Sunday, August 24, 2014

Motivation Monday.... A Little Early

This picture is from last week, not this past weekend.
Sorry we didn't take any pictures of our 12 miler.

So, this post is entitled Motivation Monday.  However, I am writing this today, Sunday.  And the events that are discussed in this post occurred on Saturday.  Totally confusing, but also irrelevant.  I just wanted an alliterative title.  Sorry, but accuracy must be sacrificed for the art of blogging.

Anyway, Mr. Marathon had typed up a whole big long post yesterday intended for Facebook, for the MHC Inspire page, which is the page for the local triathletes, runners, cyclists, etc. but I said, "WAIT.  THAT WILL MAKE AN AWESOME BLOG POST."  So he waited.  And here it is:

"So I have been in a bit of a slump lately (since last week), it's been hard to get out and run since I have been sick. But the thing that started it was my marathon training plan, that I started last week! However today me and Elizabeth did a 12 miler! And I got to see a lot of people from our area that were out and about! That made me feel extra good, because of how hard they were working! It made me realize that I too can work hard, and that I may fall off my path but the important part is that as long as I get up and get going again I'll be ok. I wanted to thank all the people that decided to go out and exercise this morning, because you made a difference in my life and in my training!"

Again, this picture is from last week.  Sorry. :(
I thought that this post was so amazing.  He has been in a slump due to his breathing, followed by illness, and thrown in the mix here is a new job, and new classes starting up.  Despite everything being overwhelming, he was excited to start his new training plan.  However, the plan only lasted three days in full force.  And in those three days, he was already feeling the effects of just about everything hitting him at once.  I was no help either, due to a new school year starting and I got sick too!  Oh, and last week, we attempted a 10 miler, which went horribly, terribly wrong.  We thought we should sleep in, be well-rested and ready to go by 1 in the afternoon, thinking that 80 degrees isn't THAT hot.  Psych!  It was!  We got overheated, dehydrated, and overall defeated.  But stepping out on an ambitious 12 miler yesterday, and then seeing all of our fellow MHC Inspire folks out doing the same, AND having my dad join us for 10 of those miles (THE LONGEST HE HAS EVER RUN WHAAAAAT) really made us feel the motivation come back.  Now, we just have to hold on to it for dear life for the next couple of months for something BIG we have coming up...!  But for now, that's our secret!  Mr. Marathon wants to stick to his training plan now that he has found one, and he plans to use one for the very first time!  We'll keep you updated on how well that works.  Wish us luck!  Or send us some words of encouragement.  Or both!!!

Speaking of training plans, we've also recently become involved in a Run for God program at a local church.  Friends of ours are heading up the program, and we're helping in any way we can.  This program is going to begin in a couple of weeks, and it's going to be awesome!

Want to try something new?  Well how about trying it with GOD! Have a spiritual connection with yourself and others, and then connect with yourself with exercise that's only as challenging as you want it to be!

If you are interested in registering for this program, registration will be Tuesday night from 5-7 PM at the Martinsville YMCA and also the day of the first meeting (September 8 at 6 @ the Y), so come on out!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Triadventure Summer Sprint Triathlon

As promised, here is Part Two of Mr. Marathon's crazy busy weekend last week.  On Saturday, he ran the Helgramite Hustle Mud Run, but then on Sunday, we ventured to Blacksburg, VA, for the Triadventure Summer Sprint Triathlon.  Of course, he was going to participate, and I was going to spectate and take pictures.  That morning was an early one.  We woke up before 4 AM to be there around 6:30 to get set up for a 7:30 start time.  Once we finally got there by way of some sketchy back roads in some serious fog, we parked (in a field....?) and walked a good distance to the transition area.  There, Mr. Marathon got checked in, picked up his packet, got body marked, and got body marked again.... with the correct number.  Then, he set up his transition area.  Lucky for him, his rack was still empty so he got the nice spot at the end!  He got to show off his nice new bucket this way.  Once he got all his gear set up and ready, we hiked up the treacherous lawn of the country club to the pool.  The reason the lawn was so treacherous was because it had rained like almost literally the entire week before.  It was very muddy and hilly.

Mr. Marathon was number 99 (not 66... ahem.), which means he had some time to wait before he started.  Once he got in, it took him a couple of laps to find his groove.  Then, after he finished grooving through his 300 meters in the pool, he was off back down the aforementioned treacherous lawn and down the hill and by the tennis courts then back on the treacherous lawn (seriously this transition was like a quarter of a mile at least.... if not a half a mile!).  His T1 was much faster this time around because he practiced transitioning from being wet from the pool to putting on his bike stuff the night before.

Bike out

He was ready to rock it out on the bike in about a minute and a half.  He headed out for his 10 mile bike ride, which was a little treacherous as well due to the rain.  (Can you tell that I am diggin' the word treacherous in this post?  Sorry but there is just no other word to describe these conditions!)  There were some pretty serious hills on the course, but overall, he felt like he did very well, considering that he had been practicing a lot with his new cycling shoes.  Oh, and he rode 60 miles the weekend before.  No big deal.

No time to waste!

Then when he came flying in on the bike, he quickly transitioned to the run.  His T2 was super speedy!  He changed his shoes, changed his shirt, and before he was really even finished changing, he was OFF!  Then, after a few minutes, someone told me that the running course, although advertised as a 3.1 mile (5K course), was actually closer to 2.4?  So after that, I realized that he would be coming in even sooner than anticipated so I scampered over from the transition area to the finish line, and lo and behold, not even 5 minutes later, here comes Mr. Marathon, prancing down the final hill and through the muddy, and yes you guessed it, TREACHEROUS finishing chute.

Overall, he was very pleased with his performance.  My watch (I began timing him when he began the swim... he doesn't have a tri watch yet) said it took him 56 minutes and some change, but his final time said 58 minutes and some change, then they updated the times due to a timing issue, and it said 59 minutes and some change?????  Also, he was awarded with 2nd place in his age group at the event, yet online, it says he got first place in his age group.... with his 59 minute time.  Either way, it was faster than last time, and he did a fantastic job, especially after the mud run debacle of the previous day.  And, he got to hang out with some great guys from the MHC Inspire triathlon team.

MHC Inspire
Mr. Marathon showing off his award!

We celebrated with the MHC Inspire team
at Cracker Barrel for some pancakes!

This past week, we also celebrated
4 years of being Mr. and Mrs. !

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Helgramite Hustle Mud Run 2014

This past weekend sure was a busy one for us!  On Saturday, Mr. Marathon hit the mud at the Helgramite Hustle Mud Run at the Smith River Fest in Martinsville.  Because of all the rain from the previous days, the mud run was EXTRA muddy... in places that weren't really intended to be muddy.  The more mud the merrier, though, right?  Mr. Marathon was the reigning champ for the race, seeing as he came in first overall last year (READ ABOUT IT HERE!).  But this year was a little more challenging, because of the extra mud caused by the rain as well as a couple of other factors.

First of all, we need to back up a week to last Sunday... a week before Mr. Marathon's busy weekend.  After a Sunday morning training run with some friends, a bumble bee decided that it was in the mood for some Mexican.  Kidding!  But seriously.  It stung Mr. Marathon, and he had never been stung by a BUMBLE BEE before.  Wasps, yes.  Yellow jackets, yes.  Sweat bees, yes.  But a bumble bee?  Never!  If anybody has told you that they don't sting, THEY ARE LYING.  Because they do.  And it did.  It stung him right in the hand on his right index finger.  It was totally painful when it happened, but the after effects were a little more serious.  His hand swelled up to like twice its natural size and it was itchy and hot for a couple of days.  After copious amounts of Benadryl and cortisone cream, his hand started to feel better (and look better).

Lining up to start
Now fast forward to Saturday.  While running this mud run, Mr. Marathon was running and performing the obstacles just fine and dandy.  Until after the first major uphill in the first half a mile, that is.  That's when he started noticing something a little off.  His breathing was affecting him at this point.  His throat felt as though it was closing up, and he started wheezing A LOT.  However, he is pretty good about controlling his breathing, which helped him to not panic while this was going on.  He made the connection between this breathing issue and his bee sting after the run.  After spending lots and lots of quality time in an allergy center (for all my testing) he considered maybe it was an after-effect of being stung, because he obviously had some kind of reaction to it.  I think I'm going to chalk this one up to sympathy asthma because of me.

Climbing the cargo net

Splish splash... but he was NOT taking a bath!

The scene of the crime:
notice his soapy, slippery left hand!
But that's just one extra challenge he faced at the mud run.  The other one is my personal favorite.  There was a large slip-and-slide about halfway through the course.  Mr. Marathon breezed down the slide looking strong and holding on to a close third place overall spot. When he got to the bottom of the slide, he put his hand down to slow himself down and prop himself up when all of a sudden, he popped up to take off running and something felt odd on his left hand.  No, he didn't get stung by another bee, don't worry!  But it's worse.  Kidding.  Kind of.  Anyway, he felt that something was missing from his ring finger on his left hand.  Yes, I'm talking about his WEDDING RING.  He immediately turned around and raced back to the slide, which fortunately was still close by because he realized this pretty quick.  As he was frantically looking for it, there was a photographer who also helped him dig through the mud (the same one that took that picture of him on the slide!).  A good minute later the photographer found it!  He slapped it back on his finger (tightly and cautiously, with love, of course) and balled up his fist tight for the rest of the race and he was off!  However, by that point, he managed to make his way to fifth place and decided to just cruise and maintain his fifth place, which he did.  Fifth place overall, but first place in his age group ain't too shabby considering everything he went through!
Smiling coming to the finishing chute....
despite everything

Some of the age group winners

Axton Fire Department had their trucks there to hose off participants

Ramiro sliding down
the slip and slide

On a more positive note, Mr. Marathon's brother, Ramiro decided to participate as well!  This was his first 5K, let alone a 5K mud run.  He had a great time participating, AND he won 3rd place in his age group!  Wowie zowie!  Speed must RUN in their genes... get it.... RUN?  HAH.

Another positive note about Saturday was my dad ran this race as well.  Even though he's run 5Ks and 10Ks and all that good stuff, he got to run a MUD RUN!  Pretty awesome for an old man!  Not to mention the fact that he placed first in his age group, AND he helped an older woman over an obstacle.  A winner AND a gentleman!

That's my dad in the gray shirt!

Sunday was an eventful day for Mr. Marathon as well, but this post is long enough, so be on the lookout for Part II, coming soon!

I just love this picture. It shows Mr. Marathon's
good sportsmanship and great attitude. :)