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?