Monday, December 30, 2013

Setting My Goals for 2014

The paraphrase a video that was share with me:

There is never a right time to do a great thing. You have to create the perfect time and the perfect situation. In my case that involves a lot of planning. If being successful at my goals were easy I wouldn't need goals. I would awake up to greatness every day. 2014 is going to be the year that will make and break a lot of habits, friends and relationships. 2014 is the year of greatness. 

In 2014, I will be running the TCS New York City Marathon. My start line to my very first marathon isn't in Staten Island on Sunday, November 2, 2014. My start line starts today. Hundreds of miles will be covered before stepping foot in the direction of those 26.2 miles. Every single day leading to that marathon is going to be a test of how mentally and physically strong of a person I am. It doesn't take any effort to sit and not challenge myself.  

Now it's time to set up the frame work for the next 12 months. These goals are just a starting point because as the finish line gets closer goals will need to be added. 

Well here are my short term goals for January:
- Resume weekly weigh loss journey blog posts (Continue this throughout the year)
- Start weekly or bi-monthly half marathon/marathon training posts. (Continue this throughout the year)
- Set a new personal record running/walking the Manhattan Half Marathon on January 26th

Long term goals and activities for 2014

Weight Loss goals:
- Each month track at least 27 days.
- Follow my routines: Get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night, know how I am going to be active the next day and put my fork down and sip water between bites.
- Enter Onderland by my 34th birthday.

Biking goals:
- Participate in the following Bike Tour: Five Boro, Tour de Staten Island, Tour de Brooklyn, Tour de Queens, Century (55mile) and Tour de Bronx.
- Do not fall off my BIKE! 

Running Goals:
- Complete NYRR's 9+1 
- Complete NYRR's 5 Borough Series.
- Complete a Half Marathon 11 out of 12 months.
- Run/Walk with my Bestie
- Complete a Half Marathon within 2:50:00
- Complete the NYC Marathon within 6:00:00

Personal Goals:
- Defeat my inner emotional eating demon
- Go on more family outings
- Spent more time with close friends
- Spent more time with my sofa

"You will never be successful until you turn your pain into greatness....Your pain is going to be apart of your prize."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reflecting On My 2013 Goals

A lot has been happening in The Land of the Awesome that have kept me from focusing on my blog. 

Reflecting on the goals that I had created for myself is a great way to move forward and create goals for 2014. Here were my long term goals for 2013...let's see how I did. 

Long term goals and activities for 2013

Weight Watcher goals: (In May I cancelled my WW membership. I hadn't used the tools for two months prior to canceling my membership. )
- Each month track at least 27 days.
- Follow my routines: Get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night, know how I am going to be active the next day and put my fork down and sip water between bites.
- Submit my success story by July
- Lots of water
- Reach my ActiveLink daily goal at least 5 times a week.

- Enter Onderland (Did not happen)

Biking goals:
Purchase a new bike... fixed gear and 28 inch tires. Purchased bike arrived on 1/7/2013 (Don't worry Lenny is not going anywhere.)
- Participate in the following Bike Tour: Five Boro, Tour de Staten Island, Tour de Brooklyn, Tour de Queens, Century (35mile) and Tour de Bronx. 
- Attend a few social rides
- Create a social ride
- Attend a Track or Die NYC Alley Cat Race (Maybe participate in one)
- Go to Bike Fetish Day

Running Goals:
- Participate in the NYRR 9+1 (Yeah, you read that right.) (Yes!!! I completed this by June.)
- Participate in the following NYRR races: 5 Borough Series, Gridiron Classic, Coogan's 5K, Run As One, Race to Deliver and Jingle Bell Jog  (Yes, I did all of them except the Jingle Bell Jog)
- Run/Walk with my Bestie

Personal Goals:
- Defeat my inner emotional eating demon (Still working on this one)
- Get a full length mirror and take pictures of myself in front of it
- Go on more family outings (YES!!)
- Spent more time with my friends (YES!!)
- Make some more friends (I've made more than enough friends while running races.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

So much is happening in the Land of the Awesome that I can't seem to fit in blogging. By the time I am done with my daily adventures I am too tired to set at a computer and type out my thoughts. I am really hoping that I am able to change that in 2014. I am going to have so much to write when I start my journey to the 2014 NYC Marathon.

So for now...I am going to sum up the happening since this year's marathon. Here we go...

I was the 4th person to vote in my district on Election Day. I am determined to be 1st next year.

I took plenty of #MuffinTopCheck photos. I am very proud of my progress.

Big Al and Little Al made their own kind of fun at Old Navy. I have no idea how she got in there.

The kids had so much fun they didn't want to leave the park.

I attended my 5th and final Marine Corp Birthday Ball.

Of course I had to fight styling this child's hair.
I hosted two Manhattan Half Training Runs. It was awesome!

I run the race that started it all. I run Race to Deliver to celebrate one year of running. I did awesome!

I spent Thanksgiving with my very best bestie. I carved the turkey of course.

November flew by....I am promise to be a better blogger in December.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ING New York City Marathon 2013

For the pass month or so, I have been talking and thinking about nothing but Marathon. Marathon, marathon, MARATHON. I know I drove The Husband crazy with all the marathon talk.

As the marathon neared, I got butterflies in my stomach. I wasn't running, why is this happening? I know exactly why this was happening.

1-  I was handing out medals and social media reporting. I was in the finish line area. There is lots of excitement at the finish line. And with the events that happened in Boston early this year, there was also a little fear.

2- Thanks to Instagram, I collect a group of awesome running instafriends turned real life friends. Many of them had set their goal of completing the New York City Marathon long before we met and became friends.  I was going to be the one they saw at the finish line.

3- IT'S THE FLIPPING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. The mother of all marathons! (In my option that is.)

When Sunday finally arrived, I was full of excited and confusion. I never got the volunteer break down email from NYRR telling me where to go and what time to be there. Good thing I texted Kathy, @kata_razza, for more information. I would have ever got there in time. I rushed out of my apartment and prayed that the MTA gods were on my side today.

Lucky me! I got to check in super early. I got there before most medal volunteers. I quickly met up with Bob, the medals supervisor.  I had worked with Bob during the NYC Half. He remembers me from that day and shares my stories with those that volunteer with him. He told me that he needed me and a few others to head to the finish line early to get started unpacking and setting up.The event organizers pushed medal set up back and this made Bob very nervous. We had a hell of a lot of medals to unpack and detangle. I was ready to work with Bob again. Along for this adventure was Kathy, Dave, @runnyc1 and Phil, @phillmina.

When we got to the finish line it was time to get to work. The boxes were wrapped in a tarp with tables and chairs on top of them. Hmmmm, I wonder what that stuff is? They have been there for a long while because there were leaves, water and nature all over it. Soon enough the rest of our group arrived. We had about 30 volunteers for medals. With that many hands it made it easy to unpack 50,000 medals.

 I was ready to greet all 48,000 runners waiting for their bling in Staten Island.

The first participates to first the finish line were the wheelers. Each and every one of those wheelers were amazing! This guy was my favorite.

 He is from Brazil. He wanted all of us to know how much he loves the America. He didn't speak any English!

You could tell that the winners of the women's race hit Central Park because you can hear and see the NYPD helicopters fly over head. Excitement filled the air even more.

To be honest, I wasn't really interested in the elite runners. I wanted to see my group of #nycinstarunners. When the elite runners made their way over the finish line I knew that my gang was going to start crossing in a few hours.

As the crowd passed and I handed out medals I noticed that the most friendliest runners were the Frenchman! I've must have gotten over a dozen sweaty cheek to cheek kisses. All from Frenchies. Bob told me to call him on Monday if I become radioactive for all the love I was getting.

Next up with Stalina, @amazing1983. I knew she was coming because she is just that awesome. Of course, I didn't know exactly when that was going to be. I reached over to get some more medals and turned back. There standing in front of me Stalina. Her first words were, "Can you please carry me?" If I could have I would have carried her home. She came in at 04:21:30. She is truly amazing. She is a super mom of two and is running her first Ultra Marathon two weeks after this marathon. This was her warm up.

A little bit of time and a lot of medals passed. Next up with Johanna, @p1ernazlocasz2011. She is an emotional running just like me. She came to me with tears in her eyes. I forgot my tissues!!!! This was very first marathon and she owned it! She came in at 5:05:19.

So soon as she left the area Miguel, @ll_mj, walked right up to me and Kathy. He fundraised for his spot in the marathon. This was his first marathon too! He came in at 5:09:16.

After Miguel the crowd started to slow down a little bit. I was able to use the runner tracker to see where everyone was. The other volunteers stepped forward into the crowd and were handing out tons of medals. Kathy and I kind of stood back and watched. We spoke about how we were going to be these people next year. We will be running the 2014 New York Marathon together. Seeing the runners inspired us and scared us at the same time.

I hear my name being scream out from the crowd. It was Jay, @Jaydenson. He was so excited to see me. He gave me a great big sweaty hug!!!! This was a great moment. All the #nycinstarunners surrounded him to show him love for accomplishment. He was so full of life and energy. Where did he get this energy from?  He came in at 05:47:18.

When we calmed down a little I turned around. There was my Tutu, @Tuhina2883! Tutu quickly because instafriends over the last few weeks. The one thing we definitely share.....

...we are emotional runners. As soon as I saw her face I bursted into tears! Her tears were her release. She finished something she had never done before in her life and she did it well. I am so proud of Tutu. Every time I see this picture I start to tear up. This is a total bounding moment for me. She is finished her marathon at 05:31:42

....I had to step away from the computer. I starting crying from sharing Tutu's finish line.

Lots of runners pass. I handed out so many medals I lost count.  The sun started to set and I was missing two runners from the list of people.Sheryl, @bitchcakes, and Alexie, @misterutah. At this point I gave all the medals I was holding to other volunteers and I held on to two medals. One for Sheryl and one for Alexie.

I got closer and closer to the finish line to make sure I didn't miss them. I looked and looked. I told Kathy that I was very nervous. I hope they didn't get hurt on the course. We kept tracking them. They hadn't crossed a sensor in a long, long time. I asked Kathy to please take pictures of me and Sheryl when I see her. I waited and waited some more. I kept the medal and the ribbon rolled up in my hands. I promised them that I was going to keep the medals warm.

Out of the darkness I saw a pink sparkle skirt...It was Sheryl. I screamed so loud and grabbed Sheryl close. We cried in each other arms.

I couldn't say anything. I listened to Sheryl cried her tears of relief.  We stopped hugging for a moment so that I could give her warm medal.

She told me that all she was thinking about was she needed to get to me.

She had to keep moving so that she did cramp up. I walked with her to get a heat sheet.

We stopped for a picture with Sheryl's camera. You can see the tears in our tears. Sheryl make-up was flawless.

Sheryl has been my inspiration since I found her blog back in 2011. That year I met her as a fan. On Sunday, I met her as a friend. We shared many tears this year at a few races. This race, by far, was the most memorable. I am so proud of your Sheryl. I read about how you were never a runner and now you are a marathoner.

She came in at 6:34:36.

Sheryl had to keep going without me. I had one more person to wait for.

Alexie had been on the course for a long, long time. I communicated with my friends if anyone knew where he was. The tracker didn't move. I posted this picture on Instagram and said, "I've been holding this medal for hours for @misterutah.. Not leaving until he gets it."

 We all tried calling him and it was a so good. I am sure his phone was dead. I rolled the ribbon around the medal and place it inside my glove. I prayed that he wasn't injured....I looked up and saw a little kid running towards the finish line. I recognized that kid! It was Alexie's son! Alexie was running right with him. I screamed so loudly and ran up to him. I gave him the biggest hug ever. Just as big as Raf's earlier in the day.
He finished with a time of 7:23:50! He never gave up on himself and I wasn't going to give up on him. I needed to stay until the last runner crossed that finish line.

I walked with him until we got the pictures area. I jetted out of that place. I wanted to go home so badly. I left the apartment at 6:30am. I had been standing since 7:30am to 7:00pm. I just wanted to go home. I got home pretty quickly.

When I got home I shared a lot of stories with The Husband. I had a rush of fear. What did I get myself into. I bursted into tears.

A year from Sunday, I will be running the New York City Marathon.

and it is going to be awesome. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Double Header Weekend: NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon

Finally!!!! I get to finish my blog about the amazing Staten Island Half Marathon that took place on Sunday, October 13. I've been sick for too long, preventing me from sitting at my blog and clearly writing my experience.

As part of my new year's running goals, I wanted to complete the 5 borough series. So without a doubt I needed to finish strong at the last race of the series. In order to go strong a lot of training and miles needed to happen. I started my training in mid-August. I was even more serious about training this time around. I put in a lot more long runs then I did for the Brooklyn Half. 

Since it was double header weekend I had to wake up at 4am for the second day in a row. I was not happy about this. 
After I got dress and taped, I sat on my sofa and felt completely overwhelmed with the thought of 13.1 miles ahead of me. I started to tear up. I stopped myself from crying. I couldn't cry nervous tears. I needed to save those tears for happiness. I wanted this day to get's what? It was time to get to the start line.  
Alnardo, @Serious06, and I travelled to Staten Island in the dark. We need to find parking before the massive crowds showed up looking for the same spot we were. We lucked out and got a spot very close to the start. We waited in the warm car as the wind whipped around. Gosh it was cold!

So what do we do while waiting for race time? Why we film commercials for the products we use. HA! 

We watched the sun come up over Manhattan in the distance. It was beautiful. 

It was time to get out of the warm car and find our way to the start with the masses. Brrrr!

Next we found Jeanne, @HeyJdubs, and Joseph, @Jomak_ny. Jeanne had been in the start area hours before we got there. We were texting each other the whole time we were waiting. 
Since meeting Joseph at the Percy Sutton 5k in August, he and I have become very great friends. BFFs even. He and I share a lot of the some outlooks on many things. We are big dorks and have major issues with ADD that syncs up. HA!

After that we met up with a bunch of IG-runners aka #nycinstarunners. It was so great to meet so many runners that share their stories on Instagram. This made me very hyper to get going.

While waiting at our starting corral an older lady tapped me on the shoulder. She asked if I was at the Brooklyn 10K the day before. I said yes of course. She remember me and my group. We were making a lot of noise that's for sure. She share with me that she was 2nd in her age group for that race. That is amazing. She will be completing her very first NYC Marathon. I told her that she needed to find me so that I can give her her medal.

It was go time!

Alnarado and Jeanne ran with me as long as they could. I was running very slowly because my body was just tired. The crowd started to pass me by. In no time I was left with very few runners around me. I kept moving slowly. I focused one listening to my body. No music until I hit the loop around. That's when I run with Miguel, @LL_MJ. He will be running the marathon with Team JDRF, advocated for type 1 diabetes.

Around mile 3 was when I started to see the elite runners on their 9th mile. This is always my favorite part of any race. I started cheering for those that race to place. This making the miles pass by quickly. I had my eye peeled for the #nycinstarunners that run in the first corral, Mario and Dave. I was able to spot them quickly as they jetted by.

As the crowd moved by I heard my IG handle screamed out a hand full of times. The runner next to me laughed and said, "You are a poplar one aren't you?" I told him, "No, I am famous." We both had a big laugh with that one.

As the last runners and I approached the loop around I started to cheer for us. There was no one there to see us turn so no cheering. I couldn't let that happen. I cheer loud for us. When I realized that another #nycinstarunner was behind me, Alexie, @Misterutah. He is also running the marathon. I first met him on my birthday race back in April.  When he passed me by it was music time.

When I turned on the tuned the next two miles went quickly. In with those two miles I saw....

Yep...those are the sweep vehicles. I was no letting them pick me up. I focused on my steps, on the hill at mile 9 and just keep going. When I saw the mile 11 sign I started to feel emotional. I also noticed that a few races ahead of me kept looking behind them. This is one of my biggest pet peeves! Don't look behind...keep going forward. They way they keep looking I knew the sweep vehicles were right behind me. I didn't look.

Around mile 11.5 the head van of the sweep with right by my side. He kept his van at my pace. I tried not to walk and jog slowly to keep up with him. When we reached mile 12, he asked me if I was ok. I told him "I was ok as long as I kept up with you." He said, "Don't worry. You got it. I am not letting them pick you up." I got so choked up when he said that. I check my run time. I had reached 2hours and 50 mins. I wasn't going to make it to the finish line in time for my sub 3 hour goal. I was one with that.

Out of no where I rude police officer screamed to me and another runner get on the sidewalk and get off the street. That was a huge blow.

Then I hear my name! It was Saville, Sheryl's friend. He was encouraging me to keep going and that I was not going to run on the sidewalk. He gave me that lift I needed that the police officer took away from me. As I approached the turn for the finish line there were tons of people there cheering. I looked up and saw the guy in the van I ran with for two miles. I thanked him for helping me as he made a u-turn.

As I made the next turn I realized I was almost finished. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't feel my feet. I couldn't progress anything anyone. Then I saw orange. It was Joseph. He ran with me across the finish line. Of course I couldn't hold the tears back anymore. I heard him talking but I didn't understand what he was saying. I was too emotional to process what was happening around me.

All I know is...I finished. I reached for my phone to check my time. I finished in 3 hours 12 minutes and 29 seconds. I set my new personal record.

Reflecting on this racing I never had that "I want to give up" feeling. Not even once. That's the biggest difference between this half and Brooklyn and Manhattan. During both halves I wanted to give up but didn't. I never doubt myself in Staten Island. I knew I will finish. That is a huge feeling to overcome.

I completed 19.3 miles over two days without injury. I am no way a fast race but I am a focused one. I set a goal, put my sneakers and complete my goals. I am able to complete these goals because I no longer use excuses. I have three beautiful children, a husband, a household to run and a full time job. There is no excuses strong even to stop me from being successful at all of the above and be a successful runner.

Monday, October 7, 2013

ING New York City Marathon 2013

First things first....I am not running the New York City Marathon this year. I was tempted to sign up when it first opened up in the spring. I didn't because I know I am not where near ready to do something like that without getting hurt.

With that being say....

I am still involved in the happening surrounding this year's marathon. In the summer time I am applied to be apart of the medals crew. I thought it would be exciting to hand out medals again. It would be more special handing out medals to the marathon since I have gain a community of friends since handing out medals at the NYC Half. When I applied I thought the process was going to be the same as the Half. Well it wasn't. Apparently, everyone wants to hand out the medals. Something like 300 people applied to do it. When I read this I was floored. I guess everyone wants to be down with the excitement of the big day. After reading that email that I had to wait a month to find out if I got picked I kind of gave up hope on being picked. Really...why would they pick me? I am just like everyone else that applied. Maybe not...I did have a volunteering for medals for the NYC Half on my side.

When the day came I've must have checked my email 1,000 times. When the evening arrived and I didn't hear anything from NYRR, I figured that I wasn't getting to it. It was ok not handing out medals. I was off that day and I could have spent the day cheering on the crowd. I checked my email one last time with the hope that I would see some good news.

I GOT IT!!!!!

I started jumping around the living room like a crazy person trying not to scream because the kids were asleep ready. Tears started pouring down my face. I was going to be apart of a lot of brave souls finish line story. A lot of those braves souls were going to be my friends and buddies.

When I completed my plus 1 during the NYC Half it changed my running life. It changed my view of the running community. It was a great feeling to give medals to runners that earned it. Emotions and excitement fill the air. Love and pride every where you turned. I got to give friends hugs and medals when they finished their 13.1 miles. I expect November 3, 2013 to be even more intense. Each person will be running their very own 26.2 miles. Everyone has there own story for each step that is taken. To all my friends, followers and reader that have those 26.2 miles waiting for them....I WILL be waiting for you at the finish line. With tears in my eyes, a shiny medal in my hand and a loving mommy hug for your accomplishment. 

You think I would get enough excitement out of handing out the medals. I applied for a Facebook contest that NYRR was running a few weeks ago. "The ING New York City Marathon is seeking 20 official social reporters to snap eye-catching Instagrams and produce top-notch tweets from the ground of the five boroughs of New York City." Does that not scream The Awesome Mom? I gave it a shot. I wasn't going to loose anything since I was already doing medals. I applied. I don't even remember what I wrote on the application. It was all a blur. I didn't read the fine print to know when I would find out if I get picked. I just sent it off and hope for the best. 

So.....earlier this evening I was pulling out my running gear for a double header race weekend I have this weekend. I stopped for a moment to check my email. My email loaded and....I screamed.....


I kept saying holy crap while reading and re-reading the email. I started jumping up, down and all around when it clicked in my brain. I ran up to my husband and hugged him. Back to jumping. I walked back into my bedroom and started to cry when it all hit me.....

I have selected to be an Official ING New York City Marathon Social Media Reporter!!! This is crazy! Not only am I doing medals....I am a flippin' social reporter!!!!! I officially get to share my prospective as a Bronxite the days leading up to, during and after the ING New York City Marathon! Is this for real? 

YES IT IS!!!!! 

I quickly responded to the email and applied for my credentials. It's on baby. I am going to be eating breathing and living marathon. I feel so awesome being giving this opportunity. I am not going to let NYRR down. 

Keep Going

Since I am sick and didn't go to work... I decided to dust off my hard drive and look at old pictures. I found this lovely picture from November 2011. I was at the USMC Ball on Ellis Island. I had a great time that night but the weeks leading to the event were horrible. I couldn't find anything that I wanted to wear and/or anything that was in my size. I had to order that red size 22 dress online because I gave up searching stores. Finding the support clothing under the dress was a worst nightmare! For this year's USMC I have my dress really to go. This year's dress was a gift from my best friend back in June. We got it off the rack. I can't wait to show off all my progress. Now...the one thing I have to worry about is shrinking out of the dress. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bronx 10-Mile 2013

If you are an Instgram follower you already now that I had been anticipating the Bronx 10-mile for a very very long. This race means so much to me. It was the my first 10- miler and it was on my turf. My first Bronx race! The middle of the Grand Concourse and Mosholu Parkway was closed down for me and 8,000 of my closet friends. I decided that I was going to take on my home town race wearing my Wonder Woman-like running gear.

Sunday morning I rolled out of bed, did my morning routine and pre-race prep and called a cab.The best part of running in the Bronx was I didn't have to worry about The MTA Gods controlling my travels. It took me about 10 minutes to get to the baggage area from my apartment. (Seriously, We need more Bronx races.)

Upon arrival, I sat and focused myself. I put my crown on and told myself that I got this. I had done 9 miles just one week prior to the race and my pacing had improved greatly. There was no fear of me getting picked up by the sweep bus.

When I walked to my corral I took my pre-race picture. Don't I look awesome!
The first person that recognized me was Liz S., @RosaBlanca5. She will be running the New York City Marathon this year! 

After some searching, I found my amazing race buddy Alnardo, @Serious06. The last race we ran together was back in June. It feels longer than that. He spent the month of September completing the trifeta of Spartan Races. He completed the last one the day before the Bronx race. He is truly amazing. I am proud of you brother.
Next up...Jeanne, @HeyJDubs. She is a fellow last corral runner. We started communicating via Instagram and ran passed each other at the Queens 10k. She completed a bunch of races along the East Coast. She claimed that she hasn't been training and didn't feel confident about this race. I think she is crazy. She has been running like a Last Corral champ. I told her that this race is going to be awesome.

Jay, @jaydenson, stopped by to say hello. It was great meeting another runner of the Bronx.

As the corrals started to get closer to each other Valerie, @vrtorres912, caught up to me and Alnardo. Gosh, she is a tiny person. I had to squat down to take a picture with her.

Soon to follow was Kathy, @Kata_razzi. She is a fellow Weight Watcher and blogger (NYC Runner Girl). Kathy and I will be handing out the medals at the New York City Marathon together. I can't wait for that day to get here!

As the crowd started moving forward I started to get very hyped. This was about to happen. Finally this day is here. I get to prove to myself that I can and will do these 10 miles in The Awesome Mom fashion. This race is my guide to completing the Staten Island Half taking place in two weeks. What ever ups and downs I feel at this race will with adjust for the half.

In August, I started training for the Staten Island Half. I did everything I needed to ensure that I will have a new personal record at Staten Island Half. Three weeks ago I fell off my bike. I sprained my ankle. I followed doctor's orders and managed to get back onto my training schedule a one and a half weeks before this race. I was so worried that I was going to be out of commission for the rest of my racing calendar.

It was time to go. Time to make my borough proud of me. I completed my first mile in 11:12! Amazing!

In no time Joe, @JoMak_ny, caught up to me. He is my new BFF. We have been talking fitness, races, running and cycling since meeting him at the Percy Sutton a month ago. He slowed down just enough to take our awkward picture. He made it to the race after only a few hours of sleep. He party-ed hard the night before with his wife at the Electric Race. We gave each other a little boost after seeing one and another.
Picture taken by Joe
There was one person I was waiting to pass me by...Sheryl of course. Sheryl was somewhere in the last corral with me but there were so many people around so we didn't see each other in the corral. She found me on the course.
Picture taken by Sheryl
We took our action shot together. I love my Sheryl collection of action shots. She always captures my bewbs in motion. (I am cracking up so hard right now.) My bewbs always come up in conversation at one point or another because they are at Sheryl's eye level. She is so awesome!
Photo taken by Sheryl
I kept going after she ran away from me. I was completely distracted by all front runners and faster runners running the loop back on the Grand Concourse. That made the next few miles easier. However I noticed shin pain starting to set in. They means that I was going way too fast. The pace for miles 2, 3 & 4 were 12:30; 12:31 and 11:51 respectively. This pacing was the fastest I have ever done at a race. Right around mile 5 J.Dubs caught to me. She started to do interval pacing of 1minute run and 1minute walk. She was feeling the burn. She was doing a great job keeping up her pacing.

I have no idea what mile I was at when I saw my co-worker, Ms. Sonders. She is at almost all these races. She is so sweet and patient. It's always great to see her.

After that....I was alone. I was left with myself, my thoughts and my pain. I felt shin pain around mile 3 and ankle pain started to set in at mile 7. I felt like I was out of sync with my body. I turned off the music and turned on my timing app. For 20 minutes I ran 1 minute and walked 1 minute. Once the 20 mins passed. I took my earbuds out. No music, no timing app, no pacing app.....just listening to my body. Suddenly I was at mile 8.5. I didn't have far to go. I slowly heading to the finish line.

At mile 9, Alnardo called me. I didn't pick up. We played a little phone tag....I finally text him. "At mile 9.7." He texted back, "I'm coming." I didn't know what that meant at the time. I just kept going.

I looked up and saw.....

Sheryl and Alnardo running back out onto the course to finish the race with me. I immediately became emotional. I have so much love for these two amazing people. They waited patiently for me to cross the finish line. They have been my biggest cheerleaders throughout this year. Since we all run at different pace we will probably never cross the finish line together and have the same finishing time. This show so much unity and support. I am so happy that I have these guys by my side. (Yes, I am crying while I am typing this.)

Picture taken by J. Dubs
As I crossed the finish line I could not hold back the tears. I finished. The miles were not easier....they were better.

I had no idea that J.Dubs snapping pictures and recording my finish line. I realized she was there when I stopped. I gave her the biggest hug ever. Next up were big hugs with tears of joy for Sheryl and Alnardo. Sheryl captured my emotional hug.

I had waited so long to run this race. I wasn't one bit nervous about the 10 miles that I had in front of me that morning. I wasn't worried about pain or blusters or even losing a toe nail. I knew that 8 weeks of Staten Island Half training had prepared me for this race on my turf.  I am humbled by my accomplishment. 

After I wiped the tears away I became very hyper! I wanted to take pictures with EVERYONE!!!! 

We caught up with Sheryl's great friend, Saville and took a few pictures with him and his crew.

We caught up to the very inspiring, James Lu. He is 75 years old. He started running at the age of 59 years old. He is at each and every NYRR race. I gave him his medal at the NYC Half and I plan on giving him his medal at the NYC Marathon. Even if I have to fight for it.

When I got back home, I did what I always do. I grab my tape and stick my bib on to my victory wall and returned to be regular old mommy.

If you would have told me this time last year that I would have complete so many races I would have told you you were crazy. I was never a's amazing how things change so easily.