Friday Five 2.0: Giving Back

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

My Topic for today is:  Ways to Give Back (to Running)

When I think about what running has given to me, I am overwhelmed.

When I think about how much money I spend on running and there are people who have very little or are too sick to run, I feel guilty or even greedy.

Maybe it’s because when I work in NYC or Buffalo, I see so many homeless people on the street (and it’s winter!).

But rather than buy another running outfit, shouldn’t I give that money to someone less fortunate or contribute that money to a charity??

Maybe I am the only one who feels this way but if I am not, here’s my FIVE suggestions on how you can give back to running:

1. Donate your extra running clothes or shoes.

Check out your local store store or running club to find out where you can do this.

Image result for donate running shoes

2. Volunteer at a race rather than run in it.

These races cannot happen without volunteers.  We often take that for granted.

WMarathon-023

I bet he doesn’t want to be doing this in freezing temps.

3. When you register for a race, donate extra money to the charity it supports.

I know that races are expensive enough and we don’t feel like adding more money to the fee. So register for one less race and donate that money to a charity.

Buy one less running outfit or pair of shoes and donate to runners in need.

This is a great cause – http://stemrunning.com

Or raise money for a charity in order to run a race that you didn’t qualify for or didn’t get into the lottery for.

Image result for register for a race and add money for a charity
4. Mentor a Runner

Everyone of us was once a beginning runner.  I am also aware of the fact that some of us have coaches and want to get faster.  So just find a time in your schedule when you are not training for an important race and help someone else.

img_9438

GOTR is one of the many opportunities out there. 

5. Push someone who cannot run for themselves.

Organizations like Team Hoyt and Ainsley’s Angels provide the opportunity for runners to pair with an rider and work together to cross the finish line.

several of my friends are part of this group

Happy Running! How about you… do you give back to running?  Any other ideas to add?

Run for Help 5K Race Recap

June 11, 2017 – 10 am

I wasn’t as active in this spring’s STEM program as I would have liked (due to work commitments) but as I did last year, I decided to help the STEM runners and registered for this race.

There were a few races scheduled for this weekend (plus boating) that I would have liked to do but as soon as I arrived at the race, I knew that I had made the right decision.

Running is not all about PRs and finish times.  Sometimes you have to give back especially since running has given me so much.

Last year, we didn’t actually participate in the race. We ran along side our runner but never crossed the finish line.

This year, however, we did register and pay for the race. We would be running it in order to help a STEM participant achieve their goal.

Because I wasn’t planning to “race” the race, I ran 8 miles the day before.

I was glad too because race day was even hotter and more humid (and the race didn’t start until 10 am!!)

I arrived early to pick up my packet and meet up with all the other volunteers and runners. What is awesome is that in addition to the new STEM runners, many of the old ones continue to return for races. It’s a STEM reunion too.

I also ran this race in 2009. I am a sucker for “causes.” And this is just  as important or maybe more important than a medical one.

It started out 10 years ago as a race for “Liza” who had been killed by her abusive husband but it is now also dedicated to Nikki who suffered the same fate.

The race is very well organized and offers lots of raffle prizes and even…

Eventually  we went outside to take some group photos and then to pair up with a STEM runner. In my particular group, most of the STEM participants had dropped out and we had more volunteers than runners.

I got paired with our one ‘male” participant, Mike, who usually does his own thing in trainings (instead of Couch to 5k).  He said that he wanted to finish under 30 minutes.  I told him that I was there for  him if he needed help.

Soon we moved to the start line and got ready to begin.

As I mentioned, I was not planning to run fast.  And Mike just took off.  Well, it was hot so I just ran my own pace, stopped to tie my shoes and walked at all the water stops.  Luckily on this hot day, there were many (maybe 5 or 6).

The course starts out flat on a country road but when we turn left, there are rolling hills (2 steepish ones).  I didn’t wear my Garmin (because I wasn’t going to be racing) but I did my best to run slowly up the hills.  Everyone was sweating…even me.

What I love about this out and back course is that you get to see all the slower runners.  And in this case, all the purple shirts.  I high-fived them and screamed encouragement as I ran by.

Eventually, I caught up to Mike, he was walking.  He said he had a side cramp.  I walked with him and encouraged him to get some water and start running again.

And he did.  I ran ahead so I could cheer him through the finish line.

Yes, he did cross under 30 minutes!! We were both happy.

I remained at the finish line to watch all the other happy faces cross and get their medals.

hot hot hot

Then I took my sweaty body to my car so I could sneak out.  I didn’t even stay around for the awards.

this race was NOT about me anyway

My hubby was waiting for me at the lake but I felt happier (for these runners) than if I had run a PR.  (There will be more times to run a fast 5k.)

ahhhh!


Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running! Ever run a race for someone else besides yourself?

Running Update- 6.5.17-6.11.17

ru

Last Week:

  • Monday – Another rainy day. I decided to test out the treadmill at the gym. I planned on 4 miles but I barely made it 2. I hated every second.

  • Tuesday  Rain again! I had to travel to Liverpool, NY for work. After I set up, I had hoped to find a running route. But nope, had to settle for 2 sweaty miles on the mill.

  • Wednesday – Stuck indoors at work and the rain had finally stopped. Although I was exhausted, I decided I had to run because it was Global Running Day. And I did!

5 minutes away was the Onondaga Lake State Park – wish I had more time and energy to run

2 miles is better than nothing…

  • Thursday – Back home and I got to run with Alyssa after work. I hadn’t seen her since her marathon so there was a lot to catch up on.

    at the Crossings

  • Friday – Just work followed by a trip to gym on a needed rest day before my weekly mah jongg game.

not just mah jongg…

  • Saturday – I had planned to rest and go boating but changed my mind and went for a run and then stayed home to garden. All that rain has made those weeds grow….

slowest run ever…

  • Sunday – Today I ran the Run for Help 5k as part of mentoring the STEM running group. It was brutally hot and humid but it is always such a rewarding experience helping runners run their first 5k and seeing runners from past STEM groups continue to run.

I didn’t even stay around to get my age group award. I jetted up north to spend the day on the lake with the hubby.

We ended the day with dinner out with friends.

And that’s a Skirt Sports dress

21 miles done with 6 runs and 1 rest day (3 of those runs were only 2 miles)

This Week:

  • Monday – rest, hiking
  • Tuesday –  rest, tennis
  • Wednesday3 miles
  • Thursday – 4 miles with Alyssa, mall walk with BFF
  • Friday – rest, gym, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 5K race plus 6 miles
  • Sunday – rest, boating

Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going?

runner-sig

Wednesday Word: Peace

WednesdayWordScrabbleButton

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

This week’s word is PEACE.

I found some quotes that relate PEACE to running and they say it better than I could.

Image result for peace and running

Maybe not in a crowded race with lots of distractions, but when I run alone and especially after a tough day, running does bring me PEACE.

along the East River, NYC

along the East River, NYC

along the Rail Trail, Delmar, NY

along the Rail Trail, Delmar, NY

Image result for peace and running

Running is not about only about PRs and age group awards. If you don’t run with your heart, you are missing out on some very important things.

pcb

img_3200

960x540 (1)

Image result for peace and running

Happy Running! Does running give your peace?  Do you run with your heart?

runner-sig

Friday Five 2.0: Being a Running Mentor

I am linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

Today’s topic is a free one so I am choosing: Five Reasons To Mentor New Runners

1. Finding New Places To Run

When I volunteered in the STEM program last year, I ran at UAlbany because the group chose to run there.  Now that I changed jobs, it has become my go to place to run. It’s safe and lit up at night.  And in the winter, they keep the sidewalks clean.

img_2279

2. Meeting New People

The other mentors in the STEM program are awesome. It’s always fun to meet other runners. We bond instantly. I always look forward to meeting the new mentors each year.

r4heveryone

last June – runners & mentors

I haven’t had as much contact with the running buddies in GOTR but the ones I have met were very nice.

3. Fits into your Running Schedule

I run after work anyway. So my STEM runs fit right in. Yes, they are walk/run but often, I get there early and run a few miles or I stay afterward to run. It causes no lapses in my training.

img_2473

4. Making a Difference in Someone Else’s Life

I can’t explain how it feels to watch women who have suffered so much in their lives be successful.

img_0134

And to see the joy young girls get from participating in their first race.

10917256_361783967363595_7880664523982825473_o

I actually did so little but hopefully me being at their practices and races did make a difference.

5. It’s motivating.

New runners’ enthusiasm for running is contagious. It actually makes me want to run more!!

FRW - 2010

The picture above was from my first mentoring experience in 2010. They were a bunch of young mothers running their first 5k. These ladies actually are responsible for me pushing myself to try a half marathon.

Recently my friend from Russia decided to become a runner (because of me).  I guess I mentored her from afar without even realizing it. She even hired a coach back in Moscow.  We got to run together for the first time recently when she flew to NYC to run a 5k.

along the Hudson River, NYC

along the Hudson River, NYC

Happy Running! Have you ever mentored a new runner? If so, how did you benefit?

runner-sig

Monday Running Update

ru

Last Week:

  • Monday – I arrived in NYC this afternoon for work.  As soon as I checked into my hotel, I took off for a run.  I headed toward the Hudson River.  I planned on 3 miles but with all the stopping for lights and photo ops, it was 5 slow ones.

After dinner, since it was a warm evening, I went for a walk to Bryant Park and hung out there for awhile.

  • Tuesday – It was pouring during my long walk to work.  But it stopped so I could take a stroll during lunch.

This cup brightened my wet morning walk

That evening, I went out to dinner with some other trainers.

view from my hotel room. Different color every night.

  • Wednesday – I had left my work clothes at work the day before so that I could get up early and run along the East River before work.  And it was amazing.  I could have run forever but I had to return to work by 8 am 😦 )

After dinner (NYC pizza – yummy!), I walked to Times Square.  I wanted to get cheap tix to The Big Comet, but when I found out that Josh Groban called in sick, I went next door and got tix for Dear Evan Hansen which was in previews.  Great decision! The show as awesome (and tix were more than 50% off.)

e8581001-f7a6-4d26-906d-40b6a3bf2d49

adding to my red cup collection when killing time before the show

  • Thursday –  Today I decided to bring running clothes to work so I could run during lunch.  I ran the same place as Wednesday morning but a shorter route since I didn’t need to run as far to get to the river and I ran in the opposite direction.

img_3177

I had still hopes of seeing Josh Groban but he was still sick. So I walked around Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park… Taking in this warm weather and walking ops. (Returning to normal life soon! 😦 )

  • Friday –  Last day of work in NYC.  No running today but a walk to/from work and a long one during lunch.

Then that evening, I took the train back home.

  • Saturday – Today I went to a 5k that I would not be racing. Instead I would be helping a STEM runner complete her first 5k.  Much more rewarding than any PR I’ve ever had.

When I was done, though I didn’t feel like it, I ran some more miles so this could count as a long run. Thanks Judy for the company on 7 of those miles.

  • Sunday – Rest day and catching up after being away for 5 days. Good thing since it seems like winter arrived. That afternoon, I played mah jongg and int he evening, we all went out to dinner (Chinese of course) to celebrate out 8th anniversary of playing mah jongg together.

the whole gang minus 2

 25.5 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday – last Troy Training Challenge Group Run (3-4 miles)
  • Tuesday – 3 miles, tennis
  • Wednesday – rest, mall walk with bff
  • Thursday – 10K race followed by a 5K race
  • Friday – rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday – last long run (8-10 miles), hair appt
  • Sunday –  rest
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Happy Running! How is your running going?

runner-sig

Girls on the Run 5k/ STEM Race Recap

gotr

November 20, 2016 – 9:30 am- Corning Preserve

I was running this race for many reasons:

1. GOTR is a great organization. I was a GOTR running buddy the last two springs and I was happy to support them again.

10917256_361783967363595_7880664523982825473_o

GOTR participants in a May 2015 5k

2. The STEM runners were running their first 5k. I volunteered on Wednesday evenings to help several train for this race.

STEM participants in a previous 5k

3. Several of my running friends are also running this race. It’s nice to know people to hang out with before & after a race.

4. I love to race. This is a flat course and one where someone could PR. I have also gotten a AG award every time I’ve run on this course. But I know that it would be selfish of me to try for this one..

img_8935

5. I had to run 12 miles today in preparation for my Dec 3 Half Marathon. The Corning Bike Path is a perfect place to extend my miles from 3 to 12.

nice river views

So I arrived early to a crowd of excited runners – young and old.

image

I parked in the parking lot that was farther away and walked to the start.

It was cold. I had better get used to this weather because it’s only going to get worse.

I wore layers which I shed before the race. I knew that I would be cold waiting to begin but fine once I started running.

img_3197

luckily the fog quickly burned off and it turned out to be a beautiful day

I immediately bumped into the STEM volunteers.  There were lots of them.  We anxiously waited to the STEM runners to arrive.

img_3199

Every time, I turned around, I saw someone that I knew. I saw Judy, Tom, Melissa and her daughter, etc.

Judy and I planned to meet up aftre the race to run some more miles.

Eventually some the STEM runners did arrive. There were a few ladies from the first STEM program. They were still running and I was so happy to see them again. One runner, Kim, just ran her first half marathon and is thinking of a full marathon.

After we took some photos, it was time to line up. I was paired with a runner who really needed encouragement (her best friend relapsed last night and she was very upset about it.)

The serious runners lined up first followed by the GOTR runners, their coaches and running buddies.  Then came us. Needless to say, it was very slow going for the first 1/2 mile.

But we had perfect weather. What seemed to cold at the beginning, warmed up. I was glad that I shed my jacket and wore capris instead of tights.

I chatted with my running buddy the whole time giving her encouragement and trying to boost her spirits. We ran at around an 12 1/2 min pace which was slower than she usually runs.But today was about getting her to the finish line and doing something positive for herself.

So we plodded along. As soon as I saw the finish line, I told  her to take off. I wanted her to finish on her own.

And she did with tears in her eyes.

image

on the front & back of our Mizuno jackets and these runner really ARE!

After she got her medal, he hugged me and thanked me.  She said she never could have done it without me.

img_3202

This was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had running.  Much better than any PR!!!

img_3200

After I was done, I hung out and watched the others finish.

img_3204

2 of my tennis friends also ran their first 5k

Afterwards, Judy was nice enough to keep me company as I needed to get some more miles done. We ran in the opposite direction from the race course and then turned around and followed the course again.

img_3207

so excited – it looks like this trail will be joining the rail trail that is near where I live

It was a picture perfect running day.  I was very happy about this since the weather for the next few days does not look good (even snow is predicted!!).

img_3206

But after 7 miles, she left me to my own devices.

So I ran in the direction we first headed and then I was curious to see how far the bike path continued, so I ran into the city. I didn’t want to run too far so I turned right (instead of left to continue to the rail trail) and made a pit stop at Starbucks (of course). After a coffee and a cookie (needed fuel). I headed back on the bike path to my car.

Long Run Accomplished….

Yes, 13 (broken up) miles for the day!!


Today I am linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! Did you race or run this past weekend? Ever run a race just to help someone else?

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Running Update

mon r u
Last Week: 

  • Monday – After a rainy Sunday, today was beautiful.  I took a walk to the park at work.

They are in the process of re-planting the tulip beds so not much to look at…yet.

This is my first Monday without a Freihofer Training run so I asked Judy if she would join me for a run in the Crossings. And she was nice enough to postpone her run until I was done with work.

  • Tuesday – Today was a rest day. Just a walk at lunch and my Tuesday after work tennis group was scheduled to resume after a month off.  Now we play outdoors until fall.

Unfortunately we got rained out. So guess what I did?  I went to the gym. Shocker I know.

IMG_6286

first time in 7 months, I think.

  • Wednesday –  Today was the last STEM training run until the big race on Sunday. I was excited to see who would show up (since I haven’t gone in weeks.)  The weather was quite chilly and I was paired with the slower runners.  So I didn’t get the workout that I wouldn’t have liked but it was rewarding to be motivating the STEM participants to run.

my run/walk group

  • Thursday – The cool windy weather continued. I debated running after work but decided to just rest and hit the gym AGAIN.

  • Friday – I went to a conference in the morning so had no time to even go for a walk.  Then work stuff got in the way of the 5K that I had planned to run after work. My first non-injury DNS 😦
  • Saturday – Rain and wind interfered with my first day on the boat (Re-scheduled for next weekend!!) Did some gardening instead.
  • Sunday – I thought that I would run a 5K race today.  But they decided that volunteers would not officially run the race just run along side a STEM participant. Boy, was it rewarding. I had tears in my eyes the whole time. These ladies were awesome.


Afterwards, I drove home to run 5 more miles. It was cloudy and windy but glad to be out there.


14 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days.

This Week:  

  • Monday – First day of unemployment, 3 miles with friends
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis?
  • Wednesday – 4 mile run with a new friend
  • Thursday –  rest, hair appt
  • Friday – 4 mile run, STEM celebration
  • Saturday – rest, boating?
  • Sunday 9 miles
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races?

runner-sig

TOLT: STEM, Racing, Injuries, Work, etc.

Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today…

Yesterday was my second week volunteering with a Couch to 5k program for women who are survivors of domestic violence.

This relates to yesterday’s post about being judgmental.  For the past two sessions, the women have been newbie runners and not very competitive.  They were so excited to have finished a 5k race.  So I used to run before or after the group run to keep up my training pace.

I assumed that this session would be the same.  The women last week were more enthusiastic. This week, however, there were two new women. I was paired up with one. Well, she has run before and she is fast.  In fact, this will be a good workout for me.  And the other new woman was even faster. She may have been an elite runner in her country.

She doesn’t speak English well but guess where she is from??

PARIS!!!

Woo Hoo!  We were both thrilled to be able to speak French together.  Mine is a little rusty but I did teach high school French for 22 years!

So far we are only running 1 1/2 minutes at a time but I think I will not be able to slack off this session.

  • Racing

I race every weekend.  But I do not have one scheduled this weekend.  It feels so strange that I almost signed up for one in Saratoga on Saturday.

Luckily Denise (Judy‘s friend) will run 10 miles with me on Sunday for my last long run before my half marathon.

I will try to refrain from running that 5k. (No promises.)

  • Tennis Elbow

The good: it doesn’t affect my running.  The bad: it’s not any better. But like any athlete, I took ibuprofen, taped it and wore a band and then played tennis.

The good: it didn’t affect my tennis. The bad: it’s not any better.

  • Work

I am walking EVERYDAY!! I started out with a 100 mile goal but I upped it to a lofty 400.

mmm

I usually walk to the park (with a stop at Starbucks).  Yesterday, I walked to the library to return a book.

img_9153

  • Next Half Marathon

It’s on April 24 (in 10 days) and I am not really stressing about it.  Is it because it’s #19? Or because I know the route and it is very HILLY.  Sometimes it’s a relief to know that you will not get a PR.

I plan to enjoy the race.  I hope that it is nice weather and I can hang out by the lake afterwards.

The picture below is the view from the start & finish line (in 2011).

starting/finish line

Happy Running! What’s on your mind today?

runner-sig

Monday Running Update

mon r u
Last Week: 

  • Monday  A cold, rainy, dreary day but at least the rain stopped so I decided to go to my Freihofer Challenge Group Run. Then as soon as we started running, it started to pour. It rained for the entire run and stopped when we were done.  
  • Tuesday – No rain but lots of wind.  I left work early to meet my GOTR running buddy (Jayme, age 11) & then attended the GOTR orientation.  Afterwards, I walked the mall with my BFF who just returned from a month in FL. (Got my 10k steps in!!)
  • Wednesday A busy work day (and giving day).  Still had time for a walk and a group pic.

11255195_10154050333358787_4033738957702686740_o

My monthly dinner with tennis friends got cancelled (too many were sick ). Instead I ran in the park and yes, I ran up a hill (a few times.)

  • Thursday -Another rest day but I did go for a walk during work.  Ate dinner out. This time Thai food with two co-workers.
  • Friday – We started this at work today. My goal is 100 miles this month (walking + running):

MMM_VertLogo_2016_forweb_copy

At lunch we had a fun kick-off event.

april 1

oc

After work, I squeezed in a run before dinner (in between the rain) and mah jongg.

Our new mah jongg cards start on April 1 each year so it is always exciting the first time you play on them.  I won 2x so a good night.

  • Saturday – A rest day filled with all those things you have to get done because you work all week. But I did take a walk on the trail right behind my house.  Believe it or not, the last time I was on it was when we moved in 16 years ago.

just missed the rain

My hubby wanted to go out to dinner so I agreed…carb loading, right?

  • Sunday – A wintery mix with gusty winds was not the ideal weather for the Delmar Dash 5 mile race.  But actually the snow stayed on the lawns and wind was not unbearable until later on.

not happy with my performance but they all can’t be good races

We ran on the rail trail for most of it and saw 2 eagles

Luckily I had company for most of the 6 more miles I had to run after the race.

22.5 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days. 95,078 steps.

This Week:  (3 weeks until Half Marathon #19) 

  • Monday  Freihofer Challenge Group Run (3 miles??)
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis
  • Wednesday 3 mile run, STEM Couch To 5k run
  • Thursday3 mile run (before work or at lunch), hair appt.
  • Friday rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday 10K race + 6 miles (or 5k + 9 miles)
  • Sunday – rest
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races?

runner-sig