Counting The Miles

I will be so glad when the sun stays up past 6:00 PM. Getting off at 4:45, I have to race the clock to get to the park to run before night falls. I basically count the miles as I rush along to reach the goal I set for myself for each evening I run. I have been training nonstop lately and so far I have seen hard work really does pay off.  I have found a combination of several different exercises that work and I plan to stick with them as I move along into the new year!

We finished out the November month running the Buddy Christian Memorial 5K on Black Friday. I have ran this race the past several years and it’s always been a great race for a good cause. It was a brutally cold morning this year which made for great running weather. I guess at some point, that kind of cold can be too much but it felt great once we got going. The worst part of running a race in the winter though is having to stand in the cold at the start line before the run starts. That’s when you really question your sanity. I always look forward to this race because it is pretty much flat and fast. I ran it in 32:43 and placed first in my age group. They have great medals and trophies for everyone who places.  I think next year though, I am going to run on Thanksgiving instead so I can enjoy the Black Friday madness.

We began our December races with a very rainy Walton County half marathon and 5K this past Saturday. The forecast was looking nasty for the start of the race and it was. The positive thing was, at least it was not freezing cold. That would have been a terrible combination, freezing cold and rain. We all know that even if it was freezing cold with rain, I would have still ran. Beast mode is all weather, all conditions. This race has the cutest Santa shirts and awesome pottery awards. The course is an out and back with a few inclines. I ran this race in 31:28 even though they didn’t clock me until 31:31. Unless you run for someone who uses accurate chip timing you can’t go by the results. My watch is always spot on and I will always go by what it says regardless of what they clock me as. It adds on seconds to clock people because it’s not instant when you have to click a button. Anyways, I have never been that concerned about it until now. I am working very hard to get my clock time down so every second counts in my opinion.

I have 15 days off for Christmas this year! That means I will have plenty of time to get some training miles in. I am counting down the days until the longest break I have had since high school. I can’t wait.

Running Into Winter

Once again, I am behind on my blog post so I have a few races to catch up on. However, I now have a lot more free time since I finally completed my degree coursework and will receive my degree in December. It truly has not sunk it yet that I am done with school but I’m so glad. I can now catch up on sleep, reading and writing my blog. Who else is excited that cooler weather is officially here? I run so much better in the cold. Plus it’s also perfect fuzzy socks, blankets, and movie watching weather!

I had another big change this November besides completing school, I switched my Yoga location. I now have an awesome location complete with a spacious room and everything I could ever need to teach my class. I am so happy with the new space and I am planning to grow my practice as we move in to the new year. If you have any friends that are wanting to try yoga but don’t want to spend the crazy drop in rates of Athens, have them come see me at Thrive for only $12 drop in. December, there will only be three classes because of the holiday’s so 3 classes are only $30.

So, I have ran several awesome races since I have been back from Myrtle Beach. Every year there are a few that have become yearly races that we don’t miss. One of my favorite courses is down in Bostwick at the Cotton Gin 5K. This is always the last race of October. The Cotton Gin course is flat and out in the country with just the cows and horses. I was disappointed this year because I was hoping for a better clock time since I have been putting in training hours but we have since determined I was training wrong for what I am trying to do. Anyways, I am not so focused on the clock time anymore but rather my endurance. I was only about 40 seconds off from last year and still managed to place in my age group. The Cotton Gin has really unique cotton bales as the awards. They range from a baby bale to an extra large bale that you have to find room for in the house depending on how you placed. The overall winners and master winners go home with huge bales the size of a large package.

We started our November races in Hartwell at the Faith, Hope, Cure 5K. This was one of the best races we have ran in a long time. Two of our sweet running friends were putting on the race for a friend of theirs who has cancer. You could certainly tell there was lots of time and effort put into planning this race. Anyone that runs a lot knows just what it takes to put on a race. There is so much that goes into planning and so many sleepless nights leading up to race day. My friends went above and beyond and had awesome shirts and goody bags for all runners and really neat medals and trophies. I managed an awesome clock time of 32:48 and 1st place in my age group.  Awesome course, wonderful friends and a great cause!

We always get in the holiday spirit by racing Lanier Under The Lights. Just so happened this year, I ran it both nights. One night with family/friends and the second night with friends. We love this race, because we get to dress up in Christmas outfits and listen to Christmas music while running the race. This year my sister and I decided to dress up as our favorite Christmas movie character. My sister was the Grinch and I was Elf. We registered for the best dress costume but did not win. That just means next year, we will have to go all out. There are so many runners each year that it always sells out. They only let a little less then 2,000 people in to run the streets with the lights.  This year they gave finisher medals to all runners which was a big hit. There is no chance of ever placing because of all the people so I like when the bigger races have finisher medals. The first night we walked and took pictures with the lights which is always fun because it’s the only time you have the chance to do that before they open the park to cars.

The second night, I actually ran the race to see what time I could get. It’s a hilly course so I ended up with a not so good time but I still enjoyed getting to run it. All of the lights are really cool and the atmosphere is so fun because of all of the people dressed up so it makes for a good time! After the run, we went to Ihop to get Grinch pancakes! Those were well deserved pancakes.

The last race we just ran was in Buford at the Ryan Daniel 5K. We have never run in downtown Buford, so it was a nice change of scenery. It was a great course except for the few hills that were placed throughout the last two miles. I always try to act like the hills don’t bother me but who am I kidding, they slow me down every time. However, I finished in 32:31 and placed 2nd in my age group. I knocked off a few seconds since the first race in November so I think my new training plan is working.

We have one more race scheduled for November and then it’s off to all of the Holiday themed races in December!

From Commerce To Athens To Myrtle Beach

For the past six weeks, I have been running consistently for four days a week including the Saturday runs. What I realized through all of this training, is that I have been doing it all wrong. So I have decided to start completely over and change my entire training strategy. I am no longer setting goal races or goal times. I have come down with a little cold, so I am going to start my new training plan next week. I don’t have any big races planned for a while so I will have plenty of time to train for my normal races. I am a little behind on my blog post so I am going to group all of my runs from the past few weeks together in this post.

Tanger Fit For A Cure
October 13, 2018

 

43828503_10205670704803540_1941667771498627072_oI missed this race last year because I was in teacher training so I was glad to be able to participate this year. I first ran this race back in 2016 and loved it! It goes to a great cause and they are always super organized. They also give finisher medals and always have really neat shirts. I was disappointed in their shirts for this year though, because they were no longer Under Armour as they were the year I ran it. I also forget about the hills that you have to face in the beginning and end of the race. Therefore, I took off way to fast and sprinted up the first hill as fast as I could which set the tone for the rest of the race. By the time I was making my way back to the finish line, I had no energy left in me. I finished in 34:19 and was 11 out of 43 in my age group. I consider that a great placement since it is such a big event. The whole family ran the race this year so everyone got to go home with medals.

Run Your Tail Off 5K 
10/14/2018

43952884_10205676196900839_6334491018255138816_oI don’t typically run a 5K twice in one weekend but I always make an exception when a race supports a great cause. In this case it went towards dogs, which I have a big heart for so I decided this one was a must. I didn’t expect to do that great because it is ran along a greenway that I use to train on and I have never been able to get a good clock time there. I probably won’t run anymore races there for awhile. I would rather do some that I have never done before to mix things up. I ended up finishing in 35:43 and was 6 out of 11 in my age group.

 

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 5K 
October 20, 2018 

44339268_10205695563224985_5445796460043960320_nI almost registered for the mini marathon (half marathon) for this race. However, I saw the medal for the 5K and loved it more so I signed up for the 5K instead. I made the right decision to just do the 5K because I would have been miserable doing the half and then having to drive home. The 5K was on Saturday and the half on Sunday. The 5K was in a great new up and coming area inland of Myrtle Beach. It was a flat and fast course which I was excited about. The week leading up to the race, the weather was saying it would be in the 50’s, however it ended up being hot and humid. They called that one wrong. I was sweating before I even got to the start line. It was an extremely flat course so I was disappointed there was no cool weather to go along with it. I always do better in the cold. I finished in 35:50 and was 14 out of 31 in my age group.

 

I’m not sure what races I will be doing in November but I am sure I will find some good ones to run. Hope to see you all soon!

 

 

 

A Dash To Sub 30

It’s finally October and I am still patiently waiting on slightly cooler weather. I am pretty sure a lot of us are looking for that cool weather at this point. It’s hard to want pumpkin spice anything when it’s still so hot outside. I have noticed though that it’s not as blistering hot on my afternoon runs, which in turn makes for a better run. Once again, I am behind on my posts since I am working on finishing classes. December is going to here before I know it and I can’t wait. I have so many things I want to do once I get my degree. For starters, I am hoping to work on my fitness game more. Maybe start doing some HIIT workouts on the days I don’t run. Any of you do any type of HIIT workouts? If so, message me and let me know how well you like them.

I have a lot of runs to write about so I will jump right in to those.

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium 5K: Any race that allows you to finish on the 50 yard line inside a stadium is going to be an awesome race. We ran this race on Saturday, September 15 at  Mercedes Benz in Atlanta. The whole family ran this race which was really cool. This 5K is put on by the Atlanta Track Club and has some of the best finisher medals around. Everyone got a medal to hang on the wall and a really nice t-shirt. There are not many 5K’s out there anymore that give awesome swag. This race benefits people who have been injured by drunk drivers. Many of you may remember Emily Bowman who was hit and severally injured while walking in Athens a few years ago, well it benefits people like Emily. It’s really cool to see how far she has come, at last years race she could barely walk and at this years race she was able to walk it. I ran/walked with mom and my sister because I had a second race that afternoon. As we were running, we came across a blind lady in the race. She was kicking butt all by herself with just a walking stick to guide her. It’s amazing to see people overcome barriers that would otherwise hold them back. Just goes to show that you can either give excuses or power through.

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Sunflower Festival 5K: I decided I was going to run two 5K’s on the 15th, so that afternoon I ran the Sunflower Festival 5K in Statham. I ran this 5K a few years back and had a great time on it and placed in my age group. The awards way back then was a plaque that had sunflowers on it. I remembered this so I was excited to once again go run the Sunflower race. By the way, sunflowers are my favorite flower. So I’m all excited about getting a sunflower shirt. Well, the shirt did not have a sunflower anywhere on it. That was a bummer so I was thinking well the awards will have it on them. No worries about the shirt, however I think they need me to design it for next year’s race. Anyway’s moving on. I was really wanting a good clock time on this race, but lets face it the sun came out and well it’s all over when that happens. I do good just to finish. I placed 2nd in my age group though and you probably have guessed this by now, but the medal did not have a sunflower on it either. It had a shoe on it. I think they didn’t know how to design a sunflower or something. Either way, they need to change the name of the race if it’s not going to have sunflowers.

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Autumn 5K: This was my first year running the Autumn 5K in Loganville. I missed this race last year because of yoga training so I was glad to be able to run it this year. It was an awesome race and certainly one I would run again. I would love to run this race again it if was cooler to see what time I could get on it. By the time the race started, it was humid but I still managed a 34 minute run. I was third place in my age group. This race gave some awesome door prizes which we were able to snag a few things.

 

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Covington Autumn 5K: Lot’s of Autumn 5K’s this time of year. This one was by far one of the best courses I have ran in a long time. It was pretty much flat except for a few inclines and it wasn’t so humid so I was able to pull away with a time of 32:40. That’s the best time I have had in a long time. I am slowly making my way back down near that sub 30. I have been working hard lately to bring my time down. I am still hoping to get that sub 30 5K before the end of the year. I found I was over training so I hope the plan I am on now will get me there. It’s like there is a wall built up and I can’t get over that wall. However, I was able to place third in this race so I will take it.

No runs for me this weekend, I will be at the beach for my birthday. The next race will be October 13th and then I am heading out to do a flat and fast 5K at Myrtle Beach the following weekend. Maybe just maybe I can get an awesome clock time on that race.

I will see you guys soon! To all my friends and family running this coming weekend, y’all have a good race!

 

35th Annual Covington Fuzz Run

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Most cities at 5 AM on a Saturday morning are relatively quiet, the roads are clear and no one is in sight. However, one city on the morning of September 8th was coming alive to support the men in blue and one of their own fallen officers. Before the rest of the world even thought about waking up, this city had already set up tents, tables, and signs to prepare for the 35th Annual Covington Fuzz Run. The town of Covington was expecting one of the largest crowds to date due to the tremendous support surrounding Officer Cooper #148 who was shot in the line of duty just days before the race. By 6 AM this small town was moving in all directions as everyone scurried around for parking spots and to pick up race packets. One of the coolest sights to see this early in the morning was the number of police cars pulling in from all over the state of Georgia. I stood there and watched as car after car pulled in to show their support. The race was starting later then most with an 8:30 start time. The race didn’t actually get started until closer to 9 due to announcements and the number of people in attendance. People started lining up well before 8:30 and by the time it actually started all you could see was people packed in waiting to hear the words go. I made it a point to start near the front so I wouldn’t be boxed in. I also kinda wanted to be on TV too. Channel 2, CBS 46, and channel 11 were all their showing the race live. Come to find out, I made it on the channel 2 Sunday morning news! I was on there looking all serious as I passed by the camera.

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As I mentioned above, tons of police cars came from all over the state to help with the event. They lined the finish area with their cars and turned on their blue lights. As runners came down the hill to the finish, all you could see were blue lights. It was a really neat sight to take in. There was so much support for this event which in turn made it one of the best races I have done. Since it was the 35th anniversary of the race, they gave every finisher a medal. They also give out really awesome door prizes and if you are ever lucky enough to win one, you just might be going home with a huge flat screen TV.

Huge shoutout to the Covington Police Department for putting on a very well organized/ fun race and always taking care of the runners while we are on the road. Also a shoutout to a few of the forces I saw along the route: Augusta Police, Jefferson City, Cobb County, Clayton County, Gainesville Police, and City of Monroe. I know there were dozens of others but these are the one’s I remember seeing and thanking as I passed. Thank you to all of you for your service.

Sending well wishes to Officer Matt Cooper, God bless you and your family!