the force is with the jacksonville sharks

The 2016 season of the Jacksonville Sharks has been chock-full of awesome themed nights. The arena football action has been exciting, but the crowd enthusiasm and participation has taken it to the next level!

Look at Superman, visiting from Metropolis to cheer on the Sharks!

And Bane, on break from plotting against Gotham, seemed really excited to be rooting for his favorite arena football team.

I mean, seriously. How great are these fans?

The season is not over yet, and the best is yet to come! On Saturday, June 25, Sea Best Field will host fans from around the galaxy for Star Wars night, when the Sharks take on the Cleveland Gladiators.

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Not only can you wear your favorite Star Wars gear, but the first 1000 kids will receive a free light saber at the door. So fun!

Tickets are still available, for as low as $13 each. And the Sharks are still offering the Family 4 Pack, which is a fantastic deal! For only $80, you can score four tickets (in the red zone), four hot dogs, four Cokes and four bags of chips. You can’t beat that kind of value!

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For advance tickets, visit www.jaxsharkstickets.com or call 904.621.0700.

May the force be with you, and let’s cheer our Sharks on to a victory over the Gladiators!

Thank you to the Jacksonville Sharks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.30.16}

Sorry to have kept you waiting for this race report: after so long without writing them, it’s been a little tough to get back into the swing of it. Without further ado, here’s the tale of my fourth Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K.

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This race holds a special place in my heart. After all, it’s the first race I ever ran, and I’ve made it a point to come back each year. It’s been a great way for me to check my progress through the years.

I knew this year wasn’t going to be a PR, just because I am coming back from my injury. I also knew that it probably wasn’t even going to be a great race. I just wanted to get myself out there and back in the game. I have fallen out of the habit of racing, and the more I throw myself on the mercy of the course, the easier (and more familiar) it should get.

At least, that’s the way I plan on looking at it.

The original plan was for Mr PugRunner and little man to accompany me. However, little man was adjusting to summer vacation, and had spent the last few days in the pool and staying up incredibly late at night. As he should be doing. Mr PugRunner and I decided not to wake him up on this Monday. If he got up on his own, then Mr PugRunner would bring him to the race, 25 minutes away. If not, well, there would always be next year.

I hadn’t made any other particular plans to meet up with anyone, but some of my girlfriends were there, and I was thrilled to see them.

We all had our own goals for the morning, and that was just fine by me. I had plans to be alone in my head for this one.

While this race is never huge, the Striders boasted record attendance. It was wonderful to see.

It was beautiful seen so many people out in support of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

After the National Anthem and a moment of silence, we were off. The 8:00 start time was rough. Even with all the tree shade in the surrounding neighborhoods, the heat and humidity was crushing. I was really only semi-prepared for it – I think my hydration was as good as I could get it, but I was sweating hard before I even hit the first mile mark.

Such is running in Florida.

I played a lot with my intervals. Since I didn’t have any lofty goals, I tried a combination of running for as long as I could and then strictly sticking to my :60/:15 run/walk time. It was nice to be able to catch a breather in the humidity with the walk breaks, but I was doing ok with the longer running, too.

Mentally, I just ticked off the distance. One foot in front of the other. I just wanted to be consistent and feel ok.

Really, it was all fine.

I was flat when I crossed the finish. One thing I have felt lacking in my runs in the ability to conserve enough energy for that final kick. As I am getting more consistent in my training, I plan to add in more strides to get it back. The lack of that sprint makes the ends of races much more anticlimactic for me, and I would really prefer a little more of that adrenaline rush.

I met back up with the girls for victory photos.

The bling this year was gorgeous: much larger and brighter than the three past races.

I was darn proud to have earned it.

Unfortunately, when I got back to my car, I was treated to the surprise of a dead battery. Womp womp. I despise car issues and was feeling pretty frustrated: Mr PugRunner was almost a half an hour away (they never made it out), and while my parents lived close to the race site, I hated to bother them. Papa Bear headed my way, but one of my coworkers came to the rescue by asking his friend to give me a jump. I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to have to get a tow, and was able to get the car home safely (spoiler alert: we got a new battery and all is well).

Once again, runners save the day.

I think it’s safe to say I’m finding my groove again. It’s going to be a process, and I’m not always incredibly patient, but I am doing my best to avoid any more injuries and still continue with the sport I love.

What’s something you love about the running community?

When you have a not-so-great race, are you able to find the positives in it, or do you write the whole thing off as a negative?

 

weekly recap x 2: 6.5 – 6.17

I have to apologize for last week’s hiatus. I don’t usually go silent, but sometimes, you just need to sit back, stop speaking and listen.

However, I am back at it and ready to share the Weekly Wrap time with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

There were a lot of lofty plans for working out this summer, but things have been coming up, so I am doing the best I can with the time available.

Sorry for the length, but I will try to run through the next two weeks as quickly as possible.

Sunday – 90 minutes SUP yoga

This is my favorite. The water was a little rough and I was on a different board, so this class was extra challenging, but sometimes, that’s all part of the fun.

We had a full class, with lots of newcomers, and that made it great, too.

Afterwards, I met the boys at the beach, and we passed a really nice afternoon until the storms rolled in.

Monday – rest

There was an impending tropical storm that made quite a mess of my plans for the day. Fortunately, we got away with just some wind and rain.

Tuesday – 4 mile run

I wasn’t able to meet up with my group, but the weather was nice enough for four miles.

While I was at work, Mr PugRunner called to tell me that Molly had had some sort of accident and was bleeding from one of her toes. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything too major. The vet wrapped her up and instructed us to come back on Friday for a follow up.

Wednesday – 60 minutes cycling, 30 Day Shred Level 3

I hadn’t been out on the bike in a while, so I kept myself to about an hour. It wasn’t as hard to come back as I expected. Obviously, maintaining cycling fitness is way easier than maintaining running fitness.

Since I hadn’t had a strength class in a while, I decided to round out the day with an at-home workout: Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred – Level 3.

Thursday – 3 mile run

Another Thursday, another solid run.

Friday – rest

Molly’s follow up to the vet trumped body circuit. We were thrilled to get the all clear, because we were heading out for a joint vacation with three other families.

We packed up the car and headed down to the Hammock Beach Resort.

This was pretty much our life for the next three days.

Saturday – 3 mile beach run

I wasn’t planning to run on the beach. I just wanted a picture of the sunrise and then I was going to return to the sidewalks.

However, once I got out there, in the beautiful breeze, and saw all the hard-packed sand, I decided to go for it. I took my time and had a lovely, easy run.

We spent the rest of the day parked at the resort’s pools. The weather was perfect and the kids had the best time.

Sunday – rest

Another pool day. I’m pretty sure I’ve never spent so much time by a pool in my life. R&R is usually not my thing, but I ended up really enjoying myself.

Monday – rest

After breakfast and checking out, we went back to the… you guessed it… pool. Two of the four families had left so the remainder of us spent the morning together, got lunch, and parted ways. Leaving was hard – it has been really nice just relaxing and hanging out in the sun and water, but it was time to get back to the real world.

Tuesday – 3 mile run

The first run back home was a little tough, probably due to dehydration from the weekend.

But I got it done, and went about my day. I was really starting to miss my group runs and was hopeful to get back to it on Thursday.

Wednesday – 60 minutes cycling, 30 Day Shred Level 2

The steamy weather made me not want to do anything, but I finally dragged myself out for a ride,

and followed it up with 30 Day Shred Level 2. I really don’t love the at-home workouts, but  I was really missing my body circuit classes and had to do a little something.

On a really positive note, Mr PugRunner and I finally booked our 10 year anniversary vacation to Antigua! I cannot wait. We have a few months until the big day, but I have already started researching excursions and things to do.  We wanted a place that neither of us had visited, that was a combination of lazing away on the beach or by the pool (for him) and active, adventurous things to do (for me).

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I cannot wait to SUP on that water.

Thursday – 3 mile run

I was finally back with my group! We had a beautiful run and I was so glad to see the ladies again!

With the trip booked, I want to do a little bit of toning up. I do what I consider to be a decent amount of training for the average person, but I can always streamline my process. I decided to incorporate a few 30 Day Challenges into my routine: planks, arms, thigh slimming and squats. I found a series of free apps for the phone, which offer several levels of experience, and then give a daily workout. Together, they take no more than 20 minutes, and I can break them up throughout the day, so it seemed like a pretty reasonable thing. I could always use more core and upper body strength, I like to keep my glutes working well after this year’s injury and if there is anything that can happen in my thigh area (they are strong but will probably never be dainty), then I’m all for it.

Friday – 60 minutes body circuit, 30 Day Challenges

And back to body circuit! We worked the heck out of our arms, which was great. Afterwards, I followed up with my round of challenges.

Saturday – 5 mile run, 30 Day Challenges

I had to get up early for my five mile run. Once again, this was my longest run since I’ve been back in running action. It went well. I played it very conservatively, but I ended feeling strong.

And then it was off to the dojo! Little man had his orange belt test! He had a lot of skills to cover, and he rocked it!

I am so blown away every time I watch him break a board. This time, he had to use a side kick, which is one of his weaker skills, but bam. Right in half.

We celebrated with a late breakfast, and then spent a kind of lazy rest of day as it started raining. Mr PugRunner and I went to Jacksonville Sharks game that evening. They played the Orlando Predators, and the vibe of support in the arena was really wonderful.

And there you have it. Two weeks, done and done. Thanks for sticking with me!

I’m fairly pleased with the direction everything is heading. While the times of my runs have been frustrating me, I know it’s summer, I know I’m pretty newly back and I know I have to be patient. Right now, I am focusing on getting my miles up in time for Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, and then I will switch my goal to speed for Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah and the Space Coast Half (my goal race).

Are you planning to run RNR Philly or Savannah? I would love to see you there, and if you use the following code, you can also save on your race registration!

How was your week in training?

Do you ever participate in fitness challenges? What kind of results do you see?

 

 

peace

After the recent, tragic events in Orlando, there really are no words.

We would like to send our love and support to the victims and their loved ones.

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And we pray for the day when peace and love prevail.

wednesday word: consistent

We took a little break for last week’s Global Running Day post, but we are back with the Wednesday Word! We will be linking up with Deb Runs  for the fun and you can be part of the action, by checking out her page and linking up, too!

Deb Runs

The word of the week is…

 

For me, being consistent is the name of my fitness game.

As I have mentioned, I am not particularly athletic. I am not genetically predisposed to hardcore physical activity and I feel like working towards my goals is always an uphill climb. It’s quite possible that everyone feels similarly, regardless of their skills and abilities, which gives us a point of solidarity. But what I do know, for an absolute fact, is that I work hard to make my journey as seamless as possible.

The key to that is consistency.

The more I run, the better it gets. Not that it’s ever easy, but my body and mind become accustomed to the expectations to which I subject them. My brain has learned that we run three days a week, and sometimes four, if I’m feeling froggy. That schedule has just become the norm, and I do my best to stick to it, because adhering to same form is what makes me stronger.

I have also learned that running isn’t enough. I have become consistent with cross-training, too. The benefits of this have become even more clear to me since getting injured earlier this year, and I have made it a point to ensure that body circuit, cycling and yoga make regular appearances in my weekly workout schedule. Again, the consistency with which I participate in these activities yields a pretty nice payoff: I’m stronger, more flexible, and less prone to aches and pains.

The gains I make in my cross-training translate nicely to my running. The core strength, cardio endurance and build-up of muscles I wouldn’t usually use help improve my pace, my running form and decrease my chance of injury.

While it is going to take me some time to get back to where I was before the start of this year, I am pretty confident that my consistency in training is going to be a huge help.

How does consistency fit into your fitness plans?

weekly wrap: 5.29 – 6.4

Monday means it’s time to share the Weekly Wrap time with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

This week was spent kind of adjusting to the first full week of summer. I am making it a point to be more spontaneous and free-wheeling this summer – I am notorious for being pretty rigid, but I want little man to have an amazing break and part of that is letting him do crazy things like stay up too late, have popsicles for lunch and spend way too much time  in the pool. It’s  definitely out of my comfort zone but the look on his face when he’s having the time of his life make it all worth it.

Sunday – rest

We all slept in a bit, and then spent the day running errands and hanging out. Little man joined me for some errands, which included lunch and homemade popsicles, and then Mr PugRunner took him to visit the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile at the local grocery store. I had never seen it in person! Hilarious!

Monday – Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K

While I have a race report coming, this was the race I had been waiting for since getting hurt earlier this year. It went well, considering.

I was a little disappointed that Mr PugRunner and little man couldn’t be there – they were planning on it, but little man had had a couple of incredibly busy days, and had actually been sleeping in. We thought it best to let him catch up on his rest. No point tiring him out in just a few days.

After the race, I found myself faced with a dead car battery. Certainly not a fun obstacle. A fellow runner came to my rescue and gave me a jump so I could get home.

The rest of the day was spent with family and friends – we grilled salmon and street corn and enjoyed the company until after the sun set.

Tuesday – rest

I had planned to rejoin my group but it didn’t work out and I was quite happy to take a rest day, instead.

Work was uneventful, and I couldn’t wait to get home to check the mail.

It’s been a while since I’ve been this enthusiastic over a book, but I am absolutely engrossed by Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Like, I’m having a hard time putting it down. And I already have most of the musical memorized. It’s one of the best I’ve ever heard, and I can’t wait for the show to start touring so we can maybe see it on stage.

Wednesday – 1 mile running, 60:00 cycling

This day didn’t go quite as I planned. I was really looking forward to a run with my Moms Run This Town group later in the day, but holy moly – the temperatures were already in the 90s by 11:00 in the morning. I’m just not well-equipped for that.

In the morning, I ran a 1/2 mile warmup, hopped on the bike for 16 miles and then followed with another 1/2 mile run. It was just too hot to push farther and I wanted to start getting my legs used to the transition from pedals to road.

By that point, I was pretty done. I was so hot, I actually grabbed a cherry popsicle from the freezer instead of water. It was the perfect post-workout treat.

Thursday – 4 miles running

Since I had a little extra time in the morning (no bus stop!), I was ok to go for four miles. It was ridiculously humid, but the gorgeous sunrise made up for the fact that I suffered quite a bit of nausea.

I had to take a moment to get myself together, but was lucky to have some pretty understanding running partners.

After work, Mr PugRunner had I went to my parents for dinner and to pick up little man from his time at Camp Nana & Papa. We had a nice evening and tried to turn in early because he was having an all-day playdate with his buddy the next day.

Friday – rest

Body circuit was canceled due to the trainers having another commitment, and little man was having an all-day playdate. It ended up being a pretty busy day: we went to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel, had lunch at the pool, did a little swimming, baked cookies, and went out to dinner. After all that, the boys decided they wanted to try a sleepover. Everyone was on board and when we got home, we got them ready for bed with an air mattress and pull out couch. I stayed up a few hours to make sure they were soundly sleeping, and then finally got to bed, myself.

Saturday – 3.1 miles running

Even though I didn’t have a great night’s sleep, I was ready to run. Mr PugRunner took care of pancakes for the boys while I got in my three miles.

It was horrifically humid, so we know that summer is here for sure.

After little man’s friend went home, he passed out for a hard, four hour nap. Yikes! He even slept through lunch! When he woke up and we got him fed, he and I headed to the city for the Jacksonville Sharks game. It was Superhero Night, and we were treated to appearances by some favorites, like Wonder Woman, Batman and Iron Man.

It was a great game, but the Sharks couldn’t pull out the victory. They’ll get it next time. Little man had a blast and I was so glad we got to hang out together.

 

And there you have it. We have entered June kind of slowly, but that will start ramping up. This week will be a little tough: we are currently in the throes of Tropical Storm Colin. It’s not a particularly awful storm (at least, not compared to the hurricanes we used to experience when we lived in South Florida), but there is tons of rain, plenty of high-speed wind and obviously, we operate under “safety first” rules.

How was your week in review?

Do you have a season of bad weather where you are? How do you manage your training though it?

 

education appreciation & superheroes at the jacksonville sharks

On Saturday, June 4, at 7:00 PM, the Jacksonville Sharks go on the hunt for their third straight win of the season against the Philadelphia Soul, the current American Conference leader at 7-2. The action will be intense as wide receiver Mardy Gilyard returns to the Sharks to take his place on the field.

This weekend’s game also celebrates the end of the school year and the start of summer!

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As a special thanks to all the local school employees, the Sharks are hosting Education Appreciation Night: all teachers, school administrators and school employees are eligible for BOGO tickets.

Once again, children up to age 14 are FREE – each paid adult admission is good for two complimentary kids’ tickets. Even better, it’s Superhero Night at Sea Best Field. Batman, Iron Man and Wonder Woman will be on hand for appearances, so don your favorite action hero gear and join in the fun!

For advance tickets, visit www.jaxsharkstickets.com or call 904.621.0700.

See you in the Bite Zone!

Thank you to the Jacksonville Sharks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

happy global running day

Happy Global Running Day!

June 1 marks this momentous occasion, and I am linking up with Jonesin For A Run to answer some questions about the role running plays in my life.

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Feel free to answer some of these questions in the comment section or in your own post (and link back to me and Jonesin’ For A Run so we can see!)

Why do you run?

I run for my health and the challenge of the sport. I love pushing myself to see what I can accomplish and what goals I can achieve.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

I am hopeful to go for a run with some members of my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I don’t get to see them often, so it would be nice to celebrate this event with them.

How many miles have you run so far this year? Do you have a mileage goal for the year?

Unfortunately, due to injury, my mileage is a lot lower than I would like. Currently, I am sitting at 190.4 miles. I haven’t set any kind of goal for the year, simply because I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get back to full training. Hopefully, I can safely hit 500 miles, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

After my injury, I am trying to be very patient and cautious and selective about races. The operative phrase is “trying to be.” I love racing, and it’s been very hard to hold myself back from signing up for everything.

At the moment, I am looking at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Remix Challenge (Half Marathon one day and a 5K on the other), and of course, the Space Coast Half Marathon. I imagine I will add in some other races as I get stronger and more confident, but these are the current heavy hitters.

Before I leave for a run I must have:

My Garmin, my music and my shoes.

Do you track your runs? If so what do you use?

Absolutely! I use my Garmin Forerunner 220 on each run (and ride), and then I upload the data to Strava. I love the way the site keeps track of my routes, splits and miles, and I can even upload swims, yoga, rides and other forms of workouts to keep everything logged in one place.

Who is your favorite running partner?

I am incredibly lucky to have so many great running buddies. I love running with people who are positive and encouraging, who challenge me to push harder and who support me when I fall (literally).

What races have you run so far this year?

Again, it’s been a bit of a light year so far. Since the start of the year, I’ve had

  • 13.1 at Princess Place & 5K
  • Best Damn Race Jacksonville
  • Wolfson Children’s Challenge Ultra Relay
  • Enchanted 10K
  • Princess Half Marathon
  • Gate River Run 15K
  • St. Patty’s Day 5K
  • Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5K
  • Beson4 Corporate Run 5K
  • Florida Striders’ Memorial Day 5K

There are quite a few I would have liked to include in this list, but it wasn’t meant to be.

If you have to give someone one piece of advice about running, what would it be?

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We all start somewhere, and our journeys all take different paths. Running is personal. It’s not about being better than those around you, but being better than yourself. Run for yourself and everything else will fall into place.

Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Evolving.

Every day is different. My goals are always changing. I love that there is no end game in sight. When I achieve one goal, I can shift to work on something else. As I grow and develop, so do the things I want to get from my running. It keeps everything new and fresh.

 

So there you have it! A little glimpse into my miles and why I run.

Tell us about you!

weekly wrap: 5.22 – 5.28

Monday means it’s time to share the Weekly Wrap time with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

Sunday – SUP yoga

I had been waiting for this day for what seemed like ever. Clearly, I am not a patient person.

I discovered SUP yoga last year, and I was nervous as hell the first time I tried it, but, as it turns out, I fell head over heels in love. There is something so incredibly peaceful about a gentle flow while out on the water with friends.

After I got home and cleaned up, my parents came over with some awesome shrimp for the grill. We had that with a ramen noodle salad, Mexican street corn and a fresh peach pie for a delicious Sunday afternoon meal.

Monday – 40 minutes cycling, 60 minutes body circuit

I’m getting used to the big block of cycling and body circuit on Monday and Friday mornings – it’s just become part of the process: get little man on the bus, mount up, ride like heck, switch to cruiser, rush to class, grind it out with my girls.

I opted out of the pool because I was a little tired, but planned to get back in there later in the week.

On a brighter note, a package arrived for me! New goggles, new helmet and new cycling gloves! Wheee!

I haven’t pulled the trigger on a pair of padded cycling shorts yet. I don’t feel like I’ve really needed them, but we’ll see what happens on a longer, several hour ride.

Little man had a pretty grueling karate class. He is doing really well with his forms and stances, but I noticed he needs a bit of work in his core and flexibility. That gave me something to ponder for the night.

Tuesday – 3 mile run

I had an early morning staff meeting, so I was on my own for the morning’s run.

After I got little man from school, I asked him if he wanted to try some yoga. I had found the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel on YouTube, and thought it might be a fun and easy way to help him get some extra bendiness and strength to help him with karate.

He started with a Star Wars themed workout and loved it!

Wednesday – rest

I had planned on a group ride with some of my running buddies, but it was little man’s class party day and he had asked me if I would be there. The room moms put together an absolutely incredible luau themed event, with lots of fun water activities and great food.

It is going to be so hard to move on from second grade. His teacher was nothing short of perfection, and every single kid in his class has been awesome.

Thursday – 3 mile run

It was just Dona and I for our morning run, but it was a nice one with a beautiful sunrise.

Then it was time to send little man off for his last day of second grade.

Mr PugRunner collected him from the bus at early release since I was at work, and then we  all got ready for the evening: we were hosting a sac party for our neighbors. We had hot dogs and s’mores and everyone brought a side and something to drink. The kids played on the slip ‘n’ slide and threw water balloons, and as it got darker, they made up dance parties and had all kinds of fun. My goal this summer is to be much less structured and to just go with the flow, and this was the perfect way to do it.

Friday – 60 minutes body circuit

Since little man was home from school and Mr PugRunner had to go to work, I had to skip my regular ride. Instead, I packed our bags for the pool and we rode our bikes to my body circuit class. Little man had some kids to play with while I worked out, and then my friend texted to see if she could drop off her son to play for the day so she could get some work done. No problem!

The kids played in the pool, we all went out for a nice lunch, and then after some lego and video games, our two families met up for the food truck rally and outdoor showing of The Good Dinosaur.

Our community is working hard on these neighborhood events, and it turned out really nicely.

Saturday – 4 mile run

I was kind of tried from another late night, but I decided it was time to take on four miles. I wanted to run with my Moms Run This Town Group, but they were starting about 45 minutes later, and I just needed to get it all done. Our house was being painted and I needed to pick up extra paint for our front and back doors, as well as bulbs for our new exterior lights, so I was on a time crunch.

 

On this Memorial Day, let’s take a moment to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s the reason we can enjoy our freedom today.

How was your week in training?

How are you spending the Memorial Day Weekend?

race report: beson4 corporate run 5k {5.19.2016}

It has been a long, long, LONG time since I’ve had the pleasure of writing a race report. I had planned on the Beson4 Corporate Run 5K as a  kind of pre-return: not quite a comeback 5K, but a warm up to the real thing.

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The Corporate Run is a fun way for companies to bring employees together to participate in physical activity. There are teams based on a variety of industries, with men’s, women’s and mixed divisions, as well as a CEO category. Teams are awarded points based on their top four runners, and category winners are then decided.

I don’t love that Corporate Run is a nighttime event.  I have never been a strong night runner, and after a day at work, I’m pretty generally spent. The weather forecast was also pretty ominous. The race had already been pushed back from 6:30 to 7:00 PM and if the lightning continued, there was a possibility it could be delayed even later, if not canceled altogether.

Tammy and I drove up to downtown together. It was nice to have a buddy for the ride. We were able to score free parking in the Everbank Field lot, directly across from the start line, so that was a huge plus. We found our team tent and got our singlets..

I love the color.

Since the weather looked like it was clearing, we headed over to the start line. I found a comfortable spot and started getting myself set.

As the National Anthem concluded, the heavens opened. Ugh ugh ugh. If I don’t like night running, I don’t like rainy running even more.

There was a group of young ladies lined up next to me. They checked the sky, exchanged glances, and then exited stage left. I really wanted to go with them, but I was committed to the next 3.1 miles, and tried to ignore the fact that I was getting soaked, and would have to do this thing with no music because I didn’t want to waterlog my iPod.

When we started, I was pretty annoyed to discover that I had screwed up when I set my watch for intervals – I wanted to try :60/:15 but somehow, I had pressed :60/:30. That was way too much walking for me, so I just went ahead and started ignoring the intervals, running by feel, rather than timer.

The rain continued through my first mile, and I was kind of pleased that I ran through most of that. Unfortunately, after that, things didn’t go quite so well. The course was crowded and puddle-filled, and I got stuck behind larger groups more than a few times. It reflected in my pace, and I wasn’t really thrilled with my finish.

That being said, it was a relief to know that I was able to get through a 5K without my hip dragging and without all the doubts and insecurity. It wasn’t a victory as far as time, but it did incredibly positive things for my mindset.

I made my way back to our tent to hang out. However, even though the rain had cleared up, the bad weather was still lingering.

We enjoyed a few post-race drinks and watched the clouds roll in.

It started raining again, and we finally decided it was time to head out. We were starving and we joined up with several other teammates for a late night dinner. It was a nice way to end the evening, even though we wound up being out way past my bedtime.

And so I guess it’s safe to say I’m back. I’m not particularly displeased with how the night progressed, and I’m looking forward to Monday’s 5K as a way to better gauge my progress (morning run with better weather). The one nice thing is that, since my injury, I’m not feeling the same self-imposed pressure I used to. Maybe because I’m starting to mix activities up a bit so running isn’t the central focus. It’s definitely not a bad thing.

Do you race better in the morning or evening? In torrential downpour or mild weather?

Has your outlook on running and racing ever shifted dramatically after an injury or a break?

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