Memorial Day 2017 5K Run

A couple of years ago I participated in a Memorial Day run that honored the American men and women that paid the ultimate price defending the nation and what it represents.  I wanted to do something similar this year so I invited members from my local Run For God running group to join me in this special event.

While I was driving to our meeting place, I listened to the song “God Bless the USA” by Bruce Greenwood.  It’s one of my favorite patriotic songs and it brings tears to my eyes everytime I listen to it. When I arrived at the meeting place, I noticed another running group was also doing the same thing which I thought was very cool.

After a word of prayer, we started running along a major highway that has nice wide sidewalks.  Two years ago, I ran holding the American Flag and I was honored to run with it again this year.  It’s not easy to run with it but I managed.  Even though I wasn’t expecting it, many drivers honked their horns as they drove by.

I thought we had a great turnout. One of my buddies even brought along several of his family members to run with us. Despite the morning heat, everyone did an outstanding job. Hopefully, we can make this an annual event.

Did you do anything special for Memorial Day?  Shout it out in the comments.  Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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Half Marathon Training – Day 44

Good Thursday evening everyone!  Wow, it’s Thursday already?  This week has flown by! Today has been a busy day.  After I got off work, i did my 6 mile feel good run.  I ran the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail in Macon, GA.  The trail is about 4.07 miles round trip so I had to run farther into unfamiliar territory (new neighborhood) so I can get my mileage in.  I was hoping for flat terrain but the neighborhood I ran in had some hills! Well anyway, I was having one of those discouraging moments again.  My pace for mile 1 was about 10:37  then around mile 3 it was at 11:18 per mile (probably because of the hilly neighborhood I ran in).  Well after I turned around and got back onto the trail,  my pace started to pick up.  I was looking at my Pebble and I could see my average pace dropping.  It was weird – I felt kind of tired for the first half but then for the second half I just had this boost of energy.  To be honest I can’t explain it, but it’s like my body is trained to take a slow pace for the first half then speed things up for the second half.  And this seems to be happening no matter what distance I am running.  When I completed my run, my average pace was 10:29 per mile.  It was called a feel good run for a reason and by the end I FELT GOOD!!  Here is a screenshot of my splits; as you can see, I picked it up on the second half of my workout:

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After I completed my 6 mile workout, I returned to Warner Robins to run intervals with our new Run For God 5k class that just started this week.  I wanted to be on hand to support and encourage the group; for the majority of them, they are training for their first 5K.  I get more satisfaction in helping and encouraging other people to meet their goals.  A couple of other Run for God alumni were out there too and I believe we are going to try and make it to some of the group sessions.  It’s kind of hard now because the 10K/Half Marathon and the 5K class are running concurrently.  Our class will be ending next month so that will give us more opportunities to pitch in and help the the 5K class.  I believe the graduation race is on Father’s Day and I defiantly want to be there to cheer them across the finish line!

The church i am now attending has a group called FIT for the KING.  It’s made up of members who are pursing to get fit and healthy plus motivate and support each other.  I am not sure when, but I came up with the idea of starting a Couch to 5K clinic within the group.  I have members that are interested (and hope to get more) so I look forward to kicking this off.

Well that’s it for tonight! Tomorrow is rest day and I’ll be running in my first 5K race for 2014 this Saturday.  I am hoping I can break my current 5K PR of 26:20.  We shall see.  Until then, happy running 😉

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Run For God Fall 2013 5K Challenge Graduation

August 2013 is when I decided to get serious about running.  Before, I only ran to pass my Air Force PT Test.  Even though I have 6 months to prepare, I ended up “cramming” the month before.  There have been several instances in the past several years I have failed the run portion of the test because I failed to prepare.  So i decided to take a different approach.  I figured if I start running on a regular basis then I will be prepared for my PT test.  Also, I was going through some life changes and I have found that running helps me relieve stress and have a better outlook on life.  Finally, I feel healthier and I have more energy to tackle everyday life.

I have heard about Run For God through some of my running friends. Before I joined,  I have run in several 5Ks and was training through a Couch to 5K program I downloaded on my phone.  Even though I was training on my own, I went ahead and signed up for the 2013 Fall 5K challenge.  I did it primarily to meet and network with other runners. It has been an interesting 12 week journey.  We met 3 days a week.  On Tuesdays, we usually have a guest speaker to talk about a specific topic (nutrition, picking out the proper running shoe to name a few).  After, we would have a short bible study.  It just amazes me how physical fitness ties into spiritual fitness and the numerous bible verses that can be applied.  My favorite verse:  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. ”  Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)  After the bible study, we would have our group training, which we also held on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.  After the course started, I was usually selected to lead the fast pace group since I was able to keep track of the intervals through my RunKeeper App.  There have been instances where I was asked to help lead group training (because the instructor(s) were absent) or I volunteered to map out a running route.  But the most satisfaction I got was when I would help encourage and motivate my fellow runners.  Many of them have never run a 5K before.  As the training progressed, we became a close knit family and I have made some great friends through the group.

We had our graduation race on December 14, 2013.  I finished the race in my fastest 5K time to date: 26:20.  I ran my first 5K race in May 2012 and my time then was 32:29 so I was very happy at my accomplishment.  The most fun I had was cheering my fellow classmates as they crossed the finish line.

Tonight was the official graduation ceremony.  I think I overdressed because I was dressed like I was going to church – but hey that’s me! One of the alumni was able to get some photos during our week 2/3 of training plus the graduation race.  I was watching in awe during the slide show and reminiscing how far everyone has come along.  At the beginning,  we were complaining about the interval training but by the time of the race there was a different attitude.  It was awesome to see the expressions of everyone that crossed the finish line.  They may have not won in the top 3 but they are a winner because they completed the race!   After the slideshow and some fellowship, our instructor passed out our graduation certificates.

It has been an interesting journey.  Kudos to my instructor; God has used her to motivate, inspire, and encourage us.  However all the praise to God; it’s through Him that I have been able to succeed.  He has given me the strength to run.  It’s my desire to continue to run for Him and perhaps use my experiences to encourage other people.  Thanks for reading!

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