Friday, June 29, 2012

Dear, San Franciso

Dear, San Francisco and Organizers of the Nike Women's Marathon,

First, I would like to say that I am looking forward to racing in your city and experiencing, what I have heard, to be one of the best races there is.

Having said that, I am wondering if you can just flatten out your streets for the race.  My knees do not like hills and it appears the hills do not like me as they try an kill me every time I attempt one.

Also, is it a big deal to add a 10k to the event.  I am feeling like 13.1 may be impossible.  I promise to still raise the same amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but think I may die if I go past 7 miles.  Now, I know it is possible as thousands of people do it every year, however, I am convinced they are some sort of super hero and I am clearly your average, no frills kind of person.

Is it a big deal to have a water stop at every mile and a porta potty at every 3 miles?  This would calm my nerves a little as I feel like I am always thirsty and need to use the bathroom every 3 miles.  No really, every 3 miles!

Also, I have seen the numbers.  15,000 people running just the half, not to mention the full.  Really!  This totally freaks me out.  Can we split it up over the course of three days?  My biggest race to date had just over 2000 runners.  I can't even imagine what 15,000 runners looks like.  I am sure I will get lost or trampled or both.

OK, I think that is all.  Thank you for listening to me freak out reading my concerns and addressing them.  I look forward to meeting you in October.

Yours truly, Running While Mommy

Dear, Running While Mommy,

Suck it up.

Fondly, San Francisco and the Organizers of the Nike Women's Marathon 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome to Summer Virtual Race Recap

As a last minute decision, I decided to sign up for the Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k and 10k.  Toni, from Running, Loving, Living is hosting this race and she has some really great prizes.  This past week, which was week 5 of half marathon training, brought with it more miles, so I thought, why not?

I singed up on Wednesday and knocked out the 5k on Thursday.  This was one of the hottest days of the week and I had no one to stay with my kids, so off to the gym we went with AC and free baby sitting.

As most of you will agree, running on the TM is not the most fun, but I had good tunes and knowing it was a Virtual race, made the time go by nicely.  I felt good, no problems with my knee or back, so I upped the speed.  I finished this one in 34:30, which, for me, is an unofficial PR.

The last two week, I have notice my speed improving.  It really makes me want to find a 5k race and see what I can do on the road with an official timer.  I will take some time this week to see what some of the upcoming races are in my area.

As you can see by my after photo, I was sweating like crazy.  Not sure why, but you know the saying, It's not sweat, it's liquid awesome and that is exactly how I felt after this 3.1 miles.

Friday, I headed back to the gym with the kids in tow for 4 miles.  After two days on the TM, I couldn't wait to run with my TNT training group on Sunday.

I had decided that I would combine the Welcome to Summer 10k portion of the Virtual race with this run.

I had missed the last two weeks with the group and was looking forward to catch up.  I was also going to run one of my longest distances to date and needed to have the motivation and advice from the coaches, mentors and alum.

I started out excited to be there and was doing a lot of talking.  I realize after the first two miles that I was getting winded and tired.  I had done two miles in 21 minutes and that proved to be too fast for me, especially in the beginning of the run.  My third mile was my slowest as I was trying to recover.  Once I  slowed down and had a drink, I was back to my normal self and was able to finish in 1:08.

Lesson learned, save the speed for later in the race.  All in all, I was happy with the time.

One of the things I need to work on this week is fueling durning the runs.  I have said since the beginning of training, that I should start tasting different things and see what works for me.  Well, I didn't do that.  I ran Sunday's run with just a banana fueling me and by the end, I was hungry and couldn't wait to eat.

I have a few GU's that I got in race bags, which I will try, but I would love to hear what you guys like. I am not sure GU sounds that good to me.  I think I may prefer something I could chew.  

I have now done 4 Virtual races, plus I am hosting one in July.  I love the idea of them.  I like to have a goal, which I do with the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October, but I like the idea of little goals to help with speed and endurance along the way.  There is not too much pressure and you get to chose the time of day and where you run.  To me that is cool.

The other thing I like is most are free, but some are to raise money for different charity's.  This of course, I also love, which is why I put together the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  We now have 30 runners from 4 different countries which is super exciting.  I hope you will consider joining us.  There is just under a month to still sign up.  Everyone will get a little bling by doing this race, and I know we all love our medals.

So with the 10k done today, it marks the first day of week 6 of half marathon training.  It is still hard to imagine doing 13.1.  When I think back to the day I first started running, I thought 3.1 would never happen but it did and I kept going.  There is no stopping now.

Thinking of that day, I would like to give a great big Congratulations to my friend Connie, who finished her graduation run from the c25k program yesterday.  She had set a goal for herself and stuck with it even when she didn't want to.  She has been a huge supporter of mine and I have found tons of inspiration from her kind words.  Running is what brought us together, but it is friendship that will keep us together.  Way to go my friend!

Run strong, think big!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Running

Happy first day of Summer!  It is a hot one here today and will stay that way the next several days.  I hope if you are outside running you are staying hydrated.  

Today is a rest day for me, and I do not have much planned.  But I did want to tell you all that I just signed up for the Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k and 10k.  Running, Loving, Living is hosting this race and the prizes are all awesome!  You should check it out.

I have signed up to do the 5k and the 10k.  My plan is to knock out the 5k tomorrow at the gym.  Not too happy about doing it at the gym, but I will have both kids with me, and I need to do some weight training also.  

The 10k I will do on Sunday with my TNT training group.  I was planning on 6 miles on Sunday, so what is another .2, right? 

I am excited about this.  If you are doing it or plan to sign up, let me know so we can support each other.  You only have one more week to do it, so don't delay.  

Most of you who follow my FB page, know that Monday's run was horrible and after two miles, I called Mr. RWM to come pick me up.  Yes, it was that bad, that I didn't even want to walk the 2 miles home.  Please tell, me it happens to the best of us.  

Anyway, yesterday, was a completely different story.  I met Ethel at 6am and we headed off for a five mile run.  You won't believe this, but after a few minutes of running, she asked me to slow down!  No one has ever said that to me and I am pretty sure it will never happen again, but I had to share it!  You all know I am the person who has come in last in my age group at almost every one of my races.  Just so you know, Ethel is in my age group and this made me smile for the next 5 miles.  LOL
I couldn't find a pic of them running.  Love this one though!

Actually, is was 4.86 miles, but whose counting.  It was a great run for both of us!

On to The Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.  Things are really picking up and there is plenty of time to sign up.  Not only do we have runners in the good old USA, we now have a runners joining us in Australia, Scotland and two in Japan.  Woo Hoo!!!  Love the power of the internet and love to see all of these wonderful runners and walkers coming together to support finding a cure!  Thank you!

Stay cool my friends.

Run strong, think big!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My New Running Buddy

When I wrote this post, I was thinking it would be about running partners, but I didn't have too much experience with that, so I wrote about life partners.  It got a lot of great response but I still wanted to have someone to run with on a regular basis.

There were a few times, that I ran with friends.  Like my graduation run form the c25k program and my first two races.  All great times, but still, as my miles get higher, the more I wanted company.

I don't just want good conversation, I want motivation and someone to hold me accountable.  Now that I am in serious training, skipping a run is not an option.  I have a plan and I am sticking to it!  Or going to do my best to stick to it.  LOL

When I started training at Brown on the weekends with Team in Training, this became even more apparent.  I was running with strangers and I loved it!  I knew it would be even better with a friend.

As of last week, I have a regular running buddy!  We have been meeting at 6 am, UGH!, and it has been awesome!  She has been my friend for the last 6 years.  She ran the local Mom's club that I joined when my son was 4 months old.  We talk, we run and we have fun.  She holds me accountable and also motivates me and on Thursday, I made it up a stupid hill and did not walk, thanks to her.  I am pretty sure I do the same for her and that makes us both happy.

This year, the Providence Rock and Roll Half, opened it up to relay teams.  The first runner does 5 miles and the second one, eight.  She thinks she may want to do this and I think we would make a great team.  It is in August and I may run into a child care problem, but we have plenty of time to work it out.  I will let you know if we register.

Now on to some training.  Last week sucked!  I only ran ten miles in three day.  I missed a whole day of running!  This week, I will be making up for it.

I ran an easy two miles today and have five miles on the schedule for Tuesday.  This week, Wednesday will be my day off, and I will run Thursday and Friday.   Of course, with some cross training on those days.  Sunday, with Team In Training, the plan is 6 miles.  Wish me luck.

The Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k is picking up.  I now have 26 runners registered.  I would love to see 50 so get out there with your friends and family and support an excellent cause.

Please keep in mind that you DO NOT have to run.  Walkers are welcome and if I really think about it, I don't care if you skip as long as you have fun while doing what you love to do.

I am down total of 10 pounds doing Weight Watchers and my clothes are getting too big.  I have ten more to go, so I hesitate to spend too much money on new stuff now, so I will just get a belt.  OK, I lied, I did do a little shopping and got two outfits in a smaller size, I just couldn't' resist.  Oh, and new shoes too.

I think I will be blogging less in the summer, sorry.  I am finding it harder to keep up with everything now that the kids are out of school, especially the weeks Mr. RWM is away.  Fitting in a run is hard enough and then they still want me to feed them and play with them and make sure they have clean clothes...   I think I will cut it down to once a week, sometimes more.

How are you handling training with the kids being out of school?  Do you have a running buddy?  What race are you training for?  Have you ever done a relay race?

Run strong, think big!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mornings Are Beautiful

Yesterday, I took part in a multifamily yard sale.  I had plenty of things to get rid of, especially baby stuff. I was up bright and early to set up my table and people were already trying to buy things. I guess they didn't want to miss out on the good stuff.

The purpose for me, was to not only clean out my basement, it was to raise money for LLS.   I am to the half way mark with my fundraising and pretty excited about that.  Every penny, I made is being mailed tomorrow to get added on to my total.

In addition to the money I made, my very good friend JD also donated her money to me to give to LLS.  Wow, what a wonderful friend I am so blessed to have.  Thank you so much JD!  Our combined total is $145.50.  Not to shabby.

I had made a sign saying that all proceeds were going to charity and I also put Haley's picture on it.  I got a lot of good response to it and heard a couple stories about how Leukemia and Lymphoma had played a part is some of my shoppers lives.

One lady in particular, really touched my heart.  She had come in the middle of the morning and she told me about her granddaughter who was diagnosed at age 1 with Leukemia.  We talk just a little bit and she left without buying anything.

Right after Mr. RWM and I got the last unsold item in the truck and were about to drive away, she pulled in behind us.  This took us by surprise but we got out and asked what she was looking for.  She wanted a Rocking Horse that I was selling.

This Rocking Horse, my parents bought for our son when he was born.  It was soft and if you pushed a button in his ear, he made a galloping noise.  Both of my kids had plenty of fun with this toy and they named him Blondie.  We were sad to be selling it but hoping it would go to a good home.

This made us so happy, because I knew just by talking to her for a few minutes, Blondie was going to love his new home.  She told my her granddaughter with Leukemia was now 9 years old and doing great!  I wished her and her family well and if that would of been my only sale, it would of been worth it.

Now on to Sunday.  Every Sunday, since signing on with Team in Training, I have driven to Brown University for our long training run.  I have enjoyed this and was looking forward to today for the support while I ran 5 miles.

I remembered late yesterday afternoon, that I have tickets to see Motherhood, the Musical in Providence at 1.  Glad I remembered, but knew it would not be possible to do that drive twice, run and take a shower.  I would miss the whole morning with my family and spend way too much time in the car.

So, I slept in just a little bit later than I would of if I was going to Brown and got ready for 5 miles.  Out the door I went, and right away, I was so happy to see how beautiful the morning was.

I took off from my driveway and tried to tackle the hill going up my street.  I HATE this hill and it almost got the best of me.  OK, it did get the best of me, but I am coming back for you, stupid hill!  Hills are something I really need to work on, if I plan to run the whole race in San Fran.  However, my reasons for being at the NWM are so much bigger than any hill and I will survive!

There is nothing too exciting about this run, other than I did it.  Five miles alone, on the street and I did it in an hour exactly.  This is encouraging, because I think a 2:30 half marathon is possible.

I did, late last night, sign up for my first Anywhere 5k, which I did today.  My first three miles were dedicated to Sarah Garcia who is a wife, mother, and teacher who is battling cancer.   My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Sarah.  Fight hard!

All in all, it has been a nice weekend with two beautiful mornings.  Hope you are enjoying some nice weather wherever you are too!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I am pretty sure, I am the only runner who did not run yesterday for National Running Day.  Now, in my defense, I did not know this day existed until yesterday, and if I had known, I would of planned my week differently.

I had to listen to my body and make yesterday a rest day.  I am glad I did.  Today, is a beautiful day and I got in 4.13 miles.  The run was pleasant but I was really wishing I had some company.  Running with TNT on Sunday's really is fun and I need to get a regular running buddy for the other days.  Any volunteers?

I used my new Nathan handheld water bottle for the first time today.  I was having a lot of trouble with my fuel belt staying in place and just gave up on it.  I like the handheld, especially after I realized how to hold it properly.  Yes, that is right, one mile in and a light bulb went on.  "Hey dummy, your hand and fingers go around the the bottle not the strap!"  Of course!

If you judged your running years like school grades, I would just be finishing my kindergarden year, hence, not knowing how to hold a bottle.  There is so much to learn and so many miles to go yet.  It is all good though and I am having fun with it all.

I got a couple more runners signed up for my race, but I hope more will consider joining us for a nice fun run for a good cause anywhere you want, bling included!

Lastly, I have decide to not drink while I am training.  I had two drinks the other night and just felt like crap the next day.  I don't like that.  So, my glass of wine with dinner or my couple of beers on the weekends are now over until after October.  I think I can do this, wish me luck.

OK, so tell me, who else did not run yesterday?  Do you run with water, what do you use?  How many years have you been a runner and are you still learning new things?  Do you drink while training?

Run strong, think big!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!  How are you celebrating?

Believe it or not, I am not running today.  I am volunteering at my sons school today and our church tonight, but mostly my legs need a rest.  I may have over did it the last three days, but I have 4 miles on the schedule tomorrow.

Women Run, one of my most favorite companies is offering free shipping on all orders today.  Head on over and check them out.  Once your read their manifesto and see what they are all about, you will want to be part of the Women Run community.

Go here and make a badge.  Tell the world why you run.  I chose "to make a difference" as helping patients with blood cancers is what is motivating me now.

I hope you are enjoying your day whether you are running or not.  Take care of yourself and be happy!

Run strong, think big!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Wonderful Blogosphere

It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful this running/blog world is.  I had no idea how many friendships I would make with people I have never even met.  I have had many words of encouragement and advice while dealing with my injuries and I can not thank you enough.  Mom vs. Marathon  has dealt with a similar back injury and she has helped and inspired me to run strong through some very positive and informative emails.  Thanks Kerrie!

As you all know, I have been working towards meeting my fundraising goal of $3200 so that I can run my first half marathon.  Most people would just train and pick a marathon that just has a registration fee and is close to home, but not me. I have to raise money and pick a race that is on the other side of the country.   Go big or go home, right?

It has always been easy for Mr. RWM and I to give to people and causes that are near and dear to us and we have always been thankful that we are able to do so.  This is important to us, not only because it helps others, but we are teaching our children to not just think of themselves.

Asking for money, on the other hand, is not as easy.  But I just put myself out there and have been truly touched by how generous you have all been.  I cannot thank you enough.  I am halfway to my goal, but there is still much work to do.  That is why, I am hosting the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k.

Today, the kindness of others has really hit home.  My friend, fellow runner and blogger wrote a post about my cause and about my Virtual Race.  Andy, who writes Running My Ass Off has been one of my biggest supporters and an extra bonus is that he is a Philly guy and, well, Philadelphia is my first love as far as cities go.  He has been on an incredible weight loss journey and has lost 109 pounds!  Way to go Andy!

He is putting together a group of friends to run with on July 21 to help me reach my goal.  When I first envisioned what the race would consist of, I was hoping that it would be groups of friends and families running and walking together knowing they are making a difference and enjoying the time they are spending with each other.

When I really think about why I am doing this, the Big Picture, it is because I love my family and I love my friends.  Without them I have nothing and I would guess most of you would agree with that.  

So, really, I am doing this for my friend Shawna and her family who have suffered a loss that no family should have too.  I am doing this for all the families that have a loved one who is struggling with an illness or who has lost a loved one.  I am doing this for my family because I am thankful that we are healthy and by running and playing together, we will, hopefully, stay healthy.

Wherever you are planning on doing The Run Strong, Think Big 5k, I hope you know that I will be with you in spirit.  I will run with you all in my heart and I look forward to hearing about how the run went. And if you take any pictures, I hope you will share them on my FB page.  

For those of you doing it in Rhode Island, I hope that some of you will be able to run with me, maybe the beach or bike trail and then of course, breakfast!  I may even have your medals to give you that day.  Everyone else, I will mail them to you the week after the race.  Please be sure you register by July 17th, so I know how many to order.  

Again, Andy and all my running, blogging and mommy friends, thank you for helping me achieve something that I used to think was impossible.  Remember, if you want something bad enough, you will find a way no matter what obstacles you may face.  

Run Strong, Think Big!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Half Marathon Training and A Virtual Race

Today was my third time running with the TNT training group.  The first two were really great.  I loved having people to run with and talk to.  We are all at different paces, and it was nice to have a few that ran at my pace.

Some are new and some are alum.  It is really great hearing why everyone is working with TNT and nice to see that they come back and do it again and again.  Half are training for a full marathon and the other half are training for the half.  Most of us are doing the Nike Women's Marathon and it is really cool to train with the people I will be traveling with.

My first week, I just ran 2 miles.  I was trying to get a feel for how things worked, plus we are running in a place I have never been, which is Brown University.  It is a nice neighborhood, but I really don't know the streets and I am a person who easily gets lost.

Week two, I ran four miles with the group.  Again, it was a nice run and I was happy to meet a couple new people.  One of the new ladies, had lost 25 pounds doing Weight Watchers and that is very encouraging.  WW has been going pretty good.  I am down 5 pounds, which I am happy about.  I had a slow start, and last week, I didn't lose anything, but I am not discouraged, just gonna keep moving forward.
After today's run, 4.6 miles.

This brings me to today, week three of my training.  A nice size group showed up but they were all training for the full marathon and set out for 6 or more miles.  I was the only one who was doing the half and my plan today was four miles.  They were a bit faster than me too, so I ran alone.  Not really a big deal. I had my music and I was able to see where they were turning and I just paid attention to the street signs.  I did not get lost and I finished at 4.6 miles.

Next week I am planning on 5 and I just hope I will have some of the half marathoners to run with as well as people who run at my pace.  It is so much nicer to have people to chat with and to encourage you.  This is what I love about the training group and I hope that days like today are not frequent.

All in all, it has been a pleasant experience so far and I am happy that I am part of TNT.

On to my fundraising.  I am almost to the half way mark and I just want to say thanks again to those who have donated.  None of this would be possible without you.

Most of you know, I am holding a Virtual Race to help with my fundraising.  And those of you that know me, know that I am pretty much clueless when it comes to the computer.  For the last 4 weeks, I have been adverting my race with a link that did not work.  This is very discouraging as I am sure I lost a few people who may not check back to see if it is working now.

To make it worth it, I need at least 50 people to register and I am only at 12.  I know most of you reading are runners so please consider this race as part of your race plans for the year.  I cannot think of anything better than doing what we do best, run/race while giving to a cause that will help those that need it most.

So here it is, the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual Run and Walk.  It will be held July 21 and July 22.  You can run anywhere, anytime that weekend and everyone who finishes will get a medal.  You just need to go to my fundraising page and donate $20 and write the word RACE in the comments.

Please feel free to invite your family and friends and those of you who blog, please share it with your readers also.  It might be fun, if you can organize a group and run together.  I hope you will share any photos or stories of your run with me here or my Facebook page.

Together, we are making a difference by doing what we do best.  We run, we race and sometimes we walk, but we are all runners!  So run with me either literally or virtually, lets do this together.

Run Strong, Think Big!