Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun Facts

Since my first time running is July 2011 and following the C25K Facebook Page, I have read a lot of posts about not being fast or a "real" runner.  I have read, "Oh, I just hope I am not last."  People have thought they were doing something wrong because they couldn't run 3 miles in 30 minutes.  So, I thought I would share my stats from the Narrow River 5k, which by the way, I PR'ed in.

In my age group, 40-49, I finished 8th.  Now before you say congrats, there were only 8 women in my age group.  Yes, it was a small race.

I finished in 35:04 which is a 31 seconds faster than my previous best time.  The 7th place women finished in 34:26 and the 1st place women in my age group finished in 24:05 and she came in 4th among all the women.

There were walkers in this race and a couple of them started in the front.  I never caught up to them.  They were fast and I actually wanted to yell at them, " just run for crying out loud!"

In the last half mile, an older gentleman passed me with a stroller.  Fifteen plus years on me and a stroller!  Are you freaking kidding me!?  I never caught up to him either, but I really didn't try and looking back I wish I did.

There wasn't much crowd support till the end, which is fine, but I did love how everyone cheered for you when you were in the last .10.  They made me feel like I could do another 3 and, I think, I actually wanted to.

Why am I telling you this.  Well, because I am a runner who may never be first in my age group, let alone first overall.  I want to finish and if that means I am the last to come in, well, I am good with that.  I run because it makes me happy and healthy.

I am focusing mainly on distance and not so much speed right now, but I do think I can be faster at my my next 5k.

I like that I can have goals for my race that are completely different from yours.  I love that about running.   Our races are just that, ours.

Now, I am not saying I won't ever run a race that I won't want to win, I mean, I am the same person who said that I would never run, but for now, I am happy just running my own race and finishing at whatever goals I set for myself, or somewhere in the ballpark.  LOL

Be happy my friends, and do what you love.  Be honest with yourself and make your goals realistic, especially if you are new to running.

And of course, if you want to run a race with no official time clock and still get an awesome medal, then I highly suggest you check out the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  You can run and help others with this race, which is another thing I love about running.

I hope you find my stats funny but inspiring.   If you run at a 7 minute pace you are a runner.  If you run a 12 minute pace, you are a runner.  If you are running and a walker and old dude pass you, you are still a runner.  If you run, you are a runner, simple as that!

Run strong, think big!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wow, What a Weekend!

My daughter has been in gymnastics for the past 12 weeks.
She absolutely loves it!  This past Friday was her first gymnastic showcase, which is a show for the parents.  She was excited all day and as soon as she woke up, she asked if it was time to go yet.  The show wasn't until 6:30 and she pestered me all day with the same question.  I didn't mind, I was just so thrilled that she was excited about it.

I didn't know what to expect, so we got there early and the place was buzzing with excitement.  She started jumping up and down and going crazy.  We found her teacher and then I found a seat.  I anxiously waited with my camcorder and camera.  Mr. Running While Mommy was having a "boys night" with my son, but I so wished he was there.

The routine that she and her classmates did was adorable.  She smiled the whole time and you could really tell she loved what she was doing.  This meant so much to me, as I am all about finding what you love and doing it.  I know she is only 3 and this may not be her "thing" when she gets older, but you never know.  And as long as she is happy now, then I am happy.

I went to bed happy and calm, but woke up before the alarm, nervous.  It's race day!

I got dressed and had breakfast, but my stomach was still nervous.  I drank some water but didn't want to overdo it and have to use the bathroom during the race.

I arrived early and got my number, 35.  This is a small local race put on by the NRPA and there was no pick up the day before.

I was meeting my friend JD there, but while I was waiting I saw a mom from my daughter's preschool.  We don't really know each other, but I just started talking to her and it was so nice getting to know her.  This was her first race in a very long time.  It was nice that she hung with me and JD and I am happy to say I found a new running friend.

We were shuttled over to the start and at 10am we were off.  Immediately, I was thirsty.  Check this off as lessoned learned.  I was thankful that there was a 10k too, so there were two water stops.  After the first one, I felt better and found my groove.

The course was mostly flat, along a pretty stretch of road that ended at the beach.  Perfect!  Once I was into my last mile, I was really feeling good but it was really getting warm.  There was the second water stop and then bam, I picked it up a little and I saw the finish.

At this point, I took my earbuds out because I love hearing the cheers of the spectators, even if they are not for me.  I saw JD and she was cheering me on.  Thanks JD!
JD and yours truly

Right before I crossed the finish line, I saw the clock.  I was not going to make it under 35 minutes, but I was getting a PR.  My final time 35:04 which is 31 seconds faster than my best time.  Woo Hoo!

Afterwards, we snapped a few pictures, had a snack and then off to Little Man's T-ball game.  When we got home and I was relaxing and checking my email, I read the latest Another Mother Runner blog and I was so psyched to see that I had won their latest contest!  I will soon be the proud owner of a Run Like a Mother tank and a BAMR Sweaty Band.  My day was complete.

This brings me to Sunday.  I was up at  6am and heading to Providence by 6:30 for the first training run with Team in Training.  I don't usually do early but I had a good nights sleep and was a little excited to meet everyone.

I was there early but didn't have to wait long for everyone to start showing up.  There were 12 of us and our two coaches.  Having a coach is one of the things I love about TNT.  It is almost a year that I have been running, but there is so much to learn.
Coach Jim has been with TNT for 20 years and has been the running coach at a Providence High School even longer.  He is a wealth of information and I plan to use him as my running encyclopedia.

Most of us are running the Nike Women's Marathon, so it was really nice to meet people that I will be traveling with.  We seemed to all be a different levels and speeds.  The first day of the plan called for 2 miles and I was good with that after racing yesterday.  Four of us did 2 miles and I didn't use any music.  It was wonderful talking and getting to know my teammates.  The rest of the group did 4 and 6 miles.  We met back at the start and chatted for a few minutes and I was invited to have breakfast with a few of them.
After my 2 miles

Breakfast was delicious and the conversation was fun.   The next 5 months are sure to be very special and I know, without a doubt, that I was meant to be here running with these people and raising money for this cause.

Yes, it was a wonderful weekend.  I have a little gymnastic star, a PR, a great running group and I won an awesome contest!  I am excited and thankful to be where I am and I thank you for reading.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Mother's Day Gift

I first read about the Endorphin Warrior bracelet at See Mom Run Far and then again at Carpenter's Corner.  I really liked reading about their products and was happy to learn that their bracelets were made to exercise in.

Since reading those posts, I haven't been able to get this bracelet out of my head.  So, this is what I asked for for Mother's Day.

Now, it was not easy to order.  I had to pick a word.  One word, that embodied how I felt to be a runner, mother, wife, daughter and friend.  This is no easy task.

They have some great words to chose from.  Focus, Breath, Courage and Conquer to name a few.  I considered each one but they just weren't right.  The word that said it all to me, the word that I was able to really relate to is Believe.  Here are my reasons:

I believe in love and that there is a partner for all of us.

I believe that good will always triumph over evil.

I believe in God.

I believe in Heaven and Hell.

I believe hard work pays off.

I believe in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and The Great Pumpkin.

I believe there is a pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow.

I believe laughter is the best medicine.

I believe that no matter how old you get, you never stop learning.

I believe age is just a number.

I believe that whatever you are doing, you should put 100% into it.

I believe I can run 13.1 miles.

I believe I can raise $3200 and that that money will save a life.

I believe in miracles. 

I believe that raising children is the scariest, most challenging, and most awesome thing that I have ever taken on.

I believe children are our future but we are the ones molding them and that is a huge responsibility.

I believe running is 90% mental and that I am stronger than the negative voices in my head.

I believe it is OK to be 40 and still sing rock songs into your hairbrush.  

I believe in family.

I believe that running has made be a better person.

I believe life is good.

Happy Mother's Day to all my running mommy readers and friends.  How are you planning on spending your day?  What do you believe in?

Run strong, think big!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

TNT Kick-Off Party

Thursday, I was invited to the Team in Training kick-off party at 1149.  I got there right on time and signed in.  Since I am already registered, there was no paperwork to fill out, but I did get my training shirt, which is a very nice tech shirt that I will be proud to wear.

I grabbed a drink and started to mingle.  I was so happy to meet my coach but was soon disappointed to learn that most of the training runs are at Brown University on Sundays at 7:30am.  This is a problem for a couple reasons.  First, it's Brown, which is 40 minutes from my house.   On the weekends that Mr. RWM is home, this is not such a big deal, but there is no way I will be able to get a sitter that early in the morning on the weekends that he is not home.

Second, it's Sunday.  Are we the only family that still goes to church?  I am pretty sure it is impossible to get to Brown, run 4 plus miles, drive home, shower and get dressed to be at the church by 10:15.

I am really trying not to make excuses, but where do I draw the line.  Part of the allure of TNT is that you have people to train with and real running coaches.  I don't want to miss out on this, but I will not skip out on Sunday services for the next 5 months either.

I am sure I will come up with a plan that will work for my family and for my training but I can't help but be a little disappointed.

I did meet a few wonderful people who I am looking forward to getting to know better.  Talking with the other participants increased my excitement which was pretty high to begin with.  I loved hearing why they were running and who they were running in honor of.  I told everyone I could about Haley and our team. I even tried to recruit a few people, but didn't get any takers.

Are you interested in running the Nike Women's Marathon?  We would be happy to have you be part of Haley's Sweet Sixteen.  Just message me and I will get you started.  

On one of the tables was a box for donations.  I was happy to give and soon found out that the money inside was going to be raffled off to one of us and that the money was going towards our fundraising total.

Guess who won?  Yeah, me!  In the box was $48.49.  Yes, I am feeling lucky.

At every TNT event, they have an honored guest who talks about their battle with blood cancers.  Tonight's honoree was Ramon Sanchez.  He was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma on August 23, 2011, a week before his 27th birthday.  He also had just found out he was going to be a dad.  He lit up the room when he spoke and smiled and I was so happy to be able to speak with him a little.  He was also the one who pulled my name out of the hat for the Raffle.  Thank you Ramon!
Ramon and me.

I am excited to say my fundraising is really off to a great start.  I hope you all will consider being part of my Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  You can run or walk and you will receive a medal for participating.

I am going to leave you with a few words from Ramon Shanchez.  "We all fight our trials in our way, the key is to live like you beat them yesterday."

Run strong, think big.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Running While Giving Back

Today, has been a pretty great day!

Mr. Running While Mommy and I, were able to get the kids to church on time without any complaints.  On top of that, they sat with their coloring books and hardly made a peep.  Huh, what is going on?

When we got home, I put on my running clothes and set out for a 3 mile run.  This was the first run outside since before I turned 40 and I fell apart.

Now, I live at the bottom of a hill.  This is a real hill, not a little bump in the road.  I have never run up this hill before, or even tried to.  I have always started my runs at the top.  Today, however, I have San Francisco on my mind and I can't pretend there aren't any hills there.

I took off from my driveway and up, up, up I went.  It was hard but I did it.  I was slow but I did not have to walk.  Even though I made it to the top, I know I will have to really focus on hill training if I plan to live through the half marathon.

I was pumped when I got to the top and I was so happy to finally be outside.  My 3 mile run turned into 4 and I am sure I could of kept going if I had some water with me.  Food and hydration while running is not my specialty and I will really need to do some reading and experimenting before I get to the really high mileage.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject if you would like to share.

After lunch, we set out for a family bike ride.  The kids loved it and I got another 4 miles in.  My legs are tired and tomorrow will be my day of rest.  That is if, cleaning, laundry and cooking is considered resting.

Now on to some exciting news.  I have been going back and forth with what I am going to do to raise money to reach my goal for Team in Training.  I had a few ideas, some good, some not.  Then it occurred to me, I am a runner, so lets run!

On July 21 and 22, I will be hosting the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  You will be able to run or walk.  What is a virtual run you ask?  It is very simple, you decide where and what time you want to run that weekend.  It can be outside or on the treadmill.  If you are already registered for a race that day, it counts.   If you want to run/walk longer than 3.1, you can.  You can do it with friends or alone.  It is all up to you.

You do need to register, which is also easy.  Just go to my fundraising page and donate $20.  In the comments section just type the word RACE.  When you complete your virtual run or walk.  You can let me know your time if you want or any details you may want to share about it. 

Once the weekend is over and I know everyone is finished, I will send you a medal as my way of saying thank you.  But as a runner, I know we all like a little bling.  LOL

You can register here.

The deadline to register is July 17th at midnight.

For my friends who blog, if you can, please share this race with your readers.  I can use all the help I can get.

I would like to thank Run Find your Happy Pace for being the first to register and sharing on her FB page.  I so appreciate it!

This race is not only about raising money to get me to San Fran.  It is about helping those who need it most.  There is no better way, in my opinion, then to do what we love while giving back.

Together, we will make a difference and I thank all of you for your support.

Run Strong, Think Big!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Running While Teary

Today is cold and rainy, I didn't sleep well and it's the perfect day to stay in bed.  Mr. Running While Mommy even offered to get the kids off to school and let me sleep.  As tempting as it was, I declined.  I have a run and some weights on the schedule today and I am sticking to it.

I did my warm-up and got on the treadmill.  Nice and easy to start and I found my groove quickly.  I was happy when I saw my friend KJ, and was hoping she would hop on the "mill next to me, but her little one had other plans.  I got to talk to her a few minutes though and was happy that I was able to hold a conversation and not have to stop and catch my breath.

At 2 miles, I was feeling really good and at that moment I knew I was going for 4 miles, not 3.  One of the things that motivated me today was listening to an interview with Bart Yasso.  Up until today, I knew very little about him and now I want to know everything.  He is a very down to earth person, who genuinely wants to know about you and why you are running.  By the end of the interview, I wanted to hug him.

One of the questions that was asked was about choosing your first marathon or half marathon.  He said to choose one that is exotic and fun, one that will make people say, "ohh that sounds awesome" and want to know more about it.  This made me feel good, as my first half is the NIke Women's Marathon and it is going to be exotic and fun, with tons of excitement.  There are plenty of women who want to do this race, and this year, I am one of the lucky ones who will be there.  I look forward to sharing that experience with you.

At mile four, I slowed to a walk, happy with myself for reaching my goal.  I walked for a half mile and then felt the need for speed.  Let me be clear, by speed, I mean faster than walking.  I started to run at a slightly faster pace and am happy to say, I did one more mile.  Five miles today friends!

Here is what you need to know about me.  I cry at sad movies and hallmark commercials.  I have cried at every milestone my children have reached.  I cry when I am happy, when I am overwhelmed.  I fight when there is something worth fighting for and sometimes cry in the process.  Today, I was so happy that I got teary.  Yup, had to control my tears because I saw the number 5 on the treadmill.  Can you say girl?

I am not ashamed, I am proud.  I am a girl and crying does not make me weak.  It just shows how passionate I am when it come to the things and people I love, the things that are worth fighting for.  I have worked hard every day and it is paying off.

So yes, I am woman, hear me roar!

Run strong, think big!