Fall Racing Calendar

Last week’s summer scorcher workout was pretty tough, so this week I’m keeping my speed session simple. Run 4 miles and include somewhere between six and eight 30 second surges. The surges should feel fast, but not as quick as all out sprints.

Summer might be full of 5k racing, but it is also time to start training for the longer fall events. Next week I begin a 16 week half marathon plan! My husband, sister, brother-in-law, and friends from college are running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah race. Most of us are doing the half, but my sister is tackling her first full marathon ever. We’re staying in a stellar Victorian mansion that is just a few blocks from the finish line, and I’m taking off work the Thursday and Friday before the race to make a mini-vacation out of the weekend. My college roommate and I hope to help each other break the two hour barrier for the first time. We’ve both done 2:06 on hilly courses, so with some hard work, I think it is a realistic goal.

I’m looking forward to my fall races, but I’m enjoying summer training. If we could have daylight till almost 9 PM year round, that would make this mother runner very happy.

 

 

Apple Festival 5k – Westminster, SC – September 6                     

Spinx Run Fest Downtown 10k – Greenville, SC – October 25                          

Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – Savannah, GA – November 8               

 

Run-Dates and Racing Bibs

Week three of the Summer Scorcher Workouts continue with a simple but challenging training run that I call The Sweaty Third Wheel.

Slowly jog for 1 mile to warm up.
Run a mile 10 seconds slower than 5k race pace.
Walk or slowly jog 400 meters.
Run a mile 5 seconds slower than 5k race pace.
Walk or slowly jog 400 meters.
Run a mile at 5k race pace.
Slowly jog for 1 mile to cool down.

I hope these workouts are fun and effective in helping you speed up this summer.

Other than these scorcher workouts, my training is pretty relaxed in July and early August. I’m currently running about 15 to 20 miles a week while also trying to make time for a few other recreational activities like reading for pleasure and sleeping.

The family and I traveled to the beautiful St. Simon’s Island to visit with my husband’s mom and step-dad for the Fourth of July holiday this past weekend. My plan to run a 5k unraveled quickly as my two year old son Grady got so hyped up upon our 11 PM arrival at Nana’s house, he was up till after 2 AM. Instead of getting up to race the next morning, I slept in. My husband offered to run the 5 mile trek from Nana’s house to the island pier with me, and I jumped at the chance. Rick is awesome. He’s not a running enthusiast like I am, even though he is a good runner. His half marathon PR of 1:49:13 puts mine to shame. But he did not offer to run with me because he enjoys steamy runs (it was 89 degrees and 85% humidity with NO BREEZE when we ran). He suggested it because he loves me and supports my obsession…I mean hobby. Our run made for a great workout and some enjoyable time without the kiddos (Thank you, Nana for babysitting!). I was able to run mile 5 at goal half marathon pace, which satisfied my need to be progressing toward my goal of running a sub-2 hour half this Fall.

So I got a run-date instead of a racing bib. I also married the best guy in the whole wide world. End of mushy rant :)

family vaca st. simons
Me, Rick, Grady, Han, and Nana enjoying time at the pier.

Summer Scorcher Workout part 2

My first race ever was the ING Georgia Half Marathon (currently the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon). It was so exciting racing with 10,000+ other runners, not to mention all the spectators. Families and friends huddled with signs to encourage their loved ones. One church, along with their full Gospel choir, serenaded us with a hip rendition of This Little Light Of Mine. In front of the local psychiatric hospital, some dude wearing nothing but lime green briefs played the guitar and repeatedly yelled, “Stay focused, runners! STAY FOCUSED!!” I had a blast.

Years later, when I took over as race director for the Labor Day Funk Run, I set out to create a high energy race. Just because a 5k is only 3.1 miles does not mean there is not time for some hype. And just because a race happens in a rural town does not mean no one wants to watch. Neighborhoods get involved in cheering. Funk music and funk themed cheer zones keep energy high. Of course there are other reasons to run this race too. Our super-cool age division awards are made from vintage, recycled records. Our post-race breakfast features everything from homemade, whole wheat blue berry muffins to deliciously greasy sausage biscuits from McDonalds. And most importantly, the proceeds from this event are used to buy low-income men, women, and children new shoes. For those of you doing these summer scorcher workouts, but have not yet picked out a summer 5k to run, I hope you choose the Labor Day Funk Run on September 1. I know you’ll have a great time!

Funk record pic
My dad placed in his age division at the 2013 Labor Day Funk Run 5k.

Okay, enough about the Labor Day Funk Run. On to the point of this post, the second installment of the Summer Scorcher Workout! You remember last week’s workout? If you did it, you remember. This week’s is the same, but in reverse. I call this one the upside-down triangle inferno.

Lightly jog for 10 minutes to warm up.
Run 400 meters at 5k pace.
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 800 meters at 5k pace.
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 1200 meters at 5k pace.
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 1600 meters at 5k pace.
Lightly jog for 10 minutes to cool down.

To me, this workout is much harder than the one completed last week. I like doing the longer intervals first. The nice thing about my track session was it was cloudy and lightly sprinkling, so I was protected from the summer heat. When you do these workouts, remember to replenish fluids. It is hot out there, and dehydration is not so fun.

Register for the Labor Day Funk Run 5k at http://go-greenevents.com/event/id/1926.

Summer Scorcher Workouts

Summer is here, which means it is sizzling hot in South Carolina! But the season’s heat won’t keep avid runners indoors. Why? Because most of us have a fun holiday 5k to run in the not so distant future. And whether you are lacing up on the Fourth of July or on Labor Day, you probably could use a little speed-work in preparing for your 3.1 mile event. Thus, I am instituting THE SUMMER SCORCHER WORKOUT. Starting this week and going on until Labor Day, I will be posting my fun but tough speed workout for the week, for a total of ten workouts, guaranteed to make you sweat and then sweat some more.

This week’s workout: The Pyramid of Heat

Lightly jog 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.
Run 1600 meters (1 mile) at 5k race pace (or desired 5k race pace for a challenge).
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 1200 meters (¾ mile) at 5k pace.
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 800 meters (1/2 mile) at 5k pace.
Walk or slowly jog 200 meters.
Run 400 meters (1/4 mile) at 5k pace.
Lightly jog 5 to 10 minutes to cool down.

I really enjoyed this workout. I ran my mile in 7:55, which is my fastest postpartum mile to date. I barely held on to an 8:15 pace for the 1200 and 800 meters and then pleasantly surprised myself by finishing my 400 in 1:52. I’m running a 5k on July 4. I don’t have any time goals at this point. But I would like to break 25 minutes in a 5k at some point in the fall.

Will you attempt all 10 summer scorcher workouts? Are you racing this summer? Tell me about your upcoming event!

Remember you should always consult a physician before beginning any exercise routine. Also remember I am not a personal trainer, certified coach, professional athlete or a kinesiology expert. I’m just an average, recreational runner who enjoys encouraging the running community to stay fit and have fun.

For My Dad On Father’s Day

In honor of Father’s Day, a quick post about the best things my dad has taught me over the course of 28 years.

The Kingdom of God has many colors. Growing up my dad took me and my sisters to black gospel choir concerts, practiced speaking Spanish with us before we’d go on a church service trip, and always sought out a multi-ethnic congregation for us to worship with. He taught me that diversity is beautiful because God is a master artist. He never stereotyped individuals because of their pigment, language, economic status, or nationality. He even told me when I was a little girl that I could marry a man of any skin color, as long as his heart belonged to Jesus. He’s outspoken about his desire to see immigrants treated well. The more colorful the congregation, the more fun he has worshipping corporately. I’m convinced that if everyone had a dad like mine, cultural prejudice and racism would not exist today.

The Holy Spirit does not come in pink and blue. God pours His Spirit on both His sons and daughters. His daughters don’t get a wimpy version of His power or a half portion of His inheritance. Women are not limited to certain spiritual gifts or leadership opportunities in the Kingdom of God. They can pastor, preach, teach, prophecy, administrate and more. They can be leaders in politics, education, ministry, business, the arts and wherever else their giftings take them. And my dad did not just tell me this growing up. He tells hundreds, even thousands of women this liberating news.

Mutual submission is a must for a healthy marriage. My dad did not ever profess to be the “head of the household” or the “priest of the home” or the exclusive “spiritual leader” of our family unit. Why? Because he and my mom are both Spirit-filled believers and they come together to make decisions. When there is conflict or disagreement, they submit the issue to God and come together to share what they have heard from the Lord. Both my parents took responsibility for me and my sister’s spiritual growth. Both my parents modeled love and submission. I can’t imagine how skewed my identity as a woman would be if my dad had been the type to assume control and “put his foot down,” just as I also can’t imagine having a passive mom who just told my dad to make every major decision. Growing up I remember every morning my mom would read scripture, interceed for our family, and seek God’s will for our lives. I’m glad my dad and my mom taught me that all believers are priests and that marriages function at their highest capacity when both assume responsibility for the spiritual growth of their family and in major decision making.

We can change the world. I know there are a lot of issues going on in the world right now. Violence, hate, poverty, and sickness are rampant. But there is no need to despair. My dad showed me that when you are a Christian, you serve a God who is victorious over death, hell, and the grave. And coolest of all, my dad taught me God wants to usher us into his plan to save the world. You don’t have to be a superhero. You just have to be a willing vessel.

Jesus love us. When you have a loving earthly dad, it is not such a far stretch to accept the love of our heavenly Father. I’m very thankful that my dad and mom introduced me to my loving Savior.

Happy Father’s Day, dad.

Asheville Half Marathon Race Report

asheville finish line
When I set my racing calendar for the year, I always set a goal for each event I plan to run. Sometimes it is a specific time I want to finish in, sometimes it is something simple like “have fun” or “no walking.” When I decided to run Asheville my goal was this: Kill the hills.

Getting to Asheville was easier than expected. We had not ever taken a roadtrip with our two kids, but we only had to make one pit stop on the two hour drive and both Han and Grady took naps for part of the trip.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to have dinner with my college roommate Lauren and her new husband. We don’t get to see each other nearly enough so it was great swapping stories and reliving fun memories while I chowed down on carbohydrates.
Ashe Lauren Wink and Maggie

The morning of the race I decided to run “naked” meaning I left my Garmin GPS watch and iPod at the hotel. This was my first trip to Asheville and I did not want technology preventing me from enjoying the scenery, spectators, and live music along the course. I grabbed a bagel from the hotel breakfast bar and then came back up to the room to wake Han up to feed him before I headed to the starting line.

In line for the port-a-potty I shamelessly told at least 3 other runners I had a baby 4 months ago just for the pats on the back and the “You don’t look like you just had a baby!” comments.

It was the hilliest half marathon I have ever run. The steepest climbs happened early in the race and I had to take walking breaks before I had even hit the 5k mark. A girl behind me, who was about my age, kept yelling at her 60+ old mom (who was running in front of us), “Mom, why did we &%!#ing sign up for this race?! Why is it so &%!#ing hilly? WE ARE FROM &%!#ing TAMPA!”

I laughed pretty hard.

The on course entertainment was awesome. In true hipster, Asheville fashion, most music groups had obscure instruments like just a cello and bagpipes.

The last three miles were especially tough too with lots of very steep uphills and downhills. Around mile 11 I took a walking break right beside a woman who looked like she was at least 60 years old. She wiped the sweat of her forehead and said to me, “They should have started this race at 7 AM.”

I agreed and then thought, “I hope I am running half marathons when I’m in my 60s!”

It was an uphill climb to the finish line and I powered through with excitement as I finished in 2:25:09. Rick, Grady, and Han were waiting for me at the finish line and they all got sweaty hugs. I was thrilled to have finished feeling strong but I was even more thrilled with my fan club. My boys rock.

And the story ends with me enjoying a very large hamburger and chocoalte milk shake. Food just taste better after a 13.1 mile race.

ashe hamburger

The One With the Giveaways

It is race week! Time to get pumped up about my first postpartum half marathon!

In honor of it being race week, I’m doing a few giveaways. Yay! Summer is typically a time for folks to catch up on reading for pleasure, so I have got some titles you really want to add to your library. If you want to win a pretty stellar devotional, follow me on Twitter this Wednesday @HolySneakers. The first guy and gal to answer my Bible trivia question will win a copy of either 10 Lies Men Believe: The truth about power, women, sex, and God or Fearless Daughters of the Bible.

Did I mention it is race week? Only 5 days until I run the Asheville Half Marathon. Ahhhhhh! This race intimidates me. This may be my toughest race yet. Asheville is about 1000 feet higher than Seneca. Less oxygen equals more difficulty breathing. This race is also very hilly. The elevation chart was never posted (I assume this is because they don’t want to frighten the average road runner) but I’ve heard that the last 3 miles are all up hill. I guess I’ll find out Saturday. This race may also be much warmer than any other distance event I’ve participated in. Average temperatures for Asheville on June 7 range from 59 to 80 degrees. At this point I don’t really have any time goals. In December of 2011 I ran my slowest half marathon ever in 2 hours, 36 minutes. I was battling a low-grade fever and a sinus infection on race day. I guess I’m just hoping that postpartum Maggie is slightly quicker than should-be-at-the-doctor Maggie. But I did not pick this race because it would be easy. There is no hope of setting any personal record on this course, there is only the promise that I will suffer. I will suffer ALOT. But that is why I picked it for my come-back race. This race is about reminding myself that I’m a tough mother runner. I was in labor with Han for 37 hours. I think I can handle a hot, hilly half marathon.

Part of the reason I am running this race is to raise awareness about the global oppression of women, and promote the Mordecai Project, a ministry that is doing wonderful things all over the world to empower women and confront abuse. Things are not looking so great right now for women abroad right now.

Four days ago a pregnant woman, Farzana Parveen from Pakistan, was stoned to death by her own family, all because she chose to marry the man she loved instead of the man her family picked out for her. Hundreds of “honor killings” like this happen every year in Pakistan.

In the Sudan, a woman by the name of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim is on death row because she professes Christianity, rather than the religion of her father, Islam. She currently awaits her death sentence in a Sudanese prison with her two week old daughter and her 20 month old son.

And in Nigeria families still hope and pray for the return of over 300 young girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, a terrorist organization that believes it is shameful for women and girls to be educated in school.

There are a few things you can do if you want to help stop such violence against women.

1.Pray for women all over the world that are facing such violence. Check out this prayer specifically written for the situation in Nigeria. http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/20364-let-s-storm-heaven-for-nigeria-s-girl-captives

2.Share this link to the Mordecai Project on your Facebook page http://www.themordecaiproject.org/welcome/index.php

3.Donate funds to organizations that works to stop violence against women

Don’t be overwhelmed by the enormity of this problem. Together, we can stop this!