Tag Archives: race

Win-Win

22 Jan

I found a bronze medal today, from a race I ran in 2010.  Funny though, I never opened it.  Still sealed up nice & neat in a little airtight plastic wrap.

Since I was a small child, I was an avid competitor.  At age 5, I started competing in UIL & by age 7 I managed to win my school the most prestigious Texas UIL award, a trophy bigger than I was, which still rests in the high school’s BIG glass trophy case. (1981)

I’ve won everything from raffles, music & intellectual awards, religious achievements, social accolades, career commendations, .. & yes, even physical fitness trophies & medals.  From a little luck all the way to obsessively studying night & day for months & years on end with nary a little sleep, I managed more documented achievements before I became an adult than many people can accomplish in a lifetime.

Thing is, I usually throw them away.  Not sure why.  It’s perplexing really.  I remember throwing out my most precious music award as a teenager.  It wasn’t that it didn’t matter.  I loved it & was so proud of what I did.  Simply that I did not want to be attached to it.

All along, did I want to win?  YES.  More than anything.  But I did not want to be defined by the outcome.  And as I got older, I started to appreciate the grey areas that some call “mediocrity.”  While the word is often used as a derogatory term, I revel in it.  After enough extraordinary, & mostly exhausting achievements, I’m all too happy to trade the limelight for a little dappled sunlight.

Sure, ordinary has its benefits; less pressure, more enjoyment, a larger view instead of a blinding laser focus.  Mind you, I am friends w many competitors now, including serious professional triathletes.  That laser focus & obsessive urgency is all a part of a days work for them & it’s ideally suited to winning.

But after that kind of intensity for years on end, I find that I am much more drawn to the middle road.  It’s true, I sometimes miss the *BIG WIN!*  But nowadays, I’m happier starting a race than winning it.  I find joy in plodding a course than arriving at the goal line.  I’m more pleased to be “in the moment” of an experience these days, than to rigidly eye a number or a specific goal expectation.

And in the process of learning, changing, growing & life in general, I am just as happy to cheer on the sidelines & carry someone’s backpack than to run the race myself.  My Momma taught me how valuable it is to be a cheerleader, as she’s been my guiding light, night & day, lo these 39 years now.

Between my Momma’s example, my own hard-won experiences, & the blessing of witnessing my client’s health challenges; aches, pains, injuries, surgeries, illnesses & beaming well being, I am proud to say we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got at this time.

The key is doing your best each & every day, knowing full well that today’s best may be very different than tomorrows.

So while the “Win, Lose, or Draw” mentality stresses out the masses, I proudly say, if you are doing the best you can, this day, this moment, it’s an absolute Win-Win!

Inaugural Run

25 Jul

I recently joined 7 Hills Running Club of Huntsville, TX.  Yesterday was my first official group run.

Every other Saturday, Luke’s Locker & Seven Hills get together to run in The Woodlands.  That’s a 90 minute drive for me but considering how far in the woods I live, it’s definitely worth the effort & time to enjoy some commorodery.

Once I got to The Woodlands, I spent all of 2 hours searching for the location.  It wasn’t on Google Maps or my Navigator so I nearly gave up.  Having asked numerous strangers & driven in circles.. literally, I finally searched the 7 Hills online site & found some clearer directions.

I arrived 5 minutes before START!

Signed in, set the Garmin, visited briefly with Ken & Jerry from Madisonville, TX & just like that.. we were off like a shot!

I found my natural pace & tried to stay focused on my rhythm instead of getting too excited about all the other folks and trying to rush ahead.  Ken passed me & of course, beat me again (3rd time).

There was a little group I found myself in the midst of & we took turns passing one another.  I was just glad to see others because I didn’t know the course & didn’t want to get lost.

Gosh.. The Woodlands is a gorgeous place!  Our path wove in & out of the forest & it was so clean.  The air was so fresh!  I saw dogs being walked, families strolling together & cyclists powering by.  Aside from Austin, this is the most physically active town I’ve seen in Texas.

We were getting close to the Finish Line when I tried catching this guy who was inadvertently pacing me.  I did finish before him but that’s only because I missed the last lap.  The course was a little confusing.

My time for 3.1 miles was 35:56.  I’m pleased!  Mostly because I reached the Finish Line without being sick from the heat.  Plus my time is consistently improving, even by a little.

My next race is at the Dog Days 5k in Huntsville, TX this Saturday 08.01.10.  Come One Come ALL!

Live Love Run: 5k Results

12 Jul

This time, the race was in Diboll, Tx.  My 1st visit to the little town known for their Lumberjacks, apparently.  =D

My race support crew consisted of Momma (my ultimate cheerleader!), her BF Tim, our friend Josh & my little nephew Seth.  We were all so dedicated that we actually got up at 4am to get ready & make the drive over in time for the kiddo’s 1 mile Fun Run at 7:50am & for my 5k (3.2 miles) at 8am.

It was a pretty good sized group of at least 40 runners.  I saw a few rivals, including the guy who unknowingly paced me at the Centerville race and here.. he beat me again!

The gun fired & we were paced by a recent Ironman finisher on his lovely road bike.  I was pleased to be able to see folks during the run this weekend.  I’m either getting a little faster or these folks were slightly slower.

It was seriously hot & the road went on & on.  I thought surely I’d be turning in my slowest time of the year but it turned out that it was actually my fastest time in a 5k race this year.  36:56 *whew!*

I didn’t win any places in this race but Josh won 1st place in his age group.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to sing my Momma’s praises.  She was out there running as much as anyone just to catch a photo of me & the boys!  She was cheering & ringing the cowbell.  And just when I thought that old road had me, I slowed to a walk & I heard her shout.. “Just over 30 minutes!”  That was all the impetus I needed to pick up the pace & finish that race, which turned out to be nearly 1 minute faster than last weekend’s race.  Thank You, my sweet Momma!

HOORAY!!!

p.s.  Next race is a Club Run with the 7 Hills Running Club of Huntsville, Tx.  I am their newest member so this will be my inaugural run;  Saturday, July 24th in The Woodlands.  I’ll be runnin’ with the Big Boys!!  Wish me LUCK!!

Freedom Run: 5k Results

5 Jul

I took off at 6am Saturday morning for Centerville, Texas.  They host a lovely festival each 4th of July called “Funtier Days”.

It’s definitely the Wild Wild West!  My Dad’s parents lived & ran a business in this little town for many decades before they passed.  So anytime I have a good reason to head over this way.. I take it.  Especially when it includes a race & a parade.  Hello.. Mules!!

The 5k started at 8am, so my nephew Seth & I had plenty of time to get registered.  Although registration was not a big deal.  This was pretty much a “Do It Yourself” kind of race.  No officials, no chip-timing.  Just a couple of local guys with synchronized stop watches & they instructed us to write down our own time when they shout it to us at the Finish Line.  *laughter*  Hey.. works for me.  *shrugs*

This was truly *my* race.  I ended up gravitating to the space between the fast runners & the slower running group.  Meaning, I spent most of the race alone on the road.

The course was not very well marked so folks in the neighborhoods would point me in the right direction.  No mile marker signs.. just trust the neighborhood watch.  I was shouting “Happy 4th of July!” to folks as I passed & they would shout back some silly thing about me needing to catch up or how they would NEVER be out there running.  It was fun!

So I paced myself.  Instead of trying to force my feet to run in certain patterns, I decided to let my body find its balance without my conscious thought & just focused on slowing my breath.  It seemed to work very well.

I didn’t push myself as hard as I have before, even though it was extremely hot & humid.  When I felt the need to walk.. sometimes I walked & other times I just shuffled along.

I heard Momma shouting & it was all a bit surreal.  Are we there yet??  She was shouting “36 minutes!!”  She is sooo awesome!  That’s just the motivation I needed!

My Finish Line time was 37:42!  I won the 3rd place trophy for my age group division!!
This is my 2nd best 5k time of the year.  After taking nearly a month away from racing & training.. I am amazed & so very pleased

p.s.  My next race is the Live Love Run 5k at 7:50am on July 10th, 2010 in Diboll, Tx.

Fair on the Square: 5k Results

29 May

So.. it was hot.  Really really hot.  The high temp for the day was 96* with mass humidity.

Fortunately.. there are the dark hours which provide some shade & cooler temps.

After a wild & wonderful Friday night of marathon conversation with Fritz,  I slept a couple of hours & then dashed off with Momma, her dog Butters, Tim, Seth & Josh to Rusk, Texas for the Fair on the Square.   The theme was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” & it was quite appropriate.  Wild dogs all over the town square.  Little dogs, big dogs, yippy dogs & silent dogs.  All the dogs got along marvelously & besides watching the Grandma in the mirror-ball jacket getting arrested for public intoxication at 10am.. yessss, there was no incident of trouble whatsoever.  *laughs*

Seth & Josh ran the 1 mile Fun Run.  I was genuinely proud of Seth for stopping to help a kiddo who wiped out at the Starting Line.  He was really EXCITED!  It ended up making Seth the last to take off but he told me later that  he made a split second decision to help & it was fine no matter the outcome.  *pleased*

Josh won 2nd place in his teen age group.  He was surprised & we were all very preening!

My race was held up for about 30 minutes while the sun rose higher & grew hotter.  Finally, we were off!

The course zig-zagged through the downtown area, mostly in direct sunlight.  There was a brief reprieve of shade but the price to pay was racing downhill on a very long wooden bridge & then having to climb back the other side.  My right knee was not thrilled with either descent or assent.

I found myself naturally among a pack of J. Galloway walk-run-walkers & a shuffle runner.  Dogs that passed me were so hot they hardly even noticed  water filled ditches.  It was all about the Finish Line for all of us.  I imagined sprawling on the grass amidst 18 mad dogs in the cool shadow of the courthouse.  Ahh.. happy thoughts for a deliriously hot run.

The last 1/2 mile was spent doing my best not to lose my breakfast.  I waved away the last offer for water feeling sure I would lose it.  *woof*

My Finish Line time was 39:14, which was almost a minute longer than my watch said but I celebrated nonetheless to have finished my 5k at sub-40 & not thrown up.  *smiles*

Momma caught me at the Finish Line & walked me to the shade.  After  2 bottles of water I felt well enough to walk around.  Meeting dogs, horses, other runners.  Random folks at the festival approached me to ask if I was going to run.. noticing my race bib.  I explained we had done this much earlier but I was finally coming up for air.  Too funny.  Like two parallel worlds walking side by side, only occasionally noticing one another.

Totally fun, besides the quasi heat stroke.

Think it may be best to only run outdoors in temperatures 95* or less.

Spirit of Hope: 5k Results

24 Apr

This was my 4th 5k in 4 weeks!  And the title for this race was appropriate as the spirit of hope was alive & well.

After a long scenic drive through Saturday mornings storm, we arrived in Carthage, Tx.

I was impressed with the set up & the arrangements.  Everything was in good order & I even recognized a few faces!

The path led away from Carthage High School & out onto a major highway.  Yep, little orange cones were all that stood between us & big trucks.  *snickers*  The breeze was nice, concrete cool & wet, and the passersby were a fun distraction

The first 1/2 mile was an interesting discussion about tri training between myself and 4 others.  Then it was time to pace.  I saw this chic up ahead whose pace was perfect for me.  I played chase for most of the race but never overtook her because she was so consistent.. ie:  I’m not consistent (yet.).

 Then there was this long striding guy who I caught up with when he stopped to walk a bit.  He would pass me then fall back again & again.  Oh if only I had a long stride like that.. I’d leave everyone in the dust.  *grins*

I thanked him after the race for giving me some motivation with those L O N G strides.  He laughed & said “Little good it does me.”  And I completely understood, here was someone less consistent than me.

My official time was 37:45.  And when they called my name for 3rd Place in my age division.. I literally had an Oscar moment.  “No WAaaaaaaaY!”  *giggles*  I certainly hadn’t expected that!!

My 8 year old Nephew Seth finished his first 5k in 1 hour & 4 minutes.  We found out that he had used the path as an adventure in his head.. he even came back with treasures he’d found along the way; rocks, flowers.  I declare that an absolute WIN!

Casa for Kids: 5k Results

17 Apr

My support crew was ready to rock & roll @ 6am Saturday, April 17, 2010.

Unfortunately, it was pouring rain & in all my excitement, I forgot to eat breakfast.

We arrived in Athens, Texas plenty early enough to get checked in & my Nephew Seth even signed up for his 2nd Fun Run (1 mile).

After collecting our swag bags & bibs, we were off to find some sustenance but I settled on some tea instead of eating right before the race.

The race was fraught with many challenges for me.  Between the mud, unexpected glaring sun (& my lack of sunglasses) & the rough uphill gradients on a long hot black top road.. I was surprised to find my official Finish Time was right between my last 2 races.  39:45

I am officially a Runner because I have..

  • bruised toes & some bruised nail beds
  • have golden tan legs with white feet
  • have dreamed of running at least 3 times this week
  • want a cup of water not a HUGE bottle of water @ mile 2
  • get annoyed by old guy calling us “Joggers” from his Escalade *lol*
  • can’t seem to abide being passed by a Speed Walker when I’m chuggin’ up a hill!

Davy Crockett Bear Chase: 5k Results

10 Apr

I was up before the chickens, spinach-blueberry smoothie consuming, bouncin’ along to a hot pink cotton candy sunrise.

When I arrived in the itty biddy town of Groveton, Texas I was struck by the amount of vehicles jammed & triple parked around the football field.  26.2 stickers & a few to match mine of 13.1.  Good to have goals.  =D

There were license plates from California, Colorado, New Mexico & even Wyoming??  Wild!

I got signed in with no fuss & they handed me my lucky #73!!  Year of Birth.  Also 70.3 comes to mind.  *thrills*

Dropped all my extras off at the car since none of my peeps would be out to represent till they had their morning coffee.

A little pep talk from a local coach & we were off!

Awards included a medal & a little bear.  Too CUTE!

The path led off the football field & down a winding road past a grave yard.  Very old world East Texas.  Then we were padding down a white sand road which reminded me of the one I live down.  The only well marked signs were for the marathoners.  So I pretended “25” meant 2.5 for me.  *giggles*  It kinda helped since I like road marks.  *shrugs*
We were offered miniature cups of water in one location & fortunately we passed it twice.  [sidebar:: I still can’t bring myself to throw a cup down.]
Wow.. the whole run felt so familiar to me, passing cattle & the scent of fresh grass & manure.  *grins*  Little pond & soft sand.  Rubberneckin’ passersby who seem completely perplexed as to why anyone would be out running at dawn.   Grandparents & kidlets cheering from the side of the old farm road.  Ah.. rural Texas.

I pushed hard & made quite alot of noise.  And in the end, all my efforts paid off with a Finish time of 37:16!!

There was a very brief release of tears when I crossed the Finish Line & Momma said “Look what you just did!”  I knew in that instant that she was the only other person who knew how much that Official Time meant to me.  *awe*

That’s shaving 4+ minutes off my 5k from just a week ago.  Of course, cross training all week on the bike, in the pool & boot camp are also making a huge difference.  I love it!

By 9am, I was kicked back relaxing & watching some Marathoners hit the halfway point.  It was brilliant.  I want more.

I was so excited, I came back & did 7 killer miles on the Apple Grinder chase course/Expresso Trainer.

What’s next?!!!

Muddy Trails: 5k Results

5 Apr

Saturday, April 3,  2010 saw my return to running public races at the Muddy Trails 5k in The Woodlands.  I haven’t run a race in years and was so excited to just be there!

I started walk/running to get myself back into training this January.  It’s been a slow & steady road to get ready but the effort is truly its own reward.

The day was hot & the trails sandy, not muddy as expected.  Pollen & kicked up dust were the order of the day.  I struggled through mile 2 but something clicked about then & I moved through the last 1.2 miles much easier.

My FINISH time was 41:28, making for about a 13 minute mile.  This IS an improvement.  While it is much slower than I would like, it was steady, for sure.  *pleased*

SPECIAL THANKS::

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my friend James Berry for giving me the last 5k bib!  He came along for the run with his brother & there was one bib left besides the 10k bibs.  He offered it to me so he could stay with his brother & I cannot thank him enough.

My friends Terra, Nicci & Jeff came along for moral support &  their cheerleading really melted my heart.

Momma, Tim & Seth came along as my Official Support Team, my lifeblood & go-to crew.  Tim really took care of the details, all day long.  Thank you, Tim.  Seth was THE BEST volunteer, water bearer & ice bringer.  He brought me just what I needed when I needed it.  Adorable boy!

AND, I’ve saved the best for last.  My Momma is & has always been my most dedicated cheerleader.  Her love & support are invaluable to me, her photography skills always yield the most amazing memories & having her beside me makes me stronger every day.  Thank you, Momma.

Thank you all for your support.  It means the world to me.

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