Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Note to Hannah and Rylee

I am posting this letter I wrote to my kids about their races tomorrow to share with you all who have followed their progress this summer. Race report soon to follow. To say I am excited for tomorrow is an understatement. Its going to be a big, fun and emotional day!

Dear Hannah and Rylee,
Tomorrow is a big day for you both. I am so excited for your races and to see you both cross the finish line.
The past 10 weeks you both trained hard and well for your races. You were so dedicated that when I think back over the summer and all the runs we did together I am so proud and awestruck at how well you did. Its been a joyous adventure and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Hannah, you set this goal for yourself. Turning 13 and running 13.1 miles. When you told me you wanted to do this I was beyond excited and so proud of you for wanting to achieve something rather big and hard. You have come so far. You started out with a long run of  3 miles and now you have ran up to 10 and your mid week runs are often 4 or 5 miles long. You've learned to listen to your body and to push through some mental garbage that all runners deal with. You have ran on HOT days and ran when it was beautiful out. You've talked to me more in the past weeks than I think we have really ever before. We have shared miles and hours running but its so much more to me. This has been a gift of time with you and a time to watch you grow. I am so happy we have had this time together and I hope there are many many more races to train for together in our future. Tomorrow you may be nervous but I will be there with you and we will talk, smile and have fun. This is your victory lap.
Hannah enjoying a post long run treat!

Rylee, you too have achieved so much this summer. You have ran further than you have ever before and you have done it in such good spirits, well at least 98% of the time! HA HA HA! You have such a wonderful way while you run, don't ever lose that. You are happy and carefree and you talk away the miles and the time in a way I wish I could. You've taught me more about certain games, animals, dinosaurs and nature on our runs that I can list! Tomorrow you will run a 10K and I know this is just the beginning of a long lifetime love of running for you. Be proud and run with that big smile tomorrow. You will do great and I am so proud of you.

Rylee is too cool!

Both of you have given me the biggest gift this summer and I will forever cherish our days of running together. I look forward to doing this more in the future. Tomorrow if you feel nervous remember that you have put in the time and effort and that you both can run these distances. You are stronger than you know and tomorrow is your time to shine. I love you both beyond words.

Mommy or AKA to Rylee as Mom-ez

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Hannah and The End of Summer Break

It has been too long since I blogged about the kids and our running adventures. We have been busy running A LOT!
Hannah is teenager today, Happy Birthday to my strong, beautiful daughter!  To think that she is thirteen is overwhelming to me, where did the time go? It seems like yesterday she was so small and needed me in all ways.  I am so very happy with the amazing person she is and who she is becoming. She of course has her, "teenage moments", but in general I feel really lucky that she is so kind, cool and collected as she is. She takes family very seriously and really is such a compassionate person. I am really proud of her.

I am also very proud of her training for the half marathon. She is one week away from her first half marathon! She has stuck to her plan, some complaints here and there but generally has been pretty steadfast in her path forward. Her longest run to date was last weekend and she ran 9.3 miles. She has a 10 miler on tap this weekend and then the race a week later. She has learned how to pace herself well, learned to listen to her body and take in fluids and calories before its an issue. We ran in very warm humid conditions and she did well, slowing down and managing that added stress. She rarely walks, occasional breaks here and there but never for long. She is determined and stronger than she knows!

I asked her last weekend when we were running what were some of her unexpected thoughts about the training this summer. She responded with telling me that she has learned she is stronger than she thought, that she can feel really nervous and yucky about a run before but after so happy and proud. She mentioned that she always feels better after a run and that she loves knowing she is stronger, healthier and working at staying that way for life. We also spoke about how we have spent more time this summer actually talking. When we run we have no distractions, no electronics to watch, no phone, no texts, we can really talk. Sometimes we don't talk a lot but knowing we can is a great thing. I think we have both learned a lot about one another this summer.
She is ready for her race. I can't wait to be by her side and to watch her face as she finishes. Its going to be a big couple of weeks as she hits two big milestones.

Rylee also has been doing so well. He has ran up to 5 miles and is so strong. He has such an upbeat attitude about his running and rarely complains. He also has started his soccer season so the boy gets a LOT of cross training! He has remarked though how cool it is to be in such great running shape for soccer, he barely breathes heavy during games or scrimmages now.

Running with Rylee makes me giggle and reminds me to embrace my childish side. He talks nonstop, I imagine if he didn't talk he could easily run 8 minute miles! He talks NON STOP but its fun and I have learned more about Minecraft than I ever thought I needed to know. He will do awesome at the 10K, its the same day as Hannah's 1/2 marathon. He is ready, I know he will be great. He has a soccer tournament this weekend so I am not certain he will get in his scheduled 5.5 miles but despite that I have all the faith in the world he is ready! I can't wait to see him at the finish.

The summer is drawing to a close, they go back to school next week. Its bittersweet for me. I am ready for some quiet in the house, being able to get things done without juggling kids but on the flip side this is the first summer I have felt like we have spent real quality time together. Sure in the past years we did fun things but running with the kids this summer has been a gift. I have had some one on one time with both of them without distractions. I have watched them grow stronger, learn to push their bodies and minds. I have helped them in moments when they struggled and I have high-fived and hugged them at the end of sweaty hard runs. I know this summer will be one I remember always. Yesterday I took them to the beach. I watched them run, skip and splash in the waves. Happy and healthy kids. I was overwhelmed with my love for them and their beauty. They may not realize it yet but one day they will that their choices to run these races has been a gift to me and I will treasure it for my life.

Next time you run think about how lucky we are to run and its gift. It is so much more than "just exercise".

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Raising Happy Runners

The past two weeks the kids have been happy runners. The whining and complaining seems to have been stifled for the time being and I am happy about that! I got to run with both of them a lot and we have had fun for the most part.

Hannah is up to a long run of 7 miles and she is doing really well. She walks very little nowadays and hasn't had any major aches or pains. She and I have worked on her fueling and she seems to have it down in the sense that she knows when she needs fuel. Her next long run will be 7 miles again and then 8 in two weeks.

Rylee also is doing great. He is up to a 4 mile long run and during the week does 2-3 miles a couple of times. His running style and gait makes me smile, he is still such a kid in motion. I love watching his body go. He is getting better at pacing himself and also is walking less. I love his ability to talk the entire time and make the miles fly by.

I love Rylee's childish running gate!
I got the pleasure of running with both kids at the same time this past week a couple times as well. Normally we don't do this because Hannah is faster and can go longer than Rylee.  Hannah did a great job of slowing down and she and Rylee chatted it up the entire time we were running together.  The cool thing for me was at one point a couple of serious runners passed by us and smiled and said, "nice". Very happy to see other people enjoying seeing my kids out there running. Then at the end of one of our runs the kids sprinted the final .15 or so.  I stayed back just jogging in and watching their bodies working hard. As I ran in to the end of the path another woman said something to us about how the kids shouldn't leave me in the dust. She was smiling and I told her I was more than happy for them to do that. We chatted a while about how much my kids run, what they are training for and have accomplished. She too has kids that are interested in running so she was full of questions.

This brings me to a point where I want to share my "rules of the road" when running with kids. Since people ask me often I thought I would share my ideals on how to train your kids to become happy runners.

1) Don't push them to run longer than they are ready to go, take it slowly and build up their mileage very gradually.
2) Let them dictate the pace and need for walk breaks etc.
3) Always take water with you, no matter how short! Kids drink A LOT!
4) Learn to laugh at the hard moments and teach your kids that running is fun even when its hard.
5) Race goals need to be their choice and don't push them to go faster, further, etc. than they are mentally or physically ready to go.
6) Make it FUN.
Hannah and Rylee before the Road Runner Sports Adventure Run.

Water balloon fight during the Adventure Run, this made it FUN!
One of the runs we did together was the Road Runner Sports Adventure Run, very cool, check it out if you can! I won a pair of Mizuno Sayonara's at the run, so worth the time for sure!

Until next time, run happily and play during your runs!
Do you ever find yourself doing things on a run that are funny, silly or childlike? Have you ever taken time to just have fun in the midst of a hard run? Try it, you may find its just what you need to remember why you love to run.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I won a Boston Strong Lace Medallion from Sheenabean13's blog!

This has been a much better week with the kids! I will post a longer bit about our past week in training later but in the meantime I wanted to share that I won a Boston Strong Lace Medallion from a contest on 
I am thrilled because I meant to purchase one and time slipped away and now they aren't available on the Saucony website. Thanks for the chance Sheena! 
More soon on running. I am off now to run some miles solo and then I will get Hannah for 4.5 miles. Lets hope they are happy miles!

Follow Sheena on Twitter and Instagram at 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

There is No Whining in Running

The past few days have been a rough patch of running with the kids. I want to preface this post with the firm statement that my kids want to run the races they are training for on their own good will. They both came up with these goals and presented them to me. I love that they want to do this but I would never force them to run distances and train for events. Running is something you have to WANT to do, the desire and drive has to come from within. I can talk until I am blue in the face to them about the reasons why they should run but unless they have that desire my words hold no value.

This past Saturday Hannah had a 6 mile run on tap. It was going to be warm and I needed to run it with her on the earlier side, 8 am start to be exact. For a preteen this is the equivalent to an adult of getting up at 3 a.m. I woke her up at 7 a.m. and she was not pleased despite our conversation the night before about needing to get up and running early due to the weather and my schedule. We had rough thirty minutes and and even rougher last few minutes before we headed out the door. She was dragging her feet to get dressed and grumbling at me the entire time.

When we started the run she was quiet but I wasn't shocked. A little way into the run she asked for a gel and I gave her a chocolate one. We ran for about 10 more minutes and she told me that the chocolate was a bad choice, her stomach was gross feeling. We walked a short bit and slowly started running again. By the 3 mile mark she was feeling better and perking up. On our final 2 miles she started talking and apologized to me for her grumbly nature earlier in the morning. We had a nice time at that point. She even gave me some great words of wisdom to take with me into the 1/2 marathon I was running the next day. She said, "when you are nervous or its hard just think that you should be proud because you are trying and so many people will never even try'. I was so touched and it was a great reminder! Our 6 miler ended on a much higher note than it began on.

We came into the house and I was to get Rylee for his 2 mile run. It was like being greeted with Hannah's mood from earlier. Grumbly Rylee drug his feet around and begrudgingly we set out. We ran in silence for 3/4 of a mile. He then needed to walk due to a cramp. I tried to suggest things for the cramp and was met with a very cross response of, "I have already tried that". Okay, so on in silence we walked and ran. At 1.5 miles he told me he had to walk more from the same side cramp. Once again I offered some ideas to help it and once again he grumbled back at me about already trying those things and that it wasn't helping. We walked the remainder of the run back to our house.

Once we were all three together I had a few minutes of explaining to them that this is their choice. To have these goals and want to run is their choice. I am thrilled and happy to help them achieve their goals but that they have to be less grumpy with me. Running is my favorite activity and going out with two running partners that are as grumpy as hibernating bears makes running not so fun.
I also told them I have no expectations that it will be all ponies and rainbows each run but they need to be respectful to me and to the time we have. They both seemed to understand and were apologetic.

Today Hannah had a rough run. She had a stomach ache, started the day that way. During our run she struggled and had to cut it short. I was fine with that, I understood her stomach hurt. She was very whiny though at one point and I actually said, "there is not whining in running, if you don't feel well then we turn around, its as simple as that". That was when we cut it short and turned around toward the house.

I think perhaps the hardest part of training my kids for their races and goals is not going to be training their bodies for the distance but training their minds. I suppose, that is honestly one of the hardest things to learn as a long distance runner. You can train the body but you have to learn how to deal with the mental side as well. You have to learn how to shut off the voices in the head that are negative, how to deal with early wake up calls when bed feels so darned good. You have to learn when to push through a stomach cramp or to say it hurts too much or you feel too bad and its time to cash it in for the day. These are the lessons I am having to help them with more than the body covering the distances.
Its been a hard couple of days for them and their running. The silver lining in all of it is that I have told them multiple times that they have to want to do this, that it is their choice and if they decide its too much its okay but they have answered back that they want to do this, this is what they want. I am proud of their perseverance and determination. They are working their bodies and their minds, working on becoming endurance athletes.

I am working on patience and trying to be understanding and willing to run with grumpy kids. At the end of the day though I really am happy and proud of them. I know we all will be stronger and able to endure more because of this adventure.

What mental demons do you battle before you exercise or during? Do you find that you have to work hard some days more than others to shut off the voices in your head telling you to quit or to not even start? How do you keep moving forward during those rough times?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Everything Happens for a Reason

This was cast #2.

My hand out of the cast!

The cast is off, my hand is healing and things are a bit brighter. I am amazed at how stiff and sore my wrist and fingers are. It's going to be a few weeks until I know if I have any residual impaired mobility from the break.

In the meantime I've had to make decisions about Ironman Lake Tahoe. I had been continuing to train for it up until a couple of weeks ago. Running has been no issue, been riding the bike on the trainer while in the cast and swimming since I had an aqua cast!

Two weeks ago though, the original cast came off and I had too much pain, not enough healing and the Doctor was concerned over potential joint issues that could require surgery. She casted my hand again and sent me off with strict instructions to limit the use of my hand.

The idea of surgery or long term problems with my hand obviously does not appeal to me. This reality became the reason that pushed me forward into making the decision to not participate in Ironman Lake Tahoe. I had been feeling disenchanted with the idea of it and was battling internally how to make the choice of whether to do it or not. This hand situation proved to me that everything happens for a reason and that this is not the time for me to do an iron distance triathlon. 

Being forced back into primarily running reminded me why I love running the most of the three sports I do. Its my happiest place, my sanctuary. Where I find my peace in this world, where I work out my problems. To me the day is always better if I get to run. 

I have goals now set on a fall marathon. I also have been running a lot with my kids, as you may have read, they are training for milestone races. I have promised myself that I will blog about their training and journey towards their races as a way to document a very important time in their lives and mine.
Hannah running along a beautiful trail.

On to fun times, this hand break has been rough but it has reminded me that I love running so very much and that is why I can say everything happens for a reason. I am in a good place with my choice to not be at Ironman Lake Tahoe.

Have you ever signed up for a big race and decided not to do it? Was it hard or did you know it was the right choice? Let me know, I would love to hear from you. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Getting ready to record my first podcast. I actually should say I have been attempting to and recording but have been failing! Its funny how hard its been to figure out how to talk to myself. I am so self conscious. I recorded twice this weekend but both attempts were trash because of the wind. Gonna try again today. I did a bit of recording in the house today, that was okay but you could hear the kids screaming in the background. I need a sound proof studio!

Gordon at Running to Disney was gracious enough to say he would mail me a wind screen! Very happy and grateful about that. Once that comes things should move more quickly and maybe I will get my first episode out there.

In the meantime I will continue to work on my official name for the podcast. The choices so far are
Run Vegan Run
Run Like A Vegan
VeganRunningMom podcast
What do you all think?