Runfession #7 – February 2020

February 2020 has come to an end with the bonus “Leap Year” day this past Saturday. Having an “extra” day made me think I had “extra” time to catch up on chores and start our spring cleaning project, maybe run an extra mile or two or 10, however that was not case. But actually, not being able to do those things didn’t stop February from being a Fabulous Month! Thank you to Kate from Aroused by Arête for the “fabulous” prompt for this week!

Forgive me Brooks for I have sinned….

I runfess…I am so so so very very very proud that I was able to complete the Taji 100 this year! I ended up with 103 miles for the month (I was going to do more, but this week was just too busy to get extra miles in). I never would have finished these miles without the support of and group runs with She RUNS this Town/Moms RUN this Town! My running tribe is so totally awesome and truly FABULOUS!

A special THANK YOU goes out to Kristi who started the Taji with me by running 8 miles on the first day. FYI – Kristi only re-started running last fall and had only run 4-5 miles before this inaugural 8-miler. We were doing great this entire month, finishing miles ahead of schedule until Kristi got injured the week before we were to finish our miles. In a true testament to her perseverance and intestinal fortitude, Kristi dug deep and took a lot of advil and we were able to finish the final 2 miles of the Taji 100 together last Sunday.

Shout out to Katie in CA who first introduced me to the Taji 100. She finished her 100 miles just today despite dealing with all sorts of distractions between family, work, house projects, and illness. I never doubted that she wouldn’t get it done!

I runfess…our SRTT/MRTT Cupid Shuffle Step Challenge has also ended. Our team, “Shot Steppers” were in 1st place the first two weeks, but we dropped down to 2nd place last week. Our fearless leader is in Hawaii this week so I’m still waiting to get our grand total for this week. Hopefully we regained our 1st place standing! Not that I’m competitive or anything..oh wait, I runfessed to that last month, didn’t I? Ok, fine – I hope we win because that would be just FABULOUS!!!

I runfess…now, I’m feeling a bit bereft without having a fitness goal for this month. Any suggestions? Drop me a comment!

I runfess…I am going to buy new running shoes. The ones I have can probably last a few more months, but the weather is starting to get warmer and I need new running shoes! (I know that wasn’t really logical, but do I really need an excuse to buy some new running shoes?) Right now, I’m wearing the Brooks Ghost 11 (my 2nd pair). I’ve been happy with this brand and style however I do like checking out the competition! Plus, I have a coupon! All the signs point to the running store this week…

I runfess…as the weather is getting warmer and I’m thinking of doing more running outside, I am actually really glad that we moved to this part of the country. Spring may not smell too good (ask the Amish farmers why) but there is nothing like running on trails and noticing buds on the trees and sprouts coming up from the ground. This time of year is holds so much promise!

Well, this might have been the most FABULOUS February that I have had in a long time! Will it be Marvelous March, next?

UPDATE:

My team “Shot Steppers” won our SRTT Step Challenge!! Woohoo!! February Fabulousness has been Finalized!!!

One “fabulous fail” though, I missed the link up to Marcia’s Healthy Slice with the other Runfessions. <sigh> Oh well, one can’t be too perfect! Keeping grounded and more aware of the date for March…

©️ 2020 iido

The Hershey Half Marathon – A Haibun and Race Review

Race day was wear-pajamas-and-a-blanket-while-sipping-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire chilly. The first few miles felt like getting slapped by icy fingers. The middle miles were warmed by enthusiastic cheers and hills that heated legs. At the end of 13.1, the glow of accomplishment kept us warm while our friendship felt as heavy and solid as our medals.

Wind whispers “Give up”

The hill is steep, legs are tired

Friend shouts “Keep going”

The race begins! See how nice my hair looks…

A quick photo stop with my MRTT running buds, Heather and Michele.

At the end with my KitKat medal in front of Chocolate a World. Notice the hair – courtesy of wind and sweat!

The Hershey Half Marathon was held on a windy day in October this year. It was cold but warmed up a bit as the sun came up. I ran intervals with two wonderful women from my Moms Run this Town chapter, Michele and Heather. Our goal was 2:45 which we missed by 3 minutes. But that was ok. It was a PR for Michele and my best time coming back from health issues. Heather is a speedster but wanted to take it easy this race since she had other races coming up and didn’t get much running before this one.

This was one of those races where we all agreed it was about the journey and not the destination (time 😁). We were pretty consistent on the intervals – except for the part when, after cresting a very steep hill that had a DJ blasting “Cotton Eyed Joe” at the top, I decided to celebrate by breaking out my dance moves. That was a mistake although quite fun! I broke my stride, started to cramp in my calf and needed some extra walk breaks after that. Note to self – doing the “running man” does not count as a running interval!

Despite that running gaffe, the race itself was great! Michele and I had trained together for this one and we had all run it before so the hilly route was familiar. The wind was definitely a factor – I had to chase down my visor at one point after it blew away. They give out little Hershey chocolate bars in the last 2-3 miles of the race which is nice little treat. The one part of the course I don’t like is running through the empty parking lot as you head towards the stadium. The crowd support, especially around the Milton Hershey School, is excellent which is such a contrast to this desolate area that comes right at the end of race. Also disappointing this year was there was no cookie at the end!! Not that I needed a cookie but yes, I did need a cookie!!

I still don’t have any races scheduled for 2019…any suggestions, especially for races with great swag, are welcome! Lastly – a big shout out to MRTT and especially Heather and extra loud for Michele!! You ladies are in inspiration for my perspiration! ❤️

Shhh, be vewy, vewy quiet…

…I’m hunting wabbits!! (If you don’t know where this is from – you’re still a baby in my book; if this brings back memories – get your dose of nostalgia here!)

Don’t worry! No rabbits were hurt in the writing of this post! But let me tell you about this fun run I did a few weekends ago and you’ll see the connection.

I went for a run with three fabulous mother runners, Cara, Emily and Olivia, from my MRTT group. They are faster runners than me and had to do more miles than I did on this group run.

We were on an out and back trail so the plan was that I would turn back at my half way point and they would turn back with me, then go back out again to finish their miles. (BTW, I LOVE this about my RBs at MRTT, they really try to not let members run alone. We’re all in it together – start to finish!)

So, I’m about to turn around at the halfway point of my run, when I had this idea. Maybe it was from reading about Harrier runs or maybe it was my way of making up for holding them back with my slow, interval running. I had never suggested this before but the ladies I was with seemed like a fun bunch who were willing to take the challenge.

My idea: they continue their run (it was about an additional half mile before they needed to turn around to get their miles). Then, they could catch up with me on their way back (they were faster and I was doing run/walk intervals) and we would continue the rest of the run together.

Now, these ladies are faster than me by a good 3-4 minutes – which doesn’t sound like a lot but every runner knows that each second multiplied over a run is a lot of time. I figured I had about a 9-10 minute head start on them. At this point, my competitive self appeared and decided that my secret goal was to try to beat them back to the start before they could catch up to me (insert diabolical laugh here). So as long as I kept my pace, I figured, I had a chance. Did I mention that running math was not my strong suite?

Anyways…I’m chugging along, enjoying the scenery and trying my best not to devolve into just walking (which is my tendency when I run sola). I’m checking over my shoulder every now and then and see no sign of these lovely ladies. Now, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, thinking, “Ha! Intervals do make for a faster run (at least for me). I am pretty awesome for keeping ahead of these mother runners who I know can run faster than I can without breaking a sweat!” I mentally pat myself on the back and promise myself a mocha latte for the ride home.

I’m a little over a mile from the start and had just passed a male walker. I think to myself, “Gosh, I still don’t see them – I might actually really beat them to the start! I can probably walk and still beat them.” I mentally give myself a high five and include whipped cream to that reward latte.

So now, I’m just walking and looking over my shoulder (lone male walkers/runners keep me on high alert). I go around a bend and after a bit, look behind and lo and behold…I see these awesome women totally catching up to me! Ack!!!! Panic!! I start to run like they are chasing me because clearly they are!! Be vewy, vewy quiet…but I can’t, because my breathing is like a 1-900 Operator (do you young’uns even know what that is?). And of course, I still have to take walk breaks every now and then (because my heart is going to explode). When I do, I look over my shoulder and see them getting closer.

At this point, I’m in full blown “OMG! They’re going to catch me” mode because my competitive self has come out and is screaming, “Go! Go! Go! Don’t let them win!!” I’m about fifty yards from the start and I am totally sprinting like those people on the shirt with the dinosaur chasing them because these mother runners are totally on my tail.

I see the finish line about 20 or so feet ahead! I think, “I can make it! Run Irma Run!!!” Then WHOOSH!! Cara totally smokes me and breezes by to the finish line!!

OMG!! These mother runners are TOTALLY DA BOMB!! Emily and Olivia were only seconds behind. Even my competitive self had to give these ladies props and sweaty high-fives. After getting some water and chatting, these freaking awesome mother runners turned around and finished the rest of their miles. That’s right – they totally did what amounted to a speed workout for about 3 miles then went on to finish up the rest of their 8 mile run. Drop mike.

THIS is what mother runners are made of…

So proud to have run with these kick-ass mother runners! Thank you for indulging my crazy idea and for one heck of a workout!! We’re calling this the “Elmer Fudd Run Challenge”!

That’s all folks!!

(Seriously, if you didn’t get that last line, how old are you?? I can probably be your mother…)

I’m a Runner, Not an ADDer*

*ADDer as in one who adds, not the venomous snake.

****

On Saturday, my RB, Michele and I, were supposed to do 6 miles as part of our training program for the Hershey Half Marathon. We had run 2.5 with the rest of our MRTT group before we veered left on the trail to get more miles. Going right would have been about another mile back to our car.

At the beginning of our run....

So, we’re running and talking and discussing how many miles we had to do before turning back. We’re tossing numbers back and forth and finally decided to go out 2.5 then run back to get our 6 miles. Easy, right? Well…

If you do the math:

2.5 (done) + 2 (going out from split) + 2 (coming back to split) + 1 (from split off point to the car) = ….. wait for it…

7.5 miles on Runkeeper! Hmmm, overshot the required 6 miles by a tad…

Thank goodness Michele and I had a lot to catch up on! Another fabulous run in the books!

At the end of our run...see anything different?

(Notice anything different about our “before run” and “after run” pictures? How did you get that answer? Show all work for full credit.)

*****

Redemption! Went out for a quick 5k on Thursday with Michele. It was the first non-rainy day since the weekend. Humidity was high! The cloud cover definitely helped.

We did our usual route however one part was closed off due to construction. As we turned back, I worried that I would not be able to get my 3 miles in. Michele said not to worry, that I would hit 3 miles on the way back to the car. Lo and behold – 3 miles done, just like she said!

In conclusion, runners need to know how to do math, especially adding. Not only is it helpful in figuring out mileage, we also need to know how much we’ve spent on race registrations! 😁

First Time

(An ode to my older daughter)

The first time I saw you

I thought

Perfection

Your stand up hair

Your knowing eyes

Your pouty lips

Your teddy bear belly

Your crinkled toes

Your peaceful breathing

I made you

(With help of course!)

I grew you

As I continue to watch you

In wondrous

Perfection

You hold me

You teach me

You admire me

You humble me

You forgive me

You better me

I am broken

I am healed

With each First Time

You remind me

You are already

Perfection

I should just stand back

And watch

©️iido 2018

******

My older daughter joined me for a group run with my MRTT chapter. It was her first time running with me and my running friends. One of the other moms also brought her daughter (which is what inspired my daughter to join us). While this run was more of a walk, it was refreshing to see this route – that I had run many times before – through my daughter’s eyes.

I remember running in high school gym class. You needed to run a mile in under 20 minutes. We ran the laps indoors. I was the last one to come in at 19 minutes. And I collapsed on the floor when I crossed the finish line. One of the other students (Rob H – whatever happened to him?) came over to see if I was ok. I felt like I was going to die – from exertion and embarrassment.

I hope my daughter will never have to experience the Double E. Right now, she doesn’t absolutely love running (lol – in fact, her runs are more like “walking with some short running intervals”) but she is not daunted by running. I can see her getting stronger (in body and mind) and that sense of accomplishment at this age is priceless. The first time I realized that I could overcome the Double E was in my late 20s when I actually trained and ran my first 5k.

They say you never forget your first time – first run, first race, first PR. What running first do you remember? Was it a happy, sad or maybe even a double E memory? I’m looking forward to more runs with my daughter. She is my inspiration!!

Group Run EXTRA Love

We are vacationing this week and were able to stop in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley and my old running grounds. How I’ve missed these golden trails and the lovely women who helped shaped me as a runner (literally and figuratively)!

My 7 am Saturday morning run was one of my fastest – and most effortless – in recent months. Catching up with some awesome women is always a great way to distract my brain and body during a run.

Plus the views and the weather! Perfection!!

At this group run, we broke up into 3 groups – BAMRs who were running straight, middle of the packers who were doing 3:1 intervals and a couch to 5k group who were doing 1:1 intervals. Because this was an out and back course, we all got to see each other over the 4 miles and cheer each other on. Some of the moms were also running a virtual race for childhood cancer and had dressed up for our miles that morning.

RBs always know how to make running more enjoyable – whether dressing up or playing running games or just being their fantastic selves and sharing conversation! Here we are “racing” to catch up to the other group. That’s Loriann (in her Superwoman costume – borrowed from her pup!) and Jamie (in her Cancer Mom Strong shirt) making way for Darlene and I as we show off our peak racing form!

Darlene and I were Chapter Leaders together and ironically, we were both from New England prior to moving to SJ. Being CLs had its ups and downs, but I’m sure Darlene will agree that the ups outweighed the downs. Since I first met Darlene, she has undergone a significant physical transformation and she is now one strong and speedy mother runner! Plus, she continues to encourage other moms to start or continue in their running journey. This Saturday, she brought a friend who ran her first 4 mile route that day. Darlene is the RB who will make the time to run with you when you really need the company.

Josephine is my Ate (that’s Big Sister in Tagalog) from another inay (mother). She is my “running goals inspiration”! For her last significant birthday (she turned 25…again!), she ran the Rome Marathon and now she is training for Chicago. She kept me going during our epically humid Maui Race and despite her claims of “I’m never racing in Hawaii ever again,” I know she’s gone back there to prove just how much of a BAMR she is!

The test of a true good RB is that even after months or years of not running together, once your feet start moving, it’s like no time has passed! And that’s why MRTT group runs always have a special place in my heart and in my life! ❤️

Group Run Love

I’ve written before about my wonderful running group, Moms RUN this Town – but I’m doing a special shout out to my local MRTT Chapter. These women get me out and push me to run stronger every time. And since most of them are moms – they don’t put up with complaining or whining or any other BS.

Case in point, yesterday I was supposed to go out for a run, however:

Excuse #1: forecast called for rain. The sky was cloudy and it had been raining on and off all morning. But my running buddy (RB), Michele, sent me texts showing where we were running was rain free for a couple of hours.

Excuse #2: my kids started to whine about the possibility of rain, that they were hungry, that they wanted to bring a different helmet, that they wanted their bike and not the scooter, that they were worried about slipping if the ground was wet…you get the picture, right? But my RB said to just come up, if it rains, we’ll have lunch instead!

Excuse #3: on the way to the run, I needed to stop for a kid potty break, which would make us 15 min late for our meet up. But my RB said, no worries, I’ll wait for you!

(Sigh) All my attempts for getting out of the run were thwarted!

And I am so glad!!

We had a great run with minimal whining (adults and kids) and no rain. We even did hill repeats to break up our usual routine.

If I was running by myself…well, let’s just say this post would NOT have been about running!

So here’s to all the beautiful women who make up MRTT! LOVE my BAMR RBs!!

❤️❤️❤️❤️