Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Like Brothers and Sisters

It's hard for me to believe that it is almost time again for the Coke 10K that is held every year on the first Saturday of May and starts in beautiful downtown Corinth, Mississippi.  While growing up in nearby Walnut, MS, I remember going to Corinth many times and getting to eat at McDonald's.  I really don't even think I got to see the inside of that McDonald's until I was almost out of school.

After moving to this great city just over two years ago, I have come to love it almost as if I were raised here.  I have made many friends throughout the city and the ones that I run with I have grown to love them as my brothers and sisters.  If you're not one of the locals and reading this, please check out this site of the Corinth Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

I only had the chance to run on the weekend this past week but they were great runs.  I ran 9 miles on Saturday morning and some of it was in the rain.  I was going to go to 350 but Koach changed his mind and so did I.  I was going to meet Jeff & Joel on the Coke course but somehow we missed each other.  I started a little earlier than they did and ran the course in reverse and when I met them I was going to turn around and run with them.  I met up with Jenni about a mile into my run and we ran around the course and was going to make another loop but when we didn't see Jeff & Joel, we went and ran a different route back toward the church where Jenni was parked.  The rain had been falling in the first part of my run but it had quite for the most part and my shirt was almost dry.  We got less than a mile from our stopping point and the rain started falling again and this time it was cold.  When we got to the Fourth St bridge, I decided to turn around and head back to the house.  I still had to stretch it out a little to make sure that I got in 9 before I quit.

Since I didn't have anyone to take me up on my offer to run on Sunday morning, I didn't want to get up and go out the door.  I did anyway.  I had bought me a new pair of running shorts on Saturday and wanted to wear them before the race this coming Saturday.  I made a big loop around town and ended up with 7 miles and didn't get rained on but it was so stinking humid!

Thanks for stopping by and if you're running the Coke this weekend, look me up and say HI.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Honoring Boston's Runners

This past Monday runners and walkers of all ages descended on downtown Corinth to honor runners of the 117th Boston Marathon along with runners of this great race from years past. There was no entry fee, no clocks or metals...well, there were a couple that you'll find out about a little later.

Since I wasn't able to attend the event I asked my fellow runner, Janet, to write me a little something about it. Here is what she had to say and how it all came together.

Monday, April 15, 2013, greeted the running community with excitement and apprehension as the 117th Boston Marathon kicked off. Those running the marathon anxiously awaited the payoff of countless hours of sacrifice and miles of training for this, the most revered of all road races. For friends and family of the runners, it was to be a day of cheering on, praying for, and keeping track of our runners. My students were excited to spend the day following several of my running buddies, especially Koach Kenneth Williams.

Needless to say, the day’s mood changed abruptly and dramatically with the bomb blasts. Due to the extensive news coverage, I won’t go into detail about the bombings. Suffice it to say, though, that there was panic in many hearts. Fortunately, as reports came in about specific runners, we found out pretty quickly that Koach and the rest of our crew were safe.

Even after Koach texted me that Monday night, I still wasn’t completely at ease. That feeling didn’t come until the Saturday following the marathon when I actually got to hug Koach in person. There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing Koach for myself! In every family there is a rock—Koach is the rock in our running family!!

On Wednesday the 17th, Jody Ballard shot me a text asking if I thought we should get Team Corinth together to do a run on Monday the 22nd to honor Boston. “Sure!” I said. The rest, as they say, is history.

What started out as a plan for about 25 of us to meet for a low-key tribute run became an event attended by some 300 people raising $2000 for the One Fund Boston charity. As Jody and I began contacting people and posting on Facebook about the run, it just seemed to take off. The mayor of Corinth spoke as The Daily Corinthian and WTVA News provided media coverage. The most distinguished guests of the evening were the runners who had been participants in the 117th Boston Marathon, as well as several other Boston Marathon alumni: Koach Kenneth Williams, Jane Clair Shettles, Misty Thompson, Heather Duley, Jimmy and Roan Johnson, Patricia Kessler, John Aikin, Amy Ballard, Bridgett Jolly, Joy Gray, Julie Pittman, Woody Harrell, and Alan Smith.

I would have never considered myself an event planner, but I have to say, I really enjoyed working with Jody to make this run happen. We started planning Thursday for the run to take place Monday, so there wasn’t a lot of time to let my nerves get the best of me. I kept telling Jody that I couldn’t stop to think about it or I’d have a meltdown!

Thankfully, with help from our families and countless others, the tribute run was a huge success. The congratulatory pats on the back and way to goes felt awesome, but the most cherished thanks and sentiments came from the Boston marathoners. Koach and Roan were very emotional as they were symbolically presented the finishers’ medals that they weren’t able to receive in Boston. (Those medals are being mailed to runners.) I think Jimmy Johnson thanked Jody and me each at least a million times for putting on the run. The heartfelt sentiments of Patricia and Heather touched me deeply.

Patricia said at one point, “I really needed this. I needed to SEE everyone.”

It wasn’t until that moment that I realized some of these folks haven’t seen each other since returning from Boston. Then last night as I read Heather’s blog, I was completely humbled and brought to tears by the understanding that in some way I had been a part of something that provided a way to help her to heal from the events she had experienced in Boston. Wow!

Koach told me yesterday that a person doesn’t have to run Boston to promote running and that he was proud of Jody and me for stepping up. Again, wow! Even though I still consider myself to be a newbie runner, I have already made innumerable friendships that seem like they’ve always been there!

“We may all be perfect strangers… But we run, therefore we are friends.” Fb/runlikeagirlbc

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Janet!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Running for Boston

I know if you haven't heard about the happenings that occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon early last week then you have been living under a rock and have randomly come across my blog.  I am not going to rehash all that went on but I do want to share with you a couple of links at the end of this post.  Both are the blog post of two ladies that I have only met one time each but since are both runners I feel like they are family.  Both of them ran the Boston Marathon and I was following both of their progress with regular text messages that were sent out.  When I heard about the explosion at the finish line, I knew that one of them had already finished and one should have been close to the finish.  I was worried for both of them because I thought that the one that had finished might have been waiting on the other.

Before I share those links to their post, I want to share with you about my running week.  I did get to run three times but it was three days in a row.  I ran Friday after I got home because I just had to run.  I did an easy 4 miles even though I knew I was going to run long on Saturday morning on 350.  Jeff and I met a couple of others early and ran 2 miles before we met the rest of the group at our normal starting time.

Jeff and I had planned to run 15 but when we got to the first water stop we had to decide which way we were going to go from there.  We talked about going up the ridge road but we would need hydration before we got back.  We thought about going straight but that would have us running 17 miles.  We decided to go up the ridge road anyway and would have to run a total of 16 miles, including the two that we did earlier.  That was the worst run that I have had in a long while.  It had been almost two months since my last 15 miler but I've been running 12-13 almost every weekend since.  I didn't feel so hot on that day.  The first 12-13 were good but those last 3 or so were bad.  I had to walk a lot of the last part.  When I finally got back to the starting point I had 16.1 miles and was physically and mentally exhausted.  I don't think I could have ran another 100 feet.  I just wanted to get some food and relax.  That is exactly what I did when I got home.  I fixed some cream of wheat and some 100% fruit juice.

On Sunday, I slept in but Jeff and I did run again in the afternoon.  We both ran 7 miles and it was better.  We met on the road and just ran in a big loop that took us back by his house and around the Coke course.  It was a great run.  It was our "Runners Unite for Boston" run because neither of us was going to be able to attend and event that was going to happen on Monday evening.  I ended the week with 27.1 miles in the books.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will click on the following links and read what Heather and Roan had to say about their experiences at the Boston Marathon.

Diary of the Duleys-This is Heather's post titled "This Weekend"
Joyful Always-This is Roan's post titled "My Boston Marathon Experience"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You Will Pass Out First

This has been the busiest time for me all year!  Sometimes I don't even feel like I can sit down to write these post but I do.  I really appreciate you all for stopping by and reading these post, whether it is your first time here or you have read all of the previous 88 post.

I'm sure all of you know about the events that occurred yesterday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Some of you even know that I had several friends that were running this event.  I heard about the explosion before it even hit the new wire.  I was worried about my friends.  It was a few hours before I was sure all of them were alright.  I'm thankful that they were!

This past week I was in the Love's truck stop in Jasper, AL, when a driver was paying for his "nasty" fountain drink.  He said something to the cashier about Dr Oz and I told him that I hadn't had a soda in over two years.  You would have thought I had said something offensive to him by the look on his face at first.  We began to talk and I found out that he had been driving for a while and was "in shape" until he started driving.  I shared with him a little of my story and he said to me, "I don't think I could run from here to the fuel island."  I said, "You might not can but you can walk and that's what you need to do.  Park on the back side of the parking lot."  He didn't like that idea.  Then his worst fear was revealed.  He said, "I'm scared if I ran I will die."  I told him, "You'll pass out before you die."  He got a good laugh out of that.  I didn't come up with that but it is the truth.

I did have a really busy week this past week and only go to run two times and one of them was a race up at the beautiful Shiloh Battlefield in Tennessee.  It was called the Rotary Run in the Park.  It is a 4 mile race around a loop in the park and let me tell you, it was great!  I started out a little faster than I should have but still ended up running it at a 9:40 pace for a time of 38:47!  How awesome is that?  That was even faster than my recent 5K.  It was good to see a few of my running buddies there too!

I got up really early Sunday morning because now that it is getting light earlier I want to go ahead and get my run out of the way.  I set out just to get in a run and ended up with a 10k at a 10:52 pace.  Not bad since I had run so hard the day before.  I ended the week with just over 10 miles but will hopefully get to kick it up several notches this week.

Again, thanks for stopping and reading my post today and if you haven't been reading and need some motivation, please go back to the beginning and read my story.  I know if I can do this then anyone can.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tips to Living a Healthy Lifestyle

This is one post that may make some people mad but it is the honest truth.  Lately, I've seen lots of people posting recipes of what I think would be some really tasty foods.  I've also noticed post about how some have been taking this pill or using this product for weight loss and they have lost X number of pounds.  Although there is nothing wrong with using a weight loss product, how long can you keep on using that product?  Most people will use the product until they have lost a certain number of pounds and then they go right back to what they were doing before that and gain all the weight back and then some.  I know this to be true because I have been there and done that myself.

There is a guaranteed way for you to lose weight and keep it off.  First thing you have to do is STOP EATING JUNK!  Start eating real food.  A frozen dinner out of a box is not real food!  A candy bar is not real food!  Start eating fresh fruits.  It really doesn't matter what fruit you choose.  I like strawberries, grapes, apples, dates and bananas.  Those are my "go to" fruits.  Eat veggies.  I have read articles that say it doesn't matter if they are fresh or frozen, just eat them.  I have lots of favorite vegetables and will eat most of them except for broccoli.  I do like cauliflower though.  If you have to use canned vegetables, you can lower the sodium content by up to 40% by pouring off the water and then rinsing them again with water.

The second thing you need to do it get up off the couch and move!  We spend way too much time in front of the television or computer.  I have said it before and I'll say it again, "If you can find time to watch tv then you can find time to exercise."

Now with that said, I'm going to off you some tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle.  I have actually stolen these from an article that I came across last week and will include the link near the end.

Tip #1-Keep a Food/Exercise Journal

Keeping a food and exercise journal will make you think twice about putting that Snicker bar in your mouth because you know that you'll have to write it down.  I kept a food journal with Lose It the first five or six months and I did think twice.  If you share your journal with someone, you don't want them to see that you have eaten real food all day and at the end of the day you ate that candy bar.  Keeping a journal will also allow you to track your progress and you'll be able to set goals and know if you are reaching them or not.

Tip #2-Stopping Eat Late

This was a challenge for me.  I would get up in the middle of the night sometimes and fix me a big glass of chocolate milk and eat a Little Debbie cake or whatever we had in the house.  It took me a little while before I broke this habit but then again, I knew I would have to write it down.

Tip #3-Eat Breakfast

In my opinion and from what I have read over the last 2-1/2 years, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I think I can honestly say that I have not had breakfast in all this time.  Before I started making changes, I would sometimes not eat until 2 or 3 hours after I got up and by then I was so hungry that I could eat a horse and would eat anything that I had in the truck.  You don't have to eat a big breakfast.  Even something small is better than nothing.

Those are my tips and you can see those and more by clicking here.

This past week was just as busy as the last two weeks and I only got to run on Saturday and Sunday.  I met some of the Lunatics at the Whistling Dixie Cafe after their run but before mine.  My plan was to run from our starting place but run the opposite direction back to the house.  I got about 3.5 miles into my run and decided it was just too dangerous to run on that part of the highway.  I called and got a ride before I got ran over.  In fact, I almost got run over twice before I called and another time before I was picked up.  I ended up getting just 4.74 miles at a 10:33 pace.

I decided that I was going to run long on Sunday morning and I did.  I left my house and ran to Jeff's house and we ran around town.  We had a great time in the just over 8 miles and then I had to get back to the house.  I ended up with 12 miles at a 10:44 pace.

Please keep in mind, that I'm not a doctor and an expert in weight loss.  I am just an ordinary guy that has lost some weight and I have kept it off.  You should consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss or exercise program.  Thanks for stopping by this week.  I'd love to hear your comments about this post.  Have a great rest of the week and I'll see you again next week.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What's a Good Pace?

Two days late but I finally got it written for you. Lately, I have been seeing some questions about pace. The most common one is, "What is a good pace for a (distance of race)?" I thought about what my answer would be and I believe that most runners will agree with what I came up with.

Fast and slow speed is relative. What are you comparing your pace too? Are you comparing how fast you're running with the runners up ahead of you? Behind you? I believe the best comparison is how fast your were running yesterday, last week, last month, and you know what I'm saying. When I went from running an 11 minutes 30 second mile to a 10 minute 30 second mile, I thought I was going fast! Now if I compare my pace today with what Joe Runner is doing then I could be really fast or super slow. Joe may be running a 9 minute mile and there would be no way I could keep up. One the other hand, if Joe is running a 12 minute mile then he couldn't keep up with me. If you're running a 12 minute mile, don't get upset when you see others passing you and think that you are slow. You don't know how long they have been running. I only compare my speed to what I've been doing over the long haul.

I remember now long after I started walking and posted a walk/run on Facebook that one of the things that motivated me so much was my friend, Amy, commenting, "You're getting faster!" That was almost two and a half years ago and I can still remember reading that and the encouragement that I felt.

This past week I only got to run two times but I made the best of them. I ran on Hwy 350 on Saturday with the Lunatics. I ran a total of 12 miles at a 10:31 pace. I did choose the easier route by going around the ridge road but the sight was beautiful. I knew the chance of rain was good on Sunday morning but decided to go ahead and run that morning. When I first left the house, it wasn't raining. I got a little ways down the road and it started to rain a little and by the time I got back to put my phone up, it had stopped raining. I got about a quarter mile from the house and the bottom fell out! I thought to myself, "Well, by the time you get back to the house you're going to be soaked anyway so you might as well make the best of it." I did and ran 5.75 miles. It didn't rain the entire time but the rain did come down pretty hard a couple of times. That was the first time that I had ran in the rain and you can bet your last dollar it won't be my last.