My Running Story 3.0

I’ve had to revise this page several times over the last several years to try to keep it from getting so obnoxiously detailed that it becomes a form of torture just to read it. This revision was done on March 27, 2015.

(Past revisions: 1.0, 2.0.)

Cotton Row 5K 2009 – 39:08

I’ve never been athletic by any definition of the word. I grew up playing sports because my Dad encouraged me to; and my school was small enough that they pretty much let anyone play whatever they wanted. I was never really great at anything and was only good at Volleyball, and that was after four years of playing. THEN I finally crossed from “kinda knows the rules” to “good.”

As an adult I periodically attempted running. My Dad was always a runner – doing about a 5K several times a week. It was just my Go To when looking for exercise because that’s what he did. I went through phases of doing two miles at a time, usually while trying to lose weight. I got up to three miles before my wedding in 2003, but I was still a smoker at the time so that wasn’t too great on the “fitness” scale of things. From 2006-2011 I made several half-assed attempts to become a runner. I ended up with a 5K time of 39:08 and a 13.1 time of 3:07:53 to show for at the end of those failing years. I did complete two half-marathons and one marathon in that time but I wasn’t able to run anything it it’s entirety. I walked a little bit of both 13.1s and only was able to run 8 miles of the marathon before I had to walk the rest of the way. I declared sometime in 2008 that I was NOT a runner and I was never going to try again.

I had my third child in 2008, then my Dad died in 2009. After coping with stress by eating (like I always do) my health was poor and my weight had reached the highest point ever. Finally, in September of 2010, I started boot camp. Here is the first entry I wrote about that boot camp and it CRACKS ME UP. I grew to love that bootcamp and was a faithful member until my oldest child left for college, leaving me without backup childcare in the morning. After committing to boot camp for the first year, in 2010 I got my 5K time down to 33:05 from 39:08 in 2009. It was in the Spring of 2011 that I got some running confidence and decided to giving the Becoming A Runner thing a try again by joining the Half Marathon training program through Fleet Feet Huntsville. That was when it stuck…whatever it is. The running bug, I guess. Because I’ve been running ever since.

To date I’ve completed 18 races between a half-marathon and a marathon. And I’ve completed 17 of the 26.2 distance or greater. This last running season (Fall 2014-Winter 2015) saw me finally achieve the Grand Slam. This is a local challenge which requires that you run the Dizzy Fifties 50K, Rocket City Marathon, Recover From The Holidays 50K, and Mountain Mist 50K. With the success of that challenge I can now say I’ve done more ULTRA-marathons (greater than a 26.2) than I have marathons. My longest distance is 52 miles at the Delano 12-hour run in 2014.  (All of my notable race results with links to race reports are here.)

5K (2014): 24:50
10K (2014): 53:58
13.1 (2014): 2:01:44
26.2 (2013): 4:37:53
50K (2013): 6:12:39

I have several goals – next “season” I’d like to do an out-of-town trail run. I run our local trails all the time so I’m confident at all of the local trail races, but I’d like to test that confidence on an out of town race. I haven’t decided which one yet, but it will definitely be a 50K. I’d also like to sign up for a “real” 50-miler. I’ve done 50 miles at a 12-hour event, but I’d like to do one that’s marked for the distance, not the time. Ideally it will be run alongside a longer race (like a 100-miler) so it will have a more forgiving time limit.


Multi-Sport Zoot – Launched the Summer of 2013

Pictures all from Frantic Frog 2013
Pictures all from Frantic Frog 2013. Compliments of Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville.

For some reason I promised my triathlete husband to give triathlons a TRI in 2013. There are really not enough words to explain how NOT a cyclist and NOT a swimmer I was before I started this season. If you read the following race reports you’ll get a taste of the anxiety I had to overcome just learning how to swim and bike. At the beginning of the season I thought I’d do one triathlon and bid that experiment farewell forever. Well, my husband was right, I ended the season having done all 3 “local” sprint triathlons.

I did the Heel and Crank again in 2014 with much better results as I’ve become a better cyclists in the last year. Still not great as I’m still not a fan of cycling, but I did improve.  As of right now I’m signed up to do my first “Oly” (Olympic Distance Triathlon) 2 days before I turn 40 which will be July 2015. I still really hate cycling. I’ve learned to like swimming, but I suck at it.  I’m enrolled in a training group for this Oly, so hopefully they can get me through the thing without dying. It’s only the bike that really stresses me out. The swim will take forever, but I won’t freak out or die. The bike is a whole other story…

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