{February 22, 2011}   Running For A Purpose

Today was such a gorgeous day!  I let the dog out this morning, glanced up at the cloudless sky, inhaled the slight breeze, and my inner run-ometer read “IDEAL running weather.”  I dashed in and changed immediately, knowing time was ticking away from the current 60 degrees and toward the 80 degree high on the forecast.  I absolutely LOVE this brief stretch between, too-cold-for-my-thin-blood and so-hot-and-humid-even-3am-running-risks-heat-exhaustion.  I wish it lasted longer!

Currently, my thoughts have turned to the upcoming epic-ness of the Rock’N’Roll Savannah Marathon  in November.  I’m still building my foundation and its still just a tad early to start actual training, but whats on my mind lately would make this milestone even more memorable, and that is to train and run it to raise funds for a good cause.  In one way, it would benefit me with added accountability- I always do much better if someone is relying on me.  But more importantly, I want to make a difference.

There are SO MANY worthy causes out there, but instantly my heart turns to human trafficking.  The absolute outrage that such a tragic autrocity exists makes me seriously see red, especially when it largely targets children!  Add to that the way our country seems wildly unaware and ignorant of just how much of this is going on, even right here in our own country, and I just want to create awareness!!  I want people to realize this, get MAD and stand together to fight it!  I truly feel like this is one of those things where knowledge and awareness alone would make a huge, massive impact!

So, the next question is: where do I start? Do I link up with an existing organization?  Do I just try and raise funds and then donate it? I hesitate to just choose any old charity, because I always wonder where the money is actually going.  I, of course, want to maximize the impact.  But how do you figure that out? 

Food for thought 🙂

On a side note, right now as I’m typing, I’m watching A&E’s “Heavy” – It’s a lot like “The Biggest Loser” but slightly less drama, and currently they are set from Savannah’s neighbor to the north, Hilton Head, SC!  I LOVE hearing about local resources for people to get fit and healthy the right way!! 🙂

Happy Running!


{February 17, 2011}   Pretty Toes!

Running is mostly mental.  Story of my life.

Thus far, this year has been a major bonk.  But I will persevere! Building my base up, but its so hard to take a day off!  I don’t mean this how you might think.  What I mean is that when I take a day off…. it usually turns into several days.  I cannot justify this.  It makes zero sense.  But when a Runner Girl hits a slump like this, she does what any Runner Girl would do…. perhaps what any Girl, period, would do in a slump…. she buys a new pair of SHOES!


They make my heart smile 🙂

These Bikila Vibram Fivefingers came into my life last Saturday, when I ventured down to Half Moon Outfitters, the only shop in town that sells them, and made myself at home on the benches in front of the shoe display.  I’ve been following the chronicles of my good friend Dan’s VFF’s on Twitter, as he post pics throughout our beloved city, turning them into a sort of Tour Guide of Savannah.  Truly, Dan, if you are reading, they should have their own Twitter account, haha, I would follow!  Tumblr, perhaps??

Anyways, I had done research prior to deciding that these would be my next run shoe purchase, and what really encouraged me was the bit I found that suggested these might really help my awkwardly shaped feet.  I have a wide toe box with a narrow heel and my big toes lean in to the rest of my feet at a dramatic angle.  Dramatic only to me, but it makes buying any pair of shoes a challenge.  My toes get smoooooshed together.   The research I did suggested the way VFF’s separate the toes could relieve some pressure and so I WAS SOLD!

Then, of course, the appeal behind minimalist running.  I figure these baby blues will either turn out to be a BIG win, or the polar opposite.  Its too early to tell, though, we’re still in the puppy love phase 🙂 

At the shop I thought the most difficult obstacle would be choosing a color.  Blue, green, hot pink…. love ’em all!  However, the most time consuming and exhaustive process was trying to get them on for the first time!  After 29 years of toes being smoooooshed together, they were a tad hesitant toward their newfound independence.  Because the VFF’s are so tight, fitting much like a foot-glove, it took a lot of twisting and tugging before each piggie found their own way home!  The saleslady promised it would get easier!

She also recommended, and others concur, not to dash home, slip them on, and head out for a LSD run.  Take a week or two and wear them throughout the day to keep from shocking your feet and something about messing with my ankle.  All I heard was “Foot injury if not eased into!”  That’s all I needed to hear. 

So, me & Bikis have become fast friends over the past few days, running around town together (not literally) doing errands and housework and church stuff.  My feet feel fine, and I’ve cut down my getting-them-on time dramatically!  I’m still running in my uber supportive Mizuno Wave Alchemy’s and I’m curious how it will be switching between the two.  The reactions have also been interesting.  Best of which was my 8 year old, yesterday, as we walked from the car to the salon, she twists her face and says, “I CAN’T believe you are going to wear those to the hairdresser’s!”  This from the girl who wants me to put her hair into 5 ponytails for school!?! 😛

….. In other news….

ITS GORGEOUS OUT!!! Seriously! Not too shabby for mid-Feb! Already back to running in shorts again!

My easy little run today was tough though.  Its such a bummer when the weather is finally ideal, the distance is a drop in the bucket, done it a hundred times before, you’re psyched and ready to go, the world unfolds before you like a red carpet beckoning you to strut your running self down it, and you wind up with a crummy run, fighting every part of the way.  Oh welllll…. one cute thing I saw as I was running around my neighborhood that made me smile: sidewalk chalk at the end of a driveway, and in a young child’s handwriting was written “mommy’s spot” and “daddy’s spot” – cute!

Happy Running!

{February 6, 2011}   2011 Critz Tybee Half Marathon


1. I can never sleep the night before a race (along w/ most other nights in general) – slept like a baby last night tho!

2. I also never have even a mildly decent race photo, I knew today would have gnarly weather, so I left my shades at home and went for curly hair and a visor, just trying different things in hopes for frame-worthy proof that I’m a runner… yeah, that didn’t work out….

3.  Headed to Tybee, I actually love being up and out this early in the morning 🙂 It didn’t rain on the way there so I thought we’d luck out, till I actually crossed over to the island…

3. I got there and parked and found my team’s tent in time to shiver for about 5 minutes and then head to the start. It was raining lightly, sorta misting, and I was freezing, but other than that felt good.  Not much stretching going on… oops!

The Race Is On!

4. The first mile lasted forever cuz it was straight down one road.  The further we went, the harder it rained.  I was in a capris, a t-shirt, sweatshirt, mittens, and a visor.  I didn’t mind the rain much, made me feel kinda hardcore 🙂

5. Between the lack of training, the weather, and just a gut feeling, I knew this was going to be a rough race, so I decided to do what I’ve never done which is to take my time, take a pic or two, chat up some fellow back-packing runners, yada, yada, yada…

Here’s the Tybee lighthouse, about 2.5 miles in…

7. Ditched my sweatshirt about mile 5.  By then it weighed roughly 37 lbs!! dropped it at a spot off the main road i thought would be easy to swing by and grab post-race.  In this town I wasn’t too worried about someone snatching it up but sadly, it was gone…

8. Normally mile 8 is my notorious hurdle.  Funny thing, in December’s Jacksonville 1/2, I didn’t really struggle at all, and then today, my hurdle popped up between miles 5 and 6!!!!! ahhh!!!!  no bueno!!! 

9. Miles 6-9 were tough! one LONG stretch of that main road, which felt like it never ended!  And these miles were running against quite a little breeze.  My hamstrings felt like they were cranking tighter and tighter with every stride.

10.  By mile 9 I was in a ton of pain.  My legs were like lead.  My shoes and socks were still drenched.  The soles of my feet felt like I had been running barefoot the whole time.  And I was just ready to have it over with.

11.  This is when I really started struggling w/ the walk/run thing.  As soon as I let myself walk even just a little bit, I have trouble getting going and staying going again.  Sadly, this was the reality of the last leg of the race especially, which made it drag on so much longer. 

12.  I tried to embrace it and chat up people.  People in general fascinate me, and I love the running community so i greatly enjoyed getting the chance to do this.

13.  This race time was nearly 20 minutes slower than my previous worst time.  There were many obstacles that attributed to this, but the biggest factor was definitely my lack of training.  January was full of illnesses and overscheduling which left little opportunity to run.  I did so well (for me) at the Jax race w/ little training, I honestly wasn’t sure if that was a fluke.  I’m glad to see that it was.  Lesson learned!

Post Race –

14. Cold.  Very very cold! And oh so windy! It rained lightly and although they served some yummy chili, I was a bit on the miserable side.  I stayed and chatted with the team, but eventually headed home.  By the time I got to my house I had started to thaw, but had a wicked headache.  My hip flexers were so sore, it hurt tremendously just to walk.

15.  Its been several hours and my legs are still really beat up.  I haven’t been this sore after a race since my first half 1.5 years ago.  And I’m pretty sure I will sleep like a baby!

+ points:

16. I saw one guy, around my mile 6, walking back from his 5k (i could tell by his bib).  I mean absolutely no disrespect, but this was a big boy.  He reminded me of a biggest loser contestant.  anyways, he was walking by himself, but smiling from ear to ear, no doubt over his accomplishments.  it was the biggest grin i’ve ever seen and it made me choke up- so awesome!

17. I really liked the separate starts for the 1/2 marathon and the 5k.  the 5k started at 8am, and by the time the 1/2 started at 8:30, many of the 5k runners had finished.  i like being able to cheer for them before my race 🙂  I think its a good energizer!

18. I love my team, FCA-endurance.  there are a ton of us, and everyone is so friendly and helpful.  i’m so proud of my teammates 🙂 and honored to represent Christ alongside them!

– points

19. besides the obvious and pre-mentioned, there weren’t many spectators (but that could largely be from the weather), which i don’t mind necessarily, but i want it for the other runners

20. i was least impressed by the expo.  they changed locations since i last ran the tybee race, and it was so cramped in this little hotel convention hall.  there was no room for any vendors besides fleet feet and the packet pick-up, and with that it was hard to walk through, everyone was shoulder to shoulder.

Altogether, this was my least favorite race.  Its close to home, so I’m thinking I might run next year to redeem myself, but other than that, I’d rather volunteer at it… I’m glad to have the opportunity tho, and to have another 1/2 under my belt 🙂

Now, to get back into training! 🙂

et cetera