Monday, November 4, 2013

Vulcan Run 10K

Wow, where to even begin! It feels like its been FOREVER since I have ran a race, and even then I don't think I did an RR with my last race because I was very disappointed with myself. With that being said lets get this show on the road!

I decided to do this race when several of my co-workers asked if I wanted to run it with them. I was dealing with some IT band issues but I figured what the heck, I'm not known for my common sense when it comes to doing things I shouldn't do so I agreed to it. Well one things leads to another and they all back out leaving me to make the decision if I wanted to run it or not so I figured what the heck, even if I have to walk / run I figured it would be a fun experience. I went ahead and asked my cousin-in-law if he wanted to run it with me since his XC season was over and with the permission of his parents (he has SVT) he agreed to run it as well.

These past few weeks have been rough on me, I've had shoe issues (mistake of buying stability shoes) causing some pretty serious IT Band issues. I finally swapped shoes and found a pretty nice self massage to apply as well as some stretched and rolling with The Stick, plus I finally got around to buying a foam roller that I have used daily since I bought it. With everything applied I went out Tues for a 35 min run and finished it pain free! This was the only workout I got in this week and I was feeling very nervous about my run and how well I would perform.

Moving along to race day. Woke up at 5:15am and did pretty much the same thing I do every morning. Bathe, tend to the dogs, fix coffee and eat some breakfast. Breakfast consisted of bagel with cream cheese and coffee and then about 30 minutes before the race ate 1/2 a cliff bar and some Gatorade. This really seemed to do the trick and I didn't have the usual head ache that follows a race. We left the house about 6:30 and arrived at the race around 7:10am. We found our way to the auditorium that was giving out race packets and what-not and got in some potty time before race start. At about 7:30am Jon and I head out and do some warm up running / stretching before the race. We take about 15 mins for the warm up and head over to the crowd to get ready to run!

Here are some pics taken before the race began,

So the race starts a few mins after 8am and we are ready to go! Here are a few pics of the start line before we start talking about splits,

So were off! As crowded as it was it didn't take long for me to find my pace and just focus on the goal I had in mind.

Mile 1 - The first mile was like most first miles. Even though we warmed up it still sucked. From the lack of sleep and lack of training I really felt this first mile more than I should. I try to keep a sub 9 min pace though (I can PR with a 9mm avg) and just focus on that. I finish the first mile and my watch has me at 8:42, now just 5.2 more miles to go....

Mile 2 - This mile gets slightly better than mile 1 but I'm still not feeling as upbeat as I would have hoped, I just try to hold the pace though and just focus on the people around me, mainly the 3 women that were chit-chatting. I found it amusing just listening to them talk between breathes Smile 2nd mile was 8:45, so far so good!

Mile 3 - Here comes the steady incline and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting and considering the hill at the Cotton Row it paled in comparison, but still, I'm already not where I want to be physically for this race so the hill takes its toll and slows me down a little bit, but its OK! I just keep telling myself I got this while trying to admire the surrounding and listening to the 3 women that just love to talk. Mile 3 - 9:07, not bad and still very easy for me to maintain a 9mm avg.

Pro photo somewhere between miles 3 and 4

Mile 4 - About half this mile was uphill and then it started to level off and proceed downhill. The only thing I was thinking at this point was please let the incline stop so I can manage a sub 9 for this mile.... Mile 4 - 8:53 WOOT WOOT!

Mile 5 - Oh thank you Sweet Lord!!!! Downhill baby, the IT Band is holding up, no pain, I'm breathing like I"m dying and I just want easy for a little while. I buckle down into my downhill cruise and away we go. WEEEE! Mile 5 - 8:24, this so totally made up for the 9:07 last mile, I'm still on point for a PR!

Mile 6 - Holy sweet mother, I don't know what happened during this mile but both of my hips felt like they were going to just completely stop working for me, the upper part of my shoe was to tight and digging into my foot causing my entire left foot to go numb and all I knew was I needed a sub 9 min mile. At this point I just felt like the little engine that could and I just toot tooted along. Mile 6 - 8:42

Last 0.2 - I don't even know what to say at this point, I simply didn't have any gas left, I pushed what little I had managed to pass a few people and finished the last .2 at a 8:03 pace.

Avg pace 8:46, total distance according to watch was 6.23 and I finished with a time of 54:25 chip time and my watch had 54:26 so can't argue with those results! Oh and that's a PR so Hell to the Yea baby! Old PR 55:17. I really feel I could have performed better but I was ill-prepared.

Of course my wife being awesome, gets some fun pics of the family while I'm out running because you can't ever have to many pics. Smile

Now for some finish photos. The first 2 are the 1st place male and female winners.

Second and third male

Now just some random early finishers

Here is my cousin-in-law, he finished in the top 200 which got him an additional shirt, pic further down the post Smile

He is the one in the orange Track Shack singlet

Just random people finishing in no particular order.

We even had wonder woman out there running!

Now here are some of me, because you know, I'm not that fast and a lot of people finished ahead of me.

I'm in the back, middle of the pic beside the lamp post, the guy with the crooked foot! lol. Now about that foot, I know I probably have terrible form but that about as straight as my foot gets, I had a accident when I was 5 and fell off a horse and my leg got stepped on. The doctor didn't set my leg properly so now for me to hold my knee straight my leg turns outwards at about a 30-35 degree angle :/ Funny thing, its my other leg that gives me so much trouble. go figure.

This race was pretty awesome and I would most definitely be doing it again next year. But mark my words, next year will be sub 50!

Here are some quick after race pics. The shirt that Jon (cousin-in-law) is the Top 200 shirt that he received, pretty sweet!

And here is the shirt we received in our race packet! Pretty sweet shirt!

Last two pics I promise. Course map and elevation chart

Time : 54:26
AG : 69 / 122
Overall : Wasn't posted Sad
Elevation Gain : 299ft

Cotton Row 10k
Chip time : 56:17
Elevation Gain : 394ft

Well I hope you enjoyed the RR and I hope I the next ones that follow are spread out so far apart!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moving Forward

Ok, so this blog hasn't got much attention as of late. It would seem the entire team has taken a step back from the running process. We all have our reasons for it from recouping from an injury to simply getting a little burned out and overwhelmed with everything that is going on. However, I think its time for us all to take a step back, look at whatever it is holding us back and climb over it.

For me it was pushing myself to the point injury and then getting comfortable with the idea of not running since I hadn't done it in so long. I finally pushed myself out the door and tried to push myself harder than I should and lo and behold another injury. I don't think this one is has severe and hopefully some hip strengthing and a lot of stretching / rolling will fix it right up and I can start increasing the miles again, until then I need to swallow my pride and just back it up some and revert to simply walking / running until the leg is feeling better.

As for my wife she is pregnant and that pretty much sums up her reasons for not running. With that said I know she wants to get back out there, she talks about it daily and she looks forward to the day where she doesn't feel sick as a dog and can get out there and feel the pavement under her feet.

Now on to Bob and Mel, I know Bob is trying to fix a calf problem that doesn't want to go away and I don't talk to Mel enough to know how her running is going, what I do know though is I miss the days where we would all meet up and run around the park or neighborhood and then hang out for 20min or so and just chit-chat, some days we would grab dinner some days we wouldn't but regardless I really do miss it and hope that we can get back to that point again.

There is a couple of races coming up in November and I know we have all talked about doing them. The Liz Hurley and the Susan G Komen race for the cure. I pretty confident that I am at least doing the Liz Hurley as I ran this last year and really had fun with it. I will run the Susan G Komen as well if all the nerds agree to run it as well :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

When All Else Fails...Begin Again

I have a well-documented history with the mental monster.  I have struggled with my runs and feeling confident in my body's abilities.  To squash the monster once and for all and to prove to myself that I can do it, I have started the Couch to 5K program all over again.

I know that I can run for more than 2 miles.  I have done it.  But lately, between feeling disgusted and taking time off, I feel it is necessary to show my body what it is supposed to do. 

Tonight's program was day 1 - 5 minute warmup and cool down with 6 repitions of 1 minute runs and 1.5 minute walks. 

I felt good.  Of course I can do 1 minute runs.  But if felt good to be relaxed in my run.  I wasn't stressing over my hand burning (long story short..was stung by wasp and hand was still swollen), my breathing, the heat, the fact that I forgot and left my reward water at home, etc.  I listened to my country tunes and did my program. 

I'm sure some people would question me.  "Didn't you already do this?"  Yes I did.  "Haven't you already completed two races?" Yes I have.  "Then why do it again?"  Why not?  Running isn't seasonal and there is no end so I'm always trying to do a little better than before.  But I don't feel as confident as I once did.  I have lost my runners edge, so to speak.  This isn't about comparing myself to my friends or any other runner.  This is about me and my ability.  It's about my enjoyment.  And I wasn't.  I wasn't able anymore because I didn't enjoy it.  Tonight was good. 

The program gets me about 1.5 miles but I went ahead and completed another .5.  I closed the program and just ran.  I walked when I had to but I finished with a run. 

I got a little too hot.  It was a scorcher.  And I wasn't properly hydrated for the day.  But I did it and I was happy with my activity level. 

All this to say, if you are feeling like you are failing or you can't run - stop it!  You can do it.  Just do it at your own pace.  Don't let anyone tell you how fast or far you should be moving.  The point is you are trying.  Find out where you enjoy running.  Find your own program or pace.  Find some running tunes if that helps.  Just enjoy what you are doing.  And above all, don't get mad and give up.  Get motivated and find a fresh place to begin again.

If I can do it, you can do it!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Running Nerds Invade the Coast!

Last week, all of the running nerds headed south for the holiday.  Ash's dad lives near Orange Beach, Alabama, so we crashed his pad for some beach fun.  Jim, Ash, and the Princess headed down on Saturday and Bob and I met up with them on Tuesday evening.  We had a great time despite a not so great weather forcast. 

Here's a recap...

1.  Shrimp Basket - AMAZING!  We arrived on All You Can Eat popcorn shrimp day!

2.  We visited the Dollar General in Orange Beach every single day.  We bought everything from poptarts to contact solution and ice to a nerf football.

3.  Fresh shrimp from Billy's Seafood in Bon Secour.  Their motto is "if it swims, we got it."  They have fresh seafood including 5 sizes of shrimp for unbeatable prices!  We had ours steamed in cajun seasoning and devoured it later with potatoes, corn, and hush puppies.  I took 5 more pounds home to my dad!

4.  Our car broke down behind Souvenir City on the evening of the 4th.  HUGE thanks to Hub City Towing and Wayne, the driver, for helping us out!  We got it fixed enough to get us home.  Although it was a huge ordeal at first, the entire adventure only cost us a $20 part once we got home!  Oh and thank God for roadside assistance!

4b.  While my car is broken down in a parking lot 250 miles from home, do not approach me if you are drunk.  The anger that spews forth cannot be matched.  Just keep walking buddy.

4c.  EK may or may not have peed in the bushes while we hung out in the parking lot.

4d.  Seeing what great friends you have while you are crying in the parking lot is a great feeling.

5.  We were very let down by the fireworks....or lack of.  It was crazy windy so they were afraid of blow back into the crowd and the condos so fireworks stopped after about 60 seconds.

6.  Bob finally got to try Lambert's Cafe.  He was in food heaven.  We all left full and happy!  Even the Princess enjoyed some "mashed taters." 

7.  Staying up ridiculously late and eating ice cream ridiculously late is not usually in a runner's agenda but it was this week and we all four enjoyed it immensly!

8.  We didn't run at all!  I know really - shame on us.  But it was a nice break.

9.  Jim and Ash probably brought back 20lbs of sand in their car.  It was our beach vehicle.

10.  After having ice cream everyday and eating not great bad ANYTHING we wanted, I didn't gain a single pound!

The B's with a little Bob in the background.

Our situation

Uncle Bob and EK

The A's

Right where I want to be!