Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5K Race on Martha's Vineyard

I had a great time this past Sunday, May 25th, when I ran in the 21st Annual Oak Bluffs Memorial Day 5K Run!  The day began with a ferry ride from the town of Falmouth (on Cape Cod) to Oak Bluffs (on Martha's Vineyard).  Of course, since we were paranoid about being on time for the ferry, we arrived with 45 minutes to spare -- this left us with plenty of time for photo opportunities.
My Daughter, Brianna, & I -- Waiting for the Ferry to Oak Bluffs

My Running Buddy, Ann, & I -- Waiting for the Ferry to Oak Bluffs

Our Mascot for the Day -- Louie

Brianna, Ann & Her Niece, Rachel
Finally, it was time to board the Island Queen Ferry.  At first, it cruised slower than my race pace, but once we were in the open waters, the ferry began to really move -- the wind in my face felt great!

The Atlantic Ocean -- Our View from the Ferry
Michael (Ann's Nephew) on the Ferry
Thirty minutes after boarding the Island Queen, we reached our destination -- yeah!!!

So Happy to Be in Martha's Vineyard on a Beautiful Day!

We had to hustle to race headquarters, the Wesley Hotel, in order to sign up for the race by the 10 am deadline.

The Wesley Hotel
There was a kid's one mile fun run at 10:30 am.  We used this time to pose for more photos.

The Fearsome Foursome -- Pre-Race
Our race began at 11 am.  It was the most beautiful course, with at least half of the total distance right on the water.  We could not ask for more perfect weather conditions!

We all finished with respectable times.  I certainly cannot say that it was my best performance, but it ranked up there as a very fun and quite scenic race.  I just wish I would have kept my mind focused on the uphills (I admit it, I walked three times, but for very brief periods -- truth is, I really did not need to walk -- ugh, so why do I sometimes do that)?

I am Crossing the Finish Line

It was time for lunch.  We found a great place to eat outside.  I had a mudslide -- I am a very cheap date!

A Rare Moment -- Judy With a Mudslide
We had to catch the 2:15 pm ferry back to the Cape.  It was sad to leave the Vineyard, but we vowed to run this race again next year.

On Our Way Back to the Ferry for the Return Trip
Congratulations to Rachel on Finishing Her First Race!
We celebrated back on the Cape with delicious home made ice cream.  We made plans for some upcoming summer races.

Michael is a Natural Runner!  He's Talking About Doing a Marathon...

Thanks to Mary Jo, Brianna, and of course, Louie, for being our support staff.  I hope you all run with us next year!

Louie, Mary Jo (Ann's Sister), & Michael

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What is Your "Why?"

My very first blog post on March 11th, 2014 was all about Finding Your 'Why' -- do you know why you want to run a marathon?  Click on the following link to read that post:  Deciding to Run Your First Marathon.

I just found a great blog post from a blog called Running Around the Bend.  This post really discusses the personal metamorphosis that you go through after completing your first marathon.  Please read this thought provoking post by clicking on the link directly below:

If you need to REALLY be inspired, read Running Around the Bend bloggerMichael's entire running story at: 

2005 Chicago Marathon -- We Are Forever Changed After Crossing the Finish Line!

Thinking of Running a Marathon?

Is completing a marathon on your bucket list?

  If so, please:
1.  subscribe to my blog
2.  read the following very compelling blog post from Sarah Dudek's blog entitled Running on Healthy:

When you cross the finish line of your first marathon, it is a life-altering experience, and, as Sarah Dudek explains in her wonderful blog post, the entire training period is a most memorable journey! 

So, what are you waiting for???  Let's get the journey started!

Please ask any questions in the comments section below or send me an email at:
endure262@gmail.com.  Look forward to hearing from you!

2005 Chicago Marathon - near the finish line

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Running Uphill

exhausted runner, exhausted writer, burnt out writer
image from:  http://elmarieporthouse.com/out-of-steam-but-still-writing/exhausted-runner-clipart/

Have you ever watched how some runners "attack" a long, steep hill during a race? They begin their ascent, charging doggedly up the huge incline with all their might -- they huff and they puff the entire time, leaning way forward at their trunks, as though they will get to the summit that much faster.  Well, truth be told, this is not the way to run hills.  Inevitably, the "charging hill runners" peter out way before they reach the top of the hill -- they are the ones who are laboriously walking halfway through their "climb."

So, what are the critical form components to running uphill?

  • Upright posture - Do not lean forward!  Keep your abdominal muscles contracted (as though you were doing a plank).
  • Pump your arms - Your thigh muscles get very tired when going uphill so they need all the help they can get; when you pump your arms, you are using a lot of upper body muscles to assist you in getting up the hill.
  • Stay relaxed & let the hill come to you - Do not attack the hill!  Keep an even rhythm and you will reach the top of the hill way before the "charging hill runners" get there.  It is totally normal to slow down when running uphill -- do not worry about it; you will make up the time on the downhills.
Running uphill is a great way to strengthen your buttocks and thigh muscles.  Once you have logged sufficient and consistent weekly mileage (at least 20 miles per week for three weeks), you can add a hill workout to your weekly or biweekly running schedule.  I will discuss specific hill training workouts in a separate blog post some time soon -- stay tuned...  and, in the meantime, please remember...

You do not get better at running hills by walking them.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Aging Gracefully

image from:  http://www.linesofbeauty.com/2012/04/aging-gracefully-with-wellness.html
Chronologically, I am 55 years old.  However, in my mind, I am 35 years young, perhaps even younger. This often creates a dilemma when I set out to go on a run and especially when I am racing.  I think back to my younger years and delude myself into believing, on some level, that I am still capable of the same running intensity and weekly mileage as my 35 year old self.  Well, guess again -- the reality is that I am not able to do what I once could.  Sometimes, this is a very difficult concept to grasp and accept.

My greatest limitation is a left knee that does not want to cooperate with the rest of my body.  I also have noticed that my body weight is slowly increasing and it takes me longer to recover from races, hill training, and long runs.  Ugh -- but, aging sure beats the alternative.

One day running will become jogging; then, jogging will become shuffling.  When shuffling becomes my predominant form of locomotion, I promise myself that I will use the knowledge and wisdom that I have gained from running countless miles to inspire others to continue the journey where I left off.  I love running.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Run Like a Mother 5K

I ran in a great race yesterday -- Run Like a Mother 5K in Ridgefield, CT.  I have run this race several times before and have watched the number of participants exponentially increase over the past five years!  Run Like a Mother (RLAM) celebrates women on Mother's Day. This is a women's only race with runners of all different fitness levels.  Some have never raced before and others are elite runners. The bottom line is that your running ability is very secondary to the fact that you are just out there participating!

That's me prior to the race, wearing my new Swirl Gear racing shirt and hat.

Although RLAM originated in Ridgefield, CT, this annual race now takes place in eight cities across the country.  RLAM is truly a family event -- the day begins with a timed one mile kid's race, and 30 minutes later, the 5K begins.  The camaraderie is amazing -- the women are all cheering for one another!

5K Mother-Daughter Team - Nancy & Caitlin Pires  (check out the socks & the tutus)

When you cross the finish line of the 5K, you receive a rose and a beautiful medal. Then, the celebration begins -- there are all sorts of post race festivities. 

That's Me Again, Crossing the Finish Line on a Beautiful Day!

My favorite post-run activity was Jockey's version of Jeopardy.  For each correct response, I received a coupon for 10, 20 or 30 percent off of a Jockey performance bra.  There were also tons of healthy food choices at the post-race party.  I celebrated with my friends who participated in this great event.

Yep, That's Me Again, Being a Total Goofball!

Post Race Celebration With Friends

RLAM offers training programs for those who are new to running and racing.  For more information on this event, check out the following link:  Run Like a Mother.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Original Worm: Awesome Training & Recovery Tool

Meet the Original Worm, a massaging body roller that is awesome!  I first discovered this nifty device when I was recently followed on Twitter by @Original_ Worm (theoriginalworm.com). Simply out of curiosity, I followed back -- I then got a message from @Original_Worm that said, "Thanks for spreading the Worm." Now, I was really curious, so I went to the Original Worm's website and checked out this portable training and recovery aid.  I sent a direct message to the company owner and he sent me a complimentary Original Worm to try out.

The Original Worm is made up of four balls that are a little smaller than tennis balls, but of about the same density. The balls are covered in a pink or black neoprene case --the Worm can be washed by hand.


The Worm can easily fit into your bag so you can take it on the plane or the train! It comes in a nifty little reusable bag with a postcard showing its many uses.  I like sleeping on the worm -- I put it under my neck and it provides just the right amount of acupressure to relax my muscles for a good night's rest.  My daughter is currently dealing with shin splints and the Worm is super useful as a massage tool for her shins.  I especially like using the worm to massage my lower back and hip flexors.  The Worm is also a great tool for plantar fascitis. 

There are so many massaging tools on the market these days, but there is just something so great about the worm.  First of all, it is very small and lightweight -- this makes it extremely portable and can actually be held in one hand while running.  I often like to run from one destination to another, and then walk back home -- I can use the Worm to work out any knots prior to my recovery walk.


Some of the Many Uses of the Original Worm -- image from:  www.theoriginalworm.com

Check out the two videos at theoriginalworm.com for more information on the Worm's many uses.  I really like the idea of doing a squat with the Worm between my back and the wall.  I am going to try this exercise tomorrow with some of my clients.

The Original Worm is very reasonably priced when compared to many other massage and trigger point tools.  You can order yours through Amazon, using the Amazon ad in the column to the right of my blog posts.  Once you use it, I'm sure that you too will be "spreading the worm!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Who Is Your Inspiration?

image from:  www.fantasyhelp.com
Who inspires you to jump out of bed and get moving?  Whom do you draw your strength from?

I would love to know -- please start the conversation in the Comments Section of this blog post.

Since I have been a long distance runner for the past 39 years, my greatest inspiration has been Grete Waitz, nine time winner of the NYC Marathon -- do you have any idea what it takes to win a marathon that many times, especially in NYC?  Grete Waitz was also our Fred's Team Captain (click on this link for more info:  Fred's Team).  Grete was one of the most gracious and humble people I have ever met. The most memorable moment was when she crossed the finish line of the 1992 NYC Marathon, hand-in hand, with Fred Lebow, President of the New York Road Runners Club (NYRRC).  At that time, Lebow's brain cancer was in remission -- they ran the entire race together.  They finished in 5 hours, 32 minutes and 34 seconds -- for me, this moment remains one of the most memorable and emotional scenes in all of road racing.

Grete Waitz & Fred Lebow Finish Hand-in-Hand in 1992 NYC Marathon
image from:  AFP/ScanPix
Lebow was the visionary behind the NYC Marathon -- each year, he was so busy organizing the event, that he never ran in it until 1992.  For Grete to run that slowly had to be very physically painful (have you ever tried running 26.2 miles at half of your normal speed?) -- however, I am sure that it was one of the most gratifying experiences of her life! Grete encouraged and inspired her good friend throughout the journey and across that finish line, a vision that is indelibly inked in my memory.

Fred Lebow succumbed to cancer on October 9th, 1994.  It was a very sad day for all New York City runners and an entire nation of runners.

In 2005, Grete was diagnosed with cancer -- she never revealed any details, but bravely fought the disease and continued to be our Fred's Team Captain and inspiration.  On April 19th, 2011, she lost her battle. Grete Waitz was and continues to be my inspiration -- she was a true champion in every sense of the word:  a great runner, a phenomenal role model, and a class act!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Swirlgear Brand Ambassador

I am excited to announce that I have just been selected as a Swirlgear Brand Ambassador! Okay, so what does that mean?  Well, Swirlgear is a very new and quickly growing, woman owned company in Chicago.  Right now, they offer technical, designer women's running apparel.  Swirlgear clothing is made with moisture-wicking fabric, flattering cuts and spray-dyed colors that inspired its name. The company plans to expand their product lines to include technical clothing for women who pursue fitness options other than running.  

As a Swirlgear Brand Ambassador, I plan to spread the word about this up-and-coming company.  I just ordered the three items shown below -- I can't wait for my new items to arrive so that I can proudly model them at my next race!

capped-sleeve pink camo

Swirlgear Hat
swirlgear hat
Swirlgear Headband
swirlgear headband


You can find out more about Swirlgear at www.swirlgear.com  Like their tagline says, Swirlgear is all about strength, style and spirit.

Hope to see you at the races with your Swirlgear swag!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


My 14 year old daughter is a good basketball player, but she wants to get better. For several years now, I have explained to her that she needs to practice ball handling and shooting every day, and do a conditioning program on a regular basis. Well, finally, my daughter is catching on -- now, she actually asks me to take her to the gym to work on her basketball skills and to do aerobic and anaerobic exercises, agility work and strength training.

Discipline is the bridge between our goals and our accomplishments.  My daughter has started to make that connection -- I try to teach her that self-discipline and hard work are the keys to reaching so many of our dreams, not just those that are sports-related.

As a running coach and personal trainer, I can lead a horse to water, but the horse must be willing to drink!  Whether you want to complete a marathon or set a PR in your next 5K race, you need DISCIPLINE!  Self-discipline involves working hard without anyone telling you to.  You develop the willpower, drive and resolve to put in the daily and weekly mileage needed to reach your goal -- you are intent upon improving yourself, specifically your aerobic fitness or your speed, or both.

Sometimes you may find that you are not motivated to go for your run.  When this happens, remember that often,  ACTION PRECEDES MOOD!  This is a saying that was coined by William James, the Father of Psychology.  Nike says, "Just do it!" Once you step outside and start moving, you will feel better about yourself.

Research shows that it takes approximately three weeks to form a habit.  So, if you find that you are having a problem adhering to your training schedule, rest assured that you will find it much easier if you can "stick with it" for those first 21 days.

In running and more importantly, in all aspects of life, you need to put in the hard work to reap the benefits.  When you do not, the end result is often regret.  It is amazing what you are capable of achieving if you put in the effort.  

So, set your goals and get moving!