I Tend to Get Pretty Muddy…

I’ve gotten pretty muddy on many occasions – you might say I’m a bit of a mud connoisseur. I’ve gotten muddy at work (more times than I care to admit)… At play… And while running… Twice… But the third time’s … Continue reading

Friendspiration, Girls on the Run Edition: Meet Jordanna!

When I think about the people who inspire me, I always come back to the women who are responsible for making Girls on the Run of Franklin County such an amazing group to volunteer with. Their tireless dedication to providing … Continue reading

Friendspiration, Girls on the Run Edition: Meet Jessica!

When I think about the people who inspire me, I always come back to the women who are responsible for making Girls on the Run of Franklin County such an amazing group to volunteer with. Their tireless dedication to providing … Continue reading

Week 7 Training Recap: The Week of the Comeback

That’s right, I am among the running again. And let me tell you, it fells pret-ty good. I ran outside for for the first time on Friday afternoon, and it was absolutely glorious. I set the screen on my Garmin … Continue reading

2011

This year was a doozy. I mean, really – a doozy. I see it as the year of extremes. In these 365 er, 335 days, I experienced both the highest highs and lowest lows of my short life: Finishing my first half marathon, and then 3 more. Moving my Dad into a nursing home and starting hospice care. Losing Dad. Finishing my first full marathon. Raising $1000 for hospice care. Marrying my best friend.

Back when I set my goals for the new year, I knew that 2011 would be a big one. After some thought, I settled on these goals for the year:

  1. Worry less, laugh more. (It was a challenging year for this, but I somehow succeeded)
  2. Lots of quality time, especially with family and friends. (Check!)
  3. Volunteer more (GIRLS ON THE RUN!) (Check!)
  4. At least 10 races specifically…  (Check! In fact, I ran 11 races in 2011!)
  5. 13.1 – Flying Pig, May 1st. (Check!)
  6. 26.2 –  Air Force Marathon, Sept 17th. (Check, and check!)
  7. Warrior Dash – Logan, Jun 5th.  (Check!)
  8. Swimming & biking.
  9. Travel! (Check! San Francisco bachelorette party and hopefully another NorCal adventure for New Years!)

So, that leaves me with just #8 – swimming & biking. While I originally wanted to mix in some swim and bike workouts in the hopes of attempting a small triathlon, I’ve decided that at least for the foreseeable future, triathlons aren’t for me. I still hope to start swimming as soon as a gym membership can be a part of our budget, but right now, it’s just not in the cards. As for biking, I just plain and simple don’t like it as much as running. I do it every now and then, but that’s about it.

So, of my 9 goals for 2011, I accomplished 8 of them, and the only one I didn’t meet turned out to be a non-goal anyway.

Yep, 2011 was a big year. But, I have a feeling that 2012 will give it a run for the money…

Race Recap: New Balance Girls on the Run 5k!

My first season as a Head Coach for the Girls on the Run of Franklin County culminated this past Saturday, at the New Balance Girls on The Run 5k! There are just too many things to say about the past 10 weeks, but suffice it to say that they have been some of the most inspiring, challenging, heart-warming, and rewarding weeks I’ve had the chance to experience.

Each week, I spent 2 hours with 15 young girls. While most Girls on the Run teams are based at elementary schools, my team was based at a community center called the Run the Race Club. My first day at GOTR back in September was a bit overwhelming. The center bursts at the seams with kids after school, and it was chaotic to say the least. The first weeks are always a little rough as everyone gets to know each other, but as time went on our team hit a groove; then all of the sudden, it was time to for our end of the season celebration – a full 5k race!

In the weeks before the race, our girls received their brand new New Balance shoes. The team was blessed with two generous sponsors, so each girl got a sweet pair of running kicks along with their shirt and 5k registration. It was so much fun handing out those shoes – the girls were THRILLED, and couldn’t wait to put them to good use in the race.

The morning of the 5k came early and cold, of course, but excitement was in the air – we had a race to run! The girls were ready; we had built not only endurance, strength and fortitude, but genuine confidence and positivity. Those weeks held some difficult conversations, challenges in respecting and truly listening to one another, and true breakthroughs in building positive and healthy relationships. We were ready.

After we picked up our packets and got our numbers pinned on, we spent some time enjoying the festivities – the girls LOVED the hair station! They each got sprayed up with different colors, picked out some festive hair ties and pins and we had a blast just being silly and enjoying each others company.

And then, it was time to line up at the start! Each girl is assigned a running buddy who is there for moral support and to ensure her safety before, during and after the race. I started the race walking with 4 girls from my team, but one, K, wanted to run a bit, so I went ahead with her while another coach walked with the other girls. All through the race, K did an amazing job – she ran for awhile and walked when she got tired. I set small goals for us – run to that tree! walk to the lamp post and then run again! Jog to the water station! After a few minutes, K caught on, and started setting her own goals. I really loved spending so much one on one time with her, and we talked about all sorts of stuff!

Before we knew, it we hit mile marker 3, where we had already decided we would sprint to the finish. Watching each girl cross the finish line and receive her awesome GOTR medal was one of the coolest experiences! I got to cheer in most of my girls, and it had me nearly in tears…

I never could have guessed 10 weeks ago how this experience could have changed me; but in those weeks, I saw how these lessons impacted each girl. Each week, they shared stories about how they had taken what they learned at GOTR and used it – how they had heard hurtful gossip about a classmate and put a stop to it, were welcoming to a new girl in class, and stood up to peer pressure. I’ll admit, at first I wondered whether the lessons would stick. Sometimes, the conversation starters we threw out were met with little more than crickets. But as they came back, week after week, I started to notice something different –  a small spark that wasn’t there before.

Maybe 10 weeks isn’t long enough to truly make a lifelong change. But, it is certainly enough to light a spark, and hopefully the lessons these girls learned through GOTR can be fanned into something truly amazing – strong, confident and healthy women!