Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pictures From FCA Half Marathon (Post 2)

Here are some pictures from the FCA Half Marathon. They added in backward, so you may want to scroll to the bottom and go up because I don't feel like fixing right now....LOL!!!


FCA Half Marathon Has Been Completed.....

A wise man gave today's race the perfect description in one word...BRUTAL. Oh my, was it a scorcher! The race started at 8am, well into the morning. Very hot and the humidity was so heavy. But I skipped the pasta party news...just kidding, I'll get to that later...

I thought I'd try something new for this race. I wanted to walk the miles and run the water stations. I know, good idea, huh??? Probably shoulda....LOL

Most of us met at the gym to ride up to Sarasota with Ed and Joan in their RV (Love-bus!) A few other drove up themselves and met us there. I wasn't nervous at all and just rested a little during the ride up. We all looked SO cool in our team shirts and black shorts. See for yourself!

From left to right...Linda, Kim, Tess, Josephine. In the back with the red headband is Ed, Bob, Jada, Frank peeking through, Jim and Michelle. Cindy is MIA, but her husband Tony is on the right in a blue shirt. More pictures to come........

So...into the HOT morning we went. We all started off strong. I stayed with Ed, Michelle, Josephine and Jim for about 4 miles. Jim said see-ya and took off. I started slipping back a bit at about the same time. Ed was not feeling well, he has an upper respiratory thing going on but was not to be stopped.

At about miles 5-6 I was running beside a guy named Richard. Turns out he grew up in my home town in Mass. Small world. I pulled ahead and passed the halfway point at 1:05. My knee started hurting. That band of muscle on the outside of my knee was starting to bother me. Between that and the heat I was worried. There was not one patch of shade anywhere. The heat from the pavement seeped through my Asics. Did I mention it was really, really hot???? Not a patch of shade anywhere the whole race.

At about mile 8 I saw Ed up ahead walking. I knew that wasn't good. I bolted to catch up to him, ignoring my knee. Ed told me he felt lousy and wanted to drop out. I told Ed my knee was KILLING me and we decided to walk together for awhile. My knee kept getting worse and Ed just didn't feel well but we ran/walked when we could. My knee was hurting worse every time I walked so I tried to just keep a slow pace. Ed was worried he was holding me back but I kept telling him I was hurting. Deciding he needed to be alone, I pulled ahead. Eventually I kept running, doing shorter walk breaks.

When I saw the mile marker for mile 13 up ahead, I took a deep breath and pushed the pain out of my head. I ran through the finish very strong but when I stopped running my leg felt like it was on fire. I looked back for Ed but I couldn't see him. When his wife Joan saw me coming in before Ed (so unheard of) she walked out to meet him. I knew he'd be bummed about being sick but we all know Ed is capable of an awesome time, and if he's behind me, he was sick.

1st in from the team was Bob at 1:48, then Jim at 2:00, then Josephine at 2:11, then Michelle at 2:12, then Tess at 2:22 (my estimated time for me....funny!!), then ME at 2:31. I have to update this later with Linda, Jada and Cindy's times. I missed them because I was crying in the bushes from my sore knee! It is hurting so bad right now.

All of us were a good 15 minutes behind in our finish. Jim said the heat and humidity was just so bad. Starting the race so late in the morning was not a good idea. We usually run at 6:30 at the latest. Everyone finished soaking wet.

We had a good time, being a part of the team was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. It was my first half marathon so I did PR. YAY!

Oh, and did I mention I got an award for 2nd place in my age division??? Yeah, I did. I am pleased.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day Before The FCA Half Marathon

I have been awake since 4:30 this morning. I'm so excited! I'm also a wreck because I have the team coming for dinner tonight and I still have a buncha things to do. This entire month has been unbelievably B-U-S-Y.

I couldn't have hand picked a nicer group of people to train with. Watching them build the endurance it takes to run distance was inspiring.

Frank and Josephine have been running for a few years but had not run distance. Frank does a stair stepping race, which I'd LOVE to see him do sometime. Josephine always wins the Grand Master place in every 5k. They were ready to take on the half marathon! They will do well tomorrow. Frank and Josephine are fellow Zoomers, our local running club. For those blogger friends who've been reading since the beginning, Josephine was "Blue Shoes". We met at the Lamarque 5K in January. I instantly loved her!

Ed has been running for over twenty years and is already a distance runner with a few marathons under his belt. He is also a fellow Zoomer. We run together and I know he's helped me shave my times. Ed came into the team rehabbing a quad injury. He likes to run with people and is running the New York Marathon Nov 2nd! He joined the team as an added bonus for his marathon training. Ed drives us all to the races and events in the "Love Machine". The family RV...LOL. Tess and I were just talking about how fun it is for all of us to pile into that RV and ride together to the events...we'll miss those fun rides!!! I have enjoyed running with Ed. He's a relaxed (but fast) runner and I've learned a lot from our runs.

Tess is also a marathoner. She has run 11 marathons already! Also a fellow Zoomer. She's aiming for a marathon every 3-4 months with one stipulation: each marathon will be in a different state! I tried talking her into Space Coast Nov 30TH with me but she already has a marathon lined up for December. Tess doesn't live too far from me and I hope we'll be running together through the fall. I'd love to tag along on a couple of her trips and run more marathons with Tess. Can you say "GIRLIE ROAD TRIP"???? lol

Bob and Michelle are our newlyweds! Bob is a swim champ and did track at one time. Michelle is our basketball champ. She played and coached basketball until she moved to Florida. I get the feeling she misses that and it would not surprise me if she goes back to it! Both of them are great runners and will also do well tomorrow. Bob will probably be the first to finish tomorrow, he's pretty quick! It's been fun watching them because Michelle is a "little competitive"...she gets this look on her face and I can just tell she wants to And she does!

Cindy has been running for a little while. She rides her bike all over the place. I met Cindy at the gym before the Endurance Project got started and I knew she'd be an asset to the team. I was right! She's friendly, sweet and positive. I've enjoyed running with Cindy and getting to know her better. She also lives nearby and I hope to run with her too! I can't wait to see her cross that finish line!

Jada is new to running. She came to our team through Jim's personal training. He saw potential in Jada and thought she'd enjoy training for this half. We lovingly call her "Jetta" because someone wrote her name that way on a race bib....LOL. She'll never shake that nickname! Jada started out thinking she couldn't do it. Well I'm here to tell ya....YES SHE CAN! She's another member I've had fun getting to know. She got a new boyfriend and skipped a training session (oh is she gonna KILL me...LOL) But Jada can and will do very well in the half.

Linda is also a new runner. And in my age group...sighhhh. Linda is extremely busy and has had to do a lot of the training runs on her own. That in itself tells you how dedicated she is. She works full time and has a 3 year old cutie daughter who also keeps her pretty busy. How she's managed to get her runs in is key to her inner powers. We know Linda can finish the race. She knows she can do it too. She just better not beat me to that finish line!! I'll trip you sistaaa....LOL...(personal joke between me and Linda) I'm looking forward to seeing her finish too! (right BEHIND me....haha)

I think Coach Bethany was running in the womb. She's run many marathons, halfs, all kinds of races. She's done Boston. She's in my age group and I joke about how I'll celebrate when she's out of it (which will only be for a very short few months as we're only a few months apart in age.) But that's so irrelevant because she wins every race we ever run. I don't mean 1st in our age division. I mean 1st place woman overall. Every time. At Boca 5K when her name was called for 1st woman in, I whispered "ooooh, what a surprise" in a smart alecky way (but lovingly and proudly) and Jim laughed. He's her husband. He's used to her always winning, just like the rest of Bethany, you're an asset to our gender!! It's been a pleasure running behind you. Really far behind you. Guess I should say I hardly ever saw you, that's how far behind you I've been...haha!!

Coach Jim put this whole project together. He's been my running coach since last Nov and taught me how to run. I've already gone on and on about how much I admire his coaching skills. Watching Jim coach everyone for the FCA Half was awesome. I saw how time after time people would tell him they didn't think they could do it. He'd reassure them and guide them as individuals, telling them what he saw in them that made him KNOW that they really did have it in them to finish this race. I saw them walk away with a renewed sense confidence and a smile. I know just how they felt. Jim has a coaching technique that makes you believe in yourself. You walk away realizing you are in control of yourself, you CAN do anything you set your mind to.

That leaves me. You all already know me. And to know me is to love me....LOL...anyway, when Jim first told me about the project I instantly wanted to join the team. When he ever told me I could help coach it, I went home and cried. My husband said "Does Jim know what he just did?" No, he doesn't. I have loved every single minute I've spent with the team. I have not missed one single Saturday, even when I was sick and couldn't run. I tried to bring a positive attitude and a gentle guidance to my team mates. It was a chance to give back a little of what I got from my own coach. I learned to run in a fun, relaxing way. To look around me and take in my environment. To "take the time to smell the flowers" when I run. I hope I did give that to my team mates. If even one person got that, I will run with a smile on my face forever.

I have mixed feelings about tomorrow. It's the day we all trained for. But it's also the end of our project. I will miss meeting every Saturday. I feel happy and sad all at once. Tonight's dinner party will be full of emotions. I'm looking forward to relaxing with everyone tonight. WE DID IT GUYS!!

I'll see you all at the finish line!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I've been reading some blogs lately and it seems everyone is on a taper. And they're COMPLAINING!! I'm sorry but I just don't get it. I love tapering. Sometimes I long for that taper feeling so badly, I throw in a taper in the middle of my training. I lay around doing nothing. Dishes in the sink?? I LAUGH at the dirty mess! Floors need a sweep?? What's the point?? I have a couple kids to do all that for me. (I have 4 kids but not all of them like to help Mommy) Gimme my iPod and a spot by the pool....sighhhhh....taperrrrrrrrr!

I just had a nice little taper last week. I had a big 5K race Oct 5th, I wanted to rest my weary legs. I tapered. You might be thinking a 5k is only 3.1 miles, no need to taper but try it. While you're at it, party up big time the night before and only get 5 hours sleep. Then go run a 5k. Yeah baby...that's some hard core training material. I should write a manual like Galloway.

I asked my coach what the big deal about a taper was. He's been running forever. He says people hate to taper because they feel like they need to keep training. They worry they'll lose everything they've accomplished. Well geez. I never thought o' that. Maybe that's why I'm a slow poke? Whatever. I run when and if I feel like it. I'm the captain of me and what I say goes. Sometimes the draw toward the pool or hot tub is just too strong...Run? tub? tanning?...hmmm...see what I mean??? Throw in a bag of chips and my choice is made.

The half marry is in 3 days. I ran my last run tonight with Tess and Mike. We did 4 miles nice and easy. We finished in 42 minutes and we felt fan-TAS-tic. I came home, had a sandwich and 2 beers and a soak in the hot tub. Now that's some serious training right there. Got it all in. Sighhhhhhh...except the chips. I ate all those last night.

All kidding aside, I originally said I wanted to finish this half in 1:57 but popped it down to 2:22:22 because I had some bumps during my training. I felt that I had no business trying to come in under 2 hours. BUT. Yep, there's a but. I have since changed my mind. I came up with a new finish time using my fantabulous mathmatical skills. (stop laughing Bobby) Anyway...I am going for 2:13. It's in between 1:57 and 2:22. Ooooohhhh...told ya I'm not just good-lookin'.

Rumor has it there may be a brewdawg with my name on it at the finish line.....that'll shave my finish time considerably.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boca Grande 5K

Most of the Endurance team took this weekend off, but there were a few of us die hards who showed up for the Boca 5k. I ran this race last January and LOVED it. It's out on the island and sooo beautiful. The weather was actually cooperative too. Not too hot and a little breezy.

Given my sore hips and right knee, I had not run for a whole week. I was pretty sure my finish time would be "less than thrilling", but I figured...what the hey! I'd run it and take whatever the outcome. So I proceeded to party hardy Saturday night and downed 5 (yeah 5) beers. I woke up a little tired but I figured it wouldn't matter.

Sherry (Stiffy Legs Blues) was going to be there with her husband Scott, and I knew a bunch of people who were going to run it too. The social part of these runs are just as much a draw as the race for me. I love these people. Mike is back from Maine and he was supposed to meet us there. He was a no-show, very disappointed! I saw Chuck, Sherry, Mary, Bill...too many people to name.

Jim, Bethany, Josephine, Frank, Cindy and myself were the only ones who came. Tess had been traveling and needed a good rest. She was missed but we understand the need for sleep!!! And we were jealous we didn't get any....LOL.

I saw the tattooed woman I seemed to stay with for the last 3-4 races. Her name is Amy and she's not in my age I knew that but I thought she was 22, she's 32! I talked with her today and told her I wanted a picture of her tattoo. It takes up her entire back, it's beautiful. As soon as I get that I'll post it.

Boca Grande 5K is very well known for their fantastic door prize of a 2 night stay at the Anchor Inn. It's worth $800. and we all covet it. Specially me. But that was not to be. The only thing that made THAT ok, was Jim got it! I guess if I couldn't have it, I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather see get it than my coach. But I want it even as I write this.

We lined up at the start, I skipped my warm up run. I figured I already had a strike against me by imbibing the 5 brewdogs the night before. I did make a new playlist on my iPod for 28 minutes. It's my new thing. I make a playlist in the time allotment that I'm wanting to finish in. I make sure the last 2 songs are "The Race Is On" by Sawyer Brown and "Destiny" by Jim Chaps. This way I know where I'm at since I hate to wear a watch...

The island is so very beautiful, I looked around while I was running, trying to take it all in. The dragonflies were not as abundant but there were a few. The smell in the air was fresh and crisp. I ran with Sherry for a little while before she pulled ahead and then turned for her 10k route. I went straight ahead for the 5k. I slowed at the water table, sipped a little and poured the rest of the water on my arms and legs. I was so busy looking around that I never saw any of the mile markers. I can kinda feel the distance without them but I kept forgetting to check for the markers. Next thing I knew I was at the 3 mile mark. And I felt good. Still strong. Had some energy in me. So I booked to the finish line. I realized my iPod was still playing which meant I was coming in under 28 minutes. Hmmmmmm....made me go faster. I flew down the chute with "Destiny" blaring in my ears. I couldn't believe I got in at 27:31. Just one second longer than my PR. So now I'm all pissy because had I skipped the beers and warmed up and stretched I might have had new PR. Live and Learn.

Guess what? I think I want to change my goal time back to sub 2 hours. Will I ever be satisfied?????