Passing the Torch…The flame has been ignited

Last year around this time I was able to talk two of my kids into running a mile race.  At first, they resisted, but when they found out Jay Cutler would also be running the same race they agreed to it. My other two kids were smart enough to realize that even if they didn’t run the mile they would still get the chance to see Cutler and get his autograph. Duh!? The mile wasn’t a prerequisite to meeting Cutler.

Anyway, the result, they hated running the mile and they would NEVER run another race again. What!? How can you say you hated running? It’s the best thing ever. “Mom, it hurt! It wasn’t fun!” “No, no, you guys don’t understand the hurt, the pain, that’s part of the fun!! C’mon, you gotta be kidding me? How could you NOT think it was awesome!?” “NEVER again Mom! We won’t do it.”

Great! There went my chance at helping my kids develop a love for running. What was I thinking? Starting them off with the mile probably wasn’t the best thing. I should have worked them up to the 1600. Starting with the 100 meters, then the 200, then the 400, 1/2 mile, and then finally the mile. Well, I screwed that up.

So, of course now anytime I run a race that has a kid’s run I’m always trying to talk at least one of my kids into running it. The answer is always, “NO Way!” ” But, I swear, you don’t have to do the mile, you can do one of the shorter fun runs! You’ll love it! I promise!” “Yep, we remember, that’s what you said last time and we DIDN’T love it!”

Okay, so if my kids aren’t going to love running, I’ll just have to work on my neighbor’s child. She’s around our family so much I call her my “adopted child,” and what’s even better, she likes to run. In fact, she’s even asked me if I’d train her for a mile race or a 5k. You bet ya!

Earlier this week, I signed up to run a local 5k, but unfortunately, I’ve been fighting asthmatic bronchitis and it doesn’t want to go away. 5ks and asthmatic bronchitis don’t mix very well, but I had already registered for the race and figured I’d go, maybe pace a friend, and if I was really lucky talk one of my kids into doing the fun run…the kid’s mile or the kid’s 100m dash.

No luck, but my adopted daughter, Emily, was all for it. And because, she was interested in the mile, my two girls, were by NO means, interested in that distance, but decided to try the 100 meter dash. Finally! Finally, at least two of my kids were going to give running another shot!

Emily, did great in the mile! And I was able to run with her, cheering her on and encouraging her to keep going! I was very proud of my (adopted) daughter! She placed third in her age group!

And, then there was Rachael, who stood on the starting line to the 100m race with a determined face to fend off the competition and run her hardest. Well, she won her heat! And she told me, she didn’t even have to run her hardest because she knew she was going to win it. How’s that for confidence!? Go, Rachael!

And Leah, who has told me she will never be a runner because her love is gymnastics, stood at the start, looking more nervous than confident.  But, as soon as it was go time this girl ran! Wow! She ran faster than I’ve seen her run before. So fast in fact, that she blew all the other little girls away and I wouldn’t be surprised if she could also beat her older brothers!  And at the end, what did she say? “That was awesome, so much fun! I want to do it again? Can I do it again! Did you time me? What was my time!”

Needless to say, I was happy, not because they won and I just might happen to have a couple good sprinters on my hands – but because they liked it!! I don’t care if it was just 100 meters they liked it! And now they think running is fun and want to do it again! Awesome!

Who knows, maybe next time it will be a 200 meter race, and then a 400, 1/2 mile, and maybe, just maybe, they may ask to try the mile again. If not, that’s okay. I’m just glad that today they enjoyed it! And I feel that the spark has been lit – and you know what they say about sparks…it only takes one spark to start a fire! ( :

“Miles & Trials: Running Towards 2012” Trailer

I Had a Bad Day and the Clock Don’t Lie…

Thanks Daniel Powter for the inspiration.

I don’t particularly care for your song or having bad days!! If I didn’t write a post saying I was running the Shamrock Shuffle, I very well may have stepped off the course this morning and walked away with a DNF.  However, I hate quitting and the feeling it leaves in my stomach, so I figured I’d rather set a new PR in running my slowest 8k ever than finish with a big, fat DNF.

Within the first quarter mile I learned that I was definitely not recovered from the 20k trail race I ran last Saturday. By the time I was ½ a mile into the race, I knew that I was going to have to back off and settle for a good effort tempo run instead of racing. It’s hard to swallow my pride and let runners pass me that I could normally beat, but today I had to do just that.

Thankfully, my Dick Pond/Fast Track teammates (sponsored by Saucony), Shannon Ring, Meg Sullivan, and Columba Montes , ran very well. Congrats, especially to Meg, who Pr’d today!! We are all awaiting team results and are hoping we placed in the top 5! This year’s field was really, really competitive!

Things I learned today…One; while it’s a good idea to get a good night’s sleep before a race, it might not be a good idea to take a sleeping pill the night before a race.  Maybe there are some better ideas for Insomnia?  I’ve dealt with it for as long as I can remember. Two; I need to change my training and start adding speed work. I’m excited to be working with a new coach, Carla Hastert, who will be giving me a new training schedule this week. Three; I need to start strength training again, and four; I need to suck it up and run fast. Oh, and number five;  training tip of the day…to the guy at the race with the backpack containing smokes, give that up and I’ll bet you will run faster! ( ;

Marlboros and Running

 So how did everyone else do?

Sleeping Soundly

I just left my dad with six sleeping kids (my four and two of their friends). When my kids were little they liked to watch me race, now that they’re older they think it’s boring.  I too, have learned it’s easier to leave them sleeping  than hassle with waking them up and dragging them along. Of course, when I come home, they always ask how I did, so I guess they’re still a little interested in what I do!

This morning I’m running the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in Chicago. 40,000 people are registered to run this race! Crazy!? I really don’t have any expectations today. I’m going to run my best simply to find out where I am and what kind of training I have in front of me.  I’m actually expecting a painful race, one that shocks my body into remembering what it feels like to run hard. (I haven’t done much speed work since the marathon). What will I be thinking this morning? “It’s not suppose to feel EASY!!”

Results to follow…

Another runner’s blog and then some – How it all started…

As long as I can remember I’ve always loved running. I loved running after my brothers, I loved racing the neighbor kids, I loved running with my dad, I loved stepping onto the track to see how fast I could go, and I most definitely loved the wind at my back and the sun on my face. In gym class, I loved being timed in the 50 and 100 meter dash and I couldn’t wait to run the mile. Not only did I want to beat all my classmates, I also wanted to beat last year’s me. There are a lot of people who love to run, but there are also a lot of people who hate to run! Why? Why did I, and why do I, love doing something that most people find miserable!?

The credit goes to my dad. I remember being little and watching him walk out the door to go for a run. I remember when he would come back home, sweating and refreshed, feeling good that he accomplished a great feat. I remember being old enough to FINALLY join him on his three mile runs. I remember running my first year in high school and he was my biggest fan, my running partner, and my “coach.” He never missed a track meet. I remember when I went down state as a freshman in the 400 meter relay, my dad was so proud and he was not afraid to brag about me (something he still does to this day). And I can guarantee you, that when it was my turn to run, I could hear my dad cheering and yelling for me to push, to do my best, and not give in to the voice that was telling me to quit or slow down!

Unfortunately, I did begin to listen to the voices that were telling me to quit. And a short time after I started my sophomore year of track, I decided to quit. I was starting to hang out with a different crowd of kids and becoming more and more self-absorbed. I didn’t have time for track. I wanted to do other things that left little or no energy for running. And by listening to these voices I ruined what could have been a fantastic career in high school. It was unfortunate that one of the high school coaches didn’t intercede for me and say, “Suzanne, don’t quit, you could be a high school star.” But, I did quit and by doing so, I threw away any hope of setting new track records (something I swore I was going to do in the four years I was at Wheaton North High School) or a college scholarship. Running became something I used to do and something I used to be good at. It wasn’t until my senior year in college, at Taylor University, that I would decide to start running once again. And once I ran those first few solitude miles on the country roads of Indiana I was hooked immediately…

Survivor 20k

Pads 5k Run – Sept 2011

At about 2.5 miles I TORE my calf muscle. I jogged into the finish realizing my goal race (Chicago) and hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials was probably not in my future. I still won the 5k though.