Parades and Races

Standard

IMG_5643

Jim and I survived the constant barrage of precipitation as we joined our friends to support and promote Clean Ocean Access in the annual Newport St Patrick’s day parade. While we were out on the parade route I realized that walking in a parade has a lot of similarities to running a 5k.

IMG_5626

Of course there is the obvious, both have a start and a finish. At both the start and finish of a parade and a race you will find spectators who cheer for you as you go along the course.

IMG_5634

The next and maybe a little less obvious similarity is the beer. Many of the races Jim and I did over the years were accompanied by beer either during but usually after the race. This similarity could be because this was a St Patty’s Day parade but there was definitely lots of beer and other beverages which Dionysus would approve.

IMG_5625

Finally and probably the most important similarity was the sense of community. One of the things I love about road races is how it brings people together. Even though there was rain falling from the start of the parade to the finish, people still came out to the streets of Newport to celebrate this fine holiday.

IMG_5624

Happy St Patrick’s Day.

One Goal

Standard

535569_10200089365855518_1291346849_n

For me there wasn’t much running in 2014. Getting injured early in the year can put a damper on any plans for running. And getting a really fun injury does more than put a damper on running it puts a cloud like the one that hangs over Eeyore on your running plans.

 

Last year my friends participated in a wide variety of races. And it looked amazing. There was the Ragnar, Marine Corps Marathon, Newport 10 Miler, tons of races in VA Beach and Florida. As I looked at the pics on social media I was a little envious because everyone was having so much fun.

 

So now that we are onto a new year I decided I need to find a realistic goal. My race calendar is currently very wide open and I plan to keep it that way for quite some time. And while I would love to have some grand goal of getting a PR in a 10k or running another half marathon my goal is much milder.

 

This year I have one very simple goal, I want to run a 5k. I want to be able to run all 3.1 miles. And I want to do it without really hurting myself.

 

To my friends who are onto big races, good luck. I will see you at the finish line.

I run like a girl

Standard

Amica

I run like a girl.

 

I’ve always run like a girl.

 

When I was six years old learning to play soccer I ran like a girl.

 

When I played basketball in high school I played like a girl.

nvc_2012_08_11_0093

When I was in college and practiced keeper with the men’s team, I defended the goal like a girl.

 

When I surf and charge head high waves, I surf like a girl.

 

Every marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k I’ve competed in, I’ve run like a girl.

DSC01265

Everything I do, I do like a girl.

 

To me it’s never been a bad thing, I run like a girl because I am a girl.

 

I am proud to be a girl.

DSCN1043

I refuse to run like a boy, throw like a boy, surf like a boy, or do anything like a boy. In the same way I don’t think someone should try to do something like a girl.

 

Just be who you are, and if you are a girl, go out and run like one!

Princess Marathon 2012 2

Hula-Hoop

Standard


IMG_1054

My work out has been rather limited. I am mostly relegated to doing the exercises I learn in physical therapy. Simple exercises that increase range of motion in my ankle and help to strengthen the muscles in my lower leg. My workout is mentally exhausting because I am trying to get my body to do things that it doesn’t want to but I know it should be able to. The physical exertion is almost nil. That is until today.

Today, I found a work out that raises my heart rate, works my core, and has virtually no impact. And no it is not swimming. (I’ve decided against swimming for the time being because I really don’t want to tax any muscles that we are just now starting to strengthen.) Today I went in the garage and pulled out the hula-hoop.

 

My guess is the warm weather and spending some time outside triggered something child like in me. Jim, Kia, and I went down to the beach today to soak up some sun and break up the monotony of doing homework, studying for the advancement exam, and grading discussion board posts. While we were on the beach we saw kids doing what kids do best, playing.

 

When we got home I intended to grab my book and read outside. Instead I went to the garage and pulled out the hoop. The hoop has a temporary home in the living room. My plan is to use it from time to time so I can do a mini work out. I know it’s no 5k, crossfit, or surfing but I have to say it is far better than what I have been doing the past 7 weeks.

Hula hoop

 

Now that is Dopey!

Standard

dopey challenge

Run Disney announced a new race, the Dopey Challenge. This is a spin off from the Goofy and a half challenge that Run Disney currently holds during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The Goofy Challenge requires you to complete a half marathon on Saturday and Sunday you complete the full marathon. Yes it is goofy and yes I have done it.

DSC05965

Many of the Goofy runners were also entering the 5k and self-proclaiming it as the “Dopey.” Disney decided to capitalize on this insanity and created an official Dopey challenge. And to top it off, Disney added a new distance, the 10k. To officially complete the challenge a Dopey runner needs to run a 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday. Yes it is Dopey, and after the race was announced I really wanted to sign up and do it. Thankfully for me the announcement of the race and the sign up were several weeks apart.

My family is an important part of my running. They support me, they travel with me, and they watch me eat enough food to feed a small country the week prior to the race. Because my family is so encouraging I am able to compete in as many events as I do.

DSC09203

My family was integral in my goal of completing the first 5 Princess Marathons. I have to applaud my family and thank them for all the support. It was not an easy five years, but we made it. It wasn’t so bad when we lived in Florida, but after a move to Rhode Island it was not easy managing the schedules of my husband a full time college student and my daughter a full time high school student. Thanks to their support and the help of my parents I was able to attend each race and become a Perfect Princess.

This year while I was at the race a thought occurred to me; maybe I should stick with the race until I do 10, maybe 20. But at some point the race would consume me and it would be so selfish. Running would become all about me, when the reality is I need everyone around me so I can keep going to races and enjoying the sport.

And as I considered the Dopey, I was reminded of the things we are trying to accomplish here at home. Pay off bills is a big one. We are trying to get prepared for me to retire from the military. Finishing 20 years in the military is an accomplishment in itself. And one of the things we need to do is make sure we are financially healthy.

I recognized jut how selfish it would be if I opted to run. If I have learned anything about running it is about generosity of spirit. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, NYC marathoners ran through the city giving bottles of water and other items to the victims of the storm. After two bombs exploded at the finish of the Boston Marathon runners ran straight to blood banks to donate blood for those in need.

DSC01270

After witnessing all of these other generous runners, how could I be selfish? It contradicts what running is about. As the clock to the sign up of the Dopey counted down, I made peace with myself; I was not going to run the Dopey. It was not the right time. If I did, it would have been for all of the wrong reasons. Yes it is the inaugural running of the Dopey, but it wasn’t reason enough to go.

As I read updates on Facebook and twitter seeing the race was almost full, my heart ached with longing. I admit, I really wanted to sign up. But I couldn’t. It was not the right thing to do. Running a race because it is something that I want to do and not considering how it would impact the people in my life, that is Dopey. DSC09786

Am I Afraid?

Standard

DSC00908

 

I read a blog the other day that made me pause and reflect. A woman who ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon wrote it, it was her first half. Though she had been training for a finish time of around 2 hours, she actually finished about an hour after that. It bothered her, she wanted to find out if she really deserved the Corral A assignment. Immediately after the race, she signed up for a 20k and crossed the finish line in under two hours. (http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/race-recap-miles-for-music/)

 

Awesome right?

 

As I read the blog it occurred to me, I’ve never really run a race to prove I can make a goal time. I have pushed it on a few 5ks but it was just because I was feeling really good and really in the moment. But most important I just felt like running. So a question has been lingering, why haven’t I tried to break 2 hours on a half marathon? Based on my 5k time it should be well within my limits.

 

In previous blogs, I’ve written about how much I just enjoy getting out and running. I’ve also written about how much I enjoy running with new runners. But I recognize that the pace I run is really comfortable. I am so much in my comfort zone that I can knock out a sub 2:30 half marathon with virtually no training. Am I satisfied with being comfortable? Am I satisfied with simply enjoying every run? Or do I want something more?

 

Answering the question is a struggle. One thing really bothers me. Am I afraid to try? Am I simply afraid to set a goal time? Am I afraid I won’t be able to do it?

                                                                                 156493_10200089365375506_772516476_n

I love running. I love the not so competitive atmosphere running offers. I love the friendship and camaraderie. As I struggle to answer the question I also wonder if chasing a time goal will make me lose the things that draw me to the sport. Or am I selling myself short by not challenging myself and trying?

                                                     DSC01388

There are a few more races on my schedule for this year. I’ve got the Newport 10 miler in April and I’m going to sign up for a half (not sure which one) in the fall. I think it’s time to reassess what I really want to achieve from this sport. And maybe, even if it is for one race only, I should make a goal of getting a PR (for both the half and full marathon).

Rain, rain go away……

Standard

Most race mornings I am so excited. I get my breakfast, pack my stuff, and expend unnecessary energy worrying about being late for the start. Yesterday was a completely different story. We woke up to the sound of pouring rain.

I sat at the kitchen table playing on the computer and drinking coffee. Jim and I were both looking at the weather radar, hoping that there would be a spot that didn’t have green or yellow right above Roger William’s Park. Jim asked me if we wanted to call the registration money a donation and skip the run.

I wanted to say yes. I wanted to just hang out at the house and have a lazy, rainy Saturday. I thought about it for a moment before I answered. Though I knew it would be nicer to not run in the crap weather, I thought about my upcoming races. If the weather at the Marine Corps Marathon is bad, I would still go and run it. We had done other races in the rain. So with some hesitation I told Jim we still needed to go up and run.

When we got to Roger William’s Park we met up with the rest of our Coast(ie) crew. Seven of us showed up on this wet, soggy Saturday. And seven of us crossed the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5k. The weather dampened our clothes, but not our spirits.

Great run and thanks for everyone who participated!