Gimme 3 And Make ’em Hurt


Today was race day and it was ALL about being uncomfortable.

I am 5k challenged. I am actually challenged any time I ask my body to travel quickly over short distances. So 5ks, sprint duathlons, and sprint Tris (or interval workouts of any type) are not my favorite. Hell, on average, it takes me 20-30 minutes to simply wrap my head around what I’m doing and settle into a grove. If the race is a 5k, it’s over and done before I’ve even convinced myself I want to BE there!

However, I do know that in order to improve and reach our goals we have to step outside our comfort zone from time to time. We have to force ourselves to do things that we don’t really want to do so that we may unleash our true potential.

So this morning, I put down my coffee and headed out in the rain (hey, at least it wasn’t hot) to the local MardiPardi/Eco Adventure 5k.

For those of you who are not from here, its Mardi Gras in the deep south. So naturally, there was a huge party complete with runners in costume, beer, food, a band and even a little parade for the post-race festivities. A nice touch, but I just wanted to get the race in the record books before the impending squall line hit and made an already challenging situation near impossible.

My prayers were answered and we were off at 9:01.

I ran the 1st mile like it was my last. I tend to be a slow starter, so I’ve been working on this for the past few weeks. My 1 mile split was 7:59. I was both relieved and pleased so I allowed myself to back off, breathe and actually take in a little oxygen. The 2nd mile was closer to 8:40. These first two splits exceeded my expectations so much, I granted myself the luxury of actually STOPPING (gasp!) for water at the 2 mile point and re-adjusting for the last mile. The 3rd mile was to be a comfortable one, as the work was over. I hit it at 9:15. I rounded out the final .1 at an 8:55 pace. Not bad, not bad at all.

Finish line time 26:30…a new PR and a new goal pace for training purposes.

And the best part…

At about the 2.5 mile point, I look down the road and I see what I think is AquaDoc’ s truck. It was indeed him, stopping by, on his way home from the hospital. He pulls up next to me and screams, “Run Woman, Run!”, and drives with me to end! I was so excited to see him at the same point where he would normally be coming back to me, after completing his race, to run me in and help me finish strong. It was just the extra push I needed. Man, I love that guy!

Now, the 2nd best part

The 35-39 age group award, and one I will cherish forever! It’s been a long year full of a lot of hard work.

A little validation always goes a long way in making the pain and suffering all seem worthwhile!

Run Happy, My Friends!

The Lessons We Learn



There is no doubtwe learn the most about ourselves during those times in which we fight through adversity. My lessons came on a beautiful, crisp Sunday morning in New Orleans, La. as I was willing my body through a 13.1 jaunt around the city. If you really want to get picky, those true defining moments actually occurred during miles 11-13.1….that point when it would have been so easy to just stop and walk instead of willing my legs through every stride that remained.

No one would have questioned my reasoning. After all, I spent the past year  in rehab due to my injury roller coaster. First a herniated disc, then 2 months later a torn hamstring. Hell, this time last year I couldn’t even walk, much less run. So no one ..not 1 single soul, would have judged me if I walked a little bit to the finish line. Ahhhh…but how would I judge myself?? 

So this was the game I played with my psyche for the final 18 minutes of the race. Who was going win? My body or my spirit? AquaDoc says he never doubted my ability or sheer determination to run across that finish line. But then he didn’t see me pull up to that final aid station around mile 12 and attempt to beat my quads into submission….all while cussing them out for rebelling on race day, when they had been so submissive during training….it was not a pretty sight at all.

In the end, mind over matter became my reality. I ran through the finish line in 2:07:33. Not bad considering how I spent the last year and with only a single 5k under my belt (since returning to the race circuit this past December) to boot.

Most importantly, I came away with some very valuable lessons:

Incase I had forgotten, I was reminded that AquaDoc is a keeper. He not only walked me 1.5 miles to the start then 1.5 miles back to the condo, he walked 3.5-4 miles from the condo to the finish line with BoyGenius (who, BTW, was highly annoyed there was no WiFi at the finish). AquaDoc truthfully did more hobbling than walking because he has a torn meniscus right now and is not ambulating as well as he’d like.  His effort and enthusiasm for my undertaking, despite his injury and constant pain, taught me tons. I hope if I am ever injured again (curses!!!!) I can live up to his example. But remember, the bar was set REALLY, REALLY, REALLY high!!!  just sayin’…

I also realized that the statement, “it hurts a lot up to a point, then it doesn’t hurt anymore”,  is actually a highly accurate assessment.

Seeing all the participants and everyone’s individual struggles and personal motivators, I learned that ALL roads are long, regardless of where they are headed… and getting to that destination sometimes hurts…. but once you make it….the reward is so worth it.

This is what it’s all about…Good Times!

 This is me and one of my dearest friends for over 30 years….we finished within a minute of each other and somehow, with no preplanning, both landed at family reunion letter “Q”…AquaDoc says it’s a fate/ karma thing and I’m gonna believe he’s spot on because he is one smart man… and besides I am always up for some fate and karma (only the good kind) in my life!!!

On that note, its time to get back in the pool…its Tri Season!

Swim Happy, My Friends!