Race for Recovery 5k

“Life is for participating, not for spectating”.

(Katherine Switzer)

The theme lately is training and racing!  Don’t think that is going to stop anytime soon since I have a marathon to get ready for.

Happy to leverage local races to supplement my training program since running in races is a lot more fun than just training miles.  Discovered 5k’s can be fun again and a great way to warm up my legs prior to my long training runs.  Fun fact, either I am getting faster, or the competition is just letting me run by them—still trying to figure out which.  LOL.

The latest Walk into the Future race was the Race for Recovery 5k hosted in Port St. Lucie on the Indian River State College Pruitt campus.  I consider this to still be a hometown race since the campus is only about a 20-minute drive from where I live in Fort Pierce.

It rained the night before and I considered bypassing the 5k but knew I still needed to log weekend miles so took a chance and headed to Port St. Lucie to toe the line again.

I did not get a chance to pick up my race bib during the week so needed to arrive a bit early so I could get my race swag and prep for the race.  Check-in was painless, and I made my way back to my vehicle to get organize, stretch, and get a quick jog in to loosen my legs.

There was not a huge turnout for this race but the folks there were friendly and ready to run.  It started to sprinkle a bit, but I was committed to run since I made it to the start line.  Made my way to the start line to ensure I did not get caught up in traffic to start the race.

I did not have a preset race time or pace in mind but wanted to enjoy the course and get some miles in before heading off for my long run.

This course starts within the Pruitt campus and then heads out for a 3-mile loop before coming back on-campus for the finish.  It is completely flat, and we never had to cross traffic which is always a good thing.

I went out with a controlled pace to allow other runners to spread out a bit to avoid bumping into anyone.  I located a runner I knew who normally runs a great pace so decided to use her as my pacer.  That only lasted for about a quarter mile since she was not pushing the pace and I felt like I wanted to go faster.

Mile-1 was completed in 8:58. Mile-2 went down in 9:17.  Mile-3 clipped by at 9:22.  We got hit with a heavy rain down pour right after the Mile-1 marker so I’m happy with my mile splits.  This is because there is nothing worse than running with water drenched shoes and socks.  My feet felt like I was running with weights around my ankles but wanted to keep pressing forward to see what I could do in these conditions.

Turned the corner to head towards the finish line and coasted a bit.  The funny part here is the runner I mentioned above who was not running fast enough for me was using me as her pacer.  We crossed the finish line in a dead heat, and she thanked ME for getting her across the finish line. 😊

Both of us clocked 28:04 and finished first in our respective age groups.  Had a good laugh as we collected our awards and headed our different ways.  I still needed to get in additional miles so headed home to dry off, change my clothes and put on a dry pair of running shoes.

Got my remaining 11 miles done before relaxing and enjoying the rest of the day.

The 5k races were done to get me mentally ready for the 2022 Clearwater Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  Found out yesterday this race was cancelled due to Hurricane Ian lurking in the Gulf of Mexico.  Looks like this race is reschedule for October 2023—hope to run this race one of these days.

May look for another 5k to keep me running fast—we will see.

What are your running goals for the rest of 2022?

Irie!

“Sometimes you just do things”.

(Scott Jurek)

Navy SEAL Museum

Navy SEAL1

“We learn a lot and each museum ends up having its own distinctive character and personality”.

(Richard Meier)

I was honored when I was invited to join the IRSC Student Veteran Organization (SVO) leadership board as they toured the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida.  I have driven by the museum, but this was my first time to enter the building and get a chance to review the history of the Navy SEALs.  This trip has been the highlight of 2022 for my Walk into The Future.

It is great to have the Navy SEAL Museum locally in Fort Pierce and my visit will allow me to share with others. 

My first experience with the Navy SEALs was a 2017 visit out to San Diego for an Educator’s Tour while I was still at Florida State University.  Select educators from around the country are invited out by the Navy to tour and see SEAL facilities to help with recruitment efforts.  I have been on multiple Educators tours:  Marine Corps (Quantico, VA.), Army (Fort Jackson, SC).  The services like to bring educators in to show them what true military services looks like and answer questions to enhance recruiting efforts at universities and colleges.

My time in San Diego was to learn about the SEALs training efforts so I would be able to help students understand how their education would translate to the Navy and/or the SEALs.  The training is recognized as a mental and physical challenge, this is why the SEALs are such a respected and elite group—they are truly the best of the best!

Fast forward to 2022 and my trip to the museum.  We were able to walk the halls and view historical artifacts from SEAL missions around the world.  The history of the SEALs is displayed throughout with emphasis on the tools used for success around the world.  The central theme for me was the bravery of the SEALs and how they carried out missions with professionalism and precision.

I learned quite a bit during this trip and look forward to coming back with friends and family so they can see/experience this great history on display.

https://www.navysealmuseum.org/

Indian River Lagoon and Swampland Boat tour

Boat tour

“If your ship does not come in, swim out to meet it”.

(Jonathan Winters)

I always look for a clever quote to get me started with the writing process.  There are not a lot of funny boating quotes or much to pick from, so I decided to go with reliable Jonathan Winters to get me moving.

My Walk into The Future allows me to chronicle adventures and outings I get to enjoy.  I get out and do these things then have to go back and drop a few lines to make sure I capture the moments to share with my readers.

My latest adventure was an excursion with the good folks at the Indian River Lagoon and Swampland Boat tour.  This outfit is conveniently located in downtown Fort Pierce, so I did not have far to drive to get this party started.

I have walked past the ticket office multiple times but never made the time to stop and purchase a ticket for the boat tour.  This all changed the week I came back from Jamaica.  I still had a few days left on my vacation so wanted to keep exploring even when I got back to Fort Pierce.

Joined about 10 folks who were waiting to get on the boat on a sunny afternoon.  Luckily for us the boat is covered because the Florida sun was a bit warm on the day we went out.  It is always muggy here so not sitting in direct sunlight for 2 hours was a welcomed aspect of the boat tour.

The boat captain tried to entertain us throughout the tour by identifying points of interest and places where he has seen dolphins and manatees.  He did everything he could to keep us entertained but we did not see much in the water.  There was one manatee in the water feeding so we circled it a bit so folks could get some good pictures.

The rest of the trip was a nice boat ride up and down the Indian River where we got a chance to see other boaters, kayakers, and lots of folks fishing.  The water was calm and peaceful, so this part of the boat tour was great.  

Discovered a few kayak rental outfits directly on the river.  The boat tour provided a different vantage point for these outfitters so now I know who they are and how to get to them.  I caught the kayak bug while living in Tallahassee but did not have a go to place in Fort Pierce to rent a kayak and explore.  I plan to get back down to the river and leverage my newfound knowledge so I can bring a new adventure to the Walk into the Future blog.  Be on the lookout for my new kayak adventures. 😊

Irie!

“Only the guy who is not rowing has time to rock the boat”.

(Jean-Paul Sartre)

Boat Tour2

Success in Black and White podcast

Success

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

“A podcast is a great way to develop relationships with hard-to-reach people”.

(Tim Paige)

The Walk into the Future blog has provided me with multiple opportunities to share my words, thoughts, and experiences with others. 

I started this journey in 2018 with an idea of the direction I wanted to go but had no idea the process would be so much fun for me.  The ability to be creative and explore adventures are two key elements that allow me to continue to produce content for the blog.  I love the comments, texts, and emails I receive when something I write speaks to others—I guess you can say I am finding my voice as I develop content.

One area that puts a huge smile on my face is when one of my tree branches reaches out and want to produce content with me.  My smile gets even bigger when the request comes from TWO tree branches! 😊

My tree branches, Darryl and April Lovett have a successful platform:  Success in Black and White. 

Proud of these two as they tackle issues others may shy away from, but they have fun as they do it.  Love the fact they move forward as a POWER couple; their energy is contagious and makes you want to get up and make a difference in the world.

They asked me to join them for a podcast episode and I immediately said yes.  Saw this as a perfect way to catch up with them and share a little bit of Walk into the Future with their growing audience.  Please note, recording the episode was more fun than I ever imagined—well done Darryl and April!

We were able to catch up during the podcast and cover a lot of content in the one-hour timeframe.  They asked great questions and were not afraid to follow-up for clarity.  The question that really got me energized was:  What is your calling and why are you passionate about it?

I have been asked this question in multiple ways but really enjoy the opportunity to continue to share my WHY.  My why is to leave everyone better than when I met them.  It took me a few years to put this down into a simple statement, but it has been with me for some time now.

I was able to dive a bit deeper while speaking with Darryl and April during the podcast.  My desire to help others started for me in high school.  I had a Guidance Counselor who did not even try to help me plan my life after high school.  I had several friends who got excellent advice from this same counselor, but she only told me to join the military.  We never discussed how to apply to colleges, how to apply for financial aid or anything about further education and the doors it would open.  Fast forward and I hold three degrees without ever having a student loan—so maybe it was a good thing my high school guidance counselor did not help me with the process. 😊

My why is driven by the lack of support I received from my guidance counselor.  I provide mentorship to everyone that crosses my path because I do not want them to have to struggle because I would not take the time to help them.  I wanted to make sure Darryl, April and their audience understood how important this is for me.  The passion I display when working with my tree branches and potential branches is because I want to help them grow.  Sounds cliché but it is something I live every day.

A funny but true aspect of how I developed my why is I do not remember the name of my high school guidance counselor.  Imagine, this lady fueled my passion with her lack of attention to my future and I do not remember her name, but she has allowed me to touch so many lives in a positive way.  Good things come out of bad situations.  Please note, I would not change a thing—I seem to be doing okay with this Walk into the Future journey. 

Discovered during the podcast episode April also considers herself a running tourist!  We got a chance to discuss why I run and the positive impacts it has on my daily journey.  Hoping we can all get back to running, exploring, and traveling soon—there are still races out there to run.

So, I repeat the question Darryl and April asked me:

What is your calling and why are you passionate about it?

Thank you, Darryl and April for allowing me to come on your podcast!  It was fun! 😊 Irie!

“Podcasting is great.  Total freedom”.

(Bill Burr)

Racing (again) into the future

Race Time

“Running is alone time that let’s my brain unspool the tangles that build up over days”.

(Rob Haneisen)

I entered 2020 with an aggressive goal to expand my running tourist role and travel to new locations for Rock N Roll Half marathon races.  Started the year with a goal to run seven half marathons in the series along with a few local 5k and 10k races for speed work.

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and we are still trying to get a handle on what normal daily actions look like now.  FYI—I understand there are more important things in the world than me traveling America and running on city streets.

My last official race was a 5k on March 14, 2020 in Tallahassee.  We were just getting a better understanding of how bad COVID-19 was at the time, but the event organizers took extra precautions but did not cancel the race. I remember the event was small with maybe 70 runners at the start line.  We practiced physical distancing at the start line and gave everyone extra space just to be safe.  There were no face masks present because the U.S. government told us there was nothing to worry about at that time.  Now we know different, huh?

Fast forward to October 24, 2020 and I was back at a 5k starting line, but we all had on face masks.  Physical distancing and masks were mandated to participate in this event.  We could take the masks off once we began to run and had to put them back on once the race was over.  Happy to report everyone complied and I felt safe while waiting my turn to start the race.  The race organizers used a digital chip timer, so our times were synced based on our on-course performance instead of when we started.  Example:  I was the 60th runner to start but this did not impact where I placed because my time was synced directly to my performance not when I started. 

I was extremely happy to be back on a race course with other people around.  I love my training runs because I view running as my form of therapy but cannot make myself run fast without others around.  It may be a mental block or simply a lack of motivation, but I run faster when other people are around.  Think I just need to see people ahead of me to force myself to try to catch them.

I was able to slowly reel in runners during my 5k event.  I wanted to post a good time but did not want to go out too fast and die a slow death on the backend of the race. 

My first mile was a controlled 8:28 pace and I felt good with the pace.  The second mile was a bit slower at 9:35 but still controlled considering I did no speed work or 5k training prior to showing up.  Decided to maintain a level of control for the third mile and recorded 9:23 and felt comfortable at this pace.  Finished with a little kick to see if I had anything left in the tank—crossed the finish line at 28:38 which is a minute slower than my race in March.  To put that in context I was in full half marathon training mode in March so to run this fast without proper training is a good sign for me.  May not be a good sign for my friends who run since we all know I can go faster.  No pressure! 😊

I am happy with my performance and the ability to maintain my speed throughout the race.  I went ahead and signed up for the OUC Half Marathon in Orlando on December 5, 2020.  My original goal was to run in San Antonio in December, but COVID-19 has made an adjustment to my race schedule.  The OUC race will have a staggered start and require face masks before and after the race.  I feel comfortable with this process since I just completed a 5k with the same parameters.  Looks like this is the new normal if we are going to see races again.  It was not hard to practice physical distancing prior to racing so I will look for additional races to get my competitive fix again.  Look forward to running in downtown Orlando again in December.  Hope to catch up with friends while in town and enjoy being back in a great city.

So, I am racing again and enjoying every moment!  Will not take racing for granted in this COVID-19 world.

What have you been able to do again safely in this COVID-19 world?  What are you looking forward to? 

Thanks!

Total miles in 2020:  982.77! 😊

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they have a second”.

(William James)

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