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AGAIN

Here we are again……

10 days after people simply grocery shopping were killed…

Almost 10 years after Sandy Hook shooting……

Here we are again.

I had tears in my eyes after I dropped my Freshman in High School off today when I saw the police car watching to protect our children. It reminded me of when he was in Kindergarten and the day after what at the time was unimaginable Sandy Hook shooting took so many innocent lives that day. My youngest son has never known a time where school shootings were not the norm.

We have failed him.

We have failed all those children who are traumatized by having to participate in active shooter drills.

We have failed those whose lives were stolen by the greed of the gun industry and the polticians who protect them.

We have failed as a nation to protect the most innocent.

We have failed ourselves as we think about our children’s safety in a way generations before us never needed.

I am tired of living with this failure.

I am tired of people giving lip service to a problem that other countries do not deal with.

I am tired of people treating these types of events as a normal part of living in the USA. I am tired of people acting like the solution is out of our hands. Whose hands is it in? Our children’s? No this is our problem and we are supposed to fix it.

We can fix it. It won’t be easy. There will be a fight but it is our fight. It is not the fight of a child whose only thought should be summer plans.

We need to stop pretending that this is unfixable because it is.

We need to stop pretending that the solution is not right in front of us because it is.

We need to stop pretending that this is not affecting all of us.

Get involved!!!!

Hold your elected officials accountable.

Don’t accept this as normal because it is anything but is

Yesterday was horrendous, but every day in our country more than 100 people EACH DAY from gun violence. Death by firearms is the leading cause of death for children in our country.

This is not normal…….

P

Decisions…..

Decisions are hard.

Sometimes we think we need to do something, but the thought of it brings worry.

Sometimes we want to do something, but the thought of the task at hand brings us anxiety.

Sometimes we know that what we want to do is maybe not what we need right now, but we worry we will miss out if we don’t do it. FOMA is real.

Sometime we know that the job is important, it is a worthy cause and necessary but we must realize that there might be others who can take it over while we take care of ourself.

We make decisions. We change our mind. We change it again……and again…. and again…..

So here it is and to some of you it will come as a shock.

I filled my application out to run NYCM for for the 4th time for Sandy Hook Promise. As I filled it out I second, third and fifth guessed the wisdom. I guessed not because I do not believe in their mission of protecting children and bringing much needed change because I do. I guessed not because I have not seen the impact of their programs because they are real. I guessed not because they are not an amazing organization with amazing leaders who are making a difference and giving it all they have got because they all are.

I guessed because I wondered if right now it is what my body needs. I guessed because I don’t know weather I can mentally and physically push myself to train for a marathon. I guessed because I am not sure that it would be a smart thing to do right now for so many reasons. With all of these guesses, I still filled out my application to run for them because I believe in them so much. I was accepted to run and all I needed was to fill out the contract to be on the team.

I was in!! The thought did not bring me peace for all I mentioned above.

Then an email came that they had an abundance of runners waiting in the wings, so instead of sending in my application; I passed the baton to the next runner. I always said that Sandy Hook’s mission was not a sprint but a marathon. I just forgot that it was a relay marathon. So as I pass the baton to the next runner, I realize that when the time is right I can step back in my lane to get the baton again. Until then there are other ways to both support those now running with the baton and the mission itself of Sandy Hook Promise.

The biggest way I know it was time to pass this baton is that when talking with a friend who was shocked I wasn’t going to run this year, I realized that I was at peace with the decision. There was no second guessing. There was not third guessing. While at peace with it, it is very bittersweet as I will miss being part of the marathon team but you don’t need to run a marathon to make a difference. You just need to show up and get involved.

Not finished….. Just recharging

It Wasn’t a Lie

Most ”normal” people need to be talked into running a marathon. Usually either a friend will lure them in or it is a personal goal, but event then there must be some type of persuasion to do it. Unless, of course, you have already run a marathon. Then it isn’t so much talking youreslef into running another marathon as much as trying to keep yourself from inadvertantly signing up for another one.

How do I know this?

Because I am living the life.

I truthfully without sarcasm have 110% been honest that I am done running marathons. I love the idea of not training for anything. I have talked with friends about how awesome it would be to meet up for a run and then do brunch. We are even planning to go to NYCM as spectators and then do brunch again. It seems like a great plan. An amazing plan. A fun plan. A sane plan.

I also admit that my body is tired. I have been spending countess hours working on getting my home baking business into an actual business while still working almost 30 hours outside of the home. Oh and ”taking care” of said home and all that is supposed to entail. While having somewhat of a non existent but existent social life that someone who is a extrovert introvert (it’s a real thing) enjoys.

I have not been lying when I say that I don’t want to train for any more marathons They are grueling. It is exhausting. The whole process is horrendous. Seriously. Does ANYONE really enjoy training for a marathon?

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through so much for the ”pleasure” of running 26.2 miles on race day. The blisters….. The early wake up….. The training when we don’t want to……. the feet issues….. the chaffing….. so many reasons not to do it. So many VALID and SANE reasons not to do it……..

Conversation with son this morning in car as we see an ”elderly female runner.”

Son, ”that’s you.”

Me, ”No, she is running faster than me and has better form. Although, I have filled out my application to run NYCM for Sandy Hook Promise again. I haven’t sent it in yet though because I’m not sure.”

Son, ”Don’t Do it. You ALWAYS regret it.”

Truer words have not been spoken…….

Yet….. here we are with my finger one key stroke away from hitting send. Will saner minds prevail or will I jump back into crazy town. I, honestly, don’t know…… I wasn’t lying when I said I was done with the marathon. I’m just not sure that the marathon is done with me especially when this would be 10 marathon and also with 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook.

So many reasons to say no…….

So many reasons to say yes…….

I have until April 30th to ponder.

By The Numbers

There is ALWAYS a lot to unpack with a marathon. Runners LOVE to rehash our events and this one will be no different. So this will be the first of a few posts covering the day. Today we start with the numbers.

First lets talk about my training. I went in knowing that while I knew I could finish that it might be a struggle since my longest run in training was only 16 miles. Normally, I do not do a 20 mile training run as I find them defeating, but I usually do at least an 18 with a run either the day after for a running on tired legs. I also did not do that. With that being said, my training was at least consistent enough that I was confident baring any major issues that the day would be ok…… And it was.

Then there was the 4:00 AM wake up call with 6:00 departure only to have to sit for 12:00 PM start time. A friend commented that wouldn’t it be nice to know what it feels like to run a marathon where you didn’t have to sit around for hours. Just to wake up, get ready, and run. I’m sure those that finished before I even started know that feeling but it is one that I will never experience especially with NY.

Then there was the pace and finish. My average pace ended up being 13.44 with I am actually happy with. I think it helped that I ran the first 17 miles with my friend Rosa. We kept each other in check, but had to part ways when she needed to stop for porta potty stop. I was afraid at that point if I stopped that I wouldn’t start again. My quads were on fire and my foot was hurting from what I discovered later to be a massive blister. (I really have to learn to run without getting blisters. How do people do that!?!) Once we parted ways, I continued with a mixture of walk run and towards the end mostly walking. Walking with a purpose. I was at the point where I couldn’t decide if I was in more pain walking or running. If you have done a marathon you know what I’m talking about.

My official time was 6:03:50

I always said that I wasn’t going to win and I stuck to that. I literally started in the last corral with nothing behind us but a fence. But the party really is in the back!

Lastly, the most important number…….. This is my third year running for Sandy Hook Promise. Going in I was worried that due to Covid and the impact it had on people financially that fundraising would be harder. I also feel that due to Covid their mission of inclusion, empathy and programs to help kids are needed more than ever. I will also say that I worked hard with auction, back sales and other things that I not only made my requirement but surpassed it!!! As of today, my marathon fundraising has reached $3,916. I am hoping to reach $4,000 before it ends. https://fundraisers.hakuapp.com/christine-chaillet?referral_source=FBK&fbclid=IwAR34_JS4IcMeCoCChOysSA4x4GCIK0zTkLc1_BFQCgNGaroHnkyHf8EAyAY

More to come….. but need to roll again and maybe take a nap:)

100 Days……

100 days is so far away, yet so close. 100 days till NYCM. 100 days to worry if my training is not enough. 100 days to doubt if my body can handle it. 100 days to worry about what is going on with the new Delta Covid Variant and how this will all play out.

On top of that…..

100 days to fundraise. 100 days to spend as much time fundraising as I do training. 100 days to continue to remind people of the good work that Sandy Hook Promise does that only happens with fundraising. 100 days to remind people that while I do love running this race is more than about running. 100 days to hit my goal.

Is there anyone who doesn’t take on this challenge who doesn’t question why they are doing it, if they should be doing it, and how you can do it better.

Now don’t get me wrong. Training is going good. Although I have already had some foot pain which is concerning. This are things that lead to doubt. These are things that make me realize that I need to go see my podiatrist. More just to make sure that there are no issues and to see if it is time for new inserts for my shoes. I just don’t want to deal with foot pain all through out training and I did have that pain after running only 8 miles. So there is concern.

One thing that I hate to admit as I’ve had issues with my feet 20 pounds ago…… The extra weight is not helping when it comes to my foot health. It’s not so much the weight but the weight combined with being prone to having issues with my feet is not a good combo. Although this time the pain was different. It was on the outside of my foot, so I wonder if something else is going on. And while I know the easy solution is to say….. I’m going to loose 20 pounds. That is much easier said than done.

So the reality is that I’m not going to loose the 20 pounds. Unless I plan to go on a very strict diet (which I won’t), I need to figure out some things out.

  Should this be my last marathon (thats a hard one)

 Do I need to see my podiatrist (yes)

Is it time for new insoles?   (Not sure)

Do I need to focus on foot strike and form (maybe)

GRRRRRR

I really need to not bury my head in the sand like I’ve done in the past and takle this head on.    Although I do like to ignore things till they blow up in my face.  (Doesn’t everyone or is that just me?)

It annoys me too because this go around I am doing everything that I should be doing. But for now, it is not something that is bad enough to cause me to stop. Besides I already have some ideas – like to spend some of my “foundation runs” with biking. To make sure to spend stretching and just listening to my body.

100 days……..

Slow, Steady & Moving Foward

One week in and 17 more to go, but training seems to be falling into place. Just so happens that a woman in my running circle is also planning to run NY. We are off similar ages and abilities. In talking to her, I explained the 80/20 plan that I am doing. She decided that is a good fit for her and the beautiful thing is that it seems like are fitness level and training zones are compatible, so it’s a go. We are doing slightly different plans, but we can make it work.

I forgot how good it was to run with people. I haven’t really done it in a long time even pre-covid. When people are training seriously even if they say “I will run whatever you are running,” it doesn’t always work out. They aren’t getting the training they need. You feel bad for holding them back or maybe worse run too fast which is worse than running too slow. So finding a training partner for a marathon where you can do many runs together is nice. Even better when you really like the person:)

So week one went well. I will say that holding back is harder than it sounds. All your life you are told to give it all you’ve got. ….To push yourself to the limits…..If you don’t push yourself who will. ……. I’m sure you can think of others that you’ve told yourself. It is always…. GO….GO…. GO.

Now it is…. Slow down. Don’t push it. Slow and steady. It’s harder than it sounds. More times than you would think this past week, it was “we are running too fast.” We need to slow down. We are breathing too hard. Now don’t get me wrong, with the heat and humidity in Jersey this past week slow and steady still was hard. The heart rate spiked a few times. Sweat happened. It was not “easy.”

Here is the thing though….. After this first week of running, there was not a run that when it ended I didn’t think that I could do more. I could run further. I could run faster. I also was able to recover from these runs which is key.

So as I dig deeper into this training, I really need to find out if the zone that my garmin is saying are the right zones. I also would love it if my heart rate didn’t seem to jump up quickly. To keep myself where I needed to be and bring my heart rate down, I would walk until I got back into the zone. So I need to work on this. It will come.

As I do this, I am also in the marathon of fundraising. It’s kind of like doing 2 marathons at once. I’m working on collecting auction items which after this last year you can imagine is not easy task, but onward I go. I’ve gotten some good ones already. (If you know of any, I’m all ears).

So onward I go….. Slow, Steady, and moving foward.

5 Years, 2 Races…. Different but Same Goal…

5 years ago I trained for NYC Half to finish a sub 2 half. I trained hard. I ran hard. I had a great time doing it too because this is what I wanted. I smiled along the course. I took some great photos including selfies. I can still remember towards the end knowing it would be close and turning the corner to head towards the finish line and running as hard as I could to make it across the finish line in just the nick of time…… 1:58:59 A minute to spare!

It was a great day and I am both happy with the way I trained, how hard I pushed, and, obviously, how I finished. I did what I set out to do that day.

Fast forward 5 years…….

I trained for to run a virtual NYC half in my neighborhood. I trained hard but a different hard. Hard is relative. And while this race could not have been anymore different than an in person event, I still was happy with the outcome. Going into my training, I wasn’t sure how I would run the “race.” It is hard to step up to go out and run a race when there is no start line. No horn to go off. No excitement that comes with a race day. In beginning of training, I had envisioned actually racing. There are some that can do a virtual like a in person event as far as pushing themselves. Me, not so much. Feels like just another training run and as training progressed for the half, I thought well I will just do the best that I can and that is just what I did.

So yesterday, I headed out. I started my watch and off I went. Then I turned the corner and saw a mom friend. After chatting with her a bit, I thought let me start again since I was only at .10 and thats what I did. Then before I made it another .10 my Junior in college Face-timed me. So I answered! Good thing because he was calling to ask for help as he felt like he got something in his eye when he was washing his face. After talking a bit, it was decided that he needed to go get it looked at. While talking to him, I walked which ended up being almost my first mile. With him off to go get his eye looked at, it was time to run.

So I ran.

By mile 7, my feet were hurting. I decided that might need to both get some new shoes even trying a different brand and maybe go see my podiatrist again. The discomfort is different that when I dealt with Plantar Fasciitis as the discomfort (pain) is in the ball of the foot under big toe (yeah thats a good vision). Anyway, I did stop (not stopping watch) and massaged my foot. Off I went. I did a mix of walking and running.

Then my newly returned Freshman college student called asking me to use app to order Chipolte as he couldn’t sign in. So I did. I helped that I also made sure to order myself something to eat when I got home. So I walked, ordered, and texted him the order info for him to pick up.

Kept on moving with my mix of walking and running.

Then 2:00 comes and I am still out since I got a later start than I wanted. Simply because I was sitting on the couch and couldn’t motivate myself to leave. Anyway, I didn’t want to miss my Great Nephews first birthday zoom party to sing Happy Birthday. So I walked, logged on, and sang Happy Birthday on the sidewalk. I had like 5 miles to go at this point.

I kept moving. My foot was annoying. I didn’t stop. I kept up my mixture of walking and running. Besides the NYC Half, I also have desire to hit this goal for my Miles for Meaning Running for Dylan Fundraising Team. For the month of March, I am part of a team where each mile earns points where charities can win money. https://www.dylanswingsofchange.org/ is an organization founded my father of Dylan whose life was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

Then I hit the last mile and my oldest son is trying to Face-Time me again. I, of course, answer it. I won’t lie the thought of having a good reason to walk didn’t hurt either. Kind of nice that I started and ended my “race” with him too. He proceeds to tell me that he scratched his cornea. Fun…… not really. I did that about 18 years ago and it sucks. He will be ok and just has to put cream on his eye (oh my!). He was wearing a patch as the light was bothering his eye and it hurt to have eye open.

5 years later, I can once again say that I had a great time doing what I was doing. Races could not have been any more different and I appreciate them for their differences. Yesterday was about doing what I set out to do. As a friend texted me when I was finished, “done is done. You are determined once you commit.”

I will say that today I am feeling good. I am tired but I’m always tired. I am planning to do some yoga later and take dog for a walk. Then I’ll call it a day.

So how was your weekend?

Defining Moment in Time

Life is filled with defining moments. Moments that change us…. for good and bad. Moments that stay with us forever. Some of these moments we go through alone and some we go through collectively. As anyone of adult age at the time, where there were on 9/11 and I would bet everyone has a story. For Many including myself December 14, 2012 is another defining moment.

Those of you that have been here awhile know that Sandy Hook Promise is close to my heart and that I have run 2 NYC Marathons as a charity runner for them. Recently, I was approached to write a blog post for them.

I was honored to be given the opportunity to share my story, but this is the story of many “soccer moms” who woke up demanding change. Change is hard. Change is slow. Change is happening…..

I still remember a year after the unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary being in the parking lot of a Toys-R-Us store. I was on the phone with a friend who has very different ideas and we were debating gun control issues. She said to me that I needed to do something because I couldn’t seem to let go of what had happened. I told her that I was doing something…… Something to bring change….. Something to help protect children in the future….. Something….. Anything…….

I also told her that I had joined a few new organizations that formed. One being Sandy Hook Promise that just formed. This has brought me to where I am today.

Here is the link to the blog post…… https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/volunteer-resources/holiday-reflections-from-a-promise-leader/?fbclid=IwAR13M69lqzVdm5lPr1dzyxrE852lkI5stURRoEG9ljEvsuoTZZhmUzEPf7M

We all have a story to tell. We all have these defining moments. We all need to seize these moments and let them stay with us. Let them guide us. Let them change us for the better and work for the change we want to see in the world.

What is your defining moment and what have you done with it?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Often in life we wonder…. Did I make a difference? Was I effective in what I wanted to accomplish? Would Anything be different if I hadn’t been there?

Then again…. Maybe that is just me and George Bailey. If you are unfamiliar with George, you need to acquaint yourself with the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life. It is one of my favorites. A classic tale of a man who is granted a wish from an angel to see what the world would be like without him. Now my hubby thinks that it is not the stellar movie that I do, so I guess it is a subjective thing. For me, it is a heartwarming story of a man who doesn’t recognize how important he is to those around him and the impact he has had on others.

I think most of us in life do not realize the impact we have on others. We go about doing our things living our lives and often we don’t know how our actions have influenced, helped, or impacted someone else. A kind word here. A deed that maybe we thought went unnoticed noticed there. Sometimes because we don’t see it, we begin to think that maybe we aren’t making a difference or no one is paying attention.

Similar but different to when people post those “I know no one reads my posts” on their social media to see who is paying attention. Not the copy and paste ones, but the real ones. Sometimes in a world filled with noise it is easy to get lost or feel invisible. So when a friend posts something like that don’t just roll your eyes, they may truly feel invisible and just need to feel seen. To feel validated. To not feel alone. Sometimes a simple Hello is all it takes to make someone feel seen.

Then there are the times we wonder if we are being seen. If the things that we do have made a change. We may never know the full impact of our words, deeds and life. There aren’t too many Clarences (angel in above movie) to show us our impact but that does not lesson it. Each and ever person’s life has an impact on another’s life. Good or bad. This is why the expression of being kind is so important. One life really does touch another. Sadly in our society, we often wait till someone is gone to express how impactful they were in life. It really is sad.

The truth of the matter we may never know how we have touched someone’s life. If you think about the people who touched your life, the people who effected your life with a word or deed (good or bad), how many of these people actually know. I thought about a 4th grade teacher who showed me kindness. I thought about people that I worked with that inspired me. I thought about words that I’ve read that have stayed with me. I’ve thought about words that were spoken to me that stayed with me. We all have moments that for one reason or another stay with us while. They stay with us because they impacted us and the other person might not even have a clue. They don’t even need to be big moments……. many of these moments are not the BIG moments in life because every moment is life is a big moment we just don’t realize it. Each day is a gift. It’s not hokey to say. It is true.

As you can tell from this post, I’ve been doing some reflections recently. I believe part of it comes from taking part in Remembering Sandy Hook with 14 Days of Actions. These actions have been showing gratitude, being kind, and self-care. Some days it was as simple as taking a moment to actually talk to a friend…. not text…. not facebook….. have a real conversation which many of us miss as we stay home due to Covid. Some days were as simple as Saying Hello to brighten someones day. Then there were the days of action taking a moment to not only think about what we are grateful for but actually write it out. These things got me thinking about the impact we all have on each other. It is much greater than we realize.

Each life has an impact on another life in ways we might never know. I think having so much time at home has mad me a little more reflective Normally, I send a million and one Christmas Cards. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but my list is long! This year, there was no great family photos to use. I joked that maybe I could take a picture of my couch as that is really where my year unfolded “Merry Christmas from my couch to yours.” Without this photo card, I was didn’t want to send cards. Then a friend said something that got me thinking how in this year of crap how something as simple as a card could make someone’s day brighter. So I changed it up. This year there is no photo card, my list is MUCH shorter, but I am going old school. Sending cards with actual handwritten messages telling those who receive something that I might not let them know enough….. How much I appreciate them. (PS – If you were previously on my list and don’t get a card, please know that I do love and appreciate you too, but time is limited!)

If you don’t already know, I want you to know………

You are important.

You make a difference.

I encourage you, let those in your life know this too.

Is this the Year for Goals?

It is a weird world right now. It is a strange and hard time right now. Even those of us getting by and staying healthy are adjusting to all the changes in our day to day lives right now. We are trying to keep it as normal as we can when there is no normal. There is just getting by.

This is the time of year many of us would start thinking about goals for the New Year. Things we hope to accomplish. Races we want to race. Distances we want to conquer. PR we want to set. As with everything in 2020, goals will be harder to set. More challenging and sadly in some cases unattainable for now.

We do not know what 2021 will bring, but we do know that all the bad juju of 2020 will not be wiped away at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve. I really feel that it will end much better, but it will have a bumpy beginning.

Normally I set goals. Never resolutions because I just don’t like them. I set goals. Some easily attainable. Some that need a lot of work but are still attainable. Then there are the goals that are a stretch. Goals that I have to work my ass off to reach and push myself to get there.

A few years ago, I set a goal to run a sub 2 Half Marathon. I worked with a coach. I ran often. I ran fast. I trained hard. Then the day came and I ran the NYC half in 1:59. NYRR just announced that this race will not take place next year as it is in early March and the way things are going they know that there 2021 is going to start off much like 2020 has ben all year.

2021 will be different. Simpilier…

I am setting a goal of being more connected. Now those who know me personally might be rolling their eyes and wonder how someone like me could be more connected I could be. My goal to be more connected is not about upping my online connections, but my personal connections. To be more connected to my day to day life. to disconnect a little more often from online world. To focus on the people in my life.

As I work on setting my personal goals, I saw this……

I have been participating in the Sandy Hook Promise 14 Days of Action. This is part of not just remember Sandy Hook but by honoring them by taking part in actual action. So while I think of my personal goals, I will think about some short term goals to help others. This is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Support local small businesses this Holiday season.
  2. Donate regularly to locate food bank
  3. Still working on
  4. Still working on

No matter what we do or don’t do with our goals, we must know that next year might not be the year to make big goals. Then again maybe we need big goals. Right now, I just need to keep trucking on my C25K program and see what happens.

Do you set goals for the year?

Are you setting goals for 2021?