Saturday, January 28, 2012

Plano Pacers "Fresh Start" 10K

This past weekend, I joined the Plano Pacers Running Club. Mainly, to get in a quality run and to run with some good runners once a month or so, as they have a monthly club run at the last Saturday of every month. I saw this is an opportunity to keep my running in check and monitor some progress. I did the "Fresh Start 10K" at Bob Woodruff Park in East Plano. I wasn't trying to "race" but just get in a hard effort. I wasn't really mentally prepared to be in "race mode". I didn't even shave my legs for this. I usually wake up 3-4 hours before I race and have a very light breakfast, instead I woke up 2 hours before.

As I signed up there it was like a flash back into the 1990's, as it reminded of my Longview Running Club days with the way of registering and the "seasoned" runners wore flashback jackets/windbreakers I haven't seen since then. This is awesome I thought.

At the start line listening to the race director give directions, I immediately got confused. He mentioned that the course had changed due to a flood on the trail, the he said their was a crime scene the night before but it had it been cleared so it was good to go. I was immediately concerned, because if you know me, me and directions don't go well together. Coach Brent informed me not to start too hard and keep things in check. Well, I went out with the front group of the two lead 5k runners, respectively, we were easily hitting 4:55 pace to start out with and this felt a lot better than it did last month, as it didn't feel that bad. We were all going back and forth in the lead. This was really fun, as a game of tactics was being thrown in. I thought we had dropped Kenny early on but he would come right back and charge to the front. Jacob was rollin' jamming to Eminem, loud & clear, I was able to rock out too. We clocked the first mile in 5:02. I had just taken over the group before the 5k runners turned off. Kenny & Jacob would finish the 5k in a respectable time of 16:53 and 16:57. I was by solo for the next 4.5 miles miles 2 and 3 were just under 5:30 pace. After mile 3, I must have just been getting warmed as I was able to pick up just under that pace running mile 4 in 5:18, then mile 5 in 5:24 and the 6th mile in 5:20. My garmin read the course as 6.4 miles and with a closing of a 5:12 pace around the lake.

I was surprised by my level of fitness this early in the year and that I didn't blow up. Thank you Kenny & Jacob for the extra push early in the race and the Lord for keeping us safe out there when we were pushing our limits in the cold weather. Thank you Coach Brent at rEvolution and the Kwicky Blades from Tri Shop I ran in. I am excited to get this tri season started!

Thanks for reading & congrats to all my friends who also ran the Texas Half & 3M Half Marathon.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Holidays & Outings

Now that school is over and triathlon season is approaching rather quickly now I am getting back in the saddle as they say in Texas. Or is it back on the saddle? Either way, I am back at it. It's amazing how much better I feel when I am getting proper sleep & recovery.

Here are some of the Holiday and Off Season outings that surrounded my school work.
There was an ice skating party that some of us went to and my grace on skates was quite evident, I had moves that only Michael Jackson could manage. Then I went home for Christmas to Carthage & Timpson, Texas to spend with my family. New Years Day I brought in 2012 with the Frisco Triathletes. Then recently my friend Tiffany was in town from Austin and saw "Young Adult" with her and her friends and we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards the following weekend and had a fantastic fried food dinner. I am glad I wore my cowboy hat and boots and didn't show up clean shaven or I'd felt out of place.

Showin' how it's done in Fort Worth Stockyards... or not.

I don't recommend seeing "Young Adult" unless it's with 3 ladies, otherwise it's acceptable.

Showin' my mom how to do a little 2 step mixed with some boot scoot.

My grace on skates!

Some of us Dallas area triathletes enjoying the last good bit of off-season.

New Year's Eve with Frisco Triathletes.

My bald buddies Jim & Jason

Me and Tiffany @ Fort Worth Stockyards

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kept the Faith, Finished the Race!

Sitting in my apartment in Tyler, Tx and talking to my roommate Isaiah Martinez about what to do next with my life after my UT Tyler undergrad days were done. I decided to sign up for online classes through Texas A&M University-Commerce to do a Masters of Business Administration. I didn't know what I was doing and I for sure didn't know much at all about business. All I knew was I could do it if I maintained the faith and applied myself it would all work out. That was 4 years ago this month. There were many late nights and large quantities of coffee consumed as I worked full time. Training suffered some but was still maintainable. It was a loooong road ahead. I never thought I was going to see the light at the end, but I finally did with those last 2-3 classes to go, I just kept plugging away. I took my last class over the winter, it's also known as a 3 week "hell term" as I like to call it. As we had a paper or a project due by midnight Monday through Friday for those three weeks. There nights were several nights I was up to 3-5am. The work got done and I finished my last class on top with an "A". After those 4 years which seemed like a lifetime, I kept the faith and finished the race.

I owe huge thanks to the people that supported me tremendously through the 4 years. I am going try to name everybody who was there for me in some way, especially those that critiqued all my papers ;) you know who you are. I'll start with Jesus Christ, I'm not comparable to Tim Tebow but that it certainly could have not been done without Him. A fool would say otherwise. My parents Johnny & Glynis Ritter for their support and encouragement. Huge thanks to the following friends: Isaiah Martinez, Ann Marie Worley, Jerri Henderson, Jim & Penny McCan, Lance Vernon, Rachel Bishop, Mike Martinez, Jevara Jackson, Bo Trainer, Tabitha Wells, Brent Poulsen, Raul & Marta, Liz Meraz, Trent & Jennfer, Stefanie Dardaganian, Shanda Chambers, Jared Kirkpatrick, Carol Stark, Richard Burgunder, Margaret English, Kelly Harris, & Todd Hamilton. Just so you know I appreciate you guys very much!

Since I took a winter term and finished in January that means that graduation isn't until May so I'll have to wait for that fun ceremony until then. I am however looking forward to an exciting racing season with some huge events lined up and seeing where God leads me.

Thanks for reading & Keep the Faith!