I write about balance quite a bit. It’s not because I’m some expert on how to balance my life. Being asked to write on the subject has helped me become better, though and writing helps me to process how to continue that trend. Continue reading
Of course the podium is amazing!! Anyone who says, “Oh, no, I’m only here to have fun. I have no desire to WIN. The podium just isn’t for me” is probably in a situation like I was a couple years ago. I’d never BEEN on the podium. I didn’t think I could GET on the podium. The podium was for other people.
Two years ago, my (then 19 year old) daughter Bri and I did a 5K. Just a fun race, good people. When we finished and I was talking to a group of women, Bri snuck away to the leader-board to see how we did. She came running back and told me I had placed 1st in my age division. WHAT????!!!!! No way. Not possible. Can’t be. Really?? Me? Did they get my time correctly? Of course I looked myself, still in disbelief. Then I sat on the edge of me seat waiting for my division to be called. Waiting to climb up on shaky boxes. Wanting so desperately to hear my name called over the loudspeaker. Me…. I had done this. I had PLACED in a race!!! Bir placed 3rd in her division as well!! I checked the phone camera for Bri a bazillion times, desperately wanting to make sure we captured this moment in time…..
It IS possible. Not every time, not at every race. I never considered that it could happen at all, didn’t believe I could achieve podium status. But from that moment on, it’s been my goal at every race to push myself enough to get on the podium. I’ve lost it by 16 seconds, had races where I just knew I didn’t have what it took. There have been events I didn’t think I made it but I did. You just never know. First, however, is the belief in yourself. The drive, the determination. Once you’ve got that, anything in possible.
At this past Sunday’s Reno Running Company store run I ran with Sam and Olivia – two of my favorite people EVER!!! And I didn’t get a single picture!!! I had been thinking of Olivia for a couple days thinking I should text her when she texted me to ask if I wanted to “come out and play and have a run”. YES!!!!!! I was planning on going to the run but this put it on my list entitled “Must Do”. I was so happy to run with them!
At the end of the run we met a new person that a couple of our teammates knew. I found out that not only is she a high school teacher, she’s my 9th grade daughters math teacher. What are the odds. Good news is that I adore her. Bad news is that she got to see the frustrated Mom in me rise to the surface…… Not at her but at the system in general and my daughters lack of enthusiasm. At any rate, meeting new people is fun. The most fun?? Sending my daughter a text showing her who my new running buddy is. Priceless!!!
Yesterday was gorgeous. Nearly 70*, sunny albeit windy. I finished my clients at work and knew I had to run to the store – you know the trip, a bunch of random stuff that doesn’t go together. My daughter Bri was working at Reno Running Company and asked me to stop by as well. That got me thinking…. I iPhone mapped the distance to RRC and it was 3 miles. So I ran there. Literally. I figured I’d get a 6 miler in with a break in the middle – how perfect is that??!!
Problem: When it’s been a long time since you’ve run from work, your bag of running goodies isn’t so hot. I had shorts, socks, shoes, sports bra but everything else was for winter running. Hat, gloves, long sleeve, jacket, etc… Fortunately, I borrowed a T-shirt from one of my lovely co-workers. I also carry a spare ID from RoadID. Safety, people. On my running shoes that I wear regularly, I have an ID, but I also have a couple bracelets for other times. Do it. Seriously.
I geared up and took off. When I’m running alone I also always bring my phone. Safety, safety, safety. I did listen to music in one ear on the very busy street and the time just flew by. I learned a couple things. Before getting a wild hair to run, check your bag. When using old running shoes don’t go 6 miles. Mine were so beyond shot that me feet still hurt today and on the way back I could feel it in my legs. Not good. What is good is that it taught me how to change things up. I now have clothes for every weather ready to bring in and put in the bag. I also packed a pair of running shoes I can actually run in without hurting. Since it’s a good distance and relatively flat, I’ll probably do it more now that we have better weather. I also decided to store my Garmin and arm band for my phone in my daily bag – can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to grab them in the morning when I have an evening run. If I can manage to keep them there, I’ll have them for spontaneous work runs and my team runs. Perfect. Oh, I packed a handheld water bottle as well. It’s starting to warm up out there!!
First race of 2013. Leprechaun Chase 5K in downtown Reno – it’s good to start the season with something short and fun. A friend of mine was the Leprechaun. He started the race after all of us and for every walker/runner he passed $1 got donated to the Children’s Discovery Museum. Anyone that beat him got a prize, but I knew ahead of time he would kick my butt.
Weather was reported to be sunny, 3 mph winds and 34* but it ended up being 41*. It was beautiful out and the temps ended up being perfect even though it was a little chilly at the start. The race is capped at 1500 people. The race is downtown so I was worried about parking, especially since I got packets for a couple other people.
I left pretty early (one of the cons with always being lost) and had a game plan for parking thanks to Bris suggestion. Got to the parking garage with no problem, it was free parking and the garage was relatively empty. My next concern was how difficult it would be to snot rocket with so many people racing in a small venue. Just keepin’ it real. Was able to snot rocket 3 times and clear the sinuses…. Good times!! I don’t have the official time yet, but my Garmin said 23:38 and I know I broke 24 so I’m happy with that. I ran with two friends – Charlie (helped me PR my half last year) and James who I know via Sunday runs at Reno Running Company. It was good to have them by my side.
My daughter Alana wanted to go to cheer her 9th grade English teacher since it’s her first 5K. I saw so many friends there – races make me feel so popular!! Didn’t get pictures of very many – especially at the end, but it’s a fantastic running community.
Matt and Amy, owners of Reno Running Company, hosted a brew run last night for Matt’s birthday. I know what you’re thinking…. A group run planned out at 3, 5, and 6 miles?? Pizza and beer for free after the run?? SIGN ME UP!!! I usually run with my team on Thursday night, but we decided to support RRC and Matt’s big day instead. 28* and 18 mph winds??!! Can’t wait!! Oh, hills too?? Sweet!!
There was a New Balance rep there so we got to try out a pair of shoes on the run…. I don’t know what mine were called but they were neutral with an 8mm drop just like my Saucony Ride’s. I really liked them – would be fine getting a pair if I needed shoes…. Which I always do. That was a silly thing to say… How about when I have money. That’s more like it!!
The route is a familiar one, we had a group of 5 with us for 6 miles, but Frank and I ended up together. I love running with Frank. His knowledge is nearly limitless, he’s still running ultra’s, he’s faster than I am but always willing to dial it back a bit to stick together. He spits, I snot rocket and if burping and crop dusting are necessary, he’ll love me anyway. It was supposed to be a slow run – we averaged 9 minute miles. It was dark, cold, windy, hilly (which means you get to go down hills too!!) and with great company. Love those calm, relaxed, easy runs – especially with someone so great.
Yes, I have gotten the bike hooked to the trainer, I have the DVD’s to ride along with and I’ve almost gotten the Garmin synched. I’ve ridden once which is pathetic – I’m planning on “riding” once a week “with my team” (I’ll do the workout coach assigns to all of us and stay at home to do it) on Tuesday mornings before my run. Next up?? Swimming of course!! Also once a week but on Wednesdays, I’ll be driving down to the gym our team uses and give it a whirl. Good news is that I know how to swim, bad news is I don’t know how to do it competitively. At all. Glad the Coach and my teammates will be there to help. There was gear to get – the paddles I borrowed, the swim cap I begged off Pete. I had a credit at Reno Running Company so I bought goggles, a kick board and some float thing. Yup, if you came here for technical verbiage, you’ve come to the right place! Oh – and I got a new pair of running socks for colder weather. Live vicariously as always! I’ll keep you posted on the swimming. Naturally, I realize it appears that I’m training for a triathlon. I’ve thought about doing them and I’m not opposed to it, however I started cross-training to do something else just to work the muscles and because I have the support of my coach and my teammates who, I realize, are triathletes…… We’ll see….. How’s that for commitment??
For my birthday I was sung to 5 times – work party, Reno Running Company staff, the kids, my sister, my mom. Oddly enough, it never got old!! The kids are planning on making me lemon squares – my favorite – and Chris and I are going out to dinner alone tonight. Perfect!! I got a jacket from my mom in law (who is one of the best women) and new running shoes:
Today was Reno Running Company’s weekly store run. I usually do the shorter distance of about 5.5 miles. Today some of my teammates were there – an increasingly more common occurrence – so naturally I wanted to stick with them. They were planning on running ten. So, alone for 5-ish or together for 10-ish?? No brainer – ten. They are all a bit faster than I am, so I was concerned I’d fall behind, but I pretty much know the route and had the directions so off we went. Sometimes you get an opportunity that you didn’t realize you so desperately needed. Sam mentioned we hit 5 miles and it felt like we had just started. I felt amazing and we were all together. I forgot my Garmin so I had my iPhone in my pocket tracking and never once looked at it. Olivia mentioned our pace occasionally and it was always pretty good. I wasn’t having any trouble sticking with them, we planned a relatively easy run and it was just so fun to talk, laugh, compare notes and goals. Soon Sam mentioned we’d hit a 10K and still it felt like we had just started. It felt so fantastic to be with people I genuinely have come to adore – positive, fun, driven, strong people I admire and look up to. As we hit the 9 mile mark, I was beginning to feel a little tired but good. Really good. We wrapped up 10.65 miles strong with an average minute mile of 8:40. Respectable – not slow and not race pace. These 3 amigos can let me follow them any time. Having friends to push you, encourage you, inspire you and train with you makes all the difference in the world. It takes the focus off your own training and encompasses the group as a whole.
My main birthday present was Kalley – our puppy. Olivia and Sam got a puppy the day before I did and she’s 2 weeks older so it’s nice to commiserate about chewing, potty training, crate training, etc… Kalley has been with us just under 2 weeks. It feels like just yesterday and forever at the same time. She’s doing very well and is such a happy, fun addition to our family. Leash training has just begun as well as learning the command “sit”. All things in time…
I’m kidding. It doesn’t make you better but volunteering is so much fun! I’d be a loser if I loved running in events, want things to run smoothly, complain when they don’t, but never volunteer to be part of the support system for other runners. That is not being the better person. If you haven’t volunteered, do it. Not only do you realize how difficult it is to manage and run a race smoothly (the reasons I don’t want to be a race director), but being the support for other people so they can have a smooth race is so absolutely rewarding!! This Reno 5000 series event by fearless race director Will through Endurance Reno and held at Reno Running Company was seamless as his always are. It also supported Girls On The Run which is a cause that pulls at my heart strings. Seeing all those girls cross the finish line – regardless of their time – was truly inspirational. I am intimate with the feeling of crossing the finish line – sometimes with a PR and sometimes just glad to have finished – and no matter how I’ve gotten there, it is a euphoric feeling of wonder and accomplishment. Volunteering meant that I got to foster that in other people – so many of them running their first race. By being there and helping out, each of us assisted in a smooth race, each of us contributing to runners meeting and achieving that feeling of success in a job (or a run) well done. Just do it!