Tag: I Run This City

Behind on blog. Current on training

I’m going to blame it on the Christmas holiday. Ok, no I really can’t blame it on that. I was off for eight days. I’ve been running (and writing). I just haven’t been sharing. But, I’m getting back on track; today.

Week 4
Day 1 – 64 degrees
This was my favorite training day so far. My sweetie was visiting on my run and joined me. I didn’t go to my first choice because it was hilly and I wanted us to enjoy our first time exercising together. We started with a warm up walk. When that was over, I did intervals and came back to meet up on walk breaks. The weather, the fall leaves and the company were all perfect.
Day 2 – 51 degrees
We went out again together. The weather was cooler and I was in pain after doubling up on my squats challenge yesterday. Two hundred in one day made for a not so pleasant run. The miles were a big obstacle course as we had piles of leaves to maneuver. But, I enjoyed our time on the pavement.
Day 3 – 41 degrees
Oh yeah. This week is gravy. All three training runs are DONE! It’ll be icing on the cake if I add something else. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week.

Week 5
Day 1 – warm weather, I miss you. My love/hate relationship with the treadmill continues.
Day 2 – I dropped my car off to be serviced and the guys asked if I wanted a ride. I declined and said I was going to run home. One of the guys looked at me and said, “You do know it’s only 23 degrees!” I knew the temperature and dressed accordingly. I guess I was super cold. I was running nine minute miles trying to get home.
Day 3 – Happy Thanksgiving. I woke up to very cold weather so I decided I would wait for it to warm up a bit. At 11, it was thirty degrees so I went out to brave the hills of Georgia. My goal was to run the first mile of the hills without stopping. I made it! I saw a few other runners who I guessed were out trying to burn calories before they were consumed.

Week 6
Day 1 – I ran but I didn’t write. Oops!
Day 2 – The day got away from me and then it was night. My waiting made me miss the decent weather and the sun. So, inside to the treadmill for me. Bright side, I got to wear shorts,
Day 3 – 58 degrees
I was excited the night before when I looked at the forecast. I saw that there was a twenty percent chance of rain but thought I’d get lucky and miss it. Nope. Not this time. Treadmill, again.

Week 7
Day 1 – Today was the I RUN This City, walk to warm the community. This was a coat, hat, scarf and glove donation run. Only a few people came to participate, but they gave generously. Over twenty items were collected. The forecast said rain and I hoped it would hold off. That didn’t happen. 2.5 miles in, it was 30 degrees and the rain began. It got to be pretty steady. At the finish, I was cold and wet. But I was overjoyed that my efforts would keep others warm and dry.
Day 2 – I want to break up with the treadmill. To escape another boring run, I decided on a ladder interval workout. It made the time go by quickly and was actually pretty fun.
Day 3 – Time to run. No time to write.

Week 8
I’m still running and I’m on schedule with training but my work schedule is keeping me away from writing.
Day 3 – Walk to Warm the Community – part 2. I was joined by one of my friends doing the Glass Slipper Challenge with me. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Week 9
Day 1 – Tonight’s run was awesome. Not only did I feel great. The temperature was mike and the scenery was amazing. I loved running downtown with all the Christmas lights.
Day 2 – I was sneaking out of work early enough to run with the group so I changed into my running clothes on my lunch break. I had my tights on under my pants. I got out of the car and was ready to run. Almost ready. I had almost forgotten to take off my pants.
Day 3 – 5k at 50 degrees. One whole week outside. Woohoo!

I worked fifty hour weeks so I didn’t bother to write but I did run. I got sick and missed a long run but otherwise, I stayed on track.

I went to Georgia for Christmas and I ran the lovely hills. Five miles, two days. On Christmas day, I completed my virtual race sponsored by RunningNerds. On January 1st, I rang in the New Year with a 5k in Marietta. I placed 8th in my age group. It was a small race with quite a few no shows. But I enjoyed the event and my shirt is cute. Georgia (my frog) got to run her first race. How ironic, it was in Georgia.






I RUN This City……..like a Princess (week 3)

Day 1 – 3.1 miles – 35 degrees

I almost wished I had gotten up at 4:30 to join a group run. It was cold and I wanted to sleep in on my one day off. But, by the time I was ready to go, the weather wasn’t just cold, it was wet. Insert unhappy princess in training. This was the second Tuesday in a row that I waited to run in the evening, only to get stuck on the dreadmill due to rain. I was hot. I was bored. My new socks were getting on my nerves as they kept sliding into my shoe. My bra wasn’t being very supportive and earned a new spot in the garbage can. But, on the bright side…..day 1 is DONE!

Day 2 and 3

This princess has a dry and itchy throat. An annoying cough is yet another symptom. This princess is sick. No training for me.

During my down time, I did come across a training calendar on one of the Princess Half Marathon Facebook pages. The calendar was really nice. It has all the princesses on it with the amount of time or mileage to run. It’s the plan from the run Disney page…..but prettier. I’m ditching everything else I’ve put together. Thanks Jessica Goss.


Week 1

This week’s training plan calls for two days of 30 minute activity and the long run is four miles.

Day 1-3.5 mile run, .5 mile walk. Temperature 67 degrees. 3:30pm
I wasn’t expecting such warm weather on my first day of training. I guess the one thing I should expect about running in North Carolina is not to try to predict the weather. I strapped Georgia to my fuel belt and went on my trek through the neighborhood trail. This is one of my favorite places to run. And today was better than awesome being embraced by the beauty of the changing leaves. I love autumn!

Day 2-long run. Temperature 49 degrees. 5:39am
Today, I joined two runners. We meet weekly for 4-5 miles. Someone thought it would be a good idea to change the route a bit. The change took us on rolling inclines. It was tough but I enjoyed the challenge and the change of scenery. I did 9:1 intervals and went over the four miles a little. A 10k for my training breakfast. Yummy!

Day 3-30 minutes. Temperature : raining
I had to run on the treadmill. I got in a miserable three miles. I really dislike the treadmill.


The 1,000th mile

The 500 mile challenge began on December 21, 2012. The goal was to have participants log 500 miles by June 12, 2013. As participants began to get close to the 500 mile mark, it was decided to extend the mileage to 1,000 and extend the time to a full calendar year. The change allowed those who had higher miles to strive for a new goal and those who had lower miles and/or injury to not be discouraged by adding time.
The first woman to complete the I RUN This City 500/1000 mile challenge was Tammy Toliver of Greensboro, NC. I contacted Tammy to find out where she would be completing her 1,000th mile. She gave me the location and the time. I had never run that particular course and I’m not the 4:30am kind of girl. But, it was important that I was present for this milestone since I live in the same city. I woke before 4:00 to meet Tammy and other members of Black Girls Run fir a five mile run. I was told that I was “in for a treat” with this course. The treat was hills, lots of hills. Secretly and quietly, I enjoyed the challenge.
At the end of the run, Tammy was presented with a finisher certificate and other gifts.

I asked Tammy about the challenge;

IRTC:When you started the challenge, did you have a target date to complete your 1,000th mile?
Tammy:When I first started it was just 500 miles which I wanted to complete by my birthday. Then when it was changed to 500/1000 I had set my mind to complete by July.

IRTC:On average, how many miles did you run each week?
Tammy:I would say I run anywhere between 20-27 miles week

IRTC:What was your longest distance run during the challenge?
Tammy:The longest distance I ran was 13.1 miles

IRTC:How many races did you complete during the challenge?
Tammy:During challenge I completed 7 races and did 3 virtual races.

IRTC:To help prevent injury, cross training is suggested. What do you do to cross train?
Tammy:I do strength training, walking, elliptical and Zumba.

IRTC:What is your favorite refuel food/beverage?
Tammy:My favorite refuel food are raisins, bananas,chocolate milk, Gatorade

IRTC:What advice do you have for other participants of the challenge to reach his/her goal?
Tammy:Don’t give up if you haven’t reached your goal by the time frame you set. I had 2 injuries during challenge were I wasn’t allowed to run, but I just looked at it as a small setback. I just focused on getting better and knew that I was close to my goal and didn’t let that discourage me. I was only in competition with myself.

IRTC:What was your favorite thing about the 500/1000 mile challenge?
Tammy:I started the challenge to help me get in more miles and being more consistent with my running. It was also motivating to see other runners posting their mileage.

IRTC:You completed 1,000 miles in a little over eight months. What’s your next goal?
Tammy:My next goal is to complete a full marathon before my 50th birthday.

Congratulations on your accomplishment!

I RUN This City Gives Back

I RUN This City Gives Back allows participants to combine fitness (walking and/or running) with giving back to the local community. There is no “cost” to participate. However; supporters are asked to bring an item(s) to be donated to a specific cause or charity.
The weekend of August 10th, I RUN This City Gives Back focused on education and back to school supplies. The recipient of donated items will be the Guilford County Teacher’s Warehouse. This agency houses supplies for teacher use during the school year to help defray the out of pocket cost that many educators spend to help purchase additional supplies for his/her classroom.
According to a survey conducted by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers can easily spend as much as $800 per year of their personal money on supplies for their classrooms.
The two day event was broken into two segments; a morning jog/run of three to eight miles on Saturday and a one to three mile walk on Sunday evening. In total, there were eight attendees and three people who could not attend but donated supplies.
Over two hundred items were collected.
Stay tuned for more I RUN This City Gives Back events in the future.

I USED To Run Alone

I’m a bit of a go getter when it comes to every aspect of my life. I usually push until the desired result is reached. This is what I also do when running. In the past, if I wanted to run and there was no one available, I’d just go alone. After yesterday’s events, I don’t think I’ll be running solo anymore. I couldn’t be more grateful that I wasn’t alone.
I recently posted a picture on I RUN This City that I captioned, “There’s strength and safety in numbers”. The prompt behind the post came after seeing an article about a man that left his home one evening on a run by himself that ended up missing. After the community spent a few days searching for him, he was found. Dead.
I had gone out for a track workout with my buddies and we did a half mile warm up and proceeded to begin speed work. Everything was going well. We were each doing 400m runs. I went last and finished with an impressive time. I felt a bit winded and went to lean on the fence and get a sip of water. Soon after removing the bottle from my fuel belt, I hit the ground and was unresponsive. My friends immediately began to care for me and dialed 911. When EMS arrived, I was doing better but I knew I didn’t feel like I should. I took my first ride in an ambulance where I was hooked to an IV with a blood pressure of 82/48.
I had recently been looking at the Road ID bracelets just in case something ever happened to me on the pavement. But I didn’t order one. Why not? I don’t live near any of my family so I wasn’t sure who’s number I would use for my emergency contact. Although I didn’t order the Road ID, I do carry my identification, insurance card and $20 cash on me every time I run. Having these items with me made it easier for my friends to give hospital personnel important information.
If you have to run alone, please use caution and carry information that someone can use to identify you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. Most cities have local running groups. Check the Internet and join one. Running with others is more safe…..and usually more fun!!

500 Mile Challenge

On December 21, 2012, I completed the first 500 miles of my personal goal to log 1,000 miles by my 40th birthday.  That night, I decided that I didn’t want to run the last 500 alone.  So, I invited perfect strangers to join me in a 500 mile challenge.  I posted the challenge on my “I RUN This City” page.  In the beginning, people were slow to join.  I think there were two reasons for that.  1.  I RUN This City had only been around for two months and there were less than 100 followers on the page at the time.  2. I think people were waiting to “start” when they began a New Year’s Resolution.  Today, there are ninety three people participating and #team500 has collectively logged almost 5000 miles.  Throughout the challenge, mini challenges and contests are done to keep participants motivated.  Prizes are also awarded.  We all like getting little trinkets in the mail.

Stop by I RUN This City from time to time on Facebook to check on the progress of the participants.

New & Record – Greensboro, NC


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.”

Greensboro Gobbler

November 22, 2012

I woke to cool temperatures and dressed in my new black running pants and shirt.  I layered with my “I RUN This City” jacket and gloves.  My friend and I drove to the race site to hang out before the official start time.  There was a dog walk and quite a few people dressed in costumes.  The cutest dog was a white pug named Ruby.  She was a chunky dog with a very playful disposition.  The most interesting costume to me was a woman dressed as a scarecrow.  She had all the trimmings; overalls, plaid shirt and straw coming from her sleeves, pant legs and hat.  I wondered how running in such attire would work for her.  I don’t think I would have been very comfortable.

Just prior to start time, I was glad that we had parked nearby.  I had decided that the temperature was going to be too warm to run three miles in all of my layers.  I got in a quick warm-up walking to and jogging back from my car.

Along the course, there were signs posted indicating fun Thanksgiving facts and calorie information for traditional turkey day food.  Every time I came upon a food that I intended to eat and saw how many calories I’d be consuming, I ran faster.  I’m not a big calorie counter, so I’m not sure how these signs psyched me out the way they did.

The costumes on the course were interesting.  I wasn’t expecting to see so many though.  The races I had run previously had people dressed in tutus and sashes.  Today, I saw a fork and knife set, a group of women wearing different colors and a sign saying what they were.  The green was peas, the brown was gravy, the tan was turkey, the pink was ham, the orange was yams and the others ran by too fast for me to see what they were.

As I approached the finish line, I saw the clock was approaching thirty seven minutes.  I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with my finish time.  I had set a goal and sadly, I realized i wasn’t going to make it.

When I caught my breath, I walked back on the course to surprise my friend to run the remainder of the race with her.  I prayed that she was already at the top of the big hill.  I didn’t think I could run it again.  When I got to the top of the hill, she was making her way to the top.  So, I stopped and waited for her.  My heart wanted to go get her, but my legs didn’t agree.  She smiled in approval at my presence.  Along the way, she picked up a run buddy that she introduced me too.  She told me that she was running the race with her Dad and she was sure he had crossed the finish line “forever ago”.  Near the finish line, her dad joined us.

I was happy that we both finished the race.  After the race, we enjoyed leftover lasagna and anxiously awaited the posting of official race results.  When they were posted, we were both happy to see that the two of us had achieved a personal record.  At the finish line, it had slipped my mind that gun time and chip time were different.