Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sneakers, Turkey and Football

     Every year we all plan on being with family and friends through the holiday season.  In the military you are happy just to be home during the season.    As Thanksgiving approached this year knowing we were going to be at home it was time to reflect on that which we are thankful for.  I personally am thankful for my family and my fellow Soldiers.  I am most thankful for those who gave it all like SSG Jonathon L Martin and SGT Michael Beckerman. 
      This year being home I had to spin the race calendar to decide which Turkey trot to run in.  One caught my eye.  The name was different than the usual ones so I said this is what we will be doing.  This run was not for awards and the only fee was to bring non perishables and pass the turkey.  This one was purely for charity and was put on by the Clarksville Running Club.  All the food donated would go to MANA.  Of course for every runner that passed the Turkey $1 was donated to MANA as well. 
     The Pass the Turkey Family 5K for charity started with 190 runners watching the Turkey get a 2 Minute head start.  Now we only had to pass a lady wearing a cumbersome costume and oh yeah she is pregnant.  This made everyone try harder so as not to get beat by her and to get more money for MANA.  We cruised through the course not trying to PR just having fun and passing the turkey.  All 190 runners miraculously passed the turkey and had a great time doing it.  This was a great event put on cant wait till the pub run on Sunday. 
     Once the run is over you know it is still Turkey day so we get home clean up and cook us some turkey with all the fixings.  This would be our first Thanksgiving in our own home and also would be historically our smallest audience.  W usually have 15 to 20 guests at our house for dinner and football.  This year, we only had three.  In years past we played football outside the house drank beer and had fun until late until the night.  This year was like an old Tyson fight, dinner check then they were gone. 
    With dinner done it was time to watch football.  Root for the packers just because you want to see them try to go undefeated.  Root for whoever is playing the cowboys just because they are the cowboys and then flip a coin in the brother game at night.  This is traditionally a good day, even though the cowboys won. 
     Well that is it our day of Sneakers, Turkey and Football ended.  What do you do for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Now from heat to cold and dark

     As daylight savings time is upon us here in the USA, the best run times are now blanketed with darkness.  To add to the dark we now add the other runner favorite to cold.  Although it is not completely here yet the mornings are cold enough to almost stop you at the door.  This is where discipline takes over.  Much like running in the heat,  you must have a well thought out plan before running in the cold.

     It starts as usual with proper fueling and hydration.  Many people fall into a trap during cold months and drink way less water and walk around nearly dehydrated without thinking they are close.  This is due to us believing we do not need it as much when it is cold. 

     The body needs water to survive, you need to keep hydrated all the time not just when you are hot.  You also need to keep eating right even when you tend to indulge more.  The fall and winter are the pitfall seasons for many athletes.  Many cruise into the holiday season and wind up gaining weight and losing the gains made the rest of the year.  Again discipline must take the front line.  Believe me we all love the cookies and pies that are everywhere during this time.  We just need to take it in moderation and know when to stop.  My advice is to enjoy the time but keep your training in mind while still having fun.

    Secondly each of us is made differently and feel the cold in different levels.  What may be cold to one person is not to another.  You need to know yourself and dress accordingly.  Sometimes it does not matter if you look cool or cute when you go out to get your run in.  You need to be comfortable and keep yourself warm and thus healthy so you make it to the spring season of races. 

    These are just little tidbits of making it through this time of year.  What do you do to make it through? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Savannah: Rocking in the South

     The drive was about 9 hours with four of us in the car.  We dropped our four legged friends off at their hotel for the weekend and took off down the highway.  The first four hours of the drive were in the rain in TN and north west Georgia.  This Half-Marathon would be different.  I was running with my wife Gwen and we had my Brother Tom, and our friends Nat and Jason running the race with us as well.  As we got closer to Savannah the excitement started to rise a bit.  I had not been to the city in over a year, and the last time was very busy with moving back to the states after a couple years abroad.  We got in unpacked the car and ordered a pizza for dinner.  We sat and talked about life, politics and of course football.  Then it was planning time for the next day at the Expo. 

     We had to make logistical moves with two sets of people linking up at the event.  After some debate were on our way to the Expo.

     As we walk up to the outside we see the dodge test drive for charity.  Although this means we will be waiting for a while it turns out perfect as the wait gives our friends who we had not seen in over 13 years a chance to get there.  Then it was time to enter the oasis of the Expo.  We got our numbers and our swag bags and of course played around inside while meeting new runners and checking out up coming races. 

     I made two stops by the Team Marathon booth.  Both times I got to meet my team mates.  On the first trip I met Jill who was about to do her first full on Saturday.  We talked for a while about everything from fueling to upcoming races.  On my second trip I met Gigi, we talked about what distances we were doing and took a couple photos.  Then it was off to the house for dinner and relaxing for the early morning.  Since transportation was going to be tricky with all the road closures we decided to leave at 530 am.  Wow it was a cold morning.  Lexie had the job of having our clothes and recovery drinks at the finish line so she could get some more sleep. 

     Then it was go time.  730AM the first runners in Coral 1 took off and about every minute and a half after that the next ones went.  By 800AM we were off and heading down Bay St.  The crowds were pretty deep as we took off and all the way to the overpass by the bridge.  The Rock and Roll series ensures you have a good time while running as there were bands at every mile or so.  This is very motivating and helps to keep you moving along. 

     At about mile 7 I ran into another of my teammates and running friend Tia Pettygrue.  She was the Pace team leader for the 2:30 group and was leading her group along.  She still had the time to take a photo of me while running, thanks Tia. 

     The crowds continued to be amazing right up until the finish.  Cheerleaders from the local High Schools and bands were there to get us to the final turn.  Once we were there we knew we had Gwen at her PR and we just rolled in at 2:12:50.  This was almost three minutes off of Gwen's last race.  Great work. 

     Over all we had a great weekend.  I met a lot of team mates and have some good memories of it all. 

Me and Team mate Devie

      The after race concert was Carolina Liar and the Train Wrecks both were very entertaining and we had a blast.

     Well it is on to the Next now for rest and train up for the Santa Hustle in the Smokies  See ya there