Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thankful. for my dad.

today is my father's 61st birthday. I'm sure he would cringe knowing that I just wrote that (and will be sharing it with the "world"). regardless, it reminds me to take a moment to be thankful for EVERYTHING he has been for me and continues to be to this day.

my dad was born on turkey day '48 and as my grandma says, "he has been a turkey every since." yes, from day one my dad has drummed to his own beat, forging an unique path despite admonishments from many around him.

none of these words stopped him however (for better or worse) and today he has much success to look back on. a 30 year-plus photography business, wonderful friends, caring family, three lovely children (if I don't say so myself!), health, happiness and many, many years of greatness ahead of him.

my dad & I at my first race

my point? to applaud my dad. and say thanks to him for giving me the greatest gift so many years ago. many of my close friends know this, but my father is the one who introduced me to running when I was just 8 years old. a tiny beanpole, I immediately took to it and was soon hooked. it is this sport that has me sitting here penning this post.

running helped me see something good in the world when I sunk into a deep depression in middle school. running gave me confidence when I was the late bloomer in high school. running provided me with a grounding when I entered college. running taught me to be tough when life soured in my early 20's. running inspired me to strive for bigger things when I was looking for my next journey. running gave me a community when I returned to new york. running offered me freedom whenever I needed a break from the "real world." running helped me through the many hell days of my MA. running allowed me to become an IRONMAN! running has made me the individual I am today.

so thank you daddy. thank you for the gift you gave me and thank you for you. I love you. xox beans

Monday, November 23, 2009

a quick catch-up: 6 significant things from the last 18 months

thing 1: I AM AN IRONMAN!

Ford Ironman Florida. 1st November 2008.

one of the ABSOLUTE coolest, craziest, most amazing things I have EVER done. the day started with a gorgeous 2.4 mile swim in the gulf of mexico (1:14:06), continued with a longggggg 112 mile bike in (boring) panama city (6:27:18) and finished with 26.2 (4:26:34). grand total: 12:25:21. I crossed the finish line and couldn't stop saying, "I did it!" such a cool feeling.

thing 2: my first win

asbury park half marathon. 18th April 2009.

a small race on the coast of jersey. I had a feeling that might have a shot at the win (and perhaps a PR), but I hadn't "won" anything since high school, so it was hard to grasp. nevertheless, breaking the tape was pretty freaking fun. no PR, but it definitely gave me a good high and confidence going into jersey two weeks later.

thing 3: mega marathon PR

New Jersey marathon. 3rd May 2009. Marathon #17.

after spending several years focused on training others with TNT, I finally buckled down and ran like I knew I could, running nearly an eight minute PR. final time: 3:14:24 and 4th woman overall. yeah, that felt good.

thing 4: completing two half IMs while completing my thesis

Rhode Island 70.3, 12th July 2009 and Timberman 70.3, 23rd August 2009

no mincing words: I WAS NOT TRAINED FOR EITHER. yet I did 'em teammates were counting on me and in a way, I needed something beyond work and school to keep me was a tough summer. I rolled into the finish of RI in 5:51:33 and Timberman in 5:49:00...and breathed a sigh of relief.

thing 5: completing my MA degree

anyone that has been close to me in the last three years knows how very hard I worked to earn this degree...PART-TIME. while training for marathons. and mentoring new runners. and fundraising for blood cancers. and working full-time. and going through a terrible break-up. and completing AN IRONMAN!!! yes, finishing my MA is truly one of my proudest accomplishments...and MOST expensive endeavors (the loan statements have already started to roll in...). but who cares. I did it...and I'm SO much stronger for it.

thing 6: running my first ultra

knickerbocker 60k. 21st November 2009.

my training for this consisted of whatever I wanted, truly...and that was: 1. helping my bf train for NYC by doing a bunch of half marathons & long runs at his race pace. // 2. running the Nike Women's Marathon in October (3:42) then taking on an extra 5 miles to make it a 31 mile day. // 3. pacing my bf in NYC to a sub 3:30 marathon. // 4. completing a 20-miler five days later. // 5. tapering.

how it felt: long. how it went: fine, except for those last three laps...KILLER! how I finished: 5:38:43, good enough for 10th woman. while the competitive devil in me stared at the results wondering why I didn't run faster, the new "easy-on-yourself" me patted myself on the back. I'm an ultramarathoner now!

so there you have it...a glimpse at my last 18 months...and I mean a glimpse (blood, sweat and tears not included here...I'll save that for future posts!). more to come...promise. :)

life interferred. for a year and a half. is coming back!

after completing my first ironman last november, setting a new marathon PR last spring, finishing my master's degree (including my bear of a thesis...110 pages) this fall and running my first ultra this weekend, I am finally, FINALLY, FINALLLYYYY re-making time to pen my thoughts in the blog I started before life interferred.

get ready because I can be verbose. or just thoughtful. in any case, happy reading!