Thursday, March 10, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Back in December, I posted about what I wanted for Christmas from Santa. I have to say, that I have gotten a lot of things on that list including...

* CNY Triathlon club membership renewed
* Entry fee into the 2011 Iron Girl
* Subscriptions to Runner's World and Triathlete magazines
* New running shoes from Fleet Feet
* Entry fee into the Green Lakes Triathlon
* Smart Wool socks
* A family friendly job for Dan

The last thing that I've gotten is "a job or a couple PT jobs..." and that is what my big news is about. It's been a long process that started back in October and it's still not completely where I want it to be. But, I am on the right track.

I can't remember the name of the author or the exact title, but a couple years back I read a book that told you how to be a "Renaissance Person." This is someone who has a lot of different interests and the book explained how you could do all these different things. I see Coach Kelly as someone like this. She is a triathlete, a coach, a professor, a mom, and a professional musician.

Ever since I read this book, I dreamed of being able to be this type of person. My interests include teaching, sports, event management, graphic arts, triathlon training, and being the best mom. This week, everything finally fell into place for me and I think I can now truly call myself a Renaissance Woman. Here is how...

* In October, I was hired by The Manufacturers' Associaion of Central New York (MACNY) to cover for a woman while she was out for some surgery. This job was suppose to last 6-8 weeks and my duties included coordinating all the details for their training events and helping one of the VPs with communications. At the end of the 8 weeks, they asked if I wanted to stay on longer. Naturally I said yes! And today they presented me with a job offer to come on as one of their regular employees. So, with this job, I'll be able to do event management, graphic arts, and the schedule allows me to get Alex on and off the bus, so I'll be able to be a mom too.

* Sometime in the fall, I started discussion with the YMCA to come on as a math tutor. Saturday I go for my training and next week I'll take on my first students. So, with this job, I'll be able to get back into teaching.

* Now for my "big news." Since the story is pretty long, some other day I'll put up a post on how I went after a master's degree in sport management. But, all of my life, I've had an enjoyment of sports and eventually wanted it to become my day job. I got my degree in 2007 and worked in sports until 2010 when I got laid off. Other than local colleges, I feared I reached the end of the road for opportunities to work locally in sports.

But, in early November, a press release went out about a new event coming to town: the Empire State Marathon. After some research, I discovered that the Event Director was Brian Collins of Phoenix, AZ and brother of my running coach Kevin Collins. The gears started in my head and I started thinking that it would be difficult to organize a marathon from AZ and that they might just need some staff locally to help pull it off. I figured since I knew Kevin that I should email him to see what he knew. Next thing I know, Keving is telling me he forwarded my email to Brian and a few days later I'm getting a call from Brian.

And now, after 4 months, I'm happy to unofficially announce (an agreement will be signed soon!) that I will be the Volunteer Director for the inagural Empire State Marathon. Since this is the first year of the event, there isn't money to get paid, so I will be a volunteer too. But, my hope, and Brian's hope, is to make the race a big enough success that maybe in the future this position can grow into something paid. So, even though I'm not completely where I wanted to be with this position, I'm in a great place. I'm really looking forward to proving myself and helping the event be a huge success.

I hope those of you reading this think my news is "big" because I sure do! I guess it feels big because I went after something and achieved it. This is something I never would have done 10 years ago because I would have thought I wasn't worthy of it. Maybe I'm finally getting some self esteem...better late than never I suppose!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run...or should I say Walk...Race Report

I'll use "Race Report" loosely since I wasn't really racing. After my stress fracture, the last thing I should be doing is racing. But, I was eager to get out with other like-minded people to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a fun, fit way. So, once I felt I could walk the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run course, I signed up and looked forward to the race.

Actually, the one thing I look forward to most is getting the race shirt. On Friday night, I headed up to Burnet Park to pick race packets for me and fellow walker Erin. It took me forever to get there in rush hour traffic, but I made it. Unfortunately, it took me so long to get there, that poor Alex had to miss his karate practice. Oh well. I loved that we got tech shirts, but I didn't love that they were huge. I'm getting to be like Coach Kelly and think there should be women's fit shirts. Note to self: if it's a co-ed race and everyone gets the same shirt: order a Small. If it's a women's race: order a Large.

Saturday morning I picked up Erin and headed toward Tipp Hill. We found a parking space at the park and headed up toward the start line. The temperature wasn't too bad in the 50's, but it was damp and raining on and off. Luckily, they had turf down on the ice rink and that is where they had everyone gather. Erin and I found some YMCA friends like Nanette, Christine, and Shawn. We all headed outside with about 15 minutes to go and Shawn got this nice picture of us waiting for the gun to sound.

Pretty soon we were off. Shawn wanted to run as much of the race as possible, but Erin and I were walking the whole thing. I was pretty surprised to see Paula, a frind and soccer teammate from high school, just as I was passing the Start line. I think she was there volunteering. The highlight during the first mile was passing by the upside-down traffic light.

Soon we were passing by the famous Coleman's and then eventually the Blarney Stone.

The Blarney Stone has a special place in my heart because that is where we watched the Syracuse University men's basketball team win the NCAA Championship in 2003. For 3 weekends in a row, a group of us watched the first game at our friend Mike's house and the second game at the Blarney Stone. I will never forget that Monday night 8 years ago as long as I live.

It seemed like we were walking forever before hitting the halfway point. I think we made it there in about 33 minutes or so and that was with 2 stops to take pictures. At about the 2.5 mile point we made a goal to pass 5 people before the Finish line. We got rained on a little at this point, but we started picking off people one by one. By the time we got to the Finish line we had passed 31 people. Woo hoo! I'm really happy we did because we only "beat" 53 people, so without those 31 people passed, we would have only "beat" 22 people. Hey, you got to take the small victories when you get them!

So, in the end, we finished with a time of 1:03:42. We would have love to finish in under 1 hour, but considering we are both re-habbing injuries, we'll take it. The goal for next year is to run it.

Before I go, I have to give kudos to my running coach Kevin Collins. He's been having us run sprints and hills and I've hated it. But, I don't know if we could have passed all the people we did without that training. A lot of the people we passed were on the hills. And I really don't remember too many people passing us. So, thanks Coach Kevin!

Gotta go. Next post is my "big" announcement.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hey There Running Shoes!! Remember Me??

Today was a day that I've been looking forward to and also dreading for about 5 weeks. It was my first run since the discovery of my stress fracture. Although I used to hate running, I've missed it terribly. Not sure if it was because I hated the fact that I couldn't do it or if I truly have developed a love of running. Either way, I couldn't wait to get back to it.

However, I've been dreading it because I've been scared to re-injure myself. What if I started out and the pain came back. The air cast would have to go back on for who knows how long. I was scared of what might happen.

Today was the first day of the spring running group. So, I showed up at the YMCA for my 5:45 AM session. My plan was to run inside on the treadmill as per doctor's orders. He wants me on a treadmill and off the pavement for another couple weeks or so. (I'm going to hit the pavement on Saturday for the Tipperary Hill Shamrock 4 mile Run, but I'm going to walk most if not all of it, so I think I'll be OK.) The part of the plan that I wasn't sure of was how long I should run. I left that decision up to Kevin. I ended up walking at a 2.7 pace for 5 minutes to warm up a little. Then I did some easy jogging at a 3.5 pace for 15 minutes and ended with a 5 minute cool down at 2.7.

When it was over, I braced myself for pain...but it never came. All day I was pain free...woo hoo!!!!

Going forward, I think my running schedule will be as follows:

* Monday: run 15 minutes before 6:00 AM spin class
* Wednesday: run with the group or on my own on the treadmill at 5:45 AM
* Thursday: run 15 minutes after 5:45 AM spin class
* Saturday: "long" run of 30 minutes with the group at Green Lakes, Onondaga Lake Park, or on my own
* Sunday: maybe some aqua jogging

I'm going to try this schedule for about 3 weeks and see how it goes.

When I spoke with Kevin this morning he told me that he changed the schedule for the groups. In the previous sessions, we increased our time every two weeks. This time around, we increase every three weeks. And, get ready for this, he said it was my injury that made him do the change. Wow! I didn't realize I had that kind of power! ;-) I don't know if I should feel proud or guilty for this! ;-)

Well, I better get going and start dinner. Within the next week I've got some news to share about a project that I'll be involved with that involves some distance running, so stay tuned for that.