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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?

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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

Splits:

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

Playlist:

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

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James Eunice Legacy 5K – April 14, 2018

Has it really been three weeks since the half marathon?  Time flies when it’s spring break and you decide to paint every room in your house.  And then get sick.  Good times, you guys.  Good times.

This weekend’s 5K was a fundraiser for the James Eunice Charity Fund, created in 2011 by John and Tammy Eunice in memory of their son, James.  After suffering an unimaginable tragedy, John and Tammy chose to honor their son’s memory by setting up a fund to provide scholarships and donations to many worthy charities in our community.   Joey and I have had the privilege of meeting them at the 5Ks, “Grilling for James” at Sam’s Club, and accidentally stalking them at Publix.  They are, without doubt, two of the nicest and most humble people you will ever meet.

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Funny story – the second time we did the 5K, I ended up walking with Tammy .  As we approached an intersection, one of the policemen providing assistance for the race told us to turn right at the traffic light.  Turns out we should have turned LEFT.  Yeah…that was awkward.  I ended up wandering the streets near the route to make up the distance that I didn’t cover.  I am both slow and honest, and I wasn’t about to turn in my finisher’s card without putting in 3.1 miles.  Even if it wasn’t the same 3.1 everyone else did.

It’s been a while since we saw our “crew” and it was great to catch up with everyone before and after the run.

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I have to admit that I had been dreading the running part – we slacked off a LOT after the half, both in running and cross-training.  All week I dreamed that we overslept and missed the race, or that I got lost (again) and didn’t finish at all.

But for a slacker, I did alright.  Official time was 39:09.  I had a little trouble starting Runkeeper so my info is a little off.  The takeaway from all this is….I beat Joey.  Not by much.  But I beat him.

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South GA Rocks were there!

He was ahead of me for the first mile or so, then I started to gain on him as we passed the university.  We were neck and neck at the water stop and then I started to pull away.  Around the two mile mark we hit the jasmine wall.  All of the sudden we were engulfed by the heavy scent of jasmine.  Coupled with the humidity it was almost overwhelming.  And then, just as quickly as it came, it was gone and we were in the home stretch.  I had about a sixty second lead over Joey.  I knew he was there but he couldn’t catch me.  It was just me and Geddy Lee, cruising through the countryside in a red barchetta (there’s something for you to Google…).

Once we crossed the line and turned in our cards it was time to relax and scarf down a Chick-Fil-A biscuit.  We took a lot of pictures and accidentally loitered in front of the porta-potty.  Thankfully we didn’t have any potty photobombs.

Info below is from Runkeeper and not official.

Splits:

  • Mile One:  11:56 (Photo on the left)
  • Mile Two:  12:47 (Photo on the right)
  • Mile Three: 12:50

Playlist:

Wishing/If I Had A Photograph of You (Flock of Seagulls), Through Glass (Stone Sour), Little Red Corvette (Prince), Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel), Red Barchetta (Rush), Running on Empty (Jackson Browne), Talk of the Town (The Pretenders), Call Me (Blondie)

And last but not least, this is for everyone who ran the Boston Marathon!  Valdosta was represented – we’re so proud of you Debbie G!!

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Next Up:  The Little River Run 5K (Formerly known as The Road Kill Run) at Reed Bingham State Park

#werun4Chasten #alpha1antitrypsindeficiency #alpha1awareness

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Don’t Run With Scissors 5K – March 17, 2018

Mom always said don’t play ball in the house.  Wait.  That was the mom from The Brady Bunch.  But I’m sure at some point, knowing my mum, she said not to run with scissors.  Until a few years ago I didn’t run at all, much less with scissors.  Ah, the good old days.

Dark Kermit DRWS

We’ve done this race four times now.  There is always a huge turnout and everyone has a great time.  But the best part of this event is the artwork.  The race benefits the Visual Arts program at Sallas Mahone Elementary School.  Paul B. serves as both art teacher and race director extraordinaire.  I don’t think he gets a wink of sleep in the weeks leading up to the race.  Each mile marker gets a custom sign, painted by him, in honor of the sponsor.  The awards are painted by the students.  Of all the local races we do this is definitely one of our favorites.

After being left for dead at Gate last week, Joey was pretty confident that he would be faster than me.  I tried to downplay my concern but the truth is I was pretty sure he was right.  It had been a busy week at work and my brain was already looking ahead to the half marathon.

He was up with the chickens dogs Saturday morning.  I don’t know what possessed him, but it certainly didn’t possess me.  I laid in my warm, comfy bed until the last possible minute and scarfed down a granola bar on the way to the race.  Meanwhile, Mo Farah  made himself eggs and toast.  Did he save any for me? Pfft.

It was cold and kind of cloudy, so of course we took the MG.  “You’ll be warm after it’s finished,” Wonderboy declared.  “Of course I’ll be warm,” I thought.  “I’m a peri-menopausal woman.  I have hot flashes that could power the eastern seaboard.”

We chatted with some friends who were there and then it was “go time.” The race started and I fell in line with a large group of children and adults.  I wasn’t sure if Runkeeper and my watch had kissed and made up after their episode last week.  I didn’t trust it to work properly so I manually started Runkeeper myself, like some kind of caveman.

Joey had positioned himself ahead of the crowd I found myself stuck in, and I could see him beginning to pull away.  He wasn’t too far ahead, maybe 60-90 seconds, but I just couldn’t catch him.  We crossed over the highway, entering a neighborhood near the school.  The road had a few twists and turns and after a few minutes I lost sight of him.  It was just me and Tom Petty, running down a dream.  Or a 5K.  Or, whatever.

Tom hung out with me for a little while.  Things were going along pretty good, but I just wan’t feeling “it.”  I was a little tired and my hastily ingested granola bar wore off five minutes after I got in the car.  My time was okay but not on track for a PR.

 

As I approached the two-mile mark, I saw Joey up ahead. With just over a mile left, I wasn’t sure I would be able to catch up.  There was always the chance that he was getting tired, and then I could make my move.

We left the neighborhood and were back out on the road to the school.  I started adding a few seconds to each run interval, trying to close the gap.  He was about a minute ahead of me, but still going strong. It was the scrambled eggs, I just know it.  If I’d had another half a mile (or a real breakfast) I might have caught him, but I ran out of road.  He crossed the line about about 30 seconds ahead of me.

It would be a long day.

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Me, when I realized I couldn’t catch Joey.

As luck would have it, a little cloud passed overhead not long after we finished and a few drops of rain fell.  The top was down on the MG, so someone-who-didn’t-make-me-eggs-and-toast had to run down the street to where the car was parked and put the top up.  What a shame.

I waited for a few minutes, then retrieved our jackets and went to find him.  He was all but finished when I got there.  The 1 mile fun run was about to start and the awards ceremony would follow.  Neither of us were in the running for anything, so we decided to call it a day and went home.

Next time, buddy.  Next time.  See what happens at the half…

As you may know, I participate in a group called Who I Run 4.  Runners are matched with children and adults who have special needs or health concerns.  I signed up a few years ago and was matched with an awesome little guy named Chasten.  This is the second year we have been able to hang out with him and his family for a little while.  We celebrated his little sister’s birthday while they were here!

Last year he barely came up to my shoulders, and this year he is almost as tall as I am!

He gave Joey and I a bracelet that he earned in basketball this season, and we will wear them with pride when we run for him.  The waiting list to be matched with a buddy is long, but it’s SO worth it.

The Details:

  • Overall Time: 39:58
  • Average Pace: 12:47/mile

Splits:

  • Mile One:  13:02
  • Mile Two: 12:51
  • Mile Three: 12:38

Playlist:

Into the Groove (Madonna), I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty), Never (Heart), Don’t Box Me In (Stewart Copeland), King of Pain (The Police), Running Down A Dream (Tom Petty), Tainted Love (Soft Cell), Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), You Wreck Me (Tom Petty), Zombie Zoo (Tom Petty), Don’t Come Around Here No More (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), I Would Die 4 U (Prince)