Although I ran less overall, I didn’t give into any pressure to run half marathons like my other buddies (I know which distances work for me), nor to run races in town because they’re popular. I sought to do only “away” races (except for a special one, and you’ll see why in a sec.
Aww yeah! My goal-getting just won’t stop. I have wanted to make my life coaching gift “official” since 2008, when I first became the client of a life coach in New York City. She was the one who encouraged me to write my first book. Fast forward 7 years of personal and professional obstacles and achievements later, and now I am a professional certified life coach!
I took my practicum this past Saturday and passed. I am over the moon with pride and gratitude to all of the people who have ever coached me, encouraged me, or supported me in word, prayer or deed. In my heart I always knew I was a coach; only now have I made it official with all the back-to-back projects I’ve taken on over the years. Everything on “the back burner” is now off, so now my “stove” is empty. And I will keep helping others reach their goals, too.
That includes you, my dear reader. You have been so loyal. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. I have a lot more to give and I am ready to serve.
Keep pushing towards your goals! It’s not just a trite cliche; you can do just about anything you set your mind to–no matter how long it takes. 🙂
Chicago Women Rock was my second race of 2015, but the first all-womens race I’ve ever done. That is really light, considering I used to run a race just about every month. But I’m making changes to my racing budget and doing more things with my business, thus racing is not as high a priority. I volunteer for races sometimes locally, as Atlanta is never short on a race. But I now prefer to do mostly destination races instead of repeating the same ones locally. So I headed to Chicago on the eve Chicago Women Rock, which was held on Saturday, September 19.
I arrived in Chicago 4 pm the day before the race. It was gray and had just started raining when my flight landed. It rained very hard, almost nonstop until just before my 10K started the next morning. Traffic was horrible, and I had a slight ordeal at the rental car office, but thanks to Google Maps, I finally made it to the 63rd Street Beach House on Lake Shore Drive about 40 minutes before the expo was to close.
This was the smallest expo I’ve ever seen. I only recall a few vendors: race tees & socks, Nissan and a company selling pretty headbands. I went to the back of the hall to find the table set up with volunteers handing out jackets and bibs for this race as well as the Monster Dash 5k.
A lady in front of me in line was kind enough to tell me I had to know my bib number to pick it up. Well, I received exactly two emails since I registered, which were the automatic confirmation of my payment back in July, and a promotional email 2 days ago about a different race. She said I had to go to the organizers website (Team Ortho) and confirm something to look up the bib number. Turns out they found my bib using my name, and handed me a small envelope with the bib and safety pins. On the back were detailed instructions about placing the chip on your shoe, but it was the bib that had the timing chip. There was nothing in the packet about where to park, start times and locations, Porta potty/water stations–zip.
I got in a second line to pick up my awesome jacket. Let’s face it, that was the last influencing factor in me flying my fam to the Chi to run in the cold 🙂
Then I went to find someone who I could ask a few questions about race logistics since none were in my packet. Parking is what causes me the most anxiety the night before a race in an unfamiliar city, so I made sure I had that info.
It ended up being a long evening driving in the pouring rain, so I had McDonald’s as my dinner around 10 pm and only slept about 5 hours.
I headed to the race with my fam early and arrived around 6:20 am. Another race was in progress (probably the full and/or the half) but thanks to my sister’s disabled parking tag, we were able to find a spot in a lot across the street from the beach house and near the pedestrian walkway without circling. I paid the pay station $2.25 for 3 hours with my card. However some folks struggled because the signs said it took coins, but would not accept them. Pay stations aren’t the responsibility of the race organizer, but parking logistics factor into the race experience, so to me, it’s worth mentioning.
Sitting in the car without it running, we weren’t cold. But as soon as you opened the doors, you couldn’t hide from those gusty winds. I shot a few brief Periscope videos as I approached the start line and waited, but I stayed cold until about mile 2–including my hands. It was about 61 degrees, so I was surprised.
I grew up in Utica, NY from age 3, and not fond of it overall. In spite of this, I decided last year that I wanted to go back to do the Boilermaker 15K. I haven’t been to Utica since my daughter was a newborn 12 years ago. My mom was my last family member to move South with us in 2004, so there’s been no compelling reason to go back.
The Boilermaker 15K is the biggest 15K in the world, and takes place on the second Sunday of July (July 13, 2015 is the 38th annual event).
Training and Prep
I started the Hal Higdon training plan at the top of May, simultaneously doing T25 Beta round for the first 5 weeks. On July 4, I had nothing to do (I did the biggest 10K in the world last year, Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race) and since it poured all morning, I decided to make it a rest day instead of my usual long run day. I’ve never done more than 3 miles on a treadmill and didn’t want to then, either. So I spent the entire morning reading race recaps to add to the hype I was feeling about coming back home to run a race I heard about all my life, but never cared until I became a runner.
New York Travels
A few days later, I flew to NYC to hang out and visit friends before heading to Utica for the big race weekend. I had not seen these besties of mine in 9 and 18 years respectively! And my visit meant that they got to reconnect too (they are mutual friends and each of them also have very young children.)
It was awesome to run in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan–I did a quickie shakeout run a couple of days before my race. I would love to run in the park without crowds and street lights, so maybe next time I can plan better for that. (It was kinda cool to sleep in an apartment with a fire escape. I imagined I was in a real-life episode of Blue Bloods with Donnie Wahlberg.) I don’t know if I’ll ever get to run a race in one of the five boroughs. I prefer races under 10K anywhere, and when traveling, I like Saturday races better than Sunday–so we’ll see.
When I took the train to Utica, I spent some of that time editing a couple of my forthcoming episodes of my forthcoming podcast (next month!), Kickin’ It with Daree. I’ll talk about that more in another post soon.
FAVE BIB – Rise Up & Run (5K) with the Atlanta Falcons, October 18 (coincidentally, my bib number is also my hometown’s area code)
FAVE MEDAL – Peachtree Road Race (10K), July 4
I initially joined the local YMCA during the summer that my daughter was turning 5, to get a discount on summer camp. The main draw maintaining my Y membership over the years since then has been TurboKick classes. I loved the combo of hip hop music and moves mixed with martial arts-infused flair. Once I became certified to teach classes myself (and eligible to purchase my own TK rounds), ironically I started slowly falling out of love with it.
Don’t get me wrong–I still enjoy my old-school rounds, but gradually, I became less attached to it than ever before (from 2008 to present).
During the past several months, I still enjoyed my group exercise classes at the Y, but couldn’t easily fit some of the classes into my schedule. I also found myself wanting to do different things in the classes and be more independent with the exercises chosen. For example, one instructor in particular, although very fit and good at instruction, seemed to always want to do the same exact warm-up and same leg and butt exercises when she taught every Wednesday. It got on my nerves after awhile, especially when I thought about all the other moves we could be doing.
Yes, I’m a certified instructor, but I really don’t want to teach classes. I guess it was more like a form of (expensive) self-enrichment. Continue reading “What I Learned From: Y Membership (And Why I Switched to Another Gym)”
I don’t regret “going natural” 4 years ago. I mainly did so to teach my daughter to love herself as she is.
She’s worn her natural hair all her life. I started “relaxing” since about age 13 for manageability, independent styling (Mom was no longer braiding me as a teen), and to fit in. 20+ years later, I bravely did the big chop.
When I took my daughter to the airport to visit other family members for the summer of ’13, she sternly told me not to cut my hair while she was gone. “You should let it grow back and get long the way it used to be,” she said.
She missed my long straight hair, and honestly, I did too.
This story is not profound. I still condone homeschooling for any family who has the time and money to do so, and I don’t rule out doing so again in the future.
I was actually prepared to have my daughter attend our state’s Connections Academy this school year, but her old charter school notified me of an opening. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the back-and-forth between administration and myself regarding documentation and proof that she successfully completed the previous grade.
Although I was challenged and my daughter was tested (literally), we succeeded and now she is back. There was almost no adjustment since she attended the school three years ago and remembered the environment, staff and students from before. She liked being home with me, and it made us closer. But she loves her school experience now.
I don’t expect to make another school change decision again until she is finishing up 8th grade, which is the last grade there. But even though I don’t do or teach her lesson plans anymore, I’m ever vigilant and involved in her education.