Monday, May 14, 2012
On Saturday, May 12 I got up at 5:45 to get ready to run the Mermaid East Bay run in Fremont, California. The 5k was to begin at 9am and I needed to meet up with my daughter in law at 7:15 so that we could park and be ready to run by the time our race started. Traffic tends to get busy around the area where the event was being held and I didn't want to be sitting in the long line waiting when our time came, so I planned on arriving early. We arrived at about 7:45, found a nice parking spot and got ready to head over to the start. We were meeting up with 2 of Veronica's friends, who she had inspired to start taking charge of their bodies and begin exercising and eating better. It's pretty cool how this trickles down. I had inspired Veronica and another friend and she had inspired 2 others. One of Veronica's friends was going to be walking most of the 5k so I told her to start from the back of the pack so that people running it would not have to work their way around her. Veronica had been training for the past 4 weeks and was coming closer to running at my pace so I told her she could start with me, but that I would quickly be moving ahead of her. Her other friend is slower than she is and she told her the same thing.
The race started promptly at 9am and headed out towards the parking lot on paved ground. Soon we would be on an unpaved gravel surface though. The path soon became narrow with weeds growing between 2 single wide paths, making it difficult to pass slower runners. This lasted for about a quarter mile - a bit frustrating and slowing down several of the ladies. I reached mile 1 at a pace of about 10:20, a little slower that I would have liked to have been, but not too bad considering the conditions. When the path widened I was able to pick up my pace a bit. At about the 2 mile marker I could see my boss (who inspired me to start running) ahead of me. I was catching her and was going to pass her - very surprising to me since I had only been running for just over 2 years and she has been running for close to 30 years. I said hi and ran with her for a short while and then pulled away. I hit the 3 mile marker at about 31 minutes and headed toward the finish line - a pretty steep uphill climb on a grassy surface! I finished at about 33 minutes according to my watch, but knew it would be a bit faster since I started and stopped my watch at different times from crossing the start and finish lines.
Official time was 32:29. I finished 3rd of 19 in my age group and 87 of 569 total in the 5k. My daughter in law finished in 37:49 - a new personal record for her!
I call this blog Inspired by Love because of my wonderful daughter in law. At the end of the race we went to a free photo both that was set up. There were small chalk boards where we could write our own messages. Veronica came up with Inspired by Love, since I had inspired her to become more healthy and she is using that to help her friends
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
For the past week I have been participating in a Toys for Tots on line challenge. It was sponsored by Earndit.com - an online fitness tracker. People from all over the world register to this and use various trackers (Runkeeper, Fitbit, Garmin, Foresquare, etc) to earn points for gift cards or discounts on various health or fitness related items. I use Runkeeper, so all of my tracking is done outdoors. Earndit gives 10 points per mile to a maximum of 60 points per day (6 miles) for foot activity (running or walking) and for cycling you get 60 points by biking 20 miles. For the past couple of months various vendors have been setting up challenges to get bigger gift certificates - people who earn 360 points go into a drawing for the grand prize and people who earn 100 points or more go into a drawing for a lesser prize. I usually enter the challenges and there are usually about 1,000 or more people from the US and several other countries who participate. There is usually no charge to enter a challenge
For the Toys for Tots Challenge, there was a fee of $10 to enter. The winner would get all of the donations donated to Toys for Tots in their name. To win this challenge you would need to earn 60 points per day for 7 days. For me this meant walking and or running 6 miles per day for 7 days. Being winter and days being short I knew this would not be easy, but did want to get to the maximum of 420 points so I could be eligible for the drawing to win. There were a total of 59 participants - a little disappointing since there are normally over 1,000 people in the other challenges. I did get out and run or walk 2 to 3 times per day for 7 days. I ran a couple of times at 5:30 in the morning, walked at lunch for 2-3 miles and walked after I got home from work - enough to ensure I would get the 6 miles each day. The last day of the challenge was yesterday. I checked last night before I went to bed and saw there were 11 of us who where at the maximum points of 420. This morning I received an email that said I was the winner, so $590 was donated to the local Toys for Tots organization in my name! Even if I hadn't won, I am very happy that I participated in this great cause and very proud that I was able to squeeze in the 6 plus miles each day.
Below is the email all the participants received today:
Thank you so much for participating in the Toys for Tots Challenge.
You showed true holiday spirit with your generous $10 donation to Toys for Tots. Because of your help, some children who wouldn't otherwise receive gifts will now experience that joy. We are so touched by your participation in the first-ever charity challenge on Earndit, and as a small token of our appreciation, we've given you 100 bonus points. That's like running 10 miles!
Go ahead and redeem your points for a nice little reward for yourself.
Your Earndit Crew
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Today I got up at 4:30 to meet up with a friend and my daughter in law to go do a 5k in San Francisco.
This was Michelle's 1st 5k, Veronica's 2nd and my 4th. We arrived at Marina Green in San Francisco at about 7am and checked out the area. At 8am the race began. Michelle would be doing a walk/slow jog and Veronica was going to do her best to run as much as she could. My goal was to complete the 5k without walking. The route would take us up close to the Golden Gate Bridge, along Crissy Field with Alcatraz off in the distance and then back to the finish line near Marina Green. As I approached the 1 mile marker my iPhone with the Runkeeper app told me I had been running for 10 minutes. At this point I knew I was going to have a new personal best time if I was able to keep up with the pace. The Bridge was beautiful, but I didn't have time to stop and take pictures, but was hoping Michelle was going to be able to do it since she was just walking. As I approached the 2 mile marker, I heard that I was at 20 minutes. I was still keeping the same pace. It had rained the day before, so there were many puddles to avoid. I was starting to get tired and was debating walking for a short period, but decided to keep pushing through because I was pretty sure I was ahead of my previous pace back in May. Next was the 3 mile marker and shortly after that, the finish line. I pushed through and crossed the finish line 32 minutes and 3 seconds after crossing the start line - a new personal record - by one minute!
As I was cooling down, I was watching for Veronica to come across the finish line. I figured she would be coming in at about 40 minutes or so. She came in at 42 minutes. She has asthma and has had knee problems in the past and also has weight issues. She was inspired by me to start running and work on getting her weight under control. I bought her a good pair of running shoes. She had been wearing any old pair of inexpensive shoes she could find, but I told her she needed good shoes if she wanted to run and not continue to mess up her knees and feet. She has lost about 30 or so pounds in the past yearand is planning on training more for her next 5k in May 2012. She has set up her goal for that run. I am so proud of Veronica for doing this and working on improving her health.
Next I figured Michelle would be coming through at about 50-55 minutes. I saw her off to the side and cheered her on to get to the finish line. She completed it at a slow jog. I am so happy and proud of Michelle. She is overweight and has a large variety of issues that prevent her from being able to exercise as much as she would like to. She told me as she came across the finish line she wanted to cry. I had told her I had the same feeling 18 months ago as I finished my first 5k. It is such an emotional experience - knowing you had worked hard to attain a goal of participating in and then finishing your first 5k. For me, I am 56 and ran my first 5k at the age of 54 years, 10 months - after just running my first mile EVER just 2 weeks earlier!
I had a great time and all 3 of us plan on running the next Mermaid run in the East Bay in May 2012. We have all set our goals and will train to help attain those goals
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