Month: October 2016

Race Recap of Jax Marine Corps 1/2 Marathon and 5K

I had my doubts…

Hurricane Matthew messed up a lot of lives in Northeast FL and further up the coast, and even though trivial, it messed up weekend events.  JU Homecoming was canceled, which was chock a block full of fun activities and the iconic Jacksonville Marine Corps race.  Like I said trivial but still missed.  I was running the JU River House 5k and our entry has been deferred until 2017, so that’s good news.  How about the Jax Marine Corps race?  Riverside and Avondale had a lot of debris from the storm, so that was not a possibility.  However, the race was rumored to be rescheduled.  When?


Jax Galloway runners had run the day before at Jax Sports Nutrition at an unofficial run since our regularly run was canceled due to damage at Fernandina because of Hurricane Matthew.  5, 8, 12, 16, or 20 miles!  Runners need to run.  Jax Galloway had official pacers, who most, not all, ran the day before.  I was not doing that!  And there was the concern of the new course.  4 loops race course to Talleyrand and Bay St back to Metro Park.  No shade!  Yep, definitely not doing that!

So 5k it is, but I was having second thoughts…race anxiety again. My last race was terrible but then again it was 6p m and 95 degrees.  This race started at 7:00 a m and it was in the low 70’s.  That’s more like it.  Okay wake up at dark thirty and off I go.  There was also another reason, I had just kicked off my fundraising event for October,Treats for Ta Ta’s, and I still had treats to sell.  I parked at EverbankField and found my Galloway friends.  Bathroom break and having Enjoy Fitness watch my treat bag-thank you Joy M.!-I lined up on Bay St ready to start.

7:00a m and the cannon goes off, we run down Bay St towards Talleyrand.  I see a man running with a beautiful white dog and decide I’ll keep up with him.  1 mile…9:07?  Geez I thought I was going faster.  I run up ahead of the guy and dog.  My legs feel good and my breathing is not irregular-yay! I am dealing with a cold from my kiddos coughing and sneezing on me.  Lots of people around and I’m trying not to trip on anybody.  Run down Bay St towards the Riverwalk and past the delicious smell of roasting coffee from the Maxwell Plant.  Then head back towards Metro Park, where I start seeing the half marathon groups.  I stay ahead of the 2:00 hour group headed by John and Diana, but never see the 1:45 group.  Too speedy for me.  Then 5k on the right and half on the left.  I see that I’m at 26:04 at mile 3, ok c’mon!  I cross the finish at 26:29! Yes!

Nice medal

I receive my medal, my finisher glass, and water.  Make my way around the finisher festival and then set up shop to sell goodies for the Donna Foundation.  Not much luck, but it’s a nice day to enjoy the weather and watching people finish up their race.  I would definitely recommend this race.  Even with the early October sun and heat it’s a great race.  Next year I’ll give the half a go again, but so glad I redeemed myself.  My doubts of getting slower at 50 have diminished.  I know I’m still trying to reach a 23:00 5k, but if I keep up with speed work and less injuries then I know I can.  Here’s to that goal.

Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,


The Grateful?  

There’s no complaining here

It took a hurricane to make me realize how lucky I am, we all are actually.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and  it’s about to rain.  16 girls and 5 coaches running around our school track in the pouring refreshing rain for 30 minutes.  It felt good to splash in the puddles, see the joy of the girls, and just teamwork.  Fast forward to Wednesday, there’s something big coming in the Caribbean passing Hati and Cuba and headed towards Florida.  Hurricane Matthew is a category 4 and is coming to Central and North Florida.  We don’t know for sure, but it looks like Cape Canaveral and then Jacksonville.  We get an email from our principal to make sure our electronics are packed away and things are off the floor if we flood or have leaks-this is not a drill!

Preparations for our house

No school Thursday.  Chris gets the call, his school is a special needs shelter, and before he leaves, we prep the house.  Boarded windows, bring in trash containers, patio furniture gets stored, shop for food supplies, take pictures of your valuables, put all important documents in a box, and gas that car.  I won’t see Chris again until Saturday evening.

We watch the local news non stop. Where is it going?  Projections take it too close by Friday.  Should we stay or go?  Zone A and B are told to evacuate-that’s my mother and father in law.  They won’t leave.  Chris tried.  I make the call.  Zone C evacuate-that’s us!  I convince them…me!  They evacuate, they are safe.  I am at peace.  What should I do?  4 kids and 2 dogs…where would we be welcome?  I make the call, my parents take us in.  They are also in Zone C, they are not leaving.  Why?  My poor mom.

They feed us and give us a warm and safe place to sleep.  Friday, the day of the storm that will change some people’s lives. 6:00p.m. is when it’s suppose to hit Jacksonville.  Downgraded to a category 3,then a 2.

Raining so hard you can barely see my miles

I am so stressed!  What do I do? Why run of course.  I have time…until the squall lines hit with driving rain and wind that moves me sideways.  My biggest fear was getting hit by debris from trees.  Dogs are so scared, they won’t eat. Text Chris and find out over 300 people have evacuated to his school.  We “hunker” down and try to ignore a hurricane is only 40 miles off our coast.  Lights flicker but we never lose power.  Hurricane never makes landfall and continues up the coast.  Saturday finds us relatively unscathed at my parents’ house.  What will we find at home?

So blessed

Arlington has extensive damage.  No electricity, big tree down blocking one entrance into our neighborhood, so we try another.  Arrive at our cul de sac and see debris , but relatively unscathed.  We also have electricity!  We did not lose power!!  Clean up time.  4 trash cans and 6 garbage bags later…we have a tall stack of tree debris.  Chris finally gets home after 7p m.  We are so lucky!

Others not so much.

We saw a lot of trees down
Our dunes did their job but are destroyed
Hurdles anyone?

We are beyond blessed.  We have our home to come back to, we have our family, and we are loved.  I pray for all the displaced people, the devasted communities, the poor souls who lost their lives.  Next time you complain about something inconsequential, look around and name three things that you are grateful for.  I bet you’ll end up naming more than three.  Everyday is a gift. 

Remember it’s about the journey, not just the destination


Painting a house.  The ups and downs.

We’re going to need a lot more

It’s October.  The house is still not For Sale.  We’ve had some setbacks.  First, we tried to hire a painter(you think that would be easy)-five contractors later and still waiting for a reasonable bid.  Then, our a/c compressor went kaput(did I mention it was still in the 90’s here in Florida?!).  One week and three contractors later, we got the whole system replaced. At least that’s a plus when we finally put up the house on the market.  Unfortunately our wallet is a lot lighter, so guess who’s painting the interior?  You got it, us.  It is slow going.


Wow, this is a tired looking paint job

It’s a waiting game with no end in sight.  What’s the upside?  Working on the yard and cleaning up the scrub palms and creating a fire pit.  Now that it’s getting cooler,  lighting the fire pit is reminiscent of a camp fire with s’mores.  The interior is still getting packed up and items we no longer find useful, are being donated.  Hopefully others will be able to use them.  You never know how much you accumulate until you go through it room by room.  Crazy stuff!

So…still waiting and hoping we can get this  done before the end of October.  Stay tuned, the adventure continues.

Remember it’s about the journey, not just the destination


  Run + Sick= Should you?

I have no voice for run/walk breaks

It’s been one of those weeks.  Full moon, students wound up, parents fired up, and I’m sick.  Not just sniffles but lost my voice feel like death sick.  Did I go to work?  Of course.  Being out with a sub sucks!  Too much trouble.  So I dragged my phlegmy body to work and taught straining my voice and feeling like something the cat drug in.  Progress reports had gone out on Monday and parents were asking for conferences, then during Open House more conferences requested.  It’s going to be a long week.

I ran once this week.  Once.  This is my big week-26 training miles in preparation for a Fall marathon.  On Saturday, our Jax Galloway group run is 14 miles and I’m suppose to do 12 more.  I can’t be sick this week!  As the day gets closer, I realize that I might not be able to run 26.  Saturday starts off early anyway because we have water and Gatorade duty.  Drop off our 7 water coolers, and off to the start at Heartland Rehab.  We are running from there, over the intercoastal bridge to Jax Beach, Neptune Beach, and turnaround at Atlantic Beach strand.  It’s the Donna course!  Love, love, love! Except I can’t breathe easily, I feel queasy, and getting chest pains(ssh don’t tell Chris my hubby).  It’s also quite warm.  92 degrees by the time we finish!  Another group leader, Larry S., is having issues too so we walk the last 3 miles together.  Galloway leaves no runner behind.

So my question is should you run while you are sick?

Running with a chest cold will likely lead to pneumonia.

Myth.  Pneumonia is a viral infection.  It can be similar to a cold but it doesn’t go away after a couple of days.  Left untreated it can be a serious issue to your health.  Go see your doctor and they will prescribe antibiotics and rest.  Don’t wait.

Running with a stuffy nose will cause your breathing to be off.

Myth.  Actually it might clear your nasal passages.  I notice when I run and my nose is clogged, I actually breathe normally.  Why?  Adrenaline is a natural decongestant.   Pretty cool huh? Who knew?

Aches and chills due to the flu will go away if you run.

Myth.  I am feeling like death and I know I have to run because of marathon training, what should I do?  Hold off.  You want to run after your symptoms go away, no need for a relapse.  If you miss a day or two, it will not impact your training.  No one wants to feel even worse.  

If I drink lots of water, my coughing will subside while I run.

Myth.  Water is great for hydration but will do nothing for your cough.  Light exercise while you are sick or taking a day off will boost your immune system.  Talk to your health care provider about some good choices for you.

Sweating will help my body get rid of infections in my body.

Myth.  I sweat when I run and cycle, I still haven’t gotten rid of my sinus infection with a cough. Your body sweats to cool itself down, so that’s pretty much it.  Light exercise will boost your immunity system, so easy or rest days help you come back stronger.

Listen to your body that is key for good running health.

New week.  I can talk without sounding like Demi Moore or Harvey Fierstein, no stuffy nose, but still coughing.  So I cycle on Monday and then run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Okay.  Saturday…we shall see.  26 miles, easy.  Glad I’ve waited.

I felt great!

Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,