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Issue: #56
October 2015
In This Issue

Mission of the PRA

The Mission of the Pensacola Runners Association is to promote, support and develop running and racing along the northern Gulf Coast. Our objective is to provide information, education, training, social and sporting events for competitive and non- competitive runners and walkers of all ages, races, genders and abilities.


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From The Top
By Eric Miller   

Happy October, Folks!

We have had an action-packed last month at the Pensacola Runners Association. On September 26 th, 650 runners and walkers came out for our first large race of the year: the Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K! I doubt that it will surprise many of you that organizing a race of that size requires an enormous amount of time and energy. I want to thank and congratulate Race Director Michele Williams on the absolutely outstanding job she did in making that race an unquestionable success. I also want to thank committee members, Ben Dillon, Jim Readdy, Sherry Readdy, Lorenzo Aguilar and Will Vaughn for all of their hard work in helping to pull this off. 

At 5:30 PM on October 12, about 25 PRA members showed up to the University of West Florida Track for the launch of what we hope will become a long running and valuable program for the Pensacola Running Community: the PRA Weekly Interval Program. That evening and each Monday since then, UWF Cross Country Coach Caleb Carmichael has taken a small but growing and enthusiastic group of PRA members through form drills, dynamic stretching and a 3-5 mile interval workout. Caleb has also been available to answer questions about how to get the most out of your training.  Come out and join in the fun some Monday and learn how to take your running to that next level!

Next up on the horizon for the Pensacola Running Community is the Pensacola Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on November 8th, put on by our partners at the Pensacola Sports Association. Keep an eye out for the PRA booth at the expo and also passing out water, Nuun and encouragement at the aid station at Mile 16 of the Marathon and Mile 7 of the Half Marathon. In addition, stop by the PRA tent at the After Party at Veterans Park, where we will be providing some extra post-race food and hydration (adult and otherwise) for all of our members who completed one of the 3 races that morning.
Until then, keep training!

Eric Miller

**We are still looking for volunteers for the aid station at the Pensacola Marathon on November 8 th, if you or someone you know are interested, please contact the PRA at

My Experience With Cross Training

by Corey Dell
PRA Board of Directors 

For those who don't really know me, I was never really into fitness growing up.  I played softball from 6th through the 9th grade and participated in competitive swimming when I was younger as well.  After my senior year of high school, I decided to run 2 miles every day for Lent.  That turned me on to getting more into fitness.  I majored in Exercise Science for my undergraduate program and today I CrossFit 5 times a week. Additionally, I also incorporate swimming and running into my weekly routine.  

Prior to CrossFit and cross training, my mile time was 9:48Corey Dell  and I have since lowered my time at that distance to  8:02.  (It was down to  7:48, but I've been enjoying too many sweet treats lately).   My power cleans have gone up by 80 pounds and my deadlifts have gone up by 110 pounds.

Honestly, the fact that I swim and run during the week has helped my endurance in CrossFit.  I can sprint a lot faster than I ever have before and can run longer and faster than I have before as well.  I don't believe everyone has to do CrossFit and I understand it may not be for everyone. However, I believe cross training helps fight boredom in  addition  to other benefits.

Weight lifting can help with the prevention of osteoporosis. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. Your diet will improve (except during major holidays) = ).  My thoughts on cross training (if you aren't already doing it) are to make sure you do it safely.  If you're not familiar with the equipment, ask someone who works at your gym or fitness facility.  But, more importantly - HAVE FUN!!  

Until next time, Happy Running!!


PRA Has Great Running Opportunities 
Especially For YOU!! 

PRA Interval Training
The interval training at the UWF track for PRA members has been well-attended in the several weeks it has been held. The runners participating have increased in numbers and enthusiasm each week. Every Monday, UWF Cross Country Coach Caleb Carmichael has conducted warm-up drills, dynamic stretching and track repeats to increase your speed and power. This should translate into faster race times for you. The sessions start at 5:30 PM.

The PRA Christmas Dash
Dash through the streets of downtown Pensacola with hundreds of your friends and co-runners on December 12th at 5 PM. The course is the annual Christmas Parade route where you will run through the streets to the cheers of thousands of spectators. For more information go here:   PRA CHRISTMAS DASH.

Pensacola Beach Run
The original Half Marathon on Santa Rosa Island returns on January 16th at 7:30 AM along with great 10K and 5K races with awesome scenery. Yes, it's the famous Pensacola Beach Run where you will receive LOTS of swag, lots of fun and a great post-race celebration. For all the details go here:  PENSACOLA BEACH RUN.

Pensacola Marathon Coming Up

The 11th annual Pensacola Marathon, presented by Publix, is held on Veteran's Day Weekend each year. This year's race is Sunday, November 8, at 6 AM. The marathon course starts and finishes at Veterans' Memorial Park, and takes you through historic downtown Pensacola.

Participants will have the option of running the marathon, the marathon relay, the half marathon or a new 5k course that has been added to the race. The Subway Kids' Marathon participants will run the last 1.2 miles and complete the 26.2 mile race.

The race expo, Packet Pick-up, and late registration will be held at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel on Friday, November 6, 2015 and Saturday, November 7, 2015. For more information, please click
Pensacola Marathon website   or go to . 
Happy Thoughts
by Teresa J. Hess LMHC

Through doing triathlons you learn that while you signed up for 1 event with 3 parts there are really about 10 parts to triathlon. 1. Swim, 2. Bike, 3. Run, 4. Transition, 5. Nutrition, 6. Training, 7. Gear, 8. Dismounts, 9. Rules, 10. Mind Games.  

I really feel number 10 should be the number 1 part to triathlon, because if your mind is not ready, trained and prepared your race could be on the line. I was reminded of how powerful our mind can be as I was faced with a difficult race course and conditions at the Great Floridian Triathlon.  

At one point on the bike course I was alone, with a head wind, and a hill. In this moment I was nowhere near being done with my race, my legs hurt, my body hurt and I knew I had to be on this hill one more time. The negative thoughts flooded my head: Can I do this?; Maybe this is the time I can't do it; What happens if I don't finish?; Do I walk back from here?  Then I looked down on my arm where I always write "BSSP Press On" - Be Strong, Stay Positive, Press On. 

This message has become my race mantra, inspired and created by messages from other racers.  Seeing it there helped to calm me and allowed me to center myself there on that hill.  I began to fight the negative thoughts with each pedal stroke, leaving those thoughts further and further behind on that hill.

What is amazing is one person's positive thoughts are contagious. As I pushed up that hill I passed a gentleman with his head down,clearly struggling.  As I passed I yelled out to him, "Come on, almost there, let's get up to the top."  He picked up his head and grunted through each pedal.  I had an opportunity to see him out on the run course where he said "thank you" for the encouragement on the hill.  

It may seem like it is easy, just flip the switch from negative to positive, but we all know it is not that easy.  For me having those letters and words visible on my wrist help, others chant song lyrics or think about positive training events.  The key is learning what works for you and what works for you in the moment.  

Like anything, the first step to positive self thought is admitting you need to have a plan to deal with it. When you are faced with "I can't" ask yourself "why can't I?".  What many find is when we ask ourselves this question we start thinking of all the times "we did".  All those training times when we pushed through bad weather or sore legs.  We think about those days when we had fast runs and calm swims. These are the memories that come flooding back, the time we overcame and accomplished. 

Other methods to focus our minds on the positive come from scripting or mantras.  Just like trying out running shoes or cycling helmets, you have to figure out what script works for you.  My script works for me, but I would not say it should be your script.  Your mantra has to be a message from you, for you.  It has to have meaning and it has to be tested.  Using this mantra in training will help to test it so you know on race day it will be there to support you.  

While "I can" confirmations and mantras work for many athletes another tool to have in your back pocket is visualization.  Now you may not be able to transport yourself from that hill to a relaxing beach, but you can visualize the finish line and you crossing under that clock.  Also, visualizing successful times from training or previous races can be very positive in those rough moments.  

Remember in racing there are tough moments.  You arm yourself by training your body physically so don't neglect training your mind, as it will still be there when your legs hurt or your chain pops off or you get stung by jellyfish. Through it all your state of mind will determine your outcome.
Happy Thoughts for Happy Racing!!! 

The PRA Is Looking  
 For Volunteers (AGAIN......ALWAYS)!

The Pensacola Runners Association is a not-for-profit organization that is 100% volunteer driven. None of our members are compensated for all the hours that are put in organizing and holding our events and helping out at MANY other events across Northwest Florida throughout the year.
PRA Waterstop Volunteers
If you are interested in volunteering or in becoming a Race Director, please email PRA President-elect Eric Miller at  Thanks very much!!