Sunday, October 25, 2009

Making Strides 5K

This weekend I ran in the Making Strides 5K. This was a fundraiser for OT equipment for my little brothers school. His school as seen a rise in the number of kids with Autism and Occupational Therapy is something that is very beneficial to these kids. The goal was to raise $10,000....we raised over $11,000!!! It was FREEZING and POURING rain out and we still had a great turnout for the race. This was the first 5K I have ever done...and it went by so fast. I finished first in my age group and also raised $270.00. Like I said, I hadn't done much running this past week so it was nice to run again.
Sarah's little sister Anna and I before the race
annnnd we're off!:-)
Just coming into the finish line. I need to take a lesson from chicrunner on good race photos!
Finishing the race with Zach!
Post race picture with Zach! This race was for you buddy!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

GU 'n stuff....

So this week running has been put n the back burner (not sure 4 weeks before the race is a good time to put running aside...oh well). I've been working both of my jobs this week and haven't found time to run. I refuse to get up at 4:30am to run...I suppose that doesn't make me a hardcore runner. But I don't care. It's too dark and cold and I LOVE my sleep. However, I did get my 8 mile run in on Sunday. I was super tired from working an overnight the night before and I wasn't able to get much sleep when I got home. I decided that this would be a perfect time to try one of my GUs that I had bought. I don't plan to use them for the 1/2 but I wanted to try one anyway and thought that maybe it might give me a little energy for my run. wrong.

Danielle had warned me that if you don't train with GU before a race, you will get sick. I tried the highly recommended Tri-Berry and washed it down with almost an entire nalgene bottle of water ( it was that gross). Seriously, not 2 minutes after I sucked it down I was in the bathroom power puking my brains out. Oh, it was so gross. (PS, I HATE puking...alot!). I thought "Well, she wasn't lying about the getting sick thing". Once I was done I brushed my teeth and went off for my 8. so gross. If I ever run a race that requires me to need to have some extra fuel mid run I might try chicrunners peanut butter and jelly idea...GU is not my friend.

Why, oh why do the first 3 miles of every run suck so bad? I always want to stop and walk and once I get to mile 4 I am finally in some kind of zone and I feel great. If only the first 3 miles could be like that too. It started raining about 1 mile in...sweet. And it was cold rain. I went on a route that I had never run before. It was kinda cool. I ran by a nice horse farm and some sweet houses that I didn't know existed in my town. Dunkin Donuts was somewhere around mile 4ish. I was so tempted to stop but I kept truckin' along. I got some good hills too which was nice. The course description for the 1/2 says "flat through 4, rolling hills through 8 and flat on the way back". My question is, what's the definition of 'rolling hills'? I've also been doing some of my runs near where I work because there are more hills there and I need to run them, as much as they suck. The last mile was rough. I felt like an old lady. I was freezing, my legs didn't want to take me any further and my right hip/lower back was killing me. BUT, I made it. I was proud of myself for running the whole way and finishing strong.

I was able to get my 5 mile run in on Tuesday, but that's it. Next time I will run will be Saturday. I am running in a 5k which is a fundraiser for my brothers school. His school is seeing an increase in the number of kids who are diagnosed with Autism. A group called Making Strides has formed to raise money for an Occupational Therapy gym to be built at his school. The purpose of this gym to to provide these kids with the equipment needed for them to grow and be successful. I am super excited about this race and want to thank everyone who has donated money. This truly means a lot to me, my family and of course Zach. Their goal is to raise 10,000 through a variety of fundraisers...I'll keep you updated! I also made a pretty sweet shirt to wear on race day, stay tuned for pictures.

One last, kind of random note...I'll be in Nashville, Tennessee for a wedding May 15...anyone know a good race to run that weekend?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A new challenge...

All summer I have been debating running a half marathon. Part of me thinks its still to soon to do and another part of me thinks I can do it. The most logical 1/2 for me to run would have been the Maine Marathon and Half Marathon, which took place October 4th (also happens to be my wedding anniversary for those of you who would like to put it in on your calendar). For anyone that knows me, doing things the easy and logical way is just not my style. I kind of like to make things complicated and hard on myself. Awesome, huh? So after much debate and many thoughts such as "there is no way you can run a 1/2" (most of these thoughts came while I was out running and wasn't feeling very good) I decided to not run the local 1/2 just yet.

At the end of August, Sarah came home to visit and we stopped at Cadillac Mountain Sports to get her sister a birthday present. They also happened to have the latest edition of Runner's World, which was all about running half marathons. Of course I bought it. The next day I went to my part time job, where I have a lot of down time.... and read the entire magazine. So many cool races I never knew about, a 12-week training plan that looked manageable. That's it! I'm doing it! However, 12 weeks put me to the middle of November. There was no way I could run the Maine Half Marathon. I searched online for a half in November and found the Chilly Half Marathon in Newton, MA.

I found a race, I had a training schedule, now did I have what it took to train and run the race? I guess it was time to find out. I put in about 4 weeks of training before I finally decided to sign up for the race. I wanted to make sure I was up for it before giving them my money. I signed up. There was no turning back. I sent several friends a text something along the lines of "ok, i'm freaking out now!" right after I signed up.

In 2.5 hours, it will be exactly 4 weeks until the race. I'm excited, scared, nervous, and ready to run.... I think. Today I have an 8-miler. My longest run outside (I've done 9 on the treadmill before). I felt really good at my 7-miler last weekend, so we'll see what today brings. I have learned sooo many things since starting my training...

1. Running is a serious head game. "I can't do this", "yes I can" "no, I want to stop and walk" "you will be so proud of yourself once you are done". Yes, these are the things that run through my head while running. That's why I love my music so much. It gives me something else to focus on.

2. I eat....a lot. I am hungry All. The. Time. My diet has never been great anyway. It usually consists of a light breakfast, lunch, and a little dinner, more often then not, something fried and yummy (I think I am keeping Wendy's and BK in business) I never really "snacked" before. Snacking is now a full time job for me. I get super hungry around 3:30 now, which is new. I could eat a full meal then, and eat dinner at 6:30-7:00 and be just fine.

3. I am super tired. This whole getting up early for work thing....not working so well. I have been going to bed at 9 (seriously? 9:00...I used to stay up until at least 11-11:30). I've been missing all my TV shows, and we all know how much I love my shows. I have a new love for DVR. My life has been Work. Run. Eat. Sleep for the last 2ish weeks... which is when this training thing really started kicking my butt.

4. Running in old clothes is just not as fun as looking good while running. Since I am new to this whole running thing, it means going out and buying running gear. I love it. The bank account does not:-)

5. The colder it gets, the slower I run! Grrr. I was so proud of myself because since the Trails to Ale at the end of September, I have knocked about 30 seconds off my mile pace. Crazy! I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I'll take it. The last week it has gotten so cold and I am back to my turtle like pace. It's only going to get colder... A new challenge I'll have to figure out.

In about 3 hours, I will have been up for 24 hours straight. Like I said, I don't like to do things the easy my brain is not really functioning very well right now:-) However if you have actually read this entire post...I'm impressed. Like I said before, this blog is really for me to track my progress...because I know I will be making a lot of it and I think it will be pretty cool to go back and read about. I enjoy reading other runner's stories and find a lot of inspiration from them so I thought I would share mine with you.

Sorry for the rambling...I'm looking forward to getting to bed soon and a good run later on. Oh! (an off topic side note…) Today also happens to be Pizza Sunday. Every Sunday during football season we don’t make any plans, get the 5-dollar Little Caesars pizza, bud light and watch football all day. If that's not an awesome training diet, I don't know what is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Inspirations and Motivators

Before I go on with anymore posts.... I need to talk about my inspirations and motivators because I WOULD NOT be where I am right now without these people. I know I won't be able to put into words all my sincere love and gratitude for these people, but I'll do my best.

*Ruddley- My amazing husband who has tried for years to get me to run with him and I always told him I couldn't, that I'm not a runner, that I might die! Ruddley has been there for me every step of the way, literally. He has run every race with me so far and been there waiting for me at the finish line. When we go for runs together he always tells me how proud he is of me and keeps me going strong even on days when I'm pretty sure I can't get any closer to dying:-) He pushes me to work harder and to run faster. I love him!

*Danielle- I became amazing friends with Danielle just about a year ago. Danielle has been running for years and has 9 1/2 marathons, 1 full marathon, a 200-mile relay, and wayyy too many 5Ks and 10Ks under her belt. I look to her for all things running related (and more). She even offers to run with my turtle pace. She tweets while she runs-which I love. She's overall hardcore and I love her. Danielle has been a huge supporter of my running adventures and I can't wait to run more races with her.

* Kate- I've been friends with Kate since High School and we were roommates in college together (couldn't ask for a better roomie!) she too is super hardcore. I don't get a chance to see her much since we live so far away. But I can always count on a text on race day from her to wish me luck. Kate has one of those "can do" attitudes. If she wants to do something, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that will get in her way.

* Sarah- My best friend since 2nd grade...Sarah is now a pilot in the US Air Force which I think is SUPER cool and crazy all at the same time. I don't get to talk to her much- but I am always excited to tell her about my running success.... she still can't believe it. I think she has one of those "please pinch me and make sure I am alive" moments every time I talk to her about running. I am trying hard to get her to run some races with me...she says she is too busy working to train. Bogus. :-)

* Mom and Dad- My parent's have been my biggest supporters my entire life. They have allowed me to do anything I want and I'm so lucky to have such an amazing mom and dad. Sounds corny, I know. But it's true. They came to every soccer game in HS (well almost mom missed 2 my junior year and both games I ended up in the ER...she vowed to NEVER miss another game. She didn't), the carted me around New England to play travel soccer and sent me to Sweden to play. They haven’t made it to a race yet...but I know I've got plenty more down the road.

* Nichole and Zach- My little sister and brother. Err...not so little anymore. Nichole is 19 (yikes!) and Zachie is 12. Both were adopted by my mom and dad and have been through so much more in their life then I could ever imagine. They are both fighters and so strong. I only hope that one day I can be as inspiring to someone as they have been to me. Nichole is an amazing artist and my house is filled with her artwork (more please Nichole:-) and Zach is pretty much the coolest guy ever. He is autistic and battles everyday to fit in with his peers. He loves life, science, and soccer. He is currently playing on his schools soccer team. I am so proud to be their big sister.

* My ipod- Yes, I am thanking my trusty ipod. I could not run without it. Music is a HUGE motivator for me and I think my play list might be a whole post in itself. I know you are all dying to know why I have Christmas music on my ipod:-). Anyway, I will not enter a race where ipods are banned. Nope, can't do it. I love my music. I need to drown out the sound of my heavy breathing and feet hitting the pavement. I don't even like it when there is a pause between songs. I dunno...just a weird thing. Sometimes I even start singing while I'm out running...and can I just tell you how much Ruddley loooooves that.

* Running magazines (love Runner's World) and blogs. Hearing other people's stories, tips and ideas makes me want to get out and run forever. My life as I knew it was over the day I discovered running blogs. Hello headaches from staring at the computer and a sore butt from my rolly chair! Who knew I could read about running for hours? Lame. Welcome to my life:-)

There are many more people and things that keep me going, inspire and motivate me. But I felt that I needed to mention these people since you may read about them in later posts. I always hate reading about people and wondering who they are or what kind of relationship they have to the person writing. So, there it is.

Trails To Ale 10K- 9.20.09

This by far has to be one of the best races...for a few reasons...

1. The course is super flat and fast.... I like that.

2. 3.5ish miles of the course is around Back Bay, which I love to run!

3. There is FREE beer and pizza at the finish line...seriously? Amazing!

The Portland Trails to Ale was my 3rd 10K...make that my 3rd race period, and my best time so far (which I'm still not sharing because I'm still not happy about it:-). Considering there were no hills and it's the fastest course that I've run, I would hope it was my best time.

I have a hard time getting up early in the morning, and since all these races start anywhere between 7:00-8:00am I need to get up early. I' had been reading that you need to eat at least 2 hours before the race which meant 5:00am! Yikes! I was still working on the pre race breakfast thing... this time I had a banana and peanut butter with high hopes that it would fuel me and not come up at the end.

I ran this race with Ruddley and my amazing friend and inspiration, Kate. Seriously, this girl is awesome (D1 softball player, 1/2 marathon, marathon, sprint triathlon... you name it, she'll do it!). Kate told me she would run with me and I warned her, I run like a turtle. She assured me she would stay with me during the whole race because she was "out of shape"...Yeah. Right! Kate stayed with me for the first 2ish miles before she asked if it was ok if she went ahead...(see, I told you she was nice. She felt bad for leaving me in the dust!). Kate took off, Ruddley was ahead of me and I was running alone...again. Seems to be a theme so far "Sarah, don't worry, I'll stay with you" and then they realize I mean it when I tell them I am slow and they take off. I kind of like it though, I just turn my ipod up wayyyyy too loud and zone out and run. I haven't mastered the whole talking and running thing yet so I don't mind being on my own. At some point my friend Jim passed me, tapped me on the shoulder and said "pick it up slow poke"...thanks Jim for your kind words of encouragement:-). He too took off ahead of me.

Around mile 5 I saw a guy power puking on the side of the road and I just thought to myself "don't look...don't look.... at least it's not you this time". I got to mile 6 where the dude was calling out the time (at this point I still didn't wear a watch while running). I was 20 seconds from my goal time and started to sprint, and then my brain kicked in. I realized I couldn't run .2 miles in 20 seconds so I slowed down a little, did not want another finish like the LL Bean, and finished strong. Oh! And the banana and peanut butter worked wonders! I could have eaten a little more though... next time!

Kate, her new pup Tug and I after the race:-)

Kate, Tug, ME, Ruddley and Jim.

annnnnnd the free beer table!:-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ok. So I know its been FOREVER since I have posted...but life took over and I got busy, and honestly wasn't quite sure blogging my running life was worth it anyway. Really, who would care besides me? WRONG! I have decided this blog is for me. A way to track my running progress and if you would like to follow along with me, feel free. So since my last post I have 2 more races to update you on. I won't give you all the boring details (mostly because I have so many things I want to blog about and need to catch up, annnnd at this point, I don't remember all the details!) So here goes....

My next race after the LL Bean 10K, was the Beach 2 Beacon 10K on August 1, 2009, which I mentioned before. All I have to say about this race was it was HOT and I did ok. So far I haven't really been impressed about my race times...I'll get there. Right now just finishing a race is amazing to me. The best part of the B2B is the HUGE amount of supporters during the entire race. Once you get past the first mile (which is so full of emotions anyway because you are running with 6000 people, fighting for a spot on the road, that it flies by) the streets of Cape are lined with people for the next 5.2 miles. To quote Danielle "if you are in Cape on the day of B2B and have nothing else to do, you sit and watch the race". So. True. I'm not sure how many people's houses I passed that had hooked their garden hose up to a tree and sprayed the road with water, or people that brought their sound system on to their lawn and blasted music. My favorite part was around miles 4 and 5.... 2 bagpipers played on the side of the road...I have a huge soft spot for bagpipes. In-fact its the only point (except for the finish line) that I turned my ipod off to listen.

I suppose this race was a slight improvement over the LL Bean. I didn't have to stop and go pee and I didn't throw up at the end...SUCCESS. Although I really need to figure out the whole eating/drinking thing...soon. So many people I know ran this race so it was fun to catch up with them at the finish. I was of course the last one of the group to finish...that will change someday!

This is Ruddley and I after the race...looks like I'm leaning on him to stand up...probably true:-)
This is Christine, Kaden ( my amazing neighbors) Ruddley and I. Kaden just turned 2 and ran the "kids fun run"....Christine also ran B2B with us.
And finally Mackinna (Christine's daughter who also ran the kids fun run) and I:-)
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