Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A GiVeAwAy!!!!! Dream Big and GO for It!

Here I sit.  A few weeks after my marathon.  A few weeks after I actually toed the start line.  A few weeks after all the hard work, training and dreaming came to a conclusion, I AM A MARATHONER.  

Never in a million years have I ever thought I would say that.  I never thought that I was runner enough to achieve that goal but I had dreams and I had support and because of those dreams and support I was able to go for it! And go for it I did, I now have the amazing mermaid medal to prove it :)

Which is why as a mom and a runner, a supporter of healthy living I am beyond excited to have come across Go! Go! Sports Girls.  As a mom I want to instill healthy living and activity into my kids.  I want them to make choices and have fun while getting active and choosing healthy snacks. You can even find tips on how to get your kids involved in sports on the website here) While I live that example to the best I can to show them what it is like I am so thrilled that there are companies out there in society and the media that are promoting the same values that I am trying to.  It is like the founder of these amazing dolls, Jodi Norgaard, got down to the core of what I am trying to teach.  She has coached "Girls on the Run", a program which encourages girls to make healthy choices in life through running, for many years.  It was while working with these girls that Jodi had an idea. 

"I realized there was a need for a positive doll for girls that would be age appropriate, proportioned properly and send a positive message about a healthy lifestyle - physically, mentally and emotionally - through sports." -Jodi 

YES EXACTLY THAT Jodi!!!!! I am excited that this message is starting to make waves into our littles lives. "The whole point of the business is to send the message to girls to dream big and go for it." says Jodi. 
This right there is EXACTLY the type of message that I dream of for my daughters to embrace, hold on to and pass on.  I want her to dream her dreams and then go for it.  Even when in a million years she never thinks it will be possible.
Back in March I reached out to Jodi and the Go! Go! Sports Girl company to ask for a donation to our Daddy Daughter Dance raffle.  I was in charge and I wanted to put something together for the girls that embraced being active.  Jodi did me one better.  She sent a doll in for the raffle AND she sent me one to GIVEAWAY!!!!! 

Yes I have a doll, Ella the running doll to be exact to give to one lucky blog reader!!! Just leave a comment telling me how YOU Dream Big and GO For It!!!! 

By the way, how perfect is it that Ella is the name of the running doll?  My oldest is named Ella and I love that the runner here is also an Ella!!!! Now to just convince Jodi that she needs a doll named Lucille/Lulu/Lucy...... Maybe an extra bonus entry if you write in that suggestion ;) 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

MARATHON recap and a GiVeAwAy announcement

I did it!!!! I. AM. A. MATHONER!!!!!!! enough said right?  Not really, just like child birth there is always a story, a journey of how your life was changed.

I spent Saturday with my family.  Watching my tiny dancer take the stage in the most beautiful dance I have ever seen, stopping at the greenhouse and enjoying the flowers, celebrating my neices 2nd birthday and then doing things that well as a runner getting ready to run a race you are never supposed to do.  I went to Target and bought myself new running clothes to wear FOR the race.  After training all winter, the only clothes I had worn were warm ones.  I needed something that would help keep me as cool as possible for the forecast of 85 degrees.  Then, then I ate pizza and onion rings.  Yep, take out.  Not really something I would normally do and especially not before a race but I did it.  Then I went to bed at 11.  Yep, late.

The day dawned for me at 12:37 am, to the lovely sound of puking, crying and moaning that "my belly hurts it really really hurts".  My heart broke for my oldest who was clearly extrememly sick.  My hubby was amazing and dealt with all the clean up and calming her down but as a mama I just couldn't go back to sleep with her so miserable.  At 5am, I was up packing and worrying about my mini.  She was insisting she still see mama race, and considering the race start was a drop off and I never bought a shuttle ticket because the plan had been for the kids and my husband to drop me off we had no real choice.  Since I had gotten my bib Friday night at the expo (If it can even be called that?  It was pretty much just a packet pick up with two vendors there not even trying to demo their stuff), we held off putting the kids in the van until the last possible second.

I walked out my door and the humidity hit me.  It was already thick and warm, 60 degrees.  I could already tell that things were going to get HOT.  As I walked around the van I came across the best surprise I  ever!!!! At some point in the middle of the night, without anyone in the house knowing some of my wonderful friends had lined my driveway with homemade race signs for me.  I just stood there and read them and cried.  It was truly the most thoughtful thing that could have ever had been done for me right there in that moment.  This was the start of what would be the reason I finished that race.

We drove the 20 minutes to the race start with my mini puking in a bowl and then smiling at me and telling me she was ok.  I wanted to stop go home and just snuggle her but I also knew that I really needed to do this or at least try as selfish as that made me.  My husband dropped me off with 20 minutes to go before the start.  He wasn't sure what his plan would be with Princess Pie throwing up so much but he gave me a kiss told me he was so proud of me and out the door I went to stand in line for the port-o-potties.  I tried one more time to eat something while I was standing there but I couldn't do it.  I was sick to my stomach and no food would go in.  Looked like I was relying solely on that take out pizza the night before.  In line I was surrounded by runners talking about all the other marathons they had run, which ones were better to BQ at and which ones to avoid.  I felt alone.  Never have I felt so alone at the start of a race before.  I used the potty and slowly made my way to the line.  

I made the decsion to run naked.  I didn't want any time pressure on me.  I just wanted to finish so I stood and I waited and then the gun went off.  We were warned the route was only closed to traffic
for the first mile and to not run in groups after that.  I was at the back of the pack and trying desparetly to find someone who looked friendly and wouldn't mind chatting for a few minutes but no luck.  I ran the first mile, and wished I was already done.  I knew that if my husband stuck around to cheer that I wouldn't see him until mile 4.5 or so and that seemed so far off.  Then as luck would have it a runner decided to run down the center line even when the road opened back up to traffic.  He didn't budge and those of us behind him kept yelling CAR, and because of this I found my opportunity to talk to someone.  It started with a "can you believe this guy?" and ended with chatting about anything and everything.  This was exactly what I needed to shake that alone feeling.  We ran together until I veered off to use a port-o-potty.  I was alone again but I was ok.

At mile 4.5 I was delighted and excited to see my small little family standing there, with specially made Mother's Day race signs and I tried so hard not to cry.  I stopped and gave them all a small kiss and off I went again to my husband yelling you look great keep it up!  This was the pattern that kept me going.  Each time, I was feeling like I couldn't do it, I happened upon surprise support.  At mile 6
my sister-in-law drove by screaming and waving.  At mile 8 it was some page followers/friends out there cheering me on and making sure to grab some pictures so I would have some part of my journey documented.  At mile 10, a friend jumped in and ran with me for 3 miles.  Some where in there my other sister-in-law and cousin drove by screaming and yelling.  At mile 13.5 I met the whole group of them cheering for me with signs and smiles.  I stopped here to apply some more sunscreen.  It was getting hot and there wasn't an ounce of shade out there at all.  Here yet another friend jumped in to run a bit.  She had a Sunday long run planned and thought why not run with me.

At mile 15 things started getting REALLY hard.  The heat was insane and I was starting to get so sick. I was unable to drink or fuel without wanting to throw up.  Having Annette out there with me then was pure magic.  She kept me calm, going and making sure I was sipping water as much as I could.  At mile 16 my sister-in-law and cousin had ice cold water for me to drink and dump over my head.  At mile 16.5 I came across the best cheerleader ever.  A random lady standing out there with a sign and a bowl of ice for the runners.  Truly a God send.  I grabbed a handful and dropped it in my bra. At mile 18 I found the page follower/friends again and couldn't have been more excited they were still out there tracking and cheering for me.  Then came, my husband again AND one of the sign
making friends who had lined my driveway.  My fan base was growing.  They were all leap frogging each other so that I had someone cheering me on every few miles.  I found them a few more times each time MORE friends had joined them.  These people had all taken time out of THIER Mother's Day to be out on the side of a hot road holding a sign waiting and waiting for me to be spotted.  At mile 24, Annette who was only going to run 10 miles with me was still there.  It was here she suggested that she put music on her phone and we run one song, walk one song.  This is how, I finished the race.  Focusing not on how sick I felt but one song at a time.  People were now starting to lie and tell me I was almost there.  I guess in the grand scheme of things yes I was.  But when you have 1.5 miles left DO NOT tell someone it's just a mile now.  The last mile lasted a lifetime and I started getting dizzy and even more sick.  Thankfully, the last aid station at mile 25.2 had cups of ice.  I was able to chew on the ice to get some liquid in and cool off some.

At the finish line I ran in to the cheers of my mini family and my sister-in-law and cousin who had stayed to see me through the whole thing.  Honestly, I do not remember much about the course.  They say it is a beautiful one.  The sites are specataculr.  I don't remember.  I don't remember the aid
stations or which was my favorite as I am supposed to vote.  I don't remember how many people passed me, or the time I finished in.  I don't think I even looked as I crossed the line.  All I remember was the support and encouragement.  I remember feeling loved and believed in.  The specators I had both there physically and from away.  All of the notes, texts, messages, signs, smiles, hugs, ALL of that.  That is what I remember.  That is what made this race so special.

Those signs in my driveway that morning, those signs were a foreshadow of how I was going to get through that race.  I was going to get through with a little help from my friends.

For me this race wasn't about the running, it was about the friendships, the believing in myself and the love that can get you through anything.

Speaking of believing in yourself, and fantastic role modeling look for a giveaway coming soon!!! One I am very VERY excited to be a part of!!!!  One that will definetly have your little ones on the Go GO... Anyone care to guess what it is?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Taper Crazies!!!!!

Ahhhhhh it is upon me!!!! Marathon weekend is about to start.  I can not even believe that 18 weeks
of training are under my belt.  It honestly feels like I just started and yet I am no where near ready.  Que: Taper Crazies.

Tapering is this funny funny thing.  I never understood it completely until right this week.  The last weeks of training, I was tired, I was ready for a break and I was feeling run down.  HA! This week I am ready to go, I want to run, I feel like I should be out there running and yet I am not.  Mind games are continuing and doubt is setting in.  Tapering may actually just be harder than the actual running!!!

Here are five ways to keep the tapering crazies at bay:

1) Clean.  Yep clean your house.  My house is normally a crazy loved lived in cozy mess.  Kids art work is everywhere, shoes are strewn, toys and forts and "doctor office" stations are stepped around
and lovingly turned into whatever else the imagination needs at the moment.  During training however, well that coordinated chaos turned into a disaster zone.  Laundry piled up, dishes are stacked up, beds are unmade and floors are pretty sticky in spots (pretty sure someone snuck juice in a room where it isn't allowed...) I spent yesterday, organizing everything. rearranging furniture, folding laundry and washing floors.  I was done by 1 o'clock and still itching to run BUT I put the laundry away instead.

2) Play.  All the weeks I have had to arrange schedules and fit in runs whenever I could are no more.  This week we have had park trips and picnics at random times.  We have had "paint nights" in with the music blaring and the paint flying everywhere and a little on the canvas.  Dance parties and bike rides.  It is almost like I am a kid again and the kids and I are enjoying it.  The forced time away from running is like a welcome playtime oasis.  We even managed a fantastic dinner picnic on the beach this week.  To soak up the sand and waves and to see the kids just carefree running between tide pools was exactly what I needed to fill my heart with love.

3) Weather Stalk.  Oh boy, this in itself can drive you crazy but it's like a bad movie you watch it anyway.  So far I have seen the weather go from my perfect conditions (50's with a 30% chance of rain) to pretty much hell.  Literally, the temps are forecasted to reach near 90 Sunday.  I am not accustomed to that type of heat yet.  I trained in the dead of winter.  A winter that didn't seem to want to end.  I ran in blizzards and through snow that was taller than me.  The summer is welcomed yes, but it is definitely going to make me work to finish that race.  Although, this is Maine.  Even the forecasted weather that morning will probably change yet again. Hopefully, to cool with some rain ;)

4) Plan.  I have lists of lists that I need to make.  I am taking the time to plan what to wear, what to eat, what to bring, You name it and I have a list for it.  Because there is no parking at the start, my husband and the kids are dropping me off.  Not only do I have to plan for me and pack and organize
my things but I need to do it for three kids and a hubby too.  They will need breakfast to go, snacks, lunch, toys, extra clothes, diapers, breast milk, sunscreen and strollers.  All of this planning has me running errands and staying busy.  A wicked good distraction to the not running thing this week.  Even my lists have lists who have lists.

5) Take it all in.  Lastly, just be.  Take it all in.  All of your training, all of your thoughts.  All of the support from your supporters.  The notes, the quotes and the words of encouragement.  Just let it all soak in and store it away.  Believe, their words and notes.  You are trained for this, you have this and
it is going to be life changing.  Let those in who are cheering for you.  Let them offer you little pick me ups that you will store close to the heart and pull them out when you need them the most.  For as in the words of the amazing Sue from This Mama Runs for Cupcakes: What will be, will be.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me, helped me train, ran with me, texted me with encouragement when you knew I was out.  Who left me notes and quotes.  Who have paved the way and inspired to me to test my limits in the first place.  This run I am doing for me but it is because of all of you that read this blog that I am finding the courage in myself to try for dreams.

A special huge thank you for this trifecta of amazing and inspiring runners and bloggers who took the time to read and comment on each weeks training journey post.  Thank you ladies for being such wonderful blog readers!!!!

Sue: This Mama Runs for Cupcakes 
Wendy: Taking the Long Way Home 
Michelle: Movin It With Michelle