Shout out to AMY!…My ULTRA Running Inspiration

I am so proud of my sister Amy who completed the Hot Asphalt Lenoir County Ultra Run, organized by RacENC Saturday night.  Note I said last NIGHT not DAY……

This ultra, with 14  local runners,  organized by the local run club was an effort to enjoy a long distance run in their own back yard. Probably better described as in their  “back forty” given the fact their route was a rural, flat, route through eastern North Carolina farm land.

Amy and Ashley…..Smiling and mile 15

They did it simply for their love or running. My hat is off to all of them!  I honestly could not get excited about running 42 flat, asphalt miles, in August with NC heat and humidity.  If that is not challenging enough, they started at 5pm Saturday and ran into the early Sunday  hours.  Not only was it hot but it was dark!  Impressive!  Way to go K-town runners!

Amy, is my inspiration! I have her to thank for inspiring me to push beyond  my  two mile treadmill runs. She almost killed me on our first summer run in 2008.  A very HOT, flat, asphalt run with no water or distance plans (classic newbie mistakes).  Neither of us know how far we ran that day we just know we did it!  She pushed me through to the finish! That was the start!

We planed to train for  our first half marathon February 2009! Living 1.5 hours apart, we shared our training via phone and facebook! 1/2 Marathon day  arrived and unfortunately Amy was sidelined with an injury.  Not letting injury get her down, Amy rallied the family to  support me on race day! Amy was on every corner with one of her crazy signs. She organized the family and had them strategically placed along the course.  It was wonderful and a memory I will cherish forever!

Family Supporting my 1st 13.1!

That November, Amy and my kids ran me across the finish of my my first Marathon(OBX) 2009.

Earlier that day Amy concurred the OBX half marathon! Once again she rallied the family to travel to support our efforts. (Those who know her will agree….when Amy speaks…People Listen)

Amy continued to support and encourage me as I finished another two marathons.  Finally,  we planned to run the WDW Marathon, her first, January 2011.  Keeping with tradition, it was to be a family affair, however this time we would be joined by additional family members (sister Laury, Mom,  and brother-in-laws Lee and Jon).  They were tired of the sidelines and wanted part of the action.

Ready for Disney Marathon Weekend

Unfortunately, I was unable to make the marathon due to a HORRIBLE  upper respiratory infection.  I was so bummed not to cross the finish line with Amy in her first marathon.  I was forced to track her via internet from home.  I could hardly contain my excitement for her!  I was so proud of her and her accomplishment!

Fresh off her marathon high, we planned to run the Tobacco Road Marathon in March. FAIL! She got super sick and was unable to run!  Was this some type of omen?  To date, we have yet to run a race together.

Amy & daughter Chole WDW Marathon Finisher!

Amy’s Ultra finish is a great reminder that you can accomplish anything you put your passion  and energy into! I am excited to join Amy in her “Ultra Greatness” as I tackle my first 40 miler in December (Pine Mountain 40)  Perhaps, our race calendars will collide and she will join me              ( hint..hint) 🙂

Although our race calendars have taken us on different paths and distances, one thing remains the same… I can always count on Amy to raise the bar and push me beyond my limits!  I am forever grateful for your support.  Without your push, I would have never discovered my love and passion for running. Thank You AMY!

My daily inspiration…..given to me by Amy!

“Its that bond for female runners that makes me want to be a better runner- to push me a little harder” ~ unknown

Lets re-enact this photo with Pine Mountain, GA in the background!

What Would Another Mother Runner Do? « another mother runner

What Would Another Mother Runner Do? « another mother runner.

I am super excited to be featured on AnotherMotherRunner.com!  I felt like a “Super” star all day long!  Thanks Sarah and Dimity!

 

Bad Ass and Barefoot…..Run Like a Mother weekend!

I cannot think of a better way to kick off an awesome weekend than attending a Another Mother Runner Mother House Party!  In case you did not know I am a HUGE fan of the wonderfully talented, insightful, witty, and vertically blessed ladies behind the AnotherMotherRunner.com community -Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. I potentially could be considered a “stalker” but I much prefer to refer to myself as a “Super Fan”.

I came to adore these ladies after picking up their first book Run Like a Mother How to Get Moving and Not lose Your Family, job, or Sanity.  Naturally, that title spoke to this full time working mother of two.  I loved the book so much, I read it very slowly in bits and pieces cause I did not want it to end.  I would laugh myself silly on a nightly basis, while at the same time gain tremendous insight into my new found passion of running.

I was honored and star struck to meet Sarah and Dimity at the Country Music Marathon- Nashville, TN in May 2011.  (Rebecca, Dimity is holding your signed book!). They were the highlight of my trip since the Nashville Marathon remains as my #1 personal worst finish ( so bad I thought my marathoning days were over)Country Music Marathon Expo, Nashville May 2011 Back to the book….. I finally finished it, and was thrilled to continued my Run Like a Mother (RLAM) daily fix on the Run Like a Mother, facebook community,  AnotherMotherRunner.com and twitter.  Take it from a true “Super Fan” if you are not following you are missing out!  No kids needed you just need to have ovulated at some point in your life.  These ladies cover topics you are sure not to find in-between the covers of any running magazine. 🙂

How is it possible these BRF's have un-revealed skeletons :)

How is it possible these BRF’s have un-revealed skeletons 🙂

So…..Friday night I  loaded up the Honda Odyssey Mini Van, with some gal pals,  and we headed to Chapel Hill for the House Party!  My gosh we laughed all the way there and back.  The perplexing thing about our evening  is how on earth have I logged hundreds upon hundreds of miles with two of these ladies, yet only that night were some of their deepest , darkest secrets revealed.  How can this happen?  Running partners know EVERYTHING!  Let me tell you……they are good ones too!  We had a great time!  I “Super Fan” was star struck by meeting Sarah and Dimity again. The picture is really bad,  I swear it looks like I have hives.

Another Mother Runner House Party! May 2012

It was so awesome they were in my own backyard (20 miles away….but close enough).  They read from their newest book Train Like a Mother…How to Get Across Any Finishing Line and – Not lose your Family, Job, and Sanity.  They had some great give aways and the BEST swag bags ever!  We all had a great time!  We were like kids at Christmas when we got in the car investigating the contents of the swag bag! Sweeeeet!

AMR Party!

Jill (the newest addition to the Another Mother Runner club) , who jokes all my running will kill me one day, finally agreed to joined me on one of my endorphin journeys.  She signed up for her first triathlon and major event.  I was soooooooo excited. Finally, I got her talked into to doing something with me!  Saturday night, I emailed Jill her detailed packing list and instructions to pack her bag, put her bike in the car, lay out her clothes, go to bed, and be at my house at 5:30am.  She follows and takes instructions well (still working on my kids)

Sunday…arrived way too early with a 4:30am wake up!  Jill and I headed up to North Raleigh for the Rambling Rose Women’s Triathlon.    The day was finally here and we were both ready……………or so I thought.  We arrived with plenty of time to spare.  Bikes racked, bodies marked, we were ready!  The outdoor swim was chilly.  I was thrilled to shave some major time off my March swim. The 10 mile bike was hilly, but really very beautiful through a residential neighborhood.  I was thrilled to complete the ride without any major bike malfunctions.  (2010- I rode in on the swag wag when my headset came loose…. and as a newbie had no tools).  I saw Jill in transition and gave her my hoot and hollering support while I quickly attempted to transition from my bike shoes to my running shoes……….

Woooooooops!  

Failed attempt! Two rights and no left.  Duh!  Nice!

Well, there was only one thing to do since DNF in not in my vocabulary ………..Barefoot!  Off I took, with my tender pedicured skin on the pavement.  Thanks!  Mr. red shirt volunteer  who yelled   “less heel, get on the balls of your feet.”  Much appreciated, advice for this virgin Bare-footer. I heard a range of comments from “Where are your shoes?”  “Look Mom that lady does not have on shoes.”  “Go Barefoot Lady!” to  “Barefoot…….NICE!”.  I felt like some renegade  showboating my barefoot skills at a beginner friendly event. SO NOT the case!  Who cares what anyone thinks? Not me!  I  embraced my situation and  PROUDLY funneled my inner Bad-Ass and enjoyed every minute and mile of my barefoot debut. I proved there is a little Kenyon in this white girl from eastern North Carolina. Interesting fact- I ran faster barefoot than I did in my tri in March.  

As promised,I jumped back in the race and ran the last mile with Jill!

I am beyond proud of my buddy Jill for:

#1-signing up after my subliminal hints

#2- enduring my training and crazed enthusiasm

#3-finishing strong!

She lived….(despite her prior advice to me) to tell the world she is a Triathlete!  Yea Jill! Oh and a shout out to Jennifer, Mary, and Sarah for their amazing finishes!

For me personally,  I am proud,of overcoming a race day obstacle and making the best of it.  Luckily, for me the barefoot thing worked and was not too uncomfortable.  I only it knew that because I tried!

Race day obstacles seems to be a 2012 pattern .

I left more than my mini mouse dots on the pavement

In January, at Walt Disney World Goofy’s Race  (half marathon & full marathon in the same weekend) I busted my a$% on  a street reflector in mile 11 of the half marathon with 2.1 miles to go…not to mention the 26.2 I had in less than 24 hours.  I knocked myself silly, but was swiftly picked up by some faceless knight and shining armor behind me.  I can still hear the ” awwww’s” and “oh craps” of my fellow runners as they watched me drop, skid, and roll on the concrete.(BRF Laura applauded me on how quickly I put my mini mouse ears back on)

Luckily, it was just road rash and not whiplash or knocked out teeth.  After a little clean up, I endured and finished both races with battle wounds!       ( Laura will tell you…as gross and painful as they were.. I was sickly proud of them)

So what does this pattern of race day mishaps mean for the remainder of my 2012 events?  I am not sure ….Just bring it! I will tackle it! One event at a time!

I have come to know, my drive and motivation comes from the accomplishment of pushing through mental and physical barriers.  It’s these challenges and  accomplishments that keep me logging the miles!

Here’s to all the Mother Runners….Funnel your inner Bad-Ass…you just never know what you might accomplish!  

~ BoxerRunner~

a.k.a Bad Ass Mother Runner

Photos!

Another Mother Runner Crew! Sarah, Jennifer, Jill, Dimity

Another Mother Runner Crew! Sarah, Jennifer, Jill, Dimity

Early birds!

Early birds!

All relaxed pre-race no idea I have two RIGHT running shoes

Now who is the crazy Mother Runner? Love this shot!

Who claims this man?  Jenn? Mary?  Sarah?

Priceless shirt...worn proudly by Mark!

Priceless shirt…worn proudly by Mark!

Coach Jenn and Jill!

Love the smile Jill!  Proof you loved it!

Love the smile Jill! Told ya it was fun!

Self portrait..killing time!

Boston Athletic Association…Honoring a fellow Marathoner and his Cheerleader

Say what you want about runners, despite our individual quirkiness, we are  dedicated to our sport and all those who partake in it.   We are a deeply caring and compassionate community.  We  connect to  runners we have never personally met  simply because we share the same drive, passion, and love for running.  We all run for different reasons and have many different goals but in the end we are all runners.  That is our simple connection and that is all that matters.

Last month I posted a 26.2 Mile Salute a tribute to Billy, written by my sister.  Billy, an advid and accomplished marathoner, was training for his second  Boston Marathon when he un-expectantly pass away.  His fellow running community ran in his honor, April 16th, 2012.

Forrest Gump running shoe fashion

One of Billy’s running partners, who honored Billy at his funeral by wearing his running shoes, contacted BAA to let them know that Billy passed away prior to hearing the starting gun of his 2nd Boston Marathon.   The kind and compassionate, fellow runners, at the Boston Athletic Association, took the time and effort to gather Billy’s race items and sent them along with a letter of condolence to Billy’s wife.

As you can imagine, the arrival of this un- expected package to Mrs. Blevins home address sparked a  variety of emotions.  The best I can glean from the email forwarded to me is that she   was honored and overjoyed.  The personal letter so eloquently ended by saying

                                        “he has fought the good fight and finished the race” 

Contents of the package from BAA

Way to go BAA! What a wonderful and  thoughtful way to honor a dedicated runner and his loyal cheerleader.  Mrs. Blevins, whom was his biggest fan,  was on the sidelines of all of Billy’s races,

I never had the honor of meeting Billy, nor have I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Blevins.  However, their story pulls at my heart strings and I feel an indescribable connection to them both.  There is no other explanation…it has to be the “runners connection”

 Run, Billy Run!  There is no pain in Heaven!

Rest in Peace 

BoxerRunner

Running for Billy….A 26.2 Mile Salute!

(My Sisters tribute to a friends father….I just had to share)

Today Bonnie’s dad,  would have been running in the Boston Marathon, but he died unexpectedly about a month ago. This morning Bonnie put out the challenge to all her family and friends to run the 26.2 miles together for her Dad. When all was said and done, 52.75 miles were logged for Billy in 3 different cities–
Kinston, Richmond, and Chicago.

Everything started at Subway Restaurant in the little town of Pink Hill. Lunchtime conversation with fellow pharmacist turned from prescriptions to the Boston Marathon. My heart immediately sunk. Oh my, this was Billy’s day to run. I knew I would definitely be reaching out to my freind, Bonnie, before the day was done. However, in a quick email check after lunch, I soon found that Bonnie had already reached out to us. She put the challenge out to cooperatively run 26.2 miles for Billy today. My immediate response, “I’m in!”.

For 3 months I was unable to run as I nursed an IT band injury I incurred from training for my first marathon. Then for the past 6 weeks and finally physically able to run again pain free, I had a new struggle. My motivation to hit the pavement was lack luster- at best. All I had mustered up recently were sporadic runs from week to week or sometimes even two weeks to two weeks. Tonight was different. I came home motivated to run. I knew this one was for Billy and for his family that we love. After working all day, I popped a spoonful of peanut butter down the hatch, and laced up my running shoes. I pet the dog and headed out the door. No, I was not waiting for my husband who said he would run with me at 9:30pm. This was it. I knew I had to go.

Now I wish I could tell you that this run was like a Disney movie and that I found great physical strength that I never knew I had and that I completed my run into a beautiful warm and glowing orange sunset and, of course, in record time and with a new personal record. No. Instead, my body struggled like a runner who was out of condition. I ran into the dusk and springtime darkness fighting all the newly hatching bugs as they crashed into my ears, nostrils, and yes, my mouth. My legs cried out, “please just stop”, but as I purposefully ran past the places that I knew meant so much to Billy–the Sullivan house on Sedgefield and the first Sullivan home on Dorcas Terrace, I knew I could do it. Each step I ran I thought of all the beautiful steps–and probably not always so easy steps–that Billy took over the years in helping impact the lives of his special family that we are so lucky to know. I kept going.

Rounding back home after 4 miles, my body was happy to see Margaret Lane, because that meant it was time to hit that magic button on the Garmin watch and let those tired legs rest.  I’ve run many runs over the last couple years,  and I’ve felt the satisfaction of finishing a good race, but this run was different. The satisfaction was deeper and more special.  With my legs slowing to walk, I threw my arms up in the air and spoke to heaven, “That one was for you, Billy.”  Billy ran the Boston Marathon today, but not alone.  Instead, he was in the company of all those who loved him who took on their part of today’s race for him.  I am so glad that I was able to do this very special Boston Marathon for Billy and all the people who love him so much.

Laury S,4 miles  10min 30 sec pace, April 16, 2012

Barbara- Billy’s wife of 47 1/2 years…. shared with me a little about Billy’s accomplishments. It is in the comments but I wanted to make sure is was visible. 

I was married to that Marathon Man, Billy Blevins, for 47 1/2 years!!! It was so sweet of Laury to write & you to post for the world to read. Billy first started running with an 8k in Richmond when he was 60 followed by many Marathons & also qualified for Boston x2 here. He completed 17 marathons including Boston-2006, London-April 2007,Berlin-Oct 2007, NY-2009, Chicago-2010, DC Marine Corp -2011, & VA Beach several times. Your site makes me happy……..Barbara M. Blevins (He died 3-12-12 exactly 5 weeks before Boston of a Heart Attack while sleeping).

Dedicate your next run to Billy!  I know I will!- BoxerRunner