Monday, June 10, 2013

The First MisFit Training Graduate


In 2010 I went on a whirlwind tour of the world.  I started my year in paradise of Thailand.  We were there for a vacation and rang in the New Year there.  

I then flew to Korea to finish my tour there, we traveled throughout the peninsula seeing many sights and making great friends and memories.  

In May we left Seoul and landed in Honolulu, Hi for a week of fun in the sun.  

We then landed back in the Mainland picked up our cars, and went to find a house in Tennessee.  Along the way we drove to NJ visited family and went to see the Mets play in the new stadium.  

I also had the opportunity to go out with many of my old friends, it was pretty cool.

The next few weeks were filled with intense training to go to a whole other part of the world.  I was heading to Afghanistan.  

My first couple months there were fast and furious.  Our friends there liked to keep us occupied and we stayed plenty busy.  I was the "new" Platoon Sergeant for the unit.  I was handed a mis matched group of warriors.  These were men and women that other PSGs did not want at the time.  Loving the challenge I took it on.  

I met some Awesome Soldiers during my time with the MisFits.  We fought together, sweat together and all but one of us made it back (RIP MB)

I had the honor of meeting a jack of all trades Soldier.  He was in the Maintenance section when I got there but then after some personnel moves he came over to the MisFits.  He hit the ground and we utilized his skills and hopefully gave him some more.

This is the Story of Raymone Byrd, Runner, Soldier, Music Man

My steps toward deciding to run happened in 3 phases.  As cliché' as it may sound they were the good ole crawl, walk, run phases.  

Crawl Phase:  During a 2010-2011 deployment I was challenged by my platoon Sergeant when he opened a platoon invitation to a daily morning run with him.  I announced that it would be ridiculous to run on a slightly injured ankle at 4 in the morning.  I woke up every morning wishing no one would be outside stretching waiting on us to run.  That wish never came true, but after 3 miles every day it became therapeutic for my ankle but gained a couple "war wounds" tripping and falling on the rocks a few times, hence the "crawl" phase.

Walk Phase:  When we returned home running became easier.  Not yet mentally but because I had gone from running in 3000 foot elevation to 500 foot elevation.  I was able to take advantage of that ease and continued to run with my platoon Sergeant.  My first race was The Navy 10 Nautical Mile Race on June 5 2011 finishing at 2:09:16.  Finishing that race placed a prodigious amount of confidence and pride in me.  After running 5K's and 10K's in between I had finally signed up for my first Half Marathon.  December 11 2011 I finished the Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon race in 2 hours flat.  I noticed progress and started to fall in love with the benefits of running. 

Running Phase:  Since my first half marathon I started to see everything in life in the eyes of running.  It's not about finishing first, its about pacing to the finish.  Running has shed 40 lbs of fat off of me over the last 2 years.  My running time gets faster each year, but no matter how fast or slow my running time is, my running time will always be my time to getaway, to feel great each day, and find peace of mind.  My next race is coming up on July 4th 2013.  "The Half on the 4th" Half Marathon here in Colorado Springs, CO.

I want to thank my running mentor and ex-platoon sergeant, MisFit Rich LaMonica for instilling such an amazing love for running into me.  Also thank you for inviting me to your famous "3 mile" runs that somehow always turned into a 6-8 mile run. lol.
MisFit out!

My favorite fuels:  Hammer Nutrition (Hammer Gel, Endurolytes Fizz, HEED Sports Drink) and Hammer Recoverite for recovery from my long runs.

Favorite Shoe:  Nike Free Run 1-3

Favorite Gadgets:  Garmin Forerunner 910XT, X-1 Momentum in Ear Weatherproof Headphones for some good tunes during some runs.

     It is not a hard job when you are working with good people.  MisFit Byrd was a great addition to the MisFit Platoon and ultimately has become a member of my family.  Raymone Byrd is a up and coming Leader in the Army and I am glad I have been able to spend a couple years with him.  

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