Girl Scout Thin Mint Sprint and Tagalong Trot 2015

For the 3rd consecutive year, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida have invited me and the #TampaTrio to participate in the annual Girl Scout Thin Mint Sprint (5K) and Tagalong Trot (1 mile). You can read about our previous experiences here, and here

We love this race, and last year Ronin won big by placing in the Top 50, and earned himself a box of cookies!! It was this race that really set him on his goal to run longer, run faster, run smarter.


So how do you do that? How do you run longer, faster, smarter? Especially when you are only 8 years old and you already run faster and longer than anyone you know? 

Well, I don't know the answer to that question, but what I can tell you is how I trained my 8 year old son to be a smarter runner.

See, I've posted before about Ronin starting off like a cheetah and getting tired out too easily. We worked on that and he was able to easily achieve a sub-30 5K. E.A.S.I.L.Y.

But what do you do if you've never run before, or if you want to run longer distances.

This is what I did....

I used a Gymboss Interval Timer. I clipped it to the top of my bicycle. And I rode my bike while Ronin ran. 

We did 5 minute intervals. 4 minutes of an easy run, 1 minute of walking. And we did it 4 times per week.

Our plan was working great!! Ronin had gotten up to 6 miles of running. He was training for the Gasparilla 15K, and he was DETERMINED that he would win for his age group (10 and under). But then his world came shattering down around him when he broke his leg just 3 weeks shy of his first 15K.


7 months later and Ronin is now out of his cast, but he still wears his boot on occasion, and he walks with a limp.

That broken leg really took the wind out of his sails.

He's been running, though not for time. He's just been running for fun. 

And what better way for him to get back to the racing circuit than a race designed for fun??

With 3 options to choose from (5K, 1 mile, Virtual) there is an option for EVERYONE!!

We'll have to see how Ronin (and me, I have injuries right now too!!) continues to feel throughout the rest of the summer, but I'm thinking we will all (me, Ronin and both girls) go for the 5K for the third consecutive year. 




Have you suffered a serious injury and been able to come back as "good" as you were before?? Tell me how you did it, please! 

You can find out more information about the race HERE, and you can register HERE.



The 8 Stands Alone

Normally on Sunday I talk about my week in workouts. I did have a great week, full of squats, and my longest walk since late February, 2014.

My Half-Marathon training is going well, but I desperately need some new shoes.

On Saturday, Ronin and I were invited to participate in the 2014 Florida Suncoast Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Just 2 weeks ago I wrote on how Ronin kicked some serious cookies at the Thin Mint Sprint, and he was so pumped for the Race for the Cure.

He kept begging me to allow him to do the 10K, but he's never run that far, so I had to tell him NO. We arrived at the race, and through he looks so tired in the photo, he was jumping around and really pumped to run!

We were running as part of Team Polar, and Team Judy. We met up with our Team Captain, Steph Gee from Orangespoken, and changed into our Team Judy shirts.

Ronin had a HUGE goal in mind for this 5K. He wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.

He self-seeded at the front of the start line. This was a TIME CHIPPED race, and it was Ronin's FIRST time-chipped race. I didn't realize how important that little fact would be until AFTER the race.

I hollered to him, "son, when you finish wait for me at the finish line." Those words would come back to haunt me.

And then it was GO time. I didn't see that little blond head until I approached the mile 2 sign and he was entering the finish chute, and I took a quick look at my watch. I started it right when the horn went off, but I didn't cross the start line until 2 minutes later, but I knew Ronin had been right up front, so I estimated his finish time around 29 minutes. If so, that means he had beaten his Girl Scout time and achieved his goal of finishing in under 30 minutes.


I liked this course. It wasn't downtown St. Pete which is BEAUTIFUL, but the parking was better, and it was closer to home. But it was a more challenging course. Lots of twists and turns, the signage was all sorts of wonky, and there was a lot of water/puddles on the course which made it slippery in some areas. But overall, still really nice. There was NO water between miles one and two, but after mile 2 there was like 5 water stations. That was kind of bizarre. But I carry my own water so that didn't really bother me too much, but I was concerned for Ronin who was going to be relying on the water stations for hydration.

I came up to mile 3, and knew I only had .10 left to go so I started jogging to the finish line. Just as my toe hit the black timing mat I hear "HI MAMA" and I look down to see this blond little cutie staring up at me.

Yes, he LITERALLY waited for me at the finish line.

He was DRENCHED in sweat so I knew he had really hustled. It was right around this time that a race volunteer came up to me and said to make sure I checked the race results because Ronin STOPPED at the finish line sign and sat down. He didn't actually cross the finish line, he stopped just short of it to sit and wait for me.

Oops. He took me literally. The volunteer noticed he had a time chip on his bib and told him he needed to cross the black mat.

I asked Ronin what his time was and he told me 28:14. He saw the clock as it was large and placed right at the spot where he sat down. So his official chip time was about 6 minutes longer than what he actually ran.

But what I love is that within a sea of double digits, THE 8 STANDS ALONE!!

I asked Ronin what he was thinking when he was running during this race and he said "the faster I run, the faster they find a cure for breast cancer." I hope so, Ronin. I really hope so.

Ronin was awarded the THIRD place medal for his finish.

But I noticed something when I was looking at those race results at home that I didn't notice at the race. Ronin was listed as FEMALE.


A check of the official results online confirmed it.


So there are TWO issues here.

1) He should have received the SILVER medal as a girl, but more importantly, 2) He should have received the GOLD medal for finishing FIRST as a boy.

And while I do appreciate that he was listed with all the top 5 finishers (which were all girls #BAM #LIKEAGIRL) he still needs the recognition that he earned, AND we need to make sure that the correct girl gets her medal.

I'm so proud of him, and proud that we were able to be RAC Pack Ambassadors, and we look forward to next year.

Now, how did I do??

A 16 minute mile pace, which is PERFECT for me at this stage of my training. I'm hoping that by December for the half-marathon I'll be able to keep that pace for the entire race.

Have you ever had race results posted incorrectly and had to correct them AFTER the fact?



EDITED!! The GOLD MEDAL has arrived!!


Raising a Runner to live a Relentless Life

Week 3 of really trying to live a relentless life was not without its ups and downs.

We received news that Ronin might be better served by changing classrooms, I started to feel a little bit under the weather, and the scale did not budge one single pound despite me doing EVERYTHING right.

My workouts this week were pretty awesome.

On Thursday, Connie and I walked 4 miles as part of our training plan for the Holiday Halfathon in December. I made up Thursday's WOD on Friday. My legs are certainly feeling much stronger and I'm pretty confident that when we go for a new one rep max on back/front squats that I am going to set a new PR.

Here is all my activity for the week. Not quite sure WHAT I did on Friday, but wow...I did something right!


But what I really want to talk about today is raising a runner.

For most of my young life I dreamed of being a runner. But I wasn't. I was too big. And into my adult life I used to dream of being a runner. Finally I became a runner at the age of 40. But it was short-lived. Injury sidelined my running, and honestly as much as I dreamed of being a runner, I never really LOVED it. I didn't run for the right reasons. I ran because it burned calories. Plain and simple. I got the most bang for my exercise buck by running.

But during my stint with running I discovered that my son Ronin LOVED to run. When we ran our first Gasparilla race together in Feburary 2011 he was 4 years old. He didn't know the meaning of the word pace. We were all in the pack together (me and the 3 kids) and when the race started and we finally crossed the start line, Ronin took off like a Cheetah. He was too fast for me to catch, and I just hoped that he'd have enough sense to wait for me somewhere along the course. Up ahead I could hear people cheering and screaming "look at that little boy run" and I knew that they were talking about my Ronin.

I found him sitting down at the Mile 1 marker. He was spent. He gave everything he had in that first mile, and we spent the next 2 miles doing a run/walk pace, more walking than running, and he was simply exhausted. But when that medal was placed around his neck, a smile quickly engulfed his face.

During the next few years whenever I'd have the opportunity to bring along one, two, or all three of my kids to a 5K Ronin would usually bolt off, putter out, and then complain that he wasn't fast enough to keep going.

But recently something changed in him.

He wanted to run.

He wanted to go faster.

He wanted to run more.

In January 2014, he started running on his own. A mile at a time. Unbroken. We have a little loop near our house, so I'd walk it while we ran, he'd pass me, high five me, and I'd turn about and watch him. Often he got out of my eyesight, but I was okay with that. Our neighbor's all know him, and this is the only neighborhood we've ever lived in, so he knows it well.

In the summer he ran a few times with gym friends while I walked. And then he'd go back into the kids club and wait for me to come back.

And then in April our gym, CrossFit En Fuego started hosting monthly 5K fun runs. Ronin wanted to go. Ronin wanted to run.

So we went.

But I can't run.

He was supposed to stay and walk with me.

But he can't walk. He HAS to run.

Thankfully I have great runner friends who would take turns running with him.

But I always felt guilty having them run with him. Was he slowing them down? Was he disrupting them?

But they said that they didn't mind. He was great company, so we kept doing it this way.

And then I got a bike. A S.L.O.W. bike. A really slow bike. With room for a passenger. This meant that I could pace Ronin and if/when he tuckered out, he could take a ride on the bike, get his breath and legs back and then get back to running.

The first time we did this, we ran an 8 MINUTE mile. Yes, 8 minutes. Unbroken. And then he rested. And then he ran. And then he rested. And then he sprinted to the finish line.

We've been doing this a lot around our neighborhood. I've noticed he's been "pacing" better. He's still starting off like a cheetah, but he then settles into a good pace, and just runs.

Yesterday all this training was put to the test.

The kids and I were invited to participate in the Girls Scouts of West Central Florida Thin Mint Sprint.

I haven't "run" since February 2013, but I've been walking like crazy. Haley doesn't like to run, and Ella is injured. Haley and I decided we'd walk the race together, Ella sat out the race helping other Girl Scouts pass out cookies, and Ronin, well Ronin decided he was going to try "to win."

They announcers made their announcements and declared "this is a self-seeding race, any runner who thinks that they can place in the top 50 should be at the start. Walkers to the back. Please be honest."

This is where I found Ronin.

He self-seeded right at the starting line.

A beautiful rendition of our national anthem was played on the sax, and then we were off. I wasn't sure if/when I'd see Ronin again. But we had a plan. He knew where to go if he finished before me, he knew to just sit and wait for me on the course if he felt like he needed me. I felt confident. He felt confident.

Haley and I were walking, when we saw the leader pass by us on the return. He was FLYING! And then came another man, and then a pack of 3 men, another few men, then the first girl, I was trying to count in my head how many were passing us when suddenly I saw him!!

And I called his name.


He just stopped and looked at me. The poor woman behind him wasn't expecting that as you can tell by the look on her face and the placement of her hands. She looks like she's going to strangle him! So I quickly asked him if he was okay, he told me YES, so I told him to keep going, and off he went.

And when Haley and I finished, this is what came up to greet me!

HE DID IT!! He placed 47th!! He earned his box of cookies!!

I asked him what his time was and he had no idea. He said someone handed him a blue card, and he turned it in for his cookies. Off we went to find his blue card at the Fit Niche table.

And there it was sandwiched between 46th and 48th place.

Ronin doesn't write very well, but he had written his name and bib number on the card, but the time area was left blank. So we "guessed" based on the placement of 46 and 48 and came up with a finish time of 31:15, which is about a 10 1/2 minute mile.

I am one proud mama. When I asked Ronin this morning what he loves most about running he just looked at me, ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and said "mama, I LOVE the way that the wind goes faster through my hair when I run faster. So the faster I go, the faster the wind goes, and I like fast wind."

He was the youngest child to "place."

And it just goes to show you don't have to be a runner to raise a runner. You just have to set the example that physical activity is important. I am relentless in my goals to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is a trait being passed down to my children. I don't care what activity they do, AS LONG AS THEY DO SOMETHING!