Half Marathon number 67- Winter Warrior

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photo (3)Sometimes you get up and sometimes you fall down.
I was all set to run the Winter Warrior Half Marathon in Rochester, NY on January 9th! I was not excited because I confess I have not been doing long runs past 10 miles. Ever since my hip injury in May, long runs scare me.

I did not think I would be able to run for a while and I can now run. It feels great, even if it makes me sore and my back hurts. So I had mixed feelings about the race. Last year, I ran the same race and it was -9 degrees. I am not sure what the wind chill was that day, but it was rough. I thought if I had to stop I would freeze to death. I think this was a good concept because I tend to have doubt and want to walk. Walking feels good sometimes.

So the race started at four in the afternoon. It was at the Rochester Tech Park. I admit that I took a wrong turn and thought I might not make it to the race. However, I was only away by 5 minutes and I managed to find my way. I saw some big, white tents and knew this was my place.

The race started and people looked at me like I might win. Ha ha ha ha !!!!! I wanted to laugh. Once upon a time, I had a chance at it. My best finish was third place overall at the Run to the Sun Half Marathon in Watertown. That was not my pr, but it felt good to come in third!!!!! I had the lead until mile ten and I wish I had pushed myself more.

Sometimes I think we are not sure what we are capable of until we push ourselves to the limit. I deserved third because I lacked the confidence to believe I could win.

People were asking me what my pace was going to be…actually, the winner of the race asked me. My pace is whatever makes me smile. This is my new outlook on running. I confess it was fun when I was running because the more I enjoyed it, the faster it seemed. I wore headphones, but I didn’t really care about anything except my breathing and my quads. My quads always seem so sore.

I reached mile 7 and felt like I had been hit by a bus. My first mile was a 7:28 and my second was a 7:48. I had a really nice 5k. I always go out too fast. I slowed it down for a mile at 7 and then found my energy by mile 10. This was my final lap on a four lap course. I was pretty excited. I was running fast and I knew I only had two and a half miles to go. It was dark out and there were a couple of guys with headlamps. I don’t know how, but for some reason I looked ahead at the downhill and managed to hit the pothole just right. I went flying and managed to mess myself up pretty good. My 1:46 finish became impossible.

I laid on the ground for a little while and the two guys asked if I was alright. Then a girl was walking and saw me shivering. She walked with me and lent me her jacket. She was a lifesaver!!!!!! Thank goodness for decent runners!!!!! Robyn Putney walked with me and I think that is the only reason I finished. I ended up finishing with a time of 2:16. I am thankful I finished because a few other people fell. It was dark, but the potholes were pretty bad. I love this race and finished third in my age group last year. However, I am too afraid to run this race again. I think I am done with the Winter Warrior. I hope people continue to enjoy it.

I am alright, but really sore. I ran yesterday, but I think it will be a few days before I feel like “myself” again!!!!!

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Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon #66

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“Sometimes we can’t stop ourselves from falling, but we push ourselves to get up and try again.”

I wasn’t planning on running the Philadelphia Rock n Roll half marathon.  However, Andrew wanted to run it because it was fast and he wanted to qualify for Olympic Trials.  I am proud of him for not running.  He is dealing with an injury and I am amazed at how committed he is to improving and running healthy again…unlike someone I know (twittling fingers).

So I had signed up way back.  I still wanted to run, but only if it didn’t bother Andrew to be there and not run.  I had a blast and it was definitely a fast course.  This is the biggest half marathon I have ever done!  I don’t know how many people ended up finishing, but it was somewhere around 14,000 people…YIKES!!!!!!!!!  Anyhow, my time was great and I was so dehydrated I ran the second and third miles under 7 minutes.  This is not a good thing for me ha ha …I was exhausted after that and wanted to die at the end of the race.

Lucky for me, I have the best race fan!!!!  Andrew was at mile three, four, and the very end.  I think he is the reason why my half times have been better this year.  It is better when you have amazing support.  I have been back in the 1:40s for my races 🙂  !!!!!

After finishing the race, we went to the Liberty Bell, which I had never seen.  We saw the Liberty Bell, but I finally was able to try the infamous Philly Cheese STEAK!!!!!!  It was so good.  I am craving one now, but I am forced to eat tootsie rolls at work because I  didn’t bring my lunch!

So what is next?  I don’t really know.  I am just enjoying my running.  Oiselle is doing a challenge for Thanksgiving called, “Chase the Bird.”  You have to do at least 15 minutes of exercise a day.  It is easy so I am trying to be consistent with my running and just enjoy it!  It is working too.  I am logging more hours of running and I have seen some nice animals on the canal this week.  I stopped and took a picture of a heron yesterday.  It didn’t come out that great so I am not even sharing it.

My next race is a 5k in Seneca Falls.   The race is called: “It’s a Wonder I am a regional leader for Oiselle so I am doing  a bird meet up.  My friend, Victoria will be there as well.  Go birds.  I also think I talked Jen Brady into coming from Buffalo.  She is a nice bird.  I met her at the Wineglass Half marathon, where she ran the marathon in 3:07!  She is amazing!!!!!  She has two little girls too.

The next half I am officially signed up for is “The Maine Coast Half Marathon.”  It is in May.  I think it will be a great race.  I am tempted to do the Winter Warrior Half Marathon in January, depending on the weather.  I did it last year and Liked it.  It was the first year and they had nice medals and a great little course.

What races are you signed up for and what are your goals leading up to the holidays?

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Augusta Half Marathon- February 22 #60

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“Beauty begins the moment you imageimageimageimageDecide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

I had a blast!!!!!  I left on Wednesday for Georgia and stopped for dinner and a run along the way in Annapolis.  It was cold, but it was a lot warmer than upstate New York.  I had a 14 hour drive to get to Augusta, but it was worth every second.  I felt like I was driving through the four seasons and the snow finally disappeared in the Carolinas.  It wasn’t a heat wave, but I will take it!!!!!

I arrived late and had some bugles for dinner ha ha.  When I got up the next day, I met Gigi, my friend’s daughter.We went for a long run along the Savanna Rapids.  It was so nice and it reminded me a lot of the Erie Canal.

I broke my phone in South Carolina when I went for a run so I had to get a new phone.  I went to a place called “The Whiskey Bar,” which is in Augusta.  It was amazing.  I at teriayki chicken and sweet potato fries.  I loved it and would totally go back.

I went to packet pick up with Gigi and we bought some shirts that said “Don’t Stop Running.”  I love the singlet and wore it on a run while I was down there.  We had a great time at packet pick up and bought some socks and energy gels.

After Starbucks, I went to Gigi’s house for dinner and had pizza.  I could eat pizza every day.  I had to go back to Lisa’s house for the night.  Lisa was super nice and is a friend of Judy’s.  I felt like I made some new friends during this trip and they all run!!!!!!  Bonus!

Lisa has a couple of old cats and I became really fond of Simon.  He was so cute.  I wish my cats acted like Simon.  Lisa has a beautiful house with a pond.  I wish I lived in Georgia.  I am sure it gets really hot in the summer but I loved the winter!!!!!

We ran the Sports 5k and I wore my Y runner singlet and a Syracuse hair tie so I would not be beat up by anyone from Clemson. There were a bunch of runners and a guy named Kenny Bobby.  He was dressed in a wonder bread suit and was hillarious.  I lost a few minutes on my time because I ran with him to the trash can in first place.  I led the race for over a mile out of everyone and I felt really awkward.  The volunteers had a blast with it…ha ha but then a couple of guys went by me.  I aint gonna lie, I wanted to beat the boys.  I beat most of them and all of the girls.  My time was 23:30.  I will take it…though I can do better.  I wore new shoes and had a half marathon the next day so I saved some energy!!!!!

The half was a great time but I wore new shoes and compression sleeves.  I had to stop after two miles to take them off and throw them.  I lost some time and finished in 1:50…I think I could have gone under 1:45 if I had been smarter about the sleeves and shoe choice.  You would think after 59 half marathons I would have been smarter for this one…maybe a little too much sun?

I drove home after and had a long drive!!!!!  I found that a lot of places were closed on Sunday!!!!!  No fun!  I was glad to find a Starbuck!

 

Calendar of Races:

March 7- Palooza 5k Salisbury Massachusetts

March 8- The Ocean’s Run Half Marathon- South Kingstown, Rhode Island

March 22- Syracuse Half Marathon, NY

April 3- Airport Challenge

1 Mile run/ Beast Pacing 2:15 pacer for Half Marathon- Race the Runways, Brunswick Maine

 

April 18- B.A.A. 5k

April 19- Earth Day Half Marathon- Baldwinsville, NY

May 3- Providence, Rhode Island Full Marathon

May 16- St. Michael’s Maryland Running Festival- Half Marathon

May 17- Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon- Fredricksburg, Virginia

May 30- Run For the Dream 8k Williamsburg, Virginia

May 31- Run For the Dream Half Marathon Patriot’s Challenge

June 14?

June 28- Half Marathon Bristol, Rhode Island

July 11- Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon- Portland, Maine

July 12? Boilermaker

July 25-26?

August 8-9

August 23- North Shore Half Marathon in Massachusetts- Beast Pacing Pacer 2:00 group

August 31- 18:12 challenge in Sacketts Harbor, NY

September 6

September 12- Bird In Hand Half Marathon- Pennsylvania

September 19- Gulf Beach Half Marathon, Connecticut

September 20- Rochester Half Marathon?

October 4?

October 18- Bay State Marathon, Massachusetts!!!!!!!

November?>

December 15- Kiawah Full Marathon- South Carolina

 

The Race That Wasn’t…Empire State Half Marathon and Relay

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“To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain–not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it.”

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I have been side-lined since about three months ago…I confess I have been racing as you can tell…but I went from about 40 miles of running in a week…to under 5….

Number 2447….did not finish today…nor did it start.  I had every dream of racing today.  I should have been there.  The Empire State Half Marathon is one of my favorites.  I even won a plaque the inaugural year it came out…I was so excited that I will never forget how stoked I was to go up on the stage and get my plaque.  I finished in 1:45…I improved since then.

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I like the shirts at the race.  I have two shirts from this marathon and I have my name on the back…One of my shirts has “Squire” on it and the other has “Phelpsy.”  Phelpsy was my nickname in high school…

empire9  I was supposed to be moving this weekend to keep my mind off of running.  My apartment is pretty much finished…I do have a few things left to do but there is a lot of time left…I have to be out by the 28th.  I am not sure moving is the best decision but I am looking forward to a new start in Liverpool.  I am a little scared because I have lived in Manlius and Fayetteville for many years.  I am not sure what Liverpool will be like but I will never know unless I try.

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I figured I could get my mind off running if I went out on my bike.  It was really cold but I had a good time.  I did just shy of 15 miles on Saturday and I made myself get up and ride for about 14 miles today.  I had a great time and it was beautiful outside.

bikeride It was a gloomy ride, but it was still pretty.  I love riding in the Fall.  I am positive Fall is my favorite season.  I wish it lasted longer because the leaves on the trees are so pretty.

bikeride2 I love going by the farms and getting lost in the country.  I will never be a city girl.  I am scared of the city every day but it is where I have to work…I do it for Lilly.

empire4  With my recent photo on Twitter and the Oiselle website, I have been really excited about running and being a member of the flock.  I love belonging to a group, though I feel like I will never belong.  I try so hard to fit in, but I will always be that shy girl…who is just waiting to be discovered.  I was hoping to feel proud about this and I do, but I confess that I wish some of my friends could have been happy for me.  It meant a lot for me to be chosen for this…and I put the personal touch of Green Lakes in my picture because it is one of my favorite places…

empire5  So it meant a lot for me to be picked to model in the “Fearless 261” collection by Katherine Switzer.  She is amazing.  It must have taken a lot of courage to sign up for the Boston Marathon in 1967 and be almost thrown out of the course for being a woman.  I think I would have been irate if I could not race.  I would like to think that I am faster than a lot of men.

As you can imagine, I cannot get my mind off running.  I went to the doctor’s on Friday.  This time I went to Upstate Bone and Joint.  The doctor asked me what he could do for me.  I did not know what to say.  He said he thought the injection and he was surprised that the cortisone shot did not work.  Well, he looked at the MRI and saw that there was bruising in my Femur, just by the knee.  He thinks that I might have a stress fracture and that I have one in my ankle.  I just want answers.  I want to run and feel amazing.  I love biking and I got into it because of my ex boyfriend.  I thought I was going to give it up and I do like it now….but it is a love/hate relationship.  I am also wondering if the bad falls on my bike might be the cause of my knee problems.

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I could get lost running forever though. The doctor agreed to let me have another MRI.  I am so happy but I am afraid that I will still be without concrete answers.  What will I do next?  If I do have stress fractures, he says they take about two months to heal.  I have already been gimpy for three months.  I have this constant pain that has only gotten worse.

baa I am a little sad tonight.  I am afraid that the B.A.A. Half Marathon will be the closest I ever get to Boston.  So what do I do?

I wanted to race so bad today but I know I need to listen to my body.  I woke up this morning and stretched.  I heard a loud pop and that was my answer for today.  There would be no race.  I was told I couldn’t race anyways and decided to listen.  I am not sure it matters.

So here I am alone tonight.  I set out on this journey to do all these amazing races and qualify for Boston.  I know I go out fast, but I always have.  It bothers me that I know deep down I have the speed but I am really injured.  My body is capable of a sub 1:30 time, but my knees are not physically capable of it right now.  I am bummed to read all of these wonderful posts about the race today…a race I should be able to run.  Three months has been too long.

I am going to hear what the doctor says and I hope I get answers.  I cannot keep reading about all of these races, no matter how much I care about the accomplishments.  I hate that I will be alone on Thanksgiving….but I am strong.

So I am focusing on next year.

Here is what I want to do:

February – Ragnar Relay Florida Keys

February 22- Lake Effect Half Marathon

March 8- Ocean’s Run Rhode Island

March 21- Sleepy Hollow

May 16- St. Michael’s Distance Festival, Maryland

May 24- Buffalo Marathon

June- Lake Placid  Half Marathon?

July- Shipyard Half Marathon

September 6- Bird in Hand PA- Deferred

September- Gulf Beach Connecticut – deferred

October- Bay State Marathon – BQ????

October- Marine Corps Marathon – Deferred

The Wicked Half Marathon- Salem, Massachusetts! (half 52/20 this year)

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“Live the Life of Your Dreams.”

oiselle

Ever since finishing my 50th half marathon on August 9, 2014, I have been depressed because I have not really been able to run.  Sure, I did a few 5ks and a 10k and did really well…but anyone who knows me, knows that my heart belongs to the half marathon.  There is just something that makes me feel so good when it comes to the half.

So I decided I was going to see how the knee is today.  I have a lateral meniscus tear and a bruised tibia…I have been going to physical therapy since July and I have not been running much.  I had my knee taped and I was hoping it would not be so bad.  my poor knee

Why today?

I do not have Lilly this weekend and I had signed up for the Wicked Half Marathon a long time ago.  I know my race season is inevitably coming to a close.  I was told I should not race, but that I could…so I chose to try it out.  How am I ever going to know if I can run again if I do not get a chance to try?

The Wicked Half Marathon was amazing!!!!  It starts by the Dead Horse Beach, in Salem.  Then, you run to Marblehead, which had amazing houses.  I was able to run on a bridge over the ocean.  I know people think I am crazy to make the drive but there is nothing that beats the feeling when you are running, knowing you are next to an ocean!!!!  I loved the course and the hills were rolling hills.  I am normally a hills kind of gal, but with my knee I was thankful of the rolling hills!

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The downfall of this race was about mile six.  My knee buckled a few times and then it seems really sore.  I saw my friend Andrea, so I decided to say hello at mile ten.  I ended up walking a little here and there.  I know I finished mile ten in 1:26…which is slow for me but I don’t want surgery so I am taking it easy.  After talking with Andrea, I had to finish up my last part of the race and my knee was just awful.

Unfortunately, this was far from one of my better finishes…I am just glad I was able to finish under two hours and drive home. I know I should not be racing but I have too much free time and running is my favorite thing.  When I bike, I am most often alone and I get bored.  I love biking too though!  I am just not good at it and I know I am no longer good at running, but I know I can get it back….

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So I thought I would share with you some of the pictures I took in Salem:

The House Of Seven Gables:

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The Maritime museum:

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The Dead Horse Beach:

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However, I thought I would share something different tonight.  Whenever I run, I always have something on my mind besides the music.  Well, here is the list of what went through my mind…you will like this because it is completely random and I am curious to know if other people think similar things.

1.  (knowing that the finisher medal was a bat) I contemplated calling my article, “Pain is temporary; bats are nocturnal.”

2.  (When I saw some identical twins running with the same clothes on)  I wonder if I am seeing double and there really is just one girl.

3.  Why was that beach “The Dead Horse Beach?”

4.  I wonder if my butt looks big in these shorts?

5.  Why am I the one runner in the race who wears the least amount of clothing?

6. Why do some people wear soooooo much clothing?

7.  Why do people stop during a race to talk to their boyfriends or text on the phone?

8.   I want to slow dance…

9…..the worst…I always get stuck behind someone who toots!!!!  All I can think is, “I hope they know it isn’t me!!!!”

I am sure there were more….

On a final note, I am hoping that this is not my last race of the season, but it was a great event and I would totally recommend this!!!!!

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A Moment of Thought

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“Dream as if you could do anything!”

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I am not sure what to write this week.  I did a little jogging and I went to see my family in Northern Maine…what a tiring drive.

It was a little sad to hear that Robin Williams died.  I remember how funny and smart he was.  I think it scares me a little that someone can be so talented and have so much to offer, but cannot go on living.  He also left behind a wife and some children.  It just goes to show you that depression is serious and it can happen to ANYONE!!!!!

I think we look up at these actors and professionals as if they are somehow super human.  I am sure at times it appears that way…but we are all just people, living out our lives and hoping to be happy.  It is clear that he was pretty good at acting out the life of someone happy,….but maybe he wasn’t hiding it.  Who knows?

The truth is that depression can be all around us…I guess my goal is to “make someone’s day.”  I think it is the small things in life that can really help.  I am sure we are all in a hurry and there is not much time…but saying, “hello,”  can really make a difference.  If you have some extra cash maybe surprise a friend with a cup of coffee or treat.  It is something special and simple that can really go a long long way. 

I know everyone is going crazy about the ice bucket challenge.  I found a game called, “pay it forward.”  You have it on facebook and the first (you can pick how many people you want) people who respond you send them a message and get their contact information.  Then you send them a surprise.  I am not sharing what I did because it truly felt special.  I was excited to pick people I didn’t know as well and I was glad to make them smile.  I can’t help but feel happy knowing that I made someone smile.  I know that might not mean a lot, but it does to me.  If everyone said hi to someone or did something special, imagine the impact on the world? 

I urge you to turn off the television, put down that computer, and think of something you can do to make a difference. 

It doesn’t mean spending money either.

Why am I going on about all of this? I was there.  I know I live in NY and it is crappy most of the year and I hate winter.  I hate running outside when the temperature is below freezing!  I went through a horrible marriage and divorce…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize I was depressed.  What was the hardest part about being depressed was feeling pretty alone when I went through it….but guess what????  I made it.  You know what helped?  I met people who were so amazing and they made me feel like I had worth…that I was not a bad person for getting out of my marriage…that I did not need to be in a relationship with someone who treated me like I was not a person.  I met these amazing people who took the time to get to know me and were my friends.  This idea of blogging has been a wonderful experience.  When you are down in the dumps you realize that there are people out there who will listen to you and they can help.  I want you to know that I am so happy now and I owe most of my happiness to Lilly being such a wonderful daughter, but I also owe it to my listeners and my friends.  Thank you and I want you to know I am here to listen too….Everyone is so special and you should never get to that stage where you consider ending your future.  I think I feel the most regret over not leaving my marriage sooner because I stopped feeling that way as soon as I left.  No one and nothing should ever ever make you that depressed!!!!!!!!

I simply end today with…Be Well and Smile!!!!!!

RIP ROBIN WILLIAMS

From Start to Finish…Counting down to Half Number 50!

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“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
Ashley Smith

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This seemed the most fitting to start off with.

 

It is hard to believe that this all started on June 14, 2009.  I remember running my first two miles in a row at the Trillium Gym in East Syracuse with my friend Gina Moore.  I was so excited I think I almost fell off the treadmill.  I set my goal right then and there to run a half marathon.  I remembered hearing about how “Katie” ran a half…and that Katie wouldn’t run with me.  I was told that I might not have the “runner” type body…I think that made me angry enough that I was not willing to let go of this dream.

I have to be honest and tell you that Lake Placid has a beautiful half marathon course, but why did I pick that as my first half???  AHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Well, I did it!!!!!!!  I finished in 2:05:06.

first half marathonI never thought I would finish in such a quick time since I had been running a steady 10-11 minutes per mile at a time.

 

My next race was Schroon Lake…what was I thinking?  I needed to get out of the Adirondacks!!!!

I later went back to Lake Placid with my friend,  Murph,  in 2011.   murphI wanted to finish in under 2 hours but I got really dizzy and almost passed out…I settled for 2:10.

 

worst half marathonSchroon Lake September 25, 2011 goes down as the worst half marathon time I have ever had.  I finished in 2:23 minutes.  I got dizzy.  It seems to be a reoccurring thing.

 

Even though this was my worst half marathon time, I did break 2 hours before that at the Tromptown Half Marathon in Deruyter, NY.  I managed to finish in 1:59.  I was in the early start and managed to finish in the front of the early start.  It was hard because I did not know where the course went so had to stop and wait for the car to tell me.

 

I also did the Utica Distance Hall of Fame Race in 2011 and finished in 2:08.  Tromptown and Utica are the only two races I do not have a finisher medal for.  It is hard to remember so it was good I broke 2 hours at Tromptown.

 

I have some other interesting race facts.  People always ask me about my favorite race or my favorite medal so here is what I have thought out:

coldest halfColdest Half Marathon- Lake Effect (Liverpool, NY) February 24, 2013.

I finished in 1:44…though I am told it was really a lot colder the year before.  I was second in my age group.

hottest halfHottest Half Marathon- Catamount Half Marathon

Brattleboro, VT   Finish time 1:48 (3rd in my age group)  It was so hot I had to stop and take off my socks and compression sleeves because I was dying.  People were stripping.  I am sure it was a show.  I loved the course but it started at a time when the heat was up and the roads were hot!!!!  I would do this race again, but beg for an earlier start.

 

best half finishBest Half Finish overall-  Run to the Sun in Watertown, Ny…Katie Glavin and I both call it the Run in the Rain half…it poured the entire time and I find it amazing that my iphone still worked.  I finished in 1:40 and was 3rd overall.  I won a massage but it expired…sorry.

 

first sub 140April 1, 2012…This was the first time I ever ran a race under 1:40…and it was hilly…I do not know what happened to me in 2012…but it was pretty sweet.  I finished in 1:39 and could not believe I was still only fifth in my age group.  This is a great race and it takes place at Cornell in Ithaca, NY.  I love this course, but it is not easy and I am not sure I will run it for a fourth time.

 

half prHalf Marathon PR!!!!!!  The Wineglass, which I tell everyone to do because it is amazing.  They give you a great shirt, wineglass, champagne, good food, and great goody bags.  This medal is also amazing because it is a glass medal from the Corning Glass Company.  I finished in 1:37…this is my pr!!!!!!! 2012!!!!!!! October baby!

 

baa This was so motivational!!!!  This was the 2012 Boston Association Half Marathon and it was great to run with Kim Smith and all of the pro athletes!!!!!!  I finished in 1:47 and loved the zoo animals!

 

gettysburgA personal favorite…The Gettysburg Races…I have done the half marathon and won my age group in a time of 1:45…I ate the entire big apple pie all the way home…yum.  There was a big blizzard and it was almost cancelled but luckily, they just delayed it an hour.  You have to pick north or south and whichever side wins, you get a glass mug.  My side won every year, but I was too tired after the marathon to get the mug.

 

heaviest medal heaviest medal2Heaviest Medal-  The Marine Corps Half Marathon.  This was May 18, 2014 and I think I could use it as a weapon!!!! I ran this in 1:49…what a fun one!

 

ironman relay ironman kim pedrottiRelays!!!!  Yes, I have done the Ironman Syracuse 70.3 two times and Kim has been on my team both times…She puts up with me!!!!  She even tried to eat the medal because she thought it was edible…  Seriously, love this race!

We did this race in 2012 as “The Hot Pants Hotties…”  I had to overthrow our team name and get a new biker since the last biker deemed himself unworthy…Although he dumped me, he said he might still consider being on our team.  That was nice of him,,,then our new biker, deemed himself unworthy.  Sorry married guy…You are just too old…so we found the perfect fit…well, someone awesome did!  This is Aaron Austin above and he helped us to a 5th place finish!!!!  Next year we will beat up the 3rd and 4th place teams with our kick ass times and come in 3rd.  We were “Scared Hitless.  Kim Pedrotti, you come up with awesome names…!!!!!

mary ryanThis is the incredible Mary Ryan.  We met at spin class and she is a teacher too!!!!  She has grown kids and looks amazing.  She swims awesome and is going to do a 70.3 “Incredoubleman” in September.  I am so jealous because I stink at swimming!!!!  She will vouch for me ha ha!!!!  Go Mary Ryan!!!!!

 

kristen stiff patriots challengeRace Series:  The Patriots Challenge!  I went to Virginia and met up with my friend Kristin for some starbucks and shopping!!!!!!  We had an awesome time and we need to plan another race together because I miss her already!!!!  The race was May 31-June 1.  There was an 8k on Saturday and a half on Sunday.  It was soooo hot that I think I sweat my starbucks off!!!!!  I finished 8th overall for the girls and had a great time!!!!!!  Miss you Kristin!!!!!!!!!!!

My 8k was 39 minutes and my half was 1:52 I think…I am a little delirious thinking about it!

 

parents cameSeptember 7, 2013…This was a great race in Freeport, Maine!!!!  I came for the weekend and had my parents see me finish a half marathon.  I have been wanting to have people at the finish line and it was great!!!!!  Thanks mom, dad, and Lilly!!!!!!!!  I finished in 1:51 and was 4th in my age group I think…

 

rock the canyonHardest Challenge!!!!!!  The Rock the Canyon!!!!!

I did this last weekend and it was amazing…but hard.  I had to run the half marathon in Wellsboro, PA and made it to the bus at 4:15.  Then I finished in 1:58.  I also had to get up the next day after exploring and being adventurous…and run a full marathon.  I finished in 4:29…I think this was an amazing experience and I feel like a badass!!!!!!

hillsWhy?  BECAUSE OF THE HILLS!!!!!!!

marathonsPeople often ask me if I have done a full marathon?  Yes, I am crazy and I want to do ultras now…I have done three marathons.  The one I did last week was the one I was more prepared for, which doesn’t say much since I have not been training long runs.  I am embarrassed to say my times are not spectacular and it does make me a little sad because I am trying to qualify for Boston.

I first conquered the Marathon in 2012 and had heatstroke at the Gettysburg North South Marathon in April.  I walked the last six miles and finished in 4:55.  Then, I came back in 2013 and ran again.  I did not do well but had not trained.  I finished in 4:20.  This year I had a torn meniscus and bruised bone so I took it easy and came in with 4:29.  I think I need a marathon that is not in Pennsylvania and not during the summer or warmer months…how about December?

 

I am hoping to qualify using Wineglass or Bay Bridge in October.  The Marine Corps Marathon will be a fun one.

 

eating aloneOkay so let’s get down to business!!!! Why on earth am I so persistent on making it to half number 50?  Well, it started when I was dumped in October, which I already told you.  I lost a lot of self confidence.  I shut down and it made life difficult.  Have you ever tried to be one of those people in life who does good and cannot catch a break?  Well, that seems to be me.  I have been trying to just wait for the good parts in life but there are a lot of crappy ones along the way.  Over the years I have been divorced, dumped, broke, and trapped in this area of NY!!!!!!  So what do I do?  There is one thing that solves all problems…RUNNING!!!!!

I looked at my wall and said what can I do?  I can either feel sorry for myself or go out and do something amazing!  So I am going to be honest.  I took most of my tax return because I get a lot taken out…and I put it towards running.  I figured money can buy things or I can pay bills, or I can use it to gain confidence and be the best mom I can for Lilly.   I think it is working.

 

chambersburgMarch 7, 2014…I went to Chambersburg, PA.  I was so scared.  I did not travel much alone and I was nervous.  I went to the race and parked early.  I think they all thought I was crazy because I had on a tank top and shorts. I ran this half and it was so friggan hilly.  I loved it!!!!!!  I finished in 1:55 and I was proud because it was so hard to get through Christmas without Lilly. I was fourth in my age group by 30 seconds!!!!  I then had to train and it was sooooo cold.  We had a horrible winter.  Then, I did something I have never done.  I hopped in the car and went to Rhode Island.  I had never been there and it was amazing.  I went to the Ocean’s Run Half Marathon in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.  Apparently this is not unheard of.  I met the Half Fanatics!

half fanatics cindy amy andrea cynthia, anne marieI am in the background.  Cynthia, Amy, Anne marie,  Andrea, Cindy, a few other fanatics are hiding under all of the clothes.  Notice that I am still wearing a tank top.  They all thought I was going to win!!!!  I sure tricked them.  I finished in 1:50…it was a pretty race, but a little windy…burrrrr

 

oceans runHere is our cool medal!!!!  I want an age group award!  I was close and could have had double the medals!!!!!!

 

I kept running into this half fanatic group!!!!  Cynthia and Andrea…how many races has it been now?????

Ocean’s Run, Race the Runway, Syracuse Half, St. Michaels…?????

half fanaticsDavid is in the top picture and he just ran his 100 half marathon and his 50th state at the Old Port Shipyard half in Portland Maine!!! Congrats!!!!

judyThis is Judy next to me, Andrea and Cynthia (she is wearing Pink).  We are all running the Race the Runways.  This is April 5 and I am running the one mile before the half…Judy is great and I will hopefully see her in September for the Wicked Half Marathon in Salem, Massachusetts!!!!!!! Cant wait…Judy, how many half marathons, marathons, and triathlons have you done?

jessica feiden jessica ran out of water pacer shirt Along this challenge, my dream of pacing came true!!!!!!  I got to pace for the Shipyard and it was so amazing.  I loved helping people finish their first half marathons and I get to hopefully do it again.  I am pacing the Rochester Half Marathon in September for the 1:50 group.  I think this will be exciting though I am nervous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I finished this race in 2:14:23!!!!!!!  PERFECT!

I met Jessica Feiden, who told me all about Boston!!!  I daydream often of people cheering for me as I cross the mats at the Boston Marathon some day!!!!!!  I cannot wait!  She is also working on her 50 states and I think I might get to see her this weekend at my 50th half marathon.  we coincidentally signed up for the same one!!!!!  How random!

 

all of medals having fun why the sad face st michaels acting dumb acting dumbSo where does this leave me?  I am having so much fun!!!!!! I want to be that girl who is fierce but I also want to keep having fun.  I do have a lot of medals and I counted 81 yesterday…  but I remember each and every moment.  I remember because I truly love running.  It is something I just get lost in.  I was talking to a great friend of mine and she and I both agree…if you do not love it, you will never get out of it what we do…there is always time to have fun and enjoy it.  I love being fast and challenging myself…but there are times when I jump up and just have fun with it.  Sometimes I think I win more that way.

sleepy hollowIf I had to pick just one race to do again next year, it would be Sleepy Hollow…Why?  It was a great experience.  I met so many people from around the world and I liked that it was in NY.  I love traveling, but I also find that New York State has a lot of amazing races.  I pick this race because I fell on my knees and still have scars to this day.  So why would I want to do it again?  I finished with gravel hanging out of my knees, but I finished.  This race taught me the power of never giving up!  I love the medal and the people were wonderful.  There were some hills that did not like me, but it was a great time!!!!  I think I used my shirt as a throw away or gave it to my niece.  I am hoping to talk Krista into this race!!!!!!! Krista???????

kristaThis is Krista Babiarz in the blue.  We are friends even though she recently joined the 30-34 age group with me and has been kicking my a-s this year and last year…well almost every year but she was in the 25-29 so I liked that better.  She now appreciated race directing because she directed the Phelps Sauerkraut 20k and 5k last weekend in Phelps, NY.

phelpsShe knows running inside out so finishers received a medal that even had a great name on it!!!!! I got to help out and I am glad.  It was fun to do the registering, but it was a lot of work.  I also helped with awards! I am used to public speaking so I do not mind.  It is funny since I used to be shy lol!!!! She did a nice job and I do not think I could ever do it!   Anyhow, I hope she doesn’t kill me but I am posting her picture in here so you can actually see her!!!!  She just did Lake Placid! I am glad she did because I have done it three times and it was good to hear how hilly it is…I did not feel bad for not doing it!

 

krista2Go Krista!!!!

Krista and I met at a race about three years ago.  She of course ran by me and took 4th place…However, we both won out age groups!  We do a lot of the same races and our best race was definitely the Syracuse Half Last year.!!!!!  we both ran and at the end, sprinted to the finish line and her boyfriend caught it all on his phone.  Krista beat me because she was farther back at the start!!!!  Told you that you were faster!  I am also jealous because she is doing a half marathon in Ireland in the fall!!!!!  I want my seven continents!  Well, I am hoping you stick around and we get to keep running together!  I am glad we met and you beat me!

 

lilly waterBy the way, wasn’t Lilly the best water stop ever on your 5k course????

mephoneHang on there is someone I need to call while I am drinking my starbucks????  The most important part in running????  Is helping and motivating and nagging your relatives in order to get them to run races with you!!!!!!! Answer the phone!!!!!!!

rachelphoneHello!!!! Run a race with me now!!!!!!!!!!!

So I have  been nagging my cousin Rachel to run a lot!  She is awesome and she is sweet!  She is doing it and this will be our third half marathon together!!!!  I am so excited to be finishing my 50th half marathon with you baby cousin!  You are amazing and so smart and I will be sad that you are going to England but I will have to sell all of my furniture to come visit and I already picked out a race for us to do when you aren’t getting all nerdy in the lab somewhere!  I am proud of you and I hope you keep running!!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot wait to see you and hope that we have an amazing time!  I love you and thank you for serving our country….

ran with rachelWe did Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon in 2012 and Run for the Buds!!!!!!  We ran these both in Delaware so we are breaking the flat and running in Maryland!!!!!!  What is wrong with us!  We finished in 2:08 for our December half and in October, we finished at different times because I had to finish so I could use the bathroom ha ha ha !!!!!!!

Henri was at the finish of Rehoboth with cocoa from Starbucks…what will he bring you this time?

 

shoesAnd RIP MY shoes…tears…they have lasted over 20 half marathons and my black ones with pink are about dead.  I need to remember to get my shoes from my sister’s house!!!!!!

Okay the moral of all of this is that I have had an amazing experience.  I felt so alone at times, but I am realizing that I have met all these amazing people along the way that I otherwise never would have met.  I am this girl who has been sort of hidden and I am coming out of hiding.  I wish I was as fast as I used to be, but I am still enjoying every minute!!!!!

lillyAnd I have become a better mother!!!!!  My daughter wants to run and volunteer and do the things I do.  I feel like I am a positive role model!!!!  My 50th half is the Ben Moore Memorial Half Marathon in Annapolis, MD…although you all won’t be able to be there, I know you are there in my head.  I am excited to see my cousin who lives near the race!!!!!  It will be a blast and you listen to me whine all the time little cousin!!!!!!!

It is funny how the chubby girl in school is finishing her 50th half…I think that there will be a lot of emotions going through my head.  I wanted to finish in under two hours, but I want to finish and with my knee being so hot and cold, I want to enjoy this moment!  On a side note, I have had 8 half marathons that were not sub 2 hours…one was paced….I will take the record!!!!!  I will most likely go for 100 but I am excited to get to 50!!!!!!!

bike1 felt specializedMy bike has also been upgraded this year!!!!!  I think it needed it lol…I loved my Felt but I am too tall…today I went for a nice ride on my specialized!!!!!  I like cross training, but sometimes I overdo it so I cannot do a brick work out…oops!!!!!

 

What questions do you have for me?

Will you ever run 50 half marathons?  50 fulls?  An ultra?