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~ No Regrets ~

March 10, 2011

It seems worse at night.   My thoughts, I mean.  When I finally crawl into bed with just the thought of sleep in my brain, my brain decides to wake up and spin in hundreds of different directions.   I try to think about my run the following morning and what it will feel like.  I try to think about all the good things that are happening.   I really try.   But my thoughts go right back to my mama.   Sometimes, I just think about how much I miss her.  Sometimes, I think about how soft her hand felt when I held it.   But mostly, I go over in my head her last days.   I don’t understand why I do this.   Why am I wanting to relive it in my brain every night?   I don’t get it.

It’s not as if my mama’s last days were particularly dreadful.   On the contrary.   The thing is, I never actually watched a person go through the death process, let alone my precious mama.   So, while not so dreadful for her, which is an odd thing to say too, it was kind of alarming for me.   I did lots of research on what she would be going through and followed each stage with trepidation.   Not to be too morbid or anything, but the human body is pretty amazing.  It knows things you are not really aware of.   It prepares you for every single thing that you go through in your life.    Here is a little excerpt that I wrote on dailymile:

I know that most of you know already, but I want to share with you:
Mama passed peacefully last night at 8.15pm. I want to tell you this story.

I was with her all day long, holding her hand, stroking her hair and face and telling her how much I love her and how proud I was of her. I also told her, mama it’s ok, I will be alright. At 7pm I left to get something to eat and run to the store for milk. At 7.55pm hospice called me and told me to come back quickly. I got there as soon as I could. Mom passed 5 minutes before I got back.

I went in and held her. She looked peaceful like a beautiful angel. I kissed her forehead, held her hand, put my head on her chest and hugged her. I then left the room to call my sister. I know this much: my mama held on all day because she knew I was there and her last gift to me was to hold on until I left and then she let go. I believe this. She was that unselfish. She was that giving. If I can be the kind of giving caring person she was, I will live up to that always.

Every single nurse, doctor and anybody else who came in contact with my mama, loved her. Just loved her. She blew kisses to everybody. She never once complained. She lived her life to the end with dignity. I miss her so so much. My heart hearts.

I think for right now, this is all I want to share about her last days.   Perhaps, in the future I will blog more about how amazingly brave and courageous she was.  Perhaps.   Or maybe I will tell you how funny she was even when she was in the hospital and was having to endure test after test.   I’m pretty sure she didn’t complain once.  Oh wait, yes she did.   One day when I arrived she was sitting up she looked at me and said  “I was waiting for you”  Did you at least have lunch?”   No?  Alright thats not quite a complaint.  More like a mom concerned if her child ate.    Even when she could not eat.   Even when she wanted to eat, but knew she couldn’t swallow because it caused her to aspirate.   I hated that part so much.

There were many many times I couldn’t do things.   I missed many races and runs and meet ups.   But, I was right where I wanted and needed to be.   It was such an enormous pleasure to take care of my mama.  She struggled and I helped her lessen the struggle.   I made her laugh and I know she laughed at my lame jokes even when they weren’t really funny.   She had physical therapy and after the PT left she always repeated the exercises to show me she can do it.   Even in the hospital when she took a few steps with the walker she was so proud.   I was so proud.

There is such a huge void in my life now.  It is exactly 17 days since my mama has passed away.   There has not been 1 day where I haven’t thought about her or had a reminder of her in some small way.

The support and friendship I was given throughout and after has been nothing short of a miracle for me.  I truly don’t think I could have survived all of this without all of you.   Just thanking you all doesn’t seem enough.   Yet, that is all I can offer you.   So thank you.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for the food platter.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for the plant, flowers, love, cards, laughter.  Thank you for listening to me vent.   Thanks for making me laugh and cry too.

This post was going to be a bit about my running, but I think I will save that for the next post.   Yes.   I will do that.

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

~ The Situation ~

January 20, 2011

Wow, its been a while since I blogged.   I thought it was about time to finally write a post in the new year.   Hope you all had a great Holiday/New Year time.  Goals and resolutions still being kept?

As I blogged on November 12th HATRun I announced that I would be running a 50k.   And I was really excited about the prospect of the training all the way to the actual event plus getting to meet so many fellow friends and runners.   And then I found myself in a situation that I was really hoping would get better.   It hasn’t.

My mom had to spend 6 days in the hospital at the beginning of December.   It was a very scary time for me because even though my mom has leukemia, she NEVER had to be hospitalized.   So this was really her first experience in a hospital setting.

Many tests were given including a CAT scan of her brain.  The results were age appropriate atrophy.   Now we all know that atrophy is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body.   The doctor told my sister and myself that most older people’s brains start to “look old”.  There are changes that you wouldn’t see in a younger patient.  However, not all older people’s lives are IMPACTED by those changes.   Her life is IMPACTED by these changes and in turn my life is severely IMPACTED by the changes in my mom’s brain.

With all that said, and with a lot of discussion and thinking, I have decided to pull out of running HATRun.   First, I am severely undertrained and don’t want to risk injury.  I think my running is going really well right now and as a friend said to me, there will always be 50k races to run.   Second, I simply can’t plan that far ahead.  I am living one day at a time. What makes me really sad is the fact that I won’t even be able to attend the big Dailymile dinner planned the night before.   In my mind, I know in the big picture its not that big a deal, but when you start to really look forward to something, even the smallest thing is the biggest deal.

My mom cannot be left alone in the apartment.  So, right now I do have some help coming in, but because of the insurance my mom has, that will be ending sometime in February so I am now in the process of looking for help.  I so don’t know what I am doing.   I am not used to having people coming in and out of my home and neither is my mom.   We have a physical therapist, speech therapist and a home health aid.   I am not very good at telling people what to do, but yet I do it.  I never really thought I would become my mom’s parent.  I realize this may sound totally selfish, but sometimes, I need my mother to be a mother.   But she can’t.   I am a chef, caretaker, laundry doer, I am chief financial officer here at home.  I am pretty much the boss.   Sometimes, I see a glimpse of who my mother was, but then it goes away.   She still has a good sense of humor and makes me laugh so I try to make her laugh.   I love her and want her to live the rest of her life in comfort and knowing she is loved and cared for.

So, for now, I will focus on local races and just running when I can for as long as I can.   The Manhattan Half Marathon is this Saturday and as long as my sister is here, I should be able to run it.   My running is my therapy.   It my “me” time.  It is really and truly my only time that I am alone with my thoughts and alone, period.  It has been so long since I have seen any of my friends twitter, dailymile, runners, non-runners.  Sure, I have constant contact with everybody, but its never the same as spending real time IRL.

But, anybody that knows me, knows I am going to stay focused on the positives.   If I focus on the negatives too much, the positives will diminish in my mind.   My number one priority is my mother.   Her health.  And my family.   Then, all else will fall into place, I think.

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I am getting tired of this long long winter.   Snow snow and more snow.  Make it STOP!!!!

In the meantime, I am embracing every pretty day I can.  Life is meant to live.   So don’t feel badly for me or my SITUATION!!!   OK?

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
Friedrich Nietzsche

All The Right Moves

December 30, 2010

Today, December 30, 2010 I hit 1000 running miles for 2010.

Anti climatic?  Yes.  Bittersweet?  Absolutely.   A dull ending.   Nothing spectacular happens at the end.  Trivial or commonplace.    Just throwing the words out there.   Its 1000 miles and its no biggie considering all of my friends hitting anywhere from 1500-3000 for the year.

But, its MY 1000 miles and I did it on my own terms.  I did it mostly alone and thats fine with me.   Last year I had the company of great friends.  Some I met for the first time that very night.   And in 1 year we are all still friends.  I used to call all of these folks my “running friends”.   But why make that distinction?   We are all FRIENDS.  Runners or not.   Yes running brought us together and kept us together but that is just a little part of who we all are.

This year while I was alone, I had incredible support.  My sister and mom.   All of my friends.  Everybody at Dailymile and Twitter.   All of you.   So for that I thank you.

As far as my run today, well it was slushy and kinda cool.  For me, the streets are the new sidewalks and the streets are the new boardwalk.   I needed 4 miles to hit 1000 and that put me at 96 miles for the month of December.

I probably won’t do a year in review sort of post OR a goals post for 2011.  I simply just don’t really know.   With my mom’s health fragile at best, I live 1 day at a time now.  If I can run the races I signed up for in January ~ Fred Lebow Classic 5 miler on January 8th and Manhattan Half Marathon on January 22nd, I will be very happy.    If I can run Coogans 5k on March 6th, I will be very happy.

If I can run HATRun on March 19th.  A 50k.  In Maryland.  With so many cool Dailymilers, I will be ecstatic.   And I can’t even think past that point.

Happy And Very Healthy Running to you all in 2011.

I’ve got a feeling, Michelle, that 2011 is going to be your kind of year. That you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been, laughing harder, smiling wider, standing taller, walking lighter, dancing crazier, hugging longer, living grander and loving louder.

Can you feel it, too?
The Universe

When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring out how to excel.   “Deena Kastor”

~ Prospect Park Turkey Trot and Some Other Stuff ~

November 28, 2010

Prospect Park Turkey Trot 5 Miler  11-25-10    49.54

A turkey trot is an excellent way to start the 4 day Thanksgiving holiday.  I haven’t run a race in a while so I thought, why not?  It’s not far for me to travel to and its a throughly enjoyable race.   5 miles in Prospect Park with some hills thrown in.   Met up with Scott before the race and I learned a thing or two about good pre-race execution.   Just getting there early and giving yourself enough time to use the bathroom and perhaps make some good fashion choices depending on the weather.  And then of course lining up with enough time to sort of “get ready” to run.   I’ve run many races where I literally had only enough time to quickly use the bathroom and then run quickly to the corrals. So meeting up with Scott was a really good thing.  It made me feel much more relaxed pre-race then I ever was before.

5 miles 49.54 9.58 min/mile
Mile 1 9.37
Mile 2 9.57
Mile 3 10.25 (uphill)
Mile 4 10.20
Mile 5 9.52

So, my first week of HATRun training is in the bag.  Two runs of 40 and 60 minutes.  The Turkey Trot and then today a quality 8 miler.   It has been a very long time since I have run this distance without taking any walk breaks.   I really can’t even remember the last time that happened.   Today, I thought to myself to give it a shot.

  1. Your mantra for this training cycle should be “Relaxed and Smiling.”  Just have fun with it.  All this mileage is going to make you fitter, faster, and stronger without even thinking about it.
  2. Walk breaks are OK, in fact, they’re encouraged on long runs.  All that matters is you’re able to cover the distances without getting injured.  So, on long days, enjoy the running and plan to take short walk breaks (because you’re going to during the 50k, just like everyone does!).

Well, today I decided to see how far I could run without a walk break.   I ran all 8 miles.   I just kept it easy and steady.   It didn’t feel too hard and I wasn’t breathing hard either.

8 miles  1.25.21   10.40 pace

Splits:

10.46, 10.42, 11.06, 10.39, 10.45, 10.35, 10.43, 10.34

As the weeks progress and the miles become longer, I will absolutely take those much needed walk breaks.   So, I am feeling confident that my running is finally going in the right direction.  This coming Sunday I have the Joe K 10k race in Central Park.  Again, no goals or expectations.  I do need to get 10 in so perhaps 4 before.  Or 2 before and 2 after.

Running is a pretty good thing!!!!

~ Inaugural “Will Run For Beer” Beer Run

November 23, 2010

Friends don’t let friends run, drink beer and then run some more.   Or do they?   Yeah, they do.

So Sunday was the first ever “Will Run For Beer”  Beer run that Claire organized.   To say it was a lot of fun is really an understatement.

Quickly:

  1. Dive Bar
  2. Firehouse
  3. Amsterdam Ale House
  4. PJ Clarke’s

Total run miles was about 5.5 miles.  18 of us total, the youngest participant in the Beer Run was Joe’s daughter 19 months old.  She held her own for sure.

I consumed 2 full beers and 1/2 of a cider.  I had a Red Hook and a Cold Hop.

We all agreed that Cold Hop had a distinct floraly finish with some earthy after tones.  Here is what Cold Hop REALLY is:

A unique brew with a rich golden hue.  It’s pleasantly fruity.  Floral hop aroma, perfectly balance the mild sweetness of the english grains, for a refreshing yet high-gravity british style ale.

We sure know our beers, don’t we.

The running itself was so much fun.  We were noticeably more excited as the drinking was in full force. There was much cheering and shouting and calls of “Beer Run!” and invitations to strangers to join us.

I was thinking how the internet and twitter brought to me such amazing friends.  I am very appreciate of everybody.   Thank you to Carlos @multisportdad for treating me to a Red Hook at Firehouse.   Thank you to Maura for keeping me safe.  Thank you to Claire for organizing a very fun Sunday.   Running and drinking beers with friends.  Really can’t get any better than that right?

I want those socks!!!!

~ First Ever “Feed The Turkey” Virtual Turkey Trot ~

November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving is 3 days away and I am sure most of you have your Thanksgiving Turkey Trot plans already in place.  I know I do.  Do you?   It’s really a great time to run a Turkey Trot and then spend quality time with family and friends enjoying a good meal together.

Well the great folks over at dailymile have put together the first ever Feed the Turkey Virtual Turkey Trot – a great way to burn a few pre-feast calories, but more importantly raise funds for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. According to their web site,

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital strives to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Amazing, don’t you think?   So, a good cause PLUS the chance to have fun running before your nice meal.   I fully intend to do it all.   Donate, Run, Eat.  In that order.

We hope you’ll join us, and please encourage your friends and family to join the fun as well.  Here’s what you need to do to participate:

When you enter the Feed the Turkey Virtual Turkey Trot you will be asked to donate $1, $5, or $10 to St. Jude – it’s a small amount, but with large numbers, we can really make a difference!

There’s still plenty of time to enter. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign up over at the Feed the Turkey web site.
  2. Tweet or post to Facebook that you’re participating in the “Feed The Turkey – Virtual 5k Turkey Trot”. To make things easy, all you have to do is click on theFacebook and/or Twitter button. [Required]
  3. Choose one of three donation amounts – $1, $5 or $10. Remember, 100% of ALL donations will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  4. If you’re already a dailymile member, click the Join the Challenge button to sign up. You can also join the challenge without a dailymile account, in which case you’ll be assigned a bib number you’ll need when you enter your finishing time.
  5. Run, stroll or walk a 5K on Thanksgiving day. It can be an official race, solo effort, or just a fun run with friends.
  6. Head back to the Feed the Turkey web site to post your results, print your “I earned my turkey!” finisher’s certificate, and be entered for cool prize giveaways!

If you are a fellow running blogger, Facebook user, or Twitter runner, please help us spread the word – Let’s all pitch in to make this event a huge success for St. Jude.

Isn’t Dailymile pretty neat???   Take a look and join up.  It’s FREE.

~ Relaxed and Smiling ~

November 20, 2010
tags:

Relaxed and Smiling will be my mantra for my new training cycle starting Monday November 22nd 2010.  My training for the 2011 HATRun that is.   To say I am excited is an understatement.  Coach Caleb crafted a wonderful plan for me and gave me many tips for stress free training.   So, I am going into this with an open mind and heart.  I will do whatever it takes to avoid getting injured AND at the first sign of pain, I will take the necessary rest days and/or PT and icing, foam rolling/stretching and core to fix the problem.

Now, as I thought about all this relaxed and smiling stuff, I also in the back of my mind know me.  I know the sort of person I am.  And there is a name for me.  I am a HSP.  Highly Sensitive Person.

I am easily overwhelmed by stimuli. I am affected by other people’s moods.  I am easily startled.  I need to withdraw during busy times to a private, quiet place. I sometimes get nervous or shaky if someone is observing me or competing with me.  HSP, shorthand for “highly sensitive person,” describes 15 to 20 percent of the population. Being sensitive is a normal trait–nothing defective about it. But you may not realize that, because society rewards the outgoing personality and treats shyness and sensitivity as something to be overcome.

So, there you have it.  I am totally cool with being a HSP because I think it actually makes me a better person.  More attune to my needs and even the needs of others.  I am kinda putting this out there because it took me a very long time to realize just how very sensitive I am.  I have a lot to deal with with my mom and all of her health issues.  It’s very difficult and really stresses me out.  My running is the only thing that really relaxes me and gives me a sense of freedom.  My problems disappear with each foot strike.  But, they are always there.   Like I am wearing a backpack full of my problems and I try to throw it off of my shoulders.  Never really works.

I’ve been told numerous times to toughen up.  Stop worrying.  I’ve been told I am weird and different.  I don’t think so.  I don’t think I need to develop a thicker skin.  Okay this makes me look like a total geek but what can I say? I’m just somebody who is overwhelmed by a lot of stimulation because, that’s right, I’m a highly sensitive person. I have a special and awesome power.   And I will leave it at that.

So, I start my training cycle on Monday November 22nd 2010 and I will be relaxed and smiling the whole way.  I will continue doing my CORE work.  Maybe add in some yoga.  I will stay focused and have fun.   It’s really all in the little things you do to keep your big body working properly.   Grease and oil er up and she will run perfectly.

866 Running Miles for 2010
Can’t stop listening to the Beatles this week.   Because:
  1. I love them
  2. They rock
  3. So many awesome tunes to choose from
  4. I love them
The Beatles ~ Paperback Writer
Paper back writer
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer. 

It’s the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand.
The son (The Sun) is working for the Daily Mail,
It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I’ll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Ok, so I want to be a paperback writer.


~ Shaken Not Stirred ~

November 12, 2010

With 49 days left in 2010, and 842 running miles for the year I am once again on course to hit 1000 miles without really trying or thinking about it.  158 miles in 49 days is very doable for me.   During #MCM training it occurred to me I would hit 1000 miles, but once I got injured I sort of gave up on that goal and didn’t give it much thought at all.   It’s really just an arbitrary number, after all.  Contingent solely upon my discretion.  My doctor clearing me for running could not have arrived at a more fortuitous time.  IMHO.  Anyway, what I am getting at is I don’t really care too much about how many miles I end up with for 2010.

What’s ahead for 2011 is what I am focusing on.

1) March 19th 2011  The Hat Run 50k.   This takes place at Susquehanna State Park, Maryland.  Susquehanna State Park is a state park on the lower Susquehanna River north of Havre de Grace, Maryland.

The Course: The course is mostly single track trail with a mix of open fields, dirt road and some paved road. The course features nearly 9,800 feet of climbing. There is a starting loop of 3.6 miles followed by two identical loops of 13.7 miles. There are 4 stream crossings that can be challenging depending on the water level – there is alway the chance of getting wet feet.

I heard from people in the know that it’s a great transition to a trail ultra for marathoners.  Ummm, ok well I am doing it backwards.   Trail ultra THEN a marathon.  I like that.

2) September 23rd-24th  2011 Ragnar DC .   Yes, you read it here first.  I am part of the Dailymile Dozen who will participate in this 193 mile adventure-fest that will push myself and 11 pals through the stunning scenery of the Potomac River Valley.   I bet you are all shaking your heads in disbelief and perhaps thinking something like……

  • She is nutso
  • What is wrong with Michelle?
  • She is insane
  • Cool she rocks
  • Awesome
  • Nothing is wrong with Michelle

3)  I deferred Marine Corp Marathon until 2011.  The MCM for 2011 takes place on October 30, 2011.   New York City Marathon takes place on November 6th 2011.  Exactly 1 week later.   Decision time…….I am going to have to go with New York City Marathon in 2011.   While I would love to run them both, that is just not feasible.

For the rest of 2010 I have a few things to do.  A Turkey Trot and most likely a 10k.

Stats:

I’ve been slowly making my comeback to running.  I will just talk about today’s run.   Nothing special about it really.   A simple 5 miler.   But, to me it was special because I ran the whole 5 miles without a walk break.  This is big for me because it’s a habit that I need to break.  Walk breaks are fine and dandy nothing wrong at all with walk breaks, but I need to learn to get past the feeling of needing or wanting that walk break.   I’m sorry if that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s all mental with me.  Clearly, I am able to run 5 milers, so I have to retrain my mind to allow me to do that.   Also, I am starting to throw in some 30 second strides at the end of my runs to help wake up the fast twitch muscle fibers.

5 miles 51.33 10.18 min/mile
Mile 1 10.19
Mile 2 10.11
Mile 3 10.18
Mile 4 10.30
Mile 5 10.13

It was nice.

I am also incorporating many more rest days into my routine.  It’s important.  Plus of course, CORE.   It’s important.

What a long and convoluted post to simply say change is good.  I am shaking things up, but not stirring the pot just yet.  I want to keep things as simple as possible and perhaps running will become just as simple.   Running, IMHO should never be a burden.  Yes, you work hard to achieve your goals, but I don’t want to feel like its something I have to do as opposed to something I love and want to do.

Just because I am not stirring the pot, I do feel “stirred” like James Bond’s favorite drink. The way I look at life is constantly changing. It is as if my time has come and I am preparing myself for bigger and better things. Things that move my heart and my passion all at the same time. I am reaching out to people and have brought in such wonderful human beings in my life.   A good mixture.

That is the way to live life.   Surprise after surprise.

Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.  If you can dream it, you can make it so.  Belva Davis


Belva Davis, broadcast journalist

~ Game Day Decisions ~

November 7, 2010

“Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.” -Fred Lebow

This has been another whirlwind weekend that I would love to talk about a bit.

Friday there were plans to meet up at the NYCM Expo @Zensah booth.  The Zensah Mafia was being reunited.   The expo itself was really neat.  Spacious and with lots of interesting running porn to look at.

I saw on my BB that @luau Matt was at the expo so I excitedly texted him and he called me back and asked where I was.  And then he was there and we hugged and we “bonded” immediately.   Matt was running the NYCM for Autism Speaks, a cause that is near and dear to his heart.   What an amazing person he is.   Funny and giving.  We even attended a “wedding” together at the expo.  A couple who met each other while training for a marathon decided to get married at the Autism Speaks booth and guess who their witness was??

Hard to see perhaps, but that person in blue is none other than Bart Yasso, of the Yasso 800’s fame.   Yep, how cool is that?   Plus, they gave out little bottles of bubbles to blow during the ceremony and as they were pronounced man and wife.   I kidded with Matt that he was my “date” for the wedding.   So fun.

The Zensah experience was terrific.   We got to meet the co-owner and had some good conversations about the product.  We are all believers in Zensah.  Eva, Mary, Erika, Jennifer and now Baker and Claire are part of our mafia team.   I acquired a brand new pair of arm sleeves/warmers and blue calf sleeves.  Smokin hot.

Thats Kai, Claire, Eva, Mary and Bryan representing at the Zensah booth.

After we left the expo we made our way to 44 1/2 restaurant in Hells Kitchen for a really delightful dinner full of laughs, love and good food and drink.   I was so happy that night surrounded by people who truly cared about me.   I went to sleep that night with my heart happy.

Saturday morning I had plans to meet up with @luau Matt and TK for a nice and easy run in Central Park.   I was somewhat concerned knowing that both Matt and TK are stronger and faster runners than I am, but all was good because they stuck with me OR allowed me to stick with them.

It was a honor and a privilege to get to run with Matt W today. What a great guy he is. I really think we bonded and became life-long friends. We ran to the finish line of the NYCM. Very neat.

Nice little progressive, it turned out to be!
3.12 miles 34.21 11 min/mile
Mile 1 11.26
Mile 2 11.03
Mile 3 10.48
Mile 0.12 1.03.59 (9.01)

We ran with our friend TK as well. The 3 of us made a nice team in Central Park where it was teeming with teams of runners. :O)

And then it was finally time for the NYCM Dailymile/Twitter Brunch.   I believe it was a rousing success with about 33-35 people enjoying each others company.  Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves and to me that is the ONLY thing that I cared about, really.   Just bringing together lots of like-minded awesome really cool folks to mingle and eat together made my day.   At one point, I kinda just sat there and took it all in.  It was a pleasure to meet everybody that I had only before met online.   There was one man there was was running his 73rd marathon today.   How cool huh?   I will have to say though, that the highlight of the brunch (for me) was getting to meet my running coach.  Caleb.  @CalebMasland.   What a great guy.  I was upset, though that Thomas @neudesigns wasn’t able to make the brunch.  He had some bus snafu that kept him out of NYC and then when he did arrive he had to hustle over to the expo to pick up his bib and goodie bag.  He called me and we got to chat for a bit.   I will get to meet him in March for the HATRun.  He did great today as did Matt.

Caleb and myself

Thanks to everybody who came to brunch at Josie’s East.  You made this event possible.  I appreciate you all and it was a pleasure to meet you all too.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank TK @pigtailsflying for really coming through for me and helping me out with some venue change for the brunch.   TK is a beautiful person inside and out!!!   THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Today.  Well today is November 7th, 2010.   New York City Marathon Day.   The day that so many of you were preparing for.   Perfect sunny day.   And, unfortunately I couldn’t be out there cheering as I had planned.   I had to tend to some issues at home, some stuff for my mom mostly, actually.   Yeah, all of it was issues with my mom.  So, I couldn’t get out in time and just kinda sulked for a bit in the house.   Then, my sister texted me with “Where are you”  “Are you out there cheering”  When I told her what happened, she said “let’s spectate together texting”.   That immediately cheered me up and I sat and we watched the TV coverage and texted.   The funniest text I got from her was “Sister, it’s all about the pacing”.   Too cute.    She also liked Shalane Flanagans white compression socks.   So did I.  Old Skool.   So, perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing to watch on TV with my sister while twittering away.

Congrats to all of you who finished the New York City Marathon today.  You really made me proud to not only be friends with you all, but proud that I am a runner in NYC.   WOW!!!

Early on in the race today, I made my Game Day Decision.   I didn’t run 9 races this year, plus volunteer 1 time for nothing.  So, next year I have decided to run the New York City Marathon and hold off on Marine Corps Marathon.   Oh, I will run Marine Corps Marathon one day, but next year I just want to run NYC.   Yes, I realize I may be dizzy and excited about all the hoopla and excitement of the day.  Perhaps.   Perhaps, I am basing my decision on that.  But, decision is made.

I have some cool things this year to look forward to.   Two of them being:

A beer run on Sunday November 21st.   My good friend Claire is organizing.  Here is part of her email about it:

We’ll meet on Sunday morning at 11:00am at the Engineer’s Gate at Central Park (Fifth Avenue and E. 90th Street). From there, we’ll run (slowly, comfortably, and without tripping, throwing elbows, or blowing snot rockets on one another) north and west, hopping back and forth between the Park and the Avenues of the Upper West Side to quench our collective thirst along the way.

And then on Thanksgiving Day I will be running the annual Prospect Park 5 mile Turkey Trot race.   A fun race that I enjoy doing.   And fun is the only goal.

I am kinda sad to see this weekend come to an end, but I look ahead with anticipation.

Fun Fact:  In 1970, the first NYCM, 120 runners paid $1 each to run the five loops in Central Park, #ingnycm.

TK also did this awesomeness:   So, there was a cash surplus from Saturday’s NYCM tweet-up brunch. I donated it to @luau‘s page for Autism Speaks.

There’s only us, there’s only this.  Forget regret or life is yours to miss.   No other road, no other way, no day but TODAY!!!!!

~ The Aftermath ~

November 1, 2010

Photo courtesy of Ally.

First, I need to preface this post by saying, I don’t get to get away much.  And by away, I mean even for one night.   So, this trip to DC was something I was really looking forward to.  My sister had to stay behind with my mom to make sure she was OK for the weekend.  Unfortunately, I don’t think my mom can stay alone anymore.

So…..I had a blast.   I arrived in DC Friday afternoon and I am very proud to say I negotiated the metro and arrived safely at the Washington Marriott Hotel.   That night was the first of a few different tweetups/meetups.  This one was at @ultrarunnergirl home.   I decided to cab it to her home being that I was running late.   I was the first one there.   🙂  I brought a dozen cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake and I am pretty sure it was a big hit.

The tweetup was so much fun.  We all wore name-tags with our twitter names and “real” names.   Lots of hugs and laughing and chatting.  I found out that Kirstin (ultrarunnergirl) will be running HATRun and she even invited me to her home to do some trail runs.   May take you up on that love!

Some, but not all of the tweetup group.   See the name tags?

One of my fav photos.   Myself and @MsV1959.   Linda is awesomeness.

Going back to my hotel, I took the metro.   Not too bad on a Friday night in DC.

Next day, I went for a run in the morning.  I ran a 2.62 mile marathon in 29 min…..Lovely day, lovely run.   Then, I walked to the Mall ~ and took in a bit of the Rally to restore Sanity.   It was crowded but very calm.  People were there to, lets face it, restore their sanity right?

Oh, and I saw this.  The Washington Monument.  Wow.  Just spectacular in person.   I kinda stood there and took it all in with a dorky smile on my face.   More walking and I arrived at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo where the 2nd tweetup was taking place.   I wandered around and was pretty much awestruck by it all.  A marathon expo is by far the ultimate runners porn.

Treated myself to these Injiniti socks and bought my sister the same one’s in powder blue.  So comfy.

I bumped into Eva and her hubby and we found the tweetup site where once again there was hugs, giggling, chatting and happiness.  Let’s see if I can remember:  Jenna, Jocelyn, Kirstin, Peter, Josh, Linda, Penny, Eva, Jennifer, Dee, Elyssa, Michelle and so many more.   I just know that even if I don’t see many of these people very often, we have all bonded and formed life long friendships.

Excitedly, I needed to then leave the expo and tweetup to meet up with Ally, Steve and Brodie W for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  Again, I negotiated the metro by myself.  I was a bit nervous to meet up because, in general I am a pretty shy person and I never know if I say the wrong things or how dorky I act or how unfunny some of my jokes may be.   But, I need to stress this:  The very moment I met Ally and Steve and Brodie W, I felt as though I was saying hello to them for the 100th time.   Funny story, as I was waiting at the Pentagon City metro station I saw a guy bounding up the stairs and I thought to myself “is that Brodie W?”   But, then this guy just ran like lightening across the street, so I figured it wasn’t him.   Sure enough, it was Brodie W.   He thought he was “running” late so ran over the CPK.   Gotta say, Brodie W you looked mighty good running.   So dinner was awesome.  We chatted, took photos drank some beers and had a wicked tremendous time.   I even ate the same pizza as Steve, which I later found out is his lucky pizza.   :O)

Steve, myself and Brodie W.

Great great dinner and company.   After dinner, Ally, Steve and myself went back to their hotel for a good luck drink.   I had another Guinness.

I then negotiated the metro back to my hotel room where I saw this scariness:

I wasn’t sure if these creatures liked having their photos taken, but I was ready to run away fast.  Being that my heel was feeling better I thought I could make a good get-away.   They were calm, these creatures of the night.

MARATHON DAY:

I decided on this run:

After having dinner last night with Steve, Ally and Brodie W, I felt so motivated to run today. I decided on a 5k starting at 8am, the starting time of MCM. I started running at 8.01am.

Ran on M Street to Key Bridge and I started seeing the wheelchair runners coming by! I clapped and cheered for them! I ran over Key Bridge and started seeing the elites. Very cool!! Ran back the other way over Key Bridge with elites running to my left and I started pretending I was running MCM and smiling like a dork and even pretending people were cheering for ME!

 

Over the bridge I had to turn right and it was at that moment, I realized I am not really a part of MCM and I started crying a little. The Marines were out and waiting to give out water so I wiped away my tears and thanked them for their service!!!

3.1 miles 32.16 (10.23 min/mile)
Mile 1. 10.40
Mile 2. 10.11
Mile 3. 10.25
Mile. 0.11 1.01 (9.12)

Mile 2 was when I was running (pretending) MCM.

And then I was off to the Marathon Finish Line.   It was a bit hard to get right to the finish line and believe it or not, I had to do a bit of a trail walk to get to where I needed to be.  A thorn hooked into my jeans and the person behind me had to free me.   It was a pretty funny sight to see all these folks walking through the woods to get to the finish line.   It was inspiring, awesome and amazing to see the runners coming through.   I will admit that at this point, I started feeling really sad and down that I wasn’t a part of it, but I quickly snapped out of feeling sorry for myself and concentrated on cheering myself silly.   And I did it with a proud smile on my face knowing that all my friends were out there on the course running proudly after all the months of training.  Everybody did incredible and I am so proud.

Quick shout out and congrats to Steve S who ran this race in:

Official time – 2:47:20
Overall place – 58th out of 21873
PR by 3 minutes 40 seconds.

WOW, just WOW!!!!!!

This photo says it all.  No words necessary.

THANK YOU ALL FOR A REALLY AMAZING WEEKEND.  CONGRATS TO ALL THOSE THAT ROCKED MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!!   I AM STILL GRINNING!!!!

Sadly, I needed to get home, so back to the hotel to pick up my bag and onto the bus back to NYC.   On a Sunday night I got from DC to Brooklyn in under 6 hours.   SWEET.

It was an incredible, busy but awesome weekend.   I truly believe, no matter how hard it was to NOT be able to run MCM, that I made the right decision to defer.  I know in my heart that now I can heal properly and get back to doing what I love the most.  Running.   I am more than half way there too.   Everything is feeling right.  In fact, today I wanted to run so badly, but after smart words from a friend, I held back.  I won’t be able to run again until Wednesday and that is just fine.  I hope that others struggling with whether to run a marathon while injured, takes a little something from me and my situation and can apply it to their situation.   Each injury is of course individual and different, but in the long run we all need to be able to run healthy.

This week is NYCM week and its very exciting.  The lead up to the marathon is an awesome time to be in NYC.  I will post more later in the week.

Up next, Hashathon Trail race on November 14th and then HATRun on March 19th.   Eeek.   I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

Sometimes the best way to find out who you are, is to get to that place where you don’t have to be anything else.