Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Runner..... Fighter... its all the same!

Today would mark the worst run of my short running career. As I pounded my way down the track I started thinking about the difference between a fighter and a runner. Is there a difference? To some the answer is yes and to others, such as myself, the answer is undoubtedly a NO. Fighters stand toe to toe with another person and they try to physically beat down the other person. All fighting be it boxing or MMA, its all the same. At the end of the round only one person remains and they are the strongest and toughest of the two. Well to me being a runner is much the same. Before the run we don't stand with another human and try to impart our physical domination over them, but we stand with ourselves. The fight of a runner is a mental as well as physical battle. As a runner there is always that little voice that whispers to us "Why? Why do this? Doesn't it hurt? What is to gain, you could just go home and sit in recliner and watch last nights episode of Castle in the air conditioning." And for the duration of the run that voice continues to whisper and at some points in the run it comes to a roar that is almost deafening. Some days, we win this battle and others, like today, we do not. I think its important during the down moments when that little voice wins to remember that, to me, what defines a persons toughness isn't the ability to continue when the going is easy, but it is the ability to go back out their and lace those shoes up for another run. Its the grit it takes when you know a half mile in that your calves will burn with a fury of a thousand suns. Like I said earlier today wasn't a good day for me, today that little voice won. The days after will determine whether are not I can count myself a runner and a fighter. As I have been told before though.... I don't know when to quit.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lime Foxtrot 5K 4/27/2013

Hello everyone,

So today was our Lima Foxtrot 5K and I can honestly say that I simply did not want to race today. I set my alarm for 5:00am got up at 5:30am managed to finally get my mind on point and get ready for the race. I was dreading this race all morning. If we hadn't already paid for it I probably would have simply stayed in bed and slept in.

We left the house around 6:20 and headed that way. It took us about 40 minutes to get where we were going and to my surprise there seemed to be more people show up than what I expected. This was a first annual race and the turnout was around 175-200 runners.

We arrived at the Gardendale Civic Center around 7:05am. Our friends who have been doing the C25K met us there as well as my parents. I was really glad they all came, I really enjoy knowing that we have friends and family that are willing to show up and support us. Its funny though because my buddy really wanted to run it today, he is so pumped up about our upcoming race next month.

We walked over and finally got our packets picked up around 7:25am and realized we got tech shirts in our packets. That's the first time we have got something else other than the standard cotton shirt.

Here are a few pics that was taken before the race started up, enjoy!

Little Miss Cutie Pie!!!

The two in the picture here are my best friend and his wife. They have really been bitten by the running bug and we are all looking forward to their debut race next month!!

Pic of my Dad and me, can you see the family resemblance?

Ella Kate loves her Uncle Bob and Aunt Mel!

This dog's name is Walker. He has ran over 50 races with his owner who also happens to be the race director for this race. Very cool dog and a really really nice guy that put this all together.

Like momma like daughter

This one is for Scotty! Tongue

8:00 AM and its go time!!! By this point I have finally come around to being in  a better mood and am actually looking forward to this run. There was some really cool people out here and everyone just seemed to be in good spirit. I'm itching to start and really hoping to set a new PR but before I get into the details of a mile by mile synopsis here are a few more pics of the line up.

Ok! So we are off, Mile 1 went great, in fact it was my fastest mile to date. Clocked in at 7:50, I was feeling strong at this point. I had passed a lot of people already that started in front of me and I kept pushing. I can honestly say that I think my progress has a lot to do with implementing cross training into my regime. My body just feels stronger and more capable.

I keep pushing, but find myself starting to slow down. I didn't think I could keep a sub 8min pace the entire race especially considering the whole race seemed to be rolling hills. I was coming up on mile 2 and noticed my pace had slowed, I knew it was still faster than my pace from the Rumpshaker 5K so I was still shooting to beat my previous PR. Mile 2 - 8:23

I'm getting tired at this point. My pace keeps jumping between sub 8 and a little over 9, I just play yo-yo pretty much the entire last mile trying to push myself as much as possible. The heat has went up drastically and the humidity was sucking the life out of me. I finally see the finish line and try my best to pick up my pace. I cross the finish line (only a 3 mile course) with mile 3 sitting at 8:46. Now if you can do that math that's 25:00 minutes even. If this course had been a true 3.1 miles I still would have ran a sub 26min 5K. I beyond excited about this time, even at 3.1 miles I still would have broke my PR but at least a minute!!! That's a pretty big deal considering it hasn't been that long since I ran the Rumpshaker.

Here are some finish line pics!

And of my wife coming up on the finish line

Now a few things I need to explain about this race is the cause. This race was supporting the Lima Foxtrot foundation which is for severely injured military personnel. Which means there was several participants who were either doing the race in wheelchairs or who were running with prosthetic leg/foot. In fact I got beat by a 14 year old in a wheelchair! This kid was amazing and such a strong willed kid!

Just hanging out after the race was over.

Now on to the most exciting part of the day, my daughter! We didn't sign her up, or dress her to do a fun run but the very cool race director asked if she wanted to run it and she said yes. It was like a 10 dollar run but he let her run it for free, she was so excited and didn't want anyone running it with her! So without further ado here are the cutest freaking pictures in my whole RR!!!

Very cool lady running with the kids in the back, she was such a sweet lady!

Coming in for the finish

And of course EK with her cool runner's medal Smile

This was such a great race and it turned out to be such a beautiful day considering there was suppose to be rain. I will definitely run this again next year if they continue to do this race. Now for one more picture, this is of course me but I am standing with one of the guys who ran this 5K. I am sure you have heard of him and if you haven't he has his own web page. His name is Noah Galloway and you can find his webiste at www.Naohgalloway.com. He lost his arm and leg on Dec 19, 2005 in Iraq from an IED. This man is a machine and a true inspiration.

Also notice the shirt he is wearing. That was the tech shirt that we received in our race packet Wink

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Running Moments

A new series I want to start.  I take random photos with my iphone and these small glimpses scream volumes about not only our runs but our friendship.  Hope these can bring a smile or maybe inspire.

They say your kids are always watching.  EK is proof of that statement.  When she runs, she checks her "watch" like her momma (Ashley) does and when we are finished running and stretching, she joins right in.  I love this little's girls intensity.  She's so precious and can't wait to join us when she gets older.

Jimmy, Ashley, and EK
EK is a great cheerleader for her parents.

My Shelby LOVES going for rides.  And she really loves going to the park.  So a ride to the park is quite heavenly for our girl.

The flag at the park in honor and memory of Boston and all of the individuals affected by the horrendous tragedy.

After today's run, we went over to the playground for EK to play.  Of course Jimmy and Bobby couldn't resist playing either.  When I returned from the car, I found them all searching in the bark.  Jimmy lost his wedding ring while playing on the monkey bars!  Thankfully, it was found!  Go team!

"I'm a Runner"

"I'm a Runner!"  
In the beginning of our Couch to 5K, I had to tell myself that.  It was motivating as I was learning to run and building endurance.  But, yesterday was the first day I didn't have to tell myself.  I felt like a runner.  No more force-feeding myself that statement...it just is now.  It's just who I am.

Yesterday was a long run - 15 minutes.  Today we ran 20.  When we first begin this program 7 weeks ago (today), I couldn't hardly run one minute straight.  I used my minute walk to attempt to catch my breath.  Now, less than 10 is so different.  It feels natural.  And good.  I finished yesterday's run and then I ran an additional half mile...just because.  I felt proud.  There wasn't anybody watching my last half mile....not a soul on that side of the track but me.  But I was so proud of myself for taking those first hard minute runs that brought me to running 15 and 20 minutes.

I highly recommend any Couch to 5K or 5K Runner program.  These programs give people the tools to become runners.  Even people with sedentary lifestyles can learn, build endurance, and become confident runners.  Get out and start running!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The First Mile

The first mile..... that is what I ran yesterday, with out stopping, with out dying at the end of it, and in ten minutes.... my first mile. In all my 29 years I would have never believed I could have ran one mile, all 5,280 feet of it, and not stopped or dyed at the end. It is an accomplishment, that to me, will forever go down as one of the sweetest despite anything that I will ever do after that. Rome wasn't built in a day, but by small blocks one piece at a time. Just like my one mile, my running life wasn't built all at once, but that one mile will stack upon the next one.

Forgive me... here I am boasting about my achievements and I have yet to properly introduce myself. I am a simple guy that enjoys the simple life. I am married to Running Nerd Mel and a doggy father to Running Dog Shelby. ( hereafter all Running Nerds will be referred to as RN and Running Dogs will be referred to as RD, I am to lazy to type that all out) I have been married close to 9 wonderfully long years and wouldn't trade a minute of that. I am blessed with the best friends a man could ever want. Some of which are on here my fellow RNs Jim and Ash (the people that are a huge part of my inspiration to run), two wonderful people we met some time back Nick and Amanda (seriously the nicest people alive), and Kayla that is RN Mel's cousin and a sister that I never had (seriously folks I torture her and yet she still loves me). We live in a cozy spot at the end of nowhere in small town surrounded my smaller towns. At least that is how I imagine where we live. And to cap off the simple life I like to go knock around in my shop on Saturdays and fiddle with broken do-dads and tinker with old projects while I listen to Country music and sip on a beer. Ah the simple life.... Anyhoo I do have one disclaimer I had better mention so with out further ado.... I have an ego that hasn't been topped since high school when I unsuccessfully tried to jump a rail in front of the girl I liked and slammed into the wall like a fly on a windshield. I imagine myself a greek god chiseled from the finest marble the world has ever seen, fit to be a statue amongst the gods themselves on Mount Olympus. What I fail to mention is that is how I "imagine" myself....  in actuality what I closely resemble is a tub of greek yogurt about ten years past its best buy date. See I may have an ego, but I can admit the truth when its necessary. :)

My motivations are simple really for all that I do. I like to make my life a little better, more enjoyable, and a little easier than it was the day before, and I'd like to think that that motivation is evident in all parts of my life. I go to work and strive to do a better job than I did the day before and learn more so that just maybe the next day won't be quite as hard as the last day. I like to read books so that my imagination gets fired up and that allows me to explore new possibilities that only pure imagination can fuel. My running is no different to me. I run to make my life better. A little of my ego does get involved, I like to run to prove to myself that I can do it, and one of my biggest motivations to running and finishing a 5K is so that my friends and family can see me cross the finish line. And I want to look and feel better. Most of my motivations are selfish, but they are mine, they are what get my feet in my Sketcher GoRun (shameless plug) and my butt out the door, and my legs moving down the track. I'm proud of my motivations because so far they work.