Thursday, September 25, 2014

Race Report: Kemah Bridge Toughest 10K

The day before a race is always so much fun, I am really pumped before a race – you’d think I was going to win something! I turn up the music in my truck and in my office, I get really excited :) This time was even better because my bestie Clarissa came with me to pick up our race packets.  We ended up having so much fun just driving out to the Clear Lake area and having lunch together – I think it should be this way before each and every race!!  {{I might have to take Friday the 17th off for the next packet pick up-shhhhh don’t tell my boss!}}

The morning of, my nerves start to sink in a little bit, I got everything in order and bounced around trying to figure out what I might be the most comfortable wearing – which is very funny if you think about it – I run three times a week! I should be able to pick out what I’m running in, in the dark :) I ate my banana and half a bagel with peanut butter to make sure I was fueled and ready and by 5:30a.m.  Alma was there and we made sure we had everything we needed to pick up the rest of the gals. Somewhere around 6 am the 5 of us were on the road down Highway 6 headed to Kemah, thankfully a truck full of girls and the chattering we had going on made for less time for nerves to build up.
Yes nerves still build up, if I give it enough thought – actually I get butterflies in my tummy on days that I am going to go for a run on a new trail or if I am going to start a new training plan! I guess that’s why I love running so much – it’s never a dull moment :)
We got there right on time, just maybe 25 minutes before the 7:30am start time, so we made a bee-line for a last minute potty break and headed for the start, again we got there so close to the start I was feeling just fine, truth is I knew that even if you had to roll me down the Kemah Bridge I was still going to knock out this 10K.
Mile 1- was quick. I kept my pace and just keep going, this is after all my own race and it does not matter if I’m slow or fast, I am doing this just for me :)
Mile 2 – Woo-wee! I was just thinking to myself on the way up the bridge “just keep running, just keep running” “ohhh how pretty!” ßon the very top of the bridge!! And to the guy (security?) on the bridge eating a doughnut “really??”  The first up and over was, well, over and it wasn’t that bad…
Mile 3- I don’t know exactly what was going on in mile 3, except that it was my second time coming up the bridge and somehow it was not to shabby.
Mile 4 – in the middle of mile four I felt pretty good and I was zoned out when I almost bumped in to another girl! She started talking and waving her hands around –“I am sooo done!! If this was a 5K we’d be done!” I thought yep but it’s not and I’m not done yet! I kept going and I remember thinking she looked like she could have taken me out in a race any day. Ha. I felt pretty good passing her up…and then we had to go up again!
Mile 5 - this was the worst. By this time I know who my running buddies are. I know there are some skinny-minis trying to make sure I don’t pass them up and I am making sure a couple of runners don’t pass me up. BUT on the last trip up the bridge I realized someone who was walking was keeping up with me! Yes. I know. So I stopped and walked and then I felt like I was moving faster!! Either way I took that time to take a quick picture and started running again and  it was downhill from there!
Mile 6- the last stretch was good, I knew in my head that here I was going to be able to make up some time. I knew my legs were tired and I knew that it would be easier if I just stopped running again and walked to the finish but we train to finish strong. So I just zoned out and kept running. Right before I crossed the finish I saw Alma and Lety standing of to the side and Boom! It was done.

Guada, Clarissa, Lety, Alma & Me

Not my best 10k, but this is another thing I love about running, I do not race against everyone else just against me. I know where I’ve let myself slide these past couple of months and trust me carrying those extra lbs up a bridge 4x was no picnic. So I clean the slate, I train harder and eat cleaner. Come October 18th I run it better. AND I remind myself that a year and a half ago I would have never made it up there the first time around. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feeling fine :)

Here we are at the end of the week and I am feeling fine :) How are you doing?
This past Saturday my boss, aka Jim Abney, fulfilled his mission of running for 24hrs to bring a spotlight on Childhood Cancer Awareness and I have to say he did a mighty fine job doing so!! I kept telling him “You are already doing more than I could” and I truly believe that, with the exception of a few ultra-runners around here, that statement stands true for most of us. Whether its Childhood Cancer Awareness or any cause you might feel strongly about, are you willing to put yourself through something like that to bring awareness to it?? Not many are.
Clarissa and I made it out to Memorial Park around 6am and put in 6miles, I was honored to run with Jim, by that that time he was in the full effects of pain but he was still going strong (and he kept it up till 5pm to make his 24 hr goal). The rain over night had made the perfect storm for blisters on his feet and that in turn was causing knee pain but he played it out like a boss and made it till the end with 75 miles!!
Here is a brief clip of what he posted after his run:
“In the Books: 24 hours and 75 miles later with multiple blisters, a banged up knee and emotionally and physically drained after completing the run to bring awareness to childhood cancer, but the picture below makes it all worth it. Just look at the smile on Sammy's face as he ran in with me to complete the run. But no matter how many blisters or sprains, it is nothing compared to what children ...such as Sammy and Finley go through as they are fighting their battle against cancer” 

running to the finish hand in hand with Sammy!!

By the way because I work with Jim as his secretary I get to see the aftermath of his pain, and yes he  still has an ouch to his step this week but his pain is temporary and soon enough he will be back to his crazy ole’ self and running somewhere and doing something to fight for kids with cancer, as always I just consider myself lucky and honored to be able to cheer him on. {every now and then I get to catch a run}
For “Childhood Cancer Awareness” month I put together a quick T-Shirt to Tank-Top DIY – it turned out really cool :) I got the idea from Pinterest (of course) but I ended up following this youtube video – this is what it looked like in the end.  I will wear it again on the 27th for the B.I.G. Love Cancer Fun Run!!

As for this weekend I will be running one of three bridge runs from "The Texas Bridge Series" – I know you're thinking I've lost my marbles now and after stepping up my training and the pain that has gone along with it I am starting to think the same thing!! This will be “The Toughest 10K Kemah" and I’m sure it will be a challenge because I do not think I’ve trained enough but I know that it will get done. By the time I get to the 2nd bridge "The Toughest 10K Galveston" run in October I will be just fine, all this leading up my second half marathon "La Porte Half Marathon" that rounds off the bridge series in November!!

Woo-hoo – I don’t know about y’all but its running season 'round here. I am one of the crazy ones that feel that change in the air and cool breeze and I stop what I’m doing and think… I should be running right now!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Going for Gold!

This is the Gold I’m talking about, not as in a gold medal, nope as in GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness! Although September is about raising awareness for Childhood Cancer, there are players in the game that run all year round for children with cancer in their hearts, mind and in every mile they run.  I consider myself lucky to be able to share my office with someone that truly does just that. 
Jim Abney
He does not mind being called crazy or goofy when it comes to showing his support. He set out this year to run 20 miles for each of the 62 beds on the 8th and 9th floor of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center and he holds true to his running having completed 957.4 mile thus far!!

Okay, maybe I’m one of the ones calling him crazy half the time :)
As the month of September got closer, he set off to take crazy to the next level and will be running for 24hrs straight – yes 24hrs straight!!
On September 12th starting off at the Texas Children’s hospital @ 5:00pm, Jim will run through the Medical Center to Rice University where he will running most of the night around the three mile loop and then heading to Memorial Park Saturday and running the loop and surrouding areas till 3:00pm when he will make his way back to TCH . He is doing it in conjunction with the Snowdrop Foundation’s Wisconsin chapter’s “Courage Over Cancer” event. And of course because he is a tad bit crazy for all the right reasons :)
For this run there is no bib number to wear –
just a small reminder as to why he will be running…

I am planning to be out there and join him when he gets to Memorial Park Saturday morning, will you come out and show your support? You can join us for an easy pace run or you can just be there to encourage him to keep going! Either way I know he would greatly appreciate it!
Here are a few links to get more info on what he does all year round to raise awareness. Jim Abney's Snowdrop Foundation Fundraising Page & Jim's Facebook Page

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stress Points


Running is my hash it out with myself time, my hash it out with my mind and crazy thoughts – time.  Running has become something I need to do, not just what I want to do. Yes I want to run, for my health to help me lose weight, I want to run because of what running has enabled me to do, the places it takes me {literally} and who it has shaped me to be over the past year.
I need to run. I have always wanted to run but I was too out of shape to run, I haven’t been always very overweight, even when I was of the lighter fare, I wanted to run. If you know me from years back, especially my teenage years, you know that I can at times, maybe, possibly have a bit of a temper on me. {Insert Jokes Here: Haha} I have been a little bit more calm in the past few years, yes this what I call clam :) . It takes a lot more to get me to the point of wanting to snap someone’s head off (so to speak), or sometimes just one really BIG stupid thing, sometimes. Anyway, I remember getting angry when I was younger and just leaving, just running till I lost my breath, and then I’d walk until I was ready to head back. Crazy isn’t it?
Years later, also known as today I started running because it was a last ditch effort chance for me to do something about my health and weight. It’s worked, weight has been lost and health has improved greatly, but there has been so much more to it than that. I am more comfortable with my self today than in a very long time, I feel like I can take on so much more life than I could before. AND on days when it feels like everything has gone wrong or in a period of time when things are just not panning out, a run makes the difference. I can breathe easier after run, my thoughts are more clear and there is something about conquering a long run in the heat of summer that make me feel invincible.
I’ve had a couple of stressful weeks here and there as of late, nothing too bad, but again for me (and my ahem temper), and being a mom of a senior (gulp) and a spunky 4 year old (going on sassy-teen) and the whole household thing this momma needs a run. I need to pound the pavement, I need to be out there when the sun is breaking through that Texas sky and I need to be out there and get drenched in sweat. Still sounds crazy hu? It’s not, but it is cheaper than therapy :) or so I’ve heard!