Monday, March 25, 2013

Derek's Race: USO Ten Miler

Since Wounded Warriors are such an inspiration to me on my training runs and races I felt I needed to honor just one for the Ft. Campbell USO Ten Miler race that I did on March 23. His name is SGT. Derek McConnell.

Derek was wounded when he stepped on two IED's on July 23, 2011. The first one just knocked him off his feet, but as he got up he stepped on another one. Derek suffered from a left hip disarticulation (leg gone from hip), right high above the knee amputation, along with other injuries. Derek had since been recovering at Walter Reed in Bethesda, MD. He was about to retire from the Army and was just months away from being discharged from the hospital and heading home to NJ. He was about to marry his high school sweetheart next year. I met Derek, Krystina and his mom Siobhan on my first trip to DC to visit my friend Chaz.  

Sadly on March 18, Derek passed away. My heart was so heavy after hearing the news. It still is. I decided then I would run in honor of Derek! Here is a photo of the shirt I wore on race day! 

The 'No Luck Only Sacrifice' was a saying from Derek.

On my way to Clarksville on Friday, Derek and I had a little chat. Yes, I tend to talk to myself on race day, just to get myself pumped up and focused. ;) I told Derek "This is your race!! We can go as fast or as slow as you want to run it." We had this same convo the next day on the drive to Ft. Campbell. ;)

Well, Derek must have wanted  to run it fast! I ended up running it in 2:09! That is the fastest I have done a ten mile race!!! I'm still not up to running non stop and at one time I almost stopped to walk just a smidge when the song "Thrift Shop" came on. Krystina has posted that was one of his fave songs, so I had to giggle when it came on my ipod. I kept right on running and didn't stop. After the race, I had a lady come up to me and say that my shirt inspired and motivated her to keep running while she was behind me. I started to tell her a little about him. 

Rest easy Derek. Your fight is over. Thank you again for your service. 

Please keep his family in thoughts and prayers. Especially has they get ready to lay Derek to rest later in the week.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hi! My Name is Demetria and I Have An Addiction

Yes, I have an running races! I guess there could be worse things right?! Just for the month of March, I have 4 races to run! Eeep! Today was race 1!!

Since my last race last year, the Wounded Warrior Project 8k. I have continued to keep running pretty much daily. I am trying my best to get faster and run much longer. I am happy to report I can finally do a 10 minute mile!!! Woot! I'm also working at getting stronger too. Finally bit the bullet and joined a gym! So far its going pretty good. I have an awesome coach/partner who is totally whipping me into shape!!!

I'm training for my first marathon as well. I haven't decided if I will run it this or wait and run it next year. I totally want to finish in a great time as well as healthy. Last year during my Women's Half Marathon in Nashville I ended up getting lactic acid buildup. I thought I was going to die! So I totally want to avoid that, which I think I will be able to do.

So right now, I am pushing my training for the Viola Valley Half Marathon in May. My goal is to finish in under 3 hours. Another goal is to finish in 2:45!!!! Today was my first race of 2013, a 5k race! My goal was to run it in 28 minutes but ended up finishing in 39:23. But man it was pretty darn cold. So I'll blame it on the cold for the slow time. ;) Hopefully for the next race it will be much warmer and I can finally reach that goal!!!!