Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pensacola Beach Run

January 14, 2012

Pensacola Beach Run Half-Marathon

Training is going well in preparation for the full in NOLA on March 4. This was my first time to run this race. It is neat because there are three distances: Half, 10K, and 5K. This is great because my friends could run the 10K and 5K and I wouldn't be alone after the half...well, we thought it was the perfect plan...more on that later.
Scott and I went over on Friday night to pick up my race packet from The Grand Marlin. We had a nice dinner, which I embarassed him by taking pictures of. Those happen to be on his Iphone, so I can't include those at this time. I really regret that I don't have a picture of the two of us, but he makes fun of me for taking random pictures and was not eager to have the waiter take our picture. Just wait until NOLA. Please note that I obviously was LONG overdue for a haircut. I resolved that the next week. Ahh, much better.
Once home, it was time for gear check. Here we have: compression socks, pants, and shirt, sweaty band AND ear warmer head band (what would be the proper term?), gloves, Ipod, fuel belt, electrolytes, gu, mole skin (to prevent a blister on my foot), the trusty Garmin watch, and race bib. Please note that the race bib has tear away tickets for beer, beer, beer, and food. I thought that was pretty comical.
Jennifer, Cathy and I met at our normal spot and rode down together to the beach. As usual, I guess I was anxious because bossy pants Leah kept directing my wonderful chauffeur, Jennifer, how to drive, which direction to take and to speed up for goodness sakes!
This is the famous sign that directs your path over to Pensacola Beach.
Once on the bridge, we were greeted by a glorious sunrise, a special gift from the Lord.
Excitement was building, but I was also reassured by the gentle reminder
 of who was in control.
 I don't really remember why we took this picture, but it I now know that I really
should wear a little make-up on race day. 
Can you tell how cold it was? The temperature was around 29 degrees. We tried to bundle up, but I think we were all standing a little funny trying to conceal our freezing bodies.

 Above: Dawn runs with the "Phat Girlz" running group that is sponsored by our local running store, Running Wild. Dawn is also training for NOLA. We talked the night before and decided we would run together for part of the race. According to my training schedule, I had to run 16 miles. I knew that the 16 miles HAD to supersede my temptation to "race" the half. I warmed up quickly and enjoyed probably the first 6 miles with Dawn. While I knew the race was going well, I started the mental debate of PR vs. training run.
 As I was struggling with this debate, it should be no surprise that I was distracted with a big nudge that said slow down, enjoy the view, take it all in, finish what you started.
Once at the turnaround point, I really started calculating. Miles 8-10 were a mental game still evaluating PR vs. finishing the 16 miles successfully. Once I finally came to my senses, I started to slow significantly. If I was any good at this blogging thing, I would insert my data here, but I can't figure out how to do that, so look at the post below and you can follow the link to my Garmin details. As you can tell, I started taking lots of walk breaks. It took me a while, but I finally became comfortable with the idea. I had a mission to complete 16 miles and I couldn't do it if I had no
 gas left in the tank. 
Above is my finish line picture and yes, it is obvious that I need to work on how to pose while running! Jennifer and Cathy both had terrific races and were so kind to wait on me to finish. Their race started at 8:00, so they had to wait on me for a little while. At the finish line, there were some typical post-race foods, but the beer, beer, beer, food was across the parking lot. We walked around for a few minutes, drank some water and I ate a banana. Then, it was time for me to go finish by doing 2.9 more miles.
I ran down Fort Pickens Road until I reached one of our favorite restaurants, Peg Leg Pete's. Naturally, I started thinking about eating lunch and was ready for the run to be over. This part of my run was enjoyable because you can see the ocean on one side and the sound on the other. My body knew that this was my longest run ever and it REALLY wanted to stop, hence, more walk breaks. BUT, I did it, 16 miles completed in 2:58:47-11:11 pace. Not bad considering how much I walked. Then, I saw something very pitiful, two frowny faces waiting for me and wondering if I was ever coming back. The expression on my friend's faces let me know something was wrong. Guess what? They had run out of food. Don't they know that I run so that I can eat? Pretty disappointing!
Well, the good news is, there are several yummy restaurants within walking distance, so we headed over to Flounders. I had never eaten there, but it is the host sight of the Gulf Coast Half Marathon that I did last year and will do again this year on April 15.
Jennifer recommended the seafood nachos and I wanted to taste the spicy shrimp. We all three shared and still had plenty leftover. The nachos were ginormous!
I forgot something inside the restaurant and had to go back in. When I came out, Jennifer and Cathy were relaxing in these fabulous chairs. They said I should put on the blog: "I'm the one that should be sitting down." I had run 16 miles and they had run 6.2 and 3.1 respectively. I was struggling to get up and down at this point, so sitting in those chairs may have left me there for hours. I am proud of both of them and just thankful to have friends that share my passion for running.
All in all, it was a terrific morning at the beach!
Note to self: Continue to work on your horrid posture.

Pensacola Beach Run by leahmoore at Garmin Connect - Details

Pensacola Beach Run by leahmoore at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, February 20, 2012

Red Nose Run 5K

What an exciting day! The Red Nose Run 5K is held here in our own little community of Pace. This was the "graduation run" for my fall Sole2Soul Sisters group. Our group was not as large this fall and I take the blame for that. I was personally not as committed as I needed to be due to my issues with injury and the emotions I was going through with that. Overall though, I am thrilled for the women who stayed the course and completed their training.
Our group consisted of S2S Sisters from the Spring and then new graduates as well.
We had 8 people who were running their very first 5K. You can see my son Blake in there.
He and Jennifer's son, Preston trained together during the process. They both did a
terrific job, but I'm pretty sure Blake is less than thrilled. For now, this is the end of his
running career. He loves to play football, basketball and baseball, so I guess running
just isn't enough action for him.
Scary running picture above. My reminder that I likely will never have a "runner's body" no
matter how many miles I run. God made me short and umm healthy, but I can't complain.
I'm still lapping all the people sitting on the couch.
Here comes Melissa and her beautiful false eyelashes! She is a hairdresser at a local salon
and she insisted on wearing her full make-up and eyelashes. She has a little love affair going
for running also. :)
 Get the tissues...this is Amy, who came to our first training session in the spring just after being diagnosed with breast cancer. If you look back to the Fiesta Run, you will see that she still came to cheer us on and we gave her roses at the end of the race. She is an amazing lady, with such a positive spirit. She has been through so much in 2011 and was still facing another surgery. Can't you just tell how thrilled she is to be alive though? Her faith and precious spirit are contagious. What a joy to see her finish her first 5K. I call that perserverance!

 Candice, myself, and Melissa. They work together at a local salon.
Below: A group shot after the race.

 Above: Mary gets a massage.
Below: This is a picture of Anna. She had been running for months and training with her mom. This was her first official race. Don't you know it was a confidence boost when she placed in her division?

 Above left: This is Nina placing in her age group. Way to go Nina!
Below: Preston placed in his age group. All three of the boys ran together the whole time and came in within seconds of each other. Good thing Preston won this nice coffee mug for his mom!

This blurry picture of me was taken by Ben, who we tasked with taking pictures at the Pumpkin Run. This time, he didn't even have to leave his driveway. The route took us right in front of his house.
Our family stats for the day:
Scott-32:28, 2nd in his age group
At this point, I had decided to try to run a full again. I am registered for the Rock N Roll full in New Orleans on March 4. My training schedule called for a long run of 10 miles. I decided to get up early and do 7 miles before the 5K. Naturally, I didn't get out the door early enough, but I did squeeze in 6 miles before the official race. My pace on that was 10:46. I was pretty pleased that I was able to then stop, regroup, and start again. My pace for the race was 10:39. I wasn't really trying to "race" it due to the fact that I don't want to get injured again. This is the race from last year that still holds my PR for a 5K. I knew that wasn't the goal.

Pumpkin Run 5K

One of the many reasons I love to run is to EAT!!! The Pumpkin Run 5K is a local race in Pensacola that is put on by Sacred Heart Cathedral School. This was the 27th year of the race and it was rather large, with about 1,200 runners. At the end of the race, you are assured plenty of homemade pumpkin bread. Yummers!
My faithful running buddies, Cathy on the left and Jennifer on the right,
 who have been running with me since June. My college friend, Melissa
(who I was suppose to run the Marine Corps Marathon with), thinks we are so goofy.
She just can't understand why we think it is fun to dress alike. Yet another reason I like to run:
to have fun and be silly with friends. Although, it appears that Jennifer thinks she is special
and had to wear her purple shorts instead of black. Our shirts say BOO! and our socks
are spiderwebs. Fun, right? It's almost Halloween. Live a little!

I digress, back to the race. Cathy's husband, Ben, was put in charge of taking pictures during the race. Oh, how I long for that perfect picture of me looking like a "real runner". I gave Ben strict instructions to run ahead of us and then get on the sidelines to capture some action shots. Ben was running the race to support his wife, little did he know that he would take on the job of photographer. Well, he did great, it's just the sun didn't cooperate and it appears as one big shadow, but I think you can tell that we are having a blast!
Shortly after this is when we decided we were overdressed. It was one of those cold mornings with a low about 40, but once the sun came out, so did the sweat. Hence, Jennifer commenced to stripping while running. She is pretty good at it actually. Myself, I'm not that coordinated. With the Garmin and I-pod attached and two layers on, I'll just suffer.
The race went through the East Hill area of Pensacola which I was not familiar with beforehand. We basically ran through some neighborhoods, up and down a few mean hills, by the water (YAY!), and beside a park. About mile 2, I had a military retiree running near me and he was chanting the left, left, left, right, left. It helped to pace me a bit since I was not trained at all due to injury. It also made me pout a bit knowing that I was not going to be able to the Marine Corps full.
The good news is that I felt pretty good and the leg held up well. I finished with a time of 31:46, which isn't bad considering my lack of running. Afterward, we were able to meet up and spend a few minutes with some other S2S Sisters that ran the race.
Left to right: Jennifer, Susan, Sharon, the Great Pumpkin, me, Nina, and Cathy
Below: The 5:00 a.m. faithful

Injured again

I sure wish I would have kept up with my blog during my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, BUT, I didn't. Training was going wonderful. I was so committed that I got up three or four days a week to run at 5:00 in the morning due to the extreme summer heat here in the Pensacola area. Most mornings it was still in the high 70's with a zillion percent humidity. My friends, Jennifer and Cathy, were so faithful to come run at this time as well. We had to finish before the sun made it to high in the sky. This means that most mornings, we did have the blessing of watching the sun rise.
On August 20, I had steadily and faithfully built my mileage up to 13 miles. I tried to run my long runs slow to lower my risk of injury. I ran the 13 miles in 2:28:39, which is an 11:26 pace. Very conservative. I came in from the run feeling accomplished. I drank some chocolate milk as my post race fuel, did lots of stretching, sat with my legs straight up in the air against a wall to allow the blood to not pool in the bottom of my legs.
I naturally felt tired the rest of the day, but nothing unexpected. UNTIL, I watched about 30 minutes of TV lying in my bed that evening. When I got up, I felt a horrible feeling in my lower left leg. The next morning, I could barely walk into church. Long story short, and after a bone scan, I had yet another fracture. This time in my tibia.
Pouting commenced, depression set in, and the realization that I would not be able to run the full marathon with my friend Melissa was SLOW to accept. I still got up many mornings with my friends and would bike instead of run.
This lasted until September 27 when I "tried" my leg on a 3 mile run. A fracture is a tough injury because there's really no way to know when the bone is going to heal. I ran again later in that week and just decided that I wasn't ready.
I didn't start really running again until the Pumpkin Run 5K on October 22.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bryant's first 5K-Riverwalk Run

Bryant has been running some here and there just to get some exercise. He does not do any kind of organized sport anymore. He is one of those big brain, musically inclined souls. Not sure where that talent came from, but he is a treasure. He is in the Pace High Marching Band, which is so much more involved than I could have ever imagined.
 This was a spur of the moment decision for him to run the race. It is held in a nearby town, Milton, along the river. I thought Bryant might enjoy the process of running in an actual race. The good thing about this race is that it is held in the later afternoon, which meant he didn't have to get up early. I wasn't running this one as I was suffering from a fractured tibia, but it was lots of fun to cheer him on.
Bryant, ready to run his first 5K.
 We were ready and watching for him, but he came several minutes ahead of what
we had anticipated. All of the sudden, Blake was screaming, here he comes, here he comes!
I think he actually enjoyed the race aspect of the run. He was booking it at an
8:51 pace. Wowzer! He went into it a little reluctantly, but I feel like it was a
boost of confidence for him. So, there we are, the proud family!
October 1, 2011

Firecracker 5K

The Firecracker 5K is held the weekend around July 4th and benefits the Ronald McDonald House. Bryant and I did volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald House here in Pensacola last year. Bryant was working on his Citizenship in the Community for Boy Scouts. It was such a rewarding experience.
The race is always very large, well organized, and has a fun after party with lots of good food and a band.
 Jennifer and I pre-race and then a group shot with lots of Sole2Soul Sisters
before the race. Naturally, it was super hot and humid. I think we were just all hoping
to survive and not have a heat stroke.

 I felt pretty good during the race. I love running these races held downtown as you get to run by the water, which is always motivating to me because the sight of water and sun just makes my spirit happy. I was so excited when I found this picture on the Ronald McDonald website. I never seem to have a decent picture of me running.

Jennifer having fun!
Above: Dana gives a wave.
Below: Mary completes her first 5K. She trained with us, but was unable to do
the Fiesta because she was working to restore power after the tornado in Alabama.

 Above: Fatma is all smiles headed to the finish line.
Below: Tally, who was Blake's third grade teacher, is focused
and booking it to the finish line.

 More friends join the fun: Andrew, Ali, and Theresa above, Afsaneh below.

Above: Cathy sure looks happy to have the finish line in sight.
Below: I met a new Sole2Soul Sister from Daphne, Jackie.

 Below: Regina was completing her first 5K. She is the media center specialist
at my son's school. She didn't start training when the intial group of S2S Sisters did.
She was inspired to do it on her own, which I think takes extra commitment. Congratulations!

 Above: My friend Dana from Mobile came over to run. We have been friends
since I began teaching in 1996. What a wonderful blessing to still be friends, even
though I have moved all over the state of Alabama (and now Florida) since then.
Below: Missy and I after the race. Missy found me through dailymile.com. She is so much
fun and has been a wonderful support for our Sole2Soul Sisters group.

 Above: Scott surprised me by coming down to the race. He loves to sleep in so I was
pleasantly surprised to see him. I was thrilled that he could help me get water
 and cold, wet cloths to thewomen as they came through the finish line.
Below: Cathy, Fatma, me, and Jennifer
I'm so thankful to have faithful running buddies!
 Most of our group after the race, we survived the heat.
So, all in all, this is such a super fun race, despite the heat. Only one HUGE disappointment, the race was only 2.88 miles. There was some construction going on downtown, so the route was a little different. It shocked me though that one of the biggest races in town would not make sure to be accurate. My time was 29:40, perhaps one day I'll get under 30 minutes, but in an actual 3.1 route.