Monday, December 31, 2012

My Goal for 2013

I have a post all ready to go about my goals for 2013.  I am not posting it.

It is a long post with only 3 goals but none the less, they are big ones.

As most of you know, I have been seeing a PT for my back and for hip bursitis.  She has suggested that I stop running for a bit.  She knows my plans to run the Philly Marathon, which will take place November 2013.  Just under a year away now.  She says that will not be a problem if I listen to her.  She has a plan to get me healthy and hopefully pain free.

I need to strengthen my core.  Basically, I am a weakling and have been for a long time.  This needs to change.

I ran two miles just the other day, and my hips immediately hurt.  Not the kind of hurt that stops you, just an annoying kind of hurt.  I had not run in 20 days and apparently that wasn't long enough.  I am mad an frustrated but I will listen to the doc and step up my cross training.

So here we go, 2013.  First and most importantly.  Get healthy and strong.

Do this so I can run for many more years to come.

Do this so I can run the Philadelphia Marathon.

Now, I did sign up for 13 in 2013.  I still feel this can be done, but most of the races I do will be in conjunction with my marathon training.  Did you sign up for this challenge?  Let me know so we can cheer each other on.

Ok, now on to New Year's Eve!  This is my favorite night of the year.  New Years in Philadelphia is a really big deal, especially if your father is a mummer.  There is nothing like it and I am sorry, you can read about it, but words won't give you the true feeling of what the New Year's Day Mummers Parade is all about.

When I moved from Philly, (sniff, sniff) I was so surprised that the rest of the country did not have something big for New Years Day.  I have always been so disappointed about this.

Since having kids, Mr. RWM and I have had a party on New Year's Eve.  This will be year number 7 for us.  I have food and drinks, and kids are welcome.  This way we still get to ring in the New Year without having to worry about sitters or driving.  Our kids get to party till they pass out and we get to enjoy the company of our friends.  I love it and can't wait till everyone gets here.

Last year, on New Years Day, I did a Polar Bear Plunge for the first time.  It was really cool but boy was it cold.  I may or may not do it again this year.  I am still on the fence, but this may have to be my new New Years Day tradition.  What do you all think?
2012, coming out of the ocean and yes, I am smiling!

Ok, so tell me how you ring in the New Year.  Have you ever done a Polar Bear Plunge?  What are some of your 2013 goals?  Have you run the Philly Marathon?  Any suggestions for a hotel?

Bring it on 2013!  We are ready for you!

Happy New Year everyone!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Life in Numbers

I came across this post by Livin The Fit Life and loved it!  I thought it would be fun to do it to.  So here we go!

40 - the number of years I have been on this earth
103 - the number I hope to see on my birthday cake some day
1990 - the year I graduated high school
1994 - the year I became a flight attendant
9 - the number of years I have lived in Rhode Island
5 - the number of states I have lived in (PA, NJ, WA, MA, RI)
2 - the number of kids I have
9 - how many years I have been married
2011 - the year I started running
39 - my age when I ran for the first time
13 - the number of races I have completed
700 - number of miles I wanted to run in 2012
624 - actual miles I have run in 2012 (might get a couple more in before the 1st)
2 - the number of half marathons I have finished
35 - number of followers on my blog
339 - number of followers on my FB page (any chance you can help me get the first number as high as the second?)
1 - number of siblings I have
8 - number of hours of sleep I get each night
5 - number of hours it takes to drive to my parents house
0 - number of marathons I have finished
1 - number of marathons planned for 2013
31:49 - my fastest 5k
21 - number of times I have seen Bon Jovi live in concert
13 - number of months I have been blogging
121 - number of posts on this blog
599 - number of comments you all have left me
too many to count - how many times I smile in a day
25 - my hair in inches from the top of my head to the bottom
5'6" - how tall I am
not sure - my fastest mile
3,067.4 - how many miles I had to travel to get to my second half marathon
41 - the number of Christmas cards we received

Ok, that's about it.  It was fun and I hope you thought so to.  Feel free to let me know if you do one so I can read it.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Friday, December 21, 2012

From Our Home To Yours

Sorry, I haven't written much lately.  I had a sick kid for a couple days and now I am playing catch up and getting all the last minute Christmas stuff done.

I just wanted to wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful Christmas.  May you be blessed with lots of love from the ones that matter most.

I will have my parents and uncle here visiting for the holiday and I can't wait to see them.  My kids are crazy excited and I look forward to seeing their smiles on Christmas morning.

I am pretty sure Santa will be good to Mr. RWM and I also.

I wish you all much love, laughter and many blessings.

Run Strong, Think Big!  Peace to all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thankful Mommy

This morning my daughter had her Christmas play/service at her preschool.  My son went there for two years and now my daughter is in her second and last year.  Kindergarten for our littlest next year.  How did that happen?

I was very excited about today.  She had been practicing the songs that they were planning on singing, and today when I saw the program, I found out that she was playing the part of Mary.  This thrilled me!

Unfortunately, Mr. RWM had to miss it.  This is not the first thing he has missed and it won't be the last.  Usually, I am good with it, but for some reason, I was having a hard time dealing with it today.

It was a lovely morning and my little girl did an excellent job.  I snapped lots of pictures, but screwed up with the video and, well, there isn't one.  Can't even tell you how bummed I am.

From there, we headed over to Kidzone for our Moms Club Christmas Party.  Again, this will be the last one we attend.  I joined this group when my son was 4 months old.  It has played a huge part in my life and I will miss these little playgroups.
Another great time at Kidzone!

We were having a great time, when we heard about the shooting in CT.  No real details at that time, only that it was a school.

When I got home and turned on the news, I was devastated.  I felt sick.  I lost it.  I don't need to tell you what happened or link you to a web site.  You, I am sure, are feeling just as sick as I am.

When I thought about my son at school, my first reaction was to go and get him.  After a moment though, I knew that was not the right thing to do.  I did, however, pick him up instead of having him take the bus home.

He was excited to see us and I just said, "Happy Friday!"  He loved it!  Once in the car, I asked them to pick where they would like to have dinner and then we were going to go home, put our pajamas on and watch a movie.

We headed to the Mews which has great burgers and 69 beers on tap.  Nice choice kids!

Dinner was great!  My kids and I just sat and talked about their day, what was good, what was bad.  They dug the music that was playing and even danced in their seats a bit.  We laughed and enjoyed every minute. It was exactly what I needed and I will never forget it.

At home we chose the movie Brave.  Then we read books and I put them to bed.  I hugged and kissed them good night, I tucked them in and told them how much I loved them.  I got hugs and kisses back and was told how much they love me.  This is how every parents night should end.

I cannot even imagine what is happening in the homes of those families tonight.  And honestly, I don't think I really want to know.  Tears, anger, questions, just to name a few.

And those poor babies who lost their lives today.  Scared, wanting their mommies and daddies.  It is killing me to think about it.

I am not writing this to upset anyone.  I am writing because it helps me, just a little.  Those of you who  blog, know what I mean.

I will never understand why things like this happen and I am sure you won't either.  The only thing I can do is pray for the victims and their families.  I can hold my children and do everything in my power to keep them safe.  But here is the thing, school is supposed to be safe and I think ours is, but I bet every one of those parents thought their kids were safe too.

Sorry, it's just hard for me to wrap my head around this and I should stop before I make myself and you crazy.

So, I will end with this.  My son has this book called the Dude Diary.  He has not been able to put it down.  There is a section for him to write his own story and at our super cool dinner tonight he started to write it and I had to share it with you. These are his exact words, title and all.  Hope it helps you smile.

Running With Mommy by Jr. RWM

Many people like running. I went running with my mom.  It was fun.

I ran two miles.  It was fun.

Love that kid!  He wants to run tomorrow and I am looking forward to it.

You have all seen my shirt, Peace, Love, Run and I really feel that in my heart.  I wish for peace everywhere, I hope you all have love in your life and I hope you find happiness in your runs.

So my friends, Run Strong, Think Big!

Guest Blog

Today, I am the guest blogger for Cupcake Kelly.  It is a post you have all read, but I encourage you to head on over to "meet" Kelly and some of the other guest bloggers that are helping her out this week.

Thanks for reading and following!  Here are the links:

Hope you enjoy!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Run With My Best Little Guy

After I finished the Jingle Bell 5k last weekend, my son, who is 7, asked if he could join me on my next run.  I, of course said yes, but didn't think he was too serious.

Today, after going to church and lunch, he said to me, "Can we run now?"

I was a little taken back and asked him if he was serious.  He said he was.  Ok, let's do it!

Mr. RWM wasn't home yet, so I dug out the jogging stroller.  This has been buried in the garage for quite some time.  It was dusty, and I can't even tell you how many spiders have made it their home.  Yuck!

I cleaned it up, got us water and we set out.  For 10 seconds.  It was here that I realized the tires were flat.  Seriously, I thought.  It is taking us longer to get moving than I was sure we would run.

Back to the house, got the pumps and, of course, the tires would not inflate.  I am not sure why, this was not the first time I inflated a tire.

Not wanting to disappoint my son, I called Elaine to see if my little one could hang out with her for what I though would be a short time.

Elaine was heading out but said I could use her jogger.  Great, we headed to her house.  What seemed like forever later, we finally started to run.

My son took off, which I expected.  I explained to him that going that fast was just gonna burn him out.  Plus, mommy is pushing a stroller with a 4 year old in it!  It has been a really long time since I had to do that.

He slowed down to a nice pace.  We were running a circle that was a half mile starting and ending at Elaine's.

It didn't take long for him to ask me how far we had gone.  Yup, son, just .03 miles.  He had thought we had gone much further.  Too funny.  This is when I thought he was almost done.

Boy was I wrong.  We made it back to our starting point and he wanted to keep going.  Sure, why not.

The second time around, he sped up just a bit and ran mostly in front of me.  I didn't mind.  I really liked watching him.  He looked back and smiled at me, a lot.  I couldn't get enough of it.

Back at Elaine's he grabbed some water and kept going.  I asked him how he felt and he was fine.  He found his groove and he was smiling.  What more does one want?

Every time we ran the loop, we had to interrupt a small basketball game.  A dad and his three sons.  The third time we passed by them, the dad told me how impressed he was that my guy was still running.  I am pretty sure my smile was so bright it blinded him.

When we rounded the corner we saw his best bud and he wanted to run with us.  This thrilled my son and he helped us finish up the last of our run.

I am happy to report that my son ran for two miles!  2.14 to be exact and it was the best run ever!
High five little man.  Great job!

I was so proud of him and he was so excited too!  He was smiling and jumping up and down and he couldn't wait to tell everyone.  He wants to run again and he even said he would like to do the next 5k with me.  Most likely the next 5k will be February 3.  It is called the Super 5k and it is the same course that I just PR'ed on.  It is a perfect first time race as it is flat and fast.

Today, my son totally put the mommy into Running While Mommy.  He inspired me and warmed my heart.  He had fun and to me, that is what running is all about.  It was nice to have that little reminder.

You can learn so much from your kids.  They are excited by life and all that is new.  Things that we may think don't matter are huge to them.  We need to stop and look and see what it is that amazes them.   We just might be amazed too.  We need to slow down, take a deep breath and just take it all in.  My son ran today and he didn't need music or even much conversation.  He just ran, smiled, looked around and smiled some more.

Trust me when I say, that I am not giving up music or running with friends.  But, how my son felt today does not just apply to running.  We can use that everyday in all that we do, especially, this time of year. There is so much hustle and bustle going on, and I have always hated it.  You will think I am crazy, but I look at Christmas shopping the same way I look at grocery shopping.  I make a list, go to the store and that is it.  Seriously, that is it.
After we were home, I asked my little guy what he thought about his run.  He said he loved it and it was fun but he didn't like the first few minutes.  Yup, that about sums it up every time we run, doesn't it?

I told him I was proud of him and that I hoped we would do it again.  "Of course we will mommy!", is what he said.  Big smile on this mama's face!

I hope you are all enjoying this season with family and friends.  I hope your running is making you happy.

If you run with your kids, I would love to hear all about it.  Let me know how you keep them from burn out and getting bored.  The excitement my son showed today was awesome and I don't want to over do it and make him not like running.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lucky Number 13

Sunday, I ran my last race of the year, the Jingle Bell 5k.  This race is part of the Festival of Lights that my town has to kick off the Christmas season.  It is usually run on the beach, but Hurricane Sandy was not kind to us here in Narragansett, so it was moved to the road.

This was not a bad thing for me.  I am not a fan of beach running, plus I was familiar with the course they changed it to.  A flat and fast course.

This is a festive race and people dress up.  I decided that an elf would suit me.  I had the hat and the socks.  I found a red tech shirt and met a women who makes tutus.  I asked her to make me a red and green one and voila, I was an elf.  As an added bonus, I had my nails painted red and green.

The race started at 1pm and I like the late start.  I got there with plenty of time to spare and met up with my friends.

Mr. RWM and the kids were there too and that just thrilled me to pieces!  One, because I had a cheering section and two, because I had a photographer.  Thanks Babe!

I actually had a goal for this race and it wasn't just to finish.  I wanted very much to finish in 33 minutes.  My best 5k time up to this point was 34:50.

We lined up and the gun went off.  This race was small, exactly 100 people.  I do like small races, especially in my small town.

I started out a little faster than my usually speed and at first, thought I should slow down.  I didn't.  The temperature was perfect, I had friends just ahead of me and some rocking tunes.  I felt good.

At the half way point though, my stomach started to hurt.  This is the third run in a row that this has happened.  I don't know why.  I haven't changed anything as far as eating and drinking is concerned.  What are your thoughts?

I pushed through and stayed strong.  Right before I hit the 3 mile marker, I saw Mr. RWM and the kids.  There is nothing better than to have your very own cheering section.  I was fueled when I saw them and took off.

When I rounded the corner and saw the clock, I was shocked!  It read, 31 and change.  I was not going to let the clock tick away to 32 without me crossing first.

I ran as strong and as fast as I could and my official time was 31:49, which is a 10:15 pace!  This is a 3:01 PR!
My babies!

My family was there and so were my friends, who by the way, both PR'ed too!  Congrats, Jenn and Bridget!

We headed over for water and snacks and they had an awards ceremony.  Then they had those of us who dressed up, come up and to be judged.  I had a little competition.  There was a tree that was just awesome!  However, there weren't that many of us competing, so we all got a prize.  I got a gift card to Pier Liquors, yeah me!

So why lucky number 13?  Well, this was my 13th race since I started running.  My first race, was 13 months ago.  It was a 5k and I finished in 35:35.  Nice, right!

All in all, this was a really fun day.  It was the first time I dressed up to run too and I liked it!

Have you ever dressed up to race?

Run Strong, Think Big!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy Birthday RWM

Yes, today is my Birthday.  Well, actually, it's my blogs 1st birthday.

This time last year, I published this post.  Take a look at it.  It's not my best work but it is real.
My very first race!

I wrote that because I was excited about this journey that I was on and I didn't want to forget anything.  I am notorious for being forgetful.  I have traveled all over the world but can't tell you every place I have been.  Sad, right?

So, I sat down and started writing about how I felt about running and being a wife and mother.  I wasn't sure if anyone would read and at that time, I didn't really care.  Just wanted to have a journal that keep me motivated and accountable.

Before starting my blog, I didn't even know what a blog was.  I just googled the word "running" and tons of stuff came up.  Things about shoes, races, GPS's, and blogs.  I clicked on the first blog, read through it and then looked for more.

I was motivated by these runners who had put it all out there and I felt the call to start Running While Mommy to motivate others as well.

I have come a long way since then.  At that time, my longest distance was 4 miles.  Since then I have run two half marathons and ten smaller races, plus one more this coming Sunday for a total of 13 races.
Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  Thank you to those who participated!

I have also raised $3900 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and ran in honor of Haley which was one of the greatest experiences of my short running career.
After my first half marathon with my biggest supporters.
Mile 10 at the Nike Women's Marathon

Wow!  Honestly, I thought that once I finished the Newport Bridge race the first time that I would be done.  Now, I plan to run it every year.
Newport Bridge Run, 2011
Newport Bridge, 2012

I have also lost 19 pounds since I started running.  This I did not expect, but it is awesome.  With the weight loss and the training, I have also hit 10 and change miles.  I was a pretty consistent 12 minute mile pace runner and am now trying to PR at my last race of the year.  My best 5k time to date is, 34:50.  I think I can do it Sunday, although, I will be dressed as an elf and I just hope the costume doesn't get in the way of that.  LOL

And, by the way, I am not downing those who run at a 12 minute mile pace.  I think any pace is great as long as you are moving and doing what you love to do.  And, the longer I run, it seems the slower I go, so I know I will still see those numbers in my splits again.
After a great run with the TNT group.
The Blessing, my first 10 miler.

One of the other surprises this year, is how awesome the blogging/running community is.  I have met friends virtually and in person who I absolutely love!  And I wish I could meet all of you.  You all have a special place in my heart but there a couple who I want to give a shout out too.

Running My Ass Off

Run Find Your Happy Pace

Living the Fit Life

Run For the Boys

Mommy Run Fast

See Mom Run Far

Me and the Boys


They are not the only people who have inspired me, so you can check out my blog roll and see all the amazing blogs that I follow.

I also have to give a huge shout out to my Tough Chiks and Sweet Pink Ambassadors.  These ladies have been there for me through the good and the bad and I love every single one of them!  I wasn't sure how I would like being a part of an online community, but this works.  It is motivating, I get great advice and have made a few friends.  Who knew!?

So how does one celebrate their blogs birthday?  Well with a run of course!  Just a quick one today, two miles.

I had some struggles with my run today.  My GPS was not working and after the first mile, my Pandora stopped also.  Plus, it was drizzling.  The drizzle is usually not a problem but I was without my favorite running hat which would of kept the drops off my glasses.  Not being able to see, was the turning point for me.

But despite all that, I had a great time reflecting about this last year and how far I have come.  I also thought about so many of you and how far you have come.  The motivation, the advice and the pics we share with each other is why I am looking forward to another year of Running While Mommy.
Happy Birthday Run

I hope you will continue to read and run and share your experiences with me.  I love hearing from you and cheering you on.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and kind words.

Happy Birthday Running While Mommy!  Here is to many more!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Climbing While Mommy

So, yesterday, early afternoon, my friend Kathy called to see if I would like to go indoor rock climbing with her.  This is something I have always wanted to try so I said yes!

Kathy had also invited her neighbor and daughter who are both experienced climbers.

We had to drive almost an hour to Lincoln RI, which is where Rock Spot is located.

Once there, we had to sign a waiver and I was given shoes and a harness.  The shoes felt weird.

I hooked up for the first time using an auto belay and barely made it 3ft off the ground.  This was harder than I thought.  I know I have a lot of work to do on my upper body strength, but wow, this was a big slap in the face.

Kathy told me that I need to use my legs more and to get closer to the wall.  I did and got a little higher and came down.  I wanted to see how they did it and then I would try again.  Of course, they made it look easy.

Once they climbed a bit, Kathy hooked me up and she was my belay.  This time I got higher but I was not a fan of the coming down part and decided I was high enough.  Kathy was trying to tell me how to come down, but I couldn't wrap my head around it.  She had me, but I still panicked and twisted around and banged my back into the rock wall.  Ouch!

Once down, Kathy pointed out how close I was to the top and I really wanted to go back up.  So I did.

I got up faster and a bit higher but still couldn't relax enough to just glide down.  Now for those of you who have been reading a while, know, I am the same person who jumped out of a plane at 10,000!  For some reason, my mind was messing with me.  I made it down and by this time, my arms were getting really sore.

The shoes at this point were killing me and I couldn't wait to take them off.  I did climb a little bit more, really just trying to get the going down part right.  What is wrong with me?  Why can't I just trust that I am not falling to my death and everything is cool?

After two hours of climbing we called it a night and headed home.

Did I love it? No  Would I do it again?  Yes.

I have to do it again so I can do it right.  I now need to prove to myself that I can do it and not panic.  Rock Spot is adding a location very close to my home and I do plan on taking the family there.  I am pretty sure my son will love it!

So how bout you?  Are you a fan of climbing?  Any pointers?

On a funny note, today only my daughter and I made it to church.  When I got there, I was asked to carry up the pledge cards and say a blessing.  Since it was just the two of us, I said she could come up with me.

When I was saying the blessing, she was hugging my legs and had her hands a little under my dress.  For some reason, she decided to quickly raise up her hands and along with them, my dress.  Yes, my sweet little angel, flashed my business in front of the whole church.  Awesome.

I am not one to embarrass easily, but that was crazy embarrassing!

I had some lovely comments after the service saying that I handled it beautifully. That is nice to hear because I am pretty sure I turned the color of a tomato.

I also wanted to thank you for the nice comments about my blog facelift.  I am glad you like it!

And for those of you who commented on Ragnar, thank you.  I am still thinking about it and will let you know what I decide.

Next sunday, I am running a Jingle Bell 5k.  I have plans to dress as an elf but am having a little trouble getting my outfit together.  Don't worry, whatever I decide there will be tons of pictures.  Any suggestions for running as an elf?

Run Strong, Think Big!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and A Race

Well, it's here.  The start of the holiday season.  I know some people and  retail stores would have you think it starts the same time as Halloween, but for the RWM household it started Wednesday when my son got off the bus.

The last two weeks here, I had my parents visiting.  They were only staying about 5 days when my dad got sick and ended up in the hospital, twice.  Originally, I was planning to have Thanksgiving at their new home but he got out of the hospital so close to Thanksgiving and is still recovering, so we had it here.

Wednesday morning, my daughters preschool had a Thanksgiving Breakfast with a silent auction and raffle, plus the kids put on a little show.  It was a really nice morning and for the first time, both sets of grandparents were able to attend one of my kids school functions!
Little Miss ready for her Thanksgiving Preschool Breakfast

Later that afternoon, we had some apps and drinks and my parents, Mr. RWM's parents and a friend, her husband and son came by to start the celebration.

This, to me, will be one of the highlights of the season but there was on thing missing. Mr. RWM!  I can't even describe to you how bad I felt that he missed such a joyous occasion.

Growing up, this was normal for me.  Both sides of the family were together for big and small events.  But, we are here in RI and our parents are in NJ and NC.  Not the ideal situation, but we are making it work.

The one thing I really regret is not getting a pic of the kids with all 4 grandparents.  Who knows when it will happen again, but I will just pray that is does.

Back to Wednesday night.  I ate all the wrong foods and had a couple drinks.  Not the ideal meal the night before a race.

I was not preregistered for the Newport Pie Run and went to bed exhausted and thinking that sleeping in would be the right thing to do.  After about 20 minutes of thinking and not sleeping, I set my alarm.  Funny, but I fell asleep as soon as I did that.

I woke up feeling great and got ready to go.

Once there, I registered, and did the usual pre race things, like stretch and use the bathroom.  I knew two people running and looked for them.  Bethany was the first one I saw.

Now let me tell you, a year makes a world of difference!  Last year at this time, I had only been running four months.  My longest distance was just 4 miles.  And my friend Bethany, was hurt doing one of those obstacle type races.

She has never missed this Pie Run so I offered to push her in a wheelchair.   This race is a 5 mile road race and 3 mile walk.  And, yes, you get a pie at the finish.
Thanksgiving, 2011

Our friend MB, picked me up and we met Bethany there.  MB and I took turns pushing Bethany while we walked the three miles.  It was fun and I think the three of us had a great time!

This year, Bethany and I both ran the five miles!

When I walked down to the start, I wasn't able to find Bethany again, but I did see my friend Jenn.  I was happy to be running with someone even though, I knew Jenn would get ahead of me eventually.

Well, that did not work out as well as I thought it would.  As soon as we started to move, my headphones got tangled in my ponytail and it took me a minute to straighten it out.  Jenn was gone by the time I got it worked out and by then, I was on my own.
That's a lot of hair, right?  Now you can see why I had a problem.  LOL

This is not a huge race, but not the smallest I have run either.  I was never really alone and that was good.

About a half mile in, my stomach turned sour.  Maybe the last beer or a combination of that and the cheese and pepperoni plate from the night before. Hmmm...

Well, I just had to push through, I was not stopping and I knew it would go away eventually.

Luckily, there were plenty of fun things to look at.  A running turkey, an indian, Batman and Robin and many turkey hats.  Plus we ran past one of the Newport Beaches and well, you know me, I love to run by the beach.  There were tons of surfers out yesterday morning and that was cool too.

One of the things I noticed about this race, is that it truly is a family affair.  Kids of all ages were being pushed in strollers, walking and even running with their parents and even a few grandparents.  I loved it!

I hope, to do this with my family.  I know my kids would like it, but Mr. RWM, not so much.  I have a year to work on him though.

I was thinking that I would finish the race between 53 and 55 minutes.  Once I got my hair tangled and my stomach started to hurt, I was doubtful that I would see those numbers.  I had been running 10:29 miles up until race day and my first mile was 11:19.  Shoot!

At mile three, there was a water stop and I didn't start to feel better until after that.  In mile four, there was a hill, and yes, I still dislike hills.  I made it up fine and cruised in mile 5.  I don't have my splits but I think this was my best mile.

I finished in 54:41.  I was happy to finish under 55 and now I am pretty sure, if I feel well, I can PR in my next five mile race.
Thanksgiving, 2012

I saw Bethany at the finish and we chatted for a bit and snapped a pic.  Her husband placed third in his age group.  Congratulations Mr. Bethany!

Once I got home, I walked into a little chaos.  I had made cranberry sauce and apparently did not put the lid on correctly.  When Mom opened the fridge it fell out and exploded all over her and my kitchen!  I missed most of the mess but my poor mom was covered in sauce and had cleaned my whole fridge.  I felt awful that she had to go through that.  But my fridge looks awesome!  Thanks mom!

Some of the cranberry sauce was saved and after the cleanup we sat and had some coffee.  The house smelled wonderful and my kids were so very excited about eating turkey.  We had a wonderful dinner and all in all, it was a great Thanksgiving.

This year we gave thanks that my dad was well and with us.  That we are healthy, had food on our table and a home to keep us warm.

We missed Mr. RWM, but this is the life of a Pilot and his wife and kids.  We take it as it comes and make it work the best way we can.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!  Did you race?  How was it?

Run Strong, Think Big

Monday, November 19, 2012


Today, I ran 4 miles in 45:01.

After every run, I post my miles, time and how I felt in Daily Mile.  When I looked at my stats today, it read 608 miles for the year.  Wow!  This is pretty cool.  I never dreamed that I would see those kind of numbers, especially, after being sidelined in the beginning of the year.

It may be a long shot, but I am going to try and reach 700 miles by the end of the year.  I have a little over a month to do it and I am going to do my best.

I seem to always make big goals for myself at not so great times.  I am thinking that Thanksgiving and Christmas and just your average getting things done for the Holidays is going to make this goal tough.  But I am a Tough Chik, right?

So lets do this!  700 miles by December 31, 2012.

Let's hear some of your goals.  Did you set one for the year?  Are you close to accomplishing it?  How many miles have you run this year so far?  What kind of app do you use to track your miles?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Ragnar, or Not To Ragnar...

That is the question.

My good friend and fellow blogger, Andy, messaged me today about doing the PA Ragnar Relay October 2013.

Now, I have heard of these and read a few blogs about them.  It seems people really enjoy these types of races, but I am not sure if I am one of those people who would.  Now, having said that, I never thought I would run either.

Basically, a team of 12 people in two vans, take turns running a total of 200 miles over the course of two days.  

Now, when I first read Andy's message, my first thought was,  "no way."  As the day went on and the more I thought about it, I started to think to myself, "why not?"

If you can get past the lack of sleep, lack of real food and 12 smelly people on top of each other in a van, then it actually sounds fun.

No really, you work as a team, decorate your van, wear costumes if you like and give yourself a fun team name all while running which is what I love to do. I am sure all the good and the bad combined will make for a great memory.  Don't you agree?

So why am I writing this now when the race is a year a way?  Well, because it is you who I look to for advice.  

After finishing the Nike Half, it was clear to me that a marathon is in my future.  I am pretty sure it will be the Philly Marathon, which will be in November next year.

The Ragnar will be about 5 weeks before the marathon.  Now I have not made any definite plans, but is it bad planning to do those two big events in that amount of time?

So, how many of you have done one?  What did you like/not like about it?  What did you think about running at night alone?  Were you really alone or were there other runners from different teams around you?  

Anything else you want to share?

Run Strong, Think Big!

Newport Bridge Recap

When I started running, July 2011, I wasn't sure if participating in races was going to be my thing.  Soon after the first time I laced up, I saw an add for the Newport Bridge run.  You actually got to run over the Newport Bridge!  I just knew I had to do it.

I have driven over this bridge once a week since I have lived in Rhode Island and I can see it from various spots in my town.  It is a beautiful sight, especially at night when it is all lit up.
Newport Pell Bridge

My goal when I started running, was to complete a 5k and, I thought, I would be done.  The distance for the bridge last year was 4.2 miles.  Well, just like that, my goal was increased by 1 mile.

Now, I know that doesn't seem like a lot to a person who has been running for a while, but let me tell you, to a newbie, that is huge.

I finished my C25K plan, ran in my first 5k, knew I was hooked and then three weeks later, I ran over the bridge.  It was one of my favorite races to date and I was excited to find out that they were doing it again this year.

I registered late this year and just in the nick of time too.  It sold out at 2500 runners.

My good friend and new running buddy, Kathy had registered while I was on vacation.  I was so happy to hear that she wanted to do this race.  For Kathy, this would be her first race ever!  I was so proud to be able to do it with her.

Packet pick up this year was an improvement from last year.  This year, they had four different days and locations to pick up your number and shirt and one of them was just a few minutes from my house.  I was in and out in less than 5 minutes and psyched to have number 2407 in my hands.

Based on when you registered was how they assigned you a shuttle time.  Kathy and I were lucky to have the 5am shuttle. (that's my sarcastic voice)

At 4:30, Kathy was at my house and we were on our way.  It was dark and cold, but not as cold as I thought it would be, just like last year. Must be the adrenaline.  I parked in the same spot as last year which was the finish line, or so I thought.

We walked over to the shuttle and got on right away.  Once off the bus, we headed over to the tent where they had coffee, hot cocoa and water.  We used the porta potty and stretched and met up with our friend Tara.  I was so happy to be running with such great friends!

We lined up, sang the National Anthem and then the gun went off.  It took about 2 minutes for us to cross the start line.  Once we were off, I started to warm up pretty quick, which I needed.  It was cold standing around for an hour in the dark near the water.
Standing in the start line.

Once we rounded the corner and ran through the tolls, the sun was coming up.  Man, it was beautiful.  We were also at the bottom of the hill and this is a killer hill.

I knew Kathy did not have much hill training and I wasn't sure about Tara.  Me, well, I just ran a half marathon in San Francisco.  I am not the best hill runner, but I knew I could do it.

I was happy to see the three of us trucking up that hill like it was an everyday occurrence.  They both did a fantastic job and for me it was a huge improvement from the year before when I walked up most of it.  Woohoo!!!

At the top we stopped for a pic.  Again, it was such a beautiful morning and I just didn't want to run past it.  The view of Rhode Island from the top of the bridge is spectacular and I needed a moment to look around and just take it all in.

At the top.

We cruised down the hill, which was fun.  I was thirsty at this point and was happy to see the water stop.  I also knew that we were close to the finish. However, where I thought we would go straight, we turned.  Hmmm... the course is different this year.  I looked at all the race stuff but didn't pay much attention to the course just assuming that it was the same as last year.

It wasn't long after that, that we heard the music.  The crowd support picked up which was nice and then I saw the finish line.  It was in a different place than last year, not that it matters, I just didn't pay attention to this change.

Last year, I finished in 50 minutes.  This year, I knew I would do better.  When I saw the clock all I saw was 47:xx and I sprinted to the finish.  I did not want to see the number 48!  It looked like 47:58 when I crossed but I wasn't sure.

I turned quickly hoping to see Kathy cross the finish, but Kathy and Tara were right behind me!  Woohoo, they finished a second behind me.  Great job Ladies!
At the finish.

We got our water and talked to a few people. Most of them we knew from somewhere or another.  It was great to hear how much fun people had.

Kathy and I headed home and Tara went to the Brick Alley Pub for the party.  I was sorry to miss this, but my Dad has been sick and I needed to get to the hospital to see him. (all is good and he will be fine)

When I looked at my GPS, it read 4 miles.  This was another change that I didn't notice.  I knew I had PR'ed for a race that is 4.2 miles and when I got home and updated my Facebook page that is what I told everyone.

It wasn't until I went to add the time to my race list on my blog that I realized I had ran a 4 mile race in July and had finished in 43:01.  Yes, I forgot about a race and a PR!  (insert Paul Ryan joke here)  Had it been 4.2 miles, I still would of beat my time from last year though.

My official finish time for the bridge was 45:05.  Not bad considering the hill and a stop for pictures.  Plus, I was running with friends and I had intended to stay with them and see them finish. It was important for me to do that, especially since it was a first time for one of them.

That is why I run.  I know I can improve but I don't really run to win anything.  I want to be happy and healthy and if I can motivate someone to do the same, than it is all worth it.  Kathy wasn't a runner before but she said, I have inspired her.  Tara has been a runner on and off and I think it is more on than off now.  I am thrilled to be able to run with her.  And honestly, they inspire me, you all do.

This race once again proved to be an incredible experience and I highly recommend it.  Walkers are welcome and there were plenty of them.  Don't let the early start dissuade you.  It will all be forgotten when you start to run and see the sun rise in front of you, especially, if you are with friends.  And of course, when you cross the finish line, you will feel like you can do anything!

A big thank you to Tara and Kathy for running with me.  Everything is better with friends!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I got nothing.

I have been trying to come up with a blog post for a few days now and I am drawing a blank.

It is not like there aren't things to write about.  There was a hurricane, I had a fabulous Disney vacation,  it is time to vote,  I had my first run since Nike and signed up for the Newport Bridge Run for this coming Sunday.

I guess, I am still getting back to normal after two trips in one month.  Our house survived the hurricane while we were away, thank God.  We were lucky, but so many weren't. 

My run yesterday was really good.  The weather was perfect but my back is acting up.  I hope it is ok for Sunday.  

The Bridge race is one of my favorites.  Last years inaugural race was my second race ever.  It was a race that I knewI had to do.  It is 4.2 miles and I finished in something like 50 minutes.  I have come a long way since then and I am sure I will finish in less time, even if I take a minute to snap a pic at the top of the bridge.  It is such a beautiful sight and I don't want to just run past it.  

Last year, I got to run it with one my best friends.  She came in from Ohio just to run with me.  This year I will miss Barb, but I will be running with some very special friends and I am really looking forward to that.  

Ok, so that's it, nothing much, but I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I am still out there.  My next post will be the Bridge recap and my blog facelift should be done.  I am excited to share it with you.

Tell me about your upcoming races and how you weathered the storm.  Are you voting?  Did you dress up for Halloween?  Were you supposed to run NY? Thoughts?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nike Women's Half Marathon, Part Two

My alarm was set for 4:30 am.  I was up at 3:45.  This was not really a bad thing.  I had plenty of time to eat, use the bathroom, get dressed and even turn on the TV for a moment.  I was the first of our group in the lobby but it was full of TNT participants and the excitement in the room was awesome!

Once all of Haley's Sweet 16 arrived we snapped some pictures, stretched and Shawna led us in prayer.  
Haley's Sweet 16

We headed outside to start walking to our corral.  It was dark and a little chilly.  The streets were already crowded with people.  We walked up a few blocks to where we had to be.  There were more than enough porta potties and tables with water and NUUN.

I ran into my friends from Rhode Island and we were able to snap a pic and wish each other luck.
Some of the RI crew.

About 30 minutes before the race, Nike staff lead us in a warm up.  It was done with cool music and a guy up on a stage to show us what to do.  We stretched, kicked and jumped up and down to get the blood moving.  It was fun.

I was hanging onto my bag because it was dark but I wanted to change to my sunglasses before we started to run.  I waited to the last minute because I was sure the sun would be coming out.  I switched my glasses and dropped my bag at the gear check.

I headed back to my group, looking ridiculous in my shades.  Eric, Patricia and I were the only ones doing the half.  We wished everyone luck and headed to the 12+ corral.  I was placed in the one before that but I wanted to stick with Patricia and Eric.

The rest of the group were all doing the full and were in the corral before us.

After the National Anthem, the race started.  It was really slow moving and it took us 30 minutes to get across the start line.

The crowd support was really good at the start.  People were cheering and holding great signs.  Well, great except for one.  Come on Dude!  It isn't funny or original to have a sign that says, "Almost there" at .03 miles.

It didn't take long for me to have to use the bathroom.  I am guessing the extra 30 minutes getting to the start messed with me.  At the end of mile one, I ran into a porta potty.  I was in and out in a jiffy.  When I came out I didn't see Patricia.  I wasn't' sure if she went ahead or was waiting for me.  I took off and headed for my first hill.

I was getting nervous thinking that she might be waiting for me.  I pulled to the side to look down the hill for her.  I didn't see her.  I kept going and caught up to Eric.  He said he didn't see her either.

Eric and I ran at the same pace and I was enjoying it.  It wasn't dark anymore but there was no sun.  The fog was thick and my glasses were fogged up.  I was getting so annoyed and I hadn't even hit 3 miles yet!  It never occurred to me to carry a tissue with me to wipe my glasses.  Lesson learned!

It wasn't too much longer after that when we found Patricia.  The three of us were together again for a little while.

The crowd had died down a bit.  For some reason, I was expecting more people cheering us on.  We passed a choir signing to us, which was really cool and a few stops with music and dancers.  There was also cheerleaders from some of the local schools.  Most of the crowd support came form the TNT staff and although I kept my eyes out for the RI crew, I never saw them.

At the bottom of the third hill, I was a little taken back.  The hill was huge and it was curvy.  I stopped at the bottom and looked up, wow!  I pictured myself at the top and started running.  I was really slowed down by the walkers though.  I was surrounded by them and found it hard to weave in and out of them.  They were walking 5+ across and paid no attention to the runners trying to get around them.
Top of one of the hills.

Don't get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for anyone taking on 13.1 walking or running, but it would of been cool if we had a runners right, walkers left kind of thing going on.   This was pretty much how my run went because it never thinned out.

At the top of that hill, I stopped to look out at the Golden Gate Bridge, which I couldn't see because of the fog and I also looked down the hill for Eric and Patricia.  I had lost them again.  Bummer.

The next few miles I ran alone but here is the interesting thing.  I never used my iPod.  I just ran taking in all the sights and sounds and I really loved it.  The longest I had ever run without music before was just 4 miles.  Here I was on my way to 13 and I didn't even want it.

Nike had really cool signs along the way, all of them motivating.  It wasn't until I saw the Run Fearless sign that I stopped.  I just had to have a pic of me in front of that one.  Lucky for me, one of the girls in front of me agreed to snap my picture.

From there, I headed to a table that said bra exchange.  Hmmn, that is interesting. When I got there, all the bras were gone, but I am thinking I wouldn't of changed anyway.  I love what I was wearing and I would of hated to find out that the new one did not work for me.

There were water and NUUN stops every two miles and I was so glad I brought my own fuel.  I got a little spoiled at the Ocean's Run with all the gels and snacks that they had at every mile.  I did enjoy the Orange Mile.  The oranges tasted so good.

After that stop, I used the PP again, and this time, there was a line.  Once in line though, Eric caught up and was just a few people behind me.  We ran together after that.

One of the things I was looking forward to was the Chocolate Mile.  This was supposed to be a stop with Ghirardelli chocolates.  Well, unless I totally missed it, which I doubt, there was no chocolate mile.  There was a spot where we were given chocolate Luna bars, but that is not the same thing.  Oh well.

I felt really good during this race.  Nothing was really bothering me, not my back, my foot or my hips.  I never hit a wall or thought that I was not going to make it and I found my groove at the start line.  I was surround by purple TNT shirts with names and pictures all over them.  If I was close enough, I tried to read what the shirts said.  I looked at every picture I could and thought about the names on my shirt too.  This motivated me to keep going and to stay strong.  I wondered about Shawna and the rest of my group doing the full.  I had no idea where they were but I knew in my heart that they were doing well.

At mile 10, we were at a beach.  It was still foggy and I was still mad at my bad decision to wear my sunglasses.   I had Eric take my picture so that I can send it to Mr. RWM to let him know where I was.
mile 10

The view ahead of us was the the tents and busses that were at the finish.  It was cool to see, but I was not at the finish.  We had to go to the left and into a park for the final 3 miles.  The wide road that we were on for the last mile had thinned and I found that I was stuck with walkers again and I couldn't get around.

Eric was hurting a little and I lost him somewhere around here.  Shawna's family had cheered for us at about mile three and I saw them at the end of mile 13.  It was so nice to see a familiar face cheering me on.
It's all good.

I turned the corner for the last .1 and the finish was in sight!  There was a very large group in front of me and believe it or not, I actually slowed down so that none of them would be in my way for my picture crossing the finish line.  Is that weird?  I don't care.  I wasn't crossing with friends so I didn't want too many strangers in my picture.  Selfish?  Still don't care.  LOL

I was psyched to have crossed that line.  So many months of training and fundraising had all paid off.  It was so worth it!  My time was 3:10:05.  This is 33 minutes slower than my fastest time.  Considering the hills, two potty breaks and about 10 pictures, I am good with that.  I said it before, this was for Shawna and Haley and for fun.  That is what I set out for, mission accomplished.

I walked across the red carpet, was handed water and then headed to to the cutest fireman.  I stood in line and asked the girl in front of me to snap my pic and I would snap hers.  She agreed but when it came time for my picture, my camera would not work!!!  We tried more than a couple times, before I finally gave up.  This was the biggest disappointment of the weekend.

I wish you could see his picture.  He was really good looking with a smile that would make you melt.  I told him how happy I was to see him, mostly because he represented my finish and accomplishment.  He told me he was happy to see me too and that put a huge smile on my face.  That, and my Tiffany box with the most beautiful finishers medal ever!

From there, I got my finishers shirt and then a bagel and a banana. I was directed to the TNT tent where we had to check in.  It was here that Patricia had found me.  I was so happy to see someone that I knew.  We hugged and congratulated each other, checked in and got our finishers pin.

We had finished in the middle of the pack and apparently it was when most of us average runners finished.  The place was a mad house.  We couldn't get around easily and the lines for everything were half a mile long.

We had about two hours before Shawna was going to come in, so we decided to get our checked bags first and then head to the TNT tent for food.

Huge line into the tent, but once I got my sandwich, I felt so much better.  We sat down, ate and changed into our flip flops.

After that we walked around a bit to see what was going on.  Nike had a tent with just finisher shirts.  They were all nice but I was happy with the one at the finish line.  I was so surprised how much people were buying.  I think it is cool to have a shirt, but how many do you need that virtually all say the same thing.  The colors and styles were different but they all said NWM 2012 in some form or another.  And the prices!! Holy cow, they were so expensive.  I bought one shirt for $40 the day before and that was enough.

We headed to the finish line to wait for Shawna.   The place had really cleared out by now and it was actually nice.  We got a good spot and waited.  The announcers said each and every name of the person crossing the finish line who ran the full marathon.  It was really cool to see and hear.

We weren't' really sure who had come in yet, but we did know that Shawna was still running based on the automatic FB status we had signed up for.

Tracey was the first that we saw and I got chills watching her cross that line.  It was her first full and I am pretty sure, her first race.  She broke down and Patricia ran over to her.  It was here that I had my first moment of doubt about my decision to run the half and not the full.

And then we saw Shawna, with Robin right next to her.  They were smiling and so was I.  I was so excited for them. They looked beautiful crossing the finish line and I was so proud of them. What a fantastic finish.

It was then that I was sure I made the wrong decision.  I wanted to be crossing that line with Shawna and I felt like a missed an opportunity for an incredible first marathon.  As happy as I was to have just finished my second half, I also felt a little disappointed.  I shook it off and am now set on 26.2.

We caught up to her at the bagel table and walked with her to get her pin and then showed them where the TNT tent was.  They got some food and then Leah, Robin and I headed to the massage tent.  This was awesome.  I couldn't get in earlier but now we walked right up and got in in about 3 minutes.  I had a 20 minute massage which was great.

After that we snapped a few group pics and then headed to the buses.

There wasn't much time once we got back to the hotel.  I showered and got dressed for the Victory Dinner.  I met everyone downstairs and we got cabs over to the dinner.

The food was OK.  Nothing that I would of ordered if I had a choice, but we were all starving at this point.  I even went back for seconds.  We had a few drinks and then headed over to the dance floor.  Yes folks, after running half and full marathons, we danced until they closed the place at 8pm.  It felt good to dance and just have fun.  We deserved it and I am sure we all enjoyed it.
  Victory Dinner

We headed back to our hotel and met in the lobby for some wine.  As I sat there, talking with everyone.  I had so many thoughts going through my head.  I was so happy to be here with Shawna.   I loved meeting her friends and her family.  They were all so wonderful.  I was happy that we all set out to do something for such a good cause and we all succeeded.  I was also sad that it was all coming to an end.

I said good night as I had to be the first to leave in the morning.

I woke up early enough to get breakfast and was pleasantly surprised to see that Shawna had gotten up to eat with me.  It was so nice to have some one on one with her.  She has always been such a good friend and I have missed her terribly the last 4 years.  I wish we didn't have to be so far apart but it is obvious that distance has not changed how we feel about each other.

I grabbed my bags and said a final good by to everyone who was in the lobby and off I went.  I met my Rhode Island friends at their hotel and we flew home together.  I was so relieved to be back on the East Coast with Mr. RWM and the kids.  They truly are who I do this for and they make it all worth while.

Recently, my son drilled me on what distance I ran and what it was like and when I asked him why all the questions, he said he wanted to be like me.  And tonight I found Hal Higdons book in my daughters room.  When I asked her what she was doing with it, she said she was going to run a marathon.  Yes, she is only four and can't read, but how cool is that!

My family rocks, my friends are awesome and you all inspire me each and every day.  That is how and why I continue to do what I do.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Run Strong, Think Big.