Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Run for Jen

My littlest does not start preschool until Sept. 18, so when I don't have anyone to stay with her, we head to the gym to run.  Today, was a gym day and I set out to do four miles.

I stretched, picked some rocking music and hit go.  As I was running, I started thinking about one of the blogs that I read yesterday.  The blog is Run For The Boys.  Do you read it?  I think you would like it.

This coming weekend, Mrs. RFTB's will be running in the Pocatella Marathon, her first.

What I didn't know until reading yesterday, was that she is a two time cancer survivor.  She was just 21 months old when she had cobalt radiation treatments which poses the risk of never being able to walk, plus she was given only a 30% chance of survival.

She goes on to talk about her parents, who were just 21 and 19 at that time.  Wow, I cannot even imagine what that must of been like.  But here she is today, 37 years after that diagnosis about to run a marathon!  Boy, I bet they are two very proud parents.

I love her blog because she is honest, dedicated and she doesn't hold back.  Plus, she runs at my pace.  LOL  Reading about her training keeps me motivated and, Jen, I thank you for that.

Another thing I learned is that her best friend is Erin of See Mom Run Far.  That is one of the first blogs I started following, not just because it is a running blog, but because she is the hardest working, dedicated and patient mom and runner I have ever "known."

Knowing that these two ladies are friends does not surprise me.

So, as I was running, I felt the need to run for Jen and 4 miles was not going to cut it.  So, I decided right then and there, at mile two, that today was my own personal virtual 10k for her.  Today, she was my inspiration.

As I was running, I thought about her struggles and her survival.  I thought about Brandon, who I ran for this past Sunday, and of course, I thought about Haley, who I run for everyday.  I do not know what life is really like for them or their parents, but they are all strong and amazing people who took what was thrown in front of them and keep on going.  It takes a very special person to be able to do that.

I also thought about my children who I love more than anything.  They are mine and Mr. RWM's life.  I thank God everyday that they are healthy and happy.

I finished my 10k for Jen at 71 minutes.  The time is a little off since the treadmill only goes to 60 minutes and then tells you to get off.  I had to restart it to finish the last .95.

It was a good run and also my longest in more than 3 weeks.  I have 10 miles on the schedule for this weekend which I am welcoming with open arms.  I can run, so I will.

Jen, you worked hard and put in the miles.  You are more than ready for this race and I am excited for you.

Erin, I just read Goals and I know you can do what you set out for, I can feel it in my heart.

I will be thinking of both of you this weekend and looking forward to reading all about it.  High fives
and hugs to you both!

Run Strong, Think Big.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fabulous Race, Fabulous Day

Well, what can I say?  Today was awesome.

I woke up bright and early, excited and ready to run.  I had a little less than an hours drive to the Brandon Motta 5k held at Colt State Park.  The race and the location were a first for me.

I gave myself more than enough time and got there while the volunteers were still setting up.  I took a little walk to check things out and look at the water.  The fog was crazy and I couldn't see very far.
See, foggy!

When 7:30 hit, I registered and waited for Connie to arrive.  I was so thrilled to finally get to meet her.

When we spotted each other, I received the biggest hug and it just meant the world to me.  Connie and I have chatted and encouraged each other for several months now and meeting her in person did not disappoint.  She was friendly and beautiful and you could just tell how excited she was to be there.

Connie had set out doing the C25K plan and had a goal of doing a 5k before she turned 60.  Today she made that dream a reality!

Before the start of the race, I met her husband, her best friend Sharon of 42 years and Sharon's family.  They were all so lovely and it was an honor to meet them all.  Everyone was taking part in the race and they welcomed me into their group as if they knew me forever.
What a nice looking group of runners!

This was a very small race, 146 people, and you all know, I love small races.  After the National Anthem, we were off!
At the starting line.

The course was along the water and it was beautiful.  The weather was perfect and I know, I was smiling.

I decided to not use my iPod or a GPS.  I wanted to be able to chat with Connie and her friends and just take it all in.  I stayed with Connie for most of the race.  I enjoyed the view and the conversation.  However, in the last mile, I picked up my speed and it felt good.  No pain in my hip.  I ran in at 34:50, not my best time, but a PR was not one of my goals today.

Connie came in about a minute behind me and she looked great!  I am sorry I don't have a picture.  When we started this race, she talked about how slow she was, and well, she came in 7 minutes faster than her first time running 3.1 miles.  Her smile said it all!

As for her friend Sharon, she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon coming up in October.  Woo Hoo Sharon!  Her training schedule called for 4 miles today, but she decided to just go for speed and just do the 5k.  She wanted to break her record of 28 minutes and did!  27:17 for Sharon!  She said that it was Brandon who inspired her and kept her motivated.  That is pretty cool.

This race was to benefit Brandon, a 10 year old little boy who has CMT, a neuromuscular disorder.  I was so happy to be able to help with this cause and I hope next year, I will be able to do this with some of my family and friends.  If you would like to make a donation, click here.

The race was very well run.  Registration was easy, the course was great and a super big bonus, no porta potties!  Yes, that's right, real bathrooms.

At the end, you got a shirt and bag full of goodies.  The tables had fruit, pizza, water, Gatorade and coffee.  There was also a special guest there, Santa Claus, and I am sure he was the "real" one.
Who doesn't love to se Santa in August?

After they announced the top 3 male/female finishers and thanked the sponsors, they had a raffle.  I am psyched to say, I won a gift card to a nice restaurant in Providence.  Thursday will be 9 years for Mr. RWM and I,  and this is a nice treat for our night out.

All in all, it was a prefect day and I had a wonderful afternoon with my family.  This was a great way to finish up our summer vacation.  My little boy starts 1st grade on Tuesday.  I am praying for a good year.  He seems very excited and I hope he stays that way.  My baby stays home with me for two more weeks and then she will be in preschool 3 days a week, one of those days she will be there all day.  Wow, I am going to have 6 hours to myself one day a week.  Is it bad that I am so excited?

I am thinking that my long runs will take place on that day.  I am looking at about 5 more long runs before I taper.  Wow, I can't even believe it is getting so close to the big day.  NWM is 48 days away.  I am beyond excited.

Till next time, Run Strong, Think Big!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Non-Running Pilot's Wife

So, you all know that Mr. RWM is a pilot.  I don't usually talk about this, because it is a non issue.  That is his job and it is an awesome job.  He has wanted to be a pilot since he was 4 years old and I can't think of anything cooler than growing up to do what you always wanted to.

There are plenty of blogs out there that talk about the down and dirty of being a pilot's wife, but this is not one of them, however, this week was tough.

We don't' know any other way of life.  I stopped flying when we had our son and he kept working, of course.  I miss the travel but this was the best decision for our family.

Now, before I start sounding like a you know what, he has a very good schedule.  In fact, he works for an airline that is top notch.  They care for their employees and the employees love to work there.  He only works about 2 weeks a month and I see him more than most airline families get to see their pilot. This is unusual compared to most companies and I am grateful.

Ok, now that I got that out of the way.  Here is what got to me.  Since having kids, I have been to the ER three times and an Urgent Care twice.  The last time, this week.  Three of these incidents were not in Rhode Island.  Out of the 5, Mr. RWM was only with me one time!

This is of course what they mean by Murphy's Law.  As soon as he leaves or is about to leave, something happens.  It is not always with the kids, I have had a pipe burst, our mailbox run over by a snow plow, a car with a dead battery facing in the garage, and of course, numerous toilet clogs, just to name a few.  I have survived them all, including deployments, but this week got me thinking.  He had 3 weeks off and an hour before he left, I was on my way to the Urgent Care with my daughter.

The only thing that made this better, was that I was visiting my parents in New Jersey.  For the first time, I had someone to stay with the unsick kid, (or should I say the future sick kid, LOL) while I took care of the sick one.  What a difference it makes to have a second pair of hands!  Thank you Mom and Dad!  I miss you already.

The other bummer about this week, was the fact that I had plans to see my friends who I have not seen in a very long time.  I miss them and was looking forward to catching up in person.  That did not happen and I am very disappointed.  Next time my friends, I promise!

Because we were not home, and my daughter didn't want anyone but me, I did not get to run either.  I have now only run 2 times in 2 weeks.  Are you freakin' kidding me!  Ok, I am calm, I swear I am.

Sunday, I am running in a 5k and I am glad it is only a 5k.  I am pretty sure I will be fine and not die.  What will make this a good race is I am not racing at all.  I have no time in mind because I am running with a friend to support her and I am pretty sure, she has no time in mind either.

My lovely friend Connie wanted to run a 5k before she turns 60 this fall.  She has put the miles in and I am so happy to be able to run with her to the finish line.  She says she is slow, I have never said I was fast.  I am sure no matter what the speed, a fun time and great conversation will be had.

I have said this before about other races, but the reason for me being there is greater than any PR.  You cannot put a price on friendship and running is what brought us together and I can't wait to meet her in person!

I hope this does not come out as too much complaining.  I love Mr. RWM and I am happy he has a job that keeps food on our table.  He is a great dad, and I know he would of been there if he could.  None of the incidents were life threatening, (thank God) and if that were the case, I know he would of moved the sun and the moon to be with us.

My little girl is much better and is currently giving me a hard time about going to bed.  So happy she is feeling better.

Life got in the way of running the last couple weeks, but I am not worried.  I have plenty of time to be ready for Nike, 50 days to be exact.  I am looking at Sunday as day one of the rest of my training, and I get to do it with a friend.

I plan to get a 3, 4 and 5 in with a long run for the weekend.  That one will probably be 10 miles.  My hip feels great, but I suspect it is because of the lack of running.  I hope the rest it got is all it needs so I can get back on track.  Time to be serious again.

Ok, everything is good.  This should prove to be a fun weekend but sad because it is the last weekend of summer vacation.  Why does school start before Labor Day?  Anyone, anyone...

Ok, well enjoy your weekend and and your weekend runs.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Next Race

I have met some wonderful people after I started running.  Some of them in person and some just through my blog and FB page.

I have really loved getting to know everyone and there are a few of you who I really would love to meet in person.

This coming Sunday, I will have the chance to do that with one of my Virtual friends.

I have said last week that I was in a funk and to help get out of it, I would sign up for a race.  My friend Connie, is running in her first race this coming weekend and it is here in Rhode Island.

Connie, has been a reader, supporter and friend for some time now and even though she lives in RI, we have never met.  She started her running journey by doing the C25K plan, just like me, and ran 3. 1 miles for the first time in June.  It was not a race but she did it with friends and family around her, which sounded just perfect to me.  She also dedicated part of that race to my Run Strong, Think Big 5k.
She always has a kind word and I find motivation in everything she says.

She is the perfect example of why I am here writing about my journey to 13.1 and trying to motivate everyone to do what they love.

I wasn't sure what kind of a race I wanted to do and when I saw the date, I didn't think this one would be possible.  Lucky for me, I usually read my husbands schedule wrong and when I realized he would be here to stay with the kids, I knew this was the race for me.

The race is the Brandon Motta 5k and the proceeds go to help this little boy who has CMT, a neuromuscular disorder.

This is perfect, I get to meet and support a friend and actually get to run with her.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this!

I am planning one race in September also, although, I am still deciding on that one.  I will keep you updated.

Some more good news, Ethel has been on the injured list and I have not run with her in more than a month.  I am happy to say she called and is ready to get back out there.  Woo Hoo!!!  I missed you Ethel and I can't wait to meet you at 0 Dark 30 and run with you!

I hope you have a great week.  My next post will be a recap of my race with Connie.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Expo Fun

Not too much to say.  I have been in a funk but I am back!

Today, I took the family to the Expo for the Rock and Roll Half here in Providence.  This is not a race I am doing, because, originally, we were supposed to be away.  When that fell through, I took a look at some of the vendors and knew I had to be there.

Women Run, my favorite company were going to be there, as well as Running Skirts.  I wanted to shop without having to order online and most importantly, I wanted to meet the Women Run ladies.

If you do not know what Women Run are all about, then you need to check them out.  For starters, their manifesto says it all.  When I was just starting to run, I would read it and know I could do it.  Second, their products rock.  They feel good, look awesome, fit right and hold up.  What more do you want?

As far as Running Skirts, well they are awesome too.  I left with a great skirt that I had wanted after seeing it on line and plan to wear it at my next race.  (race TBA)  Every time I wear one of their skirts, I get complimented.  There is no reason you can't look cute while busting your butt and covered in sweat.
Too much?  No, I don't think so.
I also got some cool samples, and a Spibelt for $12, plus a couple shirts with sayings that I like.  Peace, Love, Run, what else is there, right?  Oh, and a 13.1 magnet for the car.  I won't put it on the car until after October 14th, but I like knowing it's here and waiting for me to show it off.

As an extra bonus, the excitement that surrounded us was incredible.  People were happy to be there and you could tell they couldn't wait to get to the start line.  I wish I could of bottled it!  This is a race on my bucket list, as well as R and R Philly.  Have you ever ran a Rock and Roll?  Is it as cool as I think it is?

As far as actually running, tomorrow I plan to get a few miles in.  The last time I ran was a week ago.  Sometimes you just need a break and I am refreshed and ready to go!  I don't think I messed with my training too much.  The Nike Women's Half is 56 days away.  I will be more than ready.

As long as my hip holds up, I am planning on 3 to 4 miles.  If my hip does not hold up, well then, I think it's time to see a doctor.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend and your runs.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Run With All Your Hart

Today, I took part in the Run With All Your Hart 4 Mile Run/Walk.  This was a race that I wish did not exist.

Sarah Hart set out on an early morning run with her sister and after a few miles she said she didn't feel good and headed back to her car.   Her sister continued on with her run.  When she got back to the parking lot, she was surprised to see Sarah's car was still there.

Sarah was kidnapped, robbed and killed and hidden in the tree line at the edge of a field.

She was a loving wife, mother of three beautiful children and was pregnant.  A family is now broken for no good reason.

When my alarm went off this morning, I did not want to run.  It had only just stopped raining, I knew it would be damp and humid.  Not my favorite conditions, but I got dressed and headed out the door.

I wanted this 4 miles to be a time to reflect, pray and be thankful for what God has given me.  But as I headed up my dreaded hill, I was sad.  I was sad because I was running to honor Sarah's memory, which I was proud to do, but she died so senselessly and I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

I felt the same way this past February when I walked to honor Sherry Arnold.  Another awful murder of a a mother, wife and runner.  Six months later, here we are again.

How can people be so horrible?  Why do these things happen and why do they happen to such good people?  I don't have any answers.  I am guessing no one does.

I decided to walk up my hill and pull myself together.  When I got to the top, I was still walking.  It felt good, but I am a runner, I finally started to run.

I could not find my groove.  I was hot and sticky, it was dark and I was wearing sunglasses which were steaming up and, I was crying.  (I was hoping the sun would of come out before I was done, no such luck)

When I got to the farm, I noticed that they were growing sunflowers.  I have run this route a 100 times and have never noticed that before.  I stopped and looked at them and smiled.  They were beautiful.

I thought about the last time I had just gone for a walk, and couldn't remember when that was.  I kept on walking and started to feel really good.  I watched people set up for the farmers market, I saw chickens and cows just hanging out and I just kept on walking.  I finally hit 2 miles.

I turned around and started to run again.  I ran/walked the rest of the way home and am happy to say that it is all good.  I needed to stop and smell the roses today, so that is what I did.  By doing that, I was able to think, reflect and pray.  I prayed for Sarah and her family, I thanked God for mine.  I prayed for a healthy, happy future for all of us, including you.  I asked God to forgive me for doubting him, because after reading Sarah's story, I did.  How can he allow such a tragedy?  I will probably never know the answer to that and I am allowed to be angry, but I still have faith.

I thought about the Hart family, their friends and the many volunteers who came together to put this race in motion.  How incredible today is for them.  A 4 mile run in their hometown, virtual runners in every state, plus six countries.  They did this is a very short time and I say congrats to you for such a successful day!  What a great way to honor the memory of your wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.
Yes, I have a lot of hair, and no, I do not run with it down.

I am home now with my family and we have a nice day planned.  I will enjoy every minute, because you just never know what life is going to throw at you next.

Did you run for Sarah?  I would love to hear about your 4 miles.  Do you ever just stop and take it all in?

Run Strong, Think Big!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Run, Walk, Crawl...Finish

It seems like I haven't written anything about my training in a while.  I have focused so much on my fundraising and my Virtual race, that I think it went by the wayside.  I have reached my fundraising goal and my race is over, so now, I truly just have to focus on the running part.

Today, I ran 11.44 miles.  This to date, has been my longest and hardest run.

I woke up bright and early at 6am hoping to beat the heat.  As soon as I stepped out my door, I knew I was too late.  No turning back now.

My first two miles were good.  Found my groove early and was thinking this won't be so bad.  Spoke too soon!   Mile 3 was tough.  Can't explain it, just couldn't focus.  I felt  better in mile four, but it was here that I thought I should turn back and just do 8 miles.  I was worried that I would run out of water and I wanted to be closer to the shops that I passed in the first couple miles of my run.  My logic was I could just run into the D and D and refill my bottle.

Then I heard a voice in my head yell at me.  "This is not what you set out for.  You feel fine, suck it up because there is no good reason to stop!  It is 11 miles on the schedule and that is what you need to do!"

Now don't get me wrong, you need to stay hydrated on these hot, long runs.  I knew if I went a little further then planned, I would be at the beach and would be able to use the water fountain there, plus, I had enough water to get me there.  The voice kept saying that I can do it!  I wasn't sure how far it would end up being, but I was thinking about 6 miles.

It was less then 6 miles and I was so happy to have made it that far.  You see, I have run 6 miles before, this is not new, but making it all the way to the beach is.  I have said from the beginning of my training that if I could make it to the beach and back, then I would have no problem doing a half marathon.  This was a little goal of mine and here I was, looking at the ocean!

I didn't linger long, just enough time to fill up my bottle and stretch a little. Now, I had to make it home.

It was getting pretty hot, but off I went.   I was not going to call Mr. RWM to save me, I can do it.  I did a little walking at this point but I still felt good.  It was in mile 7 that I got a little fright.

A truck had slowed down and the driver was staring at me.  He stopped on the side of the road, but on the opposite side and kept looking at me.  I don't know what he was doing but visions of Sherry and Sarah ran through my head.  I ran faster and only looked back once.  He was still there but did not appear to be getting out.   Maybe he was lost and looking at directions, I don't know, but seriously dude,  keep your eyes to yourself!

I know people look at us while we are running.  And I am sure there are lots of reasons.  People think we are crazy and some think, wow,  wish I could do that.  Some might just be runners and wish it was them running instead of driving to work, whatever it is, there is no need to stare and freak someone out.  You look, you move on, period.

I was tired in mile 8, probalby because I just ran faster than I usully do and my heart was racing a little. Mile nine was slow and steady and at the end of that, I was really slowing down, but I was still moving.

I was tired and looking forward to getting home.  I had to stop at a light and cross an intersection.  It was here that I realized, it hurt more to walk than run.  Is that weird?  Have you ever felt that way?  I was running but it was slow, in fact, it was the slowest I had ever run.  My last two miles were 14 minute miles!

Whatever, I was moving and doing what I set out to do.  When it was all said I done, I ran 11.44 miles in 2:27:09.  The time is not great, but it got me thinking.  So what?  I just ran 11.44 freakin' miles!  I know I won't ever win a race, and frankly, that is not why I am here.  I set out to do something that I thought was impossible.   It was also a way to keep me happy and healthy.  As a bonus, I have raised money for a great charity.  So yeah, I am proud of what I did this morning and I can't wait to run on Sunday!

So, all in all, training is going well.  I am so happy to be at the mileage that I am, but I feel ready and wish the race was a little sooner.  I feel very confident that I will finish the race but I am having doubts about doing it in 2:30.  Then again, time doesn't really matter to me as much as I thought it would.  I am a slow and steady runner and I can live with that.

Run Strong, Think Big!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Four Virtual Races

I am currently signed up for four virtual races that I wanted to tell you about.

The first is Run With All Your Hart.  Sarah Hart set out for an early morning run with her sister.  She was married with 3 beautiful children and was pregnant.  After a few miles she told her sister she didn't feel well and was heading back to the car.  Her sister went on to complete her run and when she got back to the cars, Sarah's car was there, but Sarah was not.

She was robbed and killed and her body was found 20 to 30 yards away, hidden in the tree line.

Once again, I am outraged that another runner, mother, wife, daughter and sister was taken from her family for no reason at all!

A four mile race has been scheduled in her hometown on August 11, 2012.  A runner, who could not be there because of distance told them she would run anyway to honor her memory.  This sparked the Virtual part of the race.  They have runners in all 50 states participating and I am excited to be one of them.

You can still sign up if you would like.  Just click the link above.

The second is from a fellow blogging friend, Laura of Mommy Run Fast.  She has a great blog about running, eating healthy and being a mom.  She is also a great supporter of mine and has encouraged me during every step of my journey to 13.1.

She has put together a free Virtual race called the Labor Day 5 and 10 Mile.  This was a race that she took part in for 5 years when she lived in Ithaca.  She has moved away and thought it would be fun to take part in it virtually and invite all of us.  I think it is a great idea!  Check it out, she has some great prizes too!

The third one, was also put together by a blogging friend of mine.  Her blog, Run, Find Your Happy Pace, sends a great message to all runners and mothers, plus, she is also a fellow military wife, whose husband is currently deployed.  I have never met her, but I know we would be great friends if we did.

She teamed up with Running In Sanity and the money they raise will go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  You all know how important that charity is to me and I hope you will take a look at their race.

Last, but not least, head on over to Anywhere 5k.  These guys put together free virtual races for no reason, other than to run.  You can print a bib and post your pictures on their site.  They will even put your times together so you can see where you came in compared to people all over the world.  It is cool.

Their next race is this weekend.  You can register here.

Let me know if you are doing any of these races.  It will be cool to know that you and I are running at approximately the same time.

Well, that is it for now.  I am heading out for my first 11 mile run in the morning.  Wish me luck!

Run Strong, Think Big!