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

Peanut Butter Gu Review

Totally awesome!  Where have you been all my running life?

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.