“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.”
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.
My next race was Schroon Lake…what was I thinking? I needed to get out of the Adirondacks!!!!
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:
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.
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 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.
April 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 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!
A 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.
Relays!!!! 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…!!!!!
This 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!!!!!
Race 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!
September 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…
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!!!!!!
People 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.
Okay 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.
March 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!
I 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
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…?????
This 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?
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!
So 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.
If 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???????
This 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.
She 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!
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!
Hang 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!!!!!!!
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….
We 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?
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!!!!!
And 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!!!!!!!
My 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?