Only 2 Days!

October 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Focus, Inspiration, Marathon, Steamtown Marathon | 3 Comments

It’s hard to believe that I’m saying this, but only 2 days remain until I run the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA.  Admittedly, I’m nervous.  Have I run enough?  Am I strong enough?  Will I attain my goal?

At this point, there’s nothing left to do but rest and eat and exercise my mind.  To me, mental focus is everything.  Each of us sends vibrations and energy into the world.  The types of vibration we give off create our reality.  For example, if I focus my thoughts on negativity, I produce negativity.  Of course, the opposite is also true.

Mantras are a great way to focus your mind on the positive.  I invite you to develop a mantra that is personally meaningful that will carry you through the most challenging circumstances.  My mantras are as follows.

Be present.

Shine on.


Breathe in love, joy, peace, gratitude.  Breathe out acceptance and hope.

If you are running a marathon this weekend, love every step of the journey.  Keep your mind focused on being present and remember that in a few short hours it will be a memory.  Make it a memory that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. 



My Inspiration

January 5, 2008 at 8:58 am | Posted in Inspiration, Mom, running | 2 Comments


There is no love like a mother’s love.  Honestly, of all the wonderful people I’ve encountered in my lifetime, my mom is by far the most loving, industrious, cheerful, and positive.  A wonderful role model and friend, my mom stands as my greatest inspiration.

As I’ve previously written, I thank my mom for introducing me to running.  I recently asked my mom what motivated her to start running.  Her answer surprised even me.  Few women ran in 1973 when she started running, especially in Ireland.  One morning after walking my sister to school, she decided to run to get home a little quicker as it was raining.  My mom wasn’t in shape; so, she ran a short way, walked, ran some more, then walked again.  Soon she was walking less and running more.  Until one day she ran the entire 2 miles home.  By then, the bug had bitten her and she kept running.

Soon after we moved back to the US, my mom and dad joined a health club, The Plaza Athletic Club in downtown Rochester.  Initially, my mom ran laps around the gym while my dad shot baskets.  As she tells it, 26 laps equaled 1 mile and since her usual distance was 5 miles, she ran around that gym 130 times each evening.  (And you thought the treadmill was boring!)  However, it didn’t take long for her to meet other runners, and soon she was running from Chestnut Street to East Avenue, past Winton Road and back each evening.  (When she talks about these runs, she gets a gleam in her eye.  It’s so much fun to listen to her!)

Mom was running twice a day when it wasn’t in fashion.  When she came home from working 3rd shift at General Motors Company, she often laced up her running shoes and went for a run.  In the evenings, she ran with her friends at the Plaza.  She even ran long runs on Saturdays back in the 70’s while waiting for me to finish my piano and voice lessons. 

To this day, my mom works out 6 days a week for 2 hours a day at her club and runs twice a week.  To me, she radiates vitality, strength, athleticism, and beauty.

Pre-Race Jitters

November 6, 2007 at 12:13 am | Posted in friends, Inspiration, Richmond Marathon | 3 Comments

As each day brings me closer to the Richmond Marathon a little voice inside my head starts whispering (or is that screaming), “It’s not too late to turn back!”  Actually, I woke up Sunday morning and wondered if I could postpone my entry until next year.  Of course, that would mean changing my airline tickets, too, not to mention the humble pie I’d have to eat in front of all of the Rochester runners who’ve read that I’m committed to running this weekend.  CRAP!  There’s no backing out now!

Then, I read a local runner’s account of a 66k he ran in France last week WITHOUT any training.  That’s right:  he ran 41 miles after only running 12 times this year!! Can you believe it?  (What I haven’t told you is that he formerly was a professional duathlete, but still, he’s not in the shape he once was.)  He reminded me of the power the mind has over the body, for it was sheer will that took him to the end of an extremely arduous journey.

Then, I read Tom’s post for today.  He reminds his readers to Never, Never, Never Give Up.  That’s all I needed to read.  Now, my mind is made up:  I won’t give up!  I’ll run this marathon with a smile.  In fact, I’m going to enjoy this race and let go of my dream of qualifying; instead, I’ll focus on the beauty and history of Richmond.  I guess this just isn’t my time to qualify but I KNOW I’ll qualify some day.

My friend, JP, is running his first 50k this Saturday.   He’s trained so diligently and so consistently – I just know he’ll do great.  His smart approach to a very challenging training schedule has taught me a valuable lesson – it’s okay to veer from your plan once in a while. Please join me in wishing him good luck.

Although my legs don’t feel as fresh as I’d like them to the week of my marathon, I’m so thankful that I’ve chosen to run Richmond.  My mantra for this race will be, “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP“! 

Quotes to Run With

October 21, 2007 at 11:36 am | Posted in Inspiration, running | 4 Comments

Mind is everything:  muscle – pieces of rubber.  All that I am, I am because of my mind.  -Paavo Nurmi 

Running is in my blood – the adrenaline flows before the races, the love/hate of butterflies in your stomach.    -Marcus O’Sullivan

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.   – Henry David Thoreau

Have a dream, make a plan, go for it.  You’ll get there, I promise. -Zoe Koplowitz

True life is lived when tiny changes appear.  -Leo Tolstoy

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be yourself; everybody else is taken.    -Oscar Wilde

 A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s elevating and humbling at the same time.  Running along a beach at sunrise with no other footprints in the sand, you realize the vastness of creation, your own insignificant space in the plan, how tiny you really are, your own creatureliness and how much you owe to the supreme body, the God that brought all this beauty and harmony into being.  -Sister Marion Irvine, 2:51 PR and 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier

Ability is what you are capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.   -Lou Holtz

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shout-outs and Stuff

August 1, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Posted in friends, Gratitude, Inspiration, intestinal illness, Marathon training | 6 Comments

I just have to say it, I think the running community is AWESOME!  (Yes, if you’re a runner, that means YOU!) However, I do want to single out a few folks who have been especially inspirational and supportive. 

Two thumbs up to Amy and Tom at Runner’s Lounge.  Your blog is fun to read and full of useful information.  I love how you point out what others have written, and I love your frank conversations about your runs.  I’m hooked! Great job breaking the 10 minute mile ceiling, Amy.  Tom, even though it can get lonely, keep training for Chicago – you’ll do great! Thanks, too, for all of your encouragement – I’ve needed it!

Hey, Lydia!  What an amazing job you’re doing with your marathon training!  Keep it up!  I’m hoping to meet you at the Rochester Marathon where I know you’ll finish your first full 26.2 with flying colors.  You’ll love the portion of the race that takes you along the canal path; it’s my favorite place to run in our city.

This next shout-out is to my bud, JP.  Although I don’t think he reads my blog, I’ve got to mention him here as he’s a great friend and a great runner.  In fact, he’s one of the finest runners in Rochester.  Your speed and dedication are inspirational to me!  When are we going to run again??

776694810503_0_alb.jpgMy last praise is to my greatest source of inspiration, my mom (I KNOW she doesn’t read my blog!).  She’s no longer fast, but she’s still out there shuffling her feet for a few miles a couple days each week.  I can only pray that I will be doing the same at her age.  Thanks to my mom, Breda, I AM A RUNNER!!                                                        

Now for the “stuff”.  A few of you have been interested to hear about my diagnosis:  it’s colitis.  I’m not worried though; in fact, I’m encouraged as I’ve purchased the medicine and know what foods I can and cannot eat.  Plus, I’m feeling SO much better.  How can I not be encouraged?

Finally, today’s 8.2 miler was terrific!  Again, I worked my mind as well as my body and loved the journey.  My time wasn’t too shabby either, 1:07:56.  In the words of JP, “Huzzah!”

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