MOTHERS DAY GIFT – THE GBS 5K

The weather has finally started to feel like spring. Well, some days like summer too. Granted we get all of our rain for the month usually in one or two days which is just as entertaining as snow when you see how this city reacts to it (flooded streets). But the humid, warm air is a welcome to getting acclimated to the months ahead.

It has been a whirlwind still since RaceFest. I am contracted with Aquaphor for the rest of the season to represent their brand. The team’s website can be found at www.teamaquaphor.com and I am listed under the Atlanta region. This should be fun and exciting, as my past experiences with Polar and Amino Vital were both memorable and productive to my training/racing goals.

I have started doing preliminary training in preparations for the Buffalo Springs 70.3 in Texas come June 28th, and liked my initial tests. I have been a bit worn out due the combination of work hours and coaching, along with training, but Gina keeps tabs and our Saturday evening jaunts to Rita’s are surely looked forward too (and our Sunday sleep ins).

But on tap was the GBS/CIDP 5K which CRC is proud to be a part of. I raced in this event last year and loved working for Hannah Blanton in making her fundraiser a success and a fun event for all families involved. For those unfamiliar to Guillen-Baire Syndrome, simply visit the website at www.gbs-cidp.org or see the recent ESPN video on YouTube by doing a serach for coach Mike Sutton. This event is THE largest fundraiser for the disease and she puts her whole heart into making it a success.

Gina and Rochelle walked in it last year and were doing it again too. The overall volunteer support, corporate partners associated in the Southpark area (who donate GREAT prizes), and the inclusion of a kids run, Miracle Mile walk (which survivors take on in vast numbers), and a relaxing post-race party make this a must-do event. And the course is pretty challenging too. I was happy to represent the company in this local run.

The weather was warm and comfy – perfect for not worrying about what to wear. As the sun rose we gathered along the start and got to talk to friends and John from Rita’s. We hooked him up with Hannah in getting a spot at the event and he was there with his family. She had about 600 people which half ran the 5K and the others were walking or in the Kids event. A big boost from last year and considering that there were about 5 other events happening that day, made it more impressive a turnout.

I personally like this event because it falls on Mother’s Day weekend. Having lost my mother when I was 5, I hold dear to the images I still have and firmly believe she is a spiritual presence to me in my training and racing. To be able to race on such a day – for such a cuase – makes it more emotional. Hannah is also a mom, and I make it a point to mention to all kids/teens to “listen to them”. To all Mom’s out there – love ya.

As we made our way to the start, I got focused and took a quick scan: kids all around in their t-shirts and many adults oddly wearing their headphones/ipods. I was experimenting today too – size 7 womens racing sneakers that provided extremely flexibility and cushioning. I usually wear a size 9.5 womens, but MacGyvered the front laces to make ample room in the toe box for a sweet fit. I love science – even if I’m my own experiment.

Off we go!! Immediately 3 kids jetted out and as one guy noted – “they’ll die in a few blocks.” I tucked in behind and hugged the tangents nicely. Sure enough after a half mile I passed them and now had the motocycle cop as my guide. I passed the first mile in 5:32 was in the lead and just added to it by pouncing the hill sections. Caressing the tangents even more I often confused the cop at certain intersections. With a 5:07 second mile I knew I just wanted to finish well and the memories of why I do this event flooded in. Autopilot on and in a blur the race was over in 16:41 a best of 25 seconds from last year!

I immediately double backed for both a cool-down (I refer to 5K’s as “violent” for my system) AND to cheer on the others coming in. I was headed back to check on Gina and Rochelle catching up to them as they neared mile 2. They looked good and I made my way back again to the finish. I encouraged the walkers, thank volunteers, and ran with some kids. Awesome. I met up with Rochelle’s husband and grabbed a cowbell to ring it loud for finishers. Soon Gina and Rochelle finished in a 7 minute best over last year! Both were elated and started to have some fun at the “party”.
We made our way for a “recovery” ice of course and Tony – Rochelle’s husband – enjoyed his first ever race experience – he managed to down 2 donuts, a coffee, a hamburger, AND an ice all before 9:30. Sounds like my bro FPC.
I got to speak to Gary, owner of Asana sportwear, about the business (he’s a big endorser for events like this), along with Danny White and his crew at RMS who did the timing, and some runners who frequent the store. Gave some high-fives and hugs to mascots LugNut, Rufus, and the Chick Filet Cow who were entertaining the kids. I won a gift certificate worth $500 to this wine/bistro that believe me Gina and I will surely use serveral times. We said our good-bye’s as it was now off to work.

I couldn’t wait for the day to be over after work and head on  to Rita’s. I dragged Dana this time and with Gina we slurped our way to the usuals and John sat in by the HDTV checking out the golf. he hooked us up with some samples and his staff does a great job making you feel relaxed and “chilled”. they offer great suggestions enough that Dana and I walked out of there with 2 quarts each. I am firmly replacing my before- bed-snack with Rita’s for my training the next 2 months for the 70.3.

We got home, made some dinner and watched a movie. Exhausted we hit the sack and looked forward to Sunday. Another week gone by.

I was authorized by G to remain in “CHILL” mode for today. Listen to the Sherpa. I have lost several pounds and have been tired of late and am going to make sure today is used for active rest (it has been more than a month since the last one) and plan out in detail the next 8 weeks. I have adjusted my work schedule to accommidate the plan and work on some side projects (the book has gotten off to a good start draft). Time for some spring cleaning and errands, but with recharge in mind. We both need it and I love the fact that we are constantly trying to find more time for ourselves. It will come, but we will start acknowledging that saying “NO” will be good for us.

I was to travel to NYC on memorial Day weekend for an event schedule to assist with FPC and look at some things, but that has been tabled for a date in the summer. For now, it will be with eyes on Texas and an attempt to qualify for Worlds.   Sweat away.

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