Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Probably Shouldn't Say This...

   But I'm kind of thinking I want to do a marathon. Which is weird because I don't really like the actual act of running. Yes, I know - I run all the time. But it's pretty much misery the entire time I'm out there. I've never had the "runner's high" or have gotten to the point where running seems to be getting easier. Sure - I'm getting faster (officially a member of the East Nasty 9:00-9:30 pace group - BAM!), but running is always hard for me. Three miles or ten - it's tough. However, while I don't really like running - I do LOVE races!!  Totally different things.
   So why a marathon? Well, it would definitely be a challenge. And after my last Half-Ironman, I need a new challenge. NO - a full Ironman isn't an option at this point. Funny thing is that the marathon is what's holding me back from a full Ironman. Maybe if I tackle what I consider to be the hardest thing first, a full IM wouldn't seem so out of reach.  
   Plus, magazines, blogs and my friends just make marathons look like so much FUN! Yes, I know. That's crazy. And you can get that same experience from a half-marathon...but the marathoners get different medals! And sometimes more swag! Don't mock - medals and swag are important.
   I'm still very undecided about this, but I'm kind of doing some research on what race I'd like to do. Marine Corps would be awesome - it's in DC, which is my hometown so I'd be able to visit with my parents and friends. Huntsville is close and lots of friends say it's a great, smaller race, and I love small-town races. I do think that IF I decide to do a full, it needs to be a race where only a full is offered. I think if I did a race that offers both and the half marathoners peel off to the finish at mile 11, I'd be too tempted to join them. Or pissed that I was stupid enough to sign up for a full. Probably more pissed.
   Anyway, just what I'm thinking as a possibility for 2013. Tomorrow we leave for the St. Jude's Half Marathon in Memphis. I love this race and I'm really excited for it!  Race report on Monday!  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Good Reminder

   Winter is finally here.  It's cold and dark when I can generally workout - mornings and evenings.  I train throughout the year, and this generally doesn't bother me.  I'm very comfortable running in the dark and recently bought a headlamp so I'll be able to see better in the not-so-lit areas.  
   So, I was a little (just a little) annoyed when my husband kind of gave me a guilt trip about running alone on Monday night.  I was planning on doing mile repeats at a local park that was generally very well-populated at 6pm even in the dark.  I run there frequently and have never felt unsafe.  But, because I didn't want to worry my husband, I went to the gym and hit the treadmill instead.
  Fast forward to yesterday.  This link was sent around by my friend Holland.  It's a blog post of a woman who was recently attacked on her run.  In the daylight.  In a very "safe" neighborhood."  I was reminded that no matter how strong we are as runners and athletes, how vulnerable we are - women even more so.  And MAYBE doing mile repeats alone in a dark park wasn't the best idea, even if there were other people around.  I'm not going to get paranoid and stop running alone, but I'm definitely going to be more aware and incorporate a few tips from the author.

Be safe out there!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hoover Run for Hope

   This past Saturday, I did the Hoover Run for Hope 10k and 5k with Dudley and my FTP training buddy Kathy. We used both races as a training run for the Memphis Half-Marathon, which is about a month away. This race is put on every year in honor of Liam Hoover, who lost his fight against pediatric cancer. Proceeds from the race help raise awareness and research funding for childhood cancer.  Great cause - great race.  I'll definitely be doing it again.

   There were two sets of racers that stood out to me in this race. First off was Speedy Chick. I have no idea who she is, but you know the type - super fit, wears bootie shorts (which you can get away with if you're super fit), singlet and arm warmers while everyone else is all bundled up...  She just LOOKS fast.  In fact, I told Kathy before the race started, "And there's our winner, right there." And she did win.  Not just her age group, or master's division (yes, she was over 40), or even the women's race. She won the whole thing.  Twice. Yes, she won the 10k AND the 5k.  Sub 6:00 miles for both races.  Kudos to you, Speedy Chick.
   The second set were the speed walkers. There were two of them in the 5k. When we first started the 5k, I saw one. I admit, I thought "aww - a speed walker." And then, when we didn't get any closer, I thought "wow - that guy can sure walk fast." I then made it a goal to pass him. Not that we were trying to kill the course, but come on - he's WALKING. How hard could it be to pass him?  Well, harder than I care to admit. And when we finally DID pass him, what did we see but ANOTHER speed walker in front of him!  Seriously? We ended up passing her too, but they both were going a VERY impressive pace. We ended up talking to the both of them on the way back to our cars. Turns out - they're both either ranked in the state (him) or nationally (her) for speed walking / power walking.  (There is a difference between the two - who knew?) They were both very fit. I don't know anything about that sport, but I bet it's perfect for someone who can't run due to injury.
   As stated before, we used this race as a training run. We didn't even pick up our timing chips before the race, so we don't have an official time. But we had a great morning in beautiful weather supporting a wonderful cause. It doesn't get much better than that.
   For more about the Hoover Hope Foundation - go here:

UPDATE: I have since learned that Speedy Chick is actually a local athlete (and mother of two!) who happens to be the U.S. Masters Champion in the 1,500 meters and has qualified for the Olympic Trials.  Very impressive resume.  I had no idea we had talent like that in the Nashville area.  Very cool.