Macon Labor Day 10K 2017 Recap

Hello, everyone! Today, I am getting ready to head to Washington DC with my wife to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.  Our original plan was to take a Western Carribean cruise, however, our cruise was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.  My thoughts and prayers are with those that have or will be affected.

This past Monday, my friends and I ran in the 41st Macon Labor Day Road Race 10K. This is the 3rd time I ran in this race.  I ran the 5K in 2013 and again in 2014 (pacing a fellow runner).  This is the first time I have run the 10K.  I wanted to do something different for a change and it’s been over 2 years since I raced in a 10K.

Before the race, I knew going in that it was going to be a tough course.  The first 4 miles had 3 hills to climb.  I was confident I was going to do well because I always train on a variety of hills at least once a week.  From experience, a majority of the races I have participated in had some type of hill(s).

At 8:30 am, the race started.  I tried to take in slow and easy sometimes trying to stay behind other runners to pace myself.  About .30 miles in, was the first hill challenge.  An upward hill climb approximately .54 miles long.  I just ran up it at a comfortable pace and didn’t even think about it.  The next 1.5 miles was downhill and relatively easy.  Then came hill number 2 which measured another .50 miles.  This is where I started to pass multiple runners that were obviously struggling.  The last major hill was at mile 4.25 which measured about .32 miles.  For some strange reason, it seemed longer than that especially when I came to the “crest” just to find out I had a little more to go till I got to the top.  Again, because of my hill training, I was able to pass other runners with no issues.  Screenshot_20170904-101135.png

The rest of the course was relatively easy because it was all downhill which was nice.  I ran at what I thought was a comfortable pace. I never looked at my watch to see how fast I was going as I tend to do worse when I do look at my Garmin.

Soon, I was at Central City Park on the final stretch.  Spectators and runners lined up the street cheering the runners on as we approached the finish line.  Soon, I saw the finish line and I hit the gas and sprinted as fast as I could.  After crossing the finish line, I grabbed some water to rehydrate. Here is an awesome photo that my wife took:

FB_IMG_1504552336571.jpgMy wife soon located me to congratulate me then I turned around to head back on the course to run my friends back to the finish line.  It was a tradition I started recently to help motivate and encourage my friends.

After accompanying the final runner in our group to the finish line, I wanted to see how I did.  It took me a while to find my name but when I found it I was in shock.  My time was 51:54 – a new 10K PR!! My previous 10K PR was 52:17 from July 4, 2015.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just PR’d on the toughest 10K course to date.  When I run in the race, I usually do not have a specific goal.  I just run it.  If I happen to PR or even place in my age group, I consider those bonuses.  Other stats: I placed 90 out 312 overall and 8 out of 20 in my age group. Here is how my splits looked:

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One final fact: When I ran the 5K in 2013, my pace was 9:45 a mile. This year, I ran twice the distance at 8:22 a mile!

After the race, we had lunch and fellowship at a local sandwich shop.

I am very proud of what I accomplished, however, I am more proud of my running group. They mentioned that they were glad we run hills once a week because they were better prepared for this race.  One commented that she was able to overtake some runners herself.  One placed 3rd in her age group.  Regardless if they were fast, slow, or had to walk parts of it, they did it.

Well, that’s about it for now.  Time to start packing for my trip.  I plan on getting some training runs in while in the DC area and even considering running in a 5K race.  Enjoy the rest of your week and happy running!

Troy

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3 Races in the Same Day! (Independence Day 2014)

For the first time since I started running on a regular basis last August, I ran 3 races in the same day (all within an 8 hour period).  Let me share with you my experience.

A couple of months ago, my commander approached me and asked if I would be interested in running in the 1st annual Rocking into the Night Glo Run on the 4th of July.  He said that if I ran in, he would sponsor me (by paying my registration fee).  I immediately accepted his offer because I never ran in a race in the middle of the night.  Last month, I was reviewing the Middle Georgia race calendar and noticed there was a 4th of July Firecracker 10K road race in Wrightsville, GA.  I haven’t ran a 10K race since March so I thought it would be a good idea to run in it.  For an extra 5 bucks, they were offering the 10K runners to run in the 5K road race following the 10K.  The 5K started an hour and 15 minutes after the 10K so I figured I could probably run in that one too so I ended up signing up for both.  My thinking was I would run in the Wrightsville races, go home, rest, and run at midnight.  But then it hit me.  The Glo Run was going to start at midnight on the 4th of July, which would have been Thursday night/Friday morning.  For whatever reason, I was thinking the Glo Run would be Friday night/Saturday morning!!! DOH!!! I just signed up for 3 races on the SAME day!!! Glo Run that starts at midnight, 10K at 7 am, and 5K at 8:15 am.  Oh did I mention that I have an an hour and 20 minute drive to Wrightsville? The 4th of July is going to be a long day! Oh well, there is no turning back.  I am committed and I am going to do this!

Prior to the Glo Run, I stopped by the dollar store to get some glo sticks.  I also had the idea to wear something patriotic, so I went to Party City and got me a patriotic top hat to run in.  Since I ran 13.1 miles in a cow hat, this shouldn’t be a problem!

Prior to the Glo Run was the Warner Robins Independence Day Concert and Fireworks.  Parking is at a premium but luckily, the race organizers made a VIP parking area available for the runners participating in the run on a first come, first serve basis.  Being on the cautious side, I decided to get there early so I got there around 9 pm.  I went to registration, picked up my race packet and returned to my car to start getting my gear together.  I ran into some of my Run For God friends so we just passed the time by chatting and watching the fireworks.

Before we knew the race was about to start, so we headed over to the starting line.  Everyone was “glowing” and ready to run.  At midnight, the race started.  It was a pretty decent course that went through our “downtown area” and some of the residential neighborhoods right across Robins AFB.  Even though it was a midnight, it was pretty hot probably because I was wearing my top hat.  In no time, I approached the finish line.  My race time was 27:28 (8:42 pace).  I finished 8th out of 19 for my age group and 36th out of 220 overall.

While I was hanging out at the finish line, one of the race directors came up to me and asked for my bib number.  He told me that I was in the lead for the best dressed individual.  Huh?  You are running a costume contest?  News to me! I am being honest, I didn’t know they were having a costume contest and I wasn’t even trying.

The race came to an end and they started to give out the awards.  They started with the best dressed individual and best dressed team.  Well, I won the best dressed award and got a nice glass award framed in glass plus a reflector belt.  A trio of girls dressed in patriotic tutus got the best dressed.  Even though I didn’t win in the race, I walked away with a nice addition to my running wall!

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I left the race a little after 1 am; luckily I live about 5 minutes away.  I got home, set my alarm for 5 am and went to bed.  4 hours later, my alarm rang.  Got up, got dressed, and headed to Wrightsville.  I got to Wrightsville at about 6:30 and checked in.  I did a couple of laps around the town square to warm myself up.  The temperature was perfect – about 65 degrees.  7 am rolled around and the 10K race started.  The first 10K I was relatively flat; this one was HILLY.  My app recorded about 321 feet of elevation climbs.  One thing I didn’t like was at every mile marker, a volunteer would yell out your time.  I don’t want to know my time!! On the way back to the finish line (which I thought was where we started), I noticed a runner in front of me turned left.  I followed him and we found out that we about missed the finish line.  There was a turn off a while back off the main road however there was nobody there to direct us.  Besides getting a little off course, I finished the race in 53:42 for an 8:36 pace.  I didn’t PR (10K PR is 53:23) however considering the terrain, I was satisfied.  Now if I was on the right part of the course, I had a chance to PR (I normally make a mad dash to the finish line) but really couldn’t since I had to do a very slight turn around to get to the finish line.  I had about 15 minutes before the 5K started so I got some water and rested a bit.

At 8:15, the 5K race started.  Since I just ran a 10K before, my legs were tired but I did the best I could.  I didn’t have a set pace goal or time.  My primary goal was to just finish it hopefully without walking.  On the way back to the finish line, somebody was stationed at the turn off the main road, so that wasn’t an issue this time.  I was the finish line, so I made a mad dash of it.  My 5K race time was 28:27 for a 9:06 pace.  I was shocked considering I started the day running a 5K, got 4 hours sleep, and just ran a 10K 30 minutes earlier.  My time was faster than my slowest 5K race from 2 years ago (10:42 per mile).

After the 5K was completed, we returned to the downtown area for the awards ceremony.  They started with the 10K.  Well, to my surprise, I placed 3rd in my age group (35-39)!!! That’s not all.  I also placed 3rd in the 5K race!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!!

Wow what a DAY! I run in 3 races in the same day on 4 hours sleep and ended up winning something in each one.  What are the chances of that happening??? I consider it an award for pushing myself for something I haven’t done before.  But most of all, I did it for my running buddy Hunter.  For those that don’t know, Hunter is not able to run so I run for him.  Ever since we have been matched, he has been my inspiration and motivation to push myself.  Since I got two medals, I mailed him one plus my race shirts.  Because he deserves it! I also give credit to God, because without HIM and HIS strength, this would have not been possible.

I am just blown away on what I accomplished on this day.  I am not sure if another opportunity like this will come up again however I would probably do something like this again.  Question is will I be able to walk away with a prize from each one?  I think I just set the standard…lol.

Thanks for reading about my memorable adventure and happy running!

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I am running 3 races – IN THE SAME DAY!

Hello to my fellow runners! First and foremost, I can’t believe that we are halfway through 2014! This year has flown by fast.  It feels like that it was yesterday that I made the choice of making running a part of my life.  It was the best decision I have ever made!

I will be kicking off the 4th of July weekend at midnight tonight with our first annual glo run (following our Independence Day celebration).  This will be my first time running in the middle of the night.  To my understanding, we have over 150 runners that signed up.  Since it’s called a glo run, I went to the dollar store and bought some glow sticks to wear.  And since we are celebrating the 4th of July, I bought a patriotic top hat to wear while I run. Shouldn’t be a problem since I ran 13.1 miles wearing a cow costume but then again the hat could slow me down..LOL!

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However, like the title said, I am RUNNING 3 races in the SAME DAY! 7 hours later, I will be running in the Firecracker 10K and 5K runs BACK TO BACK! Oh, did I mention that I have an hours drive to get to the races?  So as you probably figured out, I am going to get very little sleep tonight.  I will be home from the glo run at about 0100 and will be leaving town a little after 0500 to drive to the Firecracker race.  Come to think of it, this will be the first time of running 3 races in the same day.

So why I am doing this?  Well one reason is I wanted to challenge myself by doing something I haven’t done before.  The primary reason is that I am doing this for my running buddy Hunter.  Back in January, I found an organization called I Run 4 .  The purpose of the organization is to pair runners with someone who is not able to run (a running buddy) and all of the runners workouts are dedicated for the running buddy.  I signed up without hesitation and was finally matched last month! Ever since then, my running buddy has been an inspiration to me to push myself so that’s why I decided to run 3 races in the same day.  I really don’t care if I PR or place; it’s all about Hunter! I plan on sending him a care package this weekend and I will be including my race shirts among other things.

So who is racing this 4th of July weekend? Let me know in the comments.  Have a great 4th but most of all, Happy Running!

Troy

 

 

 

Half Marathon Training – Day 50

Good evening everyone! Last week, I noted that I was crazy for running a 5K race in the morning and running 11 miles in the afternoon.  Well, I graduated to REAL CRAZY because I ran my first 10K race this morning and ran 12 miles in the evening.

Even though I ran 6.2 miles this morning, I still wanted to get my mileage in for my half marathon training.  I thought I was going to run solo but one of my friends who missed the 6 am group decided to run with me.  I appreciated his company because it seemed to make the run go by faster.  Before starting my run, my goal was to FINISH the distance; I didn’t care what my pace was.  Since I pushed myself to get my 10K time in under an hour, I didn’t want to over do it on the 12 mile run and possibly injure myself.  The temperature was 80 degrees, so I wore my Amphipod waist pack with two 8 oz water bottles.  For the first time, I carried some pretzel sticks to munch on from time to time.

Well, we did it.  We completed a 12 mile run, which is the longest distance and duration to date.  I have to admit, my feet were sore but now feel better since I am soaking them in some Epson Salt.  Well at least this will be the farthest we will go during the remainder of our training; the longest distance we will run before race day is no more than 8 miles.

Well that’s about it.  I am going to relax tomorrow and do a walk on Monday for my cross training.  Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Troy

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My First 10K Race! (2014 Cherry Blossom 10K)

Good Saturday afternoon everyone! Wow – another week that has flown by.  I know that I haven’t been on here for the past couple of days but rest assured my half marathon training is doing great.  Two weeks from today, I will be running my first half marathon in Athens, GA.  I started to train in early January but it feels like I just started my training yesterday.

Well today, I participated in my first 10K race.  I was suppose to run in the 2013 National Veteran’s Day 11K Run in Atlanta, GA but to my surprise and disappointment, the event ended up being cancelled.  Instead, I did a virtual run:  I ran my 11K here at home and after I was done, I logged in my mileage.  I got a certificate, a medal, and lapel pin for participating.  My time for that was 1:05:01 with an average pace of 9:30.  Not bad for a virtual 11K.  But it wasn’t a RACE!

It was late February when I was scrolling through the local race calendar and I noticed that there a Cherry Blossom Road Race scheduled for March 22, 2014.  It was one of the many festivities to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival.  In addition, the race benefits Wesley Glen Ministries, an organization that serves adults with mental disabilities. When I noticed that they had a 10K route, I signed up without hesitation.

Before I went to the race, I met up with the Run For God 5K and 10K groups that were training early in the morning at 6:30.  For the 10K group, they were running the longest distance that the training called for: 6 miles.  I didn’t run; I was out there to cheer them on as they past by while I was enjoying my toasted peanut butter bagel.

I couldn’t stay long, so I left and headed to the race.  When I got there, I “ran” into friends from the Run Fit Sports, Robins Pacers group, and even Air Force coworkers.  It’s funny how you run into the same people race after race after race.  But that’s okay, I enjoy seeing my friends! Since I had a little bit of time, I used the restroom (a must!) and did a couple of warm up laps around the parking lot.  Well the race was about to start, so we all got to the starting line.  And the race started and off we went.  For some strange reason, my Pebble SmartWatch was not syncing with my RunKeeper when I started so I said whatever and put my phone in my waist pouch.  It was a pretty good course that was out in the country, similar to what I was running in the For the Love of Kratos 5K last weekend.  It had some hills but nothing major.  The course was simple: run to the halfway point and turn around.  When I turned around at the halfway point, I cheered my friends as they passed by.  While running, I noticed that a train was passing by.  I was hoping that didn’t effect the runners up front (the tracks had to be crossed to get back to the finish line).  From what I heard, it did.  While I was running, I thought I had a good comfortable pace.  I could tell that I was pushing myself.  I didn’t bother pulling my phone to check my pace; my focus was to cross the finish line.  I think it was at mile 5.25 when one my running friends caught up with me.  It was funny because that gave me an incentive to pick up the pace, which I did.  Well, before I knew it, the finish line was in sight.  One of my Air Force friends was there cheering me on and I decided to sprint for the finish line.  Yes, I am done! My first 10K race in my life is now complete.  One thing I like about this race was that it was chip timed, so we didn’t have to fill out our results when we were done.

Even though this was my first 10K race, I did a some goals for myself.  I could have set the goal of just completing it but I knew I could do that since I have been doing all of this long distance running for the past three months.  So I set the goal of competing the race in an hour or less and to beat my 11K pace of 9:30 per mile.  I looked at what my RunKeeper but I wanted to see what the unofficial results said. Soon the board was updated.  According to the sheet, these were my results:

Time: 53:23 with an average pace of 8:36!!!! YES, I BUSTED MY GOAL!!! I couldn’t believe it.  I shaved 54 seconds off my average pace from my virtual 11K run last November.  And again, I didn’t think I was going that fast! Just for kicks, I compared my average pace to my 5K races and my pace today was faster than 8 of the 10 5K races I have run so far.  I even did a 4 mile run before Christmas and my average pace for that was 9:10 per mile.  I am just blown away on my achievements and seeing how my training has been paying off.  And I am just getting started!!

Well today was a great day! Now that I have an official 10K race time on the books, I have a goal for my next 1oK race to set a new 10K PR.  My next 1oK will be the Chick-Fil-A 1oK in Dublin, GA on April 26, 2o14.

Well that’s it for now.  But I am not done today! Tonight at 6pm, I am meeting up with some friends and running 12 miles. This will be my longest distance and duration run to date.  Even though I ran a little over 6 miles this morning, I still want to get my training miles in for my half marathon.  Somebody was half joking that I should run 6 tonight.  I could but that’s CHEATING..IMO 😉 

Have a great Saturday and happy running! Thanks for reading!

Troy

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Marathon Training Day 34-36

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you had a great week.  My half marathon training for the past 3 days have been awesome.  On Wednesday,  my normal Run Fit Sports Group run was cancelled.  The group run may have been cancelled but training goes on! I did a 3 mile easy slow run.  This time, I took it easy on my pace since I did well the previous night.  I even ran into some of my friends who were walking on the trail.  Well, not literally..lol.

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Last night, some of us gathered at Southside Baptist (where me meet on Tuesday nights for classroom and group training) to run together.  We ran the same route the previous Thursday (Mill Pond).  It was a good workout.  We had four in our group and for safety reasons, (it was dark) we ran together.  We ran a total of 5 miles for an average pace of 11:01 per mile.  After the run, we were talking about lodging arrangements for the half marathon that our group is participating in (Run at the Mill 10K/Half Marathon, April 12, 2014).  Me and a fellow runner agreed to split a room; he was able to make the reservations today.  Some of us were even talking about participating in our first full marathon.  I haven’t decided which one will be my first marathon, but I know it will be sometime next year before I participate in one.  I want to give myself plenty of time to train!

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Since I am working this weekend and not able to attend group training tomorrow morning, my friend and I ran our 10 mile long slow distance run after we got off work today.  I haven’t ran 10 miles since December 28, 2013 and this was the 3rd time I have ran this distance.  My previous duration record was 10.17 miles so I wanted to run 10.25 so I could break my previous record.  My friend and I met at 4pm (we wanted to get our run in before sunset).  It was a great run.  Time seem to pass by because we were engaged in conversation.  We started at a slow pace (11:00 per mile) but when we hit 8 miles, we picked up the pace (10:03 per mile).  We stopped at 10.30 miles – our longest distance to date! Are overall pace was 10:51 per mile, which I am happy with considering it was a long slow distance run.  Tomorrow will be a rest day however I have an Air Force PT test this Sunday.  Originally, I wasn’t scheduled for it but I was told if I was ready I could do a walk in.  I could have put it off to next month, however I am ready to take the test and get it over with.  Plus, I didn’t want to postpone it to next month because I got permission to take off work to run in the Run of the Mill 10K/Half Marathon on April 12th and I didn’t want to take a PT test the next day.  That would be real smart! I will be in recovery mode after my 2nd half marathon in a week!

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On a final note, I finally registered for my first race of 2014.  One of goals for this year was to run at least one race per month however I have been so focused on my half marathon training that I haven’t ran a race this year yet.  So, I signed up for the Cherry Blossom 10K that will be held in Macon, GA on March 22, 2014.  I was considering running the 5K and try to bust my current PR (26:00) however I decided to run the 10K in honor of my fellow Run For God teammates that are currently training for their first 10K.  This is my first official 1oK race.  Last year, I registered to run in the National Veteran’s Day 11K Run in Atlanta however for some strange reason, the event was cancelled.  I ended up doing a “virtual” run instead.  I ran the 11K here at home and logged the results on the registration website.   Also, my half marathon training calls for running 12 miles on March 22nd so i figured to run part of it in a race! I could break it up however I still planning on running a full 12 miles in addition to the 1oK race.  Other activities I will be participating in for the month of March is the Macon Run or Dye on March 15th and the Macon Mud Run on March 29th.  This will be my second time participating in the Run or Dye.  Most of my co-workers will be participating in this event that benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia.  We are looking forward to Dye! Last year, I wore a Roman emperor robe (that was a waste of money); this year I am wearing a tutu! The Macon Mud Run will be my first.  I am actually looking forward to getting dirty.  I also have some friends that may join the fun. At least I have some old running clothes and shoes to use!

Well that’s about it.  Hope you have a great weekend! Happy running!