My One Big Goal - 700 miles

My One Big Goal - 700 miles

Running from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Savannah, Georgia

Miles Run So Far: 63.7

Miles To Go: 636.3

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Last Saturday, i planned on doing a nice, long run. I had the day to myself: the girls were all with their other parents for the weekend, Glenn was gone all day working at an outdoor adventure group building thingy. The day was relatively nice weather-wise: a hard, sunny bright with a touch of cold that would have been perfect for the 8 miles I planned...

I started to go through more than 800 photos from my week at Disney and Claire's race and my race and just got sucked in. It was a perfect day for sitting and cropping and reducing red-eye...

Then, my friend and fellow runner (and fellow Disney Princess Runner) Tracey posted on her blog that she was turning in to a couch potato. She wanted advice on how to get off her butt and lace on those runners and go...and I posted what I do when i know I should run, but the motivation is lacking. I commented, "here's what i do when i know i should run (and somewhere in my mind i know i'd even like it) but don't want to: i wear my running clothes all day long until i get outside. and i set myself an embarrassingly easy goal like "run down the street for 5 minutes; then i'll go home". usually, if i can get out the door and run for a few minutes, the "i don't wannas" go away." So, on Saturday, taking my own advice, I put on my running clothes, tied on my shoes, put on my watch, and sat down to eat a small meal before the run, and to do one more thing with the Disney photos.

And then, I never left my computer. I didn't run.

So, Tracey and I made a pledge to run come hell or high water on Sunday. We were going to hold each other accountable. Tracey, well, she did it - went out and ran 8 miles! And our friend Anna, she too, seeing our back & forth on Facebook, agreed to the virtual running buddy accountability, and she went out and did her miles on Sunday. Me...after a date night with Glenn that encompassed visiting several bars, I did not go. BAD GIRL!

Tracey and Anna were holding me accountable: I HAD TO RUN on Monday. And to make me even more accountable to my self, I posted this as my Facebook status, that way all my other running mommas could also keep my nose to the grindstone.

When Monday (yesterday) came along, knowing that I had to run or had to tell Tracey, Anna, Tara, Heather and everyone else that I did not go for a run because of __insert excuse here__ seemed so much worse than actually going for the run after work. All day long, I kept thinking about my run...a run I imagined doing in torrential rain, as forecasted by the meteorologists. Truthfully, I was already psyched to run in the rain - there's something that makes you feel like a hardcore runner - a REAL runner - when you run in the rain. Because you know that you are crazy, or committed, or should be committed, when you and you alone are out there dodging the drops while drivers look outside their windshield ate you with utter horror.

I got home from work and changed, I told Glenn, "I'm going for a run because I have to - because if I don't my running mommas are going to spank me" he just got that little smile guys which I then added, "and no, you can't watch!"

And so I ran. It was a nice, easy run beneath heavy gray clouds. For the first time since Disney, I could run without my legs feeling like pillars of cement. My breath was good, my pace was consistent, my body & mind all synced together in that wonderful harmony that happens during a good run. And no rain the time I got home, there was blue sky peeking through the clouds, a perfect match to my sunny mood.

Sometimes, we need to be held accountable. I need it. My running is often such a solo activity - just me and my shoes - and there is no one I'm letting down (but myself) if I skip a run, or two or three. Thank you, Tracey, Anna, Becky, Tara and every one else for being my virtual running buddies!

I ran 4.2 miles in 45:09 and I felt free.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

busy day, but made my run

So, here's how my day played out: up at 7-ish and had a few quiet minutes with the hubby to chat & sip coffee before he heads upstairs to get ready for work & I make his lunch. Claire is up by 7:40, and we read "Harold and the Purple Crayon" (oh, I love that book! it's one of the books I read to Claire while I was pregnant). Glenn leaves, and I say to Claire, "Let's hang up your name letters!" She's all excited because it's been almost 2 months since we moved and still her things aren't on the walls of the room she and Sarah share. I hang up things, clean & dust her room (while she uncleans her room...gggrrr...). Then, I go and sort several loads of laundry and start the first of what is four loads. Sweep and wash the floor. Wash some walls in the kitchen & parlor (years of finger prints and dust). Keep doing laundry. Play with Claire. Laundry. Clean Claire's room again. Laundry. Make rice for dinner that night. Laundry. Read to Claire. Draw Mickey Mouse with Claire. Finally change out of pjs and into running clothes. Start to make dinner. Realize I am missing one ingredient, go to store, come home, finish making supper (into the oven it goes). Glenn is minutes from home, I call him and say, "I'm going on a run. Dinner's in the oven."

Phew. All of that just to get through to my run. It was a lovely day for it. Almost 70 degrees. And after everything I did around the house today, I was ACHING for a run. I was close to that "if mommy's not happy, no one's happy" place, and the one thing that makes this momma happy is running. Leave all your worries behind.

As I hit the road (much too fast...I ran my first half mile in blazing speed, 4:02) I could feel my shoulders lift, my tight back unwind, and my legs stretch out. The air was warm, and I was oh so happy for this time to be free. Oh so happy that I have a wonderful husband who supports me as I pass off three hungry kids (and one or two kinda grumpy ones) the second he walks in the door from work.

I slowed down my run - there was no way I could ever keep up an 8 minute pace for 3 miles! But I was loving the run. After yesterday's migraine, being on the road felt delicious. And with the weather turning cold this weekend, I was glad to hit 70*!

My run: 3 miles in 31:39 and loving every second.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


They suck. Big time.

I've had the root of one winding its way through my body...ouch my eye hurts, vision is a bit wonky. My neck, shoulder, arm and face all tingly, and not that good tingly you feel after a couple of drinks. More like that annoying tingly your face feels as the novacaine your dentist gave you before drilling starts to wear off...I'm hoping that the excedrin migraine I'm taking will stop the migraine, but all the medicine is doing is moderating the symptoms a bit...GO AWAY! I want to run tomorrow.

Since I was one of those "fortunate" Americans who had NO HEALTH INSURANCE for the longest time, I didn't have and couldn't afford a prescription for some migraine meds. My momma gave me a couple of her pills, and I hold onto them for the extremist of cases. This migraine, so far, isn't falling into that category. But, I do want to run tomorrow evening, and now that Glenn has made an honest woman out of me and I have insurance (woohoo!), I just may take my last trexemet tomorrow...

That's the plan any way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

being relaxed at running

Sometimes being a relaxed runner means that you don't run at all...

I want to run. I'm not at that mental place that most runners come to where you dread going out for a run, where tying on your shoes is a chore worse than cleaning the toilet, where every ounce of you is screaming that the couch is the place your butt belongs.

No, I want to run. I look out my car window as I go here & there about my errands that make up life and see other runners sporting their running tights or baggy shorts, legs pumping, looking fit and graceful, and I long to be out there too...But, it's just not happening.

For more than a year, I've lived with all these What-Ifs floating around like I've been living inside some chaotic snow globe that a cruel giant keeps shaking and not waiting for all the glitter to settle before she picks it up and shakes the globe again. Well, all that glittery snow is beginning to land. I'm trying to settle into a new routine. Now that I've finally moved to Lebanon, now that Glenn and I are married, now that budgets are created and work is settled and a one-year plan is drafted...Well, now I've got to figure out where that little glittery piece that says "RUN" on it fits in.

And I DID just come back from a week at Disney World. I did do that half marathon, I did spend seven straight days walking on my feet (and even running 13.1 miles), so I guess a week or two off is well deserved...But, I miss running. The one, quick run I went on last week, 2.2 miles, was squeezed in to a Wednesday full of chores & Claire-care & dinner prep & laundry & looking at a house to see if we want to buy it...I had 25 minutes to run and that's what I did (21:14 for the run and 3:46 for a shower) and while it was great to be on the road on a glorious day, I was so stressed to run and be back within my narrow window, that it was hard to listen to my body, to settle my mind, to rest in the rhythm of the pace. It wasn't really relaxed at all.

So, I'll wait. I'll wait until I can run MY way - with as much time as it takes to run whatever miles I feel like running that day. No plan, no pace goal, just me and the road and my shoes and the sun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

just like mommy

claire & granny didi doing some pre-race stretching

The best way to give the gift of a healthy lifestyle to your children is to model that lifestyle. I've been trying to model this for my daughter fact, I took up running about 3 months after she was born (thanks in part to her colic, which was only soothed to sleep if I walked her in her stroller, which I did, 7 or 8 miles a was only a very short leap to running once I'd accomplished 16 m/m while pushing a stroller up hills).

Any way, I've only raced a handful of times, but I've tried to have Claire there to see them - to feel the energy, to hear the people shouting "yay" and ringing cowbells, to see me trot by in my running tights...Claire loves that I run and has been aching to run with me. Once or twice, we've played at racing, running up & down our driveway with homemade bib numbers. But when I've asked Claire if she liked it, she always said, "I guess...but there were no people saying 'yay.'" For Claire, a race is when people are there to cheer you on, you get a finishers medal, and have a bib number.

Then, lo & behold, I sign up for the Disney Princess Half and discover that there is a kids' race the day before. Reading about the race I discover that for a nominal fee (like $10), Claire will have her own bib number (just like mommy), get a race day t-shirt (just like mommy) and a finisher's medal (just like mommy)! I sign up my budding runner and is she every excited! One day at Target, I get her her first running outfit (cute tech tee and matching running skirt...just like mommy).

On Kids Race Day, Claire, her Granny Di (my mommy), and I head to the ESPN complex. The track & field part are swarming with parents and kids, there's a lot of confusion, and the booming voice of whomever's emceeing adding to the bedlam. The three of us trot out onto the field and dance our warm-ups. I've got some fantastic memories of tiny, blond Claire dancing MJ's "Thriller".

Finally, it's time to race...Claire is in with all the wee little ones. Her birthday has her in the 1-3 yr old group running the 100m, but she is by far one of the oldest kids there (I should've moved her to the 200m with the 4 yr olds). 1-3 yr old is too wide of an age range - there were kids there who were just walking, a bajillion parents holding wee ones, and a couple capable kids like Claire. We're all lined up waiting...waiting...waiting...Apparently, Disney in its wisdom decided to have the 1m race first, so all the older bigger kids begin (keeping several hundred wee ones calm for the 25 minute wait was torture on most parents...) Claire was into the race enough to be happy cheering for all the big kids running the mile, passing us for the finish line. A few parents ran with their kids, which got me thinking that I could probably have sing Claire up for the mile and we could've run, walked, and carried her through it...

It's just about our turn. Claire says to me, "Mommy, you don't have to run this with me like all the other parents are. I know how to run by myself." My big girl!!

I step to the side, allowing Claire to jockey for her position. She seems like this wee little thing lost in a forest of big Mommy & Daddy legs. But she is feeling so big and so proud! We wait a bit more...and finally the 100 meter race starts!

Claire begins running. She runs slowly, with big bounding steps and the moms and dads pull ahead...20 meters in and finally the pack clears and Claire has space to run. The sun is hot & bright and she is loving the way her ponytail shadow is bouncing, so she's running while looking at her shadow - she's found that pure joy! big huge smile on her face...I jog ahead to take pictures and am yelling "yay Claire! Go Claire!!" but every time I pull a few steps ahead, she begins a faster surge...

And then it's done, too soon! I hug Claire and she is laughing she is so happy with herself. We go get her medal and I tell her I want a picture of her with the medal on. And still so proud of herself, Claire raises one arm in the arm in that classic (and I guess primal, because who ever taught her that?) pose of pure happyness and victory and pride!!

Just like mommy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

destination: disney!

some members of our group, on a chilly friday nite!

About a year ago, an online running group I'm a member of decided to get together at Disney World and run their Princess Half Marathon in March 2010. This seemed a fantastic idea: meet some amazing women who are all my running (and life) role models, have fun, run my 2nd half marathon, and take my daughter to Disney.

At first, I was going to take Claire for just a few days to Disney...but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my almost 4 yr old daughter would have the time of her life schmoozing with her beloved Disney Princesses...and I hadn't had a real vacation in a long I booked us a week in Walt Disney World. It didn't matter that I didn't have a job - that's what credit cards are for and I'm helping our sluggish economy...And for added fun, I decided to take my mom along for the trip.

Here are the lessons I've learned about my first Destination Race and that I've discovered about racing at Disney World.

1. Bring a camera. Everyone says so, and everyone is right! Not only are some of your fellow runners decked out as princesses or wicked witches (and a few prince charmings!) but Disney has cast members out all over the place. I got more face time with the characters than my 4 yr old did...including ALL the fairies from Pixie Hollow, something I'm not sure you can find other wise at Disney.

2. Leave behind any hopes for a PR. Or even being close to your slowest race time. Heck, leave your watch at the hotel room. My girlfriends and I started out at the way back of the pack and there we stayed. Though we were running this race, we actually kept pace with the walkers because, well, we were camera-happy. There wasn't a character meeting that we didn't stop to shoot. We got some fantastically fun pictures...and that takes an hour!our first mile...notice the time! (ok, we started 30 minutes after everyone else...but still, shows you how the race went for us!)

3. There are woods to pee in. Pee there. Even though Disney had more port-a-potties than any other race I've seen, often the lines were long (and who wants to wait in a line when there are photo-ops with Princess Aurora and Maleficent the witch?) and by the time we at the back got to the potties, they were indescribably gross. Peeing behind a palm bush at 7:42 am was a serene moment of beauty.

4. The Disney property is HUGE with lots of vast undeveloped space in between the parks. And this is where most of the race happens. While this might disappoint some who hoped for more inside views of the parks during the quiet early morning hours, I loved seeing a bit of the central Florida countryside - there were some very beautiful moments of mists rising off the wet, swampy places, Spanish Moss slightly swaying in the breeze, the sunrise tinting the sky colors any princess would die to wear to a ball.

5. Here is my MOST IMPORTANT LESSON: do not, I repeat, do not, try to tour the parks for days in advance of the race! My poor feet! My poor quads! My poor back, hamstrings, inner thigh muscles and other places I didn't even know could ache all ached! After 11 hours of touring the Magic Kingdom on Thursday, 9 hours at Animal Kingdom, and then another 9 hours at Magic Kingdom the day before the race, by the time my body reach the 9 mile mark of the race I was done. And I still had Hollywood Studios to do later on that day!

6. Do this race with your girlfriends! This isn't a race to run by yourself...this is a race to get your glam on with your gal-pals and hoot & holler your way to the finish line. Wear a tutu and a tiara - you'd be surprised how comfortable running in these are! And being at Disney really does make you feel like a home my girls just roll their eyes at me for strutting around in an orange tutu doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom while wearing my little jeweled and my little princess at the end of the race