh and this just happened to be a time when I was running with no music.  Perfect right?  NOT!

At around mile 3 I started to get a little worried. I mean I could still breath and all, but I keep thinking that I still had almost 2 miles to go and if it got worse, I was in trouble.  I pushed on.  I tried to keep my breathing consistent.  I couldn't really draw in a big gulp of air, so I was breathing at a more shallow level.  You know, just like you would do if you 'couldn't breath'!  LOL  I manged to get up and over the 'hump' in the bridge and that left me with just a little over a mile to the finish.  I knew then that I was going to be able to finish, I just wasn't sure how strong I could finish.  I push it as hard as I could and finished at 38.57.  Just about a minute slower then last year.  Not bad, but considering the weather conditions and the course, I really wanted to PR this race.  The asthma put an end to that.

Fatma and I
My son's best friend's mom  started running a few months ago and she was at this race also.  I got the news photographer to get this picture of us just after she finished.

The after party for this race is awesome.  Probably the only time that you will see 250 people eating huge hamburgers for breakfast (not me, I passed on the hamburgers).  I placed 2nd in my AG last year and honestly thought I had a chance of placing this year.  Alas, it was not to be.  I placed 4th.  Only 30 some seconds behind the 3rd place finisher.  I'm very competitive and this bothered me to no end.  Of the 3 people that placed in the top, I didn't recognize a single one of them.  Unusual considering I race just about every weekend.  You can be rest assured that I will pay closer attention to those around me next time.  I know I could have pushed hard enough to have caught that guy!  LMAO

Anyway, overall it was a good race.  I managed to finish without have to cross the finish line in an ambulance!

As always my friends, remember "Real athletes run, all the rest just play games"!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Run for the Reef Recap

This was my first time doing this race and I can tell you right now that I'll do it again next year.  Before I recap the race, I have to talk about my achilles.

Last week, Wednesday I think, I noticed some tenderness in my left achilles.  Not pain, but definitely discomfort.  Since I was racing Saturday, I decided to not do any running on Thursday or Friday.  I got my cardio on the recumbent and elliptical.

Best Shirt Ever!
Ok, now for the race.  What can I say, this was a great race.  Not really sure why I didn't do it last year, but I can assume it was a conflict with another race.  The weather was perfect.  Well, maybe not perfect, but a heck of a lot better then if it had been hot.  I think the temp was in the high 50s or low 60s.  It was a 7:30 race, so I got there about 6:30.   I like to get to my races early so that I can relax and get my warm up in.  My warm up went really good.  I felt pretty strong and the foot didn't bother me.

The race got off late, but got off none the less.  I always hate that because I'm ready to run and then I have to wait.  I felt strong like I said, so I had a good pace going at the start.  I steadily pasted runner after runner.  At about the end of the second mile, I felt like I was slowing down a bit.  I had to push harder then I was expecting.  By the end of the third mile, I was pushing hard.  I knew my pace had slowed some.  I sprinted as fast as I could to finish the last tenth of a mile.  I crossed the finish line at 24:22.  Not a bad time, but honestly I thought I would was going to do better.  It was flat out and back course.  One that I was hoping to PR on.  Oh well, my time was still good.

Best Award Ever!
I got to meet Karly from Dailymile and her family.  It's great meeting my friends from DM!  This was her first race ever!  She did great BTW!  Her and her family stayed around to see how I did.  The only negative about the race was that they didn't post the results anywhere.   It's not a BAD thing, but I'd like to know how I did in case I had to leave.  Anyway, they stayed around and I didn't disappoint.  I ended up with 1st in my age group.  Yay me!  Oh and they had the best, hands down, award ever

While the race was a complete success, my achilles wasn't.  It was really giving me problems as I left the post party.  Going down the stairs hurt.  I took Sunday as a complete rest day and will not run on it for a couple more days.  I have a 4.8 mile race Saturday and have to be ready.

As always my friends, remember, 'Real athletes run, all the rest just play games'!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tiger Trot Update and other stuff

WOW, what a crazy week!  Between work, working out, church, and now school, my days are full!  I'm still crazy busy at work.  With all the online testing going on school, my work days have been very busy.  As the technology coordinator, online testing takes up a lot of my time.  I also started a technology class at Pensacola State College.  I was offered training in 3 tech classes for free through a grant.  They are "Security +", "Network +", and "A+".  To top that off, they called me last week and asked if I wanted to take a 3 day cert class on VMware.  Yep, it's free too!  So I said sure.  And of course, I still go to the gym everyday.  We can't forget Wednesday church either.  Oh and I asked my church if I could start a running club and I was given the go ahead last Wednesday.  Can't wait to see who signs up!  That will take up my time Tuesday evenings!

Ok, enough about why I haven't been posting.  Now on to this past Saturday's race, the Tiger Trot to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Pensacola.  This is my 3rd time running this race.  It offers a 10K and a 5K.  Last year and this year, I signed up for the 10K.  It was my first 10K of this season.  The weather was great.  A bit breezy, but cool too!  What runner doesn't like the cooler temps right?  The crowd wasn't as big as last year, but I think they had about 4 other races going on in the local area.  All in all, still a decent group.  This race is put on by the GE Volunteers.  As in years past, they did a great job.  The route was well marked and there were plenty of volunteers at the turns.  The route is fairly flat for the most part.  There's one hill at about 5.25 miles.  Just enough to force you to dig down deep to finish strong.  I pushed myself a bit too much for this being my first 10K of the season.  I keep a 8-minute pace for the first 5 miles. But that last 1.2 miles was tough.  I ended up stopping twice before the finish.  Not for long, but just long enough to get my legs back under me.  I pushed up that dang hill and then had just under a half mile to finish.  There was this lady that I had been running with for just about the whole race with me and she's like, "come on, you can do it!".  I tried, but I had to stop one more time.  Then I gathered my strength and pushed my way to the finish.  I crossed the line at 51:48.  Just about a minute and a half slower then last year.  Considering I stopped twice, I was completely satisfied with that time.

Emily and I after receiving our awards!  All smiles!
I got to meet 2 more of my Dailymile friends.  I meet Emily and Jennifer.  Great ladies.  They both were running their first 10Ks.  So proud of them.  Both Emily and I placed in our age groups.  Emily got 3rd in her group and I was fortunate enough to get 2nd in mine.  This race does the 10 year age groups (which I hate by the way) and I finished behind Gary Lambert just like I did last year.  The medals were awesome this year.

Well my friends, til the next time!  And remember, "Real athletes run, all the rest just place games!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Riverwalk Run 5K Recap

What can I say, this is one of my favorite races.  It is my inaugural race.  3 years ago I ran my first race ever at this event.  I posted a time of 28:28 that day and thought there was no way I was ever gonna get fast enough to compete in my age group.  Boy how some training and running can change things.

Last year I posted a time good enough for 2nd pace in my AG.  I wasn't sure how I would do this year.  You all know I have had some issues regarding my recent races and my times.  However, over the past couple of races my times have started to come around.  I know, I know, you all keep telling me it's the summer heat and just like every year, you are right.  When the temps start getting cooler, the times start getting better.

This race was awesome.  It actually didn't start off that way though.  After I got there and got my race packet, I was getting ready for my warm up mile and when I put my Garmin on, the dang thing would not power on.  Needless to say I was torqued.  I have come to 'need' my Garmin.  Anyway, I headed out on my warm up and made my way to the start.  This race usually has a good turn out and this year was no exception.

I had told myself that I was going to push the pace a bit on this race and see if I could break the 25 minute time I had set the last couple of races.  Without my Garmin, I wasn't sure how I was going to watch my pace.  I figured I just 'feel' my way along.

One thing I did make sure of this time was to get closer to the front of the pack.  If you remember, at my last race I was hindered by a bunch of young kids at the start.  There are a couple of hills on this race and one steady uphill in the first mile.  I looked at the runners around me and was able to keep a pretty fast and steady pace.  I could tell I was pushing it, yet I wasn't over-pushing it if you know what I mean.

Sprinting to the finish!
At around the one mile point, I could feel this person coming up behind me.  As they came up on my left, I noticed it was this young lady.  She was pretty fit and pushing a good pace.  It was as this point that I decided to go for it.  I picked up the pace just enough to stay right with her.  For the next mile and a quarter we ran pretty much side by side.   At just over two miles, she started to pull ahead of me.  I knew I was getting tired and we still had a mile to go, so I keep my pace nice and steady and kept her in my sights the rest of the way.  At the half mile mark there is a steady uphill climb.  I pushed hard to get up that and then when I made the final turn at .2 of a mile, I sprinted to the finish.   When I saw the clock was under 24 minutes, I ran as hard as I could, but there just wasn't enough time left.  I finished at 24:10.  You can see the determination in my face in this picture.

As I said, this was a great race.  My time was good enough for 2nd place in my age group for a second year in a row.  Ya me!  LOL

2nd Place AG
Oh and I did find that young lady and thank her for helping me finish with a great time. Her efforts paid off for her as well as she also won an award.

The race was a success for the local parks as well as I just read they raised over $18,000!  I can't wait to do this race again in the many years to come.

As always, remember, "Real athletes run, others just play games!"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 305 Reset

Here is a good video on resetting your Garmin Forerunner 305.  Good news?  It worked!!

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Tips

No Time to Blog/Seafood Festival 5k Report

Work has been SO busy these past few weeks, I haven't had the time to dedicate to this blog like I need to.  I'd like to at least post something 2 or 3 times a week.  Between working, working, out, church, class, and now the running club I am about to start, I don't know how I'll have any time to dedicate to this.

None the less, I'll try to at least post my race reports.

That said, my last race was last Saturday.  It was the popular Seafood Festival 5K.  Once again, this race was downtown Pensacola.  There were about 800 runners and walkers.  This year they gave out an awesome black technical shirt.  Best one yet for this race.  Unlike the Semper Fi race the weekend before, this race brought out the speedsters.  The top runner in my AG ran it in a time of 19:11.  That's a pace you'll never see me run.  My time ended up being almost the same as the Semper Fi run, 25:14.  Good enough for 6th of 34 and 136th overall.  Not bad at all.  My goal for today is to break 25.

The temperature was definitely an improvement!  Fall is in the air!