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Dreaming the Possible Dream

If you recall last year I was chasing that little thing called the 9 plus 1.   For those who don’t know what that is (even though I know you all do), it is a way to qualify for the New York City Marathon the following year.  I am lucky enough to live close enough to NYC to have made this a viable way for me to get in.   It is not “hard” to do, but it is a commitment of both time and effort.   Thanks to my running friends, I was able to do it!

Now the thing with doing the 9 plus 1 is that even after you complete it, you still must register for the marathon or all that hard work is for naught.   Registration for the 2016 opened today at 12:00.   I believe that I completed my registration by 12:15.   It’s a strange exciting feeling to know that I will be running the New York City Marathon this year.

It’s funny I never imagined that I would ever run a marathon.   Then when I started to think about it and get caught up in the excitement of my fellow Mama runners, I thought well maybe I will one day run the NYCM and check marathon off my bucket list.   Yet, now I’ve done 3 marathons to date and New York will be my 4th.  That being said, I’m looking forward to being able to say that I’ve done New York.   Come on it’s like the expression says, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere!”

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I know that NY will be different than the others.   I know NY will hold a special place in my heart as my love for running and some amazing friendships have been developed chasing the dream.   The good thing about dreams though is that reality is always so much more than you imagined.

I am also so excited that I am now one step closer to NYCM as could be shown by how quickly I registered today.

I once thought that NY would be it for me.   That I would hang up my running shoes next to my medal and put the crazy business of running behind me.   Then I realized something…..  There is no putting this behind me.   There is no going back.  I’m an addict.      It apparently is now in the blood.   I will continue to run.    I will continue chase other dreams.   Dreams that have not even been dreamed yet.

What do you dream of?

 

Living the Dream!

As you read yesterday, I ran the Staten Island Half this past weekend.   What I didn’t mention in this post though is that I did it!   Now I don’t mean I did the Half because you know that already.    I mean that I completed my 9+1 plan!!!!!

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Words truly do not express how I feel about this.    It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as this has been months in the making having started this journey in January with Fred Lebow Half and ending with the Staten Island Half.   The cherry on top is that not only did I qualify for running THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON in 2016, but also the NEW YORK CITY HALF!!

Now, I know that I could not have completed this task alone.  I would not have been able to do it.   As the saying goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”   In this case, I got by with a lot of help from my friends.   First of all this is the amazing group of women who inspired me to push myself not only in my running but to push myself to dream of doing things I would have never thought possible for me.   These are the women who showed me that with hard work and dedication I can do anything I set my mind to.   These are the women who took a newbie under their wings when I didn’t even know anything about needing actual pace for a race.   Remember my story of my first half?    I have to admit that although there is still so much that I don’t know, I am no longer a newbie.   They helped me in ways they don’t even know by never making me feel less because I am slower than them or didn’t know what I was doing.   They shared themselves and their knowledge so willingly with me.  These are also the women who without making it so fun to run, I would have stopped.   Yes, I now love to run.   Yes, I now need to run, but that all started with this group of women who got me to this point.    There is also the logistics factor because with them I was able to make it to these races.   Yes, I probably could have done it without them, but I’m not really sure that I would have wanted to or it would have been so easy to do.   These are also the women that I have so much respect, admiration, and love for.

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As we all know, I did not grow up dreaming of one day running the New York City Marathon.   I was someone who grew up hoping not to be picked last in gym class, but that is the beauty of growing up.   You realize that all that doesn’t matter because you no longer need to wait to be picked for anything life has to offer.  You create your own future, dreams and if you work hard enough anything is possible.   I may have come late to the party of wanting to run the NYCM, but I have now made that dream a possibility.   It is in my reach and I just need to wait because it will happen.   Although, I’m really not one to sit around and wait for things to happen anymore.   So in the meantime, I’ll be out chasing other dreams.

What are your dreams?

Viva La France

I’ve been to many races by now in my running “career,” but never in a volunteer capacity.    Now that I think about it, I don’t think that I’ve ever even been to a race just as a spectactor.    Kind of sad actually.   My sister once said after watching the NYCM, “If you ever want to be inspired, just go watch a marathon.”   Even though I do agree that a marathon is inspiring, really inspiration can come from watching any race.   It was nice to be on the outside looking in for a change.

I will also honestly admit that I did not sign up for this volunteer position just to be inspired.   I signed up because as part of the 9+1 program, I am required to either volunteer at an event or raise $1000 for charity.   I opted for the volunteer position and I’m glad I did.   It think every runner should volunteer at an event at least once to see what goes into it and I really only peaked behind the curtain and still have no clue as to what goes into it either.   What I do know is that behind the volunteers are a whole event staff that worked hard to put it together.   I couldn’t even begin to tell you about that, so I will tell you about my teaney-tiny small part I did today.

First of all I had to find an event to volunteer for through the NYRR Organization.   I came across the France 8K and signed up.   Luckily one of my MRTT Mama’s also signed up as I really don’t know how I would have made it there without Elaine.   Although, I am not afraid to drive in the city, I don’t know the lay of the land nor how to really get there.   Elaine used to live in the city and she understands the streets and parking in the city.   She offered to drive which I am so thankful for. Yeah, Elaine!

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One of the downsides of volunteering is the arrival time.   We had to be there to check in for our assignments at 6:00 AM.    Now being as we live outside the city, this meant leaving at 4:45 and waking up at 4:00.   You may have hard me crying as my alarm went off this morning, but I really am not complaining.   I know how lucky I am to live close enough to the city to even chase the dream of running the NYCM.   So I will wake up at 4:00 AM on more than one occasion if it means that I will one day have the privledge of running 26.2 miles in New York and saying I ran the NYCM.   (You know your a runner if you get that).

At check-in Elaine and I had to go our separate ways as we had different assignments.   She was amenities and I was West Side Course Marshall.   I know sounds very official, doesn’t it?   Really what that means is that I stood along the course keeping people on the right side of the cones and keep those not racing on the left.    Really not difficult.

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Then the race started.   As I stood there watching the front of the pack fly by, I really didn’t know what I should do.   I felt silly just standing there, but my friends may not believe this but I am actually a very quiet person (I hope noone spit out their drink when they read that).    It is the truth.   I am quiet UNTIL I get to know you and I’m usually quiet in groups too.  So as I stood along the course, I had to step outside of my comfort zone as I know how when I’m racing that the encouragement of the volunteers is so helpful.   At first I started off a little tentative.   A little clapping.   A little “nice job runners,”   “water around the corner,”   “ect, ect, ect.”    By the end, I was doing the booming clapping and hollering.   I got a few smiles, I got a few high fives, and I got a few thank yous.    I didn’t want to just stand there like a dud even if that would have given me a check.

I’m not sure if I helped anyone running by, but I know in some small way I did help one female runner.   (Sorry male readers).   This one woman runner came up to me and asked me if I possible had a tampon.    Luckily for her, I did have one.   By the look on her face, I know that I helped her and that she did not want to make a statement like that woman in London which is a whole different blog post.   For now, I will say there are other ways to make your statement.   Anyway, I’m glad I could help a sister runner out.

I will also say that I made sure to clap just as loud for the very last runners as they in my opinion they need more encouragement than those running to win.   Today the last runner was a very obviously pregnant runner who had pinned baby on board bumper stickers (I think) to her shirt.   She was working it, but she finished!

After the race, I had to walk back to return my lovely volunteer vest and badge.   It was a long walk, but so glad that I did it.   I have run in Central Park a few times now, but when walking you get to see a little more.   It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, and I was enjoying my rest day and the fact that I have one more check.

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Have you ever volunteered at a race?