Monday, July 28, 2008

Why am I a Non Runner?

I was asked this question recently by a friend who was wondering why I would call myself a non runner with all the running that I do. I guess I have never really considered myself a runner, even now, even a year after beginning all this training, I still don't think I'm a runner. Even after too many 5K's to count, six 10K's, two 15K's, a half marathon, along with countless hours of running to train for these events, I still don't consider myself a real runner. I am someone who runs and does it because I enjoy it. That's all, nothing more, nothing less. I'm not going to win anything and I'm not competing with anyone except myself. The rush I feel when I'm out there ticking off the miles, is the best rush I could imagine. When I finally see that finish line, whether it's the big Fleet Feet arch, or simply my house, I feel so absolutely alive and accomplished. I feel like I could take on the world. The fresh air surging through my lungs and the beautiful environment I'm surrounded with is incomparable. I especially love running in the morning when everything is at peace and the deer are munching away in the fields and the dew is still on the ground, that is what it is all about. Having the opportunity to be fully aware of the beauty that is around us every single day that we never really stop to admire. That is what running is to me. It's about peace and serenity and being at one with the environment if only for a moment. So, when asked why I don't consider myself a runner, I answer, because I'm not a runner, I'm just someone who loves to run for the pure joy of it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

TNT Training Run....10 miles @ 6am!

So yesterday morning (at 6am) was our first double digit training run and it wasn't that bad! I am shocked because I was pretty nervous getting ready for it, but really, it wasn't that bad. I ran with my friend Patty who is a Team in Training member, however, she is running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco the week before my marathon. We train together because we run at the same pace and it works for us. I just wish we were doing the same marathon! I think what really got us through that 10 miles was our constant conversation, a conversation that did not include running! We talked about everything that came up, except running. Pretty funny actually! We finished our training run in about 2 hours, so we were really taking it easy. After some light stretching and conversation back at the parking lot, we went on our way until next time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jungle Jog '08

This morning was the 2008 Jungle Jog at the Seneca Park Zoo and it also marks the anniversary of Derek's first 5K from last year! Congrats Derek!! This is when Sue & I sucked you into running! Aren't you sooo happy! ;) Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and we ran in the really, I mean downpouring rain. The start gun went off, the thunder cracked, and the sky opened up and just unloaded on us! I have never been so wet while not actually in a pool or other body of water! It was wonderful though! Both Derek and I had our best times, which says alot b/c that is a tough course with lots of hills. We run through the zoo and the park and there are some serious hills! Anyway, good times were had by all!

Team in Training 8 mile run

Due to some party scheduling at my house, I ended up doing my 8 mi run on my own this weekend, instead of with the TNT group at 6am saturday morning. It was fine, nothing exciting happened, just an easy jog, I didn't go crazy! Next weekend we move into double digits with our first 10 mile run!! I'm nervous!! It should be fine though, I just did 9.3 at the Boilermaker! Anyway, until next time.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Utica Boilermaker 2008

Today, my friends and I participated in the largest, most competitive 15K in the country, the Boilermaker. It's just about the only thing Utica, NY is actually known for and people come from around the world, including 42 states, to participate. The Boilermaker tagline is "where you come to party and a race breaks out". Unless you are an elite runner who is here to win some of the thousands of dollars in prize money, your goal is to get to the finish so you can have free beer!! Why else would 10,000 people run 9.3 miles in the dead of summer?? The race literally corrals all runners into the parking lot of the FX Matt Saranac Brewery, where they donate over 150 kegs for the runners and their family and friends. Yep, run 9.3 miles and then drink all the free beer your little heart desires. How fantastic is that! :) OK, enough about the beer, really, this whole event is an experience that any runner should consider doing at least once (although once you do it, you will want to go back every year!!). Last year, Sue & I went out to Utica for our first Boilermaker and had such an amazing time, that we convinced nearly 10 people to join us this year! Unfortunately, Sue couldn't make it at the last minute (she is already on board for next year), but the rest of us took in the whole experience.

It was myself, Derek, Colleen, Danielle, Anthony, Diane, Patti, Dawn, & Angela who decided to run the '08 Boilermaker. The weekend started at the race expo where we picked up our packets and purchased Boilermaker gear as well as runners toys (I got the massage stick & Diane & Patti got these fancy running belts that expand and hold an amazing amount of stuff!). After packet pick up and chip check, we headed back to our hotel (Ramada Inn at the "airport"). Unfortunately, there is NOTHING around that hotel and the airport isn't really a working airport, in fact, I'm pretty sure they only have a full house on Boilermaker weekend! Anyway, with the size of our group and the lack of dining options, we chose to stay at the hotel for dinner....not a great idea. I'll take the heat for this one, I might have encouraged the idea! :) Watery red sauce over mediocre pasta was not necessarily what I had in least the company made up for it! Once we finished the best dinner EVER...hehehe, did you hear the sarcasm...we headed out to the pool (surrounded by a chain link fence) to take an evening dip after the 90 degree day. Actually, only Derek & I took a dunk, everyone else watched us and chatted about the desolation around the hotel. We then headed in to climb into our beds and get a good nights sleep before our 6am meeting time (5am alarm!). Oh yeah, one last Ramada Inn story....the girl at the front desk was nuts!!! It's a long story and will lose alot in translation, so next time you see me, ask me about my awesome experience at check-in and how I think this girls head might pop off if she ever hears my name or Derek's name again! :) Oh yeah, also, when I checked out in the morning (5:15am) the young man at the front desk was fast, fast asleep and it took a few tries for me to wake him. Awesome!

Anyway, onto race morning and the pouring rain that we woke up too. Sweet, not exactly what I had in mind for running 9.3 miles, but I'm here, so I'll deal with it. Angela, Dawn, & I got garbage bags from the front desk and wore them to stay dry and warm before we started. We all met at 6am in the lobby and off we went to run! We got to the start line after parking under some billboard somewhere in Utica, and riding a shuttle bus across town to the start. We had about an hour to burn before the gun went off and it was raining on and off. The announcer was saying that in 30 years, it has never rained during the actual running of the Boilermaker. Once they got all 10,000 of us lined up in our starting corrals, they had us do a rain chant.....had a priest bless the event and ask for the rain to stop, and then, 15 min before the starting cannon, the skies began to clear. It was amazing!! It turned out to be slightly overcast and a little sunny at times, but pretty perfect running weather for July! Off we went, actually, 8 min went by before we even made it to the start line. The race was awesome, I loved all the band, the crowds, the llama & baby goat (thank you to the zoo!), and especially the 2 guys running near me in baby costumes. They were awesome! It was an amazing experience once again this year and I can't wait to go back again next year. In fact, some of our group even said it was the best race they've ever run! We are definitely going to make this one a tradition! Like I said earlier, where else can you run 9.3 mi and then party w/25,000 people, dance to Nik & the Nice Guys, experience an F-16 flyover, & see fireworks, all before noon!!

I definitely left alot out, but they are my memories that I will keep for years to come and way too much to type into this post (which is already a book!). This is the best race I have ever and probably will ever run, and I plan to keep doing it until my little legs won't let me do it anymore!

**Thank you to Alex for being the best support all weekend and taking amazing pictures...and waiting around for us to all finish the race! Thank you thank you!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TNT Training Run

I made it to the training run this morning....6am start (5:45 am stretching). So early!! I only did 2 mi today because I'm off to run the Boilermaker 15k tomorrow and I didn't want to burn out my legs. It was a good 2 miles! Next week we are running 8...we are getting up there!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Double Whammy

A few weeks ago I bought a used bike from Towpath Bike in Pittsford, NY. Love the bike, it is nice and light and so much more comfortable than my el cheapo bike from Target. I really want to get into biking as well so someday I could do a duathalon or even a triathalon (if I ever learn to swim). Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to ride until today. Alex & I decided to go for a nice ride on the Canal Path and we decided to start in Fairport, right in front of a new Irish pub. Now, in making this decision, I still knew that I had to do a 6 mi run b/c I had blown it off all weekend! So, off we went for a nice 14mi bike ride on the canal, followed by a pint at the pub and a little something to munch. I was feeling really good, so when I got home, I embarked on the second leg of the days workout, my 6 mi run. I told Alex....if I'm not back in 1 hr 15 min, come looking for me! While the run was tough and it was hot and I was feeling pretty tired, I made it and he did not have to come find me! So I'm on schedule for my marathon training, but even better, I'm feeling really good going into Boilermaker this coming weekend!! I'm soooo excited!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I missed my training run this morning with Team In Training!! I totally overslept! That means I have to do my long run by myself this weekend. At least it's only 6mi, I can totally handle that on my own. I will have to be sure not to oversleep on our 10-20 mile runs!! :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July!! I started the day off with a nice 5 mile run in Fairport, NY for the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 miler. It's an annual run that draws more than 500 local runners for a nice hilly morning run before all the festivities begin. Derek & I decided to do this one and we both had a good time! I was really slowed by the multiple large hills on the course, an then the final hill that the finish line sat on......yes, that is correct, the finish line was at the top of a hill. How the heck do you sprint to the finish when it's at the top of a hill??!! Ugh! Anyway, I finished and we ran into our other running friends Adam, Colleen, & Lorraine, where we all joked that this nice hilly course prepared us a bit more for Boilermaker! We are all totally looking forward to our running weekend in Utica (8 more days!!!). Now, off to have some 4th of July fun with our friends and a pool!