Month: March 2019

First Timer’s Race log at Gate River Run 15k

David is a 14 year old 8th grader at TLAM. He loves Science, everything medical, and his dogs Nimitz and Nebula. He has been running the Junior River Run 1 mile for several years, but this year he decided to tackle the 15k. Months of training starting January 1st now it’s go time. Here are some of his thoughts as well as some vocal commentary .

Packet pickup. It’s getting real!

Morning of the race.

Up by 6:00, eat a honey stinger and wait for Dad to get ready. Butterflies in my stomach. Mom’s driving and we go over the Hart Bridge…”are we going over this bridge?!” Crap! I can’t believe mom tricked me into this. We make it to the Solemates VIP parking lot and the WJCT television center. I’m hungry and thirsty! Luckily I have my gummy bears for energy. Now bathroom time! It’s 7:30.

It’s time! Yikes!

Wave 3.

We walk over to our corral, Dad comes with us, and I’m getting excited and nervous! It’s also warm. Dad gives me some last minute instructions and then it’s time for the national anthem (I’m so nervous I forget to remove my visor). Then wave 1 goes off right at 8:00. Wave 2 goes off 5 minutes later and the announcer tells us that we’ll be delayed further to give the two waves time to spread out-really?! Then we are moving up and told to go. I tell mom she better not lose me, and I want to do this next year in my biohazard suit. Lots of runners so running and then walking is tricky. Mom has us move over to get out of people’s way. Mile 1 down Bay Street and then the Main Street Bridge! Everything is going great until I get to the grating. Mom tells me to stare straight ahead but I make the mistake of looking down…uh oh!

I’m running this! It’s really happening!

Mile 2 and 5k.

Ooh mimosas! And Fireball! “Mom can I go get some?” My mom heartily objects and tells me to get water. I’m warm. Honey Stingers and gummy bears for energy. And down Prudential and then Hendricks Ave. On River Road, they’re handing out Munchkins so I eat it and immediately regret it. I hope I don’t hurl! Ooh strawberries! Refreshing! Then left on River Oaks and mom calling to friends and talking my ear off. It’s getting hotter and I’m thirsty. Oops there’s a darn rock in my shoe so we stop. Mom keeps talking about pace-no, I’m faster than Dad but mom is trying to kill me! Left on Hendricks and I’m looking for shade. Another waterstop! And they have ice! I see the 5 mile marker but no bacon or sausage?! I’m hungry!

Atlantic Blvd! Still smiling.

Mile 6 and Atlantic Blvd.

Onward! Past Assumption Catholic Church and no shade! Mom keeps on pushing me forward. I just want to be done. Turn left Holmesdale. Did someone say popsicles? No such luck, they ran out. Homeowners are spraying runners with water hoses, aaah nice! Come on mom! You’ll feel better! I can’t convince her. Every chance I get I get sprayed. Mile 7 and another water stop and then on to no shade Atlantic Blvd. We see firefighters, and mom keeps commenting on skirts she sees that she likes-anything to pass the time. Up hill to the ramp of the Hart Bridge, I’m lagging behind mom and I’m really tired. I’m hot and I don’t ever want to do this again. Mom’s yelling at me to keep up and then other runners are telling me “…go David!…”. Damn mom! I am never doing this again. Stop running so fast, hold on and let me catch my breath, why aren’t we done yet?! Mom’s trying to take pictures but I’m over that. Then she tells me if I run/walk and don’t give up she’ll consider my request for a loan for something I would like to buy. I’m game! I keep on. And then down the ramp and left and there it is-the finish!

Go away mom!

We’re nearly over this bridge! Hurrah!


After collecting water, my medal, and a bag of ice to cool down; it’s a rickshaw ride to WJCT! I am so doing this again! Now a long nap.

The only way to travel after 9.3 miles.

I love that he had such a great time, and I’m so happy that we got to do this together! It was such a special day and I loved experiencing the race through his eyes! I can’t wait to do it again next year!

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


What should I wear?

Typical runner outfit.

One of the biggest races is happening this week in Jacksonville, the Gate River Run 15k, and runners are asking the same question…what to wear?! It’s March, the rest of the country is still in the midst of winter, but not us. Today it was 83 degrees! Tomorrow it’s cooler again! What should I wear for next Saturday?!! And the stalking begins. Okay FCN, Channel 4, Action News, weather channel app on my phone; what’s the weather next Saturday? 62 is the low but 77 is the high, 57/74 on another channel, and still another channel says 62/81! Oh bother.


Uh, maybe not.

Long sleeves are definitely out because even middle 50’s I will probably get too hot. This is not a 6 a m race-more mid morning. And it’s already humid. Short sleeves or tank. I am a GOTR SoleMate so I will be wearing my tank, which I need to break in(nothing new on race day).


I’m a skirt runner!

I love my Skirt Sports skirts! Why? Comfy, flirty(I love the lioness styles), ample pockets for my phone and Honey Stingers, and I like how they look on me. Some runners like shorts, some like leggings. You just have to find what works for you.


I swear by My Soxy Feet.

When I first started running, I wore Champion brand socks( I bought those at Target), and I’ve tried other socks. However, I stand by My Soxy Feet socks. I have worn them in the rain(no blisters), marathons(no hot spots), TRIs and a 50k(they protected my feet and kept my feet dry even after stepping in puddles). I love my fun socks!


Brooks! My go to shoes.

Get fitted at your local Running Store! Everyone is different, what works for my feet might not work for you. You have to try them on and run in them to make sure they feel good. I wanted to wear Saucony-nope. They are so cute-nope. I love the color-nope. Brooks Adrenaline from the get go felt right and work for me. Don’t go to one of those large stores and expect to get one of those people to help you find the right shoe. Trust me on this one. And remember, nothing new on race day. Run in the shoe you’ve trained in. Unless it’s falling apart and should’ve been replaced ages ago(how are you not injured?!).

Head, face, eyes.

Protected and looking fabulous.

Runners are outside(unless it is storming, icy, or blizzard like conditions) and therefore exposed to the elements. Protect your skin and your eyes from sun damage. Wear sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF of 15 or higher. Wear a hat, preferably wicking, or visor to protect your scalp(scalps can be sunburned too). And of course sunglasses to shield your eyes(it also helps when you get photographed to look cool as opposed to them catching you when you’re eyes are closed).

Case in point-eyes closed…oy!

Whatever you decide to wear, just enjoy and have fun! And then on to the next race. And what to wear-again!

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