Moms RUN San Jose

For Moms who run, by Moms who run…Moms RUN this Town!

Confessions of a Closet Poster

I must confess that often when I was out on a run and even now on my walks with purpose I find myself crafting a post for the MRTT Facebook page and now this blog in my mind. This happens almost every time I am out there but most of the time these posts do not make it out of the “closet of my mind” and onto the screen.

Creating these works of art in my mind helps keep me from focusing on how tired I am or the frustrations of walking when all I want to do is run again. It is a great way to occupy my mind. Additionally, I find myself reflecting on posts I’ve read on the MRTT page which is another great distractor. This is one of the things I love most about MRTT is that even if you aren’t one to meet up for group runs and events, you still very much feel a part of the group. Although most of you have not met me you have motivated me more that you could ever know.

Most mornings I start the day reading through Facebook chatter and finish my day catching up on what I missed on Facebook during the day.

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the MRTT Face Book chatter:

Shout out posts…I just need to give a shout out to this amazing mama, Arul A. We have a special kind of run friend relationship where we can go an entire run and not even be next to each other BUT we still feel the support of each other. Today however we ran side by side and chatted the whole way and I was reminded all the reasons why her amazing sweet spirit fills me up. Thanks girl! Love ya! … Danalisa G.

Congrats to Heather on crushing the Dammit Run this morning and taking 1st in her AG! It was fun eating your dust! ….Karen H.

Short story: I ran today! 🎉 Long story: About a year ago our family had a near-emergency situation that required us to move very suddenly. We had exactly zero prospects of where to go, so I posted on this group to ask if anyone had any leads. A woman I’d never met before, Melodie C., responded to my post that day–by the end of the week we’d signed the lease and, shortly after, we moved in next door to her. Over the past year Melodie and I have become good friends and the best of neighbors. Case in point: this morning she brought our family breakfast just because (pancakes and bacon!), and this afternoon she came over and watched my kids so I could go out on a solo run (I have a 4-month old baby and two boys, ages 3 and 5. I homeschool the older boys and my husband works long hours, so going running by myself is a luxury right up there with winning an all-expense paid trip to Maui!). All this to say, Melodie: you’re an absolute rock star. Also, SJMRTT has literally changed my life–it’s given me a home, friendship, and fitness. Wow! … Allison P.

 

Random thought posts…If you fall hard in the forest, will anyone be around to hear you? YES. There will be a woman standing there with her jaw dropped… and she will have heard the profanities fly out of your mouth. Ouch!Cheryl W.

Some random thoughts during my run today: – it’s windy and cool today – Don’t chase after the HS kid just to see if you can – Why don’t they wear shirts when they run? It’s not like it’s hot ??? – If I wear a smaller flipbelt, will my stomach get smaller?… – Don’t let the stranger on your left pass you! – How did I miscalculate the distance when I know this trail like the back of my hand? – Ugh, I am home already, should I do 1 more or forget it? 11 miles done ( not 12). Happy Friday everyone. … Thuy T.

You are Awesome posts…Saw lots of you at Bay Breeze today! I was volunteering at registration and the timing tent and then was out cheering for awhile at finish chute entrance. You all looked super awesome out there!   … Carole D.

Race Recap posts… Jennifer, Kelly, Aleksandra and I did the Splash and Dash yesterday afternoon. There was a 1/2, 1 and 2 mile swim and a 1 mile swim with a 3 mile run. Swim was great (although I’m afraid of the big orange thingies or anything else in the water), run was tough (holy hill!), and I need to train more, but I’m glad I did it and it was nice to meet Jen and Kelly. Plus there was beer and pizza afterwards! Congrats to Aleks who was 2nd overall in the 1/2 mile swim! I learned that it is impossible to put on a tank with a built in bra when you are still wet, but a nice lady helped me out. And there was really gross green icky stuff on the inside of my suit and all over my body after. Gross!!!!!! Lisa A.

Advice Posts…I have a question I notice when I’m running longer than 8 miles I start to get really hungry what should I carry in my camel back any advice. … Jessica M.

TMI post. But I got a toe nail that is having issues and hurts, it’s just barely hanging on at this point. Wondering from those of you would have lost a toe nail to running do I just let it do its thing or does anyone have a good podiatrists recommendation. … Amy H.

Runs/workout update posts… Some runs are so much better then others. Today’s 6 miles at Lake Almaden reminded me why I love running. This Unhurried Mama is back! .. Katie Y.

A mile and change is better than zero, right? Snuck in a few minutes on the treadmill while my girls had swim practice. My watch and the treadmill never really agree, but I’m happy either way! … Hannah M.

5 miles with this beautiful mamma. So blessed with your friendship Allison! … Melodie C.

Why Run Posts… Our lives are full of life changing events that can threaten to stop us, but the rhythm of running keeps moving us forward one step at a time. … Irma D.

 San Jose,CA Moms RUN This Town members also share running articles, fun running related images & memes, upcoming runs & races, and weekly welcome messages.

Keep it up and feel free to email me at sjmrttblog@gmail.com with race reviews, running reflections etc. that you would like to share on the blog. Thanks to all the mamas that have contributed. I truly enjoy and benefit from the running chatter that makes it from the closet of your mind onto the screen!

Run Happy!

 

 

 

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Making a Dream a Reality by Judie W.

My Ironman Race Experience…The weekend started on Thursday when Aleks and I went up to Windsor to check in.  I was so glad to be there with someone else as it was all a bit overwhelming.  We drove up in the morning and got our race numbers, all the gear bags and a very lovely Ironman Vineman backpack to put it all in.  After having a quick browse around the pretty small expo, we went to the athlete briefing.  As always, the briefing was anything but brief but it was good to get the information and actually feel like this was going to happen.  Then after a quick stop for food, we drove back to San Jose.

On Thursday night my kids had decorated my gear bags so I could find them easily and then I packed up all the stuff I needed for the race.  Friday morning I set off for the real deal.  I drove straight to the bike drop off.  The traffic was complete carnage with everyone trying to drop their bikes off and have a look at the river for the swim.

After dropping my bike I wanted to drive the bike course just to get a bit of a feel for it.  I’m really glad I did as it gave me a bit of confidence for the next day.  The course was marked really well and I didn’t get lost driving, so could see that I wouldn’t get lost during the actual race.  The hills didn’t seem too dreadful, either up or down.

My drive took me to the high school where I dropped off my run gear bag.  This was where I made the most mistakes.  I forgot to put in my running sunglasses, food for the run and a bottle of Nuun but these all turned out fine in the end really.  After dropping off my run bag, I checked into my hotel, had dinner, just chilled out for the evening and tried to get some sleep.

I woke up at 3am on Saturday morning.  My alarm was set for 4 but I just couldn’t get back to sleep.  So I had my breakfast, put on my swim clothes and warm clothes over the top and went downstairs.  The hotel had moved their complimentary breakfast earlier so it started at 4!  I had thought that there was a shuttle from the High School (the finish area) to the swim start but there wasn’t, so I thought I would have to drive to the swim start, leave my car there all day then get the shuttle (there was one afterwards) back to get it after the race.  That didn’t sound too appealing, so I was cheeky and when some people got up from breakfast to leave, I asked them if they had room for me in their car.  Luckily they did and I got a lift with some very nice people to the start.

The swim was utter carnage.  Firstly the river is very shallow in a few places – so much so that my hand was scraping across the floor as I swam.  Lots of people opted just to get up and walk instead.  This caused a few problems because the walkers were slower than the swimmers so were just in the way.  Secondly though, people were just really aggressive.  There was lots of pushing and shoving – me also after a while!  It was just hard to find space to swim.  My swim time was 1:18.  My aim was to be out of transition by 1hr 30, so I am pleased with this time.  If I do another Ironman, I’d line up with the 1:10-1:20 people rather than 1:20-1:30 and hopefully it would be a bit easier to swim properly rather than trying to do lots of overtaking.

Transition was really funny.  You get out the water and there are people there to get your wetsuit off.  So I just had to sit on the mat and someone pulled and pulled!  Then I found my beautifully decorated gear bag and went to the women’s changing tent.  It was such a fun atmosphere in there.  We were all smiling and telling stories of our epic swim, but also trying to get ready for the bike.

On the way out of transition, I saw Aleks.  She had done a faster swim but slower transition so we got our bikes at the same time.  She raced off to do a fabulous bike split.  And I was off on the bike.  The first half went really well.  I was fast and confident.  It is quite a hilly course – not big scary hills but just rolling constant ones.

The second half was when the tiredness kicked in.  By mile 70 (nope, still can’t get over the incredible distances!) I was seriously flagging and by mile 80 I decided I had to give myself a break.  I told myself just to sit up and go slow for a while just to get some strength back.  It worked and by the nastiest section of the course – mile 95-100 – I felt much better.

The bike was really fun.  Lots of people overtook me as I’m on the slower side but I also overtook quite a few people.  There would be sections where I’d overtake someone on an uphill, they’d overtake me going downhill and we’d continue that for a while.  There was a guy in a blue shirt that I think I passed about 8 times and another guy with a black aero helmet that kept passing me but I don’t remember me overtaking him!  He probably stopped at more aid stations or something.  Then there were other people like the girl in the patterned dress and the woman with the pink bike.  After a couple of to and fro’s we would have a quick chat on the way past each time.  It was a fun atmosphere.

The last few miles of the bike were really just a slog.  After the hill just before 100, it was just trying to pick off each mile until I got to transition.  The second transition was similar to the first.  Someone took my bike off me and I got my run gear bag and went into the tent.  I think I took about 10 minutes that time and then it was off on the run.

The run course was 3 loops of an out and back, which was really great.  It broke it up into really manageable sections.  Each was about 4 miles – just a neighborhood run with Darlene and Sarah.  The course was also mainly rolling hills and the secret of Ironman seems to be that almost no-one runs the whole thing.  So I walked through the aid stations and many of the hills.

The first lap was probably the hardest as it felt like there was just so far to go and my legs were completely dead after the bike.  I saw Aleks on the start of my second lap and end of her second.  She was doing great and seeing her gave me a huge boost.  She overtook me near the end of my second lap, when she had just a mile or so to go.  She was running with her husband and looked so strong!

The second lap was when they brought out the chicken bouillion.  This is famed in Ironman as being the best pick-up in the world, and they were right.  It was like nectar.  It is just really salty, warm broth – exactly what you need during the run.  My second lap was pretty uneventful but at the end of it, I got my run special needs bag.  The volunteers thought I was really funny because I put all the contents in the trash and kept the bag – my daughter had decorated it and as we weren’t getting the special needs bags back, I wanted to keep it.  (I also kept my bike special needs bag.)

The run was a lot quieter than the bike.  People were friendly but not really chatty.  We were all just in our own spaces trying to get it done.  I did pass a guy who was 75 – I think he was the oldest I saw.  He was very chatty and had lots of advice.  This wasn’t his first Ironman.  (We all have our ages written on our left calf so it was easy to see how old people are.)

Then near the end, I was walking and trying to keep up with another woman who was also walking.  She was really fast so I couldn’t catch her until I started running again.  She was only on her second lap and had to walk fast just to make the cut-off.  I felt so dreadful for her as it didn’t look like she was going to make it, but I really hope she did.  That was the worst thing about the final bit of the run – seeing people going out on their final lap and not being sure if they would make the cut off.

The third lap was when it started to get dark.  Going out was ok but coming back I really wished I had a head torch.  I think I lost a bit of time because I just couldn’t see and was more wary of where I was putting my feet.  Just after mile 23, my watch alarm went off.  (I have a daily alarm at 9:15pm to tell me to go to sleep.)  I realized that if I pushed it, I could go under 15 hours.  My goals before the race were first to finish the bike under the cut-off, next to finish the run under 17 hours and finally to finish under 16 hours.  Under 15 just didn’t seem possible.   But when my alarm went off, I knew I could do it if I just pushed.  So I did!  I know my time for the final lap was the slowest but I did push my hardest for it.  My marathon time was only 20 minutes longer than my marathon personal best!  (That’s definitely something I’ll need to do some work on.)

And then you get to the turnaround where it says finish one way, more laps another way.  There was another 5 minutes of running after that but you don’t know that – you just have to keep going.  You feel all happy because you have done all the laps but you still have to keep pushing and I had no idea how far I had to go because they didn’t have a marker for 26 miles.  Keeping myself going for those minutes was so hard.  I just wanted to walk or sit down but of course I didn’t and kept on running.  Going through the finish chute is surreal.  I have dreamed for so long about it and it really didn’t disappoint.  The announcer says “Judie Wilcox, you are an Ironman!” and you run through massive floodlights so you can’t really see anything.

I didn’t know what my finish time was until much later.  I did check my watch and knew I’d finished under 15 hours – woo hoo! But I didn’t know any more than that as I didn’t have my phone to look it up.  With the rolling swim start it is hard to know exactly and the finish clock showed the time from the elite start.  To be honest, I didn’t really care much about anything just that I had finished.

After the race I went to the food area and got pizza.  I don’t eat pizza usually but I figured that I didn’t really care.  It was perfect!  Once I got my morning clothes bag back I wanted to put my warm-up pants back on.  I think that was one of the hardest parts of the day!  I must have looked so funny trying to get them on but it was so hard getting my legs high enough!  Aleks’ husband had picked up my bike and other gear bags.  We had to pick up our bikes by midnight and seeing as I wasn’t expecting to finish until near to midnight, knowing that someone else was collecting my bike took a huge weight off my mind.  Thank you Nikolai.

Then I had to walk back to my hotel.  It took about 30 mins and was good to keep my legs moving.  The only problem was that I didn’t actually know how to get there so I had to ask at the info desk.  The lovely volunteer there looked it up on her phone for me.

Once back, I had a shower.  That’s when I find all the places that have chafed because they sting as the water hits them.  My heart rate monitor and bra were the main culprits.  I have another nasty welt on my back from the bra clasps but as that happens during most of my long runs, I wasn’t surprised.  My little toes are just big blisters but other than that, I’m relatively ok.  My legs are completely beaten up obviously and my arms are tired.

Sunday was the athlete celebration banquet and awards ceremony.  More importantly I could now to go the shop and buy all the things that I couldn’t bring myself to buy before.  I wanted a 140.6 sticker for my car.  I wanted a t-shirt.  I would have bought pretty much anything that says I am an Ironman.  In the end I bought a lovely hoodie and a few other bits and pieces.  The breakfast was really good, healthy food but I just wanted a proper breakfast, so after I picked up my bike from Aleks, I went back to my hotel and ate properly!

It was a truly amazing experience.  I’m not sure I’ll do it again any time soon as the training was brutal but once the kids are busy with their own lives, maybe I will.  The woman who I drove to the swim start with is in her 60’s and just did her 7th Ironman, so there is still time.

The thing to take away from this whole thing is that you can do it.  I have no idea what your “it” is, but I know you can do it.  Whatever “it” is, find out what you need to do to get there.  You might need to train to even get to the start of the training plan – I did!  But have that goal and work for it.  Always have your goal in your mind and every day do something towards it.  That might be training but that also might be resting and recovering.  It might take you a long time to reach your goal but I know you can do it, because I did. I am an Ironman!!

 

 

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Why I Run by Danalisa C-G.

Ok about me:  I’m 38. Married to my high school sweetheart for 16 years. We have three boys: Owen (9), Aidan (7), Ethan (6).  I’m originally a NJ girl but have moved 12 times since marrying my hubby.  We’ve lived in NJ, NY, WA, England, Ireland and now CA.  I love to travel, read, knit/crochet, sing and of course RUN!

Why do you run? I run for me. I run to clear my head. I run to quiet my crazy thoughts. I run to be fit. I run to feel strong. I run to challenge myself. I run for those who can’t. I run to be social. I run because I can. 

How long have you been a runner? I was always a team sport gal but I hated running. While living in Ireland I started trying to run as a way to get back my body in-between babies at a time in our life when we couldn’t afford a gym. It was easy to go out the door and pound the pavement than try to fit in other workouts. That was 9 years ago. 

Before you leave for a run you must have? My phone/apple watch, running belt, a piece of gum, sometimes headphones and usually my sunglasses.

Describe your relationship with running in one word? Necessary!

Best run ever? My first marathon in November 2015 was as perfect as they get. I loved every moment of it (well almost every minute). I was well prepared, uninjured and the Revel Races are well organized. I thought I would do it once and be done but I’m plotting my next one. 😉

If you could recommend any running related item to a new runner it would be? A good pair of shoes makes all the difference and is worth the money. 

When not going on a run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do? I’m obsessed with Body-pump class and go twice a week. I walk my dog every day. I used to swim regularly and I am hoping to get back into that again.

Worst injury and how you got over it? I have been lucky not to have any significant injuries only minor ailments.  But, I did really struggle with my stomach not feeling well after a long run and I spent a lot of time reading and learning about nutrition in order to fuel myself well and feel better after running. It’s an ongoing lesson that has made me love cooking and feel worlds better all the time.

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to go for a run? I don’t lack motivation. I’m always ready to feel the burn but I struggle in the summer with getting the time while my kids are home from school. So we have to get creative and use the gym childcare or a playground loop.

When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting? That I have likely done longer than this before so just keep going. Also good tunes can really motivate me.

My favorite thing about running? The people I have met who challenge me and encourage me. Fellow runners are the best!

I felt most like a BadA$$ Mother Runner when? My husband and kids met me on the training course for my 19 and 20 mile training runs to replenish my water/snacks with signs of support. They were a great support and seeing my kids’ faces in awe of what I was working so hard to achieve was the best motivation.

Do you use a Garmin or have a favorite App to track your runs? I use Runtastic and I run with an apple watch.  I used to have a Garmin but once I went apple I’ve never looked back.

Favorite brand of running shoes? Brooks – Run Happy  and I just bought my first Hoka trail shoes.

Favorite races? Revel Race Series, Rock and Roll Dublin , Brazen, Presidio 10

Favorite running partner? In Ireland I was one of the founders of our running group for women, Sloggers to Joggers.  I made some of my best run friends in that group.  I’m only new to MRTT and the Bay Area but Anusha has been my right hand girl for running long on the weekends.  She makes me smile and I love her enthusiasm and positive spirit.

Do you have a running idol? Lots of other mothers inspire me but I’m not a sports fan who watched races or anything like that.

If you gave someone one piece of advice about running, what would it be? Run your own race. There are a lot of applications for that advice..let’s go for a run and we can discuss it =)

Running goals for 2016? To build more strength in the gym which will support me training for a second marathon in 2017.

What do you love about MRTT? The inspiration of other mammas. The instant connection with ladies from all walks of life over a common joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Test Post – Learning the Process

Hello, Irma and I (Julie) are meeting so that she can teach me the process to write and manage the San Jose – MRTT blog site. We added a countdown to the Big Sur International Marathon. Can you believe that it is only 25 days away? Are you ready? Irma is training for the full marathon and she says that she is not ready!

Irma's last Big Sur (21 miler) in 2014 ...see the anguish :)

Irma’s last Big Sur (21 miler) in 2014 …see the anguish 🙂

In the comments below let us know if you are training for this event and or if you have a Big Sur race story to share.

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2016…wow….

Seriously, how long has it been since I’ve last blogged here? OK…don’t answer that…my 2015 WordPress stats were abysmal…what happened?? Well, besides having  baby and adjusting to having 4 kids (“what’s 1 more?” they said, “it’s not a big deal!” they said…all LIES!!)….life happened….

What didn’t happen for me was running….honestly, I’ve been on hiatus since after the San Jose Rock n Roll.  It’s only because I have the Big Sur Marathon in April that I am forcing myself to leave the comfort of my nursing chair to get in some miles. Does it scare me that I haven’t kept up with training for one of the most spectacular marathons on the planet? Yes!!  Am I worried that I won’t complete the marathon in the 6 hour time limit? Yes!! Will that stop me from doing the race anyway? Ye….I mean, NO!!!

Of course, not!!

Running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical sport.  And it is also a social sport! Thank goodness for the wonderful mother runners in the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town (MRTT)!! Without them, I would not have made it out as much as I have the past few months.

We had our National MRTT Winter Virtual Run  few weeks ago.  The theme was “Back to Basics” so we had our Winter Virtual 2016 start and end at my humble abode with a potluck and BBQ. At the very first SJ-MRTT Virtual run in 2012, there was just me and one other mother runner – so having our families for a BBQ was no big deal.  This year, we had 22 moms and their families doing the run…a much bigger deal than 4 years ago (we had to use the front and the back yards for festivities)!

Virtual 408k pics.001

WOW!!  That is 11 times more participants than we had at our first virtual!

A few weeks later, our mother runners also took over the 408K Race through the lovely streets of San Jose.

Virtual 408k pics.002

WOW again!!  Look at all those beautiful faces!!  Did I tell you how much our chapter ROCKS!! I am inspired every day to put on my running shoes just because I know another mom is doing the same thing.

And that’s the beauty of having a running group with people who “get you” yet keep you accountable!

As 2016 continues, changes for me also continue.  My family will be relocating in a few months and I will be leaving my beloved chapter…the chapter that I birthed 4 years ago…that I’ve watched grow from 10 members to over 1000 members. Wow is right.

With that in mind, one of our lovely mother runners will be taking over the blog while I transition our of my role as Chapter Leader.  Julie is currently recuperating and offered to take over the blog to keep her busy since she has to take a break from running.  That’s a TRUE mother runner – if you can’t run, you might as well blog about running!!

I’ll let Julie fill you in on her life….needless to say, she ROCKS and will regale you with much more interesting posts about our wonderful chapter.

This won’t be my last post here…so no weepy reminiscing or goodbyes that sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech…yet!!

 

 

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Mystery solved! What happens on an MRTT group run?

We’ve had a lot of new mother runners join us recently – so exciting!!  But also so scary….What if I I post about wanting to meet people for a run and no one responds? What if I am the slowest person on a group run? What if I do find someone to run with – what do we talk about for an hour (or more) while we’re running? I don’t know about actually “meeting” people who I only know from a Facebook group…

Moms RUN this Town, San Jose is NOT just a Facebook group! We actually ENCOURAGE members to meet for real runs…in person, on a trail in the area, with their kids (if they have them).  Why? Because running is more fun in a group! And as moms, we understand that speed is relative (just like we know that numbers on a scale don’t mean that much). We also know what it takes to get out of the house for a run, especially if you’re bringing the baby and the toddler and the double stroller…and the 7 year old on a bike…and the dog….

So what actually happens when you get 2 or more mother runners together for a group run? Well, it goes something like this…

Group Run Meeting time – 9 AM-ish – there is always a little lee-way to account for explosive diapers and tantruming toddlers. Sometimes we meet earlier depending on the day (weekday vs weekend) or the distance (5 AM start for those long runs!) or if moms need to get back to the house at a certain time (to get ready for work or so their partner can get ready for work or to be there before the kids wake up).

Who runs with who? Here’s where people can get really nervous because we’re talking PACE! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines pace as “the speed at which someone or something moves”. In our chapter, we have some pretty speedy mamas (8 minute miles or less) and we also have some not so speedy mamas.  I  fall into the latter category and I am totally fine with that! If a tiger were chasing us, you can thank me for keeping the tiger busy so you can get away. Yeah, I’m just a nice person that way! Being “slow” is really relative – I may be slower than an 8 minute miler but I am faster than my two year old!

For group runs, we usually divide up into pace – sometimes formally but most of the time, naturally.  We will all start off together then eventually the faster moms go ahead and the rest of us do the run at the speed that we are comfortable with.  Sometimes we’ll say before the run, “OK, we’ll meet back in an hour” and people run out for 30 minutes then come back for 30 minutes. That way, everyone meets back around the same time and we can all stretch and talk.  Sometimes, we’ll say before the run, “OK, we’ll all do 5 miles” and then people run the mileage in however amount of time it takes them and usually people wait until everyone is back.  The faster ones take the time to stretch and socialize while waiting.  Starting together and ending together is a usually a given during a group run.

Sometimes though, there might be only one person whose pace doesn’t match the rest of the people meeting up. What then? No one wants to hold the others back or kill themselves trying to keep up. This is where we get creative because we don’t leave our mamas behind!  In this scenario, the faster moms will periodically double back to check on the mom running behind her –  encouraging her or just making sure she’s doing OK – then run ahead again. This way, the speedy moms get in more miles and the not so speedy moms know that they aren’t left behind. Win-Win for all!!

Most moms usually find something in common to talk about during their runs.  After all, we are all health minded women who have a care-taking role in our families.  A conversation that starts with, “So, how do you run this town?” could lead to finding out all the races a mom has done or all the activities she takes her kids to during the course of the week or her favorite place to workout or go for a date night.

After the run, some moms just leave after stretching. Most moms, if they have kids with them would let the kids out to play and have a little playdate.  Sometimes moms grab lunch or coffee.  Running is a boost not just physically but also mentally and socially. I am not a sola runner (I’ll do it if I have to) – the “runners high” is always so much “higher” when I am running with other people!

Group Run 20Jun15

Our group run this month…we broke up into 3 pace groups, ran for an hour then got coffee – a GREAT way to start the day!

So don’t be scared of a group run!! It’s OK if you’re the slowest person there or if you don’t know anyone in the group you’re meeting up with.  By the time your run is done, you’d be surprised with how far and/or how fast you ran and how easy it is to make a new friend or 15!

So, when you are joining a group run???

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15 minutes could lead to a new blog post….

OMG…it’s been over a year since I last posted…how did that happen?

Well, if you really want to know….we welcomed another baby this past year (who knew having 4 kids would make life so crazy busy?!), my hubby had a crazy busy overseas travel schedule, and our San Jose MRTT group has grown and grown (we’re at over 800 members right now) to the point that we now have 3 chapter leaders (including myself) to keep up with all the races and running that our crazy busy mother runners have done! Hmmmmm….crazy busy this past year has been!

Not only has this blog suffered but so has my running…the momentum was lost…until I read this:

http://runhaven.com/2014/12/01/15-minute-rule/

The 15 Minute Rule not only works for running (or working out of any type) but also for blog-posting!! WOOHOO!! And of course, for deciding the best insurance…

So while this post took a bit more than 15 minutes (mainly due to a fussy baby), it’s done!

Ready...get set...WRITE!!

Ready…get set…WRITE!!

And now, I have so many thoughts about what to blog about next…we have tons of new members who have done some fantastic things (running and non-running related) that I would love to share with you. We’ve also made some really terrific connections with local races and businesses.  My personal goal this year is to beat my 2:30 half marathon time…I am hopefully going to get my clearance to start running again 4 weeks then training begins!!

What can you accomplish in 15 minutes?

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3 months…seriously???

My last post was January…when I was full of energy and enthusiasm for a new year and new start….<sigh> Short-lived!!

It’s like dieting…except everyone gets a notification when you decide to eat a whole pizza pie with a diet coke and then it gets posted on Facebook as your status….

pizza not exercise blog pic

 

I have been exercising though..well, running, at least! I have the Big Sur 21-miler this weekend.  I didn’t really follow a training plan, but I did get in two 18-mile runs in the past month.  This will be my longest run to date and will probably be a good indication of how I will do in my marathon.

As far as long distance runs go, I am definitely a newbie.  I much prefer 5Ks and 10Ks and have limited my half-marathon races to just one a year.  Thirteen miles is pretty far and the thought of going farther than that just seemed ridiculous in my mind.  Seriously? Thirteen miles is FAR!!!

But after doing a few half-marathons, that thought comes in…well, what’s a few more miles? Another hour or so of running? It can’t be that bad…

Oh, but it can be…

The first time I ran 14 miles, it was so sad! Like watching those stop animal cruelty videos featuring Sarah McLauchlan over and over again for a 20 min 1 mile run….I ran 13 miles with a few friends from my moms running group (moms RUN this town) and then one friend stayed with me while I ran the last mile on the track. My head wasn’t in it…I didn’t want to run over 13 miles….I didn’t want to do it…what would that mean in my life if I could…if I did…I didn’t think I could do it.

And then it was done….

And I was OK – legs were sore, I felt a cramp coming on, but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I AM ABLE to run over 13 miles!!  And then, I wanted to to do more.

So my first 18-miler was actually pretty good…despite cramping on the last mile, I felt ACCOMPLISHED! So when the opportunity came up to run another 18 miles, I was said, “Sure!” just to make sure I could really do.  Of course, I did these long distances with some of the best mother runners in San Jose.  The conversations and encouragement were definitely instrumental in getting me through the miles.

Now, I am a few days away from running 21 miles…I am pretty sure I can do it. And if I can run 21 miles, what’s another 5.2 more in a few months?

Oh, did I mention this race is in HILLY Big Sur???

big sur IM button

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Books from Bug Virtual Race

Virtual races seem all the rage right now.  You can run a virtual race any time, any where – that’s the beauty of it! If you’re going to run the distance anyway, might as well get a medal for it, right?  One of my favorite sites for virtual races is the Fit4Life Race Series – great bling and they have tons of virtual races to keep you motivated if bling is your thing!

This past Thursday, August 15, 2013, the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town participated in a virtual race started by one of our virtual members.  I call her a virtual member because she lives in Washington, but really, Crissy is a true San Jose Mother Runner!  She’s one of those runners who travels for races and she’s been down to the SJ area enough that she qualifies to be one of us.  Now, if you ask her, Crissy will tell you she’s “just a wogger” but Crissy is much more than that!  Crissy is one of our most inspirational members! She created the Books from Bug Virtual Race to honor the memory of her daughter, Halleigh, who passed away due to epilepsy when she was 14 years old after battling the disease from the age of 8.  Crissy has also run 34 half marathons in 22 months to remember her precious, Bug.  All the proceeds from this virtual go to buying books which are then donated to hospitals, schools, libraries, shelters and other places to benefit kids age 3-14.  Since Crissy started the Books from Bug Virtual Race, books have been donated to facilities in 8 states and 2 countries.  Such is the power of a mother runner’s love!

As a mom who has also lost children, I know how devastating it can be….the sadness of losing  someone who you birthed can be paralyzing and numbing.  For me, running was what started me moving again. The simple “left foot, right foot” movement kept my sadness from totally consuming me and allowing me to move forward – not running away from the pain, but each footstep a way to honor my babies, my empty arms and make meaning of that pain.

For our Books from Bug Virtual Run, we had 7 mamas come out and run.  It was a beautiful summer day and we met at great park with an out and back running trail.  We each went our own pace, did our own miles and in our own way, honored Halleigh and all the babies and children who have left us too soon.

Our lovely mamas and kiddos after our run! Plus, the awesome medal and swag.

Our lovely mamas and kiddos after our run! Plus, the awesome medal and swag.

“Running in the New Normal”   for Lucas and Larissa, written Sept 2006.

Running through the Fall

Leaves crunch under my feet

Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot

Steady rhythm

Like a heartbeat

or the flap of (angel) wings.

I think about my babies

Born too early, born too small.

They will never feel the crisp autumn air

Or see the brilliant golds and reds against

a cloudless blue sky.

I have to see for them

Feel for them

A memory of lost opportunities

Lost What Ifs

Lost Possibilities

Lost Little Lives

How can I go on?

Left right, left right

Through the pain

Left right, left right

Through the sad beauty of death

Lack-luster red and gold beneath my feet.

I look up, I look ahead

Trusting that this season will pass

Leaves crunch under my feet

Left right, left right

And I move forward.

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Running MAD…The Right Way

Summers can be hectic and this summer was no different for our moms at the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town.  Our race calendar has been full with several of our moms doing local races as well as larger races like Ragnar.  Our chapter has also grown to over 230 mother runners!!  WOOHOO!!!

Two weeks ago, we had  25 running mamas participate in MRTT’s 2nd Annual Summer virtual race, RUNNING MAD!  We had an “Alice in Wonderland” theme for this race and let me tell you our mamas are MAD about running!  We were originally going to have a 6 AM start for the half-marathon runners to beat the heat, but these mamas then requested (that’s right, they ASKED for it!) to start at 5:30 instead!!  CRAZY MOTHER RUNNERS!!!  Here they are at the start…

Running before the sun rises doesn't phase these Crazy Awesome Mother Runners!

Running before the sun rises doesn’t phase these Crazy Awesome Mother Runners!

Our 10K and 5K runners started at a more reasonable 7 AM.

We're ready to run this MAD Race!!

We’re ready to run this MAD Race!!

Some of our moms brought their kids with them (older kids as well as the little ones in the strollers).  Some of our moms ran for time and some enjoyed a lovely early morning walk with some great swag at the end!

Mad Swag!!

Mad Swag!!  We had a medal, a koozie, and a Running Mad for Boston bracelet. Not shown are the nail polish, Burt’s Bees lip gloss and lip balm, various yummy energy bar samples, a hair tie and other little treats!

 

We all enjoyed some post race refreshments at the end.  We had some lovely mamas who came to cheer us on and who brought yummies to enjoy as well.  If there is a reason to wake up early and run, these mamas are IT!!

This past Friday, we also hosted a running form clinic at a local running store, Running Revolution.  The clinic was sponsored by Newton Shoes.  Brad from Newton Shoes explained to us as well as showed us how the correct running form can really improve your ability to run longer and faster.  I definitely learned a lot!  Some of the drills were funny but when done right, you can really tell the difference.

So, "left, right, left, right" and not "right, left, right, left"? =)

So, “left, right, left, right” and not “right, left, right, left”? =)

High knee drill – I’ve only seen this done in the movies….

No, we are not doing the Sloppy Swish dance from SNL…it’s a running drill!!(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBzG0CCAx4U)

Yes, mother runners know how to have fun on a Friday night!!  Raffles and refreshments ended this clinic on a high note (and by “high”, I mean “great” – we’re not “those” kind of moms!).

Our fall race calendar is getting full and there are still some great races to be done in August!

On a personal note, I have just started back to running after having my babe in April.  Yes – it was a long hiatus and I am paying dearly for it, but I have enjoyed sleeping in and nursing these past few months.  After a few “false starts”, I feel I am back in the game and my mind is set that I am getting back into my usual running routine.  I have a few races scheduled for this fall – the Title 9K, SJ RnR, the Mermaid 10-miler in SF – so I need to get to running!

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