My marathon training began in July 2015, through trials and tribulations I made it to February 14th and ran/paced the Breast Cancer Marathon. I was elated the first week after and now it’s a going into the second week and I’m feeling “marathon post blues”.
So I’m looking and planning for new races as I write this. One race I’ll be doing is Space Coast this November. I have some demons to slay, so it’ll be the 26.2 option for me. But that’s all the way in November! Peachtree Road Race registration is opening next week for Atlanta Track Club members, one of the perks( I love also the shirt and hat they sent), but again that’s in July! I need a race now!
The Gate River Run 15k! One of my favorites! Yay! I have done this race every year since 2009 and it keeps getting better every year. I am a Girls on the Run Solemate(raising money for girls who need scholarships to participate). All money helps our local girls-please donate to Coach Smith! We get the VIP treatment. Then one of my all time favorites, the Paddy’s Day 10k/5k run at Evergreen Cementary. Love the history of the place and the shaded route(in October they have a 5 or 10 miler through Evergreen called the Pumpkin Run). Then a new race for me-Run to the Sun in April as part of the JTC Racing Team! Legs(left foot especially) don’t fail me now. Along with the Cooper River Bridge Run in early April too.
Now I’m looking forward to Spring, I’m not feeling too lost at all. I love my running community! Remember to check your own local running community for races or training runs to keep yourself motivated and plan out your run/race calendar so you won’t have running withdrawal like me. Get out everyone and enjoy that run!
Remember it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,
Friday began with a social shakeout run that had us running with two Olympians, Jeff Galloway and Joan B. Samuelson, then volunteering at the packet pickup at the Donna Expo, and ending with a VIP reception at One Ocean.
Saturday came early, and it was the Donna 5k and Family Fun Run. Then after running & tripping my BRF Julie(sorry again), marching with survivors in the Amgen Breakaway From Cancer walk, and then run/walking with David and Jesse in the 1 mile fun run. Time to do my Pacer duty and volunteer at the Galloway Booth.
Then after a quick nap, it was time for the Mayo Clinic fundraiser dinner to celebrate raising funds for breast cancer research and helping families financially going through this disease. Always inspiring listening to survivor stories and I notice not a dry eye in the house afterwards. We make it an early night because tomorrow is an early early rise and shine for the big event-the marathon!
We were up at 4:00 a m and after a light breakfast & coffee, we were out the door by 5:30. Traffic was steady but kept moving and we parked and headed towards the Galloway and Pacers tent. I met my co-pacer Susan “momma socks”(never so happy to meet someone😍). Perk alert! Heaters and our own porta potties-yes! Checked in my gear and boom-line up at the start with our pace groupies for a 6:00 hour marathon.
I saw so many familiar faces filing past me making their way to their start…at 7:42 a m it was our turn. And we’re off! :30/:30-pace 13:43 with 40+ run/walkers and us. I had the first shift with the pace flag held high and my hoarse but loud teacher voice announcing our runs and our walks. The weather was perfect. 41 degrees at the start, so there were a lot of spectators on A1A cheering us on, thanking us, and making us smile. The wind began to pick up and was wicked by the time we all got to Jax Beach. By the half marathon turn around, I needed a bathroom break so I handed the flag off and took my first nutrition too. Then dodge runners going the other way and catch up to my group again. No beach running this year so even though we fought the wind, we would’ve been eating sand if we were on the beach. Interesting sights and sounds on the way to Neptune and Atlantic Beach; communion on the run, bra wearing palm trees, bubbles, pink balloons everywhere, discarded clothes, sweet dogs looking at us patiently, and happy happy people.
Then Atlantic Beach Town Center! We saw the first place male finisher and female finisher-wow! Hi Pete’s Bar, the Strand, Oceanwalk , Selva Marina! And best of all, my honey (in his kilt) and his group!! Yes, I stopped and gave him a kiss! Momma Socks and I had traded the pacer flag several times and then luckily her husband Dan showed up and relieved us both for several miles.
The sun was brutal on First Street, but I kept my long sleeve shirt on because I was afraid of sunburn. I kept drinking water, ate super fruits(recommended by Jeff Galloway & given to me by Mary Ann). We had dropped a lot of people by then but we had some hardcore people going the distance with us. We were back in Jax Beach and headed towards mile 20, yep feeling good even then. Dennis!!! Always good seeing friends on the course.
Then corkscrew-ugh! Yes we can! Then onto the bridge where we met another runner, Sal. We were heading towards 26.2, he was headed towards 110-badass all the way! We began ticking off the mile markers…23, 24, 25; 1.2 miles to go! Anything left in the tank people? Run like the wind! Go! Mile 26! We see the finish…5:59! And that’s a wrap. Fantastic!
I want to dedicate this run to my good friend Stephanie. She is beautiful, strong, and positive even through adversity. She is my role model to what I strive to be as a person-I love you! You got this!
Remember it’s about the journey, not just the destination,