Month: June 2018

Allow me to let you know why I wish Fall was here.

Yesterday I went to our local craft store and there was a display of July 4th decorations, beach themed decor, and crafts activities for kids. Then I turned a corner and there was the most beautiful sight-pumpkins! hay bales! orange/yellow /red leaves garlands! My heart swelled and I grinned, my favorite time of year is right around the corner! Before you roll your eyes, I thought I’d share why I think Fall is the best time of the year

(Photo courtesy of Milestone Race Authority)

Look at this face. Does she look happy? Does she look triumphant? No. It’s 82 degrees at 8:00a m and there’s no breeze and add insult to injury and there’s not much shade. Now you might think suck it up buttercup it’s Florida… Wrong! In Boulder Colorado it’s in the 90’s-it’s hot everywhere(except Montana, so I’ve been told)! Oh but you’ll be faster come Fall…maybe! Right now I feel like I’m standing still when I run or slogging through mud. It sucks!

Fall… brings cooler temps, less humidity, runs I love. MCM, Pumpkin Run 10 miler, Festival of Lights 5k, Reindeer Run half, Double G, Ameris marathon…. I love those races! Every Saturday is my training run with my Galloway family and I don’t feel like I’m dying. I’m looking forward to it all!

Who wants to cook a big meal on a summer day? Not me. I dread cooking during summer and most of our meals are salads, chicken nuggets, and Publix rotisserie chicken.

Fall…time for my favorite meals! Soup. I love soup anytime of year,my uncle German could attest to that. Anytime he made soup(even in Summer), I would always ask for a bowl. The Ultimate comfort food with bread-perfect meal. Clam chowder, chicken soup, minestrone, chicken noodle, potato-yum! And then there’s pies and Coffeecakes. So good! Looking forward…

Is it over? Summer that is.

Summer’s best holiday is Independence Day. Really? (I am not dissing July 4th and yes I am patriotic). All the hype and that’s it? Oh yeah there’s summer vacation unless you’re a teacher(do you really think we look forward to no paychecks until August?!). All these jet setters going to these exotic locations-we’re working at Summer School, minimum wage at a local store, or unpacking boxes(yep still doing that).

Fall…school is back with regular paychecks! My favorite holidays… Halloween! Veteran’s Day! My anniversary! No, I do not like Thanksgiving(different story). I love decorating for Fall and now since we aren’t planning to move anywhere, I can go all out. Looking forward to the best time…

Okay, so now you know. I continue to battle Summer because I have something to look forward to(no, not Christmas)….Fall glorious Fall!

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


The lazy days of Summer

Enjoying my coffee when I want.

Summer is here! No lesson plans, no kids(except for my own), and no time constraints. Aah, I love Summer! Except when I don’t. I do like to stay busy. That means unpacking boxes, sweeping dog hair, cooking dinner, cleaning…drudgery. Still, it has to be done. And since I moved classrooms and brought a lot of my school stuff home, Double yuck! So what do I do to fill the days when I’m not cleaning or taking a quick hottest part of the day nap?

Zooma Summer Challenge.

6 weeks of daily activities with strength exercises and a specified food item we get to experiment with. Last week was zucchini and this week is berries! It’s a great way to get in exercise and see what other ladies from across the country are doing as well on the FB page. It keeps my workouts fresh and fun!

Even Nebula is curious when she sees me trying yoga.

Marathon Training/50k begins.

It’s the hottest time of year and it gets lighter earlier and stay lighter longer. So begins another season of marathon training. I am scheduled to run the Space Coast Marathon in November and Gate2Gate in October. I’m still thinking of also running the Ameris marathon in December. And since misery loves company, I’m training with my Jax Galloway BRF’s since they’re running Chicago and MCM in October. The longest I’ve run is 13.1 miles so far and that wasn’t my best. My body just has to get use to the heat and humidity again.

Yes we are all insane, but we love being a badass during the hottest months in FL.

Smith Family Adventures.

Okay, you will never see us at Disney World(too expensive), but we love to go on various day trips and even venture out of state. This summer will be no different. Unlike last summer when we went with the Boy Scout troop to the NC AT, this summer is going to be even more adventurous. Stay tuned…I hope and pray no Smith snake adventures.

Finding beauty everywhere.

I hope you’ll join me as I begin posting or even start your own Summer adventure.

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


Dreams do come true

I have been trying to place in the top 3 of my age group of the Grand Prix races since 2009. My highest place was in the top 10 last year but I made it a top priority goal for 2017-18 race season, this was going to be my year. In the Fall Grand Prix standings I was 2nd with 315 points(the first place winner has 700). The Spring Grand Prix I was 1st for most of the season and then 2nd because another well known fast runner won a race out right. Last chance was yesterday at the last race of the season, Race for the Pies. I wanted a pie and would have to run a 24:00, but with my history of not doing well in hot weather races-I knew that would be a stretch. My plan, run, just run and keep up the pace to place somewhere in the top ten. Would that be enough? I placed 6th(I earned 35 points), which if my addition skills are correct gave me a total of 480! I edged out my fast friend by 10 points! 2nd Place overall in my AG-first time ever! So happy. Hard work has paid off. I am not done however, 2019 will be the year I finally win a pie(goals people goals)! Next stop JTC awards banquet, which is the “oscars” for the Jacksonville running community!

My Grand Prix Photographic Journey

It all begins in January with the Resolution Run.

Have I told you how much I love cold weather running? Matanzas 5k!(photo courtesy of 904 Fitness)

10 miles of Beach running? Yes please! I love this challenging race because the weather is so unpredictable.

Happy 40 years of the warmup race before the Gate River Run-Ortega River Run! Flanked by two past Grand Prix AG winners-they are what fast looks like.

One of my favorite 10k’s! The course never disappoints and the weather gods usually hold off the hot humid FL weather.

Chasing a great 13.1 time-not a PR but the weather and course were pretty stellar for April.

Run to the Sun 5 miler is on beautiful River Rd in Orange Park. Shade is always so nice.

Let the heat begin! Survival mode with plans made and plans dashed. One more race after Memorial Day 5k.

It’s a wrap! Spring season Grand Prix is history.(photo courtesy of 904 Fitness)

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


Summer Goals…no summer drain

Summer is here! That means no school, no lesson plans, just doing what I want. Does that mean Summer drain? We’ve heard about kids who suffer from summer drain and forget what they’ve learned in the last school year. Why does that happen? And should we stop it? Yes and no.

Yes…everyone needs to relax and unwind for the summer at least for a bit. That’s why there’s summer vacation. A week or two of just having fun at a destination of their choice. No pressure just enjoyment.

And no…Summer is the perfect time to set goals and see if you can meet them. It’s done on your own time and your own pace. You have until August to accomplish them.

Here are My Summer Goals:

  • 2000m swim(just 700m from reaching this one!).
  • Virtual Sprint TRI.
  • Zooma Summer Challenge.
  • 13.1r virtual run.
  • At least 20 books read.
  • Unpack all the boxes in the garage.
  • Empty out the storage unit.
  • Train for my 2nd 50k.
  • Cycle 50 miles.
  • Hike 25 miles.
  • Complete H.O.T without dying.
  • Run a 5k in 23:59.
  • Run a mile in 7:30(I haven’t done this since 2010).

Can I do all of these? I don’t know, but that’s what’s so great about goals-you don’t know until you try. It’s you against you. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Summer is my fun time!Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,Mercedes

When you want to throw in the towel, what can keep you going.

Is it over? Memorial Day 5k

This past Saturday I was running on the road ladders intervals. What is this magical sounding workout? Coach Paul said this type of workout can be run anywhere; warm up for 2 miles, then 1 minute run at your 5k pace with a 30 second recovery. Next set 2 minutes and then 1 minute recovery until you get to 5 minutes of 5k running. Then, back down the rung until you are at 1:00. Then a cool down. It’s suppose to take about an hour. I was going to run with my BRF’s but decided since some of them had doubts that I would do the workout alone. I’ve been kind of anti social lately-that’s another story. Luckily my coach decided to come with me and liven the workout with good natured banter. It was already quite warm at 6:30 a m with temperatures in the high 70’s and high humidity. I am not a fan. However, we live in Florida. So to say I was not looking forward to this workout is an understatement. However as a type A personality, I knew if it was in my training log, I was running it.

That was tough but I’m glad I did it!

So as athletes, there are times we look at our workouts and say-uh do I have to do this? Why am I doing this? I can put this off. DON’T(unless you’re injured or sick). Why? If you keep falling on the excuse bandwagon, it’s really hard to pull yourself up and go for it when you are training or racing. Now sometimes, you have to have a back up plan but don’t quit when it gets tough. There’s always ways to get that workout done so you can be ready to tow the line.

  1. Have a mantra ready. This is a great idea during a rough patch during a race, but can also help during a tough workout. My favorite- come on girl, you got this! Find a mantra that works for you. It helps to say it out loud-really emphasizes it.
  2. Smile. I always find that workouts no matter how hard they might be, if I smile or laugh it takes my mind off of what I’m doing. It releases tension and stress and I realize, this too shall pass.
  3. Misery loves company. I usually race alone but when I first started out, I would run with my son Ethan. Last year he paced me to a fast Gate River Run Finish. Training is so much easier with my BRF’s. Right now I’m opting for a time goal, so that’s a no for now. But as soon as this 5k I’m training for is in the race log, back to some BRF love.
  4. Reap the benefits. It sucks now? Trust me after will be so much better. I have never finished a run and thought I’m never doing that again. It’s always-“…tomorrow will be so much better! Thank God I got this one out of the way!”
  5. You will be ready to tackle any type of weather or running conditions. Train when you will be racing. If you have a race in the afternoon, train in the afternoon. You will test out the same weather conditions you might face on race day. If it rains, run in the rain. If there is lightning, stay safe and run inside. Local race? Train on the course. Out of town race? Familiarize yourself with the course for no unexpected surprises. Train the way you’ll run. Heat and humidity is miserable but you can get your body accustomed to it.
  6. Believe you can. Finally you have put in your training and you are ready to tow the line-nerves are doing you in. Embrace it! Walk around, warm up, go to the bathroom…you are ready! Doubt may play games with your mind, but you are ready. Have your plan ready and go! Remember it’s you against you-don’t worry about everyone else. And remember this is suppose to be fun!
  7. Fun factor. Okay, I’m going to share a secret. When I race, I people watch. Funny huh? I settle into my groove and I look at people ahead of me or next to me. Are they having fun? Do I look like that? How many are wearing the race shirts(that’s not good-you got to earn it before you wear it)? Who has on a skirt? A unique outfit? Do I see anyone I know? Look around. Is it a pretty course? Are there people on the course cheering us on? All this makes for part of the fun. Enjoy it! It’s part of the experience and it helps get your mind off of the tired legs or burning lungs.

Remember getting out there and enjoying the activity is what’s important. If it becomes drudgery or feels like work, then it’s time to re-evaluate. Stress should not be a concern. Hard work and accomplishment should be the key to success.

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