Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greenways 5K (#7 out of 14)

Halfway there!  As I mentioned in my last post I was trying to get in two more races/runs before surgery and this was on the Saturday right before surgery.  I was able to run it for a great deal- I had a volunteer coupon plus my KTC discount so it ended up being only $10- can't beat that!  Knoxville has some beautiful greenways but since I mostly run alone I very rarely take advantage of them (except certain ones).  This particular run ended being a really small one- there were only about 110 participants (in the 5K- there was also a 2 mile dog jog that I think had quite a few also) and it was actually the first "warm" day to run.  In fact, I got a little warm out there- starting temperature was about 55 degrees and the sun was shining!  The greenways were rolling "hills"with some stretches of flat.  It was a lot of fun- lots of encouragement from other runners (both those who were running the 5K and those just out for the morning).  Beforehand I did have a chance to meet a local runner/blogger Amy and her husband.  Amy blogs over at Coffee, Scarves, and Running Shoes.  We have chatted on FB several times but finally got a chance to meet so that was fun!

I don't have a lot to say about this particular race- I was doing well and then toward the end of it I just kind of "fizzled" out for lack of a better word.  I had a lot on my mind while I was running and the end snuck up on me (It was in the middle of the greenway and not where we started).  My time was better than the week before but I finished WAY low in the pack (which again is totally fine).  Hoping that this surgery will help with some of the troubles I have had with running lately but it will be a few weeks before I get any ideas on that.  I didn't even get a picture with my #7 :(  It's the only one I have forgotten but I didn't run this one with any of my Sole Sister running friends and I had an eye appointment that I had to book it to.

Final Results:
Greenways 5K
Time: 37:15 (93/111)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Little Bragging and a little inspiration

Quite honestly, this post will probably get me in trouble because the person it is about is one of the most unassuming people you will ever come in contact with.  However, after watching her struggles and triumphs over the last several years I feel the need to share (hopefully she will forgive me) :)

You see, when I first got into this journey of running I kind of went into it blindly.  Quite honestly, I was just doing it to lose weight and as the months and miles passed it went beyond that.  It went to something that I actually did enjoy (most of the time).  Along the way I had a friend who encouraged me and supported me every step of the way.  My hair stylist (but before that she was my friend) Wendi is also a runner.  She would text me asking me how things are going, what I was training for, etc.  When I would come in to get my hair cut we would talk about everything under the sun but without a doubt the conversation would always turn around to running. Last year, in 2013, when I ran my first half- Wendi was a HUGE reason why I did not give up.  And last year, while I was running that half, she was running the Knoxville full marathon- 26.2 miles through the streets of Knoxville-which is definitely no easy feat. And while she was in the home stretch of that marathon I was walking back to the car with a friend and we got to cheer her in because we happened to the hit the intersection at the same time she did.  With that Knoxville marathon Wendi qualified for this year's Boston Marathon and was able to run on Monday.

I am so proud and honored to be her friend and to have the opportunity to cheer her on and encourage and support her as well (it has not been an easy road for her).  You can read a little of her story below:

Oh, and her final time 3:52.10!  Way to go Wendi!

And as an aside, watching the finishers was heart grabbing and has given me a renewed purpose (not for a full by any means but for a more focused training when I can get back at it).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Breakthrough for Autism race recap

Last year after the half I took some time off of running- and it ended up taking me back in my training.  This year, I planned to do a race/run every weekend until the end of school to keep me going forward.  However, that plan got a little messed up when I ended up at an ENT for chronic congestion and discovered that my sinuses were pretty "full" which meant I needed sinus surgery.  When I asked about a timetable his response was something along the lines of- we live in East TN and it's spring- so sooner rather than later.  When looking at the calendar I went with this past Monday because we would have Good Friday and the Monday after Easter off work so it limited the days off and give me an extra day of rest.

That meant I actually only had 2 weekends after the half to get any runs/races in and this one was first up.  It was a smaller race that is building in popularity and had a little over 350 participants. I have several friends who have children with Autism (or know kiddos/adults with Autism) and over on FB I asked for their names.  When they shared the names I added them to my bib and ran for each of them.  I went out with no expectations- just the thought that I was going to enjoy the run (which I did) but even more so I got a glimpse.  A glimpse into a world with its struggles and tears yet rewards at the same time.  This race is unique in that it offers running buddies where you can sign up to run WITH someone as a buddy.  I ended up being around a lady and her older son and my heart was so full watching them.  He would run ahead and then all of a sudden just stop (often right in front of me) and just start walking- she was so apologetic and said they hadn't learned how to pace yet- I just chuckled and told her that was okay- I was still learning about it also :)  The sheer joy that these young men and women had to be able to participate was so overwhelming and I will admit that I caught myself tearing up a time or two.

Will I participate in this race again?  YES!  I truly believe in the cause it supports and it was a great course!

Final results- #6 out of 14 in 2014
Run For Autisim
Chip time was 37:27.4
236/369 (not great but it's all good) :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Easter edition

Not a lot to say today- I had sinus surgery on Monday so have been keeping things fairly low key but wanted to share this:

“For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17- ESV)

And one of my new favorite songs:

My favorite set of lyrics?

And the gates of hell will not prevail
For the power of God has torn the veil
Now we know your love will never fail!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Inspiration

What room does fear have?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon (half) recap #5 out of 14

Before the race I wrote this post about letting go of my expectations and last year after the half I wrote these posts that outlined 13 lessons learned from my first half: Part 1; Part 2; and Part 3.  I am not going to repeat those lessons but I want to share a few things that I didn't share before.

This year was the 10th year for the CHKM and my second year running it.  It also became my third half and as I stated last week I had no expectations going into this race- my goal was to finish and finish strong!  I did well for the first 8 -9 miles and then the heel pain flared up and I ended up having to walk WAY more than I planned (plus I had to make an extra stop at the porta potties).  BUT, when I hit that downhill that takes you into the stadium- oh my the tears popped to my eyes and I just kept pushing.  To run into the stadium and see that finish line on the 50 yard line and hear your name called out as a finisher and then get that finisher medal was the icing on the cake.

Can I tell you what the best part was though (besides finishing of course)?  I took a personal day on Monday and when I went back to school on Tuesday I took my medal with me so I could show it to the kids.  I decided to take their picture of them wearing the medal.  One of my sweet 4 year olds looked at me after I put it away and said, "Ms. Grandi, I am going to get me one of those medals." Me, "You are?" Her, "Yes, I am going to run a really long race when I get big so I can have one of those!"  Me, "I bet you will!"  and I gave her a high five.  Made all of the torture (ha), lack of training, pain, and tears worth it.  Even when I feel like I have failed because I didn't meet my goal- or I didn't do as well as I wanted- I haven't failed- not at all because in the end- maybe, just maybe, I have inspired someone to go out and be strong.

Oh, and my finish time- it was 3:04 on the dot.  Not as good as last year but many lessons learned…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lucky Kidney Run Recap

So, I am a little behind on my recaps.  I have three to get caught up on this week plus part 2 of my stress post as well as some random thoughts going through my head (which may be kind of scary!)

Back on March 8th I participated in the Lucky Kidney Run- I wrote this post here that explained what led to me wanting to participate.  I had the chance to work with a friend of mine who works for Donate Life and was putting together the team.  This was a 6K and for me- was race number 4.  This race took place downtown and started on Gay Street.  The route took us through some beautiful neighborhoods- oh and guess what- it had hills LOL :)  Anyway- this is the only 6K that I have ever run so of course it was a PR :)  My time was 45:32 and as I said this was number 4 out of 14.  The "after race" had door prizes and a photo booth (which had props for St. Patrick's Day).  The best part was hanging around the photo booth and taking pictures with friends!  Fun times!

On a side note- if you have not considered organ donation (or if you have not made your feelings known to your loved ones) might I encourage you to do so.  What an amazing gift to give someone- giving another the gift of life/health.

*I know this is not much of a recap- but it is what it is and actually don't have a lot to say about this one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hot Chocolate 5K #3 out of 14

The day after Valentine's Day there was a run that benefitted a local runner who was raising funds for Team in Training.  I signed up quite a while before that when the race came open and was so excited for it- the funny thing is I couldn't partake in the post-race goodies- it was a Hot Chocolate/Chocolate Lover's 5K.  This race took place at a local park on a greenway- it was an out and back.  My training "plan" that day had me running 7 miles so I went early and ran 2 to start out and then the 5K (3.1) and then planned to finish out with another 2 BUT, once again, we had been in the throes of a Polar Vortex and had about 8 inches of snow on the Thursday before (but it was gone by that night- that's East TN for you) so I got my first 5 and then ended up coming home and doing the final two on the treadmill.  I have run this particular route in a previous race so was familiar with it.  It's a pretty route- the greenways here are (for the most part) amazing!  However, there are some that I won't run on by myself because they go through some secluded areas.  This one is one that is busy enough on those nice days I would feel okay with it.  It is an out and back which means I knew the hills I would face on my way back but after the 2 mile warm up my legs felt really good.  I think it actually came in a little short of 3.1 (at least according to my gps which I seriously question after my half) but I did do well- my official time was: 34:24.  That's the best time I have had in a long time (and one that I have yet to surpass or even get close to again LOL).  It was another run that I did with several friends and that always makes it lots of fun :)

This was a fun race and I look forward to doing it again!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Inspiration

I may have shared this before but I love the message it sends and needed it this weekend.  It is an amazing reminder that someone loves me unconditionally and my worth is based solely on that and that alone!

*I am working on some posts to go up this week- I have three race recaps to write!