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October 2009

Open Mic Friday: Welcome Jenn!

  Open_mic_friday Today's guest is Jenn, author of the blog 0 to 26.2 -On the Road to my first marathonNaturally, you can guess what's ahead with her running, but you'll want to learn from her what it is and why it's important to her.

Today is also a special day for Jenn and you'll want to find out why and what she's doing today.

We know you'll enjoy meeting her.

Welcome Jenn!

OKC Race for the Cure 2 Your blog is exploding with enthusiasm for running. How did you develop your passion for running and fitness?

First off, let me just say that I am not athletic.  In fact, I have never been athletic, not even in high school.  If you would have asked me a year ago to tell you about my "passion for running and fitness," I would have had to laugh.  How much things can change in just one year!

Although I am not athletic, I am surrounded by runners - friends… family… you name it, they love to run.  One of those runners was my sister-in-law, Amy.  Amy worked on me for years to pick up running and although she was very persuasive, I never succumbed to her tactics.  Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2008.  She did everything right, did the treatment, kept her bright positive outlook, and hoped to one day be back out there running.  In December, we learned that Amy's cancer spread.  It was then that I realized, if this amazing woman could fearlessly fight cancer, I could get up off my lazy rear end and do what she could not - I would run.  I would keep the pavement warm for Amy until she could get back out there again.

 I started from scratch - literally.  I began with running a few minutes and walking lots of minutes and grew to where I am today.  Over the last ten months, I've run four 10-milers, 2 half-marathons, loads of shorter races, and hundreds of training miles.  I guess you can say I AM HOOKED!  I would have never started on this amazing journey if it were not for Amy.  I feel like if I can just tell one person, get one person out there to dust off their running shoes, get out there, and experience the fulfillment I have received from turning my non-athletic self into a runner, I'll have paid it forward. 

I did it! You might be the most excited runner we know preparing for the Walt Disney World Marathon.  Why did you select WDW?

After learning in October 2008 that her cancer was in remission, Amy had selected WDW as her "I Beat Cancer Marathon."  My husband was going to run it with her and our entire family was going to tag along to cheer them on.  However, just two months later, we received the devastating news that Amy's cancer had spread and the outlook was grim.  It was then I decided to start running - I made the decision, I would run WDW for Amy.  Me, a girl who had never run a block in her life, would run 26.2 miles.  It was pretty scary, but I had such an amazing reason to do it.

Amy passed away on March 9, 2009.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her.  Every time I lace up my running shoes I say a quiet thank you to Amy - she got her way - I AM A RUNNER!!

Amy's dream to run the Walt Disney World Marathon lives on - on January 10, 2010, I will run 26.2 miles along side my husband, my two best friends, Amy's husband, and his sister.  I guess you can say I am just a teeny bit excited.  I will be accomplishing something I never thought humanly possible, accompanied by some of the people that mean the most to me in this world, and doing it for the woman who is my inspiration every day, Amy Ellis Oliver.

Picture You have a special running experience coming up this week.  Tell us about it.

Oh my goodness, I do!  Today, October 30, 2009, is my 34th birthday.  I couldn't think of a better way to mark this day than by running 17 miles - a half mile for each year I am old.  This will be the furthest that I have ever run in my life.  The old, non-running Jenn would have dreaded this day (getting older, no thanks, I'm done) and celebrated it with cake for breakfast.  For some odd reason, however, I've been looking forward to this run for weeks.  I took the day off from work, mapped out my 17 miles and I am ready to go.  After that, don't get me wrong, I will celebrate with cake … and blog all about it. 

What are some key things you’ve learned about yourself and about running since starting your training for WDW?

That anything is possible - but it takes a plan.  When I made my decision to run WDW, I had never run a block, let alone a mile.  It would have been easy to become overwhelmed by it all, but I took it bit by bit.  I started small and worked my way up.  I remember vividly the day I ran my first mile, my first 5 miles, my first 10 miles - each was a stepping stone to where I am today, and where I will be in January.  The crazy thing is, when I started on this journey, I was doing it for Amy.  I never thought I would actually begin to love running, but I do!  I miss it when I can't get my daily run in.  I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that would happen.

Army 10 miler What would your family and friends tell us about your passion for running?

They would tell you that I need to stop registering for races!  Every week I'm finding new races for my friends and family to run with me as I train for WDW.  I'm even finding races for us to run after WDW.  Currently, my best friends and I are planning a trip to Prague.  My best friend's husband has given me firm orders, I cannot register us for any races in Prague.  Fine, no races in Prague, I get it … but what he doesn't know is I am still going to put together a run for all of us to do while we are there.   

If money could buy you a running dream, what would it be?

Four years ago, my husband and I went to Ireland for my 30th.  While we were there, Dublin was hosting the Dublin Marathon.  I remember thinking, "How cool would that be?  I wish I could run a marathon."  If I could, I would love to go back to Ireland next year and run the Dublin Marathon as a way to celebrate my 35th birthday, a race that would be promptly followed with a round of Guinness.  

I finished! Who from your past would you like to know that you’re now a runner?

The coaches on my high school cross country team.  Boy, would they get a kick out of the fact that I am now doing something I complained about every day in school. 

Best running advice you’ve ever been given?

I've received tons of good advice.  I would say that the best practical advice I've received is:  Buy the right shoes for your feet.  I quickly learned that when it comes to running, unhappy feet = unhappy runner. 

The best motivational advice I've received is:  One person's 5K is another person's marathon.  When I first started running, it was hard for me not to be excited and proud of my first accomplishments - running my first mile, running my first 30 minutes without stopping, running my first race.  I wanted to shout it out to the world, however, I was a bit embarrassed.  The folks I would be shouting it to were ones who ran ten miles on a slow day and ran ultra marathons for fun.  One evening, after reporting that I ran three whole miles, and then promptly down playing it with the comment, "that’s good for me, I know that's nothing for you."  My friend wisely said, "Jenn, one person's 5k is another person's marathon. Celebrate what you accomplish - don't measure yourself by anyone else but you." 

After that, I quit using other runners as a ruler for my success.  Sure, I want to get better, faster, be able to run longer, further.  It would be so cool to one day qualify for Boston (dream on, sister).  HOWEVER, I am just so happy, so blessed, to be able to do what I can do.  There are people out there today that have never known the joy of signing up for a race, training for it, showing up, and finishing.  There are people out there that have, and for whatever reason, their bodies just won’t let them do it anymore.  I count myself as one lucky girl.  I may have been a little late showing up to the race, but at least I made it.  It took me almost 34 years to decide that I love running. I hope that I will be fortunate enough to enjoy the next 34 doing just that.

Thank you, Jenn!

Do you know a runner you would recommend for Open Mic Friday?

Pass along their name, contact info, and some background and we'll explore introducing them to the Runners' Lounge Community.

Send your suggestions to Tom@runnerslounge.com or Amy@runnerslounge.com

Take It and Run Thursday: Your Three Wishes for Running

Take it and run thursday

This week's sponsor is Julia, author of her blog, Chocolate Shoestrings

Julia knows all runners have dreams and wishes, so she invites us to share ours.

Julia asks:

If a genie were to appear and grant you any three running wishes in the world, what would you choose? It can be anything from superhuman powers, new running inventions, race entries, shoes, you name it!

What would be your three wishes?

Before you tell us what your wishes will be, you'll want to enjoy Julia's video, where she takes you along on a run of her favorite trail with stunning views of the ocean and mountains.  Get to know Julia better!

For next week's TIART, Chelsea of Early Runner is the sponsor and she offers this question to ponder and respond to:

You’re on the selection Committee for the Nobel Prize for Running.  Who would you nominate for the winner and why?  

It could be an elite or a beginning runner....a courageous ordinary runner in your community who inspires you.... or the local running club leader, race director, or running store owner who gives tirelessly back to running. It could be the senior runner in your community who knows no age limitations. 

You decide.  Who do you think deserves to be recognized for enriching and advancing the experience of running for others.

Hope everyone is having a great week of running and living!

Running on Food: Easy Healthy Soup Recipes

By Heather

Running On Food Logo This article is part of a popular series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blogTrials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and loves to help runners with their questions.

Past articles can be found in the Nutrition and Hydration section and Recipe section in the Lounge.

Transitioning deep into the Fall season and adjusting to colder temperatures doesn’t only change my running wardrobe, it also changes my grocery list! I crave warm comfort foods with fresh seasonal vegetables.

Browsing through CookingLight.com for my weekly kitchen inspiration, I found this article and think it’s brilliant! Soups are easy because you can be creative with them – it’s a mix of whatever you want in there. Directions typically follow suit; throw everything in a pan and let it simmer! The added flavors are up to your taste buds, and the leftovers rarely disappoint.

Here are some of their 5-ingredient soups (not including seasonings!) that caught my eye, and landed on my menu wish-list. They’re all healthy versions of classics, and I picked three that use different meats and veggies. Each recipe provides 240 calories (or less) per serving! Enjoy…..

Posole – “a thick and saucy Mexican soup that’s hearty enough for a meal”Prep: 3 minutes Total: 30 minutes, 4 servings

1 lb Pork Tenderloin (trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces)
2 tbsp Low-sodium Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
1 can White Hominy
1 can stewed tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup water
Fresh Cilantro
*optional: chopped onions, shredded cheese, cilantro garnish

Coat pan with cooking spray, set to medium-high heat. Rub pork with chipotle seasoning; cook 4-5 minutes (until brown). Stir in hominy, tomatoes and water. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes, then add cilantro.

Spicy Poblano & Corn Soup
Prep: 3 minutes Total: 10 minutes, 4 servings

16 oz package – frozen baby corn, thawed & divided
2 c fat-free milk, divided
4 poblano chiles (seeded and chopped)
1 c chopped onion
1 tbsp water
½ c reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar
¾ tsp salt

Boil 1 cup corn and 1 ½ cups milk in a Dutch oven, over medium heat.
Combine chopped chile, onion, and 1 tbsp water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover and microwave on High for 4 minutes.
Place 2 cups corn and ½ cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add this mixture to corn-milk mixture in the pan. Stir in chile mixture and salt, cook over medium heat for ~6 minutes. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheddar cheese.

Corn & Bacon Chowder
Prep: 2 minutes Total: 14 minutes, 6 servings

2 bacon slices
½ cup pre-chopped celery, onion and bell pepper mix
2 (16-oz) packages – frozen baby gold and white corn, thawed & divided
2 cups low-fat milk, divided
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ cup reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble and set aside. Add celery mixture and 1 package of corn to drippings in the pan: sauté for 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. 

Place remaining corn (1 package) and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add pureed mixture to vegetables (in pan), stir in remaining milk (1 cup), salt, pepper, and cheese. Cook over medium heat (not boiling), stir constantly, until cheese melts. Top each serving with crumbled bacon.

Extra, Extra, Run All About It! The Week in Running 10/18 - 10/25

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, let's take a look back at the week in running:

As reported in Stars And Stripes.com on October 23rd, it seems that the U.S. Air Force cadets at the Osan Air Base in South Korea are doing all they can to get a little more air under their feet. With the new Air Force fitness standards kicking in next year where the running test will now count for a major part of the overall score, officials are Air Force bases around the world have been setting up 'run clubs' to help get the cadets prepared. With a 16-week program that features weekly runs and lectures on an array of run-related topics, “The objective [of the running clubs] is to have a program for airmen to prepare them for the aerobic run assessment that’s due out in January,” said Dr. Reginald B. O’Hara, an Air Force physiologist at Osan. “Because it will include 60 percent of their total score.” While I have not been contacted to help train these cadets for the onerous running test that lays ahead of them, I am ready, willing and able to do so should the Air Force require my services!

New York Marathon News

As reported on Virtual Jerusalem.com on October 20th, while Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat won't be at the wailing wall next Sunday, November 1st, he will be doing some wailing himself. Attempting to raise awareness of Jerusalem as the top destination site for tourists, Barkat announced on Tuesday that he would be participating in the New York City Marathon. Known for running from his home to his office many times a week, Barkat has previously run marathons in Berlin, Paris and Israel. With this in mind, no matter how hot the temperature may be next Sunday, I'm sure Barkat will feel like he is in arctic conditions.

As reported on Chart Attack.com on October 23, fresh off her running in the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon on October 11th, singer Alanis Morissette announced that she will take part in next Sunday's New York City Marathon to pledge her support of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. While she won't be running with her Hand In Her Pocket and she wasn't Crazy enough not to be Uninvited, Morissette's ambitious plan should be commended. If nothing else, she at least deserves a knife instead of being given ten thousand spoons!

Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, October 31st

Hoover Dam Marathon (Boulder City, NV)
Enviro-Sports Napa Valley Wine Country Trail Marathon (Calistoga, CA)
Spinx Run Fest Marathon (Greenville, SC)

Sunday, November 1st
Bass Pro Shops Marathon (Springfield, MO)
Sony Ericsson City Of Oaks Marathon (Raleigh, NC)
St. Louis Ultrarunners Group Frankenstein Marathon (Frankenstein, MO)
Murray Ridge Center Inland Trail Marathon (Elyria, OH)
Manchester City Marathon (Manchester, NH)
HealthyHuntington.og Marshall University Marathon (Huntington, WV)
ING New York City Marathon (New York, NY)
Rails To Trails Marathon (Norwalk, WI)
Losani Homes Road2Hope Hamilton Marathon (Hamilton, ON)

Take It and Run Thursday: Your top race recommendations

Take it and run thursday

This week's sponsor is MCM Mama, a favorite runner and blogger committed to running a race in all 50 states.  So it shouldn't surprise us that she invites us to ponder and respond to:

We've all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run? 

Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else?  Tell me how you decide where and when to race.  Also, I'm currently on a quest to run a race in every state.  Please tell me--and others about a particular race you've run that is not to be missed.

Go ahead. Share you preferences of races.  Before you leave your suggestions for MCM Mama, take a moment to get to check out her slide show and get to know her better.

For next week's TIART, Julia of Chocolate Shoestrings is the sponsor and she offers this question to ponder and respond to:

If a genie were to appear and grant you any three running wishes in the world, what would you choose? It can be anything from superhuman powers, new running inventions, race entries, shoes, you name it!

Everyone have a great week of running and living!

Running on Food: Staying Healthy on the Go

By Heather

Running On Food Logo This article is part of a popular series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blogTrials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and loves to help runners with their questions.

Past articles can be found in the Nutrition and Hydration section and Recipe section in the Lounge.

Last weekend I traveled over 1800 miles to run a half-marathon with my sister. This was the first time I’ve ever gone so far for a race, and with traveling comes quite a few obstacles to overcome before tying those laces and toeing the starting line!

Dinner in the airport on Friday marked the beginning of my eating-adventures. I knew that the weekend would include many meals out, but wasn’t ready to compromise a good run for not-so-good food. Since I travel a lot, I have plenty of go-to tips for staying healthy on the Go…..

Bring the essentials, if you can!

My pre-Long Run and pre-race snack/breakfast always revolves around bread and peanut butter. Lately I’ve been pretty hooked on Whole-Wheat bagels. Yes, I could’ve packed both of these things. But, since I knew my family would be there (and they were driving, not flying!), I asked my Mom to supply the essentials! She did so happily, and I had what I “needed”.

Some things that are easier to pack include CLIF or Luna bars (or any “energy” bar) for snacks, pre-race fuel, dessert, etc (however you like them!). These are also good to have on hand in case hours go by before you can grab a substantial meal while traveling.  I always bring snacks; you never know what can happen while traveling, or what will be available to you.

Know what the options are.  If you’re in a new city, do a little research and/or ask around! Know what your restaurant options are so you can pick something that sounds good to you, and something that will get along well with your stomach.

Decode the Menu

If this is a pre-race meal, I can’t emphasize this enough – Know what works for YOU. Don’t try anything too out of the ordinary, as you can’t predict how it’ll agree with the body (or not) during your run the next morning!

When dining out, these tips will help you eat healthier in general. A few of them are especially important to consider before a race!

Fried / battered / breaded : typically translates to high-fat and

Grilled / broiled / roasted : otherwise known as “dry heat” cooking methods, and usually much healthier options!

Filet / Flank / London Broil – these are the leanest cuts of steak!

Red over White – Red pasta sauce is much healthier, contains more nutrients and much Less fat than the white stuff!

¼ lb or 4 oz – that is ONE serving of meat! So, beware of those ½ lb burgers, or 8 oz steaks!

Romaine vs Iceberg – Spinach and romaine salads contain more nutrients! Think “darker green” lettuce.

Veggies: while these are a healthier substitute to most “side” choices, be careful before a race! This food group is typically high in fiber (and pretty low in sugar, compared to fruits) and can definitely cause some stomach issues when taken in excess. Don’t omit them completely! Just be sure to balance veggies with protein and healthy carbohydrate choices. Remember that the body needs a variety of nutrients and energy sources to help you perform at your best!


What kind of tips do you live by when traveling for races/running,
or just in general?


Lessons from Lisa: What to do when the wheels come off in a race

Lessons from lisa Thanks to Lisa Smith- Bretchen (or on Facebook) and her ultra running friends for me last week to talk about what to do in those moments when your race doesn't go as planned both.

In this podcast, she provides great tips on how to adjust "in the moment" and salvage executing your race when it seems like it's rapidly going down the tubes.

Well worth a listen and definitely a running friend you want with you on your next run!  Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your experience and insights!

Download Lessons With Lisa-When the Wheels Fall Off

Extra, Extra, Run All About It! The Week in Running 10/11 - 10/18

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, let's take a look back at the week in running.

As reported in the New York Times on October 12th, in running the fastest marathon on American soil last Sunday in the Chicago Marathon with a finishing time of 2:05:41, Kenyan Sammy Wanjiru not only guaranteed his winning of the men's World Marathon Majors series but also ranat a pace that would have enabled him to run the marathon twice plus an additional 10 or so miles by the time I crossed the same finishing line last Sunday. While he failed to mention my performance in his post-race interviews, Wanjiru did tell reporters that he was, "really happy to see I was the winner...It was a bit unbelievable to take $100,000 [the prize money for the winner] in one second.” Looking ahead, Wanjiru went on to tell reporters that, with the right pacemaker, he hopes to break the world record marathon time (held 2:03:59, set by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia last year in Berlin) at the 2010 Berlin Marathon. With the right pacemaker, a vehicle and a full tank of gas, I, too, hope to beat the world record in Berlin as well!

As reported on People.com on October 15th, while actor Jason Bateman has never run a marathon before, he is using the 26.2 mile as the basis for his acting career. With a desire to keep audiences laughing for at least another 30 years, Bateman is focused on providing himself with enough fuel to keep his career burning for as long as possible. Likening his career approach to a marathon, Bateman told reporters that, ""So I need to figure out the fuel to do that. And so far, I think it's respect and quality and company, not celebrity or box-office stardom.... It's not a sprinter's approach. It's more like a long-distance thing. You can stick around a lot longer if you kind of slow-play it". Given that it would appear that Bateman's philosophy has been a success so far, with the former child star appearing in a good deal of movies recently and with many people raving about his hilarity, maybe he should think about actually running in a marathon. It certainly looks as though he already has the strategic wherewithal for it!

As reported on NewsTribune.com (Tacoma, WA) on October 16th, University of Alaska Anchorage cross-country runner Auston Ellis found a new source of motivation to help him quicken his pace last week. It is a source that he sincerely hopes never to come into contact with again. Running up the Tour of Alaska Trail into the Cambell Tract, Ellis suddenly "saw a huge set of jaws closing on his rump as he paused near the top of the Spencer Loop Trail on the Anchorage Hillside". As soon as Ellis realized that the jaws belonged to a huge grizzly bear, he ignored conventional wisdom dictating that running away from grizzly bears only provokes them further and, instead, "I took off and sprinted for about 20 yards or so". After dodging and weaving for some time, Ellis was finally able to allude the grizzly and made it home safely. While the grizzly proved effective in helping Ellis to increase his pace, something tells me that he has no interest in making the bear an everyday running partner.

Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, October 24th
Columbia River Power Marathon (Umatilla, OR)
Frankenthon Monster Marathon (Ceder Park, TX)
BMRC Ridge To Bridge Marathon (Morganton, NC)

Sunday, October 25th
Dunkin' Donuts Cape Cod Marathon (Falmouth, MA)
Hallow's Eve Trail Marathon (North Vancouver, BC)
Marine Corps Marathon (Washington D.C.)
Fallsview Carino Resort Niagra Falls International Marathon (Niagra Falls, ON)
On The Road For Education Marathon (Mason City, IA)
Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon (San Jose, CA)
Kennewick General Hospital Tri-Cities Marathon (Richland, WA)
White Tail Trail Marathon (Waynesville, OH)

Open Mic Friday: Meet ExtraOrdinary Runner Award Winner Andrea


This week's guest is Andrea, author of the winning ExtraOrdinary Runner Award for September.  In her story, Umstead 100 Mile Challenge, Andrea quickly abandons her own race story to tell us about an inspirational runner she'd never met and never expects to meet again.  We invite you to take in the rest of Andrea's ExtraOrdinary Runner story.

For her winning story, Andrea has won a free pair of shoes from our partners at Onlineshoes.com.  

Welcome Andrea!

What have you learned about yourself through running?

The most important lesson I’ve learned from running is to believe in myself. You can’t plan for every contingency that might occur on a 20+ mile run. One thing you CAN pretty much be sure of is that at some point on the long run it is going to get hard and it is going to get uncomfortable. I’ve learned that I can be okay with that and I can deal with it when it happens. This is a good life lesson in general - worry  less and just wait to see what life brings.

Finish How do you get through those long training runs?

Running in a group is the best way to pass the time.  It is surprising how those hours really can fly by.  We talk about everything but we mainly talk about food.  We talk about what we ate the night before, what we wish we could eat right now and what we are going to have as soon as we finish the run.  My running pal Heidi always talked about cheeseburgers and how one day she was going to bring money and stop at McDonald’s mid-run.  We’d been having this conversation for two years. Sure enough on our 20 mile run this past summer, she and her dad brought money to buy cheeseburgers at Mile 17.  During the run I kept asking her: “Heidi – are you sure you want to eat a cheeseburger and then run three more miles?” Well, she meant it, so I decided I could tough it out too.  We got ourselves all psyched up for the meal, stopped at Mickey-Dee’s, placed our order and were rewarded with the bewildered response: “You want what? We don’t serve hamburgers at 9 am!”

Best race experience?

Shortly after my first marathon my 23 year old daughter asked me to run a marathon with her.  I warned her: “You may be young and strong, but 26 miles is the Great Equalizer.  I WILL catch you before the end of that race!”  She flashed back: “I will die before that happens!”  Thus the gauntlet was thrown down.  I trained religiously.  Kaitlyn, then a first year medical student, ran when she had time. I don’t think she actually ran farther than 13 miles in training. She finished the marathon almost a full hour ahead of me.  She was looking as fresh as a daisy and full of beer when I finally made it across the finish line.  It was a happy success for the both of us.

Andreas Visit Favorite marathon mantra?

I can’t take credit for this one, but I love it.  It was written by someone named Marnie Mueller.  I keep it in mind during the long runs and the marathon.

I will start when the gun goes off.
I will run for five miles.
Feeling good, I will run to the tenth mile.
At the tenth I will say, "Only three more to the halfway."
At the halfway mark, 13.1 miles, I will know fifteen is in reach.
At fifteen miles I will say "You've run twenty before, keep going."
At twenty I will say, "Run home."

Most embarrassing race moment?

Being passed in my first marathon by a juggler.  This runner juggled throughout the entire Richmond Marathon. I also was passed in that same marathon by a beer-drinking, nine-iron toting runner dressed in an argyle sweater and golf kickers.  These were probably more memorable than embarrassing.  I’m not willing to put the really embarrassing ones in print!

Favorite running shirt?

I don’t have a favorite shirt, but I am all about running SKIRTS.  At a race expo this year Heidi and I came across a new company (Spunkwear) that makes a great variety of skirts and shorts.  We couldn’t resist buying several and wearing our new purchases the next day in the race (half marathon).  The hot humid race.  It was a risk because if the new clothes turned out to be uncomfortable we’d be in for a miserable race.  But, hey, looking good is half the battle.  The skirts turned out to be a treasure and now I won’t run in anything else during the summer months.

Umstead100 Running Heroes?

Barb (the woman featured in my story) is my running hero.  Even though I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I still can’t fathom anyone running 100 miles.  Barb went quietly about the task and just got it done. She didn’t second guess her ability and she didn’t complain when it got difficult.  She just did it. She demonstrated to me just how powerful the human spirit is.

My other running hero is my training partner Heidi.  She ran a recent marathon with her dad (his first). At about Mile 18 she experienced a very painful injury – one that would sideline most runners.  But her determination to realize her dream of running the marathon with her dad kept her going.  She pushed on and finished the race and with a new personal record!

What’s going on in your life outside of running?

I am recently married (blush!) and I have two grown daughters that are amazing women.  I also have a horse (Libby) who loves to run and jump. She’s old now, but still always wants to goes just as fast as I will let her. When I am racing and get tired I just think: “What would Libby do?”… and I keep running.

I started running seriously after I turned 50. I love the idea that each year now I am getting stronger and achieving more. I think that too many people reach middle-age and expect a decline in their physical abilities.  They allow their worlds to shrink.  I am not willing to do that.

Most recent race?

The Wineglass Marathon 10 days ago.  It was a beautiful run through wine country in upstate NY.  My daughter bought me a running jacket to wear that said: “Will Run for Wine”.

Best running advice to share?

Make it fun so you always want to do it.  I don’t take myself too seriously.  There’s no such thing as a bad run.  If it’s not feeling right, I let myself walk.  I run with fun people or bring my ipod for company.  I even drink beer during a marathon when it’s offered (usually at Mile 23).  At that point I figure – what have I got to lose?  It hasn’t stopped me from finishing my race yet.

Finish line photo republished with permission by Brightroom.com


Take It and Run Thursday: What would you ask the Wizard of Running?

Take it and run thursday

This week's sponsor is Melanie, author of her blog, Tall Mom on The Run.  Melanie offers all of us this question to ponder and respond to:

Scarecrow asked for a Brain, Tin Man for a Heart, and Lion for Courage.  If you could meet the Wizard of Running and ask for anything, what would it be? 

When your wish was granted, how would your travels down the Yellow Brick Road of running be different? 

Use your imagination, but your dreams don't have to be Over The Rainbow.  Share with Melanie what you'd ask for.  But first take a moment to meet Melanie and hear directly from her.

About Runners' Lounge

  • We are ordinary runners sharing our favorite passion – Running
    The lounge is our escape for conversation and connection to our favorite people – Runners.
    Join the conversation today at www.runnerslounge.com.

    Runners' Lounge
    An on-line community where runners Connect, Share, and Discover to more fully enjoy running!

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