Tag: Andrew Kastor
Last week, I dusted off my GARMIN and got my running shoes dirty. I even found myself relying on my MP3 player to get me jamming on a windy day. And on Sunday I was elated to meet my teammates for practice while Andrew watched Piper. We are settling into a routine as we balance our new roles as parents with our careers. We are having a blast as we figure this all out. I’m sure just as we think we have it down, Piper’s schedule will change. I am not complaining about the changes because one of those changes allowed us to sleep for four straight hours last night. Yes!
I look forward to building up my mileage this summer and racing again come late summer and fall. While I’m chasing my fitness at home in Mammoth Lakes, I will also be hosting running camps. So, pack your bags and come to Mammoth this summer. All the proceeds of the camps directly fund the Mammoth Track Project. Our local, non-profit running club High Sierra Striders is in the final stages of breaking ground on this beautiful facility. These camps are available for youth, high school and college runners as well as an adult Marathon camp. The youth, high school and college camps will be held at our beautiful Cerro Coso Community college apartments and will be packed with running adventures. The adult running camp is sure to be a first-class experience as guests of this camp stay at the renowned Westin Monache here in Mammoth Lakes. Highlights of all the camps include runs to the top of Mammoth Mountain and Rainbow Falls as well as “Dinner with Olympians”. Find out more and register at www.mammothrunningcamps.com . It will be a summer to remember and I look forward to sharing it with you!
Andrew and I managed to get out on our first date! We forwent the dinner-date and opted to connect over a run outside before Mother Nature decided to open up her bowels and dump (my husband added this colored commentary) nine feet of snow. This storm made for the snowiest winter in Mammoth history, 600 inches and counting! Grandma Kastor held baby Piper and sang her nursery rhymes as we set out on the “Kastor 20 minute loop” around town. I was relieved that our 20 minute loop only took 19 minutes because, I was expecting 25 plus! We even got to add on in our neighborhood which seemed foreign to me.
The only two things I was denied during pregnancy was my passion for running and my love of wine. Running or walking gave me horrible side stitches and wine tasted like rancid grapes. Now, I feel smooth and lighter than ever on my feet, and I didn’t have to “re-train” my pallete for wine. As I type this, I seem to have gathered some resemblance of my old routine, drinking a nice glass of The Maven by Torrin Winery of Paso Robles after playing with an interval session of 1 minute “on” one minute “off” earlier today.
It is great to run again, but I really look forward to “training” which requires a whole new level of commitment. We are finding our routine with Piper so that this week ahead looks a little more structured. I plan on logging miles again for the first time in over 6 months! This last month I have merely logged feedings and dirty diapers, so mileage is a welcomed addition.
Since running has come back so easily, I look forward to racing in the late summer and early fall. The Carlsbad 5000 is next weekend and I secretly wish I was ready to race there. It is one of my favorite road races on the running circuit. This year marks the 11 year anniversary of my American Record and the 9 year anniversary of my World Record in Carlsbad. I hope to be fit and fast to join the starting line next year. All the best to those who will be running there.
Teammate and friend Josh Cox and his wife, Carrie, just welcomed their little boy Asher Legend into the world! Asher and our two-week-old Piper will see their fair share of scenery as our significant others drive next to us during our long runs. Carrie and Andrew will give the kids a driving tour through the dirt roads and trails surrounding Mammoth Lakes. Carrie will undoubtedly be playing some U2 from the car for Josh while Andrew gives me some inspiration through Techno music. Our kids will also be well-traveled as they come to our races and meet the great community of runners we are a part of.
Piper loves to walk. Actually, she loves to cry but is soothed by walking. During my pregnancy, she seemed to revolt against any type of activity, but she now loves the rhythm of walking and the hum of the treadmill. March is too cold to take her outside, so the treadmill has acted as her “pacifier”.
It seems so clear to me that going for a walk or run is a great way to pacify any of us. In fact, the 45 minutes I walked was more time than I slept last night, and it is amazing how that walk recharged me. There are so many problems that get solved by simply putting on your running shoes and logging a few miles. As I settle for walking right now, I can’t wait to open up my stride and head out for a run. It’s been a while! In fact, while I was walking on the treadmill today, it was everything in my power not to turn the speed up and start running with Piper in my arms. The anticipation to run is equally exciting as when I finally get out the door for what will be the first time in months. I have a brand new pair of ASICS gel-Stratus waiting by the door for the much anticipated day. I hope to write about it soon…
Experienced moms have told me to take advantage of the baby sleeping and get some rest myself. I am choosing to blog instead because of the gratitude I feel for the support so many running fans have offered during my pregnancy and the congratulations that followed her birth. Andrew’s and my first child was born last week. My typical days of 12 hours sleep are long gone, but I have this new surge of hormones to keep me on cloud nine, at least for the time being. Piper has all her dad’s features with the exception of having acquired my large, protruding rib cage. I’m not saying she’ll be a distance runner, because she may be may be a flutist, a balloon-blowing circus clown or anything else requiring a large lung capacity.
I am itching to run again once we get this parenting thing down. I assume in a couple weeks we will have found a flow, and I look forward to blogging about my first run back after this long hiatus. After giving birth, no hill will be too steep, no interval too taxing and no long run too enduring. I was told repeatedly throughout my pregnancy that giving birth was like running a marathon. To that, I say certainly not. Giving birth was more painful from the very start as opposed to merely hurting in the final 10K, it lasted longer than 2 hours 19 minutes, and the scenery never changed as time ticked by. The only thing similar was that I hung some inspiration on the bulletin board in our hospital suite just like I do when in my hotel room when I’m racing. I had the “I LOVE YOU” note Andrew and I have been passing back and forth for the past 10 years. It is always present when we are going through a landmark moment. The other poster on the wall was the ASICS acronym, Anima Sana In Corpora Sano, or a sound mind in a sound body. These qualities are necessary to succeed in anything we set out to accomplish. In running, I reflect on these words often, but the foundation of the company is appropriate in so many of life’s endeavors.
So, it’s been quite a week and I relied on a lot of tools that have made me a successful athlete, but delivering a baby is no marathon. Delivering a baby is the hardest thing I have ever done, but our most difficult tasks are the most rewarding. I look forward to seeing you at the races with our baby girl in tow. We are grateful to raise her in such a supportive running community, full of positive role models.
The New York City Marathon is quickly approaching, and although I’m not racing, I have an action-packed week ahead. On Friday, November 5th at noon I’ll be signing autographs at the ASICS store at 51 West 42nd Street. This innovative store has equipment to analyze your foot strike and help match you up with the perfect shoe. Getting into the right shoe can be an easy change to get the most of your training and allow you to reach your goals without making any other changes.
On Saturday I will be at the marathon expo from 11 am to 1 pm signing autographs for ASICS and ING. On top of speaking engagements at events hosted by the New York Road Runners, New York Athletic Club and ASICS, I am also going to be visiting with Al Roker of the Today Show. He is running his first marathon but has been running quite a bit over the past five years as a way to stay healthy. I hope to offer him some great last-minute tips. I’ll also try to ease some pre-race jitters when I join over a dozen magazine editors for a pre-race run through Central Park. ASICS has supported these editors in their marathon build-up with the help of coaching from my husband, Andrew.
On race day, I will be working with NBC while I conduct interviews with various athletes. I have a stellar list of runners I’ll be visiting with on the starting line in hopes to capture their final thoughts before the gun fires. And, I assume a bus will take me to the finish line since I’m supposed to be there also to capture the words behind the performances of some of our top performers.
Race week in NY is always a buzz of excitement. If you are not running or one of the two million people cheering on the side lines, you can still be an influence on this prestigious event. The New York Road Runners are deeply committed to their youth programs, which touch young lives across the country. You can help with their efforts and touch the lives of children through running by bidding on an ebay item. This auction item will earn you an Adventure Getaway to Mammoth Lakes, California, where I live and train. The package includes airfare, lodging, ski passes, cross-country ski passes, equipment, snowmobile rides and dinner at my favorite restaurant. Check out this great auction item.
This contribution has a great reward in our resort town of Mammoth Lakes! If I don’t see you in New York City, I hope to see you in Mammoth!
What a weekend in Chicago! I love it when weekends come together as smoothly as this past one did. Andrew and I traveled to Chicago for this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon and were greeted with some of the best weather we ever experienced in Chicago. It made the days leading up to the race so pleasant to get out and run along the lakefront. It is always a great sight to watch a city transform as marathon morning approaches. Barricades begin to line the most popular streets, dozens of large white tents pop up in the parks and parking lots, and walking the streets are some of the most fit people from around the world.
I was working with NBC as I rode the women’s lead vehicle and gave commentary on what was unfolding. My friend and running expert Toni Reavis was on the men’s lead vehicle with a similar job. The temperature would prove a little warm on race day but that didn’t disturb the pace and drama of the races that unfolded in the lead packs. The races were simply awesome. On the women’s side it looked as though we had a clear winner until defending champion Liliya Shobukhova came from behind and blew by to claim victory. The men’s side was even more dramatic as they fought the entire last 10K to see who this year’s champion was going to be. Being with the women, I didn’t get to see the men’s race unfold, but Toni Reavis did such a great job in his commentary that I was able to hear through my headset exactly what was going on. Both Liliya and Sammy Wanjiru defended their titles from last year. It was thrilling.
After a long post-race nap Andrew and I went out for some Chicago-style pizza. The same people who were walking the streets earlier this week were now wearing their finishers’ medals and hobbling down the sidewalks. The curbs at intersections looked painful to negotiate whether stepping up the curb or down it. At stop signs, some runners attempted to lightly stretch the muscles that were keeping them from moving normally. The thing that stood out in all this apparent crippling of the city is that they were all smiling. The greater the struggle, the more triumphant the medal-wearing runner became. With perseverance comes a sense of great accomplishment. Many people asked me if it was difficult to be in Chicago and not be racing. Not at all. Although I am not training hard these days, running still gives me a high whether I’m out doing it or merely watching. The spirit of marathon running is a joy to be a part of whether you are a spectator or a participant.
My next stop will be for the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon on October 24. It’s LA, so bring your sunscreen for all the sunshine we get and your camera for the celebrities that are bound to be there! Hope to see you in LA.
In order to support youth initiatives through running, I have teamed up with the New York Road Runners to offer a run and breakfast while in New York City for the marathon. It is being offered to the highest bidder and is bound to be a fun morning running through Central Park followed by breakfast in my favorite NY City café. Click here for more information.
Andrew and I are ecstatic to announce we are expecting our first child. Although we are announcing the pregnancy early, it seems fair to let my “team” in this sport know. I felt it important to share the news with my friends at ASICS, the New York Road Runners, Competitor, GARMIN, and my Mammoth Track Club teammates. The running community is small and with mass communication, it isn’t easy to keep such a big secret. So, we are putting it out there. No rumors, just straight to the facts. Andrew and I are expecting our first child in March. In the past we have always chosen to postpone being parents, but this has been more rewarding than I ever imagined. We don’t know if it is a boy or girl, but after seeing such a strong heartbeat, we are hoping the baby has my VO2max and Andrew’s speed. (continue reading…)
This is by far the most difficult blog to write, but it is the only thing to write about since this is what has consumed my most recent days. Andrew and I lost our 14 year old Chocolate Lab this weekend. I had Aspen since my senior year at the University of Arkansas and Andrew met us four years later. He only knew Aspen and me together. She always looked young for her age, as she had some Brittany Spaniel in her, which made her more petite, and she had absolutely no gray hair (a trait Andrew envied). Aspen was with us for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, but started having difficulties there. (continue reading…)