Rewards and Margaritas..not necessarily in that order

Ah stress….the number one enemy this past week and especially these last two days. The feeling of pains in my chest and a headache that feels as though my blood pressure has reached its capacity. I have a very demanding job, which oddly enough I love. I meet many people and then there are those that you would love to hit over their head with a baseball back and yell “What the hell are you thinking!” I tried the all might mantra of OMs to calm me, laying down in my bed, eyes closed and trying to imagine myself lying on a beach in the Caribbean all alone and taking in just the sounds of the waves. Nothing worked people I mean nothing. The bottle of wine was calling my name last night to just have a glass and calm down..I was good. The problem was I could not get to sleep and kept tossing and turning all night which sucked because I had a 5:00 am run today with my group. How do we pull ourselves out of stress mode? Rewards people. Lets take race day. We are so over the training and now have completed the race. Walking back..if you call it that..for us it is more of the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” cat walk..Gisele watchout…we attempt to shower in our pain, get dressed in pain again and inch by inch shuffle of weary feet either to our friendly Disney Shuttle or drive if possible to our long ago phoned in reservations. My favorite reward after a race is a tall margarita and nachos. Here is a fabulous picture for your viewing pleasure. Salivating is optional:                 This delectable feast was provided by the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando. Thank you very much! Disney is also the place we reward ourselves prior to our race. The one place we always eat at and when I say always I am talking about breakfast and dinner the whole weekend is my all time favorite BOMA at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Why do we always have to wait until we get to the end result? We should have fun along the way and really enjoy it and not feel guilty. We deserve it. Having put in so many miles, suffering with chafing, shin splints and knee problems,  we as runners, have suffered enough. So drink and eat and definitely be merry. Run away from your stress and toward your dreams. Have fun and play. As Peter Pan would do and say don’t grow up. Kids we are in Disney!!

Happy Running 🙂

Please help out with my fundraiser for a chance to win an amazing jogging stroller and iPad2 from Crowdrise when you donate $28

http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamVH1SaveTheMusicNYCMarathon/fundraiser/DawnMoraites

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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.

http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamVH1SaveTheMusicNYCMarathon/fundraiser/DawnMoraites

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.

http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamVH1SaveTheMusicNYCMarathon/fundraiser/DawnMoraites

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.

It’s not how you look Its how you feel

If you are like me, you stress out enough just to drag yourself out of bed in the early hours to get that run in. You may only find time to run during your lunch hour, after work, during your kids baseball practice or even after your favorite T.V. show. So who really has the time to look glam and really who gives a shit.

I remember the first time I ran the Princess Half Marathon. Waiting in line at our resort to board the shuttle to the start I noticed a woman who was decked out for a night on the town. I looked at her perplexed. She was in her mid 50s, manicured and covered in full makeup, I mean like she was ready to take the stage at the Met to sing her aria. I kept thinking to myself, “Honey that makeup is going to slide off your face with each and every mile that by the time you cross the finish line not only will nobody care that your lipstick is on but you will be thanking God that you finished!”

Then we have the Barbie dolls. You know the ones. Fake boobs, colored hair (blonde of course) and botoxed to the max. Their hair is in a perfect ponytail , ribbon and all. Of course they never sweat it would be a sacrilege. By the way, we all know you had plastic surgery. Its like the toupee. Go natural and stop trying to hide your flaws.

Then there is me. I am the one that looks like road kill after a run. Sweaty, panting, rash and all, can’t wait to jump in the shower and thank god I can stop and go to Starbucks.

I use to feel a bit self conscious. Running along A1A or the beach, instead of focusing on my run I was either fixing my hair, tugging on my clothes, making sure my sports bra didn’t suffocate me and the “girls are staying in place”, adjusting my watch (yes I did get one Do I know how to use it? No not really but it looks cool), my Galloway Run/ Walk / Run Timer (did it just vibrate? is it time to run or walk?) and checking my compression sleeves (yes Kellie those sleeves are your fault because I do love them more than my husband on most days)

What is wrong with the above picture? Anyone anyone Bueller? We do not appreciate our surroundings. We do not really listen to our bodies Yes get those earphones out of your ears and really listen. The joy of running along the beach and listening to the waves in those early morning hours. My body telling me “You can do it Just take your time” and having a conversation with your running partner or even yourself (not to the point that you belong on a Subway platform and people are staring at you like your a nut)

Forget your worries and enjoy. I am guilty of thinking about the laundry that has to get done, what to cook for dinner, what needs to be cleaned and silly items such as “did we run out of toilet paper”

The other day I ran with my friend Jessica along with my 12 year old son who took the above photo. On the way back and almost done with our run. We stopped in our tracks and just stared out towards the Atlantic Ocean in awe of the beauty of the sunrise. The beauty..not the beautiful made up runners but the beauty of our environment.  What a way to finish our training run sweaty and with my ugly runner’s face.  At that moment I did not care what I looked like. I was proud of us that we finished our run and could not wait to continue our training to run the Disney Marathon.

This is your life everyone. Enjoy it and more importantly have fun. Appreciate life and really take in your surroundings!

Happy running and have a great Fourth of July!

Running with the “Wolf Pack”

Just coming home last night after watching Hangover 2, which by the way is just as funny as the first. I bring this film up because of one of the characters, Alan, in the first Hangover,  inducted his pals into his “wolf pack” during the mayhem of the infamous bachelor party. In Hangover 2, his intention was to keep the intended groom’s young 16 year old brother in law out of the pack  Needless to say this plan of Alan’s propelled the crazy going ons throughout the plot.  Not to give too much away it all works out in the end.

Are we as runners wolf packs? Do we click with certain runners in a group run in order not to mix up the dynamics of a group?

Joining the local Daytona Galloway Training Group, has been an ideal experience. I, of course, was placed in the last group which runs 30 secs and walks 60 secs. We are up for a 5 mile run this coming Saturday (Gulp!) and eventually in mid November we will be up to 27 miles (double gulp!) I do not  mind being in the slowest group. I really haven’t been training much since the NYC Half last March and being that I live in Florida when it hits 100 by 7 am I want to take it easy and build my distance in time. My goal is to finish the marathon. Face it people I am not going to win 🙂

Now back to the pack. Our “wolf” pack couldn’t be better. Our Group Leader, June, is amazing. She is kind and funny and motivates us throughout the run. I have met runners who have run a marathon and those who are training for their first.  I ask the experienced runners questions and they are more than happy to answer and help not only me but other runners.

As the faster groups past us at their way back, they raise their arms and yell words of encouragement. I am so happy I finally got the guts to join Galloway. This was the smartest thing for me to do to get me out of bed on Saturday knowing full well I couldn’t let me group leader down.

Our wolf pack does break off during the week when we have to run at least 30 minutes twice a week.  I met with a young runner, Jessica, at our local Starbucks and we take off with me wearing Galloway’s walk/run/walk timer. We talk about work , our family and our bucket lists.  Before we know it our weekly run is over.

My intention is to tell you to please find a group in your area to run. You can join a Galloway group http://www.jeffgalloway.com or join a forum on http://www.runnersworld.com to search for other groups in your area. If you cannot find one I highly suggest you think about starting a group in your area. It could be with just one other runner or maybe with co-workers, friends and family.

Who is your wolf pack?

Motivation..lets begin

This past Saturday, I had my first group run with the Galloway group. As my daughter sat in the car early that morning preparing for her ACT, I embarked towards my training to run in the Disney Marathon this January.

I have been on an emotional roller coaster, trying to help my daughter pack, getting ready for her to leave this Thursday. Motivation was not on my agenda that day but I knew I had to do it for me. As I joined my pace group, there I was, all alone and not knowing a soul. I looked around and saw the elite athlete, you know, the ones with a pace less than 6 minutes. I saw beginners, mothers and fathers and people who want to get healthy and I also saw people, like myself attempting to go the distance and actually run more than they have in the past.

This is my first attempt to run a full marathon and it is scary. I still have not registered. Bad me. I know I should. We all should sign up no matter what the distance. That is key to motivation. We have a deadline so we drag ourselves out of bed and get out that door. Do I love it? No. But having raced in 3 half marathons I can still picture myself in the corral waiting for the race to start. The excitement and buzz is exhilarating. That is the scenario I mentally place in my mind to do it.

I was so thrilled to find out that my daughter will be home during the holidays and she has also decided to run the marathon with me, her first also. She will be training up in NY, in the cold, while I am down here in the humidity.

I did not feel alone. My running buddy would be standing next to me egging me on “Come on Mom, you can do it!”

I am sure we have all been placed in a situation that we feel like a wall flower. Standing in the corner all alone not knowing a soul. I was very fortunate that Saturday. I met a new friend.  Here was a young girl, who just moved down to Florida. She was my running buddy during our run. We made a pack to meet up during the week to run and to also run the marathon together.

We should all reach out and befriend people who we can help and they can help us accomplish our goals. It breaks my heart that people do not make the effort to reach out to others. I find that it is a missed opportunity to be friends or learn something from that person. I learned that she was all alone down here and joined the group to not only make new friends but to achieve her goal to run her first marathon.

The pace group leader was amazing as we joined her on our run. I highly recommend either joining a running club or even having a friend run with you. Tell your friends you are running a race. All of these elements will help you succeed not only in running but it could be lose weight, quit smoking, stop drinking and any other goals you may have.

You are never alone and remember to feel good about yourself. Positive thoughts. Do not become overwhelmed. Just take it day by day. Don’t look at the big picture down the road and panic. Just look at today’s run and have fun. We all need to take baby steps to take a giant leap forward.