Saturday, December 3, 2016

Being Negative! A Drumstick Dash Recap

Did I get your attention with that title?!  Don't worry...negative isn't a bad thing here.  Come with me as I take you through the past couple weeks and what's been going on during that time.

After my last weigh-in, I did some looking back over the numbers.  Turns out that was the most I had weighed in at least 12 months.  That's as far back as I wanted to look.  However, I Wasn't discouraged at that fact.  In fact it made me realize how completely out of shape I was when I started this blog.  Even at this weigh in I was still 15 pounds lighter than when I started a year and a half ago.  There has to be something positive to say for that.  I didn't let myself get all the way back up to that same spot and I am easily in better shape physically than I was then.

With that being said, I still feel that I am making an impact on some of the people around me.  I often find that people are sharing their successes with me regarding fitness.  The first coworker to share something with me sent me a message on Facebook telling about their longest run in quite a while.  She said that even though the distance wasn't what she wanted that she felt good when she had completed it and was looking forward to doing even more.  I am trying to get her to sign up for the Mini so she has a goal to look forward to.  We'll see what she does.

The second person has FAR surpassed me in her weight goals.  She decided over the past year or so that being there for her son for as long as possible is the MOST important thing in her life.  She vowed to lose a considerable amount of weight with a goal being to do so by Thanksgiving.  Let me just tell you, she worked hard for that goal.  She stopped eating most of the sugar in her diet, significantly increased her water intake, and most important of all got moving.  She walks every morning and evening.  During the time I was aware of her efforts she has had the strongest will power of any person I know.  On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving she stopped me in the hall to tell me she had reached her goal!  She had lost 100 pounds and you could see the absolute joy in her face to be able to share not only the news, but the realization that she absolutely could do what she had set out to do.  Here's the takeaway.  Set a goal, focus on that goal, put in the work, and you WILL reach it.  I want to thank both of these people for being open enough to share their stories with me.  I am not mentioning their names because I am not trying to exploit them.  I simply want to congratulate them and share their story.  Plus, I know they both read this blog so they know who they are.

Let's switch over to the Drumstick Dash.  First of all, I want to thank all of the people that donated to such a worthy cause and helped me to again achieve the honor of being labeled a top 10 fund-racer for the dash.  This year I was able to turn over $550 to wheeler mission through the help of all of you.    All of that money goes directly to the organization to help feed the homeless of Indy.

The expo day was great, minus the fact that it was raining a little.  I would much rather it rain on expo day than run day.  I was able to easily pick up my packet and check to make sure my bib was functioning.  I also visited the shirt exchange since the lost weight hasn't quite been where I expected it to be when I signed up for the race in April.  I took some photos and some video to use later.  I headed home and grabbed some food on the way before heading to a local basketball game.  Early to bed wasn't really in the cards, but I got enough sleep to be ready for the next day.  Before I headed to bed, I made sure to set out all of my items that would be needed for the next day.  Here's Flat Dan!

Race day started out nice and early and we were both ready to leave the house within a minute of scheduled time.  That's unusual for us...there's always something extra to do before we leave.  We headed down to Broad Ripple in the dark and got to see the sunrise on the way.  We arrived at the parking area about 7:50 and headed over to our call spot for the race.  I stretched out a little and made sure everything was ready to go with my Garmin.  I was in my corral at about 8:45 and the race started at 9.  The beach balls in the air and the 20,000 strangers help to take away those preface jitters.  Just after 9:00 I crossed the start line, hit the start button on my Garmin and got into my zone.

I had set a goal in my mind of pace for the day and my plan was not to deviate from my strategy.  For the first mile I was simply dodging people and trying to focus on sticking to my pace strategy.  I spent a lot of time looking at my watch and focusing on my breathing.  When I hit the first turn to head south on Keystone Ave, I was surprised by a tap on the shoulder.  A friend of mine from high school realized it was me and we wished each other good luck on the race and as well to have a Happy Thanksgiving.  You never know who you are going to see in a race and it was a pleasant surprise to see her.  When I hit that first mile, I realized my pace was about a minute faster than I had anticipated.  New goal in mind immediately...beat the original goal and never run a slower mile (this is known as running negative splits).  I tried to enjoy the scenery a little more while I was at it and watched people cheering each other on, stopping to take selfies, and overall being in good spirits.  Just after the 1 mile mark, I passed the group of firefighters walk in full gear.  They were given a 20 minute head start on the race.  I made sure to clap for them the entire time I passed them.  They are always an inspiration to me and are also one of the largest fundraising groups for the day.

Miles 2-4 went exactly as I had planned them (after updating my plan at mile 1) and I was running with negative splits.  I received a text from my brother around mile 2 to let me know they were tracking me online.  That always lights a little fire under me to not let people down that are watching me.  For the first time in a race, my Garmin was matching up exactly with the mile markers through the first 3 miles and mile 4 was less than a tenth of a mile off.  However, after running this race previously I knew that it actually runs about a tenth long at 4.6 miles.  When I hit the split at mile 4, I wasn't so sure I was going to be able to finish that last 6 tenths at a faster past than the previous 4 miles.  I was definitely using what I had in the tank to push through.  Last year, I was cheering the people around me to finish strong.  This year, I was cheering myself in my head to do the same thing.  When I crossed the finish line, I knew I had come close, but I had to actually check the splits to realize that I had made my goal of BEING NEGATIVE.  I had run the entire race in negative splits even though I went out a little faster than I had expected.  Although I ran the entire race roughly 3 minutes slower than last year, I feel my actual race plan was better this year.

I followed the lines through the the recovery area to grab a banana, a bagel, and some chocolate milk and then found Mrs. Re-Dan-imation to head back to pick up my gear and return home.  She was proud of me and then informed me that even though she texted me during the race that she wouldn't be able to get my picture at the finish line that she was able to find a way there.  I obviously knew because I saw her when I finished and tried to give her a good smile.  I was happy she could do it and I always like it when she is able to see me finish.  We spent the rest of the day eating with her family and "enjoying" some football.  It was good to relax after the rush of the morning.

I had decided before visiting the expo the day before the dash that I wanted to make a video about the dash experience.  However, some of the clips I took the morning of the run didn't quite match up with the overall feel of the videos I shot at the expo, so I instead focused the video on good Wheeler Mission does and how many people are involved in the Dash itself.  I have shared the video below in case you didn't get a chance to see it yet.

Because I am posting this at a random time of the week, I am going to include the most recent weight info I have.  Over that time I have lost 2.5 pounds  I don't really consider it a loss, I consider it a return to where I was.  Progress is progress.  I am not down on myself about it.  As a matter of fact it makes me happy that I was able to even do that.  One day I will achieve that goal of mine and I will celebrate like nobody can believe.  Until then...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.