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.
It was a crazy week in New York City. I never thought I would say this, but it is way easier to run than to work at these events. One of my days consisted of a 4:00 am wake-up call only to return to our hotel at 10:30 that night. Long days. Now that a good night’s sleep (11 hours) is behind me, I can say it was a blast. I was able to be on air with Al Roker for his morning weather report, help raise money for New York Road Runners Youth Programs, run with various magazine editors whom my husband is coaching and be the keynote speaker at the New York Athletic Club dinner.
The day before the race I signed autographs at the ASICS store and Paragon Sports (with hurdle star Lolo Jones). Later, I went to the race expo to do a question and answer session with running expert Toni Reavis as well as signed autographs at the ASICS booth and the ING booth. I went through about 400 posters that day.
Race morning called for an early start as I was helping NBC with elite athlete interviews. All the athletes were gracious to give me some of their precious time before and after the race.
After our obligations were met, Andrew and I sat in a window seat of my favorite NYC café. We sipped on hot soup, ate sandwiches and watched through the window as runners passed in their silver post-race blankets. Their salt-encrusted faces wore smiles despite the fact that they were walking with an uncomfortable hitch in their step. It reminded me of one of my decisions to reward myself by shoe-shopping after the Olympic Trials in Boston in 2008. I went to my favorite shoe store on Newbury Street and bought a pair of brown leather flats, sure to go with everything in my wardrobe. Well, I got to wear those shoes for two days until the swelling went down in my feet and the shoes immediately became too big for me! So, to all you female runners out there, DO NOT reward yourself with shoes right after a great race! It is fun at the time, but a waste of hard-earned money and sweat! Try some of my other rewards like indulging in high-quality face cream, buying new bamboo bed sheets or consuming the ever-so-satisfying toasted coconut almond fudge gelato!
Andrew and I sat in that window seat long enough to order a post-lunch pastry and hot cocoa because we were having so much fun watching the racers limp past us. This was a rare occasion that my racing shoes were left at home so many miles away, but the spirit of the marathon gives me a “runner’s high” no matter how I’m involved. What a weekend.
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!
I returned to Mammoth in time for rain and snow to wipe out my allergy problems. The quick change of seasons has been refreshing in many ways. Not only is it nice to get out and run on these crisp mornings, but it is also nice to have a change of running clothes as I bring the tights and long-sleeves to the front of my closet.
I am only home a short while before heading to Chicago for this weekend’s marathon. The men’s and women’s fields are very impressive so we are bound to see some dramatic races unfold. Although I’m not running this year, I am helping NBC with their television coverage as I ride the women’s lead vehicle. I travel with the lead pack and give up-to-date information on how the race is unfolding. Sometimes it is easier to race because we have trained well for it; television commentary is relatively new to me. I like the challenge since my challenges aren’t coming in training these days. I am more than halfway through this pregnancy and feel great. The joys of starting a family have been more powerful than I ever knew possible.
But, this week I’ll be in Chicago with my extended running family. Marathon week in Chicago is so much fun. The city welcomes runners from around the world with so much to do even before race day. The places I will frequent will be the waterfront for great running, the ASICS booth at the marathon expo and the two screenings of Spirit of the Marathon that also take place at the McCormick Place Expo. The screenings of this great documentary will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8 p.m. on Saturday in room E350. Other than that, there are great races lined up for the 45,000 runners and a cheering crowd of 1.7 million on the streets of the city.
This Saturday was my first run back after the London Marathon three weeks ago. I can’t imagine having more fun than beginning my summer season running through Trefethen winery in Napa, California. ASICS and Oakley hosted magazine editors for a wine country weekend. We received the latest Oakley shades and ASICS shoes as well as older vintages of Trefethen Wine. (continue reading…)