Tag: Greensboro

Sleep is for SUCKERS!!!!!

Week 10
I’m 147 miles away from 1,000 miles. I have three weeks to get there. This is not an unobtainable goal but it does present a bit of a challenge. Fifty miles a week to get there. I will probably have to do at least three days of double dipping for the next two weeks in order to have fewer miles in the last week and fresher legs for the race.

Day 1

It was another one of those days that I preferred to stay in bed. I tried to keep my eyes closed for a few minutes longer as I attempted to picture my workout calendar to figure out who today’s run was for. I had no idea and knew the only way I’d know would be to get up.

I laughed when I saw the name Pam M. as I could hear her voice in my head saying, “Sleep is for suckers!” I pictured one of her previous cover photos on Facebook and her constant mantra of #noexcuses.

In my mind, I was going to start my week off easy. It was 53 degrees and I intended to enjoy my walk to the gym in the cool morning air. I also planned to walk my five miles. That didn’t happen. Somewhere between the bed and adjusting the settings on the treadmill, this became a training run. Each mile was faster than the previous mile for the first four miles. In the final mile, I added 42 seconds. That didn’t bother me much as the treadmill was set to slow the pace for a cool down.

For a run I didn’t want to do, I’d say it turned out pretty good. Five down, fifty to go.

Day 2

I slept horribly and my normal Tuesday routine was anything but. At 1:00 pm, I had completed zero miles. I hadn’t even bothered to look to see who the miles were dedicated to. I knew I couldn’t end the day with zero. I sent a distress text to a friend asking if she’d run with me when she got off work. Thirty minutes before I was to meet her, I was wishing I never asked. I didn’t feel like it.

We met at one of my favorite trails. She had never been there. I really like introducing people to new running places. We ran the trail and through some neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were very hilly and we ran most of the hills. The highlight of the run was open house. The neighborhood is being developed and we saw an open house sign. I was surprised that the door was actually unlocked. For $252,000 we would get an open floor plan home. Downstairs had hardwood in the foyer and kitchen. There was a master with a huge bathroom with double vanity. A second bath with a cute sink was just off the living area. For cool nights, the owners could also enjoy the fireplace. Upstairs, you were met by a grand bonus/media room. There were three additional rooms. One was small and I’d suggest an office. The other two were larger but I wasn’t impressed by the closets. I would have preferred less space in the bonus and more storage space. I loved the first floor and would have been happy with just that space. The less than great second floor, makes this home a deal breaker for me. I now feel a desire to go earlier to run the community again so I can see the other houses.

Today, I ran for Kat. I laughed at the irony. During her visit, we ran a hilly course. She would’ve loved to hate me for today’s run. We also can’t be trusted to “just run” together. She would’ve been in the houses with me. And had she been there, you’d also see pictures.

Ten down, 45 to go.

Day 3

Today’s run was dedicated to my high school track coach. He was the first person to introduce me to distance running. I cringed at the idea of running six miles for practice. Maybe that’s why I don’t like the 10k distance. But once I realized it wasn’t horrible and I was capable, I was ok with it. Thanks coach.

Thirty five more to go.

Day 4

I dedicated today’s run to injured runners and those who can’t run. I am completely in awe of how I randomly placed the names on no particular day of the calendar and each day somehow aligns with the name. In my mind, I think this day was important to me because I’ve seen my friends and people in the running community sign up for and train for a race and find themselves out of money and out of the race. I also put injured runners on the calendar to remind myself that even though I lace up, I won’t always run. Sometimes we must do what we can and not push it. When I thought about those who CAN’T run, I had in mind people (primarily children) who can’t physically run for whatever reason. Today (I realized) is my little buddy’s birthday who can’t physically run. I’m reminded of his winning smile the few times I’ve had the pleasure of his presence with his mom pushing him.

I walked all of my miles today because I know the next two days probably won’t be fun and definitely won’t be easy.

Four today. Thirty one to go!

Day 5

My morning started with a call from the person today is dedicated to. Pusha Pam was on her way to complete the Marine Corps Marathon. It was great to hear her enthusiasm. I knew that she would be on my mind during my double digit run.

Another night run for me on the treadmill. It would also be another night of Amazing Race while I ran. I skipped sushi for the evening and had kielbasa sausage. I prayed it would sit well in my stomach. I decided I would run ninety minutes nonstop. This would be my longest nonstop run in a while. I promised myself I wouldn’t look at the mileage until I had been going for two hours. When I looked, I hadn’t gone as far as I thought or as far as I would have liked but I heard Pusha’s voice in my head reminding me that I could do it and to keep pushing. I heard her voice say, “it’s you against yourself. Hang in there.”

I also watched a few wedding dress shows, “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Something Borrowed”. I took a long break from watching shows like this because I had the “always a bridesmaid” thought in my head. These days, I’m excited for the brides and I like to watch the shows. Maybe one day in the not so distant future I’ll get to be the one trying on wedding gowns.

After two hours, I decided to walk the remainder of my time. This decision was made not because I was tired but because it was late and I’m usually too amped after a night run to sleep. I slowed to a brisk walk and completed my double digit walk/run.

I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal for the week. In fact, I will probably have double digits by the time I go to bed tomorrow. I really just want to push to have less than 100 miles to get to 1000 before next week begins.

Oh yeah. I burned almost a thousand calories.

Day 5

My miles today are dedicated to a true warrior. Regina is a two time breast cancer survivor. I met her when I was a freshman in college. Her husband was in the military stationed at Fort Lee, fifteen minutes from my school. They are the family of the guy I was dating. From our very first meeting, she and the whole house took me in as family.

I was crushed when I heard she was suffering. At the time, we had both relocated and I was too far to come quick. I made sure to check in periodically and was overjoyed to hear that her cancer was in remission. That year, I started volunteering at breast cancer walks and races. It made me feel good to see so many people supporting cancer research and survivors. Before I started running, every year I promised myself that I would complete the 5k in her honor. The year I decided to join her and her daughters in Charlotte, shortly before the walk, she was back in the hospital. In prayer and because she couldn’t, I made the trip to Charlotte to volunteer. Afterwards, I went to visit her in the hospital. She looked weak, but her spirits seemed high. Soon after, Regina had won her battle again.

The following year, I wasn’t able to join her and the girls. I did, however; finally make good on my promise to run a breast cancer race in her honor. That year, along with a crowd of ladies dressed in pink, I completed the “Women’s Only” in Greensboro, NC.

This year, the breast cancer event dates didn’t mesh with my schedule. For the first time since her original diagnosis, I was not able to participate in an event. Today, I celebrate and log my miles for a two time survivor.

She is a true inspiration of every cliche’ that tells us to never give up.

What does one notice after two hours in the gym? The mileage on the machine says eight miles and the mileage on my Nike+ app say 2.notenough. Doggone you technology. Add that to my earlier miles and we’ve got two double digit days in a row. Tomorrow I’ll get in an easy two miler…a very easy two miler and prepare my mind and body to tackle the last 100 miles.

Finding My MOJO

I set a goal to log 1,000 miles in a fiscal year (12 June 2012 – 11 June 2013).  On June 2, 2013, I reached that goal crossing the finish line at Run Like A Girl four miler in Richmond, VA.  I was filled with emotions.  I was excited.  I was proud and I felt accomplished.  I had decided after reaching 1,000 that I would take a week to go easy to recharge and recover.  I decided that my miles would be a minimum.  Minimum ended up being thirteen.  In my mind, I would be ready to resume my twenty five plus miles a week the following week.  I reached eighteen miles.  I was feeling blah.

My friend teased me that I was having the turning 40 blues.  I knew that wasn’t it.  I was excited about the new age milestone.  I welcomed my initiation into the society of fierce, fabulous, forty year young women.

I couldn’t put my finger on what I was feeling or why I was having the feeling.  This morning….I got it!  It had been twenty two days since I laced up to run – I mean really run.  In the past three weeks, my body showed up on the pavement, but not my heart.  I was drained from the inside out.  I had reached my goal without setting a new goal.  This morning when I started my Nike+ app, I set a goal.  Run three miles without stopping..Mile one was a breeze with just over a ten minute mile pace.  It was humid and I wished I had gone earlier.  At mile two, I had slowed down a bit and I began to think that I should finish my 5k doing intervals.  My body battled my mind and logged into my heart.  That’s when it hit me.  I really am driven by the goals I set for myself.  And this was the first goal I had set on the pavement since I completed my last goal.  I told myself, “Today’s goal is a non-stop 3.1 and that’s what we’re going to do.  Suck it up!”  At mile 3.2, I felt my chest swell a bit that I actually didn’t give up.  I walked the next half mile and took the time to set new goals.

Goal number 1 – Log 500 more miles by Christmas.

Goal number 2 – Complete a 5k race in under 30 minutes.

Goal number 3 – I’m keeping to myself…..for now.

I left my mojo in Richmond but found her on the pavement in Greensboro.

New & Record – Greensboro, NC

http://www.news-record.com/blogs/717697-95/runners-april-joy-bowden

Thank you Eddie Wooten for featuring me in “Running Shorts”

April Joy Bowden

Age: 39.

Residence: Greensboro.

Day job: Photographer.

Why I run: “I started running again as a way to shed a few pounds. After I completed my first 5K, I was hooked again.

A typical week: “I usually run 3-5 times a week. The longest distance I have done at one time is 10 miles. When it fits in my schedule, I run with Black Girls Run! in High Point.”

Favorite place to run: “I like to run anywhere that it’s quiet. My favorite season to run is fall. I love the colors.”

Asphalt or trails? “Trails.”

Other athletic pursuits: “When I started running just before my last birthday, I set a goal to run 1,000 miles before my 40th birthday in June. I have 350 miles to go.”

Faster, higher, stronger: “I like to do what I call ‘street lights’ for speed. I run as fast as I can from one street light to the next, rest between the next and do it again.”

Look what I did: I’m most proud of registering for my first half-marathon in Myrtle Beach. Can’t wait to get to the start … and the finish line.”

We all have tough days: “I left my race bib at home for one of the races I completed last year. Having to rush back home was not fun. Now, I leave the bib in the car.”

Most people don’t know: “I only watch about three hours of TV each month.”

Words to the wise: “Don’t overdo it. Rest is as important as running.”

Anything else: “I started a Facebook group: I RUN This City, where I post motivational pictures and quotes. The group is currently holding a 500-mile challenge. To date, the participants have logged over 2,500 miles. I RUN This City believes in giving back to the community. For Christmas, I hosted a run to benefit Toys for Tots. This summer, I will host a run to collect school supplies. Each year, IRTC will choose a city and form a team to walk-run a race. This years selection is ‘Run Like a Girl’ in Richmond, Va.”

Zombie Run

November 3, 2012

After working four hours, I was excited to prepare for my first untimed….fun run.  I came home to shower and sress in my all black running gear, donned with my race number.  The atmosphere downtown was festive and the weather was perfect for a run.  There were tons of people, lots dressed in costumes.

As my wave crossed the START line, zombies began to come out from everywhere.  I lost my first flag in the first 100 yards. The course was fun, minus the hills.  when we realized that the zombies were strategically placed in clusters throughout the course after we had been running for our lives for almost a mile, we began to walk. When we saw the next group of zombies ahead, we began to work as a team and allow the runners who still had flags to move to the center so the others could “protect” them.  This race proved to be slightly difficult.  There’s something about being chased that adds a little extra to any run.  But, it was all in the name of fun!  After running through all of the obstacles, including a maze of hay bales, it was time to cross the finish line.  We were greeted by a new set of zombies.  These zombies were on roller blades.  After crossing the finish line, we were all given a prize; a squishy brain.  But for most, the best prize wasn’t the run, the brain or the shirt.  It was the ice cold beer.