Papa’s Peach Classic 5K Recap

Good evening again fellow runners! I have been in recovery mode this week from running in the Hotlanta Half Marathon this past Sunday. I ran 1 mile on Tuesday and Wednesday and 2 miles with a friend on Thursday.  By that time, the soreness in my thighs was gone.

Today, I was crazy enough to run in the Papa’s Peach Classic 5K in Musella GA. Musella is a small rural town about 45 minutes away from Warner Robins. I primarily went to support friends from my running group who signed up to run it. Last year, a little over 100 people signed up for the race.  This year, the number was 175.  A great turnout for a race that is 2 years old.

The course was 1.54 miles out and back.  The race director stated that the course was relatively flat.  While not as hilly as some of the other races I have been to, it did have a few hills.

A little after 8 the race began.  I ran at what I thought was a comfortable race pace.  Even though some parts of the course was shaded, it was humid.  Before I knew it, the turnaround point was in site.  One advantage I like about a front and back course is that I can cheer my fellow runners on the way back to the finish line.  I made sure that I cheered my Run For God friends and others.

The final half mile was up a (slight) hill.  After I reached the “peak” I saw the finish line and made a mad dash for it.  A little tired from pushing myself, I walked around a little bit then turned in my finishing card.  Then like I aways do, I turned around to run my friends back to the finish line.

While we were waiting for the final runners and the start of the awards ceremony, I met a couple that will be training for their first marathon this November which happens to be the same one I am running: Rock N Roll Savannah.  I had a chance to share some of my experiences with them.

Well here are the results of my race. My time was 24:30 (7:54 pace) and I placed 2nd out of 6 in my age group! Not my PB, however, it’s my fastest 5K time of the year. The person that took 1st was from out of state..lol. One of my friends from my running group got a PR AND took 1st in her age division (50-54) out of 9! I am very proud of her. She has a desire to get down to an 8-minute pace so I am going to try and encourage/motivate so she can achieve her goal.

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Well so much for “recovery week”. Think I am back to normal. I’ll be cross training tomorrow and rejoin my RFG friends for our Tuesday and Thursday group runs.  My next race will be the Firecracker 5K in Wrightsville on the 4th of July. Thanks for reading and happy running!

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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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Going the Extra Mile for my Running Buddy!

It’s just amazing how everything falls into place.  My I Run 4 Buddy, Hunter, turned 17 this past Monday.  Even though I am in the process of getting together a birthday/care package for him, I wanted to something extra special.  It hit me this past Saturday.  I decided to go the extra mile for him – literally.  Week 11 of my marathon training plan called for me to do a 16 mile long slow distance run but since Hunter turned 17, I thought I would run 17 miles for him! Extra mile – no problem.  My plan was to complete the run and do a happy birthday video to post on his step-mom’s Facebook page.

When I was making plans for this birthday surprise, I was going to run after work around 4 pm. But I was so excited to do this that I took a half day of leave so I started my run about 12:45 pm.  One of the biggest challenges is finding areas to run long distances (15 plus) that are relatively safe. I could have run it on the Robins AFB 5K Fitness Trail (6x) but for whatever reason, I was not in the mood to run in circles.  I mapped a route out that had sidewalks; it was 8.5 miles to and back.  I ran with a 12 oz water bottle and brought along a couple of dollars so I can stop at a gas station for a water break.

The first 4.5 miles was relatively easy.  However, after it started to get very difficult.  One, the route I chose was very hilly. It’s kind of funny that you only notice the hills when you are running and not driving! Two, the heat and humidity were getting to me.  I even ran out of water before the turnaround point. But I kept pushing myself.  It seemed to take forever because I was on a road that I never ran before.   When I got to 8.5 miles, there was a gas station on the corner so I went ahead and refilled my water bottle.  Halfway done.  I started the return trip.  Probably for the first time, I started to hit a wall.  I was running out of energy so I ended up walking parts of it. The heat/humidity was really getting to me and I ran out of water about 13.5 miles into the run and I didn’t have enough money to buy more.  I’ll admit, I was feeling defeated.  I had some thoughts of giving up on my dream of running a marathon.  Despite the frustration, Hunter reminded me on why I was doing this.  So I pushed myself. I ran when I could and walked when I had to.  My feet was sore.  My calves were stiffing up (probably because I was wearing compression shorts). I was thirsty. The last 4 miles seemed like an eternity.  But before I knew it, I was finished. 17 miles.  I immediately bought 2 bottles of water and took off my running shoes to help relieve the pressure.

I did it. My toughest long slow distance run to date and I did it. I really wanted to try to run the whole distance however I have learned that there are times that may not be the case, sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control.  The heat index was 93 degrees and the humidity was 87%. I was running on a course that had multiple hills.  But despite all that, I did 17 miles for Hunter.  If it wasn’t for him, I would have quit and called for someone to pick me up.  After I cooled off, I recorded a video wishing him a happy birthday and letting him know what I did for him.  After posting it to Facebook, I got word that he was very happy and played it over and over again.

Now some good things came out of this.  My recovery period was shorter than last week’s 15 mile run! Since I didn’t have to don on the uniform, I went straight home and relaxed in bed.  Later, I went to dinner and walked around Walmart a bit.  The soreness was minimal by the time I went to bed.  Yesterday, I did 2 fast tempo recovery runs: A 1.5 mile run with a 8:55 pace and a 4 mile run with a 9:34 pace.  What??? After running 17 miles the day prior, I was able to do that??? Wow.

So what did I learn from this experience?  Here we go:

1.  I have 2 more long slow distance runs that will have to be done during the week, an 18 and 14 mile.  I have already made plans to take off from work on those days.  I’ll run very early in the am and use the rest of the day to recover. I have learned that wearing combat boots after running 15 plus miles is not a good idea for recovery!

2.  I plan on running on base for my long slow distance runs even if it means running in circles on the base 5K trail. The route is relatively flat and safe.  My car can be parked near the trail and I can have a cooler filled with water so I can grab and go if needed.

3.  If I decide to run another route or another part of the day, I’ll be sure to wear my camel water pack and have more than a couple of dollars on hand!

Despite the hiccups, I was glad to make Hunter’s birthday extra special by going the extra mile for him. It was simply amazing on how my training plan called for a 16 mile run on the week he turned 17! Even though it was not my best training run and I had thoughts of giving up, thinking of Hunter serves of my inspiration and motivation to push myself and keep going.  This may be the most difficult part of the training but I have to remind myself that I can do this and it will be worth it when I cross the finish line on November 8th!

So did you have an experience similar to mine? If so, shout out in the comments below! Thanks for reading and happy running and/or training. Whether you are training for your first 5K or marathon – YOU GOT THIS!! Don’t doubt yourself! Cheers!

Troy

My First Run Longer Than 13.1 miles!

Hello to my fellow runners! Hope everyone is doing well.  I have been so busy for the past couple of weeks that I finally have some free time to give an update on my marathon training. Last Tuesday, I ran my first run that was longer than a half marathon – 15 miles.  I normally run my long slow distance runs on Saturday’s however I had a race scheduled for September 13th so I rescheduled it to September 9th – very early in the morning.  My original plan was to drive 20 minutes south to run a route that has sidewalks however I didn’t want to drive that far early in the morning so I opted to run the base 5K trail instead (about a 5 minute drive from my apartment).

I got up at 4:15 am (I went to bed early the night before), got dressed and headed to the base.  For safety, I wore my reflective vest and headlamp.  I started running.  At first, it was pretty lonely. Even with my headlamp lighting the running trail, it was still relatively dark in some areas where there was no street lighting.  I ran at a slow comfortable pace.  Soon, I started to see other runners, bikers, and walkers on the trail.  Lap 1 done.  Lap 2 done.  Lap 3 done. To help break the continuity, I reversed directions on the trail.  On Lap 4, I stopped by the car to take a quick water break.  Lap 5 – final.  I was hurting a little but I kept going along.  Before I knew it, I successfully ran 15 miles! I was happy.  Even though it seem to take forever, I finally ran a distance farther than a half marathon!

After the run I was sore.  And I made the big mistake of going to work.  Wearing combat boots didn’t help my sore feet any! I think wearing them made them worse! When I got off work, I went home and went straight to bed! After relaxing in bed for a while, I went to Waffle House to eat a big meal.

When I got up the following day, I felt rested and recovered.  After work, I ran a 3 mile “recovery run”.  To my surprise, I ran it under 29 minutes (9:30 pace).  I really wasn’t expecting to do that considering I ran 15 miles the day prior.

If I learned something about this experience is not to go to work after a long slow distance run greater than 13 miles.  My new plan (if I can’t run on Saturday’s) is to run in the afternoon or early evening hours so I can recover after.  Well I did that this past Monday (September 15th) and I plan on writing about that experience!

Last week started the most crucial part of my marathon training.  Soon, I will be running 16. 18, then finally 20 miles before I start tapering.  It may get rough but I am determined to see this through!

So how was your first long distance run longer than 13.1 miles? Feel free to share in the comments below! Thanks for reading and happy running!

Troy

Instead of racing, I was pacing! (2014 Macon Labor Day Road Race)

Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I can’t believe that it is already September! This year has flown by.  This morning, I ran in the 2014 Macon Labor Day Road Race 5K.  There was a 10K option available however since I ran a half marathon last Sunday, I went ahead and signed up for a 5K.  My original plan was to set a new 5K PR (below 25:34).  With all the running I have been doing since August 2013, I already knew that I could easily beat my 2013 race time.

When one of my Run For God friends (Jamie) found out that I was running in the race today, she asked me if I could pace her husband, Chuck.  Without hesitation, I accepted. My attitude was that I would rather help out a fellow runner achieve their goals than my own. She gave me a target goal of 9:30 to 10:00 minutes per mile.  I don’t know why but I should have asked her what was his last 5K race time was.

I arrived at the starting line about an hour before race time.  Soon, I met with up with Jamie and Chuck.  While we were waiting, we passed the time by taking pre-race photos and talking about random stuff.  Soon, two more people from our Run For God group joined us.  8 am rolled around and the race was about to start, so we gathered in the street.  For the 5K, there were over 1700 people (the 10K had over 300).  The race started so off we went.

Like I said before, I never paced anyone in a race before and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous.  We started at a comfortable pace of 9:15 per mile.  The hardest part was maneuvering around the other runners but at least we had the entire width of the street to run in.  1 mile done.  All of the sudden was a 70 foot hill climb.  For some runners, it was a struggle but my friend managed to run up it without stopping.  From there, it was downhill so that was a major plus. 2 miles done.  I could tell Chuck was getting tired but Crystal and I encouraged him to push on, that the finish line was almost in sight.  As we were approaching the finish line, Jamie was there to capture our photo line finish.  It was pretty awesome because we started together and finished together.

Chuck’s race time was 30:13. For being in the 50-54 age bracket, that is a pretty impressive time.  After the race, I learned that his last 5K time was 32:05 which he ran in June 2014.  The three of celebrated by getting cooled off by a fire truck then we proceeded to the finish line to cheer our other Run For God friends who also ran in the race.

Today was a very awesome day.  Even though I sacrificed a race today, I got more satisfaction by helping a friend achieve his goals.  Jamie was so excited and was about in tears of what her husband accomplished today.  He will be running a sub 30 5K in no time.  And I wouldn’t mind helping him again to get there.

Hope everyone has an awesome week and happy running!

Final Thought:  This doesn’t really mean anything but even with me pacing my friend, I still managed to beat my 2013 time by 5 seconds 😉

 

Thanks to Jamie for taking these pictures for us!

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Monthly Training Summary: August 2014

Running 100 miles
Biking 62 miles

August 2014 Highlights

  • Set a new half marathon PR at the 2014 Hotlanta Half (1:58:58)
  • I am 70% (700 miles) into my goal of running 1000 miles this year
  • Completed over 25% of my marathon training
  • Wrote my first online review of the 2014 Hotlanta Half at BibRave.com
  • Including travel expenses, the Hotlanta Half is the most expensive race I have ran in to date

 

RnR Savannah Marathon Training Week 8: 8/25/14 – 8/31/14

Monday 

I definitely rested today considering that I set a new half marathon PR the previous day!

Planned: Rest
Actual: Rest

Tuesday

My plans this week was to get in my training mileage for the week but a slow reduced pace every day.  It didn’t quite start out that way.  After work, I ran 3 miles around the base 5K trail. It was a great run however my pace was 9:49 per mile.  I wanted to go a little slower!

Planned: 3 mile run
Actual: 3 mile am run (9:49 pace)

Wednesday

I meant to run in early in the am however I ended doing my run during my lunch.  Nice 6 mile easy slow run and a slower pace than the day prior!

Planned: 6 mile run
Actual: 6 mile run (10:35 pace)

Thursday

One of my Run For God friends I met through the 10K/Half Marathon Challenge Class asked me if we could run together once a week.  Like me, she is also training for Rock n Roll Savannah.  She wanted to do 6 miles on a hilly course.  She said she hadn’t run in a while so I told her to listen to her body and we will cut down the mileage if needed.  She did well at first but had to start walking after 2.75 miles.  She wanted me to run ahead of her but I told her if you are walking , I am walking too!

After running with her, I was such in a good mood that I decided to run an additional 2 miles.

Planned: 3 mile run
Actual: 3.37 mile run (11:45 pace) and 2 mile run (9:51 pace)

Friday

Since I shouldn’t be running on my rest days (which drives me nuts), I ended up “running” around town doing errands.  Does that count?

Planned: Rest
Actual: Rest

Saturday

I started out at 5:30 am with a 10 mile long slow distance run. For the 1st 5 miles, I ran with some Run For God friends.  There was lots of hills too! In the evening, I decided to get cross training out of the way, so I went to the base and did a short bike ride.

Planned: 10 mile run
Actual: 10 mile run (11:35 pace) and 3.37 mile bike ride in the evening

Sunday 

I decided to rest today.  I will be pacing a friend in tomorrow’s Macon Labor Day 5K Road Race.  In addition, since I have a crazy work schedule this week, I may go ahead and knock out my 12 mile long slow distance run afternoon.

Planned: Cross training
Actual: Rest

Week 8 training is complete! 10 more weeks to Rock n Roll Savannah!