Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rest Days

I know we are suppose to take them, but why is it so damn hard to take a rest day?  I mean really, how much rest is there when you are constantly telling yourself you should go out for a run?  That is all I did all dang day Monday.

Monday's aren't usually my rest days, but after running 3 times in 2 days during Tropical Storm Lee and fighting the wind, the conditions on Monday told me it was a rest day.  But still!

I know I'm not alone in this.  Many of my Dailymile friends say the same thing.  This by the way, all while commenting to me that we all deserve a rest and to REST!  LMAO  I'll tell you this though, if my recumbent bike had been in the house and not out in the messy office, I'd have gotten some miles in on it for sure!  I think I need to get that thing back in the house.  Maybe that way I'll not be as stressed about taking a rest day.  Who knows!

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

Blueberry Bash, ARC Santa Rosa

First off, many of you know that I passed out Monday and landed hard on my butt. Pretty sure I broke or badly bruised my tailbone. Not really anything the doc can do, so I"m just suffering through it. I'm in marathon training, so there isn't any 'not running'. I have run every day since it happened. I've just keep the pace slow and east.
I got up early this morning and headed over to the race. I like to get a mile warm up before my races as it loosens up the leg. Well this morning that wasn't going to happen. I thought the race started at 8. When I pulled up, I saw all the runners at the start. You guessed it. The race started at 7.
I had to rush to the table to get my bid number. Then back to the car to get my shoes on. Headed to the start and forgot my bid in the car. Off the runners went with me going back to the car to get my bid. By the time I got to the start, I was the last runner, #61.
I put my ass in gear and proceeded to work my way past runner after runner. I was haulin ass. Of course this also meant more pounding on my ass. About 2 1/2 miles in, I was wearing out. My pace slowed some, but I pressed on. Passed a few more runners and eventually made it up to 14th place overall. I took 3rd in my division. They had a crazy division sytem and mine was 50-64. WTH? Anyway, my run time was 24:30. However, my actual race time due to my late start was 26:20.
After the race, my ass hurt like hell. Like I said, all week I had been going slow and easy. Today I hauled ass. Literally! lol I had to explain at least 20 times what was wrong. Geez people, pay attention.
Stuck around for the award ceremony. About 10% of the winners were from my Monday night running club. We kicked ass today. Eventually the butt calmed enough to be able to sit in the car and head home. Now I'm just trying to find a comfortable position.
That is all!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Missing in Action

I have to apologize for not keeping my blog updated.  I just sorta lost my mojo I guess.  I promise to try to get back at it after tomorrow's race. 

I'll try to do a brief recap of all what's been happening since the Gate River Run on March 10th.

I have continued to battle leg/knee issues on my right leg.  Not sure if it's an IT band issue or not.  Did see the doc, but not really confident in the diagnoses.   I'll let you know tomorrow after the Gulf Coast Half.

Til then, run strong, run hard!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gate River Run 15K

Well, Gate River Run!  20,000 runners in the USA 15K Championship Run. This year was suppose to be my redemption year right?  Last year I had to drop out of this race due to injury.  The Monday following the race, I found out I had broke the cuboid bone in my left foot a few weeks earlier. Now trust me,  I'm not saying that to show how much of a man I am.  Running on a broke foot and all.  No, what it shows is how being stubborn and not getting medical attention when you KNOW you should, can really side track your running.  It ended up putting me out for a couple months.

So, back to the race.  I have waited a year to come back to Jacksonville to run this race again. I was so excited.  Unfortunately, I ended up having to come to the race by myself. (issue #1) Life does happen!  I was able to go with a friend, Kimberly C. and meet up with another that lives in the area, Jennifer D., so I wasn't like 'alone' the whole time.

I got to the hotel pretty early and Kimberly and I meet up with Jennifer and we headed over to the expo to get our packet.  We got our packets and then spent a little while looking around at all the vendors.  As I have mentioned the last few weeks, I've been struggling with some aggravating right knee pain.(issue #2)  Anyway, we stopped at a vendor that was selling compression sleeves.  Of course, their's were the best on the market.  Funny thing is, I had just ordered one from Tommie Cooper and it didn't arrive before I left for the run.  Anyway, I figured it wouldn't hurt to have more then one, so I bought one for my knee.  $54 later I had a compression sleeve for my knee.  Surely, that would help me get through this race right?

Kimberly, Jennifer and I went back to the hotel to decide where were going to go eat.(issue #3)  Now usually, I don't eat too much the night before a race.  I have such a bad digestive system, I just don't like to take chances and mess my stomach up.  Usually is the key word here.  Jennifer suggested this Indian place.  I have never been to one so I wasn't real sure.  Since I really didn't want to argue and this pace was literally across the street from the hotel, I agreed and off we went.  I ordered some Jasmine Fried Rice and the girls also ordered some rice paper rolled spring rolls.  I had one of those and then dug into my meal.  I must admit, it was pretty darn good.  However, it wasn't long when I realized I should have followed my own advice and had something light.  The 'greasy' dish upset my stomach immediately.

After our meal we headed back to the hotel and off to our respective rooms.  We hadn't decided how we were getting to the start in the morning.  Seems the hotel decided not to do the buses this year.  The girls wanted to walk the 2 miles in the morning.  I wasn't sure.  I didn't want to be with out my bag.  Since I didn't have my usual family there, there wasn't going to be anyone to watch it.  After much thought, I decided to tell the girls I was going to leave bright and early and drive to the start.  The girls didn't want to get up that early and so they walked.

I know, I know, get on with it.  Well it all has meaning, I promise you.  I went to bed at 10 PM Jacksonville time.  That's one hour earlier then my time, Central Time.  There was a small chance of storms that night and the wind was pretty strong.(issue #4) I was in a room that had a small patio.  There was a door of course to this patio.  Unfortunately, the freakin door to the said patio would close tight and all damn night long I heard this banging.  It was constant.  No sooner would I fall to sleep, it would bang and wake me up.  By the time 5 AM came around I was beat.  If I would have been thinking clearly, I would have put something up against it to at least keep it from banging closed.  Hindsight is 20/20 right?

I got ready and headed to my car.  The first thing I noticed was the wind was pretty strong.(issue #5)  I wasn't looking forward to that.  Anyway, I drove over to the start of the race.  I got there early enough that I didn't have any problems parking.  I chilled out as I usually do and the started to get ready.  The girls called me around 7 and we were able to meet up around 7:30.  That's when we realized that Jennifer and I has switched the bags our 'sleeves' where in.  She had bought the calve sleeves.  She had my knee and I had her calves.  Only thing was I only brought one cuz only one knee bothered me.  Get this though.  Before I meet the girls, Jennifer 'checked' my sleeve at the bag check.  Oh my goodness!  Luckily we were able to locate it and and Jennifer was ok with having just one for her calve and I had my knee sleeve.

We were ready for the race.  The girls had to go 'pee',  so we said see ya at the finish and off we went.  I tried to get a short warm up run in, but there were people everywhere.  It was very hard to find a place to run.  I decided I'd better use the restroom myself and got in a line.  Once that was done, I did a bit more warm up and then decided to head to my corral. (issue #6) That is a whole nother story itself.  I didn't register in time and did not get a seeded spot.  So, I was in the general area and way way back.  There were so many people that I couldn't even get into the corral.  I soon realized I was in the second wave of runners as well.  What fun!  The crowed slowly moved and I was then able to get into my corral.

The first wave went off at 8:30.  Then, about 5 minutes later, the second wave was sent and I was off.  Man were there a lot of runners.  I felt decent enough at the start.  I mean my knee seemed ok.  The knee sleeve seemed to be helping.  I weaved and weaved around runner after runner, but I never found a clear path.  I was constantly having to slow down for slower runners and move around the ones I could.  To be honest, I just never felt comfortable in the whole race.(issue #7)  There were a few hills here and there.  Nothing real serious at first.  However, there were enough to make the ole knee start to hurt.  I'm not sure at what point I realized the knee wasn't going to make it once again.  Maybe around 5 miles.  I'm not sure.  I did as I had planned and stopped at the water stops when I took water.  Finally at the 6 mile, I had to rest the knee.  I was so disappointed.  I so wanted this to be a 'good' run.  From that point on, I did what I had done the past two 6 plus mile races.  I would run some and then rest the knee.  Run some more and rest the knee some more.  Then, around mile 8, we came to the big bridge.(issue #8)  Now remember I said it was pretty windy.  Well let me tell ya.  This is a pretty big, long uphill bridge and the wind on that bridge was brutal!  I pushed as hard as I could.  Once I was at the top, I knew I only had a short ways to go.  Unfortunately, it was all downhill.  That, as you probably know, is ever worse for the knee.  I hobbled my way to the finish and crossed the line at around 1:35 minutes.  Subtrack my 5 minute delay and my time on my Garmin showed 1:30:25.

I was terribly disappointed.  That was even slower then the Double Bridge 15K back in February.  I made my way through the hundreds of people and headed to my car.  The video above shows me finishing.  Notice the 'limp' as I slowly walk off camera.  At one point, my right calve cramped up on me so bad I bout hit the pavement.  I got to the car and hydrated as much as I could.  Got myself somewhat cleaned up a bit and then called Jennifer. There were so many people still finishing, there was no way I could make my way back to the finish. Jennifer had managed to turn around when she finished and was waiting for Kimberly.  Since Kimberly wasn't suppose to finish until around 2 hours, I had some time to wait.

We were suppose to have another Dailymile meet up, but like many of them, it wasn't looking good.(issue #9)  We had said we'd meet at the large Publix blow up grocery bag.  Well guess what?  No bag!  I called Kerry C., a DM friend, and managed to get in touch with her and meet up.  She was the only once I was able to meet up with.  Once Kimberly finished, her, Jennifer, and I managed to meet up.  Like I said earlier, it was a bit chilly and the wind was still pretty strong.  The girls were ready to leave!  So much for finding and meeting any other DMers.

Begrudgingly, I agreed and we and headed to the car and back to the hotel.  That was about it.  The girls went to their room and I went to mine.  I showered, packed my stuff up, and left for home.  I was so bummed.  I felt like nothing went right from start to finish with this race.  I had to go alone.  I ate the wrong food.  I didn't sleep well.  The wind was brutal.  I never felt comfortable in the race.  The knee freakin acted up once again.  We didn't have a DM meet up.  And to top it off, the girls kinda pissed me off when they wanted to 'leave' as soon as the race was over.

It's a 5 hour drive from Jacksonville to Pensacola, so I had plenty of time to think about the whole thing and get over it.  Sure enough, the time helped.  I mean yes, I'm still upset with how I did, but at least this time I was able to run the race and finish.  So, what will next year be?  It will be Gate River Run redemption part 2!!

Remember my friends, "Real athletes run, all other just play games!".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seaside Half Marathon

The Seaside Half is becoming a very popular race!  Every year it fills up quickly.  This year I registered in Oct to ensure I didn't have to beg for a slot and then pay through the nose like I did last year.   One of the big attractions of this race, aside from the location in beautiful Seaside, Fl., is the Vera Bradley bags they give away. My daughter loves the bag and thus the begging!

We spent the night in Santa Rosa Beach and were able to arrive early Sunday morning for the race.  Enjoyed meeting numerous Dailymile friends; Sang, Kevan, Kim, Jacques, and Lynne.  The weather was pretty nice for a long race.  Probably in the lower 50s.  Maybe even upper 40s.  It was a bit windy though.    Other then that, it was a good day for a race.

Here are some pictures with my DM friends.  

As many of you know, I have been struggling of late with a sore right knee.  I didn't do any running the week before the race, but I did do some power walking on the TM with some steep inclines.  How did that affect me you might ask.  Well...

I started off pretty good.  Was keeping a good pace around 8:25.  My intention was to keep that pace until around mile 9 and them try to pick it up a bit and maybe PR. Unfortunately, that didn't work out.  Around mile 5 my knee started to bother me.  I walked through the water stop to give it a short rest.  After I made the turn at just past mile 6, it started bothering me even more.  From that point on, I went into the Galloway mode.  I'd walk for a short bit and then I'd run until it started to bother me.  Basically, just like I did for the Double Bridge Run a month prior.  Fortunately, I was able to keep the pace pretty good while running and I soon realized I had a chance to at least beat last year's time.  

Around mile 8 I noticed this young lady that I would pass when running and then she would pass me while I was resting the knee.  We keep this up until around mile 11. That's when I decided to push her a bit. I noticed she was struggling and starting to slow way down.  I came up along side her and encouraged her to press on.  She did and her and I finished the race together.   Here is a great video of our finish.

Even though I didn't PR this race, I did manage to beat last year's time!  I was pretty happy with that.  The young lady and I finished strong.  A big thanks to my daughter's friend Megan who took the video.  It was a good after party and the finishers medal was awesome. 

Well, this isn't my best race report, but I'm just not feeling it today.  I should have donet this last week right after the race.  That said, as always my friends, remember, "Real athletes run, all others just play games"!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Run for the World Recap

I really enjoy running this race.  Unfortunately, last year they had a scheduling issue and it didn't happen in Feb.  It ended up being held in May and I had my schedule already booked and wasn't able to run it.  This year, the church got things together and held it at the usual time.  Glad they did!

This was also the second time my son and I have run a race together.  This one ended up being very special.   The weather was pretty nice for a race.  A bit on the chilly side, but not at all cold.  I prefer it being this way when racing.  It usually doesn't take long to warm up.  By the time I finished my mile warm up, I was ready to go.

They had a good turn out as usual.  Probably around 400 runners and walker.  There were a number of the usual folks and it's always nice to see them on race day.   The Runyon's, Aaron and Jeannie where there along with a few of my special DM friends, Kimberly Cothern, Nergis Demirbilek and Lisa Fairbanks.  Another one of them was my friend Andrea Moore.  Andrea has a pretty good pace, so I was set on pacing with her.  I knew this time that my son Andrew was gonna be on his own and that dad was 'racing' this one!  lol

The race got off on time and I initially settled in behind Andrea!  Now I guess I need to maybe clarify why I was gonna 'settle' in behind Andrea.  Lately,  I have been struggling with my endurance.  I haven't been able to hold my pace throughout my races.  So I figured that if I hung with Andrea, that it would force me to hold my pace.  So, that's what I was going to try to do.

After moving in and out of the crowd and around the around the kids, I was feeling pretty good.  I looked at my Garmin and we were running at around a 7:30 pace.  A bit fast for me, at least lately anyways, but I seemed to be handling it ok.  Probably around 1/2 mile, I started to realize I was feeling pretty good.  I had moved to the left of Andrea to avoid some slower runners and then I just let my pace speak for itself.  I pushed on.  I was actually feeling pretty damn good.  But could I hold it?

This course has a few small but significant hills between mile 1.5 and 2.5.  Nothing really big, but enough to make you work for it.  Even so, I was able to hold a pretty good pace.  With just under a mile to go, I found myself running side by side with another runner.  The pace was pretty strong and together, he and keep each other motivated.  When he would slow down a bit, I'd push him forward and when I would, he would do the same.

I saw Andrew after making the last turn and he was running strong.  Not far behind me at all.  I saw Andrea too and she was running good also.  With about 1/2 mile to go, I heard these footsteps behind me and then this lady pushing past us.  She was saying "come on guys, you can do it!" and off she went.  I put my head down and along with the other runner, we pushed our way to the finish line.

When I saw the clock at the finish, it was still under 24 minutes.  I sprinted as fast as I could, but I ended up coming in at 24:05.  I just missed a sub-24.  Those damn hills!  LOL

2 minutes after I crossed the finish line, along came Andrew.  He was sprinting with one of my running friends, Pat Roberts, to the finish.  He narrowly beat him to finish at 26:06.  Not a bad time at all considering the course.

The Winners!
One thing nice about this race is the pancake breakfast afterwards and the awards.  It was no exception this year.  The Runyons, Kim, Nergis, Lisa, and Andrew, Andrea and I all sat together.  It ended up being the winning table.  Aaron won the race as the overall winner and Jeannie was the overall female runner.  Lisa took the Master Award and Andrea took 1st in her AG.  I took 2nd in my AG.  Dave Durbin from Dothan, Al was there.  He is in my age group and pretty fast.  I know when he is there, that's one ahead of me.  LOL  The funniest part of the awards is that Andrew didn't have a glue he won until after the whole thing was over.  Since his time was not in the 'usual' winning range, none of us paid any attention during the time they were announcing awards for his age group.  As we were leaving, we happened to check the times and he says to me, "what's the 'Div' mean.  I said that's your age group.  He says, "mine shows 1".  I was like, crap, that means you won your age group.  We went back in and sure enough, he won his AG.  I was so proud!  And very proud of this picture!

Well, that pretty much wraps up this race recap.  As always my friends, remember, "Real athletes run, all other just play games"!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Running with Pain

Do you run with pain?  Do you have a condition that causes you to run with constant pain?  If so, read on.  Maybe you have a friend that does.  Again read on.

About 25 years ago I was diagnosed with a condition called "Palinddromic Rheumatism".  A couple years after that, I was diagnosed with "Fibromyalgia".  I remember thinking why me?  Why do I have to suffer from a double whammy?  Not fair, not fair at all.

I remember early on suffering from depilating episodes from my PR.  The episodes would come on and last for 48 hours.  And it could be any one joint or a combination of joints.  I remember once getting attacks in both feet.  Wow, that was a bad couple days.  When I was finally diagnosed, I remember thinking I could kiss the doctor.  Finally, I had a name for the problem and a course of action.  I was put on a medication and within weeks, I was experiencing relief.  Since then, I have short lasting episodes and only get major, long lasting attacks once in a blue moon.

Unfortunately, the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia didn't result in the same outcome.  There is no magic pill for this condition.  There is nothing they can give you to stop the pain.  Yes, they have meds.  Yes, the meds do help some.  And yes, without the meds, I wouldn't be able to function.  For that, I am grateful.  But they don't eliminate the pain or the discomfort.  I've lived with fibro for years.  Some days are worse then others, but every day has pain associated with it.  My hands and feet are the worst.  Of course, that would make sense as you use them the most.

Why am I posting this you might say?  Am I looking for your amazement?  Am I looking for your sympathy?  No!!  Not at all.  What I'm hopefully doing is showing you that even when you think you can't, you can.  I would never, not in a million years, thought I could have become a runner.  Not ever!  When I first started to run, my body was killing me.  My knees were in terrible pain.  But I did the only thing I knew to do.  I prayed!  I told the Lord Jesus that this was something I really, really wanted to do and if He could find a way to help me continue, I would forever be in His debt.  Within a week, the pain subsided.  Within in a month, I was running without the sever knee pain and the body wasn't hurting as bad.  Now I'm not saying every day is an easy day.  No way!  Some days I hurt all over.  Some days, I simply don't want to put my body through the pain.  But I do!  And I almost always feel better when I'm done.

So listen,  it doesn't matter what is wrong with you.  If you want to run, you can.  If it's not running, but something else you want to do, then just DO IT!  Find a way and commit to doing it.  There is nothing you can't do!

Feel free to ask me about the two conditions I mentioned above.  If you, or someone you know, suffers from either of these conditions, I might be able to provide some insite.

Happy running my friends!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Missing in Action

I wanted to let you all know what I have been doing the past couple of months.  Of course, I have been running.  My last race post was back in mid-Dec and since then, I have run a few races.

The Pensacola Runners Association "Pensacola Beach Run" was on Jan 14th.  This year they had the half as a separate event.  In years past this was a 'pick your distance' race.  I ran the half and was fortunate enough to set a half PR.  Yay me.

I also ran the PRA Bay to Breakfast 8K Challenge trail race.  This is a great local event.  I highly recommend it to anyone in the local area.  This year's race got a bit out of control as many people, including myself, ran a bit further then we were suppose to.  In fact, when it was all over, we decided to call this the "Run Your Own Distance" Trail Challenge.  No matter, it was a great event and great fun with friends.

My next run was the "We Believe in Children" run.  This is a great annual event which benefits the Escambia County Schools Foundation.  It was also the first time that my son Andrew and I ran a race together.  He is 18 and preparing to leave for the Air Force in the coming months.  He did great and we both finished in 26 minutes.

I followed that race up with the popular Double Bridge Run.  The DBR is one of the most popular races in the SE.  It attracts runners from all over the world.  This year's race had 4000 runners.  I was nursing a sore knee, actually had been for a few weeks, and it decided to give me problems during the DBR.  No biggie, I still finished.  You can't PR every time right?

The last race to report is the "Sweetheart Run" in Gulf Shores, Al.  This was the first time I have run this race.  I've wanted to in the past, just haven't ever done it.  Glad I did.  I ran the 10K and enjoyed a nice chilly run on the beautiful Gulf Coast.

Well, there you have it.  That is where I been since I fell off the 'blog' world.

Run for the Cookies Recap

Today's race was all about the kids!  If the race title doesn't give you a hint, then you're out of the loop big time.  This was all about the Girl Scouts!  More specifically, the Girl Scouts of NW Florida.  The weather wasn't great, but the event was, so there was a pretty good turnout this morning.

They were holding the race at the University of West Floridas Cross Country field house.  It was gonna be a 5K trail run, but apparently the kids had a pretty tough time last year, so they they only did one mile on the trail and the rest on the road.  The road in this case is pretty hilly!  So no easy run any way you look at it.    The fun part is that you get to run through a small creek right at the beginning of the run!  Nothing better!  HAHA

They did the Fun Run before the 5K this time and I used that as my warm up.  I have to share this story with ya.  These little kids just love to run and are so excited about getting the chance to run in a 'race'.  There were kids as young as 3 years old running.  The fun run also has some trail running.  Probably about 1/3 of the course was trails.  Since this was my warm up run, I was taking it pretty easy.

About 100 yards from the finish, I noticed this little kid in front of me that was struggling a bit.  He couldn't have been more then 6 or 7 years old.  Little dude with classes.  He was holding his stomach and pushing hard.  I came up along side of him and encouraged him to push on.   You could hear his parents cheering him on at the finish line.  I stayed right with him all the way to the end.  He did great.  We both crossed the finish line at 8:26.  Great job by the little man.

I also ran into one of my former students.  He was at the race with his little boy Matthew who is 5.  Andrew graduated in 2007 and I don't think I've seen him since.  He looked great.  To top it off, little Matthew took 1st in his age group.

The 5K got off right at 9:30.  The weather had cleared up a bit by start time and the rain pretty much had stopped.  Of course there were a number of kids running the 5K, and they took off like bullets when the race started.  I wasn't looking to PR this race.  I really just wanted to go out and have some fun.  I keep it nice and easy on the trail part.  Passed a few runners here and there.  I probably was at around a 8:20 pace.  My Garmin didn't start when when we took off, so I'm not sure the exact pace.  Like I said, we exited the trail after the first mile and were on the road.  I'm not lying when I say that UWF has some hills.  WOW!  It's been awhile since I ran out there and those hills were kicking my butt.   I approached this race the same way I have the last couple of races.  I stopped when I needed and keep the pace as high as I could when I ran.  It worked out pretty good overall.  I ended up finishing with a time of 25:57.  I'll take that!

I enjoyed good times with my running friends and finished up with so yummy cookies!!

As always my friends, remember: 'Real athletes run, all others just play games!'.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I'm sorry I have been missing the last 2 months or so.  Between the holidays and work and family, I just haven't taken the time to keep this blog up.

I promise to get back into it.  I'll post a recap of the races I have run since my last recap and whatever else might be going on.