Thursday, July 29, 2010

GOTR Pocono Wurst 5K Update

I hope you enjoyed reading about my recent experience in the adventurous Wurst 5K trail run with the Pocono Girls on the Run. I have a wonderful update to share... thanks to the support of the local Pocono community, the Pocono Area Runners Club and all event participants, the Pocono Wurst 5K raised more than $2,500 for the Pocono GOTR program!

Here are a couple of pictures from the event - all photos are posted on the Shawnee Mountain event photo page.

That's me about to cross the finish line with my buddy, Tori!

The whole Pocono GOTR gang... they're strong and enthusiastic runners!

Thank you to all the great supporters out there for making these programs possible!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Elvis Alive in Chicago

Elvis is alive and supporting pre-teen girls! Ok, that sounds bad, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the King, but I'm running Fleet Feet's annual Elvis is Alive 5K on Thursday August 5th, and the race is benefitting Miri's favorite charity, Girls On The Run!

Elvis seems to be the only thing that will get me running these days since I've been on a run-once-a-week schedule since Seattle. I need some motivation, friends! Please, please, please make me feel guilty about not training for my next marathon in Maine by donating to Hospitals for Humanity or Don't Bully My Breed!

Thank you, thank you very much.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tri for Charity

This weekend, RUS member Mark will be participating in a triathlon. The triathlon is the Whirlpool Ironman 70.3 Steelhead in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This race consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. Let's all cheer on Mark this weekend as he swims, bikes and runs pretty darn far to support his RUS charity, Jamal Place!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Am the Wurst Klutz

This morning I ran the Poconos’ Wurst 5K Trail Run in support of Girls on the Run. The Pocono chapter of GOTR – girls, coaches, and parents – came out to Shawnee Mountain for the event, which benefited the activities of the Pocono GOTR chapter. It was a very hot morning and, as you might expect for a run on a mountainside, the course was hilly. I buddied up with a couple of girls from Girls on Track, the secondary GOTR program that serves older girls (6th through 8th graders) who have already surpassed the initial Girls on the Run program (for 3rd through 5th graders in most locations); we would run the trails together to make sure that we all finished the course safely and with smiles.

At the start area, one of the few parts of the course that was paved rather than grassy or gravelly, an organizer introduced the event and described the course. Then he said something you hope never to hear when trail running: “If you heard the rumor about the bear, it’s true. But we think it’s gone. Just keep your eyes open out there.” Yikes! Apparently some Shawnee Mountain caretakers went into the trails in golf carts to scare away the bear about fifteen minutes before the run started. Then the speaker continued, “The rattlesnakes are usually on the other side of the mountain at this time of year, but that’s not necessarily true of the copperheads. Plus there are ticks, so be careful out there!” Bears and snakes and ticks – oh my! But we’re Girls on the Run – we don’t let wildlife scare us away from a good 5K trail run!

The start gun sounded and we set off. Unfortunately, I got tangled up with another runner and fell as if I were a baseball player sliding into home plate. My GOTR buddies, of course, stopped and asked if I was okay. I wanted to look calm and collected despite being terribly embarrassed. I said, “Yes, it’s just a few scrapes – that’s not going to stop me from running this course with you!” So we continued on, running and walking alternately because of the heat, uneven trail grounds and hills. The girls were awesome in rising to the challenge of their first trail run.

Despite my embarrassing fall, I hope I taught them a lesson about picking yourself up, dusting off and persevering to meet the goal. GOTR has always aimed to show its young runners that they are strong, both physically and mentally, and that they can use those strengths to accomplish whatever goals they set their minds to. I am glad I had the opportunity to turn some scrapes and bruises into a reminder of one of the most important lessons of the GOTR seasonal curriculum.

That's me, pictured, showing off my event tee post-run, all cleaned up, scrapes swabbed with antibacterial gel!

And I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about the amazing accomplishments of the Pocono GOTR in upcoming seasons!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New New Jersey Run Needed

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Hoboken, NJ in time to run the Party With Purpose 5K last night. The day got away from me somewhat. So that means I need a replacement event in New Jersey.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nurture Your Inner Runner

The Red Dress Run for Women in Hartford, Connecticut, which supported the Go Red foundation’s initiative of empowering women to understand how to improve and maintain their heart health, was a big success! I participated with four fabulous – and fabulously determined – women. Running has had a place in each of our lives for varying lengths of time – from my 18 year history on the road and track to some who just started out recently. But we all were equally excited to share 3.1 miles of roads with 1,100 women in support of a worthy cause. The weather was hot and very humid, which makes running a road race challenging and somewhat uncomfortable. On the other hand, we were lucky that the rain held out because it POURED about an hour after we finished running – at just about the time that we were swallowing the first bites of well-deserved pancakes (yum!).

I have to give a shout out to the fact that Marisa, Jen, Melanie and Leah all ran personal bests. This was a first 5K for most of them and they did great! Leah, five months pregnant, even earned her baby-to-be a nice PB, too. And, already enthusiastically planning her next 5K, Melanie is showing her four-month-old baby Tyler, who came to cheer on mommy, how much fun it is being active, especially when you go out running, jogging or walking with a supportive group of friends.

I’ve said before that running is an activity that makes me feel great physically, mentally and emotionally. I loved this sign (pictured, right) that was posted at the park where the Red Dress Run took place. It is true that running is like a friend. Just like I know my friends will always be there for me in times of need (or whenever, really), I know I can always lace up my sneakers and hit the road wherever I am and whenever I need time for myself.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Red Dress Run for Women on Saturday!

Just a reminder for the east coast readers - Saturday morning is the Red Dress Run for Women 5K in Hartford, Ct. The event, which I've previously written about here, supports the Go Red for Women foundation, an initiative that helps women to take control of their heart health by teaching them ways to reduce their risks of heart disease and stroke.

There's still time to sign up! If you are in the area (Amtrak services Hartford if you need public transportation), and would like to run or walk with me and several friends who will join me on the course, please do!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Go To Your Happy Pace

As the July 4th holiday weekend is about to start, we mostly all have an extra day or two to relax and enjoy free time – and hit the roads for some great long runs. Given that, I thought I’d share with you a picture of something I have posted on my refrigerator. It was the back cover of a training log that Girls on the Run SoleMates sent me after I joined the SoleMates team.

Even though I am running a lot of road races as part of my RUS challenge, and I’ll be training hard to achieve some PBs along the way, I also think it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that running, for me at least, is a way of life. I feel better in every respect – physically, emotionally, mentally – when I’m running regularly during my weekly schedule. Sometimes I run fast, sometimes I run slow; sometimes I’m on the road for an hour or two, sometimes just for thirty minutes. But in any case, it’s my “Me Time”. I find my happy pace and enjoy it! I hope you will keep that in mind when you run, too!

Oh, and if you are interested in joining a charity run team, SoleMates is always welcoming new runners to the team. They'll provide you with training materials and gear, as well as entry into the marathon or half marathon event of your choice.