Breathe Easy 5K – April 28, 2018

Another first!

Last weekend we ran the Breathe Easy 5K, sponsored by the lovely ladies of the Valdosta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.  Proceeds from the event were donated to Children’s Medical Services of Valdosta, an agency that helps children in our area receive treatment for asthma.

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Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

It was a beautiful morning for a run and many of our regulars were in attendance.  Of course there were plenty of pictures.  After all, if you don’t post it on social media it didn’t happen.  Amirite?

Just hanging out with a couple of BOSTON MARATHON alums.  No biggie.
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Courtesy of Delleese

Although this was the first time we have participated in this race, the course was similar to a favorite route.  Delta Sigma Theta did a wonderful job with race support.  Their volunteers were placed at every turn to cheer on the runners, and they had two water stops.  It was fantastic!

The first mile turned out to be my strongest. My usual pattern is to get faster as I go.  I’m not sure what happened with this run but that didn’t happen.  Joey started out ahead of me again.  I think he had ideas of crossing the line ahead of me.  He could have all the ideas he wanted but it wasn’t going to happen.  I caught up with him at the end of the first mile.  We played “cat & mouse” for about half a mile, and then I pulled away.  The road was shady and there was a little breeze coming through the trees.  Life was good.

But the second mile…brutal.  I don’t know why.  I wasn’t hot or tired; something was just “off.”  I pressed on, waving at the volunteers and giving them a thumb’s up.  Despite not feeling quite right my time was good.  Very good, in fact.  On track for a PR.  How awesome would that be? Two back-to-back PRs.

I caught up with another runner and we yo-yo’d from the halfway point to the end.  She and I were pretty evenly matched and it was great to battle through the last half of the race with her.  As we came down to the last half mile, I saw another friend up ahead.  His running pace is very similar to Joey and I, and it’s always fun to compete with him.  This time I couldn’t quite catch up with him.  Better luck next time.  I’m coming for you, Alex!

The final stretch was a gradual downhill.  I knew from Runkeeper that I would PR.  The clock came in to focus and I saw 37 minutes.  What the what?!?  Where did that come from?  I put everything I had into those last few yards and crossed the line at 37:30 (Runkeeper’s time).

I just couldn’t catch my friend.  One more bite of Wheaties and I might have passed her.

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Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

Wow!!  38 seconds faster than my previous PR.  I gladly took the water and cold-pack from the volunteer and basked in my accomplishment.  Joey was just over a minute behind me.

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Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

We found our friends and parked ourselves in a shady spot.  Picture time!


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All ages.  All shapes.  All sizes.  All colors.  All family.

The Details:

Finish time:  37:30 (Runkeeper)  12:05 min/mile pace


  • Mile One:  11:51
  • Mile Two:  12:24
  • Mile Three:  12:15


Through Glass (Stone Sour), Dreaming (Blondie), Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin), Hey Jealousy (Gin Blossoms), Desert Rose (Sting), Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin), Nothin’ At All (Heart), Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel), Midnight Blue (Lou Gramm)

As always, #werun4Chasten #alpha1awareness #alpha1antitrypsindeficiency #whoirun4


Little River Run 5K – April 21, 2018

Mini road trip!

It’s the Little River Run 5K!  We made our way north to Adel, Georgia to run through Reed Bingham State Park.  The race was previously known as the Road Kill Run, which is exactly what you feel like when you’re done.  But all good things must come to an end and someone decided that wasn’t the most PC name for a road race.  It’s now named after the river that flows through the park and heads toward Valdosta.  Incidentally, we kayak on the Little River quite a bit!

We’ve done this race twice before, and my times were less than impressive:  50:25 in 2015 and 51:30 in 2016.  I was pretty sure I would do better this time around.  At least I hoped so.

We got to the park early – we always overestimate how long it’s going to take us to get anywhere.  Well…at least Joey does.  I, on the other hand, prefer to live on the edge and come squealing in on two wheels with a minute to spare.  Oh, wait.  That’s when I go to work.  Never mind.

Being early does have its advantages.  You get a front row seat to a beautiful sunrise.

This is why we get up before the crack of dawn on Saturdays.

There’s also plenty of time for pictures and warm-ups, and boy did we need a warm-up.  I was very grateful to find a long sleeve shirt lurking in the back of my car.  Joey wasn’t as lucky and broke the unwritten rule of wearing the race shirt before you run the race.  I know.  Oh, the shame.



After trotting up and down the road for a little bit the cold wasn’t as bad.  The sun was climbing higher in the sky and we shed our extra garb.  We’ve learned the hard way that by the half mile mark that you come to regret the extra layers.

Once again, Runkeeper decided to act a fool and didn’t start exactly on time.  It could be operator error or I may need to tweak the settings. Hopefully I can figure it out before the next race.


Joey started out with a pretty good lead.  I was feeling great as we crossed the bridge and looked out over the water.  The course went around the edge of the lake and through the campground.  It’s fairly flat, which is nice after all the bridges we’ve been over in the last six weeks, and we were at the first mile marker before I knew it.

He was still ahead of me at the water stop, but his lead was beginning to shrink.  By the time we hit the turnaround at 1.5 miles I was closing in.  His game was strong and I didn’t know if I could catch him.  But as we approached the second mile I started to reel him in.  I’d catch up, he’d pull away.  We went back and forth for about half a mile, and then I kicked it into high gear.  Tom Petty was dancing with Mary Jane one last time as the final stretch approached.

My lead was still slim as we came up to the bridge.  I knew my time was pretty good and I might even have a chance of a PR, so I decided to run all the way across.  It’s nothing like the bridges at the Gate River Run or the Tomoka Half.  It’s flat as a pancake (mmm…pancakes!) and the finish line was about 1/4 mile from the end.  It would be close.


The run interval ended just as I got across.  I was about thirty seconds ahead of Joey and within sight of the time clock.  Thirty seven minutes and change.  My PR was 38:28.  So close.

I started to run.  I saw the clock hit the 38 minute mark.  Almost there!  My unofficial time was 38:09.  The final results haven’t been posted yet, but I was almost 20 seconds faster than my previous PR.  Oh happy day!

But the best was yet to come.  Turning in my results card, I discovered I was second in my age group.  And the medals went two deep.  Guess who was going home with some  hardware?  As it turned out, I hadn’t figured on the master’s award and I ended up getting FIRST place in my age group.

Let’s recap:  1) a new PR, 2) first in my age group, and 3) I beat Joey.  Again.  Admittedly it was by a much slimmer margin than last week but who’s counting?

The Splits: (slightly off final time as previously noted)

  • Mile One:  12:23
  • Mile Two:  12:17
  • Mile Three:  12:12

Average Pace:  12:12

The Playlist:

King of Pain (The Police), I Would Die 4 U (Prince), I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty), Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Zombie Zoo (Tom Petty), Let’s Go Crazy (Prince), A Passage to Bangkok (Rush), Baby I’m A Star (Prince), Hearts On Fire (Bryan Adams)

Who is that sassy girl with a medal??

As always, #werun4Chasten  #alpha1antitrypsindeficiency #alpha1awareness #whoirun4