10, 9, 8 ….Blast Off!!

What can I say!! The Space Coast Half was one of the most amazing races I ever participated in. To make it extra special it was my 13year old son’s first half and he beat me!! I waited until the day before to register for this race due to the fact I had already run a full marathon in NY and did a training run of 20.5 miles 2 weeks after. I know I am crazy and really do not understand what was going through my mind. I couldn’t even finish the 23 miles and had to stop short for the first time in a training run. How I made it up to 20.5 miles God only knows!

I am so proud of my son. He has been training with our local Galloway group since June. He asked if he could go with my and given that they were short runs and run / walks I told him he could. I thought maybe after a couple of Saturday’s he would just go through a phase and say he had enough..time to move on to another hobby. He stuck it through and has named the experience “Sliding Doors” as in the movie. I asked him why and he told me, “Mom can you imagine if I never came with the you the first time, I never would have thought that I would be a runner and meet so many friends’ I have to say for such a young boy he can be smart at times. I cannot even begin to thank the Daytona Galloway group for all they have done to include my son and make him feel that he can accomlish his dream to run his first race. This kid was determined and more importantly he was having fun!

I was so excited to meet my number one idol Kathrine Switzer at the expo. For those of you who have never heard of her here is a brief synopsis. This woman was the first to register and run the Boston Marathon and after the race coordinator Jock Semple tried to pull her off the course and take her numbers she had doubts as to why she should continue. But she held strong to show that women can indeed run a marathon..history was made and it opened doors to all women to participate not only in Boston but the Olympics and other marathons races throughout the world.

I was not prepared to run the Space Coast marathon. I was still injured, burnt out and just tired. My son kept pushing me to register him so I waited as long as it took to do so. So there we were at the Kennedy Space Center to register and meet Kathrine Switzer. Given that the expo was not as large as other expos I have been to such as a Disney Race and NYC it was still very nice and not crowded at all. While we were waiting to meet Kathrine Switzer I purchased our Gu Gels and waited in anticipation to meet her.  She was just as amazing up close and very friendly. I told her how she was my idol and because of her women like me can participate in a marathyon like NY and I had just ran it myself 3 weeks prior. She gave me such a big hug and inscribed in mycopy of “Marathon Woman” the following:


This is in honor your finishing your first Marathon – 2011 N.Y. City Marathon! This is a victory forever!

K. Switzer

11/26/11 Spacecoast”

I was so honored that she took the time to make it so personal and not your standard “best wishes blah blah blah” She even told everyone waiting on line that this was to be my son’s first half marathon. This made him feel even more important.

The next morning I met up with some friends and we drove down to Cocoa Beach for the start. Parking was easily available. I just love the smaller races. Here I am putting my son’s first bib on. My favorite photo A big thank you to my friend who took it That’s her hubby beside us running his first full marathon

Even waiting in the corral we had our support team from Galloway standing on the sidewalk beside us to cheer us on at the start. With a large screen above us and the simulation of a shuttle taking off the countdown began with a thunderous roar and we were off. My goal was not only to finish but it was the first time I wanted to attain a PR of under 3 hours. I was so close this past March when I ran the NYC Half with a time of 3:00:48 after running the Princess Half a month before with a time of 3:19:37.  It was an improvement  even after making a top for the porta potty and running those grueling hills in Central Park. But it still gnawed at me that I could not break going below 3 hours.

One glitch at the start of the race, my boys being typical boys, removed the battery from my Galloway run/walk timer so now I was in a panic. How we were going to do this without a timer was going to be a challenge. So my son and I just took off and as we were running I would hear beeps all around us, signaling that many runners were using the Galloway method. We usually train doing a 30 sec run and a 60 sec walk but we were so lucky to find runners doing a 1:1 ration so we joined them. I could not have meet such a nicer groupf of participants Not only that but the volunteers both at the expo and the course were outstanding Kudos to the Running Zone who sponsored the race.

My son was pushing ahead and I let him go. I could not hold him back This was his dream too. I was a proud Mom watching him take off in front of me.

He crossed the finish line in 2:43:06! 23rd in is age group and 4th for boys aged 13 years old!!and I did PR amazingly at 2:55: 14. I did it!!

After the race we were served hot pancakes, sausage, eggs, pizza, sodas, orange and grapefruit juices, bagels, bananas and oranges. All included in our fee. I was floored!! The BEST finish line party ever. Our medals were so nice commemorating the 40th year

This race was so worth it The scenery, the people I could just go on and on. If you live nearby in Florida or visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend or just want to get away please don’t pass this one up. You will be plesantly surprised and will come back again and again!!


New York New York

I know I have been bad and it has taken me a while to post about my experience with the NYC Marathon so here it goes….

First off I have to tell you that I am very anal when it comes to checking everything is in order before I leave for a trip so you can imagine how surprised I was when my daughter called to let me know she needed some paper work for college and I started to place them along my plane tickets and entrant registration for the marathon, I come to find out that I am leaving on Wednesday not Thursday. Thank God I checked on Monday instead of Wednesday when my plane would have already landed at LaGuardia. I would have been so angry with myself after all that training and charity work to miss out on such an experience.


So with that said we were off to NY and filled with excitement to be back in my hometown. Thursday evening I met up with my cousin’s wife, who is an amazing runner and has even ran Boston! In the midst of rush hour traffic on the Long Island Expressway we managed to get to the expo with 20 minutes to spare. It was nerve racking. I wish the New York Road Runners would take into consideration that not all the runners work or are staying in NYC. The expo’s hours were from 10-8 on Thursday with the last bib pick up top be no later than 7! They should at least have kept it open until 9.  We were lucky that it went smoothly with no lines. Just look at what her corral was compared to mine LOL!!!

We walked around the expo and I was really disappointed. The majority of the expo was filled with items by ASICS one of the largest sponsors of the marathon. It was in a nutshell an overpriced running store and really nothing stood out that I really wanted  to buy. One jacket in particular was priced at an outstanding $120!! We continued on through and it seemed bare. I had expected more. Maybe  because NYC is considered one of the 5 major marathons and being NY we always do things in a big way. There was a kiosk where you could video tape a message to be played on a certain mile marker on the course to support your marathoner. With 47,000 runners you can see why this didn’t exactly work. The only items I purchased were Gu Gels and a car decal that says 26.2 (hey It was about time already!!)

Saturday evening, I went out to dinner with my family to Carmines in the theater district. For those of you who plan to visit NYC this is the best Italian restaurant. Love it and of course I filled myself up with pasta. If you would like to eat here you need to make reservations at least 2 months in advance and it is well worth it.

That night I bid my family goodnight and they wished me luck as I headed over to the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square to spend the night with my friends who were also running and we kind enough to let me stay with them. Just look at the view from our room..

Times Square all lit up below

I tried to sleep all night but you all know how we toss in turn all night worrying whether we will wake up in time and not miss the bus. Well I might have gotten a couple of hours of sleep but we did manage to get up at 4 with about 3 alarm clocks going off simultaneously and even a wake up call.

I was so excited to meet Dayna, who I met on our RunningJunkies facebook page. We met her downstairs in the lobby and we all walked over towards the Plaza hotel to catch the Galloway bus at 6:15. We were finally on our way to Fort Wadsworth, the starting line at the World Famous Verrazzano Bridge. The atmosphere was buzzing with runners from all around the world. Our Galloway rep Elvira,   held balloons all the way to our village so we can met up and speak to other Galloway runners from different states. She was so funny and made newbies like myself feel at ease.

As we were waiting for each wave to start we saw many celebrities being interviewed by CBS. Here is a picture of Ethan Zohn, the winner of Survivor below..

Dayna and I got to know each other and shared laughs and just rambled on about the race. She was just so sweet and I am so happy we finally met!

We were both in Green Wave 3, which starts on the bottom of the bridge. I was filled with emotion when I heard the cannon go off and hear the song “New York New York” as we started on our long journey. I took my time running the Verrazzano which has the highest elevation on the course. It felt so surreal. I just couldn’t believe I was actually doing this and there were times when I said to myself “What the hell do you think you are doing!”

The transit workers under the bridge got us going with the words  of encouragement. Before I knew it I was in Brooklyn and was taking off my arm warmers. The day was beautiful and the weather perfection. The crowds in Brooklyn went wild. The music and signs along the course were so amazing. Brooklyn rocked the house . Entering Queens it got a little quieter. Maybe because the course is situated in the industrial part and not so much in a residential area like Brooklyn, could have been a factor. Ahead I could see the dreaded Queensbourough bridge. To be honest we you, I walked the entire span of the bridge. I knew I still had a way to go and as everyone says “The real marathon doesn’t begin until mile 20” so I was conserving my energy.

Now the big let down..everyone has told me that the biggest thrill is running down first avenue and listening to the roar of the  crowds.Well we got off the bridge and you could hear crickets. What a let down. Along first avenue I did pass a couple of pubs with inebriated college students who shouted at us along the way to keep going “You are doing great” I thought it was really funny and thank you college co0eds for sticking around for the slow pokes LOL!!!

Up to Harlem and the Bronx the madness begins! I loved the crowds and again the music was fantastic. Thank you to everyone for all your encouragement and for waiting around yet again for all the runners!

This is where it gets bad for me. It wasn’t the wall. I made sure I was hydrated and not hungry plus my pace was purposely kept slow. Being that this was my first full marathon my goal was to finish and not burn out. So along the course I saw many runners that had prosthetic legs, were blind, deaf, heart attack survivors and many others with disabilities. Many of these runners were aided with the help of the Achilles Club. I was so proud of them and gave them words of encouragement along the way. What bothered me was that as we hit mile 20-21 a U-Haul truck starting coming up along the course. I didn’t know what was happening until I saw a man exit the truck and started to take down the mile marker! I couldn’t believe it. We were still within the time limit. I felt so sad and felt so sorry for all the other runners that were behind me. I kept going and now I saw that water stations were being disassembled. Tables were overturned with cups filled with water and Gatorade. Now I was angry. I hit my wall alright..with both my fists!!

I was so determined to finish at this point. It was getting dark and now I was getting cold. I was tired and just wanted a hot shower and a warm bed. I was done.  I was now heading inside Central Park so I know I  was getting close I just wish I knew what mile I was at. I finally found some people from NYRR  and they told me I was at mile marker 25.  Out of the park I was now on my way around Central Park towards Columbus Circle. Now the police were taking down the barricades and we had to run on a cobblestone sidewalk!! Do you know what you feels like to run on that kind of a surface after 25 miles!!!?  I felt like crying but at that point I heard my name and saw my sister running towards me. I was so happy to see a familiar face. My sister along with my daughter held my hands  along with my  younger son and my brother-in-law. They ran with my down the finish line. With 20 yards left to go security told them that it was time to let go and let me finish. I ran as fast as I could to the finish..elated, exhausted and laughing with joy. I finished!!!

A sweet girl placed the medal around my neck and now I had to walk a good mile to find the UPS truck that had my bag. I finally found the bag and my family at 77th and Central Park West. My brother-in-law, who I love but can be a smart ass , suggested we walk to Penn Station which is a good 40 blocks away. I could have killed him! He kids with my all the time so I was so happy that we took the subway. At Penn Station there was a sea of mylar blankets and tired and weary marathoners proudly wearing their medals. It was surreal. Strangers were coming up and congratulating us. Our train finally arrived and I could not wait to sit down and pass out..which I did!

Would I do this race again? If you asked me that night or even the next day I would say no way. Now almost a month later I would say most definitely.  I wasn’t happy with my time so I would strive to beat it next time if I am lucky to be chosen in the lottery.

Frustrated and Disgusted

Well folks I am at my half way point with my training and I have hit the dreaded wall and it has nothing to do with the marathon itself at mile 20. When I started training in June for the Disney World Marathon, I would get up before the alarm went off , walk over to my perfectly placed clothes which I laid out the night before , put on my watch, eat a light snack and literally run out the door. This past couple of weeks I have been dragging my feet. Having to change our meeting time an hour earlier in the morning due to school starting, that hour has depleted me.

While out on my runs I am constantly checking the time, mileage and pace instead of enjoying the company of my friends. In my mind I kept repeating to myself , “When is this run going to be over” or “Only 2 more miles and then I am off to Starbucks”. I was not motivating myself with powerful  thoughts but  thoughts of when will this run be over.

Mind you this had nothing to do with the company of my friends, my amazing running buddies. In fact I love their company. It was me..period. I have lost my passion. How do I bring it back and stop complaining? What do I do to get going?

I decided to not only look at the end result of the excitement of being in the corral at the Disney Marathon but to take baby steps. I viewed it as one would view being at a diet.  Let me explain. Years ago after the birth of my daughter, I joined Weight Watchers and I remember specifically our group leader telling us to reward ourselves for a weight loss. “Set a goal and reward yourself”,  she said. So with each 5 pounds I lost I would buy a little something for myself. It wasn’t clothes because I didn’t want to really splurge until I achieved my goal weight. It was little things such as a favorite perfume,  a girls night out to celebrate, or a little something to cheer me up and tell me that I was doing a good job. So I have decided to take the advice and apply it to my running.

I do not look at how many days I have until I run the marathon but I take it day by day, week by week and month by month. So after a day’s run I still go to my local Starbucks and reward myself with my iced quad espresso. Each week on my rest days I may take an hour or two and do something for myself. It might be a facial, getting an amazing message, watching one of my favorite old films in peace and quiet before the kids get home after school.

Every month I will purchase an item just for me. It might be my favorite perfume, new Saucony’s, new shorts or  top. It may even be a new dress, a book I have been dying to read or my favorite chocolate bar.  I do not spend a lot of money. Some items can cost as little as $5.00. A friend of mine once told me when she orders an item online she  tells them it is a gift and has it wrapped. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a book from a site like Amazon., it could be anything. You may even tell a store clerk from your local department store,  that you would like the item wrapped.  Now when you have these “presents” to yourself , place them in a drawer or closet. After each accomplishment take a gift from yourself as a thank you..you did it.

Happy Running:)

Please donate to my charity. You may read all about it here: https://runningjunkies.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/nyc-marathon-and-crowdrise-contest/

You know you are a runner when…….

– Your long runs start at 3 in the morning

– You run around cars (for your warm up)

– You have packed your entire race day outfit two weeks prior to the race

– In Florida hill repeats are actually bridge repeats (if you could find one) There are no hills in Florida with exception of Space Mountain at Disney

– Drivers yell at you to get out of the way even when you are running on the sidewalk

– You’ve been trampled/ almost trampled by another runner

– You come back after a race and rest week to find out you can run your routes with your eyes closed.

– You’ve been to Starbucks at least once

– You’ve run with the pain of chafing

– A dog has either bitten you or followed you back to your home or car 

– You register for a race even after you swore you were never to run it again

-You’ve forgotten what its like not to run 

– You can get in an ice bath with your running clothes on and  launder them at the same time 

– You get a severe case of shin splints  at least once a week

– Body Glide can also be utilized as Butt Glide

– You think its funny when runners from the northeast can’t handle the heat and they think its funny you find 75 to be too cold to run 

– You know where to find the best running stores and what is in each aisle

– You have tried every flavor of GU gels and still love Espresso Love

– An easy run is an oxymoron 

Feel free to add on…..

Please read our previous post and help us raise money for the VH1SaveTheMusicFund We will be giving away a jogging stroller and if you donate $28 or more Crowdrise will be entering you in their giveaway of an iPad 2. Please help and tell your freinds and family


Jogging Stroller Giveaway Re: NYC Marathon and Crowdrise Contest

Hello Everyone! For those of you that have been following us on Facebook and Twitter you know that I have been accepted to run the NYC Marathon this November through a great charity http://vh1savethemusic.com/. Both of my boys have a great passion for music and would love to pursue a career in this field. My 15 year old would love to be a music producer and my 13 year old is already composing music and his dream is to attend Julliard.

When I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon in April I looked for a charity that would benefit students to fulfill their dreams of playing an instrument. VH1 donates new instruments to schools throughout 100 cities (for more info please click on the link above).

As a breast cancer survivor I always ran or walked for the American Cancer Society but this year I wanted to do something different.

I need to raise $2500 by September 30th to achieve my dream also, which has been in my bucket list, to run the NYC Marathon. Please help me raise these funds to meet my goal.


Starting today up to September 30th if you donate at least $5 you will be entered to win this fabulous jogging stroller http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HO586Q (see picture and specs below)

In addition to my contest,  Crowdrise is having their own contest. For those you donate $28 towards my fundraiser, you will be entered for a chance to win an iPad through Crowdrise http://www.crowdrise.com/give/promotions.

Thank you so much everyone for helping the students and me 🙂 Happy Running!

Product Features

  • Removable child tray with 2 cup holders & toy steering wheel to keep baby entertained
  • Rugged 12-inch inflatable tires grip all types of terrain, while easy- swivel front wheel locks for uneven surfaces
  • Multi-position reclining seat designed to accommodate infants up to 40 labs child
  • Stroller folds with one hand and stands when folded
  • Entertainment toy that includes horn, car sounds and music

I’m In!!! I’m In!!!

Well folks I don’t usually blog twice in one day but I am very excited to tell you that I am running my dream..the NYC Marathon this November!!!! Can you tell I am excited? Long story short I did not get in via the lottery in April so I contacted a charity that I found would help children such as my boys who have a passion for music. I heard back from the charity this past Friday and I was asked if I would love to join there team VH1 SavetheMusic. All donations go to help schools and students obtain instruments for their music programs. Anyone who is interested in donating, no matter what the amount, please click on the link below.


How Hot is Too Hot?

For those of you who already don’t know, I live in Florida, the land of Mickey, hurricanes and extreme heat especially in the month of August. Monday through Thursday I get up at 5:00 am to meet my running buddies at 5:45, along with my 13 year old son.  First order of business is my iced quad espresso (4 splendas and breve..please) That should get me going!! This past week was hell. Monday we had a 4 mile run and both I and my son could only run 2 miles. Thanks to a stomach bug and the heat this run was not good at all. Tuesday was our walk day, 3 miles. Wednesday another run day, 4 miles, now my shin splints came back, time for new sneakers. Thursday was our easy walk. A little over 3 miles and it was such a serene walk. You could say it was meditative. We walked along the Halifax River in a community once occupied by John Rockerfeller. It was breathtaking. Walking along the old road with oak trees covering the street in a canopy of shade we couldn’t resist but to change course at the end of the drive and walk it again.

There are mornings when we run,  where we sense little messages are sent out to us. Monday’s  run in particular, as we are running along A1A, one of our friends looked up in the sky and yelled,”Look it’s Mickey!” We all stopped in our tracks and right there over the Atlantic Ocean, we saw a cloud shaped as Mickey Mouse, ears and all. How ironic that we are all training for the Disney Marathon. Was it a sign to keep us motivated and push ourselves through the humidity, heat and even a stomach bug?

There are other days that feel as though mother nature is welcoming the new day. I  have taken many photos during our morning runs. It is quiet. We either talk to each other or run and or walk in silence. Taking everything in.

So while I know it is a real struggle to not only get up and go so early in the morning to get our training in I would like to post some photos to see what you may be missing when you can get up, put on your gear and run out that door.