Two Weeks Before Race Day

November 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Posted in 1 | 1 Comment

Actually, 13 days before the Richmond Marathon!  Here’s what I ran this week so far.  Some say it’s too much, some say not enough.  Since I’ve never been good at tapering, I really don’t know.  What do you think?

Tuesday – 10.6 miles

Wednesday – 6.o miles, pace run

Friday – 8.6 miles easy

Saturday – 6 miles, including 400m repeats

Sunday – (will run) 15 miles

Weekly Total:  46.1


Training and Tapering

October 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Posted in 1, Cross Training, Goals, Marathon, Richmond Marathon | Leave a comment

fl triOver the past 3 months, I’ve been training for the Richmond Marathon.  This will be my second time running this course and I’m really excited!  Richmond is a beautiful, historic city, and the race is friendly, fun, entertaining and challenging.

In previous years, I devoted myself to marathon training like it was my job.  I ate, slept, and drank my training.  I dreamed about the race.  I contemplated which strategy I would adopt for race day.  I set 3 different goals…the dream goal, the realistic goal, and the please-just-let-me-finsh goal.  For this race, my 12th marathon, I’ve adopted a whole new training plan.

With my new focus on triathlons, I haven’t run the number of miles I once did.  Instead, I swim and bike much, much more.  I’ve noticed that the crosstraining has kept me healthier and hurting less.  Hmmm…must be something to this!  That is, until this last month. 

 During October I’ve picked up my running considerably and backed down my crosstraining.  Guess what?  My hamstring on my left leg is hurting and my legs feel heavy and tired.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I firmly believe that the addition of the bike and swim have made me a healthier, stronger athlete. 

Next week begins my 2 week taper.  I’m going to taper like it’s my job.  Bring it on!

Hands of Time

October 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Posted in 1, Happiness, running | Leave a comment

October 1st is here.  To me, October signifies vibrant colors, crisp autumn morning, pumpkins, first frosts, happy runs with good friends.  This year, October means so much more.  It means a time to heal.

At times, life can be challenging, emotionally draining.  Certainly, running and other physical activities do so much to help lift bruised spirits.  But sometimes long, challenging runs aren’t enough.  At these times, what works?  I’m still searching for the answer to that question, although I think I know of at least one thing that helps.

I’ve discoved that focusing my mind what gratitude tends to relieve stress and unpleasant feelings.  If I stop the negative, self-defeating thoughts and replace them with thankful ones I almost always feel better.  I also find that visualizing what I want for my life fills me with a sense of peace.

I think it’s true:   time does heal all.  Now, it’s my time to open up my heart and allow the love and healing to begin.

The Muddy Sneaker 20k Trail Race

April 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Posted in 1 | 1 Comment

Hello blogging friends!  It’s been a very long time since I’ve written.  No excuses – just haven’t sat down long enough to write.  But last weekend I ran a race that I just need to say a few words about:  the Muddy Sneaker 20k trail race.

Without question, this was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever run but I do love a challenge.  It takes place in picturesque Naples, NY  where the views are spectacular.  Here’s the low down on the race.

Elevation:  Over 4,000 feet of climbing up very steep hills.

Distance:  20k or 12.4 miles

Time:  2:20 (I know, S-L-O-W!!!)

Description:  A kick A***, mother of all that’s difficult course.  In otherwords, IT’S A KILLER!

As I was driving to the race with my friends, I felt the familiar pang of pre-race jitters charging through my belly.  When I arrived and saw the monster hill I had to immediately climb at the start of the race, I felt nauseous.  When I started my second mile and realized that the course was incredibly technical with tons of single track, I began to relax.  Afterall, I’m not going to win the race, why not just enjoy it and soak in the surrounding beauty?  That’s just what I did.


Is it REALLY true?

December 31, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Is it really true that 2008 is nearly a memory?  Would someone please tell me where this year went because it seems like only yesterday that it was just beginning.  If only I could run as fast as the days seem to go…sigh!

During my workout yesterday that has now progressed to a multi-sport workout instead of just a run, I thought about the goals I set for myself in 2008.  Rarely do you speak with someone in the month of January who hasn’t set a goal for themselves.  So many of us set the bar too high (like my goal to read a book a week) and abandon the resolution quickly.  However, there are always those goals that we desperately long to accomplish and, some how, find the courage and discipline and strength to achieve.

Last night I realized that I achieved nearly every athletic goal that I set for myself this year.  I wanted to run four half marathons, and I did.  I wanted to learn to swim, and I did. I wanted to run trails, and I did.  I didn’t run two marathons, though, due to health issues.  That’s okay…I did the very best that I could do with what I have…average athletic ability but a lot of heart and desire.

I guess that’s the key to achieving anything:  you must have the burning desire to get there.  Without that drive, it’s damn hard to make yourself do the work.  Heck, even with the desire it’s hard to do the work!  But the end result, the satisfaction you feel when you finally complete your goal, makes all of effort seem easy.

What does it mean to be in good shape?

December 2, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Cross Training | 2 Comments

Holy smokes I’m sore!  With a new resolve to venture into the world of triathlons, I decided to get my but into the pool.  For the past month I’ve been doing many other activities besides running:  spin class, rowing, yoga, and the elliptical machine.  I haven’t started swimming, though, until last night.

I’m so intimidated by the pool for some strange reason.  Everytime I think about trying to swim some laps I chicken out.  Maybe that’s because I never learned the front crawl or maybe it’s because I know that I really stink at swimming.  Whatever the reason, I’ve avoided the pool. 

Last night I was persuaded to get into the water.  I kept thinking, “But I really don’t want to.  I’ll just go run on the treadmill or do a spin class.”  Finally, I reluctantly dragged my carcase into the pool.  Grabbing the kickboard and a pair of flippers, I was persuaded to do 10 laps of kicking across the pool.  Being a slight bit wacko, I decided to do 12. 

Wow!  What a great workout!  I could feel new quad muscles working and my abs lengthening.  Today, my body is sore but in a good way.

So, how does a person determine fitness level?  Are you in good shape if you can run 50+ miles per week?  Or are you in shape if you run fewer miles but do a lot of other sports?  A tricky question, for sure, but one I’d like to discuss.  Thoughts?


November 9, 2008 at 6:27 am | Posted in Encouragement, friends, Happiness, health, running | Leave a comment

“True intelligence operates silently.  Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks. p. 7.

Recent changes in my life have caused me to stop and quietly focus on what’s important.  Just thought that I’d share some of my realizations.

1.) Family should always be first. Is there anything more precious in this world than children?   My daughter, my son, and my mother are three of the most wonderful human beings I am priviledged to know.  I need to keep them number one in my life, no matter who else or what else enter.

2.) Joy is to be embraced. There will be times in my life (and in yours, too) when I’ll be on a mountain top.  But there will also be valleys filled with pain and sadness.  It’s okay to acknowledge hurt; in fact, it’s healthy.  But I must make that short-lived and move on to joy.  Joy comes from accepting what the universe gives me, from loving myself, from engaging in activites i love, from cherishing friends and family, from being present.  Embracing joy is the greatest gift I can give myself.

3.) My friends really and truly love me.  There are few things better than girlfriends.  I need to thank my dear sisters who have stood by my side recently and shown me so much love.  Thank you, Karin, Carolyn, Amy, Kathy, Molly, Lisa, Karen, Margaret, Ellen.  I love you all.

4.)  Running brings solace and releases endorphines that seem to make everything all right with the world if only for a few hours.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I LOVE TO RUN!  When I run, I feel like I’m free.  It really doesn’t matter how fast I run, I just love the feeling of sweating and hearing my feet hit the pavement.  What a high!

5.) Cross training can be very satisfying and is very necessary. One of my goals for 2009 is to complete my first triathlon.  However, I need to swim and bike in order to due that.  I’m really enjoying spin class and I just recently bought new pedals for my bike and shoes so that I can clip in and ride more efficiently.  Tomorrow I’m signing up for swim lessons and then I’ll join a swim class.  It’s refreshing to add new sports to my routine.

6.) No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.  Every single person who enters my life is there to teach me something.  It may take years for me to really understand the lesson(s).  However, sometimes I know immediately what I am to learn. 

7.) Although it may be difficult, it is so good for the soul to send love and light to someone who has hurt us or is hurting.  The last thing I want is to be a bitter person who holds grudges.  Therefore, I will continue to send love and light to those who’ve injured me in some way.

8.) Become passionate about a cause.  If you’ve read my blog for a half a minute, you know that I’m passionate about running and yoga.  What you don’t know is my passion for young people.  Being a teacher is such a priviledge.  I sincerely love my students and pray that they will be happy, healthy, well-adjusted teenagers.

9.)  Have a goal.  Dream about it.  Envision yourself achieving it.  Work toward it.  Succeed!  Enough said.

10.) Clean your house. Clean your spiritual house, your soul, that is.  Take note of your fears, your insecurities, your hurt.  Acknowledge those things, see them, feel them.  Then, put them in a box and dump each box on the curb. 

Above all, love yourself!  Truly, you can’t love another until you love who you are.


Steamtown Marathon Rocks!

October 17, 2008 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Steamtown Marathon | 1 Comment

Okay, having only about 2 minutes to whip off a post about last Sunday’s Steamtown Marathon, I have to concisely articulate my thoughts about it.  In a word, it ROCKS!!!  The weather was perfect, the volunteers were plentiful, the course was gorgeous.  The downhill, however, beat up my legs.

My time was 3:53:13.  Initially, I was devasted as I needed a 3:50:59 to qualify for Boston 2009.  I did qualify for 2010, so I’m happy about that.  What really kills me is that at mile 18 my time was 2:34 and at mile 21 it was 2:59.  I was running so well until my calf knotted up and forced me to stop and stretch.  But I’ll save that story for another time.

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. 


Last Long Run – DONE!

September 27, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Marathon training, Steamtown Marathon | 3 Comments

Woo hoo!  I’m doing the happy dance!  Just finished my last long run (well, it was only 13.1) and even though I was tired, I ran pretty well. 

The first 8 miles I ran at a nice, easy pace and the last 5 miles I picked it up and ran between an 8:35 to 8:45 pace.  My total time for the 13.1 was 1:58:03 – not fast but, then again, that wasn’t my goal. 

For the next two weeks I’ll take it nice and easy with my longest run being 10 miles.  What a switch that will be for me, especially after loggin 4-20+ mile long runs and several 17 or longer mile runs.

Let the taper begin!

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