Chicago Marathon

 

Another marathon goes into the books. Leading up into this race was a hard one. Last year was a very busy race season for me. I had a race almost every month starting in September and ending in March. When I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, I was still riding my runner’s high. Then as Spring ended and June grew closer, I became less and less excited to start training again. One thing about fall marathons is that you have to start training over the summer. And having to train for a marathon in the hot and humid Florida summer is MISERABLE. Truthfully, I didn’t start really training until probably July. That was a lie, I didn’t really start training until August.

My usual weekday runs were fine, but I would get seriously depressed whenever I thought about the weekend and the long-training run that I had to do. I think the longest run that I managed to eek out was a 17 miler. Leading up to the race I couldn’t find any ounce of motivation to get me going. I didn’t finally get excited until I actually arrived in Chicago.

First impressions of Chicago

This was my first time visiting Chicago and I had no idea what to expect. It’s now in my top 5 favorite places. I LOVED the city. When I landed I took the “L” into the city (look at me knowing some of the lingo) and was able to see a lot of the suburbs along the way. The city reminds me of a mix between D.C., which is my favorite city, and NYC which completely overwhelms me. Navigating to the expo taking L and then a bus was surprisingly easy. This was also one of my favorite expos. Not because they had anything different or extra, but because of the space! Holy moly! I could walk around the expo comfortably without feeling like I was being herded. It was a little weird that the place to pick up shirts was on the clear oposite side of where you went to get your packet, but I think that helped with some of the congestion and ensured that you passed by a few of the vendors that were inside. While inside I picked up my Team LIVESTRONG gear and a new pair of Vibrams that were on sale. After that it was off to the hotel.

I stayed at Hotel Indigo, one of the hotels that was listed on the marathon website, and really enjoyed my stay. It’s a cute boutique hotel located in the Gold Coast area. The area is really cute with the streets lined with Brownstone Homes and there was even a farmers market finishing up when I arrived. I was fortunately able to check-in early so that I could at least get off my feet and drop off my stuff.

Panorama shot of my room at Hotel Indigo

The staff there was very friendly and the room was clean and well kept. My plan was to head back out and do some exploring, but I was so tired that all I could do was get some dinner and then call it a night….at 2 o’clock.

Race Day

My alarm went off at 5 o’clock but I decided to snooze for an 30 minutes. This led to me running a wee bit behind and getting to the starting line with about 15 minutes to spare. One thing about living in Florida, is that you never know how to dress when the temperature is below 70˚. I opened a window of my room and quickly closed it, and opted for a jacket with a shirt on top, leggings, a hat, ear warmers, mittens, and my Team Sparkle Skirt. And I packed some arm warmers and a few other shirts just in case.

Team LIVESTRONG & Team Sparkle

I got to the train station and crowded onto a train with other runners, ran to the gear check to drop off my stuff and then headed to the corral. Since I was running as a part of Team LIVESTRONG I was in Corral E which is the corral for all of those running with a Charity. This was the most pleasant corral experience I’ve ever had. Typically in corrals there are people doing high knees, burpees, and just mean mugging everyone around them (seriously, if you’re in the corral I’m in you need to chill because you’re not going to win no matter how many striders you do across the corral). But instead people were chatting each other up, telling their stories, and offering really positive and kind words. I just wanted to hug everyone, which is the exact opposite of how I usually feel at that time of the morning. We sang the national anthem, tried to listen to the inaudible instructions that were coming out of the speaker system and slowly shuffled our way to the start. Then we were off!

Start-Mile 10

The start to mile 10 was pretty uneventful. When I started the race I decided I would mentally take it one 10k at a time. The first part of the race was exciting! Not only was the crowd support fantastic, but just looking around at all of the people who surrounded me wearing their team shirts for the cause they were running for. It made me realize that no matter what the outcome of the race was, we all really were racing for something bigger than ourselves. The hours spent training and fundraising seemed so trivial in comparison to that moment

Miles 10-13

I started feeling some light cramps around this point and my left ankle started hurting some around mile 10. Around mile 13 is when I knew the race would switch to a mental one. At the halfway mark my watch said 2:15. My goal was to finish around 4:45 so I was on track for that.

Miles 14-17

The second half of a marathon is always nicer in that you can start counting backwards to where you are in the single digits for miles left. I also caught my second wind somewhere around mile 16. This race I ran with a Camelbak, which I really enjoyed. I had been training with it and it really made a difference along the race. I haven’t yet mastered drinking and running, so not having to stop at the water stops was a huge bonus. At mile 17 my other ankle started to hurt. I’m not sure what was exactly causing it, I suppose the need for new shoes, but both of my ankles became sore and very stiff. The pain slowly started to move up my legs.

Miles 18-23

The worst parts of the race. I almost had a mental breakdown during this part of the race. Both of my ankles were throbbing, my back hurt, and my hips were starting to hurt. I was a mess, so I started run walking. I would pick a time on my watch, run until that time came and then power walk for a couple of minutes. I did this for 5 miles. I kept looking at my watch and my pace to make sure that I would still finish in under 5 hours, and once I saw I would, I was able to relax some. I was also able to take my mind off of my pain by munch on some bananas, and reading some of the signs along the course. The best sign said, “I don’t do marathons. I do a marathoner. #ILoveMyWife.” I thought that one was cute and clever. There were also a few ones that referenced Paul Ryan, Chuck Norris, and of course the beer ones which are my favorite. Somewhere around Mile 23 I grabbed some of the Gatorade bites they had along the course, and was able to get just enough energy to take me to the finish. (Sidenote: While having the Gatorade gummies was a good idea i theory, having to dodge them while running, and I’m sure cleaning them up after the race, were probably no fun).

Mile 24-Finish

This was the first time that I’ve ever gotten emotional during the race. Partly because of the pain I was in, but mostly for feeling guilty about the fact that I was complaining about the pain I was in, while all the while wearing a Team LIVESTRONG shirt and thinking about the pain that my Dad and my Aunt went through throughout their treatments. I pushed the last few miles and sprinted to the finish line grateful and humbled.

After getting my medal, some food and bags of ice (kudos to Chicago for having bags of ice prepared for runners to grab at the finish) I collapsed onto the nearest patch of grass I could find. I must saw that people watching is fun, but people watching runners right after a marathon is even more entertaining. 🙂

All in all it was a great race. I finished with a time of 4:52:03, and will definitely be back again. Now to prepare for Marine Corps in a couple weeks. Just as soon as I buy new shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 months and counting

I’m officially crazy. As of today I am registered to run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8th and the Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 28th. I have no idea how I’m going to do it. I can still remember the pain of the last few miles from my last marathon. It took me several weeks to even think about running again. But then the marathon bug started to creep in again. And alas, here I am.

I am running the Chicago Marathon with Team LIVESTRONG and will be raising money in friends and family members honor. The Marine Corps marathon is one I have always wanted to do and will be completing the Runner’s World Challenge. And depending on where I am living come fall, I might even try to run the Army 10 Miler, which has become a tradition with my Mom and I.

October is a long time from now and my next and last scheduled run is a half at Rock ‘n Roll DC on the 17th. Which means I see another half somewhere in my near future. 🙂

~T

Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon Recap

Mile 15: I feel awesome!! Gosh, all of my training has really paid off!

Mile 17: Savannah State spectators are awesome! Just the pick me up I need!

Mile 20: Hmm. This has been a long mile. Sheesh.

Mile 21: What. The. F*&!. Why in the heck did I sign up for this. What was I thinking. Ugh my longest run should have been 22 miles instead  of 20. Sh!t Sh!t Sh!t!!

 

These were my exact thoughts as I ran my second marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah. It wasn’t a pretty race, but I got it done.

I arrived in Savannah on Friday, early afternoon. The expo was a madhouse. There was only one road/bridge that led to the convention center and it seemed like all 23,000 of us were headed there at the same time. When I finally was able to park, I made a beeline for the inside to pick up my packet and parking permit. I also had to pick up a long sleeve shirt and light jacket. Apparently I missed the memo that there would be a cold front coming through that would also bring about very chilly conditions. The forecast I had anticipated was low in the 50s and highs in the 70s. Instead the high would never leave the 50s and it would stay windy all day.

Race morning

My brother and I got up at 4:30. Well I was actually up much earlier because I couldn’t sleep, but patiently waited for the alarm to go off before I started moving around. I had already organized everything that I was going to wear so it was only a matter of getting up, getting ready and getting dressed. My brother on the other hand had not and proceeded to begin asking me about different outfit choices. We left the hotel and were at the expo around 5:30. The race wasn’t for another 2 hours and as opposed to standing outside in the cold we sat in the car for an hour before heading to board the ferry to the starting line. This was the first time I have been on a ferry so it was quite a treat for me. When we got to the starting village we found where our corrals were and then looked for the gear check which of course was the farthest one back. Then we waited up against a bus that was deflecting the wind until race time.

The corrals were packed!Here’s where I began to visually see the breakdown between marathoners and half marathoners. There were 16 or 17,000 half marathoners and 6,000 marathoners. I was happy that we ran together for the first 11 miles before we broke up. The race started and a few minutes later we were off through the streets of Savannah.

Miles 0-5

These first miles were mostly spent dodging articles of clothing that were being thrown off along with the flanks of walkers who started in corral 7 knowing they should have been in corral 22. This area is what some have been calling the “rougher” areas, but the crowd support throughout here was great. People were outside their homes bundled up and cheering for us runner. I only checked my watch once at mile 5 to make sure that I was on my 10 min/mile pace.

Miles 5-10

These miles were fast and amazing for two reasons. One, we got to run through downtown Savannah and gosh is the city beautiful. The homes, the streets, the huge trees. It was all very small town and southern. And secondly, the crowd support. I felt like a super star! The crowd support was so great, probably the best I have encountered. I had to make sure that I didn’t get too excited and quicken up my pace. For the half marathoners this was heading towards the end of their race, and a fast one at that. But for me, it was only the beginning.

Mile 11.something.

Sometime after mile 11 the marathoners and the half marathoners split. Part of me wished I was running only the half. It’s the perfect distance. Not too much. Not too little. Just right. And with the crowd support they were getting I’m sure everyone was going to PR. Then there was the part of me that felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. The few. The proud. The marathoners. (Thanks Marines for that one). And as we split I saw how few of us there were. Here is where I told myself, the mental marathon begins.

Miles 12-17

A lot happened here but to sum it up I was feeling good. So good in fact that I began to doubt myself. And then the famous last words came at mile 15. I told myself how awesome I was feeling and how this would be a great race and I would surely meet my time goal.

The crowd support had thinned out significantly on these back miles. The greatest motivation came at mile 17 from Savannah State. I went through their area high-fiving people and feeling great. Single digits left! I was elated. I kept visualizing my normal 10 mile out and back run. 5 out and 5 back. Piece of cake. Also one of the main things I had been focusing on was making sure I was staying hydrated throughout the run. Alternating water and cytomax at every station. I also had my Gu gels and chomps that I was eating to also keep my mouth and my mind busy.

Mile 20

The longest mile.Only a 10k left I told myself. 6.2. Child’s play. My legs started to feel a little heavier and the wind that I had been battling for much of the race felt like it was picking up. More runners in front of me began to stop and walk or stretch. It began to concern me because although 6.2 isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a long ways from the finish.

Mile 21

I thought this mile would never come. Truthfully, pat of me wished that I had somehow passed the marker and that the next one I would see would be that for mile 22. In the distance I began to see a mile marker sign. Please let it say 22. Please let it say 22. Nope. Mile 21.

Miles 22-24

Miles 22-24 were probably the longest miles of my life. They were entirely on the freeway and the wind was now blowing directly at me. It felt like everyone around me was having a breakdown. This is the part of the race where we really needed those spectators from earlier on, but alas, it was just us. It didn’t help that earlier on in the race when I was approaching mile 12, that I saw the marker for mile 24 on the opposite side of the highway. So I knew that I had a ways to go on this stretch of pavement. To make matters worse, I swear this highway was banked. I spent much of this stretch either leaning to the left or leaning to the right. TNT Coaches were running by trying to cheer up this runners. ‘Just around this bend and down the hill” one said until we would be off the highway. When we rounded the bend and there was still highway ahead of us I cursed her out a bit under my breath.

At this point I had to stop and walk. Why? Because at one point I was running next to a lady and about 3 minutes into us “running” next to each other I looked over and realized she was walking. You have got to be kidding me. So I stopped and power walked. I looked ahead and saw the water station and decided to run to it and then walk through it.

Mile 25-26.2

Only 1.2 miles left. Only 1.2 lllloooooooonnnnnnggggg miles left. At this point I was looking down at my Garmin every minute. My pace had dropped significantly, my goal time was definitely out of reach and at this point all I wanted to do was be done. I went through the last water station and decided that the faster I run the faster it’s done. Well faster is all relative but the finish was finally in sight. I made the last turn and saw the finish line up ahead. I started passing people on the way to it. The spectators were cheering for me telling me I looked strong and that I was almost done. Truthfully I felt bad passing those people at the end. I don’t know why, but I’ve always found it in bad taste. If I were in their shoes, and I have been, that’s the last thing I want. But I just wanted to be finished. I crossed the finish line and glanced down at my watch. 4:45. 15 minutes slower than my goal time but 9 minutes faster than my first marathon time.

I felt accomplished, satisfied, and tired. Good news is I didn’t collapse into the medic tent like I did after my first marathon. Better news, I’ve still got the marathon bug, with my eyes set on marathon #3 next fall. Great news, is that I didn’t get down on myself afterwards. I’m not comparing my performance to other people’s and I have no regrets about the race I ran. Instead I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride within myself. And that is an AMAZING feeling!

After the race. Tired and ready for a nap.

Pre-Race Jitters

Pre-race jitters. Everyone gets them. Mine are me second guessing myself. While talking to my mom today I found out that she and my Dad would not be making the trip down. I figured they wouldn’t because he was only discharged today but there was still a little glimmer of hope that I had. My brother is supposedly still coming down to run but he’s still teetering out of the teenage angst stage of his life and has unpredictable mood swings. So as far as support goes, I’ll have none.

Today my mom asked if I was ready for the race. I mumbled something back to her that I can’t even recall and said something along the lines of ‘ready as I’m going to be’. I’m starting to wonder if I’m ready for this race. I think it has a lot to do with the whole taper thing. I feel like I haven’t been running enough this week or last but that’s apparently what you’re supposed to do. Hopefully it works.

The race

This race is going to be interesting, to say the least. I mentioned it on my twitter as well as the facebook page for the event but this race is definitely not marathon runner centered. There’s a half and a full and it seems like the half marathon runners get all of the advantages. The event organizers are telling spectators to be around the start finish and mile 8. They say that the rest of the course may not be accessible to vehicles due to road closures. Say what?!?! So miles 9- 26 are going to be real lonely. Then I decided that I wanted to see the course from a the street level or slightly above it. Thankfully due to technology today and Google Maps this is all possible. And I wish it wasn’t. Whenever I imagine people putting together the course for a race, I imagine it will go through the best parts of your city. I mean in essence races as large as this one help with tourism because people will hopefully want to return after visiting for the race. I guess I just hoped that the course would be a nice scenic one instead of the backroads course it appears to be.

Another thing I discovered is that I won’t get to see the headlining Carolina Liar concert. That is unless I have an AMAZING race on saturday and PR by an hour and a half. I hope to PR but not by that much. In any case, the race starts at 7:30a and Carolina Liar goes on stage at 10:30a. Meaning that some marathoners will still be running while the “Finish Line Festival” that’s “supposed” to be for the participants is going on. This just really bothers me and boggles my mind. I mean it’s common sense to me that that seems a little unfair but maybe not everyone else. Or maybe they’re trying to encourage everyone to BQ so that they can see the group perform. No offense race organizers, but it’s going to take a group much bigger than Carolina Liar to get me to quicken up my pace by that much.

BUT, the weather is supposed to be great, and this will be my first time going to Savannah. And it’s my 2nd marathon! That’s pretty cool. I’m going to try to stop sweating the little unimportant things (like I usually do) and instead just focus on having fun and enjoying myself.

 

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll VA Beach Recap

Welp, Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach is now one for the books. The race was not one that I had been training for per se but it was more of a training run leading up to my marathon in November. I didn’t have any real expectations other than race hard, race well, and PR. Not asking for too much ;). The race itself was on Sunday and the expo was Friday and Saturday. I got into town at my parents on Thursday and decided I would to the Expo on Friday.

 

While I love a good expo, and it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the race, I don’t like a crowded one. So my mom decided she would join me and we got there around 2p, and just as I had wanted it was not super crowded. We went in I got my gear bag and t-shirt and then we proceeded to wander around and see what we could find. Several hours later and a wallet much lighter we left the expo. My mom decided that she and my Dad weren’t running that they would volunteer (She really just wanted a t-shirt). So they signed up to volunteer.

The plan was to get there on Saturday night after a dinner party my parents had. Well my mom wasn’t ready to leave so we took off from our house much later than we were supposed to and got to the hotel at 1:30a. The alarm went off at 5a. UGH! My parents dropped me off at the start line around 6a and proceeded onwards to their volunteer station. I still had time to spare so I hopped in line for the port-a-potty then got a banana and walked around, I’m sure looking quite unpleasant, but I’m just not a morning person.

It was at this moment when it dawned on me what corral I was in. Corral 5. I knew I was in this corral but I had no idea how many corrals there were. This was the closest I had ever been to the start line in a race. I started seeing people walk by with their bibs that had their corral numbers on them. 12, 9, 21, 18. Hmmm I must have picked the wrong corral. Crap. Well if anything this will motivate me to run faster. They finally opened the corrals. I went in. Stretched. Tried to relax. And here. We. Go.

Start

The race started and the pacers for the 1:52 group were right in front of me. I thought, hmm this is good I’ll try to keep up with them. WRONG. They took of like gazelles and I slowed my happy behind down. Then my right shoelace started feeling loose. Are. You. Kidding. Me??? We just started! I’m not about to pull over. I’ll wait it out. I got to the first mile fast. Really fast. A little too fast. Part of me wanted to slow down, but the other part of me said ‘Keep going! You’ve got a nice stride going! It’s too early to be getting passed!’

Mile 2-4

Coming around mile 2 we headed down the streets passed the beachfront hotel. Then I heard my mom’s familiar voice. I gave my parents a wave and a smile and kept moving. The next few miles were pretty uneventful someone dropped their Garmin watch (not sure how you could lose that and not notice) and another runner was racing through the crowds trying to figure out who it belonged to. There were also some weird turns. Well I guess I shouldn’t say weird but there were lots of turns through the various city blocks.

Mile 5

Mile 5 was long. Very long. It was flat. Boring and I could see runners ahead of me. Far ahead of me. Then I looked to my left on the other side and saw mile marker 11. I thought to myself that I would be glad when I got to that marker. Then I saw them. As I was just getting to or just passing mile 5 the Kenyans were coming up on mile 11. ?!?! Now clearly I know that I am no elite runner but are you kidding me?!? That broke my spirits for a while.

Miles 6-10

Miles 6-10 were long. Very long. And boring. My pace started to slow down and my right quad was starting to ache. I was soaked in sweat. Much of this part went through Camp Pendleton. There’s a loop around the camp and you can see all the runners who are ahead of you and can see where you have to run until you get to where they are. Ugh. Should have just kept my head down. Approaching mile 9 I was in almost a funk. I really wanted to slow down but my pride wouldn’t let me. I was off pace as it was and not willing to slow down just yet. I only had a few more miles left and a goal to reach. Too make matter worse the pace group for 2:oo passed me. Dangit!! Had I really fallen that much off pace? Then a boost came on from my iPod. Bieber’s “Never Say Never”. Now I’m not really a fan of his music and I only have this song on my iPod but it couldn’t have come at a better time. Granted the song is kind of cheesy and embarrassing but it did the trick. I decided to choose a better attitude and picked my pace back up.

Mile 11

It felt like it took forever to get to Mile 11. I started slowing down a lot. I kept telling myself that I had under a 5K left. I could do this. I could do it. There were a few people in front of me that I zoned in on. I decided that I wouldn’t let them get further in front of me than they were. I also began running alongside people. You could tell that people were starting to rely on others around them to get themselves through the last couple of miles. The last part of this mile also included going up a ramp. I knew that I needed to turn it on now. I was almost done.

Mile 12-Finish

I came through mile 12 strong. I was almost done. A few more turns and I would be on the final leg towards the finish. I started to smell the ocean. Yes!! The last half mile felt like it went on forever. I could see the finish line in the far distance. I wanted to pick up my speed but I had nothing left in me. I looked at my watch and my time was at 1:58 and some change. I knew I wasn’t going to break 2 hrs. And at this point I didn’t care. I just wanted to be done. And just as I was approaching the finish line P.O.D’s “Alive” came on. I love this song and it was such a perfect song to cross the finish line to.

Finish: 2:03: 45

The part that happens after runners cross the finish line is always somewhat humorous to me after the fact. God bless those volunteers that work the finish lines and food lines. All us runners can be grumpy, we’re smelly, we may have vacant expressions and we have the wobbly legged noodle leg walk. I was very happy that they had cold towels at the finish line. I got my goodies and my medal and proceeded to find my parents. There were quite a few people getting into the ocean and I wanted to but I didn’t want to get sand on my feet. HaHa. I also didn’t even get my free beer! I just didn’t feel like it would sit well with me.

While I didn’t race as well as I would have hoped, I’m still pleased with my performance. Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah is in 60 days and once I start getting into my longer runs I feel confident that I’ll have a good race.  🙂

Also HUGE kuddos to Alana Hadley, a 14-year-old young lady who ran the race yesterday in a time of 1:17!!!! Wow. Wow. WOW!!

Race Bling!

~T

Nervous Jitters

Tomorrow at 7a I am running the Rock ‘n Roll Virginia Beach. And I’m nervous. This isn’t my first distance race. I’ve done several half marathons but for some reason I’m still nervous. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this is a training run for me. I’m running the RnR Savannah Marathon in November and signed up for this race as a way to gauge how my training was going two months out. Tomorrow’s will let me know if I’m right on track with my training or if I need to get my butt in gear.

But I think the nervous jitters are a good thing. One of the reasons I’m nervous is because I want to PR. My best time for a half marathon is 1:58. I’m hoping to at least get under 2 hrs tomorrow and hopefully beat this time. I think a lot of my anxiety and nervousness is because I am putting so much pressure on my self to meet a certain time. It’s great to have goals but I run because I love it and because it’s great to get to meet new people and travel to different places for races. And collecting medals is pretty fun too :).

So for now, I’m going to get the whole making a PR idea out of my mind and instead focus on relaxing, running a good race, and just having fun.

~T

Choosing My Attitude

Every runner has good days, bad days, and days that they would rather forget about. Today I had one of those runs that I would rather forget about. Today was my long run day, and golly it was a tough one.

I haven’t really run at all this week do to craziness at work with retreats and trainings. I ran 10 miles last Saturday and was able to get in a 4 miler yesterday. So today I figured that with all of the rest my legs had gotten, 16 miles today would be no problem. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG. As soon as I started on my run I knew it was going to be a long run. My legs felt very tight. I stopped and stretched a little briefly and then continued on in hopes that they would loosen up. My legs did eventually loosen up but they felt heavy. I was literally pounding the pavement. By the time I got to mile 5 I was already giving myself the mind over matter speech. Mile 6 and 7 were a blur. When I got to mile 8 I was ready to just be done with the run, but since I run an out and back route, I had no other options then to finish.

Miles 8-16 were hell. Absolute hell. At this point the sun was out in full force, it was hot and I didn’t see any other runners around. I saw quite a few cyclists out, which made me bitter because the wind was hitting their face while they rode, providing some relief from the rising temperatures. The rest of my run consisted of my shuffling and walking. And I walked 2 of the last 3 miles. When I got home I fell to the floor and began to mope about how awful my run was. I began to think about all of the things that I wasn’t doing that could have contributed to such a pathetic performance. Not drinking enough water. Not taking my vitamins. Not eating enough fruit or raw veggies, not doing enough cross training, etc, etc, etc. I posted my run onto Daily Mile and in my head promised myself to get it together before the end of the month.

Then I received such an encourage post from Geri that said:

Wow! You ran 16 miles girl! That is pretty amazing and not many people can do what you do! You rock.

And that was all that I needed. I realized that I was being too hard on myself. Instead of moping about this run I should be using it as motivation. All of my runs aren’t going to be runs where I feel great at the ends. Every once in a while I’ll have a run like this, where I barely make it through. But the main point is that I made it. And even though it was crappy, I was out there while a lot of other people were sleeping in. I got up. I ran. I was slightly conquered, but that was just one run of many more to come.

~T

My Sistas, My Sistas

So I run regularly on a running trail in FL. After a while you start to see the regular runners or cyclers out there. Whenever I run I make sure to acknowledge people when we pass each other. I think it’s one of those unwritten runner’s rules. So every morning when I run I nod my head, smile or say good morning depending on how much energy I have. However, there is something someone….saddening that I’ve noticed. I gets no love from fellow black FEMALE runners or cyclists.

Not a fleeting glance, no half smile, nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And it happened 4 different times on my run this morning!! What the heck! Now I’ve blogged about this previously about when I got to running expos and see other black female runners or black runners in general we acknowledge each other. And I don’t mean an all out ‘Hey gurl!!!!!’ greeting. But a warm smile or a ‘hello, how are you.’ It’s just the polite thing to do. These ladies I saw today, did not get the memo. And I must say that I was quite angry when they all blew me off.

So basically I end this rant to say that I will continue to acknowledge my fellow runners. I hope you do the same.

Black Girls Run!

So I’ve recently discovered this blog Black Girls Run! that is basically a blog and an initiative to encourage Black women to run and become physically active. For those that know and don’t know, African Americans have one of the highest obesity rates and with that have a higher risk of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol to name a few. One of the creators recently detailed an experience she had at the gym with someone she encountered who saw her Black Girls Run! shirt she was wearing. You can read the post here. Basically there was a white receptionist who said white girls run too. As a runner, my obvious answer to this would be DUH! But basically the young lady not knowing the meaning behind the message on the shirt took offense to it. Anyways, this made me think of my role as a Black female runner.

I have run enough races and attended enough expos to have observed that there are not a lot of Black runners (or even people of color for that matter). It’s almost to the point that when I see another runner who looks like me I make sure to acknowledge them. But why is running such a majority white sport? I mean out of almost all of the sports it’s practically the cheapest. You don’t need a lot of expensive gear like you use in other sports. And you can run wherever there is a track, park or sidewalk. Yet so many black women aren’t doing it. Why? I have heard some very crazy reasons but the top two are: don’t want to mess up their hair and don’t want to lose their curves.

This absolutely baffles me. I won’t lie that back when I used to get my hair done I would wait 2 or 3 days before I went for a run so that I could preserve the style for a little bit. But to completely avoid working out because of your hair is really silly. The second reason that they don’t want to lose their curves is laughable. I’m not sure where the idea that you will lose your curves from running came from. Based on my own experience, running keeps me toned and helps define my curves. Not only that, but if anyone has watched Women’s track (heck Men’s track even) And seen the booties on those people should know that running is REALLY enhancing their curves.

I really admire Black Girls Run! and love what they are trying to do. I truly hope it’s a movement that takes off and that women will begin to make their physical health and well-being a priority.