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I have been looking forward to this race for a long time. When I first heard about it late in 2012 I wanted to do the inaugural race but I didn’t have the base but this year I was more prepared, well at least for the 25k. So this year early in December I signed up to race the 25k already having a long run of around 9 miles. Looking at my calendar I felt like I had plenty of time to add the miles to get me to the 15 I would need to complete 25k. Unfortunately my last long run in training happened in mid December and was 11 miles. Between sickness and an IT band issue that sprang upon me during that last long run that was it for me. Thankfully I was still able to get some running in to figure out what worked to help keep my IT band from bothering me.

Now on to the actual race report.

After a long restless night we got
Up early Saturday morning to go through our normal race morning routines. I got up and had my coffee and my usual toast and peanut butter. Checking the weather it was around 60-65 at our house with the temperature similar at the race site so we dress for the warmer temps boy what a shock to the system that was going to prove to be. We left out to the race noticing lots and fog and some wind. When we arrived to the race site it was very foggy and upon getting out of the car my wife and looked at each other and commented, “what happened to the temperature”. It was cold! So the jackets stayed on as we picked up her race number and got settled in. Finally just before the race I took my jacket off and got ready to race!

First to go were the 5k and 10k runners. I wished my wife well and watched her head out on her first 10k race. Fifteen minutes later it was time for the 25 and 50k racers.
My only goal for the day was to keep the pace easy and my HR low.
I’m glad to say I succeeded with both of my goals. My only other goal was to stay healthy. With my recent IT band issues I was concerned at how successful I would be. The first lap my legs felt great and I was having an easy time keeping my pace between 10-11 min/mi right where I hoped to be. I made sure early on to stop and drink water at each aid station and to not rush myself I reminded myself early and a friend did as well that today was not the goal this was just icing on the cake and to race smart. As I stopped at each water station I assessed whether I needed any nutrition. I had brought a Powerbar with me but never used it. Instead had good from the tables. This worked great for me as I primarily ate bananas, banana chips and a few crackers.

As I finished the first lap my legs were still feeling well. Unfortunately as I came close to finishing the first mile of the second loop my right leg began bothering me, I had my IT band strap on my left leg. As I continued I realized it had to be the same issue. Since my left leg was feeling good I decided to switch the strap over to my right leg. This worked well until I came near the end of the second lap and my left leg began to hurt. Thankfully I saw my wife and grabbed her IT strap put it on and kept going. Unfortunately by this third lap my legs ached a bit even though the straps were working well and my legs were beginning to feel tired. The rest of me felt great though. I kept on going though, remember my One Word for this year? Persevere and that’s what I did. I dug deep and as I neared the halfway point of the last lap I picked up the pace determined that I would get my pace back to that 10-11 min/mi magic zone I wanted.
With that I finished.
What a great experience! This was my first race on a trail and I believe it may have even been my first run on a trail. I have to say I loved it! I will certainly be adding more trail runs in the future.
The Race Promotor Low Country Ultras did a great job managing the event and I highly recommend looking into doing one of their races. Especially if you are seeking to do an ultra distance race.

Looking back what could I have done differently? Well I think my nutrition and hydration were perfect for today’s conditions. As to my training I certainly would have preferred to have gotten more long runs, over ten miles, leading up to this race. With that added mileage I feel that I could have run stronger especially during the last lap. My IT Bands I will make sure to continue to treat them with focused exercises, stretches and the foam rollers.
Overall I am very pleased with my result today and look forward to doing my next 25k or longer race but for now it’s back to 70.3 training. Long term my goal for next year to to be at this race again in early January and to run the 50k.

If you are interested in seeing more about how I did today here is a link to the data from my Garmin,

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/428350991

Until next time.

So I have seen and heard many friends selecting a word of the year for 2014. After a quick Google search I even learned that there is even a book and website devoted to this. From the first time I saw a friend announce their word of the year for 2014 I thought it was a great idea but what word? Interestingly enough from the beginning one word kept coming back to mind, persevere. So I have decided that it will be my word of the year for 2014.

Webster’s online defines persevere as:

to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement

This word has so many applications for this coming year. I need to persevere with watching my eating so that I can maintain my weight loss/eating goals for this year. My desire is to get back below 200 pounds and to get more fit. Related to this I will begin training for my first half ironman triathlon(70.3) this year. This will be the most physically demanding undertaking I have ever attempted in my life. To accomplish that I will have to be consistent with my training and to not give up when my training gets difficult or doesn’t go as planned. And I will certainly have to persevere on race day as I will be out on course for somewhere between 6-7 hours.

The other and more important area where I need to apply this is in my faith. I need to persevere all that this world throws at me and focus on my relationship with God. I need to put him first in no matter what. Today at church our pastor used 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 in mapping out how our Church is going to succeed in our goals for the year. Interestingly enough this was given to us a one word as well, One. What really struck me though as I listened to the sermon was what I read in the remaining verses of chapter 9:

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 HCSB)

Obviously as a runner and triathlete these verses got my attention but what really got me was verse 27:

Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27 HCSB)

That’s when it hit me, persevere. How can I succeed at my training goals, my weight loss goals, my faith without perseverance.
So it was today five days into 2014 that I settled on my one word of 2014 and that I should actually make it my word.

This year I will persevere. Through the easy days, the hard days, the boring, the highs, the lows, the successes and the failures in 2014 I will persevere.

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