MetamorFit

Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.


4. March 2017 18:27
by jennifer
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Push Away the Screen: 2017 GASPARILLA DISTANCE CLASSIC 5K

4. March 2017 18:27 by jennifer | 0 Comments

For the sixth consecutive year our family participated in the Gasparilla Distance Classic. But unlike in past years, this year we all did the 5K. And what a blast we had!!

We started off our morning like we usually do on race day. The kids pick where we go to eat breakfast. This year they picked Dunkin' Donuts.

Not my choice for race morning, but it's what they wanted. I did not eat any donuts. Smile

We arrived, parked and made our way over to the staging areas. Ronin was in a different wave than the girls and I based on how fast he can run. I told him he was welcome to wait and head out with us, but he chose to go with the first wave. He didn't want to take the chance of getting behind any "slow people."

We took a quick selfie, and then he was off with his fast group. His wave left at 9:15am and the girls and I weren't going until 9:45am. I joked that Ronin would probably be done by the time we started. I was only joking, but it turned out to be true! He is one fast little dude.

Haley is in a mood lately where she doesn't want her photo taken, so this is Ella and I just before the start!

And soon we were off! Haley managed to get ahead of us at the start line and we didn't see her for the rest of the race! Ella and I stayed together the entire time, just walking, talking, holding hands, making goals, and just enjoying being with each other. We finished in 54 minutes. Haley and Ronin quickly found us on the bridge and we got a post-race photo!

We went through the Expo so that they could see what was going on. Ella and Ronin both did the line jump. 

Ronin then asked if I thought he might have won anything for running so fast. I hadn't even thought about his time, so I asked him what his finish time was and he said "oh I think like 24 minutes or something." Surprised 24 minutes?!?!?  Could he really have finished in less than half the time it took me and Ella?? So off we went to check out the race results.

And you know what? He won something!

We knew for a fact that he placed in the top 10% of his age group and he won a cool coffee mug. But what we didn't know until the next day is that he finished in the TOP 3% OF ALL RUNNERS!!! He finished 593 out of over 10,000 runners!!! How amazing is that?? I am so proud of him.

Here's a little flashback photo. The trio at their first Gasparilla in 2011 and at their sixth in 2017. They grow up so fast. 

We had a very nice time at the 2017 Gasparilla 5K and are all looking forward to 2018. Though Ronin will be in a different age-group, so he better get to training!

 

26. February 2015 09:56
by jennifer
1 Comments

Walking the Gasparilla Lime Cactus Challenge 2015

26. February 2015 09:56 by jennifer | 1 Comments

In 2014 I had originally registered to do this event. However, the week before I injured my foot during the Spartan Race. That injury caused me to defer, and honestly, I'm still struggling with that foot injury.  So..fast forward to 2015. My 8yo son, Ronin has been a running fool. All he's been doing is eating, sleeping, and running. He asked me in early November if he could run a marathon. I had to tell him NO, but I thought he could handle a 15K and he began training. Once I saw that he was serious, I registered him for the Gasparilla 15K. Our plan was for us to drive down to the race together, and then he'd run and do his thing, and then wait for me at the finish line.  He had been training so hard, was doing so well. He was consistently running 3-6 miles at a 7-8 minute mile pace. He had his little heart set on WINNING his age group (10 and under) and then 3 weeks before Gasparilla his world came crashing down around him. He broke his tibia. A very bad break. You can see that it broke in several places. He broke it roller skating on a school field trip. When I met him at the hospital after the accident he looked up at me through tear filled eyes, and his first words to me were "Mama, can I still run Gasparilla." That would be No. Sorry, son. Your 2015 running season is over.  He took the news like a trooper. And much to my surprise, I did not use this as an excuse to again defer my own registration. Instead I reached out to a friend, Tara from Everyday Ramblings of my Life and asked if I could do the race with her. We had originally planned to do it together last year, but again, I deferred.  She was kind enough to say "YES OF COURSE" so we made plans to meet-up and do the race together. She's been doing a lot more races than me recently, though I have still been "wogging" on the elliptical so I was nervous that I might slow her down, and my foot is still really bothering me. But I made sure to wear my Feetures Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve and extra cushion socks, and my new Saucony Triumph. I drove down race morning with Denise from RunDMT, we parked, went to the expo hall, met up with some of her running buds, snapped a few pics, and before I knew it, it was time to head to the start line! Tara and I met at the back of the pack and we were soon on our way. She had a time from last year that she wanted to beat, me I just wanted to finish. We ran a little bit, we walked most of it. I told her she could go on without me if she felt I was slowing her down, but she just looked at me and said "we started this race together, we will finish this race together." And finish we did! I LOVED this race!! The out and back along Bayshore Blvd was PERFECT! It started off cold, but we warmed up quickly. I had carried my own water bottle, but I would not have needed it. There was a plethora of water and gatorade available. There were porta-potties E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. and if you read my Holiday Halfathon recap, you know that the lack of bathrooms was a huge issue for me.  But not with Gasparilla. Everything was perfect. The company, especially. Tara was an awesome 15K partner. She never made me feel like I was too slow, or holding her back. And I was super excited to hear at the end of the race that she had PR'd by over 10 minutes from 2014!!  After the race Tara and I walked. And walked. And walked some more to find the post-race food and drink. It was quite a distance. In previous years they have always had the food right in the tunnel, but not this year. I felt like we walked another mile to get our recovery fuel. The walk just never ended. But it was worth it. Many of my Tampa Bay Blogger friends were invited to try out Ulele a few weeks ago. I was unable to attend because of work, but they all RAVED about it. And many commented about the wonderful beer. I was so happy to see Ulele at the post-race party with 3 types of beer to sample. That's Tim in the tan shirt, and he's the head brewmaster. It was very good beer, and just further cemented that I need to get to Ulele's for a proper meal. After the beer and the fun, we went to the expo. At the expo I found my fellow Polar ambassador and friend, Mary. We chatted about my race, about our other Polar friend, speedy Chris who ran the 15K in 50:17 (that's 9.3 miles....) and I asked her about her thoughts on the battery charge of my M400.  And soon I was home, enjoying more beer, and resting my feet. I went to bed by 10pm, and I was feeling good! I woke up at 6:30am, and left my house by 7am. The 8K wasn't set to start until 9am, and I had several friends in the half-marathon that I was hoping to see! My feet were feeling a little sore, so I decided that a shoe change was in order. So for the 8K I wore my Hoka One One. I'm not sure that was the best choice. I did size down in these shoes as recommended, but I felt my feet slipping in them as I walked and sure enough, I developed blisters in places that I hadn't even been sore the day before. But Tara was sore too. Together we kept each other motivated, and pumped to finish the race. And finish we did! And I'm pretty sure she told me that she even PR'd both races from her time last year!! This was a GREAT race challenge and I plan to repeat it again next year...with Ronin!! A HUGE thank you goes to Tara for walking with me, to #TeamPolar for the gear to monitor my heart rate throughout the event, and to Enell Sports Bras for providing me with the most comfortable, most awesome sports bra ever, the Enell Lite got me through over 14 miles in comfort!  

9. July 2013 16:52
by jennifer
3 Comments

Getting my running groove back

9. July 2013 16:52 by jennifer | 3 Comments

I started running in 2009. I've run in dozens and dozens of races. I have a wall full of bling, and a photo book that holds all my race bibs. But in late 2012, my body just started to revolt against running, and so I stopped doing it unless I HAD to. I still ran races, (mostly 5K's) but my times were horrible. I swam, I cycled, I did Body Pump, I did a host of other activities to keep my body active. But I started to lose that sleek runners physique. I noticed it, not sure if anyone else did, but I did and that's what matters. In February 2013, I decided to run the Gasparilla 1/2 Marathon on a whim. I hadn't run more than 6 miles at one time in over a year, and here I was signing up for a 1/2 Marathon. Talk about peer pressure. My best 1/2 Marathon time is 2:17. I finished Gasparilla in 3:17. Almost a full hour slower than my best time. And in the process I lost 2 toenails and hurt my butt and while it hasn't been confirmed, I'm pretty sure I have piriformis syndrome. Since February I've been rolling out my glutes and hammies like crazy, and I've been running with more frequency. But I'm still not as fast as I was. It still hurts when I run. And I've pretty much decided that if I don't commit to running WITH someone, or meeting up with someone, running is just not going happen for me. I just don't love it like I used to. But Triathlon season is upon us, and I've committed to three in the next few months. I need to get this run figured out, and figured out PRONTO!! I'd like to place like I did last year. For the past 2 Tuesday's I've been meeting up with Denise from RunDMT and we've been running. Not together mind you because she is wicked fast, but she's making me accountable, and that's what I need at this stage of the game. We ran this morning, meeting at 6:30am. It was hot, my butt hurt, but I got it done. Alternating between walking and running and I got in my 3.3 miles. I was happy with that. Denise did sprint work, and I tried my best. Some laps I attempted sprints, some laps I walked fast. It wasn't pretty but I got it done! 3.3 miles. The most I've run at one time since March 17th when I did a 4 mile trail run with Ella, and thinking back on that, my butt didn't hurt then. Denise mentioned that maybe my shoes had something to do with it. I wasn't wearing good running shoes, and I haven't been wearing my normal Brooks, so maybe she's on to something, huh???!!! So I'm working on it. I'm working on getting my running groove back. I have a great team of people supporting me, and cheering me on. Their belief in me inspires me to want to do more, be more.   Have you experienced Piriformis Syndrome?  How did you overcome it? Have you come back from injury to become a faster runner? What types of shoes do you run in??