Running and Running…

I had been looking for a race to do on for my birthday. This year, it fell on a Saturday so would be on my actual birthday day. I usually do half marathons, but I have not been training enough for that. Ok, ok, so that hasn’t stopped me before! The only half marathons that day within driving distance were the Scream in NC and Burn Your Half Off in TN. I have already done both of those. They are both great races and plan to do them again sometime. I did a little more looking around and decided to look for 10K races. That is when I found the Tri-Span race.

This race is in its 40th year so I figured it would be a nice stable race to attend. We drove up on Friday and went to the packet pickup. They suggested to pick it up Friday to avoid the morning line. The pickup was at a Brewery, and they were offering a free beer to all who were picking up their packets. We got to they Brewery just as it was starting so it was quick. No swag other than the T-shirt but it was cool they had the option of a T-shirt or a Tank top. I opted for the tank. It is also creamsicle orange. First of that color for
sure! It’s nice and light. We got the free beer then decided to try out a few different craft beers before heading back to check into the hotel.

This race had options of a 1-mile walk, a 5k, and a 10K. The mile started first, then the 10K a few minutes later, then the 5K started about 20 minutes after that. The 10K was to start at 7:02 so we got to the race area around 6:15 to ensure we would have time to park and get oriented to the area. In hindsight, we
probably should have just walked from the hotel with as long as it took us to find a spot to park. The race is in a downtown area and there were over 700 runners between the 3 races. We found a good spot and headed over to the start/finish line.

I had been watching the weather forecast all week and it kept threatening to rain. By the morning, it was still showing about 30% possibility of rain but was looking like a pretty good chance of staying dry. By now it was about 30 min before race time, so it was time to find the restroom. It was easy to find as there was a long line. I was in line a while then someone comes up and says there are 20 stalls across the field. I only had a few people left in front of me by then, so it wasn’t worth moving. Once I finally got in there, I realized there were only 2 stalls in this bathroom!

Once that was taken care of, I headed back out to the start line. The 1-mile people were lining up and started. While waiting for the 10K to start, we checked out the view as it was on the river and was a very pretty area. Where we were waiting was a new concert area according to some people I overheard

They lined us up and started the race right on time. That is always a good sign. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to do the race besides doing a run/walk. I didn’t really have a goal besides finish and under an hour and a half. I did not have my timer and my apple watch can be picky so didn’t want to mess with it besides tracking my time for the race. As I started off, my body was tight, and I was thinking this might be a long morning. The first mile is flat, and I did a run walk as I felt needed. We passed several of the places we had visited the day before. By the end of the first mile, I was starting to loosen up so was feeling a little better. Unfortunately, though, it was very hot and humid, and I was already sweating by the first mile. I do not sweat easily!

At just over a mile, we took the first turn, and it went up – a drastic up – a hill – but thankfully not a long one. It then leveled out for almost another mile. There were a good number of water stops which was good due to the heat and humidity. Some water stops also had people with water soakers shooting water help cool us off. Oh, I didn’t mention earlier, the first water stop was at about mile 1, and the second was at mile 2.

It was now time for the bridges. Tri-Span is the name for a reason. This race goes over 3 bridges. The first is the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge which was opened in 1969 and it just over a half a mile long. It’s a draw bridge and when it gets to the grating, it is creepy looking down through the holes. I only did that for like 1 second! Once done with that bridge, we looped around the first exit which took us to the next bridge, the S Thomas Rhodes bridge. I was not able to find when it was built but was renovated in 2012. After running over that one, we got a little break from bridges and hit another water stop with water soakers at about mile 4.5. Then a lady behind the water soaker guys tossed some cold water from a cup on me. Wow did I need that! I had been getting more and more tired from the heat but that cold water refreshed me. Due to the bridges, there had been no water between mile 2 and 4.5.

Then the final bridge. When running over this one, you can look over and see the finish line which I’m not sure is good or bad at this point! Thankfully that cold water got me back in a happy place and I was ready to finish it strong. All the bridges were inclines, no straight across ones in this race! Not sure of the name of this bridge but it was a drawbridge like the first one, just much shorter.

After running over the last bridge, there was still a bit to go but was greeted with another water stop with water guns and very cold water. At this point, we were heading back down to the riverfront area which included a wooden walking area along the river. It was very pretty. The rest of the race to the finish line was flat, thankfully!

One last loop around and the finish line is in sight! I crossed the finish line in 1:21. That was respectable for a 10K with almost no training. I was very happy with that. Everyone got a finisher medal and they handed out water too. They had advertised over 1000 pickles. Yep, there were lots of huge pickles waiting at the end. I must say they were creative. Some of the volunteers were handing them out using surgical gloves as holders.


This is a race I would highly recommend to others looking for a weekend getaway race. There is so much
to do in downtown Wilmington, NC. We are looking forward to going back and seeing more of the area. While it was hot and humid, as would be expected in the south in July, it was a great race. The good amount of water stops were definitely a help and the water soakers were an extra bonus!


Wow, it’s been 2 years since I wrote a race blog! Going to try to get back into it. I have missed writing about my race adventures!

I wasn’t going to do a race this day because I’m on call for work. I realized the race was only 5 minutes from my work so I could be nearby if I did get a call. A few days before the race, they sent an email stating the race had moved from northeast Columbia to Hopkins. That’s quite a bit farther from work but thought I would take the chance since Saturday mornings are usually pretty quiet.

There were 4 races for the Columbia Running Club on this day. I was hoping that would split everyone up. Doing a little math, faster people could work out doing 2 or 3 of the races. Double Dip or even Triple Dip! I was happy with just doing one.

The 10K was set to start and the 5K at 8:15. The 5K is 2 loops and the 10K is 4 loops. I got to the Garner’s Ferry Sports Complex at 7:15 and only saw a few people. I figured it was early and more would show up soon. I got my bib and packet. The packet had a few little goodies in it and a pretty pink T-shirt. That was nice. After that, I ran over to use the restroom and, on the way back out, I started spotting some familiar faces with some CRC and RWB shirts in the mix.

I saw Stephanie Dukes, Steve Greer, Tawanna Dennis, Ron &  Helene Lipe, Ed Aufuldish, Ivery Baldwin, Lynn Grimes, Roy Shelley and I know I’m missing people.

As mentioned earlier, the 10K was supposed to start at 8:00 and the 5K at 8:15. They tell everyone to line up as we would be starting in 2 minutes. A few people ran over to the announcer asking about it and they said yes, everyone was starting together. At that point, I was thinking that I hoped no one was trying to cut it close!

This course is mostly grass with some asphalt and cement mixed in. It was the same location as the Santa run that I had done in December. We start out and I knew there was going to be a lot of walking since I still have not gotten going too much into training again. I’m getting there slowly. The first part of the race is running through the grass. Thankfully it was cut unlike in December. There were also fewer ant hills. You wouldn’t think those could be a problem, but the big ones are pretty easy to trip over. As we were running toward the back of the field, I noticed they had us turn quite a bit sooner than expected. We should have run to the back of the field. I had only glanced at the course so I figured they made it up somewhere else and kept running.

Running back up to the front of the recreation area is an adventure. You have to run along a fence line that drops off at a pretty steep angle. It is very difficult to run, and we had to do it twice. As I got out of the grass onto the asphalt, I heard a guy say he started 6 minutes late because he had just gotten there….and he was already ahead of me!!

As I circled around the cement area and then down the dirt to head back into the parking lot, I looked at my watch and it had not even registered 1 mile. At this point, I was almost back to the start-finish line which was also the halfway point of the race. Wow, this course is way short! As I ran across the line, my watch showed 1.2 miles. Yeah, that was interesting! On a good note, my 1st-mile pace was 13:01. I haven’t had a mile pace under 13 in quite a while (besides last week when the mile was pretty much all downhill)!

As I was looping back around the grass area, some of the 10Kers ran by commenting on the distance. I knew that was going to be a big conversation topic after we were done! Mentally now, my brain was fighting me that it wasn’t really a 5K so there was no reason to keep running. No, everyone else is running the same distance so it doesn’t matter if it was short! Our brains work in crazy ways sometimes!

The rest of the loop was pretty uneventful. I continued my run-walk as I felt it. I haven’t used a run-walk timer since I switched to my Apple Watch from the Garmin. I think I may want to get back to that to try to lengthen my running times. The running I did do felt pretty good except for the shoes I have – I do not like them at all. And the grass, definitely the grass.

As expected, the distance on my watch was 2.4 as I crossed the finish line. Wooohooo a 31:47-minute 5K!! Ok, ok, adding in the extra distance, I would have been right around 40 minutes which has been my average time recently.

We had to wait for the 10K to finish up before they did awards and as expected, the distance was definitely the topic of conversation! All in all, it was a nice day and the volunteers and race director did a great job.

I am putting the links below to the results, so I do not miss anyone! I won my age division…. I was the only one in it…but I was there, and I got it done.  That is what matters.

Roy and some others were nowhere to be found for awards, rumor is that they were racing off to the next 5K!

Link to Race 5K results:

Link to Race 10K results:

It’s been a while since I have written a race report. Almost a year! (After typing this and logging on to my blog…I did not even publish the last one I wrote!) Wow, how time goes by. This is mostly due to having to write so much for school, but I really should get back to writing these more regularly. We had our Columbia Running Club awards last week and Tracy asked for someone to write up the race, so I offered. Going to write this blog then modify a bit for the newsletter…. So here goes…

It has been so warm lately here in the south that it hasn’t felt like winter. Until the morning of the race. Fortunately, I did check the weather, so I knew not to head out there in a tank top and shorts. This race also has a fun element to it with being called Cupid’s chase. When you sign up, you have the opportunity to select an available (single) or unavailable (taken) shirt. The available shirts are white, and the others are red. I have done this race twice now and had a white shirt both times…well, this year I got a red shirt! 

When I got out of my car, the cold wind hit me. Oh boy, this is going to be a cold one! I went and got my packet, shirt, and bib and took it back to my car. They do a great job in getting sponsors and giving out some cool stuff. The swag bag was pretty heavy! This is one race that it is acceptable to wear your race shirt, in fact, it’s part of the race. This race is run in many places around the united states on the same day. In larger areas, I could see how it could be a good place to meet another single person. I did see more white shirts this year than I usually did though. Maybe someone was able to meet someone new. 

After braving the wind to get out the car, I met up with Colleen V. in the bathroom line. She has recently come back after several injuries. It was great to see her back. After getting through the very slow bathroom line, I did a half mile warmup run. It was supposed to be a mile but knew it would be race time by then.  While running, I saw Alex M., Alex P., Rocky, Henry, Geary and some other familiar faces. I’m complaining about the cold, but it was actually about 45 degrees. It was the wind that was making it feel really cold. 

As they call everyone to line up, my GPS decides to do an update…seriously??!?!?!?!. I pulled out my phone and got Strava set up just in case but that would mean I would not have my intervals. Thankfully it decided to finish loading and set up to run just before they started the race. Whew! I had decided to stick with my 1-minute run and 30 second walk that I used last week at the Not So Long Run 5K. At that race, I skipped 2 of the runs and had a time just short of 39 minutes. I decided to push it some and wanted under 37 minutes. I had surgery right after Thanksgiving and was not cleared to run until Cold Winters Day which I ran in about 42 minutes with Samantha (grandbaby) in the stroller. 

I started about halfway back. Before the race, they asked the walkers to start toward the back. I really appreciate that they did this. There were a lot of walkers who had most likely never done any races and they may not have known or even thought about that. I did have to skip my first walk due to so many people around me. I had planned that it was probably going to happen that way. 

This race is an out and back with a loop. It starts with a slight uphill mile. Which is good because that means the ending is a slight downhill! The first mile wasn’t too bad though. I stuck with my run/walk intervals. I had told myself I would not skip any runs this week. As I mentioned, I did skip the first walk, but I knew to be careful with that since I have not really run a lot lately. I am working on getting back to where I was. 

It is a nice course through the Five points area. Lots of interesting and pretty houses along the route. There was a good representation of police officers to keep us safe directing traffic through the big intersections. They are greatly appreciated! I try to thank them along the way when they are looking toward my direction. I heard several people doing this. The officers seemed to enjoy it. 

I finished the first mile in 12:23. Not exactly on track for under 37 minutes but I’m not giving up now. I was feeling pretty good. The second mile has some rolling hills, but none are that bad. I do not mind rolling hills. You know the ones you go up and go back down, not the ones that keep going up and up and up! I finished mile 2 at a 12:05 pace. Wow, negative splits. That is really rare for me.

As I’m doing my intervals, several around me are doing the same thing so we are constantly leap frogging each other. It does make it fun even if we are not talking. By now, it is getting warmer and I need to pull up the long sleeves of the race shirt. I’m glad they had long sleeves to cover up until I got warmed up. 

As mentioned, the 3rdmile is mostly a downhill slope. Not a strong downhill but you know you are going down. I love downhill running. I know some people do not like it so much. I guess because I’m short, I don’t feel like I am going to tip over! As I’m nearing the finish line, mile 3 completes and that mile was at 11:07. What? I know it is a little downhill but wow, negative split again. I’m usually dying out by now. I get around the last corner and see the clock. It’s at 36:43. Noooooo it can’t flip over to 37, I am too close! I try to sprint but there is not that much left in me. I try speeding up some and when I finished, my GPS said 36:59. I found out later my official time was 37:00. Darn! But still I can’t complain, it is much better than the week before on a slightly tougher course. 

This race gives out top 3 women, top 3 men, then 1 winner in each 5-year age division. Several CRC members placed! 

Link to results:

After the awards, they have a raffle using everyone’s bib numbers. Again, I did not win. I am almost never that lucky. Maybe next time…but it is fun seeing people enjoy winning gifts. I really enjoy this race and while I am not a fan of 10:00am starts, it is worth doing and plan to do it again next year if timing works out. 

I haven’t been doing these recaps since I started back to school. That has been enough writing! But, Tracy asked so here you go… ☺

As many of you know, I decided this year that I would make a challenge for myself to do 6 half marathons in 6 different states in 6 months. (The first 3 were in Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama). Palmetto Half Marathon is #4 – of course, here in South Carolina. In the first two, I ran 2:45 and some seconds. In the 3rd, it’s hard to say because the course was short. The “official” time was 2:35 but adding in an average of the rest of the distance, I am saying 2:38. But, I don’t count it to be an official time.

17523553_10155289501702472_65101816286624007_nThe Palmetto Half Marathon has been going on for several years now and has really good numbers and strong competition. There are a 5K and a Half marathon. I usually run the 5K, in fact, it’s my 5K PR! Last year was the first time I did the half marathon. It was slow but it got done.

This year, a new race popped up at the same time and it split the field. In one case, I noticed a husband went to one race and the wife to the other. It even split families!

I was feeling really good going into this one and made a big goal of a half marathon PR. That would have been 2:29. I did this race last year with a time of 2:54 so I knew I could at least beat that one. My second goal was 2:39.

I got there an hour early as usual and it was cold! The sun hadn’t come out yet either so I knew that would help once it started getting light. I did some light stretching and caught up with some of my RWB team and other friends. This race has a good turnout so I know there were people there I just never saw. I found that out based on Facebook posts after the race!

Ok, on to the race. I planned to do this as a run/walk with a 2-minute run and 30-second walk. The first mile of the race is completely flat so I had to be really careful to not go out too fast. Right around mile 1, you have to run over an overpass. It’s a rough one but I just kept thinking about being able to run back down it – but – I definitely didn’t want to think about the fact that I was going to have to go back up that monster again to finish the race. More on that later.

I needed an 11:27 pace to make my big goal and as of mile 2, I was still on it. (first 2 miles – 11:36 & 11:14) After coming down the off-ramp, there is a section that goes down Two Notch road and has some slight inclines and declines before the hillfest begins. After turning left on Valhalla, the hills start. I kept going using my plan. As of mile 4, I wasn’t far off my big goal (next 2 miles – 11:31 & 11:44) but the mental breakdown started. I just couldn’t get focused, or possibly, need to get unfocused.

I kept it going doing the planned run/walk even though my mind was wanting me to walk more. I wasn’t going to give in. There were several around me doing the run/walk and we were going back and forth with each other. I think we were keeping each other going.17795855_10154381982546512_7735172309491015945_n

The hills don’t stop once they start, I finally got my mind going along with me and then my hip tries to give out, I almost fell but caught myself. I moved to the middle of the road hoping the more level ground would help, and it did, for a while.

Mile 8 was rough. I was close to a 14-minute mile. I haven’t done a mile that slow in a long time. My hip tried to give out again. Not sure what was going on, I’ve never had that happen. My guess is that I didn’t stretch good enough. Well, too late for that right now!

I picked myself back up for miles 9 and 10 getting back into the 12-minute pace but then around mile 11, my body was done. Of course, I made it keep going. Stopping was not an option. Here, my pace did go over 14… 14:05 to be exact. Wow. The volunteers were encouraging us on and I hope they know how much they helped! Thank you, volunteers!

The course is mostly an out and back with a run around a block around the middle of the race. As we turn back onto Two Notch road, the end is in sight. OK, well, not really in sight.
17799318_10155278107517472_8560574868929479943_nAnd here comes that overpass again. At this point, my run/walk ratio had gone out the window. I was walking the uphills as was almost everyone else around me. No one around me even attempted to run back up the overpass!

At this point, I knew I wasn’t even going to make my 2nd goal of 2:39 but I knew I definitely was within getting a course PR. I managed to get back into the 13s to finish the race off in a time of 2:45:11. Yeah, another 2:45 finish. That’s 3 out of the 4 races; I got within the same minute. That’s consistency. Very different courses too. Georgia and Alabama were hilly but Louisiana only had an overpass that had to be run over twice. Besides that, it was flat.

I’m ready for a flat race! Supposedly my next half in Tennessee is mostly flat but I’m skeptical! I think Myrtle Beach Mini marathon may be added to my schedule…

Here is a link to the results:

This race marks one year since my very first triathlon. I must say I never thought I would ever do one much less any more than one! This is the Tri the Swamp Rabbit race at Furman University in Greenville. My goal was to beat all my times from last year. I had no idea what I was doing last year so figured that would be a good goal. I also wanted to get under 2 hours. That was my second level goal. Last year total time was 2:11:17. I drove up the night before with Kara. At dinner, she got stared down by an old lady and we had to listen to a mom making sneezing sounds all through dinner because the baby thought it was funny. Must say, we were entertained!

Race day morning, we got up and started loading the truck. I was early and still dark out and a really drunk or high person tried to start conversation with us. We hurried back into the hotel. Then he tried to get in the hotel through the door that requires a room key. Whew. When we went back down, he was gone.13690926_705183612953556_7481802505250991085_o

Ok…now to the race… We got there a little over an hour before the race and started setting up. Being a slow swimmer, I’m in the back with the other newbies. I was helping some first timers set up their transition area. Scary that they were asking me for help! The race was to start at 7:30. We were set up to start based on the swim times we submitted. Needless to say, the back of the line took a while to actually start. Last time I looked at my watch, it was 8:22 so it was right around there when I started. But, while waiting, I did use that time to watch the other swimmers to see different techniques. The really fast ones were too fast to see anything. Once we start getting closer to my start time, you start seeing the pool walkers. I’m one of those pool walkers. I’m working on not relying on it. I’ll get there.

I started off and got a good half of a length down when my brain went crazy. I did different things to get through the pool. I did some backstroke but at this race, each lane is used to go different directions and I didn’t want to be head butting anyone. I tried not to stop at the turns but if someone was coming up fast on me, I let them go. I did make the mistake of letting one lady pass who was side swimming so she was kicking out not leaving much room to try to pass her. I ended up getting stuck behind her. Swim time 9:26 (Last year 8:54)

Transition from swim to bike went well, besides trying to put my helmet on with sunglasses still inside, all went well. Didn’t break like I did last year, just kept moving. T1 time 1:39 (Last year 2:13)

13680043_759684724133955_7359891301691487226_oNext was the bike. I knew the first half was hilier than the second part. The first hill wasn’t far into the ride but I tried to pick up as much speed as I could on the flat parts to make up for the hills. I felt like I was doing better than the year before. None of the hills were massive but make you push. I was feeling good the first 8 miles but then I started losing it. By mile 10, I was done. My body didn’t want to keep going but my mind wasn’t going to let me stop. We got on a main road for a while and it was pretty flat but I kept slowing down for no reason, like thinking it was time to turn when I knew it wasn’t. I pushed on. Then the big downhill. I remember that thing being scary last year. But nothing compared to this year. The road had deteriorated some and the road was uneven with a little gravel. I felt the bike move sideways once. I was going close to 30 mph. I just knew it was the end. I made it down the hill though. Right before getting back to transition there is a hill into the campus. It’s not really that much of an incline but being tired, it sure feels like it! Bike time 1:12:59 (Last year 1:14:50)

Transition from Bike to run also went pretty quickly. It was a little slower than I wanted but still faster than the year before. Time 2:13 (Last year 3:09 – I even checked messages on my phone last year!)13735622_759693934133034_2290672163540866109_o

Finally the run. The run course changed this year so I wasn’t sure what it would be like. I decided to do my long run strategy. Run 2-minutes/ walk 1 minute. It was actually going pretty good. Only thing was that the course changed to pretty much an out and back. The “out” was a slight uphill. I was really surprised at myself that I stuck with the plan. There was an oriental guy who was doing his first triathlon. I caught up with him on the run and he was doing a run walk also but then he just started walking. Toward the end, there’s a very short but steep incline. My left calf was not happy about it. But made it. I I believe this is the first time that my run portion was under 40 minutes. Time 39:26 (Last year 42:13)

That gave me a total time of 2:05:40. That’s 6 minutes faster than last year. And I see a lot of where I could have done better. So…training, training, training.


So, I’ve been slacking lately… yes, on doing these blogs, and well, doing races at all. Can you believe I have ZERO Columbia Running Club (CRC) points and it’s halfway through the year!

This is my 4th year to run the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta Ga. It is held on July 4th every year and has been for 36 years now. It’s the largest 10K in the world with approximately 60,000 runners. Cooper River is 3rd last I heard. I usually make a long weekend of it and this year I drove up on Sunday and stayed until Tuesday.

I stay at a hotel right at the start line so I don’t have to worry about any parking or train logistics in the morning. I got up and dressed and ate a small breakfast. As soon as I walked out the hotel door, the humidity hit me. I knew this might be an interesting race.BestMeSelfie

My goal was to run the first 3 miles then 2/1 run/walk the rest hoping to be under 1:07:00, which would give me a new course PR. I started to rethink that goal when I realized it was going to be a hot one. I decided to just go with it and see how I felt.

This race is extremely well run. Of the times I’ve run it, everything has run smoothly and on time. That’s got to be a difficult task with that many runners but they manage to pull it off. I also heard they had over 3,500 volunteers. That’s a lot of volunteers.

We slowly move up as each corral starts. I was in corral “K” this year. When you register, you have to put in a race time from the last 2 years and you are placed based on that. I had been up in G a few years ago. But nothing wrong with K. It went to Y or Z so I was still a good ways up.

As you can imagine with that many people, you are never alone! As we started, I had to dodge walkers. Yes, at the start. You really can’t go very fast. I was running around an 11 minute pace and was actually passing a lot of people.   The first 3 miles of the race are mostly flat and downhill so I just put it on cruise and ran. It was hot though! I was dripping sweat before I even finished the first mile. I hit mile 1 at an 11:06 pace. I needed a 10:47 average pace to hit my goal time so I was close. There are people lining the roads the entire way and some have funny signs, there are bands, and some even giving out beer! There is definitely not a shortage of things to get your mind off the run. Mile 2 was at 10:22 pace and mile 3 at 10:05 pace. Now, as I mentioned, the first 3 miles is mostly flat to downhill. At 3.1-ish miles is what they have deemed “cardiac hill”. Hmm…well, I had decided I would run the first 3 miles then run walk…sooooo. I walked the first minute of cardiac hill. I hit the 5K split at 33:34. That’s faster than my 5K times recently! (That included a 1 minute walk…the last .1)


Photo copied from Peachtree Facebook page

I stuck with the 2/1 run/walk. I was feeling pretty good mentally although it was extremely hot and humid. People were spraying the runners with water and I took advantage of that any time I could! People were stopping and saw a few needing/getting medical attention.   I hit mile 4 at 12:54 pace. Way off what I needed for the course PR but with that heat, I didn’t care. I just wanted to stick with my plan of the run/walk no matter what my time was. Mile 5 was at 12:59 pace. Hey…still under 13 minutes! HA! About that time I used a walk break to drink an entire cup of water. I don’t usually drink that much at a time but I could feel myself dehydrating and I surely did not want to be one of those falling out if I could help it.

Having people around the whole time really helps you keep going but being back in the corral I was in, there tend to be a lot of walkers. I didn’t let them get to me. I just kept my plan up. Mile 6 was at a 12:20 pace and I finished off the last .2 at a 10:27 pace. The last part is a slight downhill, which was very welcomed. I was ready to be done! Official finish time was 1:13:24. Not my slowest at this race, but close.

After finishing, you have to follow a path to get to water, snacks and your finishers shirt. You only get the shirt after you finish the race. I walked around a bit, drank some and got some food then headed back to the hotel.

This race is a point to point so the choices were to walk back or take the train back. I decided on the train. Although, the walk to the train felt pretty close to the distance back to the hotel!  The train was fully of stinky runners. I felt bad for anyone else who was on the train that morning.IMG_6205.JPG

I really enjoy doing this race. I plan to do it every year if possible. It is a lottery entry but Atlanta Track club members get guaranteed entry so I did that to be sure I got in. The previous 3 years, I got in through the lottery, I figured my luck had to run out soon.






And we make it back around to my very first race. Five years ago. I had just started running about 3 weeks before and I couldn’t run but for a few seconds before walking. But, I had heard the Jingle Bell 5K in Lugoff was good for beginners so I decided to sign up. I was hooked from then on. My time was 42:27 so my goal for the next year was to beat that time by 10 minutes. My time the next year? 32:46. So close that I count it as a success!

Over the years:

2010 – 42:27

2011 – 32:46

2012 – 30:23 – still my course PR

2013 – 38:09 – I had been hurt this year but wanted to keep up my string of doing this race

2014 –  32:38

I had planned to run to the race as my warm up then run home but I had to be in Columbia at 10:00 so that was not going to work out. I picked up my packet the day before so didn’t have to worry about that. But, I still got there pretty early since it’s a whole 3 minute drive.

First race of the season cold enough to wear my long pants and top. There were several other CRC races so I was curious to who would show up in Lugoff. Most of them. And this race, I have no delusions of placing. Evidently the women born in Lugoff and Camden around my age were given the fast running gene. Joking of course, these ladies work for their speed!

It was getting close to 8:00 which was race start time and I was chatting with Fiona and Kara. We were wondering when everyone would start walking over to the start. We thought if we would do it, they would follow. Nope. Selwyn finally got everyone set up. I believe the start was correct this year. Last year or maybe the year before, they had started it too far up.

There are a lot of walkers in this race and they usually line up toward the front so I was scoping everyone out to see where best to go. I’ve almost been tripped every time I’ve run this race. I was successful this year. No tripping or running into everyone.

12314717_10208422827831483_1045713140554478040_oI really didn’t have a goal for this race. I knew I wasn’t quite ready for a PR, but wanted to do what I could. I was open to walking. But I knew there would be no walking before the first mile. This course is mostly flat but it starts off with a really long very slight uphill. I hit mile 1 at  10:26. Not great but I’m still running. I had passed a lot of kids, several of the local schools have groups that do this race.  About ½ mile in, I saw a man carrying a child in a wagon pass me. Think that’s the first time I’ve been passed by a wagon.

The next mile is the “hilly” one. We make a right turn onto a side road to get over to Hwy 34. Several ups and downs on that road, the toughest being the last one.  I was still running… Mile 2 was at a 10:20 pace. Oh, negative split. Good!  I do not believe I’ve done this race yet without any walking. I’ll have to go back through to verify but I think I had. So, at mile 2, I decided I was not going to walk.  I had also decided not to run with headphones today. So, I had nothing to fall back on…had to listen to my thoughts.12299119_10205687726494302_5443893237556152150_n

Most of the people around me were softball players from Lugoff Elgin High school. They were doing run and walk intervals so it was really hard to keep my mind on not walking. But I made it through. I thought again about walking just before the finish since the finish is uphill. Don’t you just love uphill finishes? NOT! It’s not bad but when you’re tired it seems even worse.  I sucked it up and hit that hill. Jennifer Ward got a pic of me almost at the finish line. I looked rough! But…mile 3 was 10:13. Continued negative splits all the way through. Don’t see that often.

I finished in 32:30. Not what I was hoping for but is my second best time at this race AND I didn’t walk so I am good with it. Since I had go get a shower and get to Columbia, I wasn’t able to stay for awards but here is a quick rundown from the posted results: (CRC that and local friends that I recognize)12342371_714971288604028_279168215177436138_n.jpg


Overall winner, Heather Costello and 3rd, Sharon Cole

11-14, 2nd place: Gracie Holland

15-19, 1st place: Sophie Holland

30-34, 1st place: Fiona Martin

35-39, 1st place: Kara Clyburn, 2nd: Amanda Holland

45-49, 1st place: Barbara Brandenburg, 2nd: April McKay..and wait…what??? I got 3rd? I seriously didn’t know that until just now…and yes, it’s Thursday. Wooohooo!!!! And of course, I couldn’t stay for awards!

50-54, 2nd place: Tonya Edgerton


15-19, 3rd place: Matthew Mills

40-44 showdown, 1st: Darrel Brown, 2nd Angel Manuel (4 seconds behind), and 3rd: Tyler McGaha

45-49, 1st place: Jeff Brandenburg

55-59, 1st place: Geary McAlister

60-65, 1st place: Robbie Mclendon

70 up, 1st place: Arnold Floyd

Sorry if I missed anyone…trying to get this done since I’ve slacked all week!

Link to full results:







First…sorry this is so late!

This would be my 3rd time to run this race, 2011, 2014 and now 2015. I had signed up in 2012 but don’t remember why…I guess I just wanted to get home. It’s the morning of the day I leave to head back home. This race is only 15-20 minutes from my brother’s house so it’s pretty convenient even being in another state.

This race is on a NASA base so you have to go through security with your ID to get in. They check the ID against the race list. If you’re not on it, you don’t get in. So, obviously no race day registration. To be safe and to get the parking I wanted, I left so that I would arrive a full hour ahead. There were only 2 cars ahead of me to get in and I parked exactly where I wanted. Going well so far.

This race is put on by the Gulf Coast running club and they do a great job every year. If I would have to have a low point, I would say the small amount of toilets for the number of people who attend. I did a short warm up run. I was already pretty warm out again today. Upper 60’s. I really felt for the people doing the full marathon, it was supposed to be almost reaching 80 by the time they would be finished.

We all line up. The line is more like a mass grouping as there isn’t a very big start area and there is no chip timing. None. It’s pull tab timing. I had seen some girls fold the tab under and pin it in. The race people were telling everyone not to do that. Oh well.

The race started just a few minutes late to let everyone get back down the hill from the restroom. Yes, really. It was only a few minutes but just kind of funny. The marathon, half marathon and 5K all start at the same time. The announcer told only people who run 7 minute pace or faster to be in the front. I settled myself mid pack as usual.

With the road being narrow, you can’t really start off too fast in this race. I think I was at about a 12 minute pace, maybe 11 when I hear someone talking to me. It’s a fellow Eagle. He’s carrying the flag. We talked for a second and realized we are in the same chapter! That was too cool. We pullover, yes, during the race to get a selfie…had to! I didn’t catch his name but he knew about Maria coaching me in to the finish at the half a few weeks ago so I knew I could find him. He was doing the marathon so I knew I wouldn’t see him again during the day, as I would be on the road back home before he finished.


My goal for this race was to get a course PR. I knew this was very do-able since my PR was 34:47. But, it is hard doing two 5K’s with only one rest day between so I always know this race will be slower and I do it for fun.

It’s mostly flat too, a few slight hills but nothing bad. I hit mile 1 at a 10:16 pace. Not bad for stopping! According to moving time on my GPS, we stopped for about 8 seconds.

Oh…forgot to mention. After the race on Thanksgiving, I did make one Black Friday purchase. I got a Garmin Forerunner 15. It was on sale and I had a credit. Ended up getting it for $45. Score!

After mile 1, I went into run walk mode. I didn’t really need to but didn’t want to push too much then have to sit in a car for 10 hours letting my legs freeze up. That was my excuse anyway. I didn’t time it or anything, just went with the feel. I didn’t have anyone close to me in front or behind by now so it was really tough to keep focused too.

This course is an out and back. Turns around right about 1.5 miles. I hit mile 2 doing an average 10:53. Still under 11 with walking. Not bad. By now, I knew unless I walked the entire rest of the way, I had my course PR so that also gave me “reason” to walk.

12309836_10153753555541303_929315840014811200_oIn the last race, I had seen that girl with the undies you could see through her leggings. Well, in this race, there was a girl whose undies were longer than her shorts….yes, her underwear hung out the bottom of the shorts. I must say I do not believe I’ve seen that before.

I knew I would run the final part where people were watching. I did catch up to and even pass a few people going into the 3rd mile. One guy must have been listening for me because he would walk and every time I would get close, he would start running again.

I crossed finish line in 33:33. Course PR by over a minute! After finishing the race, you put your time on a board so if everyone put theirs on right, you could tell what place you got. Looking like I got 3rd again. I waited for awards to see and sure enough, I placed 3rd!


The after race fare here is beer, coke, water, pasta jambalaya, bananas and cookies. A definite wide variety of items! I picked up a beer to take back, it’s still in my fridge.

After finishing this, I’ve done this race 3 times, placed 3rd every time. Think I might be disappointed to get anything else now. Ha!

For the last several years I have gone down to Louisiana to visit my family and friends for Thanksgiving. This year was no different. Since I started running I have added 2 races to the trip. The Baton Rouge Turkey Trot: this was my 5th year in a row to run it. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon 5K, I also signed up for which would be my 3rd time to run it. More about that one in my next blog…

The last 2 years it had been in the 20’s or 30’s but this year it was in the 60’s. Big difference. Was nice not freezing with the wind coming off the river right by us. The course is mostly flat. I found out the night before that the course had been changed but know most of that area is flat so wasn’t really worried about any surprise hills.

The last 3 years, my Dad has run it with me; but this year he debated since he hadn’t been running much due to a hip issue. But he had done a few runs and was feeling better so we both went. He was expecting over 35 minutes and he did…but he got it done! We got there about an hour early and just chatted. It’s still weird going to out of town places for races and not knowing anyone. Just feels weird since I know half the runners in most races I do around here.

This is a really big race and has been growing each year. This year over 1,700 signed up. A lot are walkers but there are also some pretty competitive people in it too.

We lined up about middle pack on the right as I usually do. This race does not have a chip timed start. Since both of my GPS watches decided to die this week, I was going to use my phone app and start it from my apple watch. I had done that several times before with no issue. We start off and guess what… it doesn’t start the timer. I was about .10 mile in and had to wrestle my phone out of my belt to start the app. I really wanted to keep an eye on my pace so needed that to be running.

I really didn’t have a set goal. I did want to beat my best time which was 31:47, With the course change, we turned much earlier and much more often than the regular course. I found out after that the course was changed at the last minute due to construction around the State Capitol.

My times start about .10 to .20 into the race…. So at mile 1 by my phone, I had been running at a 9:59pace. Nice! Under 10…More turns and more turns. Those turns were slowing me down. At about a mile and a half, I did a short walk. I know, I know but I had been running faster than usual and it took it out of me. I hit mile 2 at 10:14 pace which still wasn’t bad being that I had walked twice I believe during it.

About mile 1, I really wanted to let a girl know that her running leggings plainly showed that her undies matched her shirt. I held back though.

For the 3rd mile, I just decided to do whatever, so I did. Running and walking. I still managed to hit mile 3 at a 10:22 pace. As I’m coming up to the finish line, I see the clock in the 32’s. Ok. Time warp. I know I started my watch late but that just didn’t seem right.

I finished in 33:01. That darn last walk cost me being in the 32’s…but if there had been chip time, I would have…. BUT…. Even with my app starting late, my app distance was 3.18 miles so at minimum, the race was 3.28 miles.

So…I’m going with my phone time. 31:37 since it was a full 5K timed (by my phone). I know, my official time is the 33:01…but I’m personally going with my timing. That gives me a race PR…not even course PR though since it was a different course. Oh well, there’s next year…

PS. Sorry for the lack of pictures…I am horrible about taking them and they haven’t posted them on the website yet.


This was my first time to run the Shandon Turkey Trot although it’s in its 33rd year .  I hadn’t planned to do it but when Cold Winter’s day had to cancel for this year, Blue Cross running club gave us this race in its place. I figured since I was planning to do CWD, I might as well do this one.

It’s a 2 loop 8K. I had heard it was a new course this year. Found it out it was being run backwards. Not sure if that had any affect since I had never run it the other way.  There is also a 4K option – one loop. But that race only had one place in 10 year age divisions, plus I really needed the miles. I do 2.5 miles all the time at my house. That’s the size of the outer loop of my neighborhood.

I got there my usual hour early and when I got out the car, I realized I hadn’t dressed well for this race.  Oh well, too late now. I did decide to go ahead and keep my CRC fleece on during the race. I figured if I got too hot while running, I could just take it off. Hate doing that but I was cold waiting.

Most people were staying inside the school to keep warm. I decided I needed to do at least some type of warmup so I ran a lap on the track as a bunch of others were doing. Yeah, ran a whole quarter mile warmup but I also did some stretches so I was feeling pretty good.

My plan as I was driving there was to start off at a PR pace and just see how long I could hold it. That would have been right at a 10 minute pace. Unfortunately, when I got there, I realized my watch was not charged. I know I had charged it.  Later found out that I had charged it but the watch was just no longer taking a charge. I will have to try to fix that. I just bought it a few months ago! Used, but still.

So much for holding a pace now. I am horrible at feeling pace so I put my phone to tell me my pace every 5 minutes.  Which, later I decided was also the wrong move when I realized I had put it to tell me current pace, not my average pace. So of course, that didn’t really help when the notification was up or down a hill. The course is pretty flat but does have some inclines and declines. I would call one  a hill though.  Better than nothing I guess!  I also put a good playlist on…more on that later….


Now to the start of the race.

I lined up about mid pack on the right as usual. Started off feeling pretty good. First 5 minute pace notification said 10:30. Ok. A little slower than I wanted but I was feeling good so just decided to stick with that felling. I really hadn’t made any goal on how long I would go without walking but at that point decided there would be no walking before I was done with the first loop.  Since I timed the race using the Runkeeper app on my phone, I got the data after. The first mile was 10:51. I suspect it was actually a few seconds faster since I had started the timer and put it in my belt using the auto pause so I wouldn’t be trying to get it back in the belt after starting it at the beginning of the race.  And yea, that was a bad sentence but it kinda represents trying to stick a phone back in a spibelt while also trying to run. Decided I’m going to buy myself a flip belt and see if that makes things any easier.

Alex McDonald is out taking pics and video. So, of course, I get the “no walksies” comment from him. Ha. I hit mile 2 at 10:26 pace. My fastest mile of the race. Right at mile 2 is the hill I mentioned earlier. I so wanted to walk it but I was not going to let myself. I had already agreed I would not walk before the first loop was over.

There were several people around me but many of them were doing some walking with the run. I didn’t want them to make my brain give in. I kept looking for Alex. I get around to the start and hit the 2.5 mile marker at an official time of 26:52. This race is gun time only.  But it would only be a few seconds different anyway.  At that point, I told myself to make it to 3 miles. I was feeling ok. There was no reason at all to walk. None. I hit Mile 3 at a 10:28 pace. Only 2 seconds slower than the previous mile. I’ll take that. Of course, I didn’t know what pace I was really doing since the app was only telling me what I was doing at that exact moment.  I was getting a bit warm but didn’t feel like struggling out of the long sleeve top I was wearing so I just dealt with it.

A little past hitting 3 miles, my playlist stopped. Um…dummy, you put on a 5K playlist. This is an 8K. I make my 5K playlists only that long to signal if the music stops, I should have already been finished.  I wasn’t going to struggle the phone back out of the belt so pulled the earphones out and just ran without. I do a lot of my shorter runs without music anyway so that’s no big deal really. Just the point.

Mile 4, 10:38 pace. Only 10 seconds slower than the previous mile. Not bad for staying consistent with little help.  Then that hill again. Part of me wanted to walk but I was only less than a mile from the end. I couldn’t walk now!! Just then I saw Eric and Sarah Allers. Sarah was telling me I was looking good…well, dang…definitely can’t walk now!!

The last about ½ mile is pretty flat. The girl next to me starts walking…nooo I will not give in! I get around  the corner and soon you can see the finish.  Chris Fawver is there yelling for me to sprint. Way too early dude…way too early. But, I did kick it in shortly after and finished in 53:31. My last mile had been at a 10:31 pace so must have slowed down a bit on that last hill but that’s ok.


I know that’s a small accomplishment for some but a big one for me. This is the first 8K I did not walk at all. I was my 3rd fastest 8K though as I got pretty good at run/walking.  Snowman is still my PR.

This race is very competitive so I was not even close to placing. Of course, wasn’t expecting to…but fun when I do!

Next week I have 2 races, Baton Rouge Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving day then Mississippi Gulf Coast 5K on that Saturday. Will update after those!

Link to results:



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