Tag Archive | Half Marathon

In the Eye of the Beholder

I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve been easy on myself. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been proud. I’ve been embarrassed. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve pushed. I’ve pulled back. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been fearless. I’ve been full of fear. I’ve been everything in between.

Somewhere along the lines from not knowing anything when I started out to being at the top of my game in 2016 to where I am now; I forgot something. I forgot that it doesn’t matter what I am doing as long as I am doing something. I forgot that I can’t be more than I am at any given time. That trying to swim against the current is a sure fire way to allow the current to pull you under. That it’s ok to use a flotation device to stay afloat as long as you stay afloat. Most of all that in the whole scheme of things it is about enjoying what I’m doing.

Although I’ve never really stopped to some extent I have stopped giving it my all. I’ve stopped pushing. I started thinking that if I couldn’t hit previous expectations that I was somehow failing. That I needed to keep doing more than I could physically do and when my body couldn’t I wondered what was the point. What was the point of it if I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted.

That reality is what we make it. That pretending the world is not the way we want it to be doesn’t change the way it really is even if we don’t ever want to admit it. Acting like a toddler because things don’t go your way doesn’t suddenly make them go your way. So maybe it’s not toddler mentality so much as human nature. Unlike a toddler though, as an adult we are able to recognize the self sabotage and be willing to change.

The truth of the matter is….. I want to recognize that I am not where I used to be. I might (chances are pretty good) never be there again. I recognize that I need to train and run smarter. I need to give my mind and body what it needs which is to live in reality and not the past or a version of reality that is not based in reality but fantasy.

Reality isn’t bad. Reality is challenging and hard and a good place to be. Reality is every changing too. So who knows. We can be our biggest champions or we can be our biggest deterrent. How we view ourselves, our abilities and our future (even our past) determines how we live our lives. Determines the way we look at the world and what we can accomplish. It determines if we make it to the finish line or never even get to the start line.

People look at me at think I am an optimistic person. I am not sure about that. I like the epression….

It is the truth….. A truth for every aspect of our lives from where we live to the job we hold to our athletic abilities. When I go to a race, I know that I will never be the fastest. I am not usually the slowest. I used to be a middle of the pack runner. Now I might be a back of the pack runner, but at this point I wouldn’t know because there are no races.

I also realize that I am at the point where I want to push again. I don’t mean push to run a sub 2 half-marathon. I mean push to see what I can do. I mean pushing to where I am not where I want to be. I’ve realized that the only way that I will be able to do this is actually to do something. So it’s time to actually do something.

So in that spirit I signed up to run the virtual NYC Half Marathon in March. I have currently been working on my running. Learning to find out where I am and what I should be realistically be running for right now. The furthest I have run recently is 3 miles, so this should be interesting. It will be hard. It will be challenging. Most of all it will be educational as you only know what you can do if you try.

So with that….. I am ready to try. I am ready to push myself with no excuses but understanding that I dont need to be anymore than I am on any given day.

Great Expectations

We all have expectations in life. Great expectations. We all have a vision of how we want our life to be. Expectations are good, but what happens when life doesn’t live up the vision of what we think it should be? This leads to disappoint and sand ness.

All those years ago, actually only 7, when I started on my fitness journey there was no expectations.    I didn’t know what my body could do.   I didn’t know what a good time for an event was.    Hell, I really didn’t know anything….. Except that I wanted to do something.     Because I was starting from zero, I put no expectations on myself.   I jokingly said that my only goal with my first ever race, Iron Girl Sprint Tri, was not to die.   To me that was enough of a goal and anything after that was a win.

There was no… I should hit this many miles. I should hit this pace. I should do this or that for training. I knew nothing, so I expected nothing.

When I ran my first ever half which I signed up for because I was running just to run with my MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) Mama’s. I was running 8 miles and more just to run them. Then on one run one of the Mama’s, Janna, said, ” You should sign up for the Superhero Half. Your ready for it.”

So I did. I had no expectations. I just showed up for the car ride to the event. While in the car, the seasoned runners spoke of pacing, race strategy, fueling and such. When they asked me mine, I had none. My goal was to finish.

Thanks to Janna who took me under her wing, I finished in 2:09. She knew about pacing and she also knew that I could finish in under 2:10 and she got me there. I just ran when she made me run and had a fun time doing it.I further admit that I didn’t even know that 2:09 would be a good time for a half. To me it was just about running to run and having a good time.

Then something happened, I started putting expectations on my running.   I also became ” a serious” runner.    I learned of pacing, training strategy, and proper fueling and for a while I even had a kick ass coach.   And while I still enjoyed running, it lacked the simplicity of when I first started.  I put expectations on myself and I was able to live up to my expectations right up until I couldn’t which was right after my thyroid surgery left me with Hypoparthyroidism.   And even after I came to terms with that, I still put expectations on myself.   Expectations that I could no longer meet.

You know what? I’m done with expecations! I want to find the joy that I had when I first started running.    I want to stop overthinking, overanalyzing, and just find the joy in allowing my body to do what it can do.   No matter the pace.   No matter the distance. 

The thing that screws us up so much in life is not accepting what we have and being upset it’s not what we think it should be. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes you have to make a conscience decision to let things go, to reassese, and just allow what is to be enough.

With this thought process, I had picked the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan for the NJ Half at Rutgers.   No, I admit, I am not a novice runner; but I want to be.   I want to run with no expectations.   I have been so focused on doing what I thought I should do that I was missing out on what I could do. I am going back to seeing what my body can do.   To discovering where I am today.   And while I may have had this thought in the last 3 years I really have not embraced it in my running.    I am now. 

You know what?….. I’ve been enjoying my 2 training runs so far.   I have just been running to run.   No expectations.   No watching the pace.   Just letting my body decide.   It’s been good.   The runs have felt good.    I have felt good and the bonus is that both runs had negative splits which will not be the expectation nor will it be.  

So I will be happy to run where I am today. Not where I was 3 years ago. Not where I think I should be. Not where other people are. Not about pace. Not about anything, but enjoying where I am at this point and that will be enough.

Looking on the Bright Side

Sorry I’ve been off the grid. January has been a month to say the least. The first full week of January my husband and I both came down with what we assume was the flu. Down and out for the count. This is where I was thankful that my kids are old enough and self sufficient enough (when need be) to take care of themselves. Then was getting back into the swing of my routine and catching back up.

In the spirit of catching up, I did manage to sign up for a Half Marathon in April on my actual birthday. I will be doing the NJ Half at Rutgers. It was either this one or the NYRR Shape, but since did that one years ago I thought maybe something different this time.

The deciding factor was time as it will be easier to get in and out of this one. Plus it’s not 2 loops of the hills in Central Park. I even got a friend to do it with me. Win. Win.

Then the month kept rolling along. Yesterday, I had the fun of getting a colonscopy. Have to say the prep worried me a little bit because I wasn’t sure how my calcium would be, but I took extra in prepping for the prep. I did get a little tingles during the second dose of my prep, but I added some calcium and was good to go. What surprised me is my calcium getting low last night well after the procedure. Tingles around lips. Tell tail Chvostek sign. Hypoparathyroidism is a strange beast. I took some extra calcium and thankfully bounced back by morning.

I will say all of these things did make for a great month as far as helping me with my weight loss goal. Not what I would recommend to jump start your diet, but 8 pounds is 8 pounds and I’m even more motivated because I’m 2 pounds away from a number I haven’t seen in a while. So I guess now I have to stick with the healthy eating thing!

And since I was feeling better today, I went out for my first half marathon training run. I decided to go back to the very beginning using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training program. This program is designed for those who have never done a Half before, but since I’m going back to basics I thought this was a great way to start. Besides I haven’t done much since NYCM and the Half is in 12 weeks, so I think this is just where I need to be.

I’ve decided I’m going back to the very beginning. Like I did all those years ago when I first hit the pavement, I am claiming this once again as the year of me. This means that I will be focusing on taking time for myself, getting myself in shape, and just enjoying seeing what I can do. I surprised myself all those years ago and I think I just might do it again. Who knows! I surprised myself on todays run which I allowed myself to walk when I needed. I ended up with very pretty negative splits and was happy with myself. What more can a runner ask for?

How are you doing on your goals?

Yes We Did!

No expectations.

No watching the clock.

Nothing but a plan to cross the finish line with a smile.

Mission Accomplished!

I was worried.   You know that to be true, but I was VERY happy with the way the day went.    I went into this race just to run by feel, wear a  tutu and a smile. It was good day.   It was the kind of day that I needed.    I think planning was key.

First the boring stuff.

From talking to other athletes with Hypoparathyroidism, I had a plan.   I purposely waited till we got to the venue to take my 500mg of Calcium and my Calictriol.    My water bottles were filled with water and cal-ez powder to keep my calcium.   I brought an extra packet to use along the way.    Each packet contained 1,000mg of calcium carbonite, but it is fast absorbing because it also has 1,000 units of vitamin D which is needed for absorption.     Studies have shown that even healthy people calcium levels drop during rigorous exercise.   For a person with working parathyroid glands, the body will adjust (although you still might want to talk to your doctor about adding supplements), but for a person whose body can’t regulate this can be a problem.   Now while it may seem excessive to have taken almost 3,000 mg of calcium in such a short period of time for me I believe it was necessary and a work in progress.   All I know is that I felt good during the run.   I did not experience any face twitches or tingles.   Although I was pushing at the end and did get some tingles in my hand, but all was good.

We left early as you often have to do when running a race that starts at 7:30.   The “clown car” as my son called it when we got home was filled with excited Mama’s.   We were very lucky that one of the Mama’s knew the in and outs of not only getting there but finding an open bathroom before the race.

Then off we went.

It was strange to me that the marathon runners and half marathon runners all started together, but it mattered not to me as long as I was starting with friends.   For the most part we ran together, but as will happen during the course of the race we separated into smaller groups.   Might have something to do with chatting the miles away and not realizing that you’ve lost sight of others in the group.

Am I sore today?

You bet.   But I bet so are so many other people:):)

I’ve got some fun stories to tell about this race, but this is enough for today.

It was a great day with some amazing women and I am so glad we did it!


And yes, I do have a unicorn horn:)

A New Chapter

We live in a society where strength is looked up to and any kind of weakness should be both stamped out, frowned upon and just wrong.   Asking for help is often seen to some (not all) as an almost sacrilegious thing.   We live in a society where if we don’t like something we just ignore it.   This holds true to so many things from politics to health.   The expression bury your head in the sand didn’t come from nowhere.

You see this in runners (myself included) who rather than deal with an injury may try to shake it off and run anyway.    I did this with my Plantar Fasciitis and also when I twisted my ankle training for the 50K.   It wasn’t until I was out about 2 miles after I twisted it that I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run off the pain.   I also did it to when coming back from my surgery.   Trying to jump back in where I left off like everything was the same.  Some times you can’t run out the pain.   Some times you need to face it, deal with it, and treat it.

Why do we do these things?     When a friend comes to us in need, we don’t think less of them.   We don’t hold it against someone who has fallen ill or becomes injured.   Then why do we hold ourselves to different standards?

Why indeed?

This weekend I am going to run my first race post surgery.  My first race with hypoparathyroidism.

I am both excited and apprehensive at the same time.    I’ve got my arsenal all ready to go.

I originally signed up for the marathon.   Thank God that I was smart enough to know that was never going to happen.   I’m not even properly trained for the half marathon that I’m running.   Luckily for me though I’m not going in alone.   I’m going in with some friends and we are all going to do what we need to do to get to the finish line.

Even more lucky, these are friends that I trust to keep an eye on me.   I’ll be honest.   Part of me is a little nervous.   Not because I’m not trained enough which I’m not.  I’ve done races before not properly trained.   I’m nervous because this will be my first real test on how I will be able to run distance with my calcium issues.   It’s also a test for how much I need to prepare for Chicago Marathon training.   A base line if you will.

I’m not trained, but I’m still prepared.    I plan to pack my calcium tablets with me and take 2 before the start.   I also am heading a recommendation from a hyperparathyroidism athletes group to put Cal-Ez in my water.


I’m not thinking about pace.   Ok I’m thinking about but I know I need to just let it go. The ego is strong, but needs to be left in check.  This is not the day.   I must remind myself of that and let my ego go as this will be the day just to finish.     I am handling it like a test run:)   But a test run with a medal at the end!

This is the first run in a new chapter of my running.

On your mark

Get Set


It Is What It Is

Life is ever changing.   Life is all about new beginnings.    Often in life many of us focus too much on what is ending or changing and not what is beginning.   Yes, I do this way too often too.    It is easy to get stuck in the rut of what is missing, what is different, what will never be the same again.    I wonder if somehow that is a coping mechanism for many of us.  The way to hold onto what we are not ready to let go of or accept.   A way of tying us to the past.   In the end though all it does is keep us stagnant and does not free us up to confront the changes in life.

Life is ever changing.

Each day we must wake up and realize that it is a new beginning.   Yes, we may have the same routines but each day brings new hope.   New possibilities.   Maybe not a clean slate, but definitely a fresh start with unimaginable possibilities.

It is up to us to face this fresh start with a positive attitude which I wholeheartedly admit is not always easy.    While many of us try to decide if the glass half full or half empty,  we must remember how blessed we are to have a glass in the first place.   It may not be the size glass that we want, but we are blessed either way and there are countless others who wish they even had a glass.

We may not like change, but change is a fact of life.   Now, I am not going to say that every change in our life is good.   Some changes down right suck.    Some changes take getting used to and still suck.   Some changes we would not wish on our biggest enemy (although as an adult who really has enemies?).     All that being said, change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt, roll with it, and accept.

I’ve learned in life that you can really get through anything in life one you accept that this is the hand that life dealt you.    Acceptance does not mean that you are necessarily happy with the changes, but that you know those are the breaks.   One of my favorite quotes sums it all up.

it is what it isThis is where I am with a few things right now.

I will say that this is definitely where I am right now with the NJ Half which is less than two weeks away now.

I’m going into this SEVERELY under trained.    I’m going into this honestly wondering how I will finish it since I can’t remember the last time that I ran 10 miles let alone 13.  I’m going into this knowing that this is where I am at right now and no amount of running in the next two weeks will make it any easier.

It is what it is.


What ever shall be, shall be.


I have a plan for race day though.   I’m going to call my bluff.   I’m going to show up at the starting line with no plan.   With no expectations.   With the only thought of running till I can’t run.   Then walking.   Then with any luck some more running.  I’m going into this with the expectation of this being my slowest and hardest half ever.  Probably harder than when I ran my sub 2 NY Half.  This will be one that will leave me out of breathe and sore for days.

All that being said, I am also going into this knowing how lucky I will be to be at the Start line, let alone the finish line.

This will be my wake up call and it’s about time I pick up the phone.

Trust In The Training!

Trust is a funny thing.    Trust is something that needs to be earned and is sometimes hard to do.    I had to go out on the ledge and trust my coach, my training, and myself.   These are not necessarily easy things to do.   I trust my coach but trusting in ones self can be harder.  Sometimes the doubt creeps in, but I shut the door on it in New York City.

I had a great race.   I had phenomenal race.   The stars were aligned.  The sun was shining and it all came together.    I pushed the doubt and the fears to the side.   I took a leap of faith and went with it.     I started the race with the knowledge that I could do this.    I had a plan.   A plan that my coach helped me develop.   All I needed was to stick to the program and trust in my training.  I went out as planned, but almost got sidetracked early on by the 2:00 hour pace group.   They blew past me around mile 2.    At first I think that I tried to stay with them, but I stopped myself.   They were not following my plan.   They were running a different race.   I knew what I needed to do and they were not doing it.   They were going out too fast for me.   I let them go.   It was hard at first, but I had my mantra that I kept repeating to myself.   It was not a planned mantra, but it was fitting.



It was that simple.   I needed to trust in the hours that I’ve logged.   The miles that I’ve ran at pace.    The fact that I had done the work to set me up to do what I needed to do.   What I needed to do was not what everyone else needed to do.   So I let them go.   I trusted in my training and my ability to get it done.

I was in the zone.

A friend that I went to the half with came up to me a few miles in.    I actually said to her, “Karyn, just so you know I’m not being a Bitch.   I’m just in the zone.”    I needed to run this race by myself.   Some things are like that.   You need to do them by yourself.   This was that race for me.   I needed to focus on my pace, my calculations, and moving forward.  She understood.   (Love you, lady).

As I ran, I knew where I needed to be.   I had a pace band in my pocket that I didn’t use during the race; but had done some calculations ahead of time.   I kind of knew where I needed to be when.   I added up the time I needed to hit as the miles rose.   I was hitting my targets.  There were times that I had to reign myself in as he race was so exciting.   I was trusting in the training and not trying to bank time.

My plan was to run consistently till around mile 10 where I would pick it up a little more.  At that point my mantra became NO REGRETS.   By this I meant that no matter what, I would not have regrets because I was doing all I could.   I also meant that I would not give myself an out.   That I would continue to push it and fight for the sub 2 because the only way I would have regrets is if I backed down.   So NO REGRETS.    By mile 12, I was pushing it pretty hard but trying to make sure as to not burn up.  I knew I would be close.   I knew that I was going to need to give it all I had at the end.   So I saved a little fuel in the tank and when I hit the 20K mat, I pushed it even harder.


You can’t have regrets if you’ve done everything that you’ve needed to do.   If you’ve given all you have.    I dug as deep as I could go and I did it!


A minute to spare:)

I honestly can say that if somehow I didn’t make my goal, I would have been happy with this race.  Honestly, I am not saying that because I reached my sub 2  goal.   I was telling myself that that last 3 miles.

That being said, I am over the moon with reaching it.

This was an amazing adventure.   There is more to tell, but this is enough for now.







Running By The Numbers – The Brooklyn Half

Let’s start with the first number which is very impressive.

There were 26,482 finishers for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half.   This is a record breaking US finish count for a 2015 Half Marathon.   I am happy and honored to say that I am one of them.  More women than men finished too with 18,759 women crossing the finish line.

Then there is my finish time which not as impressive, but a good time that I am very happy with.

Official Time 2:14:47

This is right where I wanted to be.   I wanted to be at 2:15, so I can’t believe how on the mark that I was with this.   Might have something to do with that I followed a plan this time.   What was my plan you ask?

Go out at 10:20-30 for the first 10, start cutting down the last few miles a few seconds a mile.

I will say that in the beginning it was hard to follow the plan, but I reigned myself in.   It wasn’t hard because I’m Speedy Gonzales.   It was hard because I always go out too fast.  It was hard because I was caught up in the excitement of the start of the race.   It was hard because my ego took a little bit of a bruise allowing myself to be passed and  needed to be seriously checked.  It was easy though because I knew I had a plan that I needed to follow.    I think I like having a plan now that I’ve experienced running with one.

As far as the ego even though I know I’m not competing against the other runners,  it really is an ego killer being passed left and right by them.  It’s human nature (or at least mine) to want to pass them and not be the one feeling like your left in the dust.  That is UNTIL you remind yourself that you need to stick to pace and not theirs.   I’ve heard race bystanders yell at other races and even yesterday the chant, “Your race, Your Pace.”   I never gave it much thought till yesterday where I internalized and owned it.   It made so much sense.   This was my race and I needed to run it.   I needed to allow myself to be passed.   I was not competing with those passing me.   I was challenging myself and in order to do that I had to follow my pace.   It was a good pace too.   And although I didn’t hit every mile goal I was pretty darn close.











This was right where I wanted to be.   I was doing the math to keep me there and I used my Garmin to keep me on pace.  If you know me too, you know that I hate math but it kept my mind occupied.  Each mile I would mentally add my goal 10:20 to my time and try to hit the target.   More often than not, I did.   Although, I do need to adjust my setting for time display as it was only giving hours and minutes and not seconds which really is key in pacing.   Then at mile 10, I took some Gatorade and allowed myself some freedom.

Mile 11 – 10:00

Mile 12 –  9:56

Mile 13 –  9:39

Then the .1 at 8:21 as I always like to sprint at the end if I can which I did since I controlled my pace!

I think because I kept a good pace that it helped with my feet too.   I was able to run without the foot pain that has made me walk during races in the past.   I think it is a combination of new shoes, new running plan, and just being a little smarter in my running lately (thanks to my running coach).    Now this is not to say that after the race I was fine because I did have some heal pain and it’s not that my feet were not sore.  They were and I did waddle a little on the walk to the car, but

Runable and livable..


F46 18,759 8672 422 2:14:47 0:31:40 1:04:47 1:36:58 2:08:15 10:17 2:04:26 6512

There is more to talk about as this really was a great event.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a little more about the actual event and not just boring but important numbers:)

Do you follow a race plan?

PS – Don’t forget to vote

Runner’s World Cover Contest

Don’t follow the plan….. Have the Race You excpect

I had a plan.   I had a very good plan.   I never followed it.   Ok, I did follow it in the beginning. More to the point the closer I got to the Moore/Fitness Half Marathon, the plan fell to the wayside.    I would like to say that it was due to lack of time.   I can’t even say it was lack of dedication.   Ok partly.   I think mostly it was because the plan changed even if I didn’t fully admit to it.   That being said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND not running AT ALL two weeks prior to a Half Marathon.   Really.   Just don’t do it.   Really.   I am paying the price for it today and I paid the price for it yesterday.

Here is the crux of the situation though.   I’ve been dealing, ok not dealing but avoiding dealing with my feet, since Philly.   With my upcoming schedule, I realized that it was time to get my head out of the sand and deal with it.   If you were here yesterday, you read that I finally went to the Podiatrist and what the problems were.  So maybe it was good that I took a little bit of a break..   All will be good as the Cortisone shot is already helping, I will do the stretches, and follow the plan.   The doctor knows the plan does not including my stopping my running anytime soon.   Back to the Race.

Besides not doing any type of training 2 weeks prior to the race, I made some other mistakes.   First, I didn’t hydrate enough the days leading up to it.   I normally will just drink extra water leading up to an event to avoid feeling dehydrated.   I’m not sure if there is actually any physical benefit, but I know there is a mental one from me.   Then there is the fact that I didn’t bank my sleep during the week either.   I try to go to bed earlier leading up to the race too.   This way if I don’t get a good night sleep the night before at least I’m not as bad.   I went to bed 12:20 the night before and had my alarm set for 4:45.   Not smart.   I was tired.

When I came up with my goals for the year, I thought it would be cool to run a sub 2 half on my 46th Birthday.   The closer I got though, the more I knew it was not happening for this race.    I then embraced that this would be my fun Birthday Run.   I have to say as far as day went, it was fun.   I think I spent more time worrying about my outfit than the actual run.   Ok, I know I did, but look how cute my outfit came out…..

Moore2 Moore4

You know it’s all about the outfit and the accessories.  Don’t you like my crown?

Ok, probably not, but I will say that this outfit did help me during the race.   Really!

The Clown Car as we like to refer to it was leaving town for NYC at 5:45.    As early as it is, we are all still smiling.  Due to caffeine, I didn’t realize how much my lack of sleep would effect me.   It did.   Still we had a good ride into the city and were all smiles at the starting line.


We met the cutest elderly woman at the starting line while she was walking to her corral.    She was adorable.   I just wish we had thought to take a picture with her.  Although, I did find one of her crossing the finish line and getting her medal!   Go Granny Go!!    I hope that I have her spunk when I’m her age.   She was talking about the bus ride and people thinking she must be crazy.   I thought she was awesome!


Right, amazing!   Did I forget to mention her crutches?

And, yes, she is wearing rocking legging, long sleeved shirt, and some type of purple skirt dare I say tutu.

I hope that I’m still moving like this with this type of attitude at her age!

We line up in our Corrals.   The excitement of waitig for the race to start never gets old for me either.   Off we go.    Two of the ladies were planning to run together.   My cohort was going to push it and I was just going to take it easy.    I end up staying for the first lap of Central Park with the two.   I will admit though that I did think they were planning to take it easier than they did, but it was good.   We chatted when we could.   Did double takes when we saw someone running with what appeared to be nothing under her tutu.   (We ran past her).   We just had a good time.   After we hit mile 6 or so though, I told them to go without me.   I knew that I probably could push it to stay with them and part of me wanted to.  Luckily my brain won out this time.

Lap two was not as good as lap one.  I realized that I dropped my Salted Carmel Caffeine Gu.   I walked when I felt I needed to.   I ran when I thought it was time to push a little.   I will say that my Princess Birthday sash and tutu helped me run a better race.    Really.   No lies.   It helped because there were times that I was going to start walking and someone would run by, tap me and say something like,

“Happy Birthday Princess”

“You’ve got this Princess”

“You can do this Princess.”

“You got this hill Princess”

Some of them I even trailed for a bit as Dawn will tell you that is what I like to do sometimes.  I’m like a shadow.   These women motivated me.   These women may not realize it, but they really did help me get to the finish line in a better time than I would have if I was alone on the course.   Standing out in a crowd of more than 7,000 other runners isn’t a bad thing.

My Official Finish Time is 2:20:23.

I’ll take it.

I know that this is a great time.   I will admit that it is my worst time and I was slightly disappointing.  Off by almost 15 minutes.   When I said this to Dawn, she told me to shut hell up.   She as often is right.   This may not have been the race that I envisioned when I set my 2015 goals, but it was still a great race.   There will be other races where I can chase the elusive 2:00:00, but there will only be one Birthday Run!

So cheers!

Moore Moore3

Have You Met Jen? A Non Runners Perspecive on Racing

As I mentioned yesterday, my sister also ran a half marathon this past weekend.   I thought it would be fun feature her as a guest blogger especially since she is the writer of the family.


As she puts it, “This week, I’m press for the SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST” where she will be at the Cinema Vanguard Awards.   Last year she met Oprah.   She hosts her own blog (The Wild Awakeness Project).  She is even author of a book available on Amazon and some of her local book stores.   (Shameless plus – The Virgin Asanas: How Yoga, Sex, and Mother Mary Changed Everything).   We lead very different lives, but I am always in awe and inspired by the life she leads and the way she leads it.

Anyhow as mentioned,  my sister is the real writer of the family.   I thought that it would be fun for her to share some thoughts about her half that she ran this weekend too. So without further adieu……

Have you Met Jen?

A non Runner running her second half marathon.

By the way, she is the one who calls herself a non runner – not me:)


She’s the one in the middle in the hat.

See how different she got to dress for her half and why I stole, I mean borrowed, her hat?

So what made you want to run a half marathon?

Life doesn’t give us many markers, many “finish lines” so to speak, where we physically get to cross an end point, notice our timings, see how far we’ve come, and post a sweaty picture on Facebook. Sure, we do this at graduations, weddings, births, and funerals, but outside of these more grandiose moments, we really are left creating our own goal posts. When I turned 30 five years ago, I had a minor freak out, thinking certain things would have happened in my life by then. Since they hadn’t, I decided to create what I could: I could learn to run. Or, more accurately, I could be pouty about all the things that fell apart and channel that energy into anger – which does, by the way, help you run really far and fast. I finished my first NYC half in 2010 with a time of 2:20.

Fast forward five years. It is now 2015 and now, I’m turning 35. I wasn’t planning on commemorating this birthday with another race, but a friend invited me to do a Habitat for Humanity half marathon with her. “Come on, it will be fun,” she lied. While I couldn’t pretend that running was my favorite way to celebrate (I prefer gluten free cake with berries), I couldn’t say no to Habitat. So, I signed up, claiming that halfs were my new tradition. My new “every five years” tradition. I registered. My friend bailed. I had another minor freak out, registered her anyway, and then conned her into running with me. And the rest is running history.

How did you prepare for it?

Once I signed up, I went into denial for a few weeks. While I enjoy races, I don’t enjoy training. It gets in the way of all the other fun non-running things I want to do with my time, like eating dark chocolate. Nevertheless and in the meantime, my sister (who owns this blog and shall rename nameless) signed up for and completed a FULL marathon in Philadelphia. Without much whining, she trained and ran in the East Coast cold. I figured I should at least start jogging in sunny California and ought to plan out a schedule I could follow, one that included the minimum days possible of running. So I planned. I ran 5 miles once before Thanksgiving, at which time I pulled my calf and weird butt muscle I didn’t know existed. The next month, I got a bad sinus infection and threw a rib out, which sadly prevented me from training (cough, cough, ouch, ouch). Seriously though, it was a rough month and before I knew it,  the holidays had arrived. And who has time to run when you have a family to be festive with? But by New Years, the race was four weeks out, and I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. I did a long Saturday run the last day of the year, and then trained three times a week for the last few weeks. Which was not super fun, but it did let me eat lots of ice cream without guilt – the best perk of running.

And did your expectations for your race match the reality of running it?

Two weeks before my race, I had one of those moments you know Forrest Gump was created for. With the wind in my hair, I could almost hear Spielberg whisper, “Run, Jenny, run!” I was solid. Strong. Unstoppable. I put 10 miles on my shoes — no problem — with my headphones blaring my new favorite motivational-gospel-preachers-turned-fitness-instructors-DJ Pandora. It was bliss. I was bliss. I had captured the runner’s high. I tapered the next two weeks, ate lots of carbs, treated myself to the spa as a pre-race congratulations, and woke up ready to run.

How you wake up, however, is not always indicative of how your day goes. The morning felt great. The race felt fumbly. Okay, I’m being nice. The race was the hardest physical thing I have ever done. As soon as I started running, my right foot went numb from the morning chill. My allergies, which I’ve never had before, started pouring bodily fluids out of my nose. I became that strange, spitting running girl you all want to send to the woods. I wanted to send myself to the woods. Except I couldn’t, because I had 13.1 more miles to run through the woods to get out of the woods. My friend who claimed to be slower than me outpaced me by mile 1. By mile 2, I was nauseated. By mile 3, I was walking. A lot. The wind burned. My head pounded. For entertainment, I jogged behind a weird barefoot hippy who was, no doubt, “feeling the race energy” through his fleshly soles, but even he outran me.

And this is the crap shoot of running. You can train. You can prepare. You can eat right, sleep well, buy the right goo. And still, some days you just feel off. And not even just slightly off, but the worst version of yourself off. And still, dear Robert Frost, there are miles to go before you sleep.

Did you run with a pace group?

That’s an interesting question, because one thing I’ve learned from this race is to trust your own pacing. Seriously, don’t let anyone make you move any slower or faster than you can. Listen to the sound of your heartbeat and recognize it as the truth.

Why do I know this? Because I didn’t do this during my race. Even though I had an electronic pacer on my phone, I ignored it, and instead ran with the human pacers. My goal was under 2 hours, so I started halfway between Pacer 1:50 and Pacer 2:00. This was my first mistake. Had I trusted myself, my own watch, and my own body, I would have been fine. But instead, I trusted Pacer #1, who was 6 minutes faster than their stated pace. By mile two, I had depleted myself as I went out too quick and burned through a bulk of my blood sugar in the first 10 minutes. That led to a side sticker which led to my new friendly batch of allergies. Where was my Forrest Gump moment? Lost in the wind that was making me freeze.

Trust your own timing, my friends. Your own metronome is your greatest gift and it will keep you in the race for the long haul.

So what happened and are you happy with the outcome?

I fought for awhile to stay near the 1:50 Pacer, with a strange mixture of running and walking (Thank you, Jeff Galloway, you saved my life.) But when the 2 hour pacer passed me at mile 10, I had to come to terms with a hard fact. That after all this struggle, I would not make my goal of under 2 hours. This was the hardest moment yet.

But something didn’t seem right. I checked my watch; I looked at my Garmin phone app. I was running my normal pace of 8:45, which was right on target. At this moment, I realized all along I had been chasing an eroneous goal. I was going to be under 2, even if I ran a slower last three miles, and even if I came in a few minutes after the 2 hour pacer. I would still be right on time.

I never got the runner’s high on race day. In fact, I think my endorphins took a vacation and left their friendly cousin cortisol in their place. But I did make my goal and crossed the finish line to a wonderful group of girlfriends and for that, I feel very blessed.

So when is your next race?

Well, now that I’ve started this five year tradition, I can kindly announce my next race will be at age 40. Should any other life marker occur before then, I’ll lace up my tennies, but for now, I’m saving them for actual tennis, and leave the running to my dear sister. Although it is nice to know I can do an easy six miles, “just for fun” and come home to some chocolate.