10 Things I Learned While Volunteering at a Race

I decided to volunteer for the Texas Half event this past weekend. Originally, I had wanted to sign up for the 5 mile run after finding out that the rainy weather was going to hold off, but after talking with a frunner (friend who runs) on Friday, I decided to volunteer with her.

We were assigned the task of being Course Monitors at the first loop of the half marathon. That put us at about the 3.5 mile mark. It was foggy and cold, but we were determined to be out there at our posts, cheering everyone along.

Being a volunteer at an event is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from being a participant. Here are 10 things I learned from standing along the sideline watching it all play out.

(1) It only takes someone 19 minutes to hit 3.5 miles (Yes, our mouths dropped open at that point);16107548_10158017765180137_1932987418204215135_o

(2) Men usually lead the race pack, and women are about 5 to 7 minutes behind the one in first place;
(3) There are many paces, ages, races, and sizes of those participating at events;
(4) Making eye contact with those participating in the events is important so you know whether or not they are doing okay physically. Note to self….Make eye contact with volunteers along the course;
(5) Most participants DO NOT wear their race day shirts; however, they wear customized gear or wear, running club shirts, or just something they are comfortable in…even if that means going shirtless in 40 degree weather (man of course);
(6) Water belts are the way to go as opposed to carrying a water bottle in your hand;
(7) Lots of people run alone and not with their friends. They do cheer their friends on when passing them “on the other side” of the median;
(8) People run/walk/jog while talking on their cell phones during events…say what??;
(9) ┬áIt’s okay to be the last one crossing the finish line. The big accomplishment is that you CROSSED IT; and
(10) It takes A LOT of work to put an event together. EVERY volunteer plays a key role in making the event a TOTAL SUCCESS!

I did have fun being a Course Monitor. I must admit that I kind of was jealous of those who were participating in the race. I was so tempted to fall in behind the last person and just run the rest of the course. LOL I did my best to encourage them to keep on going and to let them know that they were awesome for getting it done.

Sitting on the sideline watching these individuals made me realize that I shouldn’t be scared to push myself into doing events that are further than a 5k in distance. No matter if I do intervals or need to walk more than I run the longer distances, the only thing that matters is that I make it across the finish line.

When I do participate in events, I do give a shoutout to the volunteers, and I thank them for being there. If it weren’t for the volunteers, some of the events could not happen. Each and every one who shows up at their posts are doing us a favor. Be sure to thank the volunteers at the next event you take part of.

A Year Without Tacos….

Gulp…I cannot believe that I have not consumed tacos in a year. Tacos were an essential part of my life up until January 4, 2016. I would consume a breakfast taco several mornings during the week, nachos, crispy tacos, soft shell tacos… You get where I’m going with the whole taco thing. Hello, I’m Hispanic! Tacos are a life-line for my people! HA!!

I have cooked tacos for the family, but they have not even tempted me. Even the soft, greasy taco shells didn’t tempt me to want to cheat on my low-carb way of life. I know, I know, who says no to soft, greasy tacos? ME -That’s who!!

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When these kind of meals have been prepared here at my house, I will weigh out my taco meat in a bowl, and sprinkle a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese on top of the meat. Instead of tortilla chips or taco shell pieces, I have used some pork rinds to scoop up the meat. There was another time that I didn’t use the pork rinds, but I did go all out and use a tad bit of salsa. I like living on the edge. LOL

So, today is my 1 year low-carb, high protein, way of life anniversary. It has been quite a journey, but I have done it! No cheats, no cravings, no hunger. I am proud of myself for making it this far without giving in one single time. I’m glad to have made it this far. I’m one pound closer to my weight loss goal than I was 1 year ago today.

I can still go out to eat with my family and friends without worrying about going off track. There are a few restaurants and fast food places that I do need to stay away from because there is truly nothing on the menu that I can consume. Most of the time, I’ll let the family or my friends eat there, and I will either eat something at home or grab something from a “me friendly” type place.

Many friends and family are supportive on my choice of eating, but I do have the “nay-sayers” who always have something negative to say about my choice of food. I’ve also been told that if I do not let myself consume some “good stuff” every now and then, I am considered as having an eating disorder. Really? It’s called will-power, and not quite ready to go off track….not even just one meal or one bite. Maybe one day I will have a bite of something, but just not TODAY!

So TODAY is my day to reflect on the 137.2 pounds that I’ve lost this past year. My Winter insulation is gone, and I tend to freeze all the time these days, but you know what, I’M SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT! I am a stronger and healthier me! I’ve got about 15 more pounds to get to my weight loss goal. These last few pounds have been the hardest to lose. There are weeks that the scale won’t even budge. I do my best to not let it discourage me. I just keep moving forward!

Here’s to the start of a new year….a new me! Can’t wait to see where my journey will go. I just know that wherever it leads me, it is in the positive direction!! Always moving forward, never looking back!