He can’t be stopped

One of the most humbling experiences is to watch someone else accomplish success. Words can not describe how fortunate I have been over the past 3 years. When I moved to rural Missouri 3 years ago, I had no idea my world would change so much. Two years ago I was introduced to a young man. I was asked to help this young man with his running. He had recently finished his freshman year of high school and did some amazing things in cross country and track that year. However, he wanted more. He had more drive and ambition than most high school students.  With my experience and love for the sport I could not say no to this opportunity. When I started working with Seth I had no idea where this opportunity would take me. All I knew is that I wanted to help him reach his goals.

His first cross country season we definitely set our sights high! Why not reach has high as possible. Going into the state meet as a sophomore we had both hoped for a State Championship title. Even though Seth ran an amazing race it just was not good enough to earn him the state title. I refocused my coaching and his running. Track season came and BAM!!! He did it. He managed to pull off 2 state titles in Track. I remember watching those races, there was a point I had to turn around and close my eyes I was too nervous to watch.  But he did it!! He won!!

Then I moved to Arizona. I was freaking out a bit inside hoping I would still be able to help him. I knew this year was going to be difficulty. I would not be able to watch him run once!! I would not be at one practice, or race!! I had to trust myself and him to know that we could still get in great training. I knew he had a shot and winning all three state titles this year. But this year was about more than winning. We wanted to prove that he can compete on any level. If he was going to win again this year, He had to really win! He had to blow his competition away. Unfortunately I was not able to sit in the stands this year and watch Seth race, but I was able to watch online!! Thank you internet!!! This year his first race was the 3200. I sat in my house, my heart racing!! There was no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be able to win, I just wanted him to break the state record.  As he hit the last lap I knew it was going to be close. He crossed the line at 9:39, which was 2.5 seconds away from breaking the record! SO Close!!! Not being able to watch him once this year really got to me. So being able to watch him meant so much. Yes, it is kind of bummerish that he didn’t break the record, but he did win and I am super pleased!! I was finally able to see him put all his hard work out there for everyone to watch! It was amazing to see how much stronger he has become over the past year.

The following day Seth was racing in the 1600 and 800 meter races. His PR is just shy of the state record in the 1600. If all of his workouts paid off he should be able to do something amazing. The weather was not ideal. It rained all day and all of the races got pushed back an hour. However, nothing could stop this kid. He approached the starting line ready to take on the record. The gun goes off and he is off. Lap by lap I knew it was going to be close. With one lap to go I knew he had a shot, but that would mean he would have to run just under 60 seconds for the last lap. I know he has that kind of speed. I sat patiently watching every step of his last lap. He crossed the finish line so fast I could not make out the clock. I immediately text messaged his mom asking if he got the record. She responded saying he was 1.02 seconds away from the record.  I felt so bad. I knew breaking both records were super important to Seth and he did not get either record.

Yes, I could be disappointed, but I am not.  He races well and gave it his best effort. In a way I am excited that he did not break the records. He has one year left, so he can get it next year. And he will not just be breaking the records by a second or two. He will slaughter the records. My wish for him is to run so fast next year that his records will stick for decades!

What can I say this kid can not be stopped!

A quick little note for February

I Couldn’t go through February without posting something! Seth set a new PR and Camrie had her first experience racing indoors.

Both runners have trained very well throughout the winter.  I remember my time in Missouri and the weather was not optimal. I think I would pick Arizona’s heat over feet and feet of snow any day. However, Seth and new comer Camrie have been putting in their miles.  Rain, sleet, and snow could not and would not stop them. I have been overjoyed with their enthusiasm and commitment this past winter. All we can hope for now is a break from the winter weather in Missouri.

Since the beginning of January, Seth and Camrie have been competing in some of the Big River Running Company Indoor High school track races in Columbia Missouri. Seth and Andrew ran in this particular racing series last year. Since the weather has been pretty miserable, it can be hard to stay focus on training. Luckily, these races give both runners something to look forward to.

Camrie raced 2 times and set up a great starting point and building block for this upcoming outdoor track season. I think these races gave her some drive and motivation. She can not wait to race again, and I cant wait to see her growth.

Seth ran the Championship race last weekend.  He chose to race the 3200 indoors. He could have races bot the 3200 and 1600, but he wanted to focus on one event and see how fast he could go. He crossed the finish line in a time of 9:38!! I can not tell you how excited I am to see this time posted. Full results from the race can be found HERE. He has been working so hard, multitasking between, basketball and track practice. I love this, because we see him success but we do not see the private battles he faces everyday. Managing  school and multiple sports practices is very difficult. He is very dedicated and putting in the work. More success is to come. He will continue to put in his hard work and we will see his first out door race on March 31. This will also be Camrie’s first outdoor race as a freshman. Both of these athletes keep surprising me. Maybe this spring they will both walk away with all of their goals fulfilled!

Turkey Day 5k

Since September 9, I have been what I call really and truly running again. I tore my calf this summer in the beginning of July. That was really the last time I ran. I had been cross training and seeing Dr. Ball for about 8 weeks. The calf tear took much longer than I anticipated.

When I first moved to Phoenix at the end of June I was amazed by this place I now call home. It was my paradise. Yes, it was a bit warm from what I have been used to for the past few years but I knew this was the place I could really see myself taking off and going after my dreams. After I tore my calf I decided that if I really want to take my running seriously then I need to make the RIGHT decisions. So I hired a coach, Brett Schumacher. He has been very patient with me and has given me hope in my ability. The road ahead is not going to be easy. He keeps informing me we may take 10 steps forward only to take 2 steps back, but at the end of the day I will be 8 steps ahead of where I started.

Since I have not trained with intensity in nearly 10 years this transition will be brutal. My first run back on September 9th, I ran 5 miles averaging 7:23 pace. I was more than ecstatic. I was off to an amazing start. two days later I had another 5 miles averaging 8:17 pace. Once again a run most should be proud of, however, my mindset has always been that my runs can not get slower. I always thought I had to run faster than I did the day before. This was the wrong way of thinking. A mind set like this would only result in failures. For 10 weeks I built my base and continued to grow and develop as a runner. Then “injury” set in,  November 17th was my last day to run a significant amount. As Brett keeps reminding me, this is going to be a long slow battle for several months till I become strong again. My right calf the one I tore this summer started flaring up a bit. The pain became very uncomfortable. I guess this was my 2 steps back. I was very ups set during the 2 weeks prior to my Turkey Trot race.Thanks to Tendinitis I have had to take it easy, however, I managed to get one more progression run in 5 days before the race. I think this was to give me a bit of confidence to prove to myself that I can not be defeated by TENDINITIS!! I tried to look at these 2 weeks prior to the race  as a chance for my body to heal up a bit so I would not be super tired and beat up for the race. I am working very hard at turning all the negatives that will be popping up in stride and finding the positive in every situation. If I want to succeed I can not let the hiccups along the way defeat me. Sure tendinitis is quite a burden and quite painful, but it is something I can train through.

Turkey day came here quickly and although I could feel the tendinitis, I knew once the race started I could tuck the pain away for 17 minutes. I am pretty sure a gobble sound started all of the runners, and before you knew it we were off. I can’t tell you how great it felt to be in a crowd again racing. I have done little 5ks here and there for fun just to prove that I could still do it, but now I am actually going to be chasing a dream. I crossed the finish line of the 3.2 mile course in 17:56. My GPS tracked me at 17:19 for the actual 3.1 miles. It is crazy to think that I set a personal record at the (5k)3.1 mile mark. This only makes me excited for this spring when I get to run some track races. Even with the hiccups along the way anything is possible. A positive mindset and trump most things in life!

 As for now I have a week of cross training with light running just so my legs don’t forget what running feels like. This way my tendinitis settles down some so I can get back to training as soon as possible. I have big goals in sight. I just have to stay positive and not give up. Not one successful runner goes out and trains everyday pain free. It is part of the job. I can not let myself get beat down when things get tough. This is the attitude adjustment I am making this time around. I only have one more shot at this whole running thing and I am going to go about it the right way. I will make mistakes, but the difference in this time around is that I will learn from them!

Here are some photos from this holiday weekend. It was a GREAT one!

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This was my new running outfit for the race. I had to look stylish!! I think it is a runners MUST!

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At the finish line!!

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I was the first female finisher and won an apple pie which I could not eat, but no worries James had a slice. Maybe next year they will have gluten free alternatives for the runners ;)!!

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James and I had a nice relaxing Thanksgiving dinner. We did things a bit differently with Turkey legs instead of the whole turkey. I did not want to be in the kitchen all day cooking for just the 2 of us. Our small little dinner was perfect! I could not have asked for a more peaceful dinner!

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Then we started off the First of December with some Christmas Tree decorating!

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Another State Title

Just want to say Congratulations to SETH BROWN on his 3rd State Championship Title.  Feeling grateful to have the privileged to be apart of his journey towards success!!!

Check out his article on mo.milespit.com

So Proud of your Accomplishments. We are all looking forward to the Footlocker Midwest Regional Championships on November 30th. Hoping for more great things to come your way!

 

Surround yourself around happiness, it is contagious!

{ Be Happy Now }

The truth is I love running and everything that is encompassed.

Nine times out of ten, the life of a runner is not glorious. Most nights I have ice on some part of my leg, just taking precaution to ensure a long career full of miles. My feet hurt 99% of the time. I am tired 99% of the time. I am terrified of where my running is ultimately going to take me and if it is all going to be worth it. At the end of the day, as I lay in bed with ice on both Achilles, I can’t help but to smile.

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I smile because I love what I do.

I love coming back after an injury knowing that I am stronger than I was before. Physically I am out of running shape but mentally I am tougher. I have trained my mind to work through difficult times. There will be races in the future which will mentally be more brutal than physiologically. Every down fall I have encountered is only fueling me towards success.

I love attending races not only to race myself, but to watch others compete in what they love to do. I love watching their faces as they cross the finish line. 99% of the times I guarantee the tears are due to defeat or some negative aspect of the sport. But then you see it, the smiles and tears of joy. Complete satisfaction. Parents and loved ones are racing to the finish line to great their athlete. You can’t help but to smile yourself as you watch the reactions of those around you.

That one smile sends you over the edge. It is so contagious and give you enough positive energy to boost you onward to you own undertakings. Call it endorphin’s if you must, but the power of true happiness is remarkable. You are the creator of your own happiness. By surrounding yourself around what you love, you will control your own happiness. We all deserve to be happy. Just remember sometimes happiness includes 2 ice packs on each leg.

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And sometimes happiness is merely playing PUG-OF-WAR!!!

GCU Update…

 The Lady’s team won their home meet!! On the Men’s side, we had a 3rd place overall finisher.  EXCITING!!!!

Those were the smiles I am talking about!! It was a successful day! I am super proud of all the runners and am so thankful to be apart of this amazing group of people!

Choices

Every morning when we wake up we have a choice. Do we continue our journey on our current path, or do we take the road less traveled. The one where we have no certainty of what lies ahead. I am confident to assume a majority of the population is content with the path they are currently trekking.

Changing the direction may be what you want.

However, if you change your direction, you will change and everything in your life will change.

Will it all change for the better? or the worse?

Maybe most of us are afraid of the worse case scenario. So we convince ourselves that we are satisfied with where we are headed.

But then our minds become consumed by the haunting question, “WHAT IF”….

What if I actually worked harder in practice or put myself out there? What if told the truth or voiced my opinion. What if I fail, or nothing works out as planned?

We are consumed and overwhelmed by the WHAT IF’S… Therefore when confronted with a choice, we take the easy way out. In racing terms. When the gun goes off you have a choice,You can go out with the pack and hang on for dear life, or do you hold back because you are afraid of what may happen if you actually put yourself out there. You are afraid of loosing. But guess what… you just lost, because you did not even try to be a contender.  Sometimes the best part about making the more difficult choice is that you learn from it. You learn about your strengths and weakness.

Choices and decisions are surrounding us everyday. If you are not happy with the path you are on, then it is time to change something. If you want to win. Then start putting in the effort required to win. If you want to reach your goal, make the changes that need to be done. You are in charge of your journey. None of us know where we are headed, but we have our eyes set high hoping to make it to our destination.

Do not be afraid to choose the path that requires a bit more effort.

Do not be afraid of the pain.

Do not be afraid of the failure.

It is better to fail 10,000 times and succeed only once than to never succeed.

Put yourself out there. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CHASE AFTER WHAT YOU WANT AND ARE CAPABLE OF ACCOMPLISHING.

Make the choices that will lead you to where you have always wanted to be. If you want a different result, make a different choice~

Yesterday, the Grand Canyon University athletes had a choice.  Starting a race at 5:00 pm in the Arizona Sun could be a disaster if you let the negative thoughts creep into your mind and destroy any chance you have running a smart race. All of the runners out there yesterday were tough. Some had better races than others, but that is always expected. These runners are making choices and learning from the choices they make. Whether these choices deal with racing strategy or lifestyle habits, they are making choices which will only reflect upon the lives they want to live.

I had a great time watching all of the runners race. It is a huge learning experience for me as well as them I am sure. Every race gets us all closer to where we want to be.

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WAY TO GO GCU!!!!

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GO LOPES!!!

Chasing the Impossible

What is your Impossible? Or do you even believe there are impossible feats?

Some people believe there are certain things in life which are IMPOSSIBLE. I have to disagree.

I think most things are difficult. Success does not come easy.

 If you put in the work. Your deepest dreams are obtainable. Keep your mind focused and do not give up.  It is up to you and you alone to decide how hard you are willing to work to make it all Possible.

This past week, Seth was in Colorado attending the Adams State Cross Country camp.  He hopped on a plane to take him to Alamosa, Colorado.2013072195152419

 It is time for some decent altitude training! A few weeks ago, at the other camp, he reached altitude topping out around 5,000 ft. This week he exceeded 7,500 ft. In fact on one run he ran at over 11,000 ft. Now that will get you fit, or really tired. 🙂 He handled the altitude very well. Running some amazing runs.  One day at camp the runners had the chance to run mile repeats. They did 4 with approximately 2 minutes rest.  Seth came through the last repeat in 4:50. I must say he is getting very fit and ready to accomplish great things this fall!

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Other updates in regards to Seth, not only has he been going to running camp he has also been throwing in fun runs here and there to keep things more exciting this year. We decided to go about training a little differently. Summer running becomes long and boring pretty fast. Especially if most of your runs are by yourself. Keeping motivated it KEY to the futures successes. A fun run, here and there is not going to do any harm. He is still keeping 99% of his runs easy base miles. Summer is long and HOT. The goal is to keep Seth excited for running. Keeping it fun and enjoyable. There will come a day or a few days, where training will be very hard, these days may make us question why it is we put ourselves through this pain.  Anyways, back to the FUN RUNS!!! Seth ran the Kirksville Twilight 5k on July 18th. He won by over a minute in a time of 16:57.  From what I heard, the heat was unbearable for the race, topping out around 97 degrees with some massive humidity. Yesterday he also ran in another fun run in Memphis, MO, clocking a 17:20 after spending all week at camp. Today he gets to rest and recuperate from this busy running schedule.

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On another note, I have also been doing some fun runs this summer. I am not able to train much due to all of my past injuries but I run when I can. For the past few weeks, I have been going to Maximum Mobility, with Dr. Ball, who practices on elite and professional runners. He has helped runners like Ryan Hall, Lauren Fleshman, and the list is never ending.  I have struggled with running since I was injured in 2006. After seeing Dr. Ball, for the past few weeks, I have noticed so much difference. Although recently I have had a little hiccup after I running a road race on the 13th of July, straining my left Calf. However, I am taking appropriate action to get it healthy again as quickly as possible.

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Back on July 13th. My mom came down to Arizona to visit me. Her and I went to run in the Arizona Road Racers Summer Series #4. I was super excited to have my Mom there to watch me run. ( James was not able to attend this run, he is on his OB/GYN rotation and had work to do. ) My mom has not seen me race or really even run in 7 years, so it was such a treat to have her there. I am not in  racing shape by any means. But like I said earlier, sometimes, it is just fun to go run hard with a bunch of runners. It makes the everyday more flavorful!

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Can you see me in the Purple? I was wearing new running clothes. I think it helped me to run faster. The Nike compression shorts were a present courtesy of Maria! (Thanks Girl!!) and the top is from Oiselle, super comfortable I might add. I was the 2nd overall female finishing in a time of 18:21.

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After the race, Mom and I said our goodbyes, She had to head back to Texas. It was such a great day racing again with my mom. Brings back great memories and hopefully more memories will be coming soon!

Don’t forget to Chase after YOUR IMPOSSIBLE!!!!

Four on the Fourth

To start out the day, I woke up at 4:30 in order to head in time to make the 6:30 race time. James usually takes longer to wake up and get moving in the morning. For me, when it is race day, I pop out of bed so fast. I get so excited to race, I am surprised I don’t sleep in my running outfits before races :). After I woke up, first I made James his coffee, this way he would move a little faster and get out of the house on time and I ate Lara bars new ALT bar. The Lemon pound cake flavor is my favorite so far.

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Since we are new to the area I wanted to have amble time to travel to Peoria, AZ.  Google maps said it would take about 40 minutes from our apartment. I found out last minute about this race and would need to sign up when we arrived, as well as get in a little warm up jog before the gun goes off. This race was a totally different league compared to the races James and I have participated in over the past 2 years.  Most of the races in Kirksville would have about 50-100 runners. In this race, there were over 1200 runners and walkers signed up, from what I heard on an overhead speaker. I think James was amazed with the event. People were everywhere. watching, running, walking, you name it. It was definitely a great experience for James to see.

The race was started in waves every 10 seconds. The first group was for those wanting to run the 4 mile loop at roughly a 6 minute pace or faster. Each wave went up from there, 7 minute pace, 8 minute pace, and so on. I jumped up with the first wave. My goal was to hit 6 minute pace for all 4 miles. I have been having a little pain in my right leg for the past few weeks, therefore my training has decreased from 40 miles per week to 20. I have been doing lots of elliptical workouts, but it is not the same as running. Also with traveling for the past week, I was unable to run much or exercise for that matter. To be honest 6 minute pace I thought would be rough. I am in a new area, I am racing in 90+ degree weather and the atmosphere is just a little bit different.  I noticed when the gun went off there was one younger girl who took off, I checked my GPS and it said I was running 5:15 pace. UH.. OH… I better slow down. I tried really hard to be very conservative the first mile and take it one mile at a time. This one no ordinary 5k, it was a 4 mile race!! I hit mile 1 at 6:00. Perfect!! Mile 2 was 6:02, Once again not too bad. Then mile 3 hit. This is where we turned around. There was no longer a breeze just heat beating down on my head. I had poured water on my head when I ran past the water station around 2.25 miles. But this is Arizona and the water I poured on top of me dried pretty quickly. I slowed down to a 6:11 for my 3rd mile. I tried to refocus and gather myself together. I had some negative thoughts creep in my head because my head felt so hot. I have not run in weather like this since I was in college, which was 6 years ago. I ran some outside while in Missouri, but I did most of my runs on the treadmill because there always seemed to be thunderstorms and snow. 😉 I am not really sure what my last mile was but it had to have been around 6:07, since I crossed the finish line in 24:24, which is a 6:06 pace. Just 6 seconds off my goal. I am proud and I ended up placing 2nd over all for the female and 44th out of 900+runners. The top women finished in 24:20. Next time I will get the gold!!! James also ran very well. He said he had never felt that hot before. He finished in 34:14 which is about an 8:33 average per mile. His goal was to hit 32 minutes. He was pretty close given the weather was a major change for the both of us.

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After the race we both cooled off for a while and went to Cantina Laredo for lunch. It was really good. They served us 2 different types of salsa. One was more traditional and the other was warm and spicy. The menu was well-marked for all the gluten-free options. I picked the Tacos de Pollo. They were so good. I would order these again. The food was very fresh and light. I loved it.

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James picked the Enchilada de Espinaca, I could not try it since it was not GF, but it looked amazing and He enjoyed it.

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We ended out 4th of July at Aloha Yogurt for some desert. The off to bed. We missed out on fireworks, I think we were both pretty exhausted from the sun.

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Last day in Missouri… Run a 5k

For my last full day in Missouri, Seth and I headed down to Macon to participate in a local 5k, Child’s Hunger Ends Here.  Since it was my last day what better way to say goodbye to the area than to run in one last 5k. It was a great day, Hot and Humid like usual, but fun to actually race with Seth. Usually, I am the one watching him race from the stands or sidelines.

When the gun went of Seth bolted on out leading the pack a few other guys followed not knowing of Seth’s super power speed!! About 1/2 mile into the race it was just Seth and me leading the pack. Seth was about 5 seconds in front of me at this point. The gap between Seth and I grew. He is coming off of a double win at State and has more speed than I have at this point. I would have loved to be right up next to him, maybe next time :).

The first mile I came through around 5:59. Mile 2 on the other hand was not an easy feat. There were 2 hills. One of the hills was not too bad but then you come around this corner and there it is… One of the largest hills I have ever ran up, in a race at least. I have ran this course before so I was looking forward to this hill. By the time I got to the top of the hill, my pace had slowed down tremendously. You would think there would be a down hill on the other side, but there is not. So, you just have to dig deep and keep running. Then there was the last mile, which was not marked well. I even stopped at one point trying to find the right way to go. The only down fall to small town road races is that the courses are usually not marked well and there is no lead vehicle or bike directing the pack. At this point we were weaving in and out of the neighborhood, so I could no longer see Seth. I eventually figured out the course, and finished the 3.12 race in 18:47. I was hopping for a time about 30 seconds faster. But I will blame it on the hill and getting lost. 😉 !! Seth completed his race in 17:47. We were just 1 minute apart, Not too bad!!  Overall Seth and I captured the gold in for overall male and female winners. We received metals and neat little trophies.

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Seth and I immediately after we crossed the finish line!

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Overall Finishers with our awards!

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Great Job Seth!!!

After the race, We all headed down to a local cafe for some grub and chatting before my husband and I headed out on the road to Arizona!

Salisbury Steak Festival 5k Stampede

What a great weekend. I do not know if there are even words to describe the past few days. It all started Wednesday night. I Headed down to Salisbury Missouri to spend the remainder of the week and weekend with Maria. Since I am moving in less than a week 😦 I had to spend as much time with her and help her train and race one last time!

Salisbury is a quaint town, I  felt as if I was in Mayberry. I loved it. The  community was nice and the festival was really neat, there were kick ball, softball, and little kid basketball tournaments going on all weekend long. However, my favorite part about festivals is that there is usually a 5k fun run sometime during the weekend. fun run with maria

Maria and I ran the course twice on Thursday morning. While running the course I did not notice the hills, however when race day arrived and I was in race mode, the hills were much more noticeable.  Although every up hill has its down hill so the race was fun weaving in and out of the neighborhoods, there was no time to get bored on this run.

One think I learned while living in Missouri is that it is extremely humid. I thought Texas was humid, but on race day I believe the humidity was up around 90%. Sometimes I wonder if I am in a rain forest. 🙂

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Anyways, getting back to the race… I ran fairly well since I have not been running any workouts or tempo runs since April. I have just been running miles, trying to build my weekly mileage to prepare for marathon training this fall. So I was thrilled to come across the finish line in first place with a time of 18:38. Maria came in 3rd overall for female and 5th overall. She was 44 seconds off of her Personal best time 21:00. Which means when it is time for cross-country season she will blow her current PR out of the water. We were both very happy with our races. And loved racing in our Wild running outfits!

To my surprise even, little Samson, the pug walked/ran well in this fun run. He has never participated in a 5k before, so this was a first for him. He enjoyed it.  Maria’s Sister, Claire, and her Dad walked Samson. Maria and I out a race number and medal around Samson’s neck and I believe he was proud of himself for finishing his first 5k event! I think my dog is going to turn into a runner. I don’t know many pugs who run, so I guess Samson will be the first pug running dog.

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It was a great weekend. Thank you Weimer’s for letting me in on the Salisbury Fun!!!