Running on Saturday

I have the privilege of working with my best friends and doing what I love every single weekend. As a runner/race director/race timer I have learned that we can have fun while we work and running is only as serious as you make it. At Race Day, we consider all our participants "our runners" and we like to have fun, because running should be fun!

I have discovered there is a need for newcomers and oldtimers to understand the other side of the run. As a runner, you show up to a race, get a bib and t-shirt, do a little stretching (if you are real serious) and go run your race. However, there is another side to a race that only a few runners venture into, and that is the race directing and chip timing realm. I have decided to help merge the three worlds so that we can all live as one happy extended family, in harmony.

I lovingly refer to myself as DumbA Runner, which is the nickname my husband came up with for all runners in general. Unfortunately, if the name fits, WEAR IT!! Therefore, I do.

I hope you enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations of a runner turned race director, turned race timer, and maybe you will learn something new along the way. And, if there is nothing new for you to learn, then just maybe you will enjoy reading about the antics that happen on our Race Day adventures.

Sit back, grab a protein shake, oh wait, we don't drink protein shakes, we tend to prefer a more adult beverage! Well, grab whatever you want and join our crew as we go running on Saturday.

view:  full / summary

Remembering Why I Run

Posted on March 2, 2016 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (6)

Today I did something I've never done, I ran just to run. I didn't have a watch tracking my miles or pace, I didn't have a partner beside me and I didn't really even have a clue where I was going or when I would get there. It was just me, the road, my music and a long line of orange cones guiding the way.


Since I started Race Day 5 years ago, my personal running has not been a top priority. Sure, I still run, but not consistently, not far and definitely, not fast. My running glory days are over, my times are slower and the competitiveness has left me. Now when I run, I do it just because I like to run.


We (my running buddies) still try to find one run a year that we can fit into our busy schedule, just so we can say we did something. So, when the Republic of Texas Half Marathon popped up in my Facebook feed, I got the gang on board and we decided to go for it. This race worked out great because it was a Saturday so we could have some fun Saturday night and we had a friend’s house to stay at, even better!!


With a move in October and the holidays, my running schedule has been really messed up! When January rolled around it had been over two months since I had laced up my running shoes!! Anita and I got back on track with our morning runs after the new year, but we quickly realized that we weren't going to have time for a long run before the half.


We didn't do anything like we were supposed to, we didn't train, we didn't increase our mileage, we didn't do strength workouts, we just signed up for a half marathon because we wanted to run (and, get a t-shirt, of course!)


As we ate our pre-race pasta dinner at Olive Garden on Friday night we started talking about our goals for the run. My goal was to finish between 3:30-4:00 hours. Yes, I thought it was going to be that bad!!


As we left the house Saturday morning, I was more than nervous. My legs were tight, I hadn't run over 3 miles in a year, and I just felt like I was in for a really bad day. I know, not the best attitude to start out with for 13.1 miles! But, after I got all the kinks worked out around mile 3, I felt pretty good. By mile 7 I was really feeling great. There weren't many people around me and I didn't know what pace I was running, but I felt good. I told myself, you are strong, you are running and you got this! Let's just see what we can do. I kicked it up a notch and off I went. At mile 8 and 9 I had to stop and put some Vaseline on the huge blister that was growing on my foot. At mile 11 I really had to start talking to myself to get me to the finish. But the most important thing, is that I remembered why I like running.


I have never run for a time, I've never run to beat anyone, I run because no matter how fast or how slow or how far I go... I did it. I did it for myself, I did it because I could and I did it because I am strong. There is no feeling like the feeling of crossing that finish line and saying I just ran 13.1 miles!!! This is the feeling that started the Race Day business and this is why we understand how runners feel when they cross that finish line. It doesn’t matter if it was fast or slow, long or short, good or bad, hot or cold, you just finished!


The best part, I proved to myself that I was better than I thought I could be that day. My goal of 3:30 was replaced with a time of 2:37:53 and I couldn't be more proud of that time. Nope, it's not fast, but it's mine and it's better than I expected.


This is my reason for running on Saturday!


PS. I have to give the hubby a huge shout-out!! He was an awesome cheerleader for all five of us. It was so uplifting to look ahead and see his smiling face, with camera in hand, along the course. He dropped us off at the start, cheered us on along the way, had goodies waiting for us at the finish line and made me happy by taking LOTS of pictures!!! Thank you, baby!



A Beautiful Texas February

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

This weekend was great! The weather was great, the race was great, the food was great, and as always, my crew was great!


On Saturday we were at the 2nd annual Glen Rose Medical Center 5K/10K. They may have changed the name this year, but they still had the same great event. It was nice to see an even larger crowd than last year and we were blessed with beautiful weather for a Texas February morning.


We introduced our new online punch card this week and it made its debut at the race on Saturday morning. We had 17 runners sign up at the event and another 50 signed up throughout this week. Be sure and tell your friends about it! We want to make sure everyone starts earning their discounts now. This is our way of saying thank-you for running with us.


After the race, we had to visit one of our favorites, Loco Coyote. We had cheese fries, chicken tenders, bar b que, ribs and fish, man you can’t beat that!! It’s been awhile since the original Race Day crew got to spend a Saturday together. We enjoyed visiting with each other and hanging out together over lunch and then we even did a little back-roading once we made it back home.


Randall and I spent our Valentine’s Day together doing what we love…projects! We always have some kind of project going on! The most current project is working to clean up a new piece of property that we purchased in Hamilton county. We have so much to do!!! Be sure to watch for pictures as we continue to work on this.


Now that the weekend is over, we have another little break coming up. However, we have some fun things planned for ourselves in the next two weeks. Stay tuned for more stories about our casino bus trip and we will be running (I use that term loosely) the Republic of Texas Half Marathon in College Station in a few days.


See you at the next run on Saturday!


P.S. - Look at my new shirt!!!


Kicking Off 2016 - FINALLY!

Posted on February 12, 2016 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (2)

Finally!!! We are back in business. The 2016 race season kicked off this past weekend and we were more than ready.


Friday night we traveled to Round Rock for out first race of 2016. The Brady's Bridge Super Family Fund run was a great event. This was the inaugural 5k for this organization.

We started off the weekend with a yummy trip to Razzoos. As usual, we had a little adventure doing just the small things. I needed to wash my truck. I didn't want to look like the hillbillies came to town with dirty pick up!!! We find a car wash and the boys were razzing me and telling that I was going to scratch the paint. Well the jinx worked, because it didn't wash all the soap off. So we drive around for 45 minutes looking for a "manual" car wash. They are hard to come by in the city!! We finally headed back to the hotel without finding one. Just another benefit to country life!!


Saturday morning started with us running a little behind. We left the hotel about 15 minutes behind schedule. After getting breakfast, we headed to the park for the race. You see, we had checked out the race location the night before, but it was the wrong place!! We arrived at the location at what we thought was just a little behind schedule. There were no cars anywhere around! I knew we were in the wrong spot. Due to some construction, we had to take the long way around and by the time we arrived, we were really late for our schedule. We got on the ball and got everything done with 20 minutes to spare before race time. (Thanks to some great helpers at the race for helping us unload!!)


After the race, we enjoyed a great lunch with family while we were in town. Jack and Larry Don learned all about the joys of Pinterest this weekend and I think I've created monsters, they're addicted!!! After we got home, I found out the boys sent a picture to Randall who had to stay home because he was on call. They made it the whole race without me catching their mistake, but my awesome hubby made sure I found out!! You can check out the picture below and see for yourself.


Good help is hard to find!!! Just kidding, love my Race Day crew!!! We got the kinks worked out this weekend so we should be back in the swing of things now!! Bring on 2016!


Celebrating Our Forgetfulness....uh, Independence

Posted on July 8, 2015 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

This Saturday just happen to also be Independence Day. What a wonderful way to celebrate our freedom by starting off with a 5K run.


The weekend actually started a day early, since most of us had Friday off from our “real jobs.” Anita and I headed to the city to get a little culture in our lives by going to see “Dirty Dancing” as it was part of the Dallas Summer Musicals series. This was my second trip to see a show in Dallas and it was Anita’s first, though we have both been other places to see shows in the past. I think Anita and I may have found us a new hobby that doesn’t involve running! We also attended the show “The Foreigner’ at the Hamilton Civic Theater in June, and we already have our sights set on a few other productions in the next year.

After the show, Anita and I made our way back to Gustine, stopping in what seemed like every town in between, picking up plumbing supplies for the hubby. If I could have remembered it all on the first stop, then it would have gone much quicker. This is where my weekend of forgetfulness all started!


First, we stopped in Cleburne to get the new bathroom faucet at Home Depot. I get in the car and start back down the highway and realize I forgot the “plumber’s wrench.” As we get to Glen Rose, the only hardware store is closed. So, we back track to Granbury where once again, I enter Home Depot to find the plumber’s wrench aka Basin Wrench. Now, we are on the road again and Randall calls to ask where we are and to remind me to pick up the most important supply of all…beer. Yep, I had forgotten it, too! So, once again, we stop in Dublin and then we finally head home. Randall rewarded us with grilled pork chops for dinner and we enjoyed a nice evening sitting outside lecturing our youngest son on all the reasons he should not want to own a motorcycle!!


4:30 am Saturday rolls around and we head out to Granbury, as you can see, I am pretty forgetful sometimes. We picked up some members of the Race Day crew along the way and decided to make a pit stop in Stephenville. As we got almost out of town, I realized that I should have filled up with gas. Yes, we stop one more time to get gas. (As you are about to find out, thank goodness we did!)


We roll on up to Tidwell Field in Granbury around 6:30 am and go to work. Anita and I head in to get registration set up while the guys start unpacking the trailer and setting up the start/finish line. Anita immediately opens the box to get the timing chips and looks at my wide-eyed, “Kate, where are the chips?”


As soon as she said it I knew what I had done. I forgot to pack the chips the night before!!! Oh this is very bad, very, very bad. We can’t time a run without timing chips! We had used disposable bibs the weekend before and I just completely forgot to place them back in the box when I packed everything.


I immediately started dialing Randall at home and sent the guys to unhook the trailer. One of us had to high-tail in back to Stephenville and meet someone half way to get the chips. I got Randall awake and on the move, (yes, he was super proud of me) and Jeff met him on the south side of Stephenville. As I was pacing back and forth with a smile on my face telling the runners we would have chips soon, on the inside my heart was racing and I was scared to death something was going to happen. Cue...thank goodness we stopped for gas!


Jeff arrived with the chips about 7:30 am and we had them put on all the runners and back on schedule by 7:40! Man, I love having a great crew that helps me get things done. I bet they remind to get the chips from now until eternity!!!

We have been through many ups and downs in our 5 years of timing races together. I have only forgotten the chips one other time, but we were only 20 miles away from home that day. (Knock on wood) We have been lucky not to have forgotten many things before, but I can’t say that we haven’t had other troubles along the way, including running out of gas!!!


At the end of the day, we got the job done. We put another race in the books, we enjoyed each other’s company with lunch at Chilies and then spent our evening at a friends pool party. This weekend we celebrated our independence, the freedoms that we have, and worked our way through forgetfulness while running on Saturday.


Making Memories

Posted on June 22, 2015 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Mama Pat always says we are making memories and this weekend we definitely made some extra special memories. This weekend started off on Thursday night as the "D" team headed for El Paso. We had planned to leave Gustine around 6 pm, but we were a bit delayed by a broken down farm truck and a dead calf before we could head out. Oh, the joys of country life and bringing your farmer/rancher father-in-law along for his first Race Day adventure.


My mother and father-in-law quickly learned that I am easily entertained, amused, and that I like my food!! You know by now that food is a pretty important part of our Race Day trips, so we started off at Taco Casa in Abilene. I know, you're thinking..TACO CASA? But, it's one of my favorites, some of the other crew members may not agree with me, but they like Chili's (YUCK!)

I found out before we ever left Gustine that our trip was going to be very interesting. It's amazing the things you learn about each other when confined to a truck and sharing a hotel room on a 9 hour drive. Time spent together always brings out the "best" in everyone. We always learn new things about our Race Day crew, but when the crew turns into your in-laws....hmm.

After spending the night in Big Spring we headed for El Paso very early Friday morning. I was glad that we brought along all the technology to keep the in-laws entertained on the trip. We didn’t hear a peep out of them the whole way!

We always find friends wherever we go. Sometimes they wear running shoes and sometimes it's a cowboy hat, but either way it's a good time.

The "D" team arrived in El Paso Friday morning in time to help with packet pick-up for the race and get the festivities started with the Denning clan. This weekend, my father-in-law joined in on the race timing work. This was his first race to ever attend, much less work. At the end of the event on Saturday I asked Randy if I needed to add him to our full-time payroll. Without hesitation or time to think about it, he answered with a very stern and adamant "NO!"

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the other crew stayed at home to time another Friday night race, the Boots and Thongs (AKA flip flops) 5k in Comanche, where a good time was had by all . It was rodeo weekend in Comanche and they hosted the 5K on Friday night along with music on the square and shoppers' night. The 5k was sponsored by Heartland Funeral Home and their hearse led the runners along the course. Luckily, no one actually showed up in a thong, but there were plenty of flip flops to be seen on spectator feet Friday night!


Saturday started at 4:30 am when we woke up to head to the Denning Dash. Randall and I both had butterflies in our tummy as we headed to the race location. This was a big weekend for us. We had been planning this event for a year. We want every event we time to be successful, but this was the first time our entire family would get to see what we actually do every single weekend. So many people just don't get it when we say that we are race timers. They have no idea what we actually do.

The Denning Dash was put on by the Denning family in memory of Wallace Denning who passed away 11 years ago. His girls decided a year ago they wanted to start a scholarship fund in honor of their dad's love of basketball. Of course, we agreed to help, even though it was 550 miles away.

Along the way we partnered up with an El Paso timing company," target="_blank">Race Adventures. If you ever find yourself in the need of race timing help or finding a race to run in El Paso, look them up. They are good people. Mike took care of our course, medals and volunteers for the race. We couldn’t have done it without him

If you follow Race Day or me personally on Facebook, then you have already been on this journey with us. Saturday was such an exciting emotional adventure. There were so many great people who loved Wallace and miss him just as much as we do that came to show their support. Aunt Deb took home gold in her age group and Uncle Jimmy received a bronze medal for his efforts.

The best quote of the day we heard, "I sure do see a lot of Nike's around here." That’s the difference in a runner and basketball player! (If you get it, you're a runner!! LOL) But we loved seeing everyone come out and show their support for a dad who loved basketball.

After the race, the Denning clan all met up at Monica's house for an afternoon of fun, games, birthday celebrations and of course, FOOD.

The Denning girls surprised me with a birthday cake and goodies to celebrate my special day. This was the best birthday ever because I got everything I wanted all in one...time with family, timing a race, and the best part of all, a run shirt that has not only my name, but my birthday on it, too. I am truly blessed and thankful to see what the upcoming year has in store for me.

It was a busy, stressful, fun weekend for Race Day as we made memories, celebrated another year of life, mourned a death, traveled to the end of the United States, visited a new city and celebrated our Dads all while running on Saturday.`


Related links

Denning Dash Facebook Page

El Paso Times - Denning Dash: Daughters honor father and coach on Father's Day weekend

El Paso Times - Denning Dash Photo Gallery