Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Run Like A Mother" Book Party

To sum up the book party in one word = AWESOME!

This was such a great event, and I'm so excited I was invited to attend.  And doubly happy that stars happened to align for me to attend while juggling work events, TBall, etc.  A busy day with a lot of miles on the road, but it was worth it!  It was so great to be surrounded by so many women in the running community that share the same love of RLAM! 

A little history.  The book Run Like a Mother came out in March 2011.  I had been running for about 6 months when a friend recommended the book to me.  I downloaded it on my Kindle and read it within a day or two.  I laughed, cried, commiserated, and totally felt like the authors, Sarah & Dimity,  "got me" and who I was as a wife, mother, and a runner!  They truly inspired me to keep running, providing awesome advice on their Facebook Page, and responding personally to questions posted on the site.  I remember buying my first RLAM shirt, "Are My Kids Still Chasing Me?" and getting a personal note from Sarah on the order slip.  I truly love how hands on they are, and how encouraging they are to all of us Mother Runners :)

Sarah, me, & Dimity
Shortly after this, our running group "Run Mama Run" was born.  Slowly building from 10, to 20, to now, close to 60 members.  This is a group I honestly have formed some friendships that I consider lifelong and bonded through our shared interests and struggles.  I used to be a solitary runner, but learned that running buddies are beyond priceless!!
So back to the event.  An awesome event hosted in a beautiful home, awesome food, drinks, book readings from Train Like A Mother, giveaways (which I won a $125 gift card - woot), the most awesome swag bag, and lots of laughs!!

I'm so thankful for the RLAM tribe!  And I remember something Dimity said last night that is so true.  It was in the context of  "I want running to be a forever thing, not just the next race or event".  I set goals to keep going, and I hope that running stays with me for as long as my body lets me !

A big thank you to Sarah & Dimity (and our host Courtenay) for an awesome event!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jeremy's Run 10K

I'll start off with the "good" - as always, the RMR Ladies!  I really don't think I want to ever go to a race alone again!  These ladies are the best!!   And I got to meet up with my cousins I hadn't seen in forever beforehand too :)

Jeremy's Run is a race for a great cause, and since I got a great deal on the registration cost, I signed up for it back in January.....before I knew how HOT & HUMID it was going to be this weekend.  It actually felt "ok" temperature-wise when we got there, but slowly the sun burnt off the clouds.  The race started 30 minutes late giving the sun ample time to come out and make conditions brutal!  I actually did really well for the heat in the first 3 miles staying under a 10 min/mile.  The last 3.2 miles weren't so pretty.  Oh - and it was an out-and-back course, which was uphill most of the way back.  I walked more in this race than I ever have, finishing in my worst performance for a 10K at 1:04:18.  Even though its my worst time for a 10K, I'm very happy that I finished it, didn't throw up, and didn't pass out. 

Last HILL to the finish!  I'm in the pink on the right!
Then we headed to Starbucks for a lovely frozen coffee to make us feel better ;)!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Run Like 'Nun' Other - Memorial Weekend 5K

For starters, HUMID!! HOT!!! Miserable, but that was just how my body felt today. I woke up feeling crummy hoping I'd be better at the race. After running just under a mile with Michael, I wasn't sure how I was going to get thru a 5K :/. The sun was blaring, the course was grass and path (I personally don't like running on grass), no water stops (which I'm so happy I carried my own today), and then wanting to throw up once I was done. Not a stellar performance in my part as I finished in 30:05, but I'm happy with finishing. I had to take walk breaks and drink because I got lightheaded and ugh, the side stitch. Ok ok. Enough whining !!

Mile 1: 9:00
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 9:56
Point 1: 9:15 avg

I was off to a decent start...

For the good part - always great being with the RMR girls :). Happy to have so many friends to run with and whine to about bad race days ;)

Next race is Jeremy's Run on Memorial Day and the forecast is HOT!! I'm hydrating like crazy hoping to tackle the 10k without a repeat of today!!

We did get to see a hot air balloon come down before the race. That was a 'good' highlight of the day LOL

The hot air balloon landing was a big highlight :)
RMR Ladies - hot and sweaty after the race!

Michael's Kid Fun Run

Michael was so excited to do another kids run with me. I'm so glad he enjoys to run :). He ran just under a mile for his race in 8:15. He just needs to pace better instead of sprint, walk, sprint, walk :). Although on this humid day, I welcomed the walks since he's getting much faster these days, and I have trouble keeping up ;)
Mommy & Michael before the Kids Run
All the RMR fun running kids :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Inspirations - A Thank You to RLAM

As I sat here tonight in tears over a TBall game that has been rescheduled, I had to sit and ponder "why is this such a big deal ?"

Well, the TBall game was rescheduled for a night that I have an invite to a Book Party.  Not just any Book Party, but the authors of  Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother, Sarah & Dimity.

So, again, why, some may ask?

1)  It's Michael's LAST TBall game of the season.  He LOVES TBall.  And the trophies are supposed to be given out that night.  How could I miss that as a mother? 
2)  But when would I get a chance to meet Sarah & Dimity again, and why is it so important to me?

Given I'm writing this instead of sleeping.  It IS that important to me.  They are such a big part of my running inspiration.  When I didn't have the Run Mama Run ladies, it was the Run Like a Mother family that encouraged me, inspired me, and gave me the will to keep trying through injuries and plain self-doubt!

I remember when I first started reading Run Like A Mother.  It was March 2011.  I laughed so hard, I cried!  I could completely identify with everything they wrote pertaining to motherhood and trying to juggle running too.  Their Facebook page wasn't just other runners encouraging each other, but Sarah & Dimity themselves, responding to posts, answering questions from all of their "tribe".  That just made them so much more than just another book author.  They truly cared about all of us in some way to help us in our running journey!  I think this is when I truly discovered the running community.  It was just a couple months later that Run, Mama, Run was "born".  What an absolute blessing it is.  I never knew what kind of impact these women would have on me.  Some I had known for years!  Others, I was meeting for the first time, but we all grew to share, care, train, encourage, inspire, and even push each other to reach goals we didn't think possible. 

I wish I could have responded better to the FNP reporter yesterday because I've realized that as we became mothers, we took a back seat to our needs.  It's diapers, bottles, milestones, playdates, work, daycare, etc.  The constant juggling of needs other than our own.  I found running was something that gave me back a sliver of "me" time.  It's grown to be a whole lot more.  Running is a part of me and who I am now.  I hope I make my kids proud being out there accomplishing new goals, or running for fun.  I want to be a good role model for them to be active, to enjoy it.  Michael loves to run Kids Runs now.  So proud that he wants to "be like his Mama"!  Daniel loves to race too. 

So back to my dilemma - TBall game or Book Party.  Well, my awesome friend made a great suggestion that we're going to try to run with.  I hate to vent on FB like I did, but seeing friends type out "do this for you, you deserve it, you give so much to others, you're always there for Michael, etc" made me cry, but warms my heart that I've been able to give back even a sliver of the inspiration that Sarah & Dimity gave me during my journey!

So this is a big ole thank you note to them, and to my friends who encourage and inspire me everyday!!

I hope it all works out in the end that I can juggle my family priorities and still get a chance to say "thank you" to these ladies in person.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Frederick Running Festival - May 5-6, 2012

Awesome, inspiring, exhausting, joyful, strength, perseverance, healing, determination, and best of all friendship, love, and pride are all the words I can think of for how I feel about this weekend with the Run Mama Run Ladies!

I've been looking forward to the Frederick Running Festival for a year now.  I volunteered as a Course Marshal last year, and I had so much fun cheering for all the runners, and my friends that were running it!  I thought to myself "you can do that"!  I had only run 5 miles by that point in May 2011.  Well, a full year later, and 3 other Half Marathons under my belt, Frederick would be my 4th.  Frederick is home turf and I knew the course, as I had probably run every inch of it over the year!  I was so excited for this weekend.  Well, then a few months back, my running buddy convinced me to join her for the "Nut Job".  This is where you run the Twilight 5K the night before the Half Marathon.  As I don't like to run back-to-back days, I hesitated, but figured "why not?"!!   My game plan - run the 5K very, very easy.  I was joking to the ladies as we started out for the 5K that I was shooting for a PW (personal worst) on the 5K because I refused to get hurt before the Half.  Even running my super easy pace, I still came in 7 seconds under my very first 5K time.  It just made me realize my training has really paid off over a year's time!   And the best part of the Run Mama Run ladies sticking together for the 5K was we helped push a friend into a PR (personal record) for her 5K. 

RMR Ladies that ran the Twilight 5K (I'm 2nd on the right)
After heading home, a hot shower, and some major stretching, I headed to bed early as my alarm was set for 4:45am.   But I didn't need the alarm.  My excitement for race day had me up and rolling at 4:30am.  Funny, I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired.  I wasn't even really that nervous because I was so excited to see the HUGE group of RMR Ladies that were running the Half that morning, with probably 1/2 of the ladies running their first Half Marathon.  I was excited to be apart of a group that trained with them, encouraged them, and hopefully inspired them!!  It was going to be a very emotional day as we had shared stories of why we run, what it means to us, and who we run for over the days prior to the race.  I'm an emotional person to begin with (tearing up as I type this), so I knew race day would be the same!

We met up, took fun pictures of the group, and were interviewed by the Frederick News Post (click here for the article) because our shirts tweaked their curiosity of what our group was all about.  Our shirts have "Run Mama Run" on the front and our slogan on the back of "Run when you can, Walk if you have to, Crawl if you must, Just don't give up"!   Then that time came.  It was time to line up at the Start.  A few of us started in the same pace corral, and we all hugged and wished each other luck as we started the 13.1 mile journey through Frederick!

Seriously the most awesome, strong, inspiring women you could ever meet!!
 The weather actually was overcast and drizzly for the first 4-5 miles.  Wish it had kept raining.  It was better than the yuck humidity that replaced it!  

This Half for me was almost split perfect....meaning I hit almost every mile at or just under a 10 min/mile pace.  I was happy with how it was going.  I didn't go out fast, and I saved my energy for what I knew was a tough back half of the course.  Glad I did as the back half was tough after you've already gone 7+ miles.  Once I hit East Street for the last time, I knew it was almost over.  I just had to push it and leave it all on the road.  But I knew what was coming.....Highland Hill at mile 12.5.  Crap.....I was cruising in at a dangerous 9:10-9:30 pace coming to the hill, but just told myself that Highland was my ^@#$! (fill in bad words here), and that I WOULD NOT WALK.  It was the end.  I was almost done.  No freaking way was that hill getting me.  Then there was this lady on the hill.  I seriously thought it was my own Mom from the distance (it wasn't but looked so much like her), but she was jumping up and down, screaming "You can do this - You're halfway up this hill, Go Go Go"!  I thanked her for being the cheerleader I needed just at that moment!  I hit the top of the hill, turned into the Fairgrounds, saw another friend cheering for me. Awesome!!!  Gave a high five and gave the last of my energy to the track (praying I wouldn't twist my ankle).  As I took the last corner, 3 Run Mama run ladies were there cheering me on!  What an awesome feeling to have your friends there !  I crossed the finish line proud and knew I had met my goal for this race!!

RMR Ladies cheering me in the last stretch!
New PR  2:10:35 - My goal was a 2:10 Half Marathon :)

I'm a Nut Job :) Conquered the 5K & Half Marathon!
But the story doesn't end here!  The most important part of this day for me was approaching!  I made it back to the track (hobbling) where the other ladies were in time to cheer in the majority of our 1st time Half Marathoners!!   It was so awesome and emotional to see everyone of them come in.  Even more emotional to see a couple of our ladies go back out and run our RMRs to the finish, over and over, after running their own race.  I hope they all know that I would have loved to have been able to do that, but I could barely walk down to the track when I was done.  Hope my big ole loud cheering mouth was sufficient to help carry them in to the Finish!  I think I cried more hugging my dear friend after her race, than I did after my own 1st Half Marathon.  Just as proud as a mother can be of her children, I beamed with pride for every single lady that ran !! 

Photo courtesy of Bill Green (FNP) - Two awesome friend show the true spirit of RMR!!
 And speaking of my own children, Michael has been wanting to run with me for awhile now.  So I signed him up for the Kids Fun Run (1/4 mile).  He did awesome, sprinting at a pace that made me struggle to keep up, and finished in 1:51 (which is an 8:39 min/mile avg pace).  So proud of my little boy :)
Michael and I coming into the Finish for the Kids Run ;)