Saturday, August 29, 2009

Run For The Raiders 5k

8/29/09-After not running a race in a couple of months I decided I needed to get back out there. I found this race thru the MS track club website. It took place in Jackson at Jackson Academy.

I had been checking the weather and thought it was suppose to be cooler this a.m. but unfortunately it was about 74 degrees, sunny and hot. Even tho I wanted to I didn't back out.

The race was at 8:00 a.m. and would start in their parking lot. All morning before the race I felt bad with the normal nervousness that always rears it's ugly face before any race. I have the worse case of dry mouth and my tongue feels like it's way too big for my mouth. This too is a normal occurrence for me.

The race starts and as usual I know I am running too fast to try and keep up with the boys. I just did a lot of heavy breathing and kept pushing. Finally out into the neighborhood we went. It was partially shaded which is always welcomed.

As I was rounding the first turn there my hubbie was telling me I was the fourth woman. He hollared I might be able to catch the third place girl. I thought, yeah right, you're not in this body.

At the first split I pulled a 7 minute pace. Wow! My best ever. About this point in time my mind was beginning it's constant war. My stomach was still bothering me and my breathing was so loud. I was probably scarring people as I came upon them.

At the second mile split, 7:26; music to my ears. This too was my best 2 mile split. Just up ahead was the 3rd place woman. She seemed to be slowing and to my surprise, I wasn't. I passed her and continued on. It wasn't much longer that I came upon the second place girl. She had really been running hard but all of a sudden it was like she ran out of steam. So, happily I ran on past her.

At this point, the war in my head was getting bigger. My lungs were begging to stop, my legs were feeling okay and I was trying to think of anything to get my mind off of how I was feeling. I was asking God to help me and I was singing Amazing Grace in my head. I thought of a statement I had read in a running book a couple weeks ago that said "your body is capable of a lot if you let it".

The next thing I knew I had side stitches. I haven't experienced those in a long while. Luckily it was on a down hill. At this point in the race, I didn't have a clue how far away I was but all of a sudden I started hearing cheering. I knew I must be close to the finish.

I was never so thankful to see the gate that lead back in JA and into the track field. I didn't see the finish line but knew it was there.

As I entered the field my sweet hubbie was there cheering me on. It means a lot to have your own personal cheerleader.

As I rounded the curve I looked back and saw the finish line and the clock. I couldn't believe my eyes. As I went under the clock, it read 22:30; my best time ever.

I've been telling my husband if I ever finish a race and I feel good then that tells me I didn't run hard enough. Today, I felt horrible at the finish.Not only was I the second woman to cross the finish line but I got to bring home this baby. It's the Grand Masters Female trophy. Now I can say I feel good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

GI & Assoc. 5k at the Rensaissance

6/13/09-Just knowing over 500 had signed up for the race was enough to turn my stomach inside out. The race was at 6:00 which meant getting up at 4:00 a.m. The Renaissance 1/2 marathon was being ran the same day.

As we were driving to the Renaissance shopping center we noticed lightning in the northeast sky. Hopefully, the rain would stay away. It was a mostly cloudy morning which I was thankful for.

When we arrived people and cars were everywhere. They had over 1000 running the 1/2 which would start first. Excitement filled the air while my nerves were torturing me.

The line-up for the 1/2 began and off they went. Next up, 5k runners. We started lining up and I took my place close to the start. My heart was already racing and I hadn't even moved a leg yet. Next thing I know, the gun goes off. Luckily I knew this course from driving it earlier. The first mile would be almost all uphill; nothing serious, just a gentle incline. After that a flat area around a nice pond and then back down hill.

As I rounded the pond I wondered how far back I was in the pack. In the back of my mind, I didn't think I was too far behind. I noticed a lady about 200 yards in front of me but she seemed to be struggling.

At the next water table she grabbed a cup but I kept on going.

As I rounded the final turn I could see the finish line. How exciting! There were lots of people there shouting and clapping. Oh was I ever glad to finish. And my time? 23:35, my best time yet.

In the end I finished 2nd lady and 12th overall. My best yet!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MS State Senior Olympics-5k

5/16/09-I never knew such a race, or the senior olympics, existed. I heard about this 5k thru the track club. This race took place at MS college in Clinton. It would start on the track and then run thru the campus.

The race started at 7:30 a.m. so I had to be up around 5:00. Clinton is about a 30-40 minute drive from home. After my morning race day rituals we headed out. I was feeling pretty nervous about this race. Maybe it was because we had a ways to drive and that gave me plenty of time for the nerves to wreak havoc.

We we arrived at MS college there were a few people mingling about. It was a sunny, and already, warm morning. I went ahead and signed in and got my number. It was number 1. I hoped that was a good omen.

As the starting time drew closer I noticed there was mostly men showing up. So, in the end, I was the only female runner. There were some women who were walking the race tho. So that made me feel a little better.

So we all walked across the track to the opposite side and the race began. After 1 1/2 times around, out we went. Up a small hill and then out to the streets. Did I mention hilly streets? Oh no, another hilly course. And this course would repeat itself so I knew after the first round just exactly how many more hills I had to run. Looking back, I think that probably helped tho.

Toward the end I was so happy to see the track again. As I went back down into the track field I could smell the finish. I crossed the finish line at 24:35, a few seconds faster than my last race. Wow, I couldn't believe it!

In the end I took a first place medal. I finished 3rd overall. I got to stand on the podium just like in the olympics.I was told that if this had been a qualifying year for the National Senior Olympics more people would have participated. So, next year will be a qualifying year for the Nationals which will be in 2011.

I don't know if every state has a Senior Olympics but they do allow competitors to participate in other state's olympics.

When I was younger I always dreamed of running in the olympics. Well that didn't happen then so hopefully this will be my chance. I believe that God has always directed my life and knows what's best for me. God's timing is perfect!

Race for Grace

May 5, 2009-The Race for Grace at the Christ United Methodist Church in Ridgeland would be starting at 8:00. I got up about 6 to wake up, eat and begin the morning nerve session that was always present on race day.

Once we arrived at the Church I couldn't help but notice all the runners here. There was lots of them, more than at the last run.

My hubbie had told me this would probably be a flatter course than last and he was right but it was really hot. After the gun, I started out faster than I should have, as usual, and at about 100 yards I was ready to quit. My stomach was not good and I just felt terrible. But I kept on prodding along and was running a pretty good pace.

In the end my pace ended at 24:41 which was good enough for 4th place woman and 35th overall. Once again I took home the Grand Masters trophy. The fire under my feet was getting bigger.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Run for Your Life at UMMC

Since the March race put a fire under my feet I was in search of the next. I found it on the MS Track Club website. It was a 5k at the University of MS Medical Center. The whole race would be ran on the campus. Dear hubbie had cautioned me that it could be hilly but I decided to do it anyway. The race date was April 18.

That a.m. we got up and after having my one piece of toast and NO coffee we headed down to the race. It was a cool morning with a breeze blowing.

Upon arrival I discovered many people would be running in this race unlike the last. Oh well, I would just do the best I could.

We lined up for the start and waited for the gun. As I sit here typing this, it still makes me nervous just to think about it. You could probably see my heart beating in my chest if you looked close enough. Nausea had sit in again so everything was normal.

As I looked around at everyone I wondered what they were thinking. Or, were they feeling the way I was? The gun shoots and off we go. As we round the corner the first hill appears. Oh no! As I later learned, this would be the first of many.

Now I'm not afraid of hills, in fact, I find them challenging and they help to keep a race from becoming too boring. But let me tell you, this course is extremely hilly, especially for someone who trains on flat roads.

The course ran back by the start where my hubbie watched. When he saw me he hollared out, "you are the 5th woman". I thought are you joking me? So then I knew I had to keep my pace going.

When we did our final turnaround I knew the finish line wouldn't be far away. I let one girl pass me and managed to finish 6th female. I really couldn't believe it! My time was 24:48. The best part besides it being over was winning the Grand Masters Trophy again.

I was hooked for sure!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Panther Run 5k

March arrived and the school where my hubbie teaches was going to have a 5k on the 28th. This would be my first race. Was I really prepared? No, not by a long shot. Physically, I was okay, but running is a mental challenge as well.

The morning of I got up at 5:30 for a 8:00 start. The first thing I did was check the outside temp. It was 64 degrees and overcast, perfect. At 6:15 rain started falling. I proceeded to go ahead and eat and drink coffee. I knew I needed something in my stomach but drinking coffee? That was not too smart. I was already a nervous wreck and that caffeine didn't help.

Luckily the rain only lasted a few minutes and then off we went to the race. After registering I stretched out my legs and tried to get ready for the race. My heart was about to come out of my throat and I felt like I was almost shaking. Amazing what caffeine and adrenaline will do to a person.

At the sound of the start I bolted like any untrained runner does. As I'm running along I really feel like I am going to "lose my cookies" and I hadn't gone 200 yards. Oh my, how was I going to make 3.1 miles? I realized I needed to slow down which I did a bit.

The course was really a nice, flat one. Gray clouds floated above our heads but luckily held back anymore rain. No one was calling out splits so I had no idea where I was in the race. I just had to keep on truckin. Finally we were on the very last part of the course but I was feeling pretty tired.

I could see the finish line just up ahead. Wow, what a glorious sight! My time? 25:24. No too bad for my first race but I was feeling really glad that it was over. In the end I got the Grand Masters trophy and 1st place for my age group.

Even tho I felt really horrible during the race, I knew now that I wanted to do more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Beginning of The Run

I guess you could say I have always been the athletic type. Way back in high school I was definitely a runner. A sprinter mind you, and not a long distance runner. In those days if someone had told me I would be running long distance one day, I would have laughed. But they would have been right. I use to run 10k's years ago when I lived in GA but now I train for 5k races. (I use the term "train" lightly).

I had quit running before we moved from GA. My knees were giving me fits so I had resorted to walking with my husband. Since living here in MS we have continued walking for exercise with an occasional run(a few yards) here or there.

There's a nice park convenient to work that I stop at to exercise. It has a one mile paved trail that makes it easy to keep time. Back in February of this year while walking I decided to run a mile and see how it felt. When I finished I didn't feel too bad. The next time I ran I tried it again and again. I would run a lap, walk a lap, and then run another.

Next I decided to run 2 or 3 laps without walking. I guess the cool winter days were helping because I wasn't feeling too bad. As a matter-of-fact I think I was actually enjoying it. I began keeping my times which were around 27 minutes. I didn't think that was too bad for someone my age.

I started researching some times on the MS Track Club and saw that I might actually be able to compete with women my age. Wow! What a surprise! I never imagined that.

So, I guess that is where my quest began. Stay tuned.

The Beginning

First, welcome to my blog. As you can see the subtitle says, Running to the National Senior Olympics. Sounds like a mighty big task, right? I'll be the first to agree with you. It's not going to be easy. Probably won't be pretty either for that matter. But as a middle aged woman that feels like she is standing at a crossroads in her life, I'm willing to take it on.

So, won't you follow along. Heck, take the lead! I'd be all up for that too! You never know where it might take you. In fact, we may, might I venture to say, enjoy it.