“If you feel like you can go, then run. I will see you at the finish line. Good luck! ” And with that, Olivia was off, flying. Olivia hadn’t been training, beyond an occasional quarter to half mile jog a couple times a week. To be honest, I really thought Olivia was going to struggle a bit in this 5K, learn the valuable lesson of working hard towards a goal. Not exactly what happened…
The route for the Drake’s Island 5K was along the beach and pretty flat for the first 2 miles, with two out and back points, then it went into a neighborhood, got a bit undulating and finished up a little hill. Olivia took off like a rocket, far faster than I wanted to start, so I watched her run off and settled into my own pace. I saw her at the two out and back points when we passed each other and I was expecting her to look fatigued. I run 20+ miles a week and was DYING!! I was shocked when I came up a hill and saw the finish line and clock that said 26:06. It was my PR by almost 3 and a half minutes!
My little runner girl was waiting for me to cross the finish line, pink cheeks, water bottle in hand. She had finished in 24:53!! She had the fastest time of any kid under 13, boys and girls included. She may not have learned the lesson that you need to work to get results but she has again been bitten by the running bug and is looking forward to an upcoming 5K and kid’s tri! I hope she trains!
I enjoyed every second of it, doing something I love with someone I adore. Up next is the Thunder Chicken 5k in Portsmouth, NH! #Run
Where did 2012 go? It is half over already! I made a list of goals on New Years Eve, things I wanted to work on, ways to improve my life in the new year. I felt the goals were achievable but I had no clue that 2012 would be the most transformative of my 37 years.
I have always been a competitive, fit person. Swimming, biking, soccer and running have been a part of my life since I learned to walk, swim and ride as a child. But as I became a mom, and a working one at that, it became easier to skip the workout and say no to the impromptu soccer game in favor of cooking, laundry and just chillin’ and relaxing. In 2012, I wanted to join a gym and start competiting again. I wanted to set a good example for my kids, but even more, I wanted to do it for myself.
So it is July and not only did I join a gym, but I have rediscovered my love of fitness and it has changed my life. I was swimming and biking a ton, until my kids twisted my arm into running a 5k. The rest is history. I am running approximately 20 miles a week, competing in 5k’s and loving every minute of it. More importantly, I am running with my kids. We go out and run at least a mile together 3 or 4 days a week. And they are loving it!
I am setting some new goals for the second half of 2012….. Run a 10k, attempt the dreaded practice of yoga and become a certified soccer coach. AND KEEP ON RUNNING!
Nine years ago today, I woke a little after midnight with an upset stomach and cramping that was coming in waves. So I got up, took a shower, cleaned my house, packed my bags, and walked the dogs. I woke my husband and told him to call the hospital. We were having a baby! Nine years ago today, Olivia was born.
Olivia is my sunshine. She, in many ways, is a lot like me. She loves to run, bike and swim. She runs 5ks, does kids trithlons and is always ready for a hike or a trip out for Starbucks. But unlike me, Olivia is patient and kind. She is wonderful with small children and loves to draw. She is the girliest of girls, but can kick any boys booty in a race. The proudest moment of my life came from watching Olivia run like a gazelle – I had no clue that she was such a great runner, and even better, she enjoys it. She loves her brother unconditionally, walks the dogs endlessly and brings smiles to my heart constantly.
Working is getting in the way of my fitness life and it sucks. I am used to a pretty flexible, laid back kind of schedule – Saturdays off, work done by 2 pm, 3 days off a week, etc. Lots of time to be a mom AND workout. I had a great schedule and I barely realized it, until now.
I have recently taken on the biggest professional challenge of my 30′s and I am struggling to make my old life fit around my new, demanding job. I am working crazy hours, doing extra work at home, and can’t always get to my gym. I live in Maine – 24 hour gyms (or even gyms that stay open past 9 pm) have not made it this close to the Canadian border! I have worked my ass off to, well, work my ass off, and I am determined to keep the weight down and the fitness level up.
I am being forced to step off the treadmill and onto the roads and I am loving it. I am even running at night! I alter my routes so I can stay on well lit, busier roads and I run without my ear buds just to be safe. The quiet streets, just the sounds of my breathing and the beating of my running shoes hitting the pavement, clears my mind and wipes away the stress. Running has become such an integral part of my life that I refuse to imagine a day where I can’t squeeze in a couple of miles! It is good for my body, my mind and my soul.
What adjustments have you made to your hectic lives to accomodate your endorphin addiction?
I was terrified standing at the start line. Butterflies in my stomach, shaking legs, numb feet. I was a wreck. The race started and all my fears and issues disappeared as I started to move. I pressed play on my iPod and slipped into my groove as I started the course.
Today I ran my first 5k where I wasn’t running solely as a companion for one of my kids. This one was just for me, I had been training, and I expected some decent results. I spent hours sorting through all the local races, looking for a run that would be fun and fit in my insane schedule. I decided a road trip to Lewiston for the Bands on the Run 5k was exactly what I needed. I am a huge fan of music and this race offered live bands along the race route. Perfect!
Leading up to the race, I set a goal of running a sub 31 minute 5k. I thought it was realistic until I saw the course! I never looked at the race profile before I started running and almost died when I started going uphill! I was shocked when the clock came into view at the finish line and I realized I clocked a 29 minute 5k!
I am still on cloud 9 tonight as I reflect on a great day, think about my upcoming races and set some goals for my summer. Today was definitly a turning point in my fitness life. I used to dream of competing again, now I do.
Solitude. Tranquility. Zen. Time in the pool is all of these things and more. I have spent countless hours in my life stroking up and down the pool, nothing to distract me from my thoughts other than the silento counting of laps in my head. I have planned a move across the country, changed careers, and written recipes in my head while breast stroking and freestyling my way to fitness. But sometimes, my thoughts are so loud that the peacefulness of lap swimming is more than I can handle and I need distraction to calm my demons.
I recently was driven from the pool because of my own inner turmoil. I have been through the ringer over the past year and, while I do my best to stay positive, solitude is not always a good thing. A steady stream of stress, doubt and loss would invade my quiet time and break my resolve. I lost the motivation to be alone with myself in the pool. So I stopped swimming.
But I am vain. I like being in shape, I love competition and I need to get my sweat on, so I went back to my roots, running, where I can drown out my own thoughts with really loud, very distracting music. I pound out the miles to the beat of the drums and sing along as I feel the sweat pouring off me. No thought required.
Two months have passed since I last dove in for some laps. A lot has changed. My hair and skin are retaining moisture for the first time in years. My muscles are hard and strong. My weight is the same, but my body is leaner. And my mind is sharp and clear. I have found that I have to talk myself through the miles some days, urge my legs to go faster and fight to the finish. Running is as much mental as it is physical. And I realized yesterday that when I am running fast, breathing hard and at my limit, I take the ear buds out so I can think.
So I got back in the pool today.
In our busy lives, sometimes we need a little kick in the booty, a little inspiration, to make real, meaningful changes in our lives. And sometimes, we find it in the most random places.
Every morning a man named Rand comes into my shop and buys a cup of coffee from me. Now I am a chatty chick, therefore I discuss my workout regimen with anyone with a heartbeat, so Rand was subjected to my cycling stories almost daily. I complained about the cold weather, the idiot drivers who don’t share the road, blah, blah, blah. One day he decided to share with me. He told me he was a runner. As the weeks unfolded, I came to discover that Rand had been running 3 miles a day, every morning, outdoors, for 40+ years. We live in Maine. He runs in rain, snow, sleet, the works. Insane but awesome and amazing. He is somwhere in his early 70′s (I think), still works, is as sharp as a tack, and fit as a fiddle. He inspires me to lace up the running shoes and hit the pavement because I know Rand is running too.
Cape Porpoise Kitchen is a gem not to be missed when you are pedaling down the scenic stretch of road from Biddeford Pool to Kennenbunkport. Coffee By Design, a Portland based coffee roaster, is brewed to perfection. Diana, their baker, bakes up everything from local favorites like whoopie pies and blueberry buckles to “buffalo chip” cookies and her internationally famous rasberry oat bars, recently mentioned in Conde Nast Traveller. There are 20+ made to order sandwiches, chowda and an wide variety of chef prepared items to fuel the remainder of your ride.
And the staff is amazing. They are knowledgeable about both the products and local sites. One member of the staff may even chat with you about professional cycling, your kit or your ride. LOL! Let’s just say I am not a neutral patron of Cape Porpoise Kitchen ~ I work for the people who own it! Seriously though, it is a great spot to stop, grab some water, a sweet treat and a cup of joe as you make your way up or down the coast of southern Maine. And if you don’t roll on two wheels, well that is okay. I promise they won’t judge
Mountain biking is my passion. Just me, my bike and the great outdoors. There is a fantastic trail system where I live, called the Mousam Way Trail, and I utilize it almost daily for biking, roller blading (one section is paved), trail running, and x country skiing. I love to hop off my bike and snap photos of the unexpected beauty that lies in the middle of the dying textile mill town where I live. Here are a few of my favorites!
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I was always going to get back into running, I just didn’t know it. Then it happened. My kid’s school had a 5k as a fundraiser and my 8 year old daughter Olivia was all over it, leading a playground training group at recess and all. I had no choice but to run. My expectations were lower than low. Yea, I worked out religiously, in the pool or on the bike, but I had not run since college, when I ran a relatively sad 800, and that was eons ago. I ran with my non runner, Jack, while Olivia, the runner, was running with a friend. Jack struggled and complained, but we finished the 5k. I talked him, and myself, through the race and somwhere along the route, I decided that I wanted to run again.
Running was religion in my family. It was a requirement. All the Samuell kids ran. Period. I am the youngest of 6 kids and a few state track records and titles
preceded me. My brother held a hurdle
record that was broken 30 years later – by my nephew. Running was what we did, but I hated it. I realized that the family gift, which was never really given to me, belongs to Olivia. And she loves it. She runs like a gazelle, with a big smile on her face, chatting as goes. According to Olivia, soccer and swimming are her “hobbies” and running is her “life.” Well, thanks to a little 5k fundraiser at Margaret Chase Smith School, I am running with her.
I am loving every mile I log, whether it is on the treadmill, on the road or on a trail. I am mentally much tougher as a 37 year old than I was as a college runner. I used to hate the time alone in my head that was inevitable on the long runs. Now I cherish that time. It is MY time. No husband, no boss, no barking dogs, just me, my thoughts and some Dave Grohl when necessary. I think a lot about my dad and know that somewhere, he is smiling, knowing that, after l these years, I finally have found the love of running and I share it with Olivia. It is a gift.