Month: December 2017

2018 for 2018!

Running /walking….(photo courtesy of Kathy M.)

January 1st begins a challenge from Jeff Galloway-2018 for 2018. I heard about it and thought our Jax Galloway program directors were kidding…they weren’t. I received an email from Jeff Galloway productions and debated on signing up for the challenge-2018 miles or 2018k for 2018. That’s a lot of miles! A friend who I run with just finished running 2002 miles yesterday(we told him not to run 15 miles today to get to 2017,we’ll see if he listens)! Jason B. put a lot of miles on his legs to get there-wow!

I did the math on what a typical week would look like-38.80 miles a week! Right now I get in between 25-32 miles a week. Where would I fill in a swim?, cycle?, or strength? Double workout days? No rest days? I’ve heard of people who run everyday to keep up a runner streak-nah. Okay, there’s another possibility, 2018k. That’s 1254 miles…now that’s doable! 24.11 miles per week. Rest days, swim, cycle, strength…winner!

Bye bye 2017! Thinking about the new year.

So I signed up. The VIP package along with some other BRF’s. Suffering together is so much better with friends. So January 1st, after our family polar plunge, we are going for a family hike. It counts! Tuesday-bridges, Wednesday-track, Thursday-beaches, Friday-rest, Saturday-Resolution 5k, and Sunday-long Run. Start the year right. Then the week after, taper…noooo! Then January 14th, my first marathon of 2018. This should be fun, at least until Summer.

I hope you’ll join me on my 2018k journey, and maybe be inspired to start your own. Remember it shouldn’t be a drudge, it should be fun and something you want to do. Whatever you decide on, enjoy it and get your family to give it a go too. My husband doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be joining my Challenge too. Surprises are so much fun!

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

Mercedes

18 goals for 2018

A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. Whenever someone asks what my new year’s resolutions might be, I think about weight loss and those commercials about those exercise machines. So instead I’ve decided on goals. Goals are defined as an effort for a desired result. I like that much better! I put effort into running, family life, and teaching-this sounds about right.

5 years completed!

  1. Sell my home. I put this one first because my goal last year was to get my home ready to sell. Now that it is, I need to sell and get ready for a new forever home.
  2. Effective/Highly Effective. I have worked really hard to become a better teacher not only in my admin’s eyes but also for myself. I believe in myself and my students that we will make I-ready growth. This is a goal that never goes away for me. I need to be the best, so my kiddos are ready for the next grade. Yes we can!
  3. Get to the Donna Marathon healthy and rested. 2017 was a tough year for me and training. No motivation, tired, over it…I need to find my way back and find my joy when it comes to running again. The most wonderful time of the year is coming…February!
  4. 29 years with my best friend…enough said.
  5. Spend more time with my parents. Time is ticking, my mom is forgetting more, and my dad is still losing weight. January 17th is their 54th wedding anniversary, so I want to do something special. However, time with them is the most important.
  6. 3 marathons. I’m trying a January marathon this upcoming year since I missed OBX, along with the Donna marathon and the next series of Space Coast Marathon. Always exciting to push my body!
  7. Ultras. I fell head over heels with the Guana Tolamato 50k, so I want to sign up for the Gate2Gate 50k in October. You have no idea what your body is capable of until you try.
  8. TRI’s. As if my schedule isn’t full enough, I still want to continue to TRI. Super Sprints and at least 1 lake Sprint. Still not clipping in, but my goal is to have fun and not die. A couple of friends were trying to convince me to do a half Ironman, but that’s not something I can fathom-too slow for the swim.
  9. Goodbye debt. Credit cards are convenient but deadly. Whittling away loans for cars and that card is definitely something to work on achieving. If I don’t have the money, then it’s a big nope. Easier said than done, but willing to be strong.
  10. More time with the boys. Everyone is growing up so fast! Now is the time to enjoy them because they will be off doing their own thing soon. Relish the now.
  11. AT with my best friend. Special time and memories to be made. Hoping to go to the Hike Inn and begin there. Summer vacation…
  12. Make memories not get more things. Do we really need another shirt? Another piece of jewelry? Do we really remember what we got last Christmas? If you answered no like I did, then consider the alternative. Walks on the beach with your best friend, running with your BRF’s, or even a family camping trip to Fort Clinch. Memories last a lot longer than stuff. I just got rid of a house full of stuff.
  13. Really make Lent count. I make a resolution and for 40 days I try to do it, but …this upcoming year my goal is to actually do something that makes a difference. Donating to Catholic Charities or volunteering in some capacity to help others. Make it count!
  14. Date night. We’re there for everyone else including our job or our family, why not for ourselves. At least once a month for a movie or dinner. Sounds easy? You’d be surprised! Giving it a go again.
  15. Redemption marathon and support crew. This goal is not mine but my husband, Chris. 2015 was his first MCM and he had difficulty. 2018 will be his year if he gets in via the lottery. We’ll be there for any support including Dr Pepper!We are ready for Chris!
  16. More sleep, better eating. Better meal prepping and planning are needed. Stop eating processed crap, and get off the phone or watching tv in order to get some rest. Schedules, schedules, schedules!
  17. Get a yearly check up. Take care of me! Make an appointment and get the lab work done in order to stay healthy. My biggest fear but a needed goal-colonoscopy.

18. Get out of my comfort zone. We get in a rut in our daily lives, try something new and something you haven’t done before. Last year was hiking the AT trail. This upcoming year…stay tuned and see where 2018 takes me. Always an adventure.

Have you thought about your own goals? You have a couple of days left, what are your own goals? Whatever they may be, here’s hoping for a wonderful 2018!

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

Mercedes

I love Winter racing!

Post race at the Ameris Half

Fall racing is over! Now we are in the full swing of my favorite time of the racing year-Winter. Crisp temperatures, no snow, no ice and somehow my body knows and speeds up. 50k? No problem. 5k? Heck yeah! Maybe a PB of 25:00. It all hinges on that lovely Winter weather. I always sign up for Winter races to run-Resolution Run in January, Winter Beach Run also in January, Breast Cancer Marathon in February…and then there’s December.

Guana 50k, Jeff Galloway Double G, Festival of Lights 5k, Last Gasp 5k, Vystar New Year’s Eve 5k, Run Santa Run 5k, and the Ameris Half. All in December, my favorite time of year! Today was a perfect weather day. Overcast and chilly. Now don’t get me wrong, this race has had it’s share of weather ups and downs. Unusual heat wave, downpour, pea soup fog, and cold. Today…perfect.

I was running the half, but not pacing this year just racing. I wanted to run at least a 2:00 hour half since I didn’t get close to that goal for the Thanksgiving Half or Space Coast Half. Unfortunately my PB would not happen for a Half in 2017(GI issues), so I’ll try again in 2018. Still happy with a 2:06:48!

I love this course! From Bolles, we head North towards Lakewood and then back to Bolles and from there to San Jose all the way to Beauclerc and Forest Circle. So pretty. Plenty of water stops, no fuel for the half, but I had my faithful Honey Stingers which worked like a charm. Then back and around a Monteclair neighborhood and run to the football stadium. They announced my name over the loudspeaker and I knew I had 400m to go. What a blast!

We finished! The last half of 2017.

Glows.

Lots of volunteers. Water stops had plenty of friendly faces passing out water and Gatorade. Not easy to do when the weather is perfect for runners but not for someone who has to stand around. Brr!

Unique Medal. Gold and it reminded me of an ornament that just needs a Christmas tree. I really like it!

Lentils. Lentil soup is the best after a chilly half and definitely a marathon. Nice touch.

Speaking of a nice holiday touch-hot chocolate! The best!

Space blanket. For those of us who get cold afterwards. If you forget a change of clothes or a sweatshirt, this truly helps.

Grows.

No fuel for half marathoners?! This was a first. 1st Place Sports has never done this since I’ve been running half’s, so I was very surprised, and just wondered why. There are more half runners than full marathoners…I always carry my own fuel just in case. I hope everyone else was prepared(it was in the race instructions ).

Porta Pottie at 1st water stop locked!Enough said.

My Winter race season is just beginning. So excited for some more fun and exciting races in the upcoming weeks. Come along for the journey. Which season of racing is your favorite? Let me know in your comments.

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

Mercedes

Patience…

I am not a patient person. I get frustrated when I have to wait. A parent teacher conference and the parents show up 15 minutes late, a doctor’s appointment scheduled and they make me wait ½ hour, or waiting in line at an amusement park. Typical behavior: look at the clock, eye roll, frustrated huffing, or muttered words of disgust. I feel my blood pressure getting elevated. No patience.

However, I’ve learned patience to an extent through running. I mean who gets done with a marathon in an hour? Not even Shalane could do that. So I go out for a 20 mile run and know I’ll be out for a couple of hours. I enjoy the company(what’s said on the Run stays on the run), the scenery, and just being outside. I may hurt, I may be tired or hungry, and I may say I want it done but trust me I love it.

Words to live by.

My mom’s disease is getting worse…she is forgetting more, she is always tired, she sleeps really late, and she depends on my dad for everything. It’s heartbreaking. It’s the new reality. So our weekly ritual is to go to the Navy Exchange where she gets a chance to get out of the house and walk around. A couple of months ago; my parents would show up at 11:00 a.m., then 12:00 p.m, then 12:30….this week they showed up at 1:30 p.m. I was annoyed, I was irritated(remember my typical behaviors? Then I saw my dad(one of the most impatient people I know-yeah I know where I inherited my personality)-and he is the epitome of patience with my mom and their newest situation. I am being a selfish person, it’s not all about me and what I need to do and where I need to go. My dad deals with this day in day out, patience is just his new reality. Time is limited. How many more times is my mom going to make it out? How many more times is she going to be awake when I’m around? How many more times is she going to know me? Stark reality slaps me awake. Appreciate the now and the here. Patience when she walks super slow, patience when she asks for the umpteenth how my husband’s mom is doing, patience when she can’t remember her eldest grandson graduated from college. Enjoy the here and now.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. Patience and love. My mom was patient with me when I learned how to walk, now it’s my turn.

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

Mercedes

50k is 31 miles…right?!

Realizing what I’ve gotten myself into(photo courtesy of JTC Running)

I’m still working on my bucket list, and one of the running items on it is an ultramarathon. No, not 100 miles or 50 miles, but a 50k. I did an unofficial one in training before at the Rail Trail, but that wasn’t on trails, so I wanted to try a trail race. This summer was brutal. I only ran up to 23 miles. I missed my marathon. Can I really do this? December 3rd …either make it or break it.

5:30 a m on race morning and I’m up eating my Honey Stingers waffle and banana and drinking my coffee. Then one more check on my fuel for the day and my change of socks, tank, and shoes. The race is at The Guana Tolomato State Park off A1A South towards Ponte Vedra Beach. I park and haul my stuff to the pavilion and make final preparations as well as pick up my bib and race packet. I see a couple of friends and make small talk while the RD preps us for the start. One of the volunteers asks how long is a 50k…31 miles I say to myself.

Yeah…hmm.

7:58 a m and it begins. The first loop I plan to run the whole thing because we need to be out of the park by 5:00. I had no idea how long I’d be running so I wanted to give myself ample time. And after all it would 7.79 miles. I had on my Brooks Cascadia, my new My Soxy Feet Owl socks, my 261 Fearless Katherine Switzer tank, and my Athleta shorts. My outfit can take on these trails in style. The first mile/2 were high and dry but roots made footing precarious. The weather was foggy and overcast-perfect. Then boom! I got blessed on the trail by a root-damn, ouch but no blood. Keep going. Then wet, muddy trail. Slippery. Squishy. Ugh! My shoes are a mess. I walked when I came to those. I was afraid to fall again. First water stop, and rinse off my hands so I could eat my Honey Stinger orange blossom fuel. Refill my water bottle and off I go. The fasties were crazy fast! I was still on the 1st loop, they were on the 2nd! More water, more mud-suck it up buttercup. Loop goes through a bog with a bridge-uh oh that can only mean more low spots. Yep. Then another two bridges and on the hunter road. But wait a second…my watch says…8.75 miles?! What?! I cross the timing mat at 9.20 miles. I have 3 more loops to go. I’m no math whiz but that will be 36.80 miles!! What happened to the 50k?!

Bathroom break and I’m off again! Loop 2. No spills-yay! The bad-the mud is trying to suck my shoes off my feet! The good-no hot spots and I still feel good . I decide against changing my socks or shoes-why ruin two shoes? I could use my Cascadias when I hike the AT again. I haven’t seen any wildlife, but plenty of runners and then nobody for awhile. 18.40 miles and loop 2 done. 11:43 a m!! I eat another waffle, drink Nuun(watermelon), swig a Coke, and bathroom break before I’m off. I need to put some space between me and the start because at 1:00 p m the 12k runners start.

Loop 3…run/walk as fast as you can! Then bam! damn I get blessed again. This time it really hurts but luckily no one sees me fall on my face. Stupid roots. Going back, the 12k racers have started. I am 5 miles ahead of them, thank God! A couple of 50k female runners stop me and ask if my watch says 24 miles? Yep. The course is a little long. Thank God, 50k is 31 miles! 26.2 miles! Yes! I just ran a marathon-ha! Take that hot weather training. 27.60 at the Finish and we talk to the RD about the course. My goal is 2 miles out and 2 miles back to reach 31 miles.

I’m so thankful my personal cheerleader came out for me.

As I’m running loop 4, I see the 12k runners coming back, and cheer them on. It’s so good to know this was my last loop. I was going step by step closer to becoming an ultramarathoner. Then the arrow pointing right and there was my hubby Chris running me in! I was never so happy to see someone and that final finish mat. I had done it!! 6 hours and 49 minutes!

Then bonus and completely unexpected, Open Women’s Masters winner for the 50k! Wow!

Glows:

Low key fun. Never felt like a nerve wracking race. 5k’s are over too fast and I feel out of breath. With this Ultra, I just got to run and enjoy it. The scenery was beautiful. I loved running near the Guana River. So peaceful.

Everyone was so supportive. Struggling to get across the muddy boggy obstacles, other runners were willing to stop and help you find a way. Runners were friendly and talkative. It felt like a community-we were all in this together for 31 miles, and there was a family atmosphere.

Junk food for fuel? You need your energy somehow. M&M’s, potato chips, pretzels, Swedish fish, and Coke! That was fun!

Pint glass for finishers. We received lots of presents! It felt like Christmas! Wicking hat, beer bottle opener medal, and a commemorative pint glass. What a nice way to create a lasting memory that you can use everyday.

Grows.

If you advertise the race at a certain distance, then it needs to be that distance. I heard some 12k runners ran a half marathon because signs were moved or not there. When you expect a loop to be 7.79 and your watch says 9.20 miles-yikes! And then someone laughs about how the course is long-not cool. I understand how the course was iffy in some spots, but still-not good.

I think I’m in love with the ultra. Definitely will be back next year.

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

Mercedes