Really? Pizza is a Vegie?

November 19, 2011 at 9:16 am | Posted in Diet / Nutrition | Leave a comment
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I am dumb-founded, disgusted, and totally confused. It’s incredible to me that frozen pizza has been “declared” a vegetable by the US congress.

Being in my profession, working young female athletes, and being in the community of athletic, health minded people (both in person and on line) I completely forget there are millions of people who actually choose frozen pizza for a meal because they believe it is healthy. Where do they get this idea? Of course I have served and eaten frozen pizza, but never with the idea that it is healthy. Sometimes it is easier than other foods, sometimes I need to feed a bunch of kids who I know are processed food oriented, and sometimes I heat one up because I think it will taste good. But none of these reasons have anything to do with frozen pizza being healthy and I know that frozen pizza simply is not a vegetable.

I am disgusted on many levels. First, that we have congress people who can be bought for any reason at any cost. Congress declaring pizza as a vegetable is clearly a breach of their job to work for the people. There is no way that any congress person can truly believe that cheese or pepperoni pizza is a vegetable, frozen or not. Second, I am disgusted that schools are willing to allow frozen pizza for lunches, especially for subsidized lunches. Where is the education? Are we only concerned with some minimal academic education? Do they think if they feed our youth with food that creates fat kids addicted to foods that create fat adults they are fully educating our children?

Third, and to me most important, I am disgusted with parents. We as parents have the ability, right, and responsibility to teach our children anything and everything from morals and values, to academic interests, to basic hygiene, to healthy living. Teaching our children to live a healthy life style is the most important thing we can do as parents. By giving them the skills and resources to be healthy we give our children the freedom to live a life of freedom. Statistically, healthy children always score higher on any kind of test given- from I.Q. to physical to creative. Of course we all know the exception: the kid, who against all odds, is amazing. But why do we take the chance, and encourage and provide our kids with foods we know cause ill health?

As parents we really must take a stand. We can be the ones who force schools to give our children real food, with vegetables being actually vegetables. We can become educated about foods and true healthy eating. And pass this on to our children. There is no excuse for anyone to not know about healthy eating, or to implement it. Studies also show that eating unprocessed, low sugar, low salt foods can be done for less money than cheap processed foods.

I’m confused. Since this is common knowledge why don’t people know this? Why are people, you included, holding tight to the idea that your processed foods are healthy and cheaper? I mean can’t you see all those fat kids waddling around? Are people so lazy they can’t deal with being the provider for their family and have to succumb to the whining and controlling of their kids? Who are becoming huge by being bombarded from the media and force-fed addictive foods simply to make some huge food corporations hugely profitable?

Don’t you get it? The corporations are now addicting us, and our kids, to foods that create unhealthy people. They used to addict us to tobacco and alcohol. But they aren’t allowed to do that anymore, so they have turned to addicting us to food. They know it will be nearly impossible to forbid the mass media to advertise about food.

So what can you do? First, educate yourself. Find out what is being done to you and your family from the foods you eat. Second, start to gradually shift from those addictive ill-health causing foods to sustaining health-causing foods. Third, tell one elected official to protect our nations greatest treasure of all, protect our children.

Some Days I Really Question Why I Run

July 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Posted in attitudes | 2 Comments
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Some days I really question why I run and you’d think that when the heat and humidity are supposed to reach unbearable numbers, and people are hot inside their air conditioned homes and I don’t have any AC, just fans in my home, and a river, pool and ocean to swim in- None at my home though- that maybe I’d think this was a great day to take off.

Then again you might think that I’d want to get out there and have a real connection run with the heat. Let it really get into my soul and stir things up.

Of course since I suggested these they are not what I did. I decided last night that I needed to get in 12 miles today to stay on task with my 60 miles per week goal to reach my year long goal of 2011 miles in 2011.

This being decided I knew that I wasn’t going to skip the day and I wasn’t young and foolish enough to want to have a connection with the heat run. So I set my alarm for 5:15 and got my self up. That was actually rather easy. It was light out, but the sun hadn’t quite come up yet.

First things first- Lyona –my dog- needed her morning outing. Easy enough- just a ¾ mile out and back. She KNEW that she was going right back home after her business- no long run for her today!

Then came the first hard moment, when I brought her back to the house and had to turn right around and take off. OK so I do this many mornings, but this morning it might have been nice to just say, “Oh its so hot I’m going in to nap- maybe I’ll run this evening.”

Whew- I did it. And yes I was already wet from the outside in from the humidity with just that short little jaunt. As I ran on I saw the sun rise. This was extraordinary. It was brilliant magenta- without even a red ball of sun in the middle. But I had my plan to be back before that sun had anytime to really get into action. I had some dream running time- that’s when I know I am going and I don’t really remember when I am in the run what is happening or what I’m thinking I just keep going. And got through Long Shore.

Off to the beach- oh it was lovely- Just a whisper of breeze. Not cooling. But somehow refreshing nonetheless.

Then it was uphill after that, which is OK with me. I like the up hills. I had purposely made my run route to have an option to head home early if it really was too hot. I’m not really interested in being in the news for having been found in a bush about to die of heat stroke.

This made for the second hard moment- I knew I could go on AND I knew there was coolness at home. I checked myself out- was I delirious? No. Was I still sweating? Yes. Was my mouth dry? No. Did I have any cramps? No. Did I really want to run another bunch of miles? YES. All that thinking took me a mile. And that was good because there were five side streets for that mile that lead straight home. I did run on the right side of the road to avoid the even easier access to those streets since they were all off to the left.

Then came a nice steep hill- Park Lane. I put my head down and ran up. Still in the shade and truly on my way home now-

As you may expect after the up came the down. And as a runner there are different ways to go down. You can attack it, let it take you, or somehow glide down without much work at all. For me the last is actually the slowest, but under the heat circumstances I took the easy way down. If you’re not a runner then there is no easy way down. You just have to do it.

Up a mile, down a mile, and onto the real home stretch. The sun was really doing her thing. It was just plain HOT HOT HOT.

The last main road till my road was being resurfaced. This morning is was a packed dirt/gravel road. I want to mention it because of the difference between the CT drivers on this kind of road and the NH drivers. Normally I think the CT drivers are more intense and indifferent about runners, but not on this dirt road. They made huge arches around me, drove at a snails pace, and made sure I was safe. This dirt road was alien territory to them. For me, I loved it. It was cooler than the road and just softer to the touch.

Ah, my street- in the shade and around the bends- Into the driveway. Looked the same to me, but I was surely different. I had made it. I had made this trip, this run, as planned, before the truly intense heat had struck, before I had to give up, before I had let any sensible sane ideas come into action.

With that thought I took the hose and doused myself for ten whole minutes to cool down. And yes I did let plenty of that hose water trickle right into my mouth.

I went dripping wet up to my room- aimed the fans on me and stretched. When done I was good to go for the day.

Get the Bounce

April 16, 2011 at 6:55 am | Posted in Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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“LIFE IS FULL OF UPS & DOWNS …

The downs are best used as a springboard to catapult us towards what we prefer to experience instead.

Jumping up and down in the same spot getting frustrated that our view of life hasn’t changed, is one way to live

Taking the bounce to where we really see ourselves going and focusing ONLY on that, eagerly anticipating the possibilities, is yet another way.”

~ Elizabeth Richardson

Of course as an athlete, or the parent of an athlete, the idea that life is full of ups and downs makes perfect sense.  Each game/competition has a result that is either up or down.  You win or lose, you do well or you screw up.  It seems so cut and dry when looked at this way.
BUT of course it’s not or you would not be in this lifestyle.   It’s how you take the downs in particular that will make or break you as an athlete- Well in life for that matter.

So often I see kids and their parents doing all kinds of things OTHER than using the down as a spring board to go where they want to go.  Blaming is most common- the ref’s, the weather, the coaches, the lack of sleep, to much sleep, all kinds of food issues, other team mates- the list is endless.

When you play the blame game you go nowhere.  You stay going up and down in the exact same spot.  Your opponent has all these things going on just as you do.  If you’re going to go somewhere, then there is one way to do that.

Get the bounce. Use the bounce.  And go with your energy to YOUR greatest potential.

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To my freestyle skiing and snowboarding family and friends-

This is such a perfect metaphor for you-  Every time you get on that tramp you do just go up and down.  And it may seem endless that you just go up and down.  But the most important thing you can do while tramping is allow what you are doing to be part of your action visualization of being on snow.

Use YOUR bounce to go exactly where you want to go.

When you master this you master life!

Not everyone wants to flip on skis, but everyone has something in them that is just as powerful!

April 11, 2011 at 7:01 am | Posted in Motivational Monday | Leave a comment
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This weekend marked the end of skiing at WV ski area- in Waterville Valley, NH.

This is my family’s home and skiing is our passion, our interest, our livelihood.  The last few days were exhilarating.  I personally made the absolute most of every second I had left.  I skied every day for the past two weeks (Except one Thursday when we had a family gathering in Nashua NH)

But the last three days will be of special memory forever.  Friday, I cruised as fast as I could down and immediately back up the lift.  I found a new friend and we skied at this tempo for a couple of hours.  What’s so special about this?  Well, it was in the way I lived my passion.  I was totally into doing my thing at my own personal best.  I listened to myself- My abilities for that particular day. And I was FAST!  Faster than anyone else on the hill.  I wasn’t even in a contest.  I just went as my best.  And I had a HUGE grin at every turn.  I even passed the head racing coach- who was by no means putting along!

The reason I’ll always remember this is that I totally gave into MY personal best.  What anyone else did was irrelevant.  And by being my best I made a new friend who is passionate about skiing.  My life expanded both within me and outside.

The next day, Saturday, I did the “Mountain Challenge” x2.  WV has 13 top to bottom runs.  I skied every run on the mountain twice.  As I went down each run I gave it my all AND I said goodbye to each run AND paid attention to the memories each run held for me.  I was determined and enthusiastic.  People asked what I was doing?- Charity runs or something?  When they discovered I was doing this for myself and no one else they really cheered me on- some had to get over their confusion that I would do something this strenuous and be so determined just because I wanted to.  But my real friends were totally supportive!  And they gave me just an extra challenge.  The lift to the very top of the mountain wasn’t working.  And they asked if I was doing that too- Meaning I would have to climb up to ski down.  So of course I did- The LAST run.

Why is this so special?  Again, I was out there for me.  I was in my element.  I gave myself a difficult challenge.  I kept to my goal.  I stayed focus.  At lunch, I rested enough and had a fantastic talk about home schooling, but I didn’t lose track of what I was doing.  When friends were going on a different run that would have been loads of fun to have gone on with them, I stayed true to my personal objective for the day.

Sunday- the third and last day I skied with the kids and their parents.  There was a pack of kids- all boys except my Jeanee.  The boys went out there and did their first ever front flips, and a bunch even ventured to back flips.  (Jeanee had been doing flips all season)  And I watched and cheered them on.  I heard and felt their enthusiasm for each other and themselves.  They were as pumped on themselves as they were on each other.  These kid had no holds.  Here’s my message to them:

Hey guys you were on top of it!  Remember the feeling of fun, confidence and total abandon.  This is the stuff that makes champions.  YES now you will HAVE to get the technical stuff shored up- But as long as you go every step with your LOVE and Enthusiasm you will be able to get to ANY place you EVER want!

While this was going on my 18 year old, Jamie Crane-Mauzy, and my year 10 year old, Jilly, arrived.  Jilly had smashed her shin Sat so she couldn’t ski and Jamie is getting strong after ACL surgery in Jan so she couldn’t ski.  Now these two girls could have been very bitter about all the fun and excitement that everyone else was having, but instead Jamie got involved with some coaching and pointers- (She won the world championships last year so she knows a thing or two)  And Jilly was so excited to see her friends doing such cool stuff!

What’s special about this??  This day was celebration with family and friends.  No we didn’t have a feast, or a plan to celebrate.  We didn’t even need to plan to be together.  We knew we would be.  Without even texting, talking, or communicating in any way, we ALL arrived at the mountain at the same time.  Pure and simple- we were meant to spend the day together.

So often we try to make the celebration happen. And that is good- as long as all the participants can celebrate their own personal best, their love of each other, know that, above everything else, being true to yourself is what makes you be the most unique and amazing person.  That you have wonderful, fantastic qualities and they love to shine!

Not everyone wants to flip on skis, but everyone has something in them that is just as powerful!

Mom Who Teaches Parenting Skills Has Hit Her Wall.

November 28, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Posted in attitudes, teenagers | Leave a comment
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I know I am supposed to be the mom who has it all together.  I am supposed to just love home schooling my kids.  To be able to engage them, organize them and even have them happily and willingly do the dishes, take out the trash, and walk the dog.  Well- here’s a moment of truth.

It didn’t take a marathon for me to hit the wall.  Just the MESS!

Our house is a MESS- almost all the time.  I have so many tricks, gimmicks, and charts to get the dishes done all with little or no success.  Well, many of them work for up to a month, then it’s completely over.  The dishes stack up, the laundry is in heaps, the dog gets out- with me mostly, and it’s really tough to engage two of my kids in their education.

I suppose if I had not had my two older children be so totally involved and excited about academic learning, I would not know or expect anything different from these last two.  But man o man.  They are NOT into learning.  Especially the fourteen year old.  She is my total social butterfly.  And its a good thing she is so good at it, because she won’t be able to do much else as an adult with the lack of academic learning she’s doing!

But now wait a minute!  This is me and I am going to talk back to me right here on this blog!  Cause as much as I am infuriated that they did nothing to help pick up the house, do the dishes, and that 14 year old has the eyes to melt any ice cold maternal stare, and the dog knows how to “hold it” till I get back, I do think they are doing some very important life learning things.

In actuality, I think that being able to interact and communicate with others is by far the most important skill that anyone can ever have.  I mean its terrific to be able to be a world champion, to be the captain of your hockey team at ten years old, to be able to attend an ivy league college, be a doctor, do a real interior design job at fourteen, but if you can’t interact or communicate does any of the other stuff really matter?

No, it doesn’t and neither does the messy house.

Now the that I think about it, yes my house is a mess, without dishes being done regularly, without pickup being the norm, struggling with over stuffed trash bags not getting to the dumpster. And well, not that I like it, but I do think that these are so less important than learning the deep and involved life skill of how to communicate and interact.

Now as far as the academic learning- I think the fourteen year old will have to go without facebook or texting for a week and show me some real applied attention to her education.  It will feel like the end of the world to her.  And I will be dragged along this mud slide with her- remember her eyes- This means I will need to keep my head down, my eyes focused with their ice cold stare and wait that week out!  Good luck to me (I already know if she shows good attention to her school work, no whining and complaining, I will be glad to let her have some time with her FB and texting.  BUT I will need to start each day fresh with no electronic communications till after her schoolwork is done.

Yes, I can do that!  How about you?  Will you be able to do what you really need to do to be sure your kids are going to get to be their own personal best?  Let me know what you do, cause I really can use some help now and then!

Why I Have Trouble Valuing What I Do

November 21, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in attitudes, New York Marathon 2010 | 1 Comment
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As a girl I had one absolute irresistible interest.  I loved babies.  This wasn’t overwhelming.  There was nothing I needed to do to love babies.  I just saw them and loved them.  I did become one sought after baby sitter!  Simply because I loved babies.

As I matured, I took this passion to school with me.  I studied about babies, in high school, in college, in my master’s program.  I studied every self-help book I could find.  Now I was the baby expert as well as the lover of babies.  Then I got to be a mom of my own babies, the absolute joy of my life. There was nothing that filled my entire soul more than being a mom.  I carefully had my babies spread out, four years or more between each one, so I could totally relish in each and every baby.

It was obvious to those around me that mothering was not just a thing I did.  Mothering filled every moment of my living and breathing. It filled my awake hours, my sleeping hours, and my other than reality self.  This is that self that is real but not tangible.  It is not connected with time or age.  Maybe it’s the soul or spirit part.  It’s what makes us more than automatons.  Anything that has personality has it.

I was/ am a unique and wonderful mom.  I follow my heart, insist my children live and follow their passions.  There is nothing that gets in the way of my mothering.

Yet, I am not one of those moms who is obnoxious or over bearing.  I don’t get caught up in guilt trips by my kids, by other family members, by friends, or society.  I can be the amazing mom I am simply by being my fullest and most joyful self.  My girls, their friends, and those I work with professionally, know that when I am with them I am one hundred percent with them.  My interest in what they do, think, have, where they holdback, what they excel in, is completely genuine.  There are no barriers, shutters, blinders, or lights only on specific things.

Now here’s the thing that I do that is different from what you hear you are supposed to do.  You hear you are supposed to be fully present to those around you to really get a deep understanding of them.  But that’s totally false.  To really be able to have that deep connection and understanding of those around you, you absolutely have to be completely present with your self.  If you are distracted with whom you are then there is little or no chance you are going to get it about anyone else.

But this post isn’t about you becoming present to others; it’s really about why I have trouble valuing what I do.  And it may be why you have trouble valuing what you do.

So here’s the thing.  I know how good I am at what I do- personally as a mom to my four daughters and one stepdaughter, and professionally with the young female athletes I work with, and my other clients who are becoming their own personal best.  Everything in my life is connected, centered, and joyfully executed around doing what I personally excel in.

So where is the value?  Isn’t there supposed to be hardship, difficulty, real work involved with things that have value?  I mean it’s OK to spend some time doing enjoyable things, but one’s whole life?  Doesn’t that make you (really me) be some how selfish and shallow?

If you know me in any capacity you know this is complete fantasy.  If anything, I am so rock solid and genuine that I scare off people who feel they need and want fluff and scattered energy around them.

So back to value- When I ran the New York Marathon 2010 everyone I know was impressed.  I was impressed.  Does that give running this marathon or any marathon value?  Of course there is hardship, difficulty, and real work involved with being able to run a marathon.  But this in and of itself did not give anyone else or me value from my running.  I got my value from my running because I put my heart and soul into being able and ready to run 26.2 miles at my own personal best.  And others around me soaked up this attitude and energy.  They got value from me because I created the value simply by following my joy.

You see the value does not come from the work or sacrifices.  The people in concentration camps have been made to do terrible work; they have had to sacrifice many amenities.  But no one will ever say that there was value in their work or sacrifices.  People who grudgingly go off to work or school everyday don’t bring value to what they are doing.  People are unaware of their outcomes, good or bad.

One reason marathon runners impress others is that they can only do the marathon by being fully present for months on the task of getting ready.

And this is what gives a marathon and its runners value. It is not only the actual day of running 26.2 miles.  The value comes because we all know there is something much deeper and much more encompassing than the one day of the race.

It’s the focus, the dedication, the absolute determination of overcoming the obstacles.  But it’s way more than that.  It’s the personal joy that is interspersed throughout.  And that is why I have trouble valuing what I do-

Because everything I do has joy in it there must not be value. I don’t work hard, I don’t suffer or sacrifice in any way.  Sure I put in huge amounts of effort in everything I do, I even struggle to get things done.  I have a car we call the Toasted Marshmallow- It’s a white mini van with over 200,000 miles and rust spots.  But these are not work or sacrifices. These are easy choices so my family and I have and do what we want.

But here is the reality.  Because everything I do has joy in it, everything I do has the most intrinsic full value that exists.  And that’s why it’s hard for me to know it has value.  Value is the corner stone foundation to everything I do.

How Do You Fake Running the New York Marathon 2010?

November 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Posted in New York Marathon 2010 | 6 Comments
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(OK I have finally gotten my NY marathon story written. It’s a four part series. I’m interested in your feed back and comments, as I will be using this in a book I am writing. SOOO I am regifting a prize worth $25 I won from Greg S to be raffled off to everyone who comments on the blog. You can get more raffle chances by commenting on each of the four parts- The start to this series is Nov 12.  You can read just this or scroll down and start there. Happy reading and commenting)

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Race Day!  The New York Marathon.  The day I have hungered for, hidden in my past. Something I didn’t dare do.  An event that I was sure would show that I was a fake when I was younger, now was mine to have and show I am real. That I really can do a marathon and somehow that I really am who and what I believe I am.

Funny, because I inspire so many people, especially young female athletes and their mothers, to be their own personal best.  But I was hidig this secret.  I was hiding that I never let myself live up to my own personal best. Well, I did run in my youth. I did run one hundred miles a week. But I stayed away from competitions.  I had all the right excuses.  And I knew they were all deceptions of the truth.  I was afraid of being amazing!

So back to NY marathon 2010.  Race day at 5:10 am.  Luckily the clocks changed that night, so I felt like it was 6:10, an easy time for me to be up.

When I go to the street I saw another runner.  Of course the stance, but also the tell tale bag.  She had a few other bags.  Anyway, I asked if she were heading off to the public library for transportation as well and would she like to share a cab.  And to our luck at that moment a cab was dropping off someone right across the street.  We hopped in and the adventure began.

As we approached the library about a thousand buses were doubled up on the right side of the road, waiting to take us- me – to the start.  Getting onto the bus was just as simple.  We showed our bags and got any bus that had space.  As soon as it filled up off we went.

My new friend and I sat together, sharing our stories of how we got here.  She was a breast cancer survivor and a sister with active cancer. We had our reasons for sure.

When we got to Staten Island it was dawn.  There were about a million port-a-potties.  I think actually one per racer LOL.  Dunkin Donuts was giving out hats, I got two and my friend got one.

Well this lady was so prepared.  She was terrified of the cold.  She had a tent, a comforter, hand and toe warmers, paper clothes to wear till the start.  And she invited me to join her in her tent.  We laughed about sleeping together and hardly even knowing each other.  She was terrific.

I had my regular breakfast- yogurt, granola, milk, and my vitamins.  I also had one bottle of my lemon ginger Cell-Nique.  This drink was my race day energy drink of choice.  It is completely organic and formulated to replenish and energize from the cell level.  Perfect for me!

Well, we were just hanging out in her tent being rather happy and smug about being out of the wind, when we heard at 9:15 that the 10:20 corrals would be closed in fifteen minutes!  This was a shock.

Just a bit of race start info. There are actually three start times (9:40, 10:20, 10:40) with three start locations (orange, green, blue) for each time.  This means there are only 5000 for each start.  Much more manageable than 45,000.  Also, each racer has a tracking tag attached to their shoes.  With this great device each runner’s time is true of them alone.

My friend’s start was at 10:20. So we hopped out of the tent.  She was planning on leaving everything behind except what she was wearing.  She told me to see if I could take the tent home for my ten year old.  She started to help me with the tent- I sent her off with my best wishes for a great race!

And I was on my own.  I went quickly to the blue start, arriving just five minutes before the UPS trucks taking the bags to the finish were closing up.  I had a lot of changing to do.  I sat in front of the truck. Took off my outer four layers of tops, two layers of pants, socks and shoes, and put on my vibram-five fingers.  I kept my gloves and her comforter.

It really was chilly and I felt sorry for those who had on shorts and tank tops.  I was absolutely perfect. The sun was strong and crystal clear, with temps to be around 50 degrees.  Nothing could be better for me running or NY fans to watch.

I had signed up for the 4:30 team. There were about 12 in our group.  This was put on by Timex.  We had two leaders who would run the marathon paced to be done in four hours thirty minutes.  I joined them outside our corral.  Then one by one 5,000 people passed a few check points to be sure we each had a bib and personal tracker on our shoes.

This took only five minutes!

One more potty stop.  And we moved en mass in one direction.  I thought how lucky we were to be going on this pleasure trip, thinking of all those pour souls who have been lead to their deaths en mass, particularly in the holocaust.

We heard the BOOM.  Our race had started.  I was prepared for the pushing and shoving, getting ready to protect myself from the onslaught of people needing to get going.  But the bantering talk continued, the slow pace to the start remained the same.  Of course, we had individual trackers.  No need to push and shove to the start to get a better time.  Our times were our very own!  When we reached the start I looked up at the clock.  I couldn’t make out what time it really was, so I just went.  I didn’t have anything to worry about- I had pace setters.

On the Varrazano Bridge, at last I was being my dream.  I dared to look around me.  To see the river, to see the city, to see the runners.  Each and every one of us were living testimony that we can be our dreams.

For some the incline and wind were tough.  For me they were a gentle and invigorating start.  It was fun to be on the team.  When there was a crowd the leader with the balloons simply said, “ Make way, team 4:30 coming through.”  We snaked our way along.

But something happened and it was GREAT!  I realized that this pace was too slow for me.  I knew that if I tried to be this slow I would be more tired in the end than if I went just a bit faster.  This pace was 10:17.

So I went off on my own.  Really daring myself to be completely independent.  Relying on no one but myself.  Just what I do when training, but never in public!  And I assured myself if I got too tired I could always hook back up with the 4:30 team.

I had told my family that I wanted them at four spots along the run, 8, 16, 20, 24.  They took a great deal of time looking at subway maps and the race route.  They figured it out, and were close to my desires, 7, 12, 16, 23.  My friend Annie was going to meet me at mile 18.  The race was covered!

Anyway I forgot, when I got off the Varrazono Bridge there was cheering and cowbells, high fives, and so much positive energy I was blown away.  I ran on the right side because that is where my family said they would be.  What fun, to be going along and having all the people cheering me on.  The looks on their faces were inspiration enough to last a lifetime.  They were so excited to see us running.  They looked directly into my eyes.  They where genuinely impressed by what I, and all the other runners, were doing.

I found another pace setter for myself, a young man in his late twenties, about 6’5” with a bright orange T-shirt on. I took two steps for everyone of his.  Anyway, he was going at the pace I wanted and he was sure easy to see.

My family was right there at mile seven, with the bag of food and drink I wanted.  They were so excited and happy.  Jeanee jumped into the race with the bag.  I just wanted the Cell-Nique.  It was perfectly satisfying!  I had lemon ginger.  I was able to avoid all the other drink stations.  I was able to spread the word because the bottle was glass I had to hand it off to a spectator.

Then we went into Queens.  The crowd was different.  The bands here were slightly more mellow.  I loved Broolkyn’s dynamic energy and now I loved Queens’ more gently soothing energy.  Actually just what I needed.  Mile 8 to 14 were a breeze.  My pace was energizing rather than exhausting or depleting.  My Vibrims were doing just what I wanted.  I was fleeting along, easily able to dodge and maneuver around people. And as soon as anything felt a little off I knew, so I could adjust instantly rather than waiting till I cramped or something.  Once again I loved seeing my family where planned.  Pictures this time, but no stopping for me.  Another Cell-Nique. And ready for the second half of the race.

This race began with the Queensboro Bridge.  For me it was rejuvenating.  The uphill climb of two miles was effortless.  The quiet patter of the feet reminded me of the leaves rustling in the wind in my New Hampshire mountains.  I began to pass people in earnest.  Yes I did feel for them, but I was my own goal today.  And going up this hill was a piece of cake for me.  Then came the down.  And it actually was steep.  It’s hard for lots of runners to know how to go up, but way harder to go down.  But I am really good at down!

At the bottom we made a sharp left turn, to the cheering and yahooing of the entrance to Manhatten.  Another boro and another personality.  This group was barricaded off.  Not sure why. But it was less fun, less personal.

At mile 16 my family was not there.  I think I saw my step-daughter, but she did not see me. I was sure at our last spot they had told me they would meet me some other place. I ran on the left side of the road here, to be sure to get my drink!  And their love.  Both of which were so important for my stamina.

This was the hardest part of the whole journey.  The road was hard cement with cracks in it. I was super glad to have my vibrims on here and my rocks and roots training.  The vibrims allowed me to mold more easily to the uneven surface, so no straining or sprained ankles.

Her I was chugging along.  Not huffing or anything, just reserving my energy for the last two parts of the race.  At mile 17 out of nowhere was Annie!  With a sign to boot!  A quick hug, a quick good luck and I told her I was doing great!  Thanked her for supporting me and that I was running for her.  It wasn’t that I was running to impress her.  It was that I was running because she had ultimate faith in me that I could run my own personal best.  And that I was not a fake. I was, for real, amazing!

I stayed to that left, knowing my family would be somewhere before the Bronx.  I was just a bit tired.  Nothing like any of my training runs where I thought I’d just collapse, or slowing down to a slower than walking pace.  As I said, just a bit tired.  And then they were there.  This time with just the Cell-Nique ready for me.  Energy blast, and to last.

Off to the Bronx with vim and viggar.

And what a Bronx!  As we crossed the bridge, again great for me with the incline, there was a man yelling with as strong a Bronx accent as possible, “ You’ve reached the Bronx.  Only 6.2 to go.”  After him was a rapper, one from my lesson!  He had a stage a few blocks long, lots of vocals and instrumentals with him.  His words and beat were infectious.  We all bounced along to his rhythm and inspiration.

Back to Manhatten and the last of the race.  This was where I had decided to pick it up.  I began to run in earnest.  I had to really do my rocks and roots to dodge the people.  So many walking, jogging, limping, struggling and here I was going like a deer.

One person commented, “ Look at her go and look at that face of concentration.”

Gave me just another little boost.

Mile twenty-two.  Still feeling great.  Dodging and weaving.  Keeping my speed.  Loving what I was doing.

Mile Twenty-three and out of know where are Jeanee and Jamie.  Jamie jumped into the race, by the way no barricades here.  Chattered away, trying to keep up, and give me love and inspiration.  And she was doing it.  Looking back my only regret is I didn’t grab a Cell-Neique. But at the time I thought I was fine.  Man, I was running when everyone else was walking and jogging.

Mile twenty-four.  Still strong, still in control. And Jamie prattling along just behind me.  She had to duck off to the port-a-potty.  I went on.  No stops for me.

Mile twenty-five.  Just a little touch of a blister on the ball of my right foot behind the big toe.  Slowed me a bit but still going strong!

Mile Twenty-six.  Some walkers were now running.  I had slowed down some, but still I was going at run.

500 yards to go

200 yards to go

100 yards to go.  The emotions of the runners around me was palpitating.

50 yards to go

20 yards to go

10 yerds to go

THE FINISH LINE.

I had done it.  I was totally alive.  I had run every single step of the way.  I knew I had beaten my goal.  I really was amazing!

I looked at that finish line clock as I went through but again couldn’t really register what it meant about my personal time.  I was awarded my medal around my neck.  Given my heat blanket, had it taped on, had my picture taken, got my end of race goody bag with the best apple I had all year.  I know this was so because I could never have eaten a mushy, soft, tasteless apple.

As a tired, relieved, and truly feeling successful crowd we began our walk past the UPS trucks with our pre-race bags.  As we walked along I asked the time.  It was three.  I guessed that meant I had run a 4:15.  When I got to my UPS truck I sat right down and put on my layers of clothing, stretching as I did so.

It took a whole hour to get from the finish line to the streets.  It was a great way to end the race, all together still before we were invaded by reality.

Once out of Central Park I walked toward our meeting place.  But the bags were just too heavy to carry, they were filled with drinks.  I stretched, used a few people’s phones to call my family.  I stayed where I was and stretched.  We connected.  Hugged and laughed.  My girls were SO proud of me!  I drank another Cell-Nique and ate two eggs.

We went to the subway.  The stairs were tough.  And of course we had lots of them.  But I made it.  Jeanee and I went straight to Grand Central.  The others met us in time for the train.

We went straight to my mom’s house.  They are the best thing in the world moms!  She had a big hot tub filling up for me and a wonderful huge dinner for when I got out.

My real results-

4:15:03 How about that- three seconds off my guess! And fifteen whole minutes faster than my goal!

278 out of 1348 females aged 50-54 – again pretty darn good!

4848 out of all females

20060 out of total runners!

My pace was 9:45. Thirty whole seconds per mile faster than I had ever planned.

And guess what?  I did not reach my peak.  Yes, it was my own personal best for me that very day.  But I can and will do better.

It was fantastic to run for me, for my family, and ultimately for the Women’s Sports Foundation with all the girls and women they support and represent.

Dodging People, Puddles, Poops, Cracks, Curbs, and Cars I Get My Bib

November 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Posted in New York Marathon 2010 | 2 Comments
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(OK I have finally gotten my NY marathon story written. It’s a four part series. I’m interested in your feed back and comments, as I will be using this in a book I am writing. SOOO I am regifting a prize worth $25 I won from Greg S to be raffled off to everyone who comments on the blog. You can get more raffle chances by commenting on each of the four parts- to be posted over the next few days. Happy reading and commenting)

So the training is over.  It’s time to actually do the race.  Well sort of.  But before the race I have to get from NH to CT to NYC.  Nothing major, but it takes careful planning and execution.

Thursday before the race my three daughters and I started off.  It was rainy and windy.  We stopped on the way to drop off my ten year old.  She had ice hockey over the weekend and quite frankly, I thought the marathon would be boring for her to watch and frustrating for the others dragging her from place to place to support me.  I’m adding this in because it’s not as easy to find someone to watch your child when theirs head off to school and yours is home schooled.  Just one more complication that had to be ironed out before being free to race.

The ride to CT was horrible driving. But the energy and excitement in the car kept me alert.  My two teenage daughters gave me a rap lesson.  I learned the names of six rappers, how to tell them apart, and why each was famous, important, or if dead or still alive.  This was actually important while I was running- but that comes later of course.

When we arrived in CT we stopped for one minute at my mother’s so she could drive us to the train and take my little dog.  We went to the train, climbed to the platform, bought our tickets, and the train was there!  We literally did not have even one minute to spare.

Arriving in the hustle and bustle of evening rush hour in NY is as much of a contrast to NH as is possible, except when you add rain into the mix.  The contrast was beyond comparison.  We were met by Jeff at the info booth at Grand Central Station and quickly went out to get a cab to the Javits Center for registration to pick up my bib and other pre-race paraphernalia.

I was excited and Jeff was nervous.  Registration closed at seven.  It was about six now. Rain in NY means no taxis.  Ten minutes later we found a gypsy taxi.  We got in.  Gave our destination.  Drove a half block, when the cabby said he’d take us there for sixty dollars!  (Spelled out because of the extraordinary exaggerated price.)  I said,

“Get out girls. No way are we paying $60.”

The girls looked at me in confusion.  While Jeff said,

“I know where we’re going.  I work uptown. I’ll pay you 15.”

“Get out girls.”

“No way, I’ll do it for $30, see I’m taking an illegal left turn to get you there.”

Click went the door locks.

“I will pay $15 and no more.  That is double a normal fare.”

The doors were locked, the traffic stopped. We were stuck.  Now it was 6:30.  I really wanted to spend Friday relaxing in CT with my mother.  Not coming back into the city.

The doors unlocked, the girls immediately opened the door.  We tumbled out.  For a couple of minutes I kept asking Jeff how to get to the Javits Center.  He was nervous.  Now I was anxious to get going.  I told him I was going to run there.  He said I couldn’t run there.  I replied, “I’m going to run 26.2 miles in three days.  I think I can run this now.”  He told me, ten blocks straight. Turn left and three blocks on your right.

I took off.  Not a sprint, but a good clip.  This was truly my last training, to see if I could run in NYC.  It was psychologically necessary.  My training of rocks and roots had paid off.  Dodging people, puddles, poops, cracks, curbs, and cars was exactly the same as when I ran trails only on rocks and roots.  I was smiling from ear to ear.  I had passed my own fear once again.  NYC was easy to run.

When I made my left turn I saw runners.  I could tell by the walk, the stance, and they all had the same bag.  It was like coming to my Mecca.  I could tell I was where I was supposed to be, not just for registration, but for being and breathing.  It happens to me a lot.  And each time I take a moment to really feel the energy.

The registration was a piece of cake; with each stop a little more excitement and satisfaction of being there.  I was meant to run, and run for girls and women.  I was extremely proud!

When I got my bib I almost cried.  But who ever heard of a grown woman crying because of getting her bib.  I walked across the lobby to the T-shirt stop.  Now guess what- I saw others crying- men and women. We were all there with this huge emotional experience and we couldn’t hold it back.  I don’t know their stories, but they were significant for sure.

Last stop- pictures by the map.  We were all taking each other’s pictures.  We were a happy excited family at a picnic.

And that’s when my family arrived.  We wondered around, talked with sponsors around the booths, exchanged emails and headed back to CT, eating Indian on the train.

Friday was a perfect day of hanging around.  I went to the beach with my mother and dog. Had a gentle 3 mile run, and really didn’t do much else.

Saturday was a full day.  In the morning I packed for the race itself.  I know when I ran all the time packing was simply no different than brushing my teeth.  But not this packing.  I met the drink sponsor, Cell-Nique, and then we headed off to the train, of course just getting there in time to make the train.

The girls and I went to meet my great friend, Annie Kirvan.  We had sushi and talk.  Then off to the Trump International Hotel on Central Park West.  As we got to the park we saw the barricades being set up.  We saw the finish line.  We saw the crowds.  Yes I was really going to run the very next day and come through that finish line with my own personal best running.  There was nothing in my way now.  And most importantly I was not in my way.  I was my own energy and force.

Pictures with the Women’s Sports Foundation team.  Kathrine Switzer, our team leader, talked to us as if we were all the best of friends.  The girls loved the event and were invited into a few of the pictures.   We got one of Kathrine and the girls.  The one who made it all happen for girls to be true athletes and the girls who live their lives as true athletes.

Off to Amy’s, my stepdaughter’s, apartment in the Manhattan.  Dinner was vegan and lasagna.  The perfect combination for me.  But we had an emergency.  Amy’s dog had gotten in to my suitcase and chewed a hole in the plastic bag given to each racer to hold their belongings from the start to bring to the finish.  Luckily duct tape holds everything together!

I pinned my bib on my shirt.  I laid my clothes out in firefighter style. Brushed my teeth and went to bed.  I slept soundly.  Only waking a few times.  And at 4:45 the alarm got me up.  I dressed. Remembered everything and left the apartment.

Why You Haven’t Heard From Me

August 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Moms of talented teens | 1 Comment
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It’s been a month since I’ve had the opportunity
to write to you.

And two major things have happened.

The first concerns why I have not been
writing with my usual energy and regularity.

I had twelve squirrels move into my house.
Up all night having the best of parties I am sure!
But kind of a total pain in the neck for me.
Their intrusion lead me to needing a new roof.
Now this alone would not have daunted me
in writing to you,
but just about the time I was
settling on the roof contractor,
the hose to the fridge ice maker
sprang a leak.
It was in my home in CT,
and I was in NH.
My husband found the leak a few days
after it had started.

This tiniest of holes had so much water
that my kitchen, den, and finished basement
all had to be stripped to the bare two by fours.
And the basement, even though finished,
was a true storage basement,
with many of these things ruined by the dampness.

I have spent much of my spare and
lots of my working time
with these two projects.
The roof is done,
the mess is cleaned up.
And now I am starting the process of
getting the kitchen and den redone.

It’s been very exciting,
even if it has been so time consuming.

The other thing is that last spring
I joined a program “Platform Leaders Group”
led by Suzanne Falter-Barns.
This was a combination of platform building,
marketing, and spiritual awakening.
Odd sort of combination I must say.

Anyway, the gist of the program was for members to
develop and rejuvenate our programs.

Gem Parenting is having a transformation.

The new Gem Parenting will focus on
guidance for moms who have talented teen daughters.

(Dads are welcome, it just seems
moms deal with their daughter’s issues
more than dads.)

So what does this mean for you?
Well you can stay on and still read the entries,
I am sure there will be interesting tidbits for you,
or you can join with Susan Epstein-
an excellent general parent coach.

And if you have friends who have
talented teen daughters please forward them
this info and they can join the pearl membership-

http://GEMparenting.com
which will now be dedicated to serving their needs.

It will still take me a month or so to get the
techy stuff done- changing the site.
That just isn’t my cup of tea.

I will start the new entries on Monday-
with guidance, stories, and real life issues of
being a mom with talented teen girls.

In the mean time enjoy the last of summer,
Grace

Can you actually bring serenity to your parenting?

July 8, 2008 at 9:39 am | Posted in 1, children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Lets look at the first line of the Serenity Prayer and how it relates to your parenting.  

God grant me the serenity

 First, what you need to focus on is asking for serenity.  At this point in time you are so overwhelmed and anxious about your parenting and how your kids are going to turn out that you really feel that you couldn’t possibly have any serenity.  I know I have had times in my own life where I thought this was some prayer just for alcoholics. 

 But let me assure you.  When you take this part of the prayer and give yourself serenity, even for a moment at a time, your anxieties will diminish.  When you give yourself serenity you cannot have anxiety at the same time.  They simply do not go together. 

 I believe that you give yourself serenity as soon as you ask for it with knowledge, conviction, and deep soul belief that you will receive serenity.  This is something that you give yourself.  As soon as you own and accept that you are truly able to have serenity you will have serenity. 

 Serenity does not mean your problems will vanish.  It does not mean your children will miraculously be perfect.  It means your anxieties will vanish.  It means you will relieve your overwhelm.

 When you get rid of anxiety and overwhelm you can be part of your children’s life.  You can enjoy what you are doing right now.  The crazy world will be on the outside, but you and your family will be held together with a new deep love that overpowers the need to prove yourself to anyone.

 You will be free to explore the world with peace and love as your guide.

 For this day I want you to stay true to asking for and being granted serenity.

 Each and every time you have anxiety or overwhelm, say with all you heart, “God grant me the serenity.”

 Please share with others how this small, short, quick phrase helps your anxieties and overwhelm vanish.

 For this day and everyday forward I wish you parenting with serenity.

Grace

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