Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guitars, Courage, and Being Carol Brady

The 8 y.o. auditioned for his first Talent Show yesterday!  He has been playing the electric guitar for almost a year now (a year at the end of June).  He LOVES it. We don't have to beg him to practice, he does it on his own.  He took interest in it thanks to my dad who first got my boys into The Beatles way before Beatles Rockband.  Yup my boys LOVE The Beatles and it is funny and cute to hear them belt out Beatles tunes.

So we got the 8 y.o. taking guitar lessons and has since done two recitals.  The last recital he did awesome playing "Eye of the Tiger," but sadly and kinda painfully bombed on "Star Spangled Banner."  He admitted after his recital that he didn't practice his "Star Spangled Banner" solo as much.  I think the experience left him a bit horrified about performing up there for people.  We were disappointed about his decision at first to not audition for the Talent Show - something he had looked forward to until that recital.

So how do you teach a kid that hey, that's how life is, sometimes you make mistakes or you end up not doing your best, so try your best again next time?  We're the type of parents who like to encourage our kids in their passions, but we don't push too hard that it will destroy their passion.  It's such a delicate and fine line.

It's funny that it took a lesson about my running and a birthday party to finally convince the 8 y.o. to try out for the Talent Show anyway.  At the last minute, the first 2 boys RSVP'd to a birthday party.  The 8 y.o. didn't want to go at first - he didn't think he knew a lot of the kids there, but he went ahead to the party and came back to report what a great time he had and "Man, Mom, I'm so glad I took the chance to go to this party because I had the best time and 2 of my classmates were there!"

Somehow I managed to slip a "Brady Bunch" moment where the parents and kids discuss the lesson learned for the day at the end, without making it too obvious and cheesy for my 8 y.o.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  "You know, sometimes you never know unless you try.  It's scary at first but once you do it, most of the time it's not so bad!  You know, it's kinda like that audition you want to do....."  (Silence.  Oh-oh.  Crap)

8 y.o.:  "Yeah, I should just do it.  I really wanted to do it but messing up at the recital scared me."

Me:  "It's like when I run those races.  I don't know why but I'm always scared that I won't have enough energy to finish the race or I won't beat my fastest time.  But I try anyway and I make sure I "practice" running a lot so I can finish it."

8 y.o.:  "You want to beat Dad in a race?"

Me:  "Umm, no, (that would never happen, I say to myself), I want to beat my best and fastest time - sometimes that's hard, but I will never know unless I try, right?"

8 y.o.:  "That's true."
Me:  "What would happen if you don't audition for the talent show?"
8 y.o.:  "I'm going to wonder if I could have made it..."
Me:  "Yeah, that's called regret."
8 y.o.:  "Ok, I don't want to regret.  I want to do it."
I think I deserve a little Mother of the Day award for that one, don't you think?  It's so challenging to talk to my 8 y.o. sometimes, and I have to remind myself to keep things short or else I lose him, and I'm sure I start to sound like the school teacher from The Peanuts cartoon.

So yesterday we packed up his electric guitar and amp and got in line at the school to audition.  I think he was nervous but I couldn't tell.  He practiced everyday for almost 2 weeks perfecting his Jimi Hendrix style "Star Spangled Banner" solo - yup, the same song he messed up on at his recital, he decided to prove to himself that he could do it, if not better.  I am so proud of him for toughing it out and conquering his fear.  He knew that as long as he practiced hard, whatever happens on audition day will be his best and we're proud of him regardless.

He came out of the audition room with a big smile!  I couldn't be any happier for him. 

Just A Heads Up!

Watch out for a deluge of post-dated blog posts here - half written old blog posts I am finally completing have started to pop up and sneak up here and there and there's more coming!  I didn't change the post dates that's why they're not showing up at the top.

Also, I've added a new tab called "Giveaways" where I've listed a couple of incredible blog giveaways I've found or read about online!  Check them out!

That is all and thank you for following my blog!

Happy running!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Things I MUST Do Before the Weekend

My Three Things Thursday this week is a little boring, but it's what's on the brain.  Actually there's more than three things I need to do want to do, but here's the top three.

Laundry.  It never goes away at my house - not even for a minute.  The hubs has a race this Sunday, and we need to wash a big load of our running/exercise clothes.  Very grateful that the hubs does his share of it whether it's washing them, folding them or putting them away.  It's still something I never look forward to every week.  It's the bane of my existence.  Ugh!

Purging Forgotten/Old/Useless Toys.  We have 20 remote control cars and trucks like the one pictured above.  Really?  For 3 boys?  Time to purge!  I'm excited about doing this task, actually.  We have a community yard sale coming up at the end of May and I'm hoping to get rid of old toys then.  It can get pretty touchy feely with the boys when it comes to getting rid of old toys, but they come around and get inspired after I tell them they can keep the money they earn from selling their old toys.  Of course, after requiring them to save 10% of their "earnings," this usually means they can bring newer useless toys!  Ah, the irony!  What a vicious cycle we weave!

Catching up on my blog and everyone else's blog happenings.  I'm still playing catch up since the beginning of April!  I have half written blog posts waiting for me to finish, and I have blogger friends' blogs I want to read.  What's slowing me down is my Ukrop's Monument Av. 10K Race Recap Part 3.  I have to get over that hump to move on.  But this is one of my favorite tasks I do every week.  If I could blog all day I would!

So there you have it, my Three Things Thursday for the week.  Nothing exciting, nothing inspiring, it's what's consuming me lately. 

Can't wait to read your TTT!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So far behind!!!

I've been so busy here I haven't had a chance to update my blog.  I just updated my Dailymile :P so will be back to my blogging now that Spring Break and Easter is over, and the hubs has no more business travel plans.  I have yet to finish my Monument Av Race Re-cap Part 2, so will be posting that soon.

At least I'm not behind on my running, which is good, right?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Recap: The Jellybean Virtual 5K Race

My first Virtual 5K race!  Thanks to Jess from Run With Jess, I had something to look forward to - to shake up my half-marathon/Ragnar training.  I am becoming more aware of the need to have a race every month.  ACK!

Here's me before my 5K, in my spankin' new Cheetah Pool RunningSkirt.

Excuse the fuzzy/muddy  mirror image.

I took a close up pic to show off my Jellybean Virtual Race Bib, and felt really dumb when I realized that you can't quite make out text that well on a mirror image.  DUH!

Man, I really NEED to clean that mirror.
 There, that's better!  LOL!

I set out on my run on a very cloudy day.  I kept hoping it wouldn't rain.  Right when I was about to start, it started to sprinkle.  Grrrr.  I walked home feeling a bit disappointed that my race was about to be rained-out.  The hubs was like, "It's only a sprinkle!  Here.  Take your hat and just go out there."  I was more concerned about my cell phone getting wet, actually.  I had my cell phone in an armband.  Not so sure if the armband was waterproof, but I didn't want my phone wet! 

Thanks to the hubs, I went out there anyway, wore my zip up dri-fit long sleeve over my armband.  It was a pain in the butt taking my long sleeve off to turn on RunKeeper on my cell, but I was on my way.  FINALLY!

The 1.5 mile was great.  Despite the sprinkle, I was feeling good and got into my groove.  Then it started to rain a little bit harder and I started to  My cell phone!  my cell phone!  I dared not take my long sleeve off but I was dying!  Tried to focus on just running.  At mile 2.5, I felt a little better, going downhill and desperately trying to catch a breeze.  I was thinking I had done 3.1 miles when I slowed down to check mileage and lo and behold I was only at Mile 2.89!  ACK!  And to make matters worse, I accidentally pressed "stop" and RunKeeper announced, "Activity stopped.  Activity completed...workout summary..."  Wait!!! WAIT!!!  I'm NOT DONE!  I was jogging a little at this point as I desperately started RunKeeper again to get that last 0.21 miles in. ARGH.  But then at this point, I was going uphill and man was it tough!!! 

So there you have it my first virtual race.  It sucked, I felt gross and just didn't feel it at the end there, but I did it.  I finished!  And that is all that matters!  Woot!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Discovering A Rhythm

I have 3.5 miles on my schedule for today.  It's Spring Break for the boys and the hubs is home too!  I'm happy to be able to do 3.5 on my own and not have to push the 3 y.o. in the jogging stroller. 

I took a different route this time which I call The Braided Stream Loop.  The last half mile and right around Mile 2 are uphill.  Once I got into my running groove, I felt like I was flying (to me anyways, and I'm sure I was going just 10 min/miles on those stretches).  When I got to the first uphill stretch, I took smaller steps but kept the same groove I had earlier. 

The nice thing about running without music is you are more in tune with your breathing and your strides.  I started to notice a rhythm that my breathing was making with each step I took.  One/inhale, two, three, four/exhale.  One/inhale, two, three, four/exhale, etc...or something like that.  I became more focused on that syncopation as I literally attacked each hill - even as the hill crested and flattened out, I maintained that rhythm.

I couldn't believe I did 3.52 miles in 41 minutes - that is fast for me especially with hills.  It was such a great run I was on high the whole day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Celebrations

This girl's been so BUSY over here, and there's so much to blog about!  I feel horrible about giving an "in an nutshell" blog post, but it's going to have to be that - a synopsis - a should-have-been-3-separate-blog-posts, instead, condensed into my three things for Thursday:

I was one of 3 winners from Another Mother Runner's Video Contest!  I made a short video on how "I Run Like A Mother."  I got the pink running hat on the right and I LOVE it!  Can't wait to wear it on my next run!  If you haven't seen my little vid yet, check it out below!  ;)

I RAN for the first time in a month since my injury!

No walking, no jogging!  Ran 3 miles last Saturday and another 3 miles Monday!  It feels SO GOOD to be back to running again!  So grateful for my Physical Therapists for helping me out and so thankful I am finally healed (knock-on-wood).  In addition to graduating from Physical Therapy, I had an epiphany last weekend.  After another frustrating attack of plantar fasciitis on my left foot towards the end of my first 10K race, I finally took the time to google "arch pain and running shoes."  I was so ready to go back to Saucony Pro-grid Ride shoes (my first pair of running shoes) since they never gave me issues, but I really did not want to go back to traditional running shoes.  (Yes, I'm stubborn).  Well, can you believe I figured out the cause of my PF?  My left shoe is too big for my left foot!  When I doubled my socks on my left foot, I felt no pain!  Yay!  It worked on the 2 days I ran 3 miles.  So excited!  I am just hoping and praying I'm finally on the road to running again with no injuries.  Yay!


Proud Momma moment!  My boys brought home amazing report cards!  Cannot help but be proud of them, of course!

Thanks for "celebrating" with me!  I still need to post a Part II to my first 10K race.  I will be able to come up for air more and blog more once this week is over.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Joining Team LUNGevity

When my mom called me that one spring afternoon in 2007 to tell me they discovered a mass in her lung and it might be cancer, I didn't want to believe what she had just said.  You might say I was in denial.  No, not my mom, it can't be my mom!  She never smoked a cigarette in her life!  Yet I couldn't push away the memory of my Aunt (my mom's sister) who fought a courageous battle with lung cancer 7 years ago and passed away within 8 months.  I didn't want to believe that my mom would have a similar fate.  No, not my mom.  I was ready to put up a good fight.

Once her diagnosis was confirmed - Stage 4 Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) - I was online 24/7 scouring the web for information on what it is we are fighting, what is THE BEST treatment out there for her, who can help.

I was overwhelmed by information, but mostly I wanted (craved) to hear success stories from people who fought lung cancer and survived.  I didn't want to hear all the bad stuff.  I wanted to know what works, what doesn't, what kinds of food can my mom eat/tolerate, and where we can get the best treatment for her.

Among the many supportive and informative online forums I found was the LUNGevity Online Support Community.  I must have read every single post on there.  All of a sudden, I didn't feel alone.  The forum became one of my go-to places for everything - for information, validation, and comfort.  I never did participate in any of the discussions, but I forwarded every post I found interesting and helpful to my dad and my mom. 

The doctors gave my mom 6 months, but she proved them wrong and lived 20 months.  She received the best treatment available to her.  She fought hard, endured the pain, but never once complained or asked why.  When she passed away, I never felt the same. Life changed.  She was my best friend.  I still miss her. So much.....

My mom and me back in 2006
The year I became a runner and ran the Race for Breath 5K for lung cancer in November 2009, I ran my heart out for my mom.  I also kept thinking about the families who are dealing with this horrible disease, and I finished that race knowing that I want to help.  I want to help others with lung cancer get a better survival rate.  I want to help to honor my mom.

I started looking for charity organizations that I can help raise money for.  There are charities for general cancer research and charities for lung cancer research specifically.  If I could, I would help all cancer charities, but I chose just one organization to pour all my heart into.  I kept going back to the astounding statistics of lung cancer:  it is the #1 cancer killer in the U.S., yet it is the LEAST-FUNDED cancer research program in the U.S.; there is no early detection for lung cancer unlike colon, breast, and prostate cancer - cancers with early detection;  only 15% of lung cancer patients survive 5 years post-diagnosis; it kills more people than breast, colon, brain, & prostate cancers COMBINED (statistics from LUNGevity Foundation and Lung Cancer Alliance).

I chose to join and run for Team LUNGevity in memory of my mom. Team LUNGevity is a group of passionate runners and triathletes who run marathons, triathlons, half marathons, and any race distance while raising money for lung cancer research.  I chose Team LUNGevity because I was drawn to LUNGevity Foundation's mission of  increasing the survival rates of lung cancer patients by funding lung cancer research on early detection and treatment.  That mission stood out for me.  If lung cancer could have been detected early for my mom, perhaps she would still be alive today.  I want to make that (early detection of lung cancer) a reality to someone, and I want those who are fighting lung cancer now to have the best treatment possible.  Lung cancer does not discriminate - it doesn't matter if a person used to smoke, smoked, or never smoked; a person's ethnic background does not matter.  It is a cancer that no one deserves.  It is a deadly cancer that needs to be detected early just like the other cancers. 

Please help me fight lung cancer and help me raise money to fund early detection research for lung cancer by supporting me as I train to run 3 races in memory of my mom and others touched by lung cancer, and in honor of those who are fighting lung cancer now:

The Dempsey Challenge 10K race on October 8, 2011
Race for Breath 5K (for lung cancer) on November 5, 2011
Richmond Half Marathon (my first half marathon!) on November 12, 2011

Please see below how you can help.  My training and fundraising efforts will culminate in my first half marathon this November.
  • Donate just $13.10- on my DONATION PAGE to honor someone you know touched by lung cancer.  I will wear their names on race day to honor their courage and their fight.
  • Sponsor a mile for either 1 or all 3 races I am running by donating $131- per mile on my DONATION PAGE.  Dedicate that mile to someone.
  • Or simply donate as little as $1- on my DONATION PAGE.  Every little bit helps.
Thank you so much for reading this far and for supporting me! 

Much love,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Running With No Music

I forgot my ear buds at my sister's house last weekend!  I wanted to go out for my first run today since the Monument Av 10K race last week.  Last week was tough for me - the hubs was out of town for business, I couldn't get a run in, so today I felt so done.  I NEED to run.

I was so desperate to start feeling better about everything that I ventured out without music.  I refused the hub's offer to borrow his headphones because I just wanted to get out right away.  Forget SI Joint Dysfunction, forget ITBS, forget plantar fasciitis.  I'm so over being injured.  I need a break away from the kids.  I'm going for a run.  I left the boys with the hubs around 6:30pm.  The hubs gave me this look like, "what about dinner?" and I just had to leave.  I'm so done.  I felt kinda bad afterwards for not telling the hubs ahead of time what I was going to do and to leave him trying to figure out dinner.  Yeah, that was bad.

I did my usual 5K out and back to Victor Lane.  I started slow and steady.  It was a cloudy and the skies threatened rain, but I didn't care.  For the first time, I heard the little brook that went under the same running path I take every week.  It was neat to hear the water jump over the rocks.  I heard birds trying to get away from the darkening skies.  I could hear my running shoes hitting the pavement in a rhythm with my breathing.  For the first time since I started running, I felt more relaxed, at ease.  I didn't feel as hurried by a fast beat, or feel the pressure to run fast to music.  I ran as fast and as slow as my body wanted, and it felt good! 

The other thing I discovered today was my left running shoe is a wee bit bigger for my left foot!  When I doubled up on socks on my left foot, I didn't feel any arch pain!  YAY! 

It was a great run today.  I didn't stop to walk or to jog.  I listened to my body and just ran.  Do you run with music?  Have you tried running without music?  Give it a try!  It's not as scary as it seems.  I was distracted by everything around me to feel burdened by the miles.  I actually like running without music now.  Helps clear my head.  If I ever need to focus on something I want to hear, I play a song in my head, and it works just fine.  Try it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Last Day of Physical Therapy!!!

Today was my last day of physical therapy!  YAY!  I've been waiting for this day of dismissal.  I've had no pain (knock-on-wood) on my lower back and no ITB pain either.  I left armed with exercises/stretches to self-correct my SI Joint should it go out of whack again and exercises to strengthen my lower back.  I have to gradually get back to running again - easing up on speed and slowly piling the miles.  I'm just grateful that I went to PT sooner and not later.  I want to run for as long as I can and now that I've had my first injury, I am more conscious now about the importance of taking a break from running and when to seek help.

Race Recap: Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Part 2

I've been so crazy busy since I got back from my first 10K race in Richmond.  Heaven knows how far behind I am from everything:  my Sarah B. workouts, updating my Dailymile posts, sending thank yous to my donors, spring cleaning around the house, and "medical-to-do" lists for everyone here.  It seems like the one thing I am on track and on the ball with is my running.  Go figure!  Ok, I want to make sure I posted my Race Recap Part 2 (and now Part 3!) before May while the memory of it is still fresh, so here it goes (Race Recap Part 1 is HERE).

My mom!

Did I mention that my sister makes a mean spaghetti sauce?  She and I learned from the best, of course - my mom!  Secret ingredient is a light dusting of sugar!  YUM.  After carbo-loading like crazy, I wasn't ready to hit the sack just yet.  I didn't have enough time at home to write on my shirt all the names my donors sent me  who are/were touched by cancer.  I had to get my sister's help on this.  Her handwriting is much better and more straight!

My sister writes like a type-writer!  You can tell which name I wrote - but it is the most special one to me.  :)

I really liked how it turned out.  I wanted the names on my Massey shirt to be permanent so that I can remember who I ran for that day.

I laid out my running outfit, pinned my race bib on and attached my D-tag on my shoe.  I went through my pre-race ritual of laying everything out from undergarments, outfit, my chick hat, cell phone, pre-race snack & water.  I'm so obsessive!  I'm the type of person who just wants to get up early for a race, look at what I have to do/put on and just do it, without having to remember or think.  LOL.  I'm not a morning person, so this pre-race ritual is crucial.

Once I got everything set and ready for tomorrow morning, I was ready to hit the sack.  So tired!  I usually read before bed so I grabbed Bart Yasso's My Life On the Run - the autographed book I got at the Expo.  BIG MISTAKE.  The book was too interesting I couldn't put it down, and it got me way too excited about race day.  I should have picked up a boring book from home to read!  Ugh.  It was so frustrating to say the least.  My body was exhausted but my mind was too worked up to feel sleepy.  Why does this happen to me every night before a race?

Last time I looked at my cell phone it was 2:24am.  I kept dreaming about things that could go wrong the morning of the race, like my yellow running skirt coming out in shreds or forgetting this and that.  It was the most unsettling night before a race I've had yet!  I have no idea why I was feeling all jittery knowing full well I can't run the whole course!  I shouldn't feel anxious, yet I am!  Ack!

I woke up to my alarm 3 freaking hours later.  Ugh.  Adrenaline kicked in as usual.  Did my PT exercises to loosen up, then hit the showers to wake up and got ready in no time.  My college friends came over on the dot.  I hardly had anything to eat yet so I scarfed down my oatmeal and packed bananas, snacks and gummy bears.  We knew that parking would be a pain, so we headed down to Monroe Park.

It was a very chilly morning!  I layered with long pants and a jacket.  We lucked out and got street parking 2 blocks from Monroe Park.  It occurred to me that I have no clue where the start and finish lines are.  Did not study the course map.  Guess I prefer surprises, or you can say that it's best when I don't know how many more miles I have to go.  lol.

We decided to attend the "Blessing of the Runners" at the Sacred Heart Cathedral off of Monroe Park.  It was kinda cool to see runners dressed in running gear, some in costume, inside the church.  I find out days later from pics taken during the event that the priest was wearing Vibram Five Fingers underneath his robe.  The priest is a runner too!  Yeah!  I prayed that I won't kill myself on the course given that my last long run of 5 miles was 2 weeks before.  I just want to finish even if I have to walk the whole course.

We had to meander our way around Monroe Park a bit.  The line to the bag check-in was ridiculous.  My awesome sister offered to take our stuff back to the car.  We went ahead and registered our team's costume - "Chick Magnet."

We paled in comparison to the other costumes there.  These guys were great!  I didn't see how in the world you can run in those costumes, but they looked like they were having a blast.

One of my favorite group costumes!

Another favorite!

The hour before our wave start was excruciating.  At this point I just wanted to get it over with and go back to bed.  It was still cold out so we stayed inside the church.  A little weird to see other runners stretch/snack inside the church, but no one kicked us out, no one seemed to give us that "you shouldn't do that in church" look, so we stayed until it was time to go.

Race Recap:  Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Part 3 - The Race - coming soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three Things Thursday: "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You"

This has always been one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt.  I don't know what it is about this year or the last 2 years that made me inch outside of my comfort zone. Last week, I definitely went outside of my comfort zone and just did these three things that seemed pretty scary to me at the time.

Submitting drawings to a juried art show - my first time! 
It's always a huge gamble, putting yourself, your art out there.  It makes me feel a little vulnerable which scares me a little.  I guess my art can be a little personal and the 3 drawings I submitted were a bit close to me.  I had been going back and forth between "should I?" and "should I even bother?" for the last 3 weeks.  Two days before the deadline, I decided, the heck with it, I don't want to end up thinking "what ifs" which is worse.  So I paid my fee and emailed my drawings and hoped for the best. (Update:  My drawings were not accepted into the show.  Well, at least I tried, right?  Need to try again next time!)

Deep down, my sister and I are trying hard not to throw up.
I was at the Ukrop's Monument Av. 10K Expo with my sister last Friday to pick up my race packet when we saw the SUNTRUST Richmond Marathon booth.  I had been thinking about running my first half marathon in Richmond for weeks.  Somehow, seeing their booth made me believe it was a sign that I should sign up.

So I signed up for my first half marathon, before my first 10K race with only five 5Ks under my belt.  What was I thinking?  Well, if Flea, from Red Hot Chili Peppers, can run the Buffalo Run Half Marathon and Drew Carey, who signed up for his first half marathon, had the guts to do it, then why not?  Right?

Doing the 10K race anyway, despite not being able to really run the whole way.
Me in yellow, yards away from the finish line, praying my painful calves wouldn't give out on me before I crossed the finish line.
My first 10K race wasn't exactly how I planned it.  I planned on running it.  Instead, I HAD to walk/jog it.  My physical therapist advised me against running it to prevent a relapse on my SI Joint Dysfunction.  After I got over the huge disappointment, my rational adult side of me knew I couldn't just skip the race.  I had raised money for the Massey Cancer Center, and I just couldn't disappoint my friends who had donated money in memory and in honor of someone they know who was touched by cancer.

So when my wave start group crossed the start line, it took a great friend and a lot of mental strength to keep me at a jogging pace and to slow to a walk at each water stop.  The ironic thing is, my lower back and ITB on my right leg did not bother me at all.  It was my calf muscles that started twitching and totally scared the crap out of me!  I did not want to give up.  I wanted to finish even if I had to walk.  So I slowed down to a walk whenever my calves started twitching.  It was painful physically, mentally, and spiritually because the rest of my body was saying, "go, you have the energy!  You have the cardio!  I know I can do this!"  But it was my calves that totally stopped me.  So I ended up walking more than jogging.  I almost walked over the finish line and I was like, "NO!  It can't be over!  I feel like I can keep going!"

But I finished and I did it.  It's done.  There is a next year.  But man, was that a tough race result to accept.  Well, it is what it is and at least I am rest assured I will have many more miles in front of me - risking everything for my first 10K was not worth it when I have a half marathon race coming up in November.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: From Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race

My favorite "Dress Up and Run" Costumes from the race.  They had to run in these costumes as a group.  The Up "kid" and the old guy walked the course, though.  So much fun!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Race Recap: Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Part 1

After obsessing about what to wear/what to bring to the Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race the night before I left for Richmond, I was happy to be on the road by 2PM on Friday, and thankful for a quick trip, sans too much traffic!  I was missing my boys on the trip down, feeling a little strange not hearing any arguing and whining in the back of the car, but I was happy to have the break.  I am grateful for the hubs for letting me do this race.   With two runners in the family, we've been taking turns being on "kid-duty" while the other one races, and this past weekend was my "race weekend." 

After snaking my way through the Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Expo at the Arthur Ashe Center to pick up my race packet, I was greeted by the VCU Massey Cancer Center Wall full of wishes and dedications.

It took me awhile to find a spot for mine.  I was humbled by all the names and tributes.  This is, after all, why I am running this race:  to kick cancer in the ass.

Yup.  Only in my dreams will I ever be a Kenyan.
My sister and I met up and found the Bondi Band booth and totally hammed it up just for fun.  The one I'm wearing above is one of our favorites and this one below:

Funny thing though, I ended up buying neither, opting instead to buy "Run Like A Mother" and "13.1," Bondi Bands, the latter for inspiration.


Then we stumbled into the SUNTRUST Richmond Marathon booth, and I knew it was a sign.  I had been thinking and talking about doing my first half marathon this year (as part of my "Before the Hill List") and when I saw the booth, I felt like I couldn't escape it, it was totally meant to be.  So my sister and I signed up!!!!  :O)  (We are still freaking out over this).

I knew from the Runner's World Magazine Facebook page that Amby Burfoot and Bart Yasso would be at the Expo.  I think I was more excited about meeting them and getting my books autographed.  So imagine my complete and utter embarrassment when I asked this guy below where I could find Amby Burfoot.

Amby Burfoot and me after signing my book!
"Actually, I am Amby."  :O)  (ACK!).  How could I not recognize him?  He was so down to earth, and while I was looking at all the books they had at their booth, he kept telling me if I hang around a little longer, I could meet Bart Yasso and get an autographed copy of Bart's My Life On the Run:  The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon.  I was so flustered I didn't know how to save myself except to go on and on about how Amby's book, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life, has inspired me, affected me, and changed me as a runner.  I meant it too!  In my awkward and flustered state, I realized I forgot my copy of "The Runner's Guide.." in my car, and so my sister offered to get it for me.   

I was totally star-struck by Amby Burfoot and very happy I got to meet him.  While I waited for my sister to return, he shared how these days, he only trains for 10Ks and half marathons, no more full marathons.  He was excited about running the 10K race the next day and felt very energized by Richmond's spirit and running community.  He was planning to hang out after the 10K race to check out all the buzz over the Richmond Rams, VCU's men's basketball team, who made it to the Final Four.  Amby seems to be the kind of guy who lives for the experience of not just the race, but of the town the race is in.  He runs for the pure joy of running and I love that about him.

I wish I wasn't so starry-eyed when I met him.  I forgot to ask him about his Athens Marathon, but he did give me a big boost of encouragement when he recommended the Richmond Half Marathon for first-timers.  He ran the Richmond Full Marathon years ago, and he told me that the timing of the race (mid-November), the relatively flat course, and the energy of the crowd offered a great combination for a first-time half marathoner.  Now if only I was a faster runner, I could have had the pleasure to run in the same wave start line as Amby.  From his own race recap of the Ukrop's Monument Av 10K, looks like he ran the 10K course twice.  Once towards the finish line and the second time going back towards the start line, meeting lots of other runners along the way.  Again, how could I have missed him?!!!

Bart Yasso signing my book!
Not to be overshadowed by Amby Burfoot, I finally got to meet Bart Yasso too!  I've had his book, My Life On the Run:  The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon, on my reading list for awhile, and I was ecstatic to get an autographed copy of it at the Expo!  He wasn't running the 10K race the next day, but he did do a 3-mile run at 7am that Friday morning with a bunch of lucky runners.  If I only knew he was going to do that, I would have made the drive to Richmond Thursday night.  It's not everyday you get a chance to run next to or near Bart Yasso.

Bart Yasso and me! 
I didn't embarrass myself around Bart like I did when I met Amby.  I wish I had at least done something to my hair to look good.  I looked so disheveled!  Anyways, Bart was traveling from expo to expo the last few weeks.  I couldn't hang out with him to chat since there were a few people waiting, but I was so happy to meet him!

After being at the Expo for 2 hours, I was ready to go to my sister's house to carbo-load with spaghetti for dinner.  YUM!  My sister cooks a mean spaghetti!  It was such an exciting day, and I haven't even run the race yet at that point!  More about race day on Race Recap Part 2.
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