Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Columbia Half Marathon

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of running the Inaugural Columbia Half Marathon.  I hadn't done this when it was the Iron Girl because I was running the Nike Women's Half Marathon the last two years. This race was being sponsored by Rip It Events.  This race was to support Athletes serving athletes. I have also done other races with this company and they are wonderful!

I went to packet pick-up on Friday after work at one of my local running stores, Feet First.  My swag packet included my bib and timing chip, a t-shirt and a chapstick.
I put together my outfit on Saturday evening debating about what to wear.  I was glad that the weather had changed from rain to a cloudy day but still not sure of the race temperature.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to wear the Marvel leggings or Captain America socks with my outfit so I asked GWP followers to let me know.  The response was overwhelming for the leggings!  I also loved wearing my Dress Me Up Red Sparkle Skirt.  I love Sparkle Skirts!  

Rip-It Events sent this out the evening before the race-I loved it!  
Sunday morning arrived and once again, when the alarm went off, I thought why am I doing this again when it is cold and dark!  Don't we all think that way on race morning! :)  I took my selfie, (yes, I suck at selfies!) wrote my bible verse on my arm and off I went. I was excited about this race as it was the first of two half marathons in a row qualifying me for Half Fanatics.

I had planned on meeting with my local Moms Run This Town chapter for a group picture.  We had several other local chapters join us for the picture and thank you, Deb for organizing this.  I loved seeing Deb, Mary, Cynthia and meeting Whit!  Thank you, ladies...it's always great fun when we're together!  

While waiting for the start, I saw several of my running coaches from almost three years ago along with another Sparkle Skirt Sister.  I loved meeting Taryn and her husband, Dante.  She was running this half marathon five months pregnant...go girl while SS Sisters rock!  

The race started almost twenty minutes late and I ran the first half mile with them.  Then, I was off.  I was hoping to PR this race!  The sun was shining and beautiful blue skies-we couldn't have asked for better running weather!  I got to mile two and had worn long sleeves; ended up taking off my long sleeved-shirt and tying it around my waist.  

There were water and gatorade stops at every mile along the race course.  At the half-way point, there was a timing check point along with several volunteers shouting "Half-way there now"...little did they tell us that around the corner, they was a hill!  From miles six through ten, the course was very hilly.  I could really feel it.  I started to get tired around mile ten and a half, thinking I am not going to PR this race as I thought due to the hills.  The volunteers from miles eleven through the end were absolutely encouraging and wonderful.  Thank you so much to the people who volunteer at races for us-we love you!

As I crossed around the corner at mile 13, I saw one of my running coaches waiting there shouting me to the finish line.  Thank you, Bev for waiting for me even though you finished almost 45 minutes before me!  As I looked at the finish line and saw the time, I quickly realized that I was going to PR by six minutes.  I started to shout, jump up and high fiving everyone to the finish line.  I can't wait to see that picture!

At the end, I was greeted by another friend, Mary and met her husband and beautiful daughter! Thank you, Mary for your kind words and for your husband taking pictures!  

After the race, I went to Panera Bread to grab coffee and pastry.  It's becoming my post-race tradition. I love this picture of my medal, coffee, pastry and Fellow Flower believe flower.  Yes, I do believe that I can do better and did in this race! :)  

At home, I took a showered, napped and then went to run some errands along with attending Mass. Thank you always to God for enabling me; giving me the strength and courage to run! I'm halfway to my goal of qualifying Half Fanatics-next week (Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon) will be my qualifying race.   Thank you to all my wonderful friends along with my amazing John who support and love me!  

And remember, my journey continues....If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Girls Run Fast Ambassador

I am so excited to be a new Girls Run Fast Ambassador!
 I found this out last week and have been using the hashtag #girlsrunfast in my posts.

Girls Run Fast was started by Meghan Strong who is a runner and designer.

 She started this when she ran her first marathon and couldn't find any unique jewelry so she decided to create her own.  The first designs and inspirations were made from telephone wire jewelry that she made as a child.  She now designs for not only running, but yoga, dance, gymnastics, karate and tennis.  She will also design custom made jewelry for you and if your design sells 10 or more items, you will receive it for free!  Girls Run Fast has other things such as shirts, visors and stickers.
Girls Run Fast stands for:

  • Their mission:  To inspire women's inner strength and celebrate their achievements.
  • Their vision:     To help women celebrate their achievements through unique and inspirational   jewelry at affordable prices.  
  • Their values:     To provide the highest quality jewelry for the active female community.
They are also running a 10K with a virtual option.  I will be doing the virtual race so stay tuned for my update on that race!  

You can find Girls Run Fast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flikr and Pinterest.  Check them out!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boston Strong-Two years later

Today marks the second anniversary of the Boston bombings of April 15, 2013.  So much has happened over the last years- Meb (an American) winning last year and just recently the guilty verdict.  

The city of Boston has much healing going on still as do the survivors, victims and their families and friends along with the rest of the country especially us, runners.  Boston will mark the second anniversary of the 2013 marathon bombings Wednesday with a subdued remembrance that includes a moment of silence, the pealing of church bells and a call for kindness.
Mayor Marty Walsh and other officials will raise commemorative banners on Boylston Street early Wednesday. A moment of silence follows at 2:49 p.m., marking the time the first of two bombs exploded near the finish line April 15, 2013. Church bells will then ring throughout the city.
Mayor Walsh has also declared April 15 "One Boston Day," a new tradition meant to honor the city's resilience and spread goodwill.  People are encouraged to share their random acts of kindness using the Twitter hashtag OneBostonDay. The city has also launched a website - One Boston Day.
 April 15, 2013:  Do you remember where you were when you heard the news of the bombing at the Boston marathon? We all heard in horror of this tragic event at one of the most iconic running venues. As a first year runner , I was still learning about the history of the Boston marathon along with the dedication and acceptance into running this historic event.  I was at work that day and remember asking for a break-crying over what happened even though I didn't know anyone personally who was running in the marathon. This year I am proud to say that I have many friends running in the marathon wishing them good luck as they cross the finish line.   As runners, we are all one community-united by our sense of well-being and accomplishment, wonderful friends and memories.  We are so strong as a community; one of the many reasons why this tragedy struck all of our hearts, passions and accomplishments with overwhelming grief.  

    In the immediate aftermath of the bombings, Boston Strong was a mantra for the city and the world. If we repeated it, vocalized it, tweeted and hashtagged it enough, it would actually give us strength to get through the tragedy. After the initial shock of the trauma, Boston Strong became an anthem, a badge that the City of Boston could wear to show solidarity in the strength of our community.  It became a way that we could identify the heroic actions of first responders and the brave rehabilitation of survivors.
   What is Boston Strong? What is Strength? I look at all the individual moments, hours, and days when we as a running community have struggled with the idea of how reactions and coping mechanisms fit in with the definition of Boston Strong. It can’t be a show of strength to stifle or lock away sadness. It has to be healthy to connect with emotions and understand the tragedy that two bombs can inflict. Strength can’t mean being in control of emotions like an automaton, rather understanding that life – especially in the wake of tragedy – is an unpredictable emotional journey that demands much of our focus and energy. Strength is not forcing the body to endure injury or trauma, rather understanding the damage inflicted and how we need to heal.  As runners we all support each other in our quests-wonderful  or tragic-we are invincible together.  

    As April 15th and April 21st rapidly approach, the picture of our journey is becoming more defined. I value moments of sadness because they show that I am receptive to emotion. I appreciate the tears and sorrow because they show that I am sensitive to a community that is continuing to heal.  Boston Strong doesn't mean that we face trauma with a stone face, or lock away tears, so we don’t appear weak. Boston Strong is about how we get from point A to point B – the ups and downs, the despair and the hope, and the story it tells as we as runners support each other from the start line in Hopkinton to crossing the finish line on Boylston Street. The pain, tears, stress, sorrow, hope and inspiration are a burden shared by a community - that is how we are able to cope as individuals. That is Boston Strong.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Race Recap

Yesterday was just amazing!  Beautiful weather, wonderful race, new friends and a PR for me by five minutes!  Could I have asked for anything more in a race? :)

I was fortunate to be sponsored for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler by my credit union, State Employees Credit Union.  They sent me some really great swag including a shirt for the race.  Thank you, SECU and Linda!

I went to the Expo on Friday afternoon because I had to work on Saturday.  The life of a librarian. :) It was small compared to most of the expos and crowded. I picked up my shirt and bib along with compression socks with cherry blossoms on them.  They were too cute to resist!  I also added bling to my shoes with cherry blossoms for the race.

Sunday morning at 4:30 am came too quickly and I wondered once again why I was doing this. Don't we all have those feelings as runners.  I was excited about this race as it was the first time for me to run this along with the Cherry Blossom being in full bloom. Just beautiful at the Runner's Village with the blossoms and the Washington Monument.  

 I also was excited to meet some of my friends from the Sparkle Skirt and the Princess Posse.  Thanks ladies...it was so nice to meet you in person!  A huge Thank you to my Sparkle Sister, Nicole who I ran with starting at mile two and finishing the race with me!

An announcement was made at the Runner's Village about the race course being rerouted and shortened. Apparently, there was an accident and part of the race course was a live crime scene.  Miles four to six were affected and this was the area around the Tidal Basin.   I was a bit disappointed since one of the things that I looked forward to in this race was seeing the Tidal Basin area with all the Cherry Blossoms.  

At mile 9, I stopped to take a picture along with seeing and hearing  Batala, an all-women percussion band. They are motivating and I remember seeing them at the Nike's Women's Half Marathon.  They are truly amazing and I felt blessed to have the opportunity to see them once again. 

I finished the race with a five minute PR!  I loved this race from meeting friends-both old and new; being sponsored by my credit union, the course and having a PR.  I hope to get into the lottery for this race next year and hope to make it an annual event for me.  

Did you run the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?  What were your thoughts?  I would love to hear them!  My apologies to KimRuns as I had accidently used her pictures before I was able to give her credit.  Please be sure to check her blogger and her recap: http://kimruns.blogspot.com/2015/04/cherry-blossom-10-mile-run-recap.html
There are other bloggers at the Cherry Blossom Link-up too so be sure to check them out. :) 

 And remember, my journey continues....If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

It's weeks six and seven for the #RIOTS.  I got a week behind as I had a lot of personal things going on these last two weeks. I ha...