Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jingle Jog 5K

Friday began Christmas break for my mister and me.  We took off to Georgia to visit my family, and while we were there, we decided to participate in a 5K.  After some research, we found a 5K right there in Barrow County where all my family lives, which is also where we were staying.  The Jingle Jog 5K was a nice little local race of just under 100 people.  The race began at a local park, and although we never ever like to register on race day, we had to register the morning of the race because we had gotten in a little late the night before.  So, Saturday morning, we registered and got ready and took off at 9:30 AM.  The weather was perfect, although a bit chilly, and we took off around the park.  Despite this area of Georgia being moderately flat compared to where we live in Virginia, this course had 2 major hills, and one of the major hills, we had to go up twice.  So that's like three hills in all, but fortunately, those three hills we had to go up, we also got to come back down.

Struggling up one of the challenging hills, the second time around
So, for those of you who haven't seen any Facebook posts, this race was amazing for both of us.  Despite the hills and somewhat chilly weather, we both hit a personal record.  I was hoping for one since the Pancake Run, when I came sooooo close to a PR, but then things went, umm, awry.  I was hoping that maybe I would be able to hit a new 5K PR by spring.  Little did I know that I would be able to do it right before Christmas.... It was a Christmas miracle indeed!!!  Or maybe it was just the extra speed training I've been doing, as well as feeling extra motivated on the morning of the run.  Either way, I'm going to tell you something-- this race, I pushed harder than I have ever pushed in any race, which I guess makes sense since it was my fastest time.  Those hills were killer, but I managed to push through them, as did Mr. Marathon.
Is this Prancer? Or Dasher?  Or Comet?  Or Dancer???
Chilly rainy weather didn't slow us down!
We really enjoyed this race, except for just a couple of little things.  First of all, this race had the weirdest age groups.  Instead of 5 or 10 year age groups, this race had 20 year age groups, which was really different than what we're used to.  Also, they didn't do overall awards.  Between no overall awards and such large age groups, I didn't get to place.  If they did overall places OR they did normal age groups, I would have come in 2nd place.  I came in 4th in my large age group, regardless.  And hubbs came in first place overall, but since they didn't do overall places, he just came in first in his age group, even though he won the thing by a good 3 minutes!  Either way, we both got a PR, and he won a comfy cozy blanket for his prize, and it was a fun weekend.

Post-race cheesin!

There I am!  Elizabeth Garcia, 27:52!

There's Hubbs!  Alfredo Garcia, 18:21!!

Oh, and the shirts were super cute!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

BIG Effort

So this post is definitely better late than never.  Mr. Marathon ran the Richmond Marathon the week after Savannah Rock and Roll, which was November 15.  However, we have been crazy busy and really bad procrastinators, so although it's late, here ya go!

Um it was cold.  COLD.
The Richmond Marathon was an interesting event for both of us.  I was recovering from my first full marathon-- physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Mr. Marathon was fresh as a daisy and raring to run another, so he decided to run the Richmond Marathon with a bunch of friends from our area.  It was a stressful time for us, because it was fairly last minute.  So he had to get a friend to pick up his packet, and we had to scramble to find a hotel, pack, and then finally to drive those 3 hours away.  The morning of the race it was FREEZING.  So he was getting ready to run and "warming up" while I was absolutely freezing my face off!  Spectating is a challenge!  Anyway, he was off a couple of waves, but he ended up starting around when he was supposed to, and he was ready to take on this marathon with a fun attitude.  His intention for this race, since he had already met his qualifying time for Boston, was to have fun and enjoy the race.  And that he did.  Besides the fact that it was miserably cold for pretty much the duration of the race, he really managed to have a good time.

I, on the other hand, was still freezing my face off.  I was running around Richmond trying to catch him on the course.  Since I wasn't about to run another marathon just to get a picture of him, I found mile 16 and settled in and waited for him to come to me!  While I was waiting at mile 16, inspiration struck me, thanks to some other spectator.

He is the shadowy runner that's waving
Striding to the finish line

Inspiration can strike at times when I least expect it, sometimes even from complete strangers.  And this time, I was sitting down waiting for my hubbs to come over that monster of a hill, and I was too cold and grumpy to cheer for anybody else when inspiration hit me.  This other spectator fellow was too spirited to let the cold get him down.  He was cheering everybody on!  He was cheering all the runners on with the same phrase: "BIG EFFORT!"  I had never heard that before, so as I was grumpily waiting on my star marathoner, I got to thinking.

Big effort.... I really like that.  The more I thought, the more I liked it.  I have a problem with positive self-talk or even accepting positive talk from others.  Things like "Good job!" or "Way to go!" or "You're amazing" have very limited meaning to me at this point.  If you say "Good job," I'll say, "Not really..."  If you say "Way to go," I'll say "Way to suck, don't you mean?"  If you say "You're amazing," I'll say "You're lying.  I am not."  But "Big effort" was different.  "Big effort" means that the effort was what was being recognized, not the ability of the runner.  "Big effort" means that you can't disagree with the statement because of some subjective point of view.  "Big effort" is one of the highest compliments that a runner can receive, because giving a big effort is sometimes all we CAN do.  And as I continue running and training, I have those words playing in my head, because I may not feel awesome a lot of the time, and I may not feel like I'm doing a good job, but so long as I'm putting in a BIG EFFORT, I know I'll be doing just fine.

Love this saying.  Hence why it is the background of the blog.
However, that last line should say JUST RUN... WITH BIG EFFORT.