Month: April 2011

Boston Marathon Day


So I’m back in sunny Arizona and still feel like I’m processing this whole incredible experience while also readjusting to life without my extra “job” (i.e. training and fund-raising lol).

This experience was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where do I even begin?

Okay, from the top.

5 a.m. Wake Up Call (2 a.m. AZ time–yikes!)

The night before the “big day” I tossed and turned quite a bit. I dreamed that I was scanning the Boston Athletic Association’s Website for my official race time; completely skipped the race part altogether in the dream. I’m not sure why my dreams were focused on my time so much (maybe it was my deepest question mark that I couldn’t predict), who knows.

I had carefully spent a good 30 minutes laying out my running gear. There was my running jacket along with my visor, a full-coverage hat, tons of warm clothes options “just in case” the weather decided to defy all of the reports and turn rainy rather than sunny and a bag full of all of my necessities for supplementing and hydrating during the race.

As I got out of bed and started quietly getting ready, everything began to sink in. This was THE day.

My mind always goes back to a photo I have of myself right before the start of one of my State track meets from high school. I’m gathered with the other members of my 4x3200m relay team among dozens of other high school track runners receiving instructions on the rules of the race. When the gun will go off. How long our first runner needed to stay in their lane. Timing for passing off the baton.

My face is so serious you’d think I was absorbing life or death information.

Though I couldn’t see it at the time, I suspect my face was much like that as I slipped on my running capris and then a pair of old sweatpants for extra warmth. My faithful running jacket on along with my Childhelp/Isagenix shirt, I decided to chance it and wear my visor, opting for what I had trained in.

By 6 a.m., we were headed out the door to downtown Boston so I could catch a bus to Hopkinton, the start of the legendary race.

As we arrived and I jumped in line, I was grateful to get on a bus within about 30 minutes. Here’s my view from the bus of those who arrived a little later:

The line was hundreds of runners deep and snaked down the street, curving into downtown Boston. So glad I didn’t have to stress over getting a spot on the bus!

6:45 a.m. (4 hours ’til race time)

Once on the bus, I chatted with my seatmate and was relieved when he told me that he was running the race due to a “connection” he had and not because he’d smoked his qualifying time. He was from New Hampshire and this was only his second marathon. He was so excited to be running the marathon he’d seen from afar since boyhood.

(Here’s the Charleston River on our way out of Boston)

Honestly, going to the Boston Marathon as a charity runner, I wondered how I would feel when I arrived and was among the thousands of other runners. Would I feel worthy? Like an outsider?

On the day of, I was so excited to be able to share more about Childhelp with the people who asked me about my shirt and my charity. I received more “good for you’s” than judgmental glances.

As our bus approached Hopkinton, we came upon our first Boston Marathon welcoming sign that made my heart skip a beat:

(and yes, it’s being blown by a freezing cold wind)

The Athlete’s Village: our holding pen until it was time for us to approach the starting line according to our wave and corral (I was in the very last wave in the very last corral since I was A) a charity runner without a qualifying time and B) One of the last charity runners to be registered since we were picked up from the waiting list in February.

Athlete’s Village is a fenced-in area located behind Hopkinton High School. A large tent was set up along with hundreds of Port-o-Potties, tables covered in bottles of Gatorade, protein bars, bananas and oranges. The grass was soft, wet and muddy following the previous day’s rainy weather, so I had to grab a few items from my bag to sit on while I waited. I marveled at some of the ingenious ideas that more “experienced” runners had: Many brought tarps, garbage bags and even inflatable rafts (they would just blow up the pillow part) to lay on the ground. Tip for next time for sure!

Just an hour before the race, I lined up behind dozens of other runners at a bank of Port-o-Potties. I struck up a conversation with a California runner who had qualified for Boston during her second marathon, the LA Marathon. Since I couldn’t seem to connect with my fellow Childhelp runners and she didn’t have anyone to pal around with, we became friends for the time being and wandered around in search of where to drop our bags and head to the start.

Then we discovered the massage tent. (YES!)

We both got our legs massaged just before dropping our bags and walking several blocks down the street to the start line.

This was it!

10:45 a.m. Start Time!

The sides of the start line were crowded with well-wishers. People hung out of store windows and cheered, held signs and offered snacks and encouragement. You knew they’d been doing this for over an hour already. The elite had gone. The really fast had gone. The just-made-it speedy runners had gone. And now, here we were, the few thousand left who were in the final wave in the very last corral. The person on the megaphone said “We’ve been waiting for you all. You’re our favorite! Thank you for all of the money you’ve raised for charities to get here. You did a good thing.”

My eyes began to well with tears and my chest began to feel heavy. I thought I was going to just lose it right then. There in that moment as I soaked in the energy and excitement, the anticipation and the true realization of what I had done, it was almost too much to handle.

I managed to keep myself from sobbing uncontrollably, pulled myself together and let my smile overtake my face, pure joy spread across it.

I was about to run the Boston Marathon!

With little additional fan fare, the crowd began to surge forward and I readied my Garmin running watch so I could follow my pace, my mileage, and if I was on track for my general time goals.

Miles 1 to 6

Though I’m a fan of running with my iPod while training, it’s never been my second-nature. I’ve always enjoyed running without additional distractions. In the first six miles, I also just wanted to focus on not going out too fast, taking in all of the beautiful views of New England and relishing the incredible spirit lined up along either side of the course. Children held out sliced oranges for energy, their hands for “high-five’s” of encouragement and cowbells to channel their energy into effective clangs. Locals waved flags and signs, clapped their hands and yelled out for those who had written their name on their shirt.

Unfortunately, during those first six miles, my stomach was not too happy with me. Perhaps it was nerves or traveling, but I’ll spare you the details and sum it up like this: three Port-o-Potty stops later I was pretty much fine.

Miles 7 -16

In the past three marathons I’d run, typically the first 13 miles are pretty easy and go back fairly quickly. It’s the final 13 where the mental and physical hurdles truly begin. For me, that was not the case in this race weirdly enough. As I ran along downward slopes and the easiest part of the course, I began to feel sad that my son and family weren’t able to be there to support me; I began to overthink the number of miles I still had left in the race; I began to battle self-defeating thoughts that I hadn’t encountered in a very long time.

I pushed through, reminding myself that my cousin Emma would be at mile 13 waiting.

As mile 13 came and went, frantic cell phone calls back and forth finally resulted in the realization that she was closer to mile 14. Where was mile 14?

Frustrated, I took my time and replenished fluids, said prayers and tried to kick myself into gear. Finally, just after mile 14, I saw her.

Here, I mustered up my courage and the biggest smile that I could, but outwardly as I spoke with her, I felt defeated. This was not how it was supposed to be going.

I pushed myself through mile 15, took a walk break with fluids and talked myself through what I was feeling. “There are only 11.2 miles left in this thing. You are over halfway there. You are doing great.”

But inside I had hit a mental hurdle.

In that moment, I grabbed my cell phone from the pocket of my water belt and text messaged my husband.

“Please pray. I’m really struggling right now,” I texted through a blur of fresh tears.

He quickly responded:

“Praying. You’re doing great. I’m following you now.”

Then another text message came through, but this time it was a photo message:

A picture of my son and two nephews that my mother-in-law had taken. I’m sure it was meant for me to see after the race, but in that moment it was exactly what I needed.

I broke down crying, and after a few minutes the wall seemed to be gone.

I was back and ready to conquer the next leg with a more cheerful demeanor.

Miles 17-20

Finally on track, yet still not running at my normal pace, I chugged along listening to my music and reflecting on memories connected with certain songs.

“I’m learning to breathe, I’m learning to crawl, I’m finding that you and you alone can break my fall. I’m living again, awake and alive. I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies.”

The journey to Boston had been filled with ups and downs. I was so grateful for all of the support from the hundreds of people who donated to my fund-raising efforts for Childhelp, who had shared encouraging words and asked me how my preparations had been going.

As I approached the area between mile 20 and 21 known as “Heartbreak Hill,” I honestly couldn’t distinguish where this landmark was. The whole way to the point felt like a large rolling hill that crested, fell a bit and then climbed up a little higher. When I reached a point with a large, blown up sign that read “You’ve conquered Heartbreak Hill,” I almost laughed because I still had no idea which one it was. Oh well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Miles 21 – 26

Just when I thought my challenges for the race were over, they began again. At mile 23, literally as I stared at the sign and then glanced at my watch, the screen suddenly went blank and shut down. A Garmin trademark popped up on the watch face and then quickly disappeared into a thin line.

This couldn’t be happening.

My Garmin is a great tool if only for one reason: When you just need to know the answer to the nagging question in your head of “how much further,” it can answer it for you right away. When I see that the numbers are at 22.68 miles, I know I have less than .4 miles left before that number rounds out and somehow, that’s motivating.

I shoved the bleeping watch into the pouch of my water belt and ruefully set off toward the finish line. This sucks, is all I could think in that moment.

Two miles down the road, my training injury flared up with pain searing the side of my left foot. Still, I pressed on, determined to finished. I was so close!

As I rounded Copley Square and hobbled my way toward the legendary finish line street, Boylston Street, I passed a man pushing his disabled son in a souped up wheelchair, an entourage of other “Team Hoyt” emblazoned across the back of their jackets. This father-son duo had been through marathons and triathlons together and now, the father in his 60s, here they were finishing the Boston Marathon.

After realizing who they were, I got a little choked up and that much more inspired. What was a little foot injury compared to all of this.

Soon, there I was at the end of Boylston Street, the finish line only .2 miles away, yet still feeling so far. I focused my attention on the finish line and went for it, my foot burning with each step. I was about to accomplish my dream!

I crossed the blue and yellow, John Hancock Boston Athletic Association finish line, my arms held up. I was so grateful in that moment to God for blessing me with such an amazing opportunity; for making my dream a reality; for loving me in that way.

I was overjoyed that I had done it and relieved that it was over.

A volunteer greeted me several yards down with my Boston Marathon finisher medal. I started to cry as she placed it around my neck and I told her this was my biggest dream come true.

“Oh honey, you’re so young! I’m going to give you your medal and also give you a hug. Congratulations,” she said as she placed the medal around my neck and embraced me.

April 18, 2011 is a day I will not soon forget.

After taking this quick picture, it was time to do something I hadn’t done all day: eat. With the race starting so late, it was already 4 p.m. by the time it was over for me.

So my cousin and I went to a seafood restaurant a few blocks away called Turners and indulged:

Seafood risotto first….

…then dessert!

So, to sum things up, Boston was a dream come true, even if things didn’t come together like a dream. I raised over $6,000 for Childhelp. I spent two days with my family whom I hardly ever see. I reconnected with my cousin in a deeply profound way. I ran the 115th Boston Marathon which will likely always be known in the history books as the race that recorded the fastest marathon time ever (Geoffrey Mutai 2:03:02).

I’m not sure what my next “#1 Bucket List” item will be, but it sure will be hard to top this one.

If you happened to make it through this incredibly long post, thank you ever so much again for all of your support through this whole journey. I know I could not have done this without the encouraging words, prayer and financial support from those that care so much about me.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!


I Think I’ll Go to Boston…

That song by Augustanna is stuck in my head, but I’m definitely not moving here.

Today I’m up in Maine visiting my family and it’s the day before the race. It has been cold, windy and rainy, the exact antithesis of what I hope race day weather will be like in Boston on the big day. (Forecasters are still predicting clear and 61 degrees for a high, so I’m crossing my fingers and praying!!)

After breakfast we’re heading down to Boston to hit the expo so I can get my race number, etc (um very important!) and then shop ’til I drop on all-things-Boston Marathon souvenirs.

To say that I’m excited for this very big day ahead is such an understatement. I just cannot WAIT!

And, as any little bits of nerves try to creep in (“hope my foot will feel all right,” “what will I do if it rains?” etc.), I dismiss them all away in favor of looking forward to adventure, whatever obstacles surface along the 26.2-mile route.

That’s marathoning, after all.

So, as I depart from Maine, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to blog after the race tomorrow, but we’ll see. Still have to encounter where we’re staying and the Internet situation there.

If not, can’t WAIT to provide an update. ONE DAY AWAY!!!!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Boston Bound!

The big day is here…well, the big travel day at least.

I’m sitting at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and ready to take the next step in this very exciting journey.

House is clean, bags are packed with everything (hopefully!) and flight is on time (so far!).

As I walked up to the security line to take off my shoes and just about every other article of clothing, the TSA guy asked the routine questions:

TSA Guy: Where are you going?

Me: Boston.

TSA Guy: What are you doing there?

Me: (Slight hesitation) To run the Boston Marathon.

TSA Guy: Wow, great, good luck! You can go ahead.

Such a normal conversation, but SO satisfying to share that kind of answer.

I’m running the Boston Marathon.

Wow! Nearly broke down into tears in that moment lol.

My friend Danyell jokingly told me today “you should have worn a shirt that says that.”

Really, I should have. Maybe it would have said “Boston or Bust,” or “I’m Running the Boston Marathon…HUG ME!” or some other random thing. Would have been great, but then again, I did feel a little bit of shyness creep up when everyone around me in line turned to look at me after I said I was running the Boston Marathon.

Better to keep a low profile.

I’m happily looking forward to several days of wearing workout pants and running shoes with no questions asked and also sans the guilt of looking slightly slouchy.


Follow My Boston Marathon Journey

Last night I was packing my bags for my Boston Marathon trip and my mind had already begun to race.

What will the weather be like? Oh, I can’t forget the extra power gel. Should I pack an extra North Face jacket for before the race…yes, just in case. I wonder what Heartbreak Hill will live up to the hype.

I decided to pack a separate Isagenixยฎ duffle bag to tote with me on the plane just in case my luggage gets lost en route to Boston (having traveled to Boston Logan a few times, I know what can happen). I might be without my makeup or regular clothes for a few days, but at least the really important essentials will be close to the hip.

Again, I am just so filled with gratitude for all of the tremendous support I’ve received along the way and the encouraging words I’m hearing from my friends and colleagues as the day draws nearer….even got a call from my friend in Alaska who had her special education class sing a rendition of “Happy Marathon Day” (think: Happy Birthday song, but with “happy marathon” instead) to me over my cell phone. Gosh, I feel so special and loved!!!!

So, if you want to follow me on the “big day,” here’s the info on how to do it:

  • The Boston Marathon will be televised in the U.S. live in its entirety via Universal Sports. Here’s more info.
  • If you want texts sent to your phone with updates on my progress, you can sign up via AT&T Athlete Alert. Just text the word “RUNNER” to 345678 and you’ll get updates at the 10km, halfway, 30km and finish line.
  • My bib number is 26722 and I’ll be in the final wave and corral since a time is not required for a charity runner.

I’ll try my best to post updates and pictures of my experience along the way and will definitely post a follow up reflection and play-by-play after race day on Monday, April 18.

Thanks for following me and I can’t wait to share more about this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Dreams DO come true!!!ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

In Gratitude

It’s late and I should probably be in bed. Pulling a semi-single-mommy routine this week with my husband tied up with other commitments has left me a little tired.

And still, it’s done nothing to quell my excitement for Boston and the other feelings welling up in side of me.

I’m proud to report that I, along with my fantastic Isagenix colleagues, have pulled in nearly (or possibly over) $6,000 for Childhelp, exceeding the original $5,000 goal. AND we did it in less than 2 months! Most charity runners spend many more MONTHS trying to raise those kinds of funds.

So now that my raffle winners have been drawn, I have the final exciting task ahead of me to notify each one and let them pick their prize. Can’t wait (and sooooo appreciate those who donated to the raffle and Childhelp–I can’t even come close to expressing my gratitude!!).

This journey has been full of some really incredible highs and a few lows, but what worthwhile pathway doesn’t come with both? Either way, both of my goals are nearly accomplished (1. Raise $5k for Childhelp before the marathon, 2.) Run the marathon).

When I reflect on the encouraging words, the financial support and the deep love that I have encountered in just two months, I can’t help but be changed in a way. This journey has shown me in some small ways the number of people that are in my corner, who believe I’m a “winner.” My normal confidence aside, I think we all struggle with a little self-doubt at times. There’s always that person who could do better because they’re fitter, more charismatic or just seem to have it all together.

But guess what? We’re chosen as we are anyway. We can accomplish infinitely more than we perhaps even realize. We just have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and do it.

I know that being selected to run the Boston Marathon this year is not a mistake and it’s not by chance. I know that this dream was put in my heart a long time ago for a reason and I know that that dream resurfaced this last summer for a reason. So, as I prepare, meditate and reflect on everything, to sum it up simply, I’m grateful and humbled.

Thank you to each person who has lent a hand, who has written on my Facebook or said something encouraging. Thank you to those who took the time to donate (and you still can if you want to) or just prayerfully supported me. Thank you to my husband and my family for supporting me so I could focus on my goals–whether it was donating money, watching the kiddo while I trained for hours or simply listening to me as I poured my heart out about any and all concerns.

Thank you to the businesses who donated products and gift cards for the fundraising raffle. Thank you to my colleagues at Isagenix for cheering me on and always believing in me. Thank you to the company and to Childhelp for supporting me with this run and choosing me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ll be traveling to Boston later this week and I’m excited to see some of my East Coast family, some of my Isagenix family and some of my running family.

Truly this is a dream come true and I pray that I can hold it together long enough to drink it all in.

Reality is now sinking in!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

For the past two weeks, I’ve been glued to the weather reports.

Being that the Boston Marathon will be my fourth marathon experience, there are few surprises about the length, what I’ll likely be feeling (although it’s not uncommon for new things to pop up) and how I’ll hydrate.

But, my last three marathons have been in WARM temps. We’re talking 80 degrees+. San Diego. Apache Junction, Ariz. Tucson, Ariz.

Now, I’m going to Boston where the weather has traditionally been 50 degrees, breezy and possibly rainy on Boston Marathon day.

Today, in the suburbs of Phoenix, it’s pouring rain and about 45 degrees; pretty much how I anticipate race day to be. I so wish I had my rain gear ready so I could be doing a training run right now in this weather. Ugghhh!!!

Here are a few things some running friends have recommended for rainy days. Feel free to share yours (I need all the help I can get!):

  • Pauncho-Frio. Wal-Mart’s camping section apparently sells small, compact packages of paunchos that you can tuck in your training belt in case it begins to pour.
  • Roll Up Your Arm Sleeves. If you don’t want to wear a long-sleeved shirt because it might warm up, arm sleeves are a great alternative. Basically they cover your arms from your wrists to over your biceps and you can unroll them and toss them in your training belt if the weather starts looking up. (I’ve also heard of taking tube socks and creating your own makeshift ones for chilly race days.)
  • Rainy Lightweight. There are tons of specialty running jackets you can purchase out there that are lightweight, breathable and meant for rainy conditions. Asics is a recommended brand, which is no surprise since their running shoes tend to top all others in design and functionality.
  • Cap It Off. Wearing a hat with a visor is another big recommendation I’ve been seeing on the running message boards. Not only does the brim keep the rain out of your eyes, but a full-coverage hat gives your head added protection and warmth.
  • Just Wick It. Moisture-wicking fabric is the way to go for any weather conditions, but especially for hot or rainy temps. Unlike cotton, which keeps moisture close to the body and has a hard time drying (which can actually make it difficult for your body to regulate your temperature), the moisture-wicking materials found in most tech shirts keeps you drier.
  • Stick It. When your feet get wet during rainy days, the best way to prevent blisters (or at least head them off at the pass) is to cover up hot spots with moleskin, a Band-Aid (not a fan–they come off a little too easily) or, in worst-case scenarios, I’ve heard that duct tape is a great alternative as it stays in place. I’ve never had to test out any of these, but I have friends that swear by the moleskin and duct tape methods. (I’ll probably roll up some duct tape and include it in my pack.)

This weekend, I will be making my purchases and will let you know how things go weather-wise with Boston. Is it crazy that I’m more concerned about the weather than anything else??

P.S. Isagenix just featured me in a post on about marathon nutrition, hydration, etc. Check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Warning: This is a Yawner

I’m not sure if I’ve ever divulged this secret. Honestly, it’s not really all that incredible of a secret or anything, but I’ve always found it a little odd. It actually started in high school.

I remember standing at the start line with a large group of girls, waiting for the gun to sound so we could take off across a grassy field for our 5k race. The tension had been building all day and my normally rather serious attitude had become even more focused.

I had been thinking about the race, dreaming about the race and just minutes before the race, as I stood with so many others in eager anticipation…I yawned.

…then yawned again….

I literally could not stop yawning. Watching me, one probably would have wondered if my parents let me sleep at night or even how I could complete a 3.1 mile race when I was *obviously* tired.

But I wasn’t, that’s the thing, and the yawning only continued through my high school years…and then college…and even now.

When I approach a starting line, it’s as if my mind and body try to create an all-encompassing calm and the only way to do that is with a hearty yawn.

That’s the epitome of a focused runner, right?

I did a Google search to try to figure out why I have this little running quirk. A few turned up answers such as “yawning relieves stress,” “yawning helps relax facial muscles,” and “yawning isย  a sign of stress in dogs.”


So, not really an answer to my question, but I guess if it ain’t broke…


(P.S. This is the only time I will ask this, but did you yawn while reading this? Message me lol.)

5 Ways to Nix Naysayers

Runners, I would say, are the friendliest athletes.

When you’re out for a run on the street, you’ll get a nod or a wave from a runner. A few weeks ago while running on a canal, the female counterpart of a couple running in the opposite direction actually gave me a big smile and held up her hand for a high-five.

I gladly accepted the high-five.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as encouraging or supportive while you’re passionately pursuing your goals. Maybe you’re trying to get through college and earn your degree, training for a marathon or have your eyes set on another “bucket list” item. Odds are good that you’ll encounter at least one “naysayer” along the way.

I remember standing at the starting line of my second marathon. The sun was just barely rising over the Superstition Mountains in eastern Arizona and we were in the middle of the desert on dirt path. As a few hundred of us adjusted our sunglasses and readied our iPods and watches, a heavier-set woman near me proclaimed loudly to another runner “So many people have told me I can’t run a marathon. I’m going to prove to them that I can.”

I never found out if she truly ever reached her goal and completed that marathon, but her comment struck me. She had vocalized what many of us struggle with every day.

Some people call them “frienemies,” but I’d prefer to just call them naysayers. The naysayer may even be you; that voice inside that clings to self-doubt.

So, how do you nix the naysayer or at least overcome their words and comments? I’ll admit, I let it all bother me more than I should, but here’s my advice:

  1. Reaffirm Your “Why.” Naysayer (or little voice in your head) tells you that your goal is too big or asks you why you’re even doing it. Go back to that place when you made the decision. For me, when the Boston Marathon was offered, I certainly had my insecurities, but many of my questions and prayers were answered, giving me peace. I know this is what I’m meant to do.
  2. Share Your Deepest Thoughts With Non-Naysayers. If you recognize that someone is not supportive of your goal, don’t share your deepest thoughts or feelings about it with them. Surround yourself with the people who are encouraging you and truly excited about you reaching your goal. Focus on their words and not the naysayers’ words.
  3. Focus on a Word or Phrase. Whatever your goal is, have a word, phrase or saying that resonates with how you feel about it. I recently read a Runner’s World article where Kara Goucher talked about focusing on the word “fighter” for those especially difficult parts of training or racing. For me, it’s “tenacity;” never giving up and passionately pursuing my dream.
  4. Take a Time Out. Why this little practice hasn’t continued with adults, I don’t know. There are so many moments when we just need to say “you know what, time out. I need a break from this.” Escape to a room by yourself, sit in a grassy field, go on a walk or run–whatever it is, just find a moment to yourself to collect your thoughts and push the icky away.
  5. Confront :Gulp: the Naysayer. If you’re really REALLY struggling with a certain person not being fully supportive, sit them down and talk to them about how it makes you feel. Odds are good that if the person cares about you, they’ll mend their ways. Tell them what you expect as well. If it’s words, helping you achieve your goal or simply quitting the negative talk, let them know. Sometimes people don’t even realize how their attitudes are coming across and affecting you.

Again, I am not perfect and have not mastered this art, but these principles have at least helped me to not only pursue my Boston Marathon dream, but many other exciting accomplishments, too.

You can do this. Just passionately pursue your dreams and never, NEVER give up.

In closing, my very favorite saying in high school country was the following and I still love it today:

“Pain is temporary, but pride is forever.”

Don’t leave anything on the table. Whatever it is that you do, do it with your whole heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

(April 12 is the raffle drawing–make a donation to Childhelp by end of day April 11 and I’ll include you. There are 18 prizes!!)

Meet My “Rabbit”

This morning, I took my Rabbit for a run.

She’s not quite white…okay, she’s more like a red and white, and her ice blue eyes always tell me when she’s ready to go on a run.

Unfortunately, I can’t usually take her for my normal training runs because she goes out fast and then peters toward the end.

Meet my “rabbit,” Tala, a 50+ pound pure bred Siberian Husky.

I get a few “looks” from people when I tell them we have a Siberian Husky. And we take her running. In Arizona. Sometimes during summer (early mornings only, I promise).

But, we’re responsible pet owners, love her to death and like I said, she’s a rabbit.

Let me explain.

So sometimes in running circles you’ll hear someone call a runner a “rabbit.” It’s not a compliment, usually. Typically, the comment means they took off in the race too fast and they’re going to burn out by the half-way point.

Huge races often employ professional “rabbits” to set the pace for the elite runners. They drop out after half of the race once the run is established. Sometimes, they’re hired just to pace certain elite runners. Either way, it’s an interesting practice. The recent issue of Runner’s World includes a terrific article on page 84 about professional rabbits. Check out the April 2011 issue on newsstands now. (Great subsection about Boston, too!!)

Back to my rabbit.

After running a few easy miles this morning on my own, I cut my run short to swing by the house and pick her up for a quick mile. She hadn’t been happy when I left without her originally and by the time I got to the halfway point on my run, I knew I needed to take her, too.

As I fastened the leash, she was ready to go in full-on Husky fashion, pulling me nearly out the door. After a few corrections, she kind of settled in near me, but pushed me to a hard run for the first half mile.

Then she hit her wall, as usual.

The rest of the way home, she ran behind me. I kept calling back to her “c’mon Tala; you can do it; let’s go girl!”


She trotted along and found herself distracted by bushes, grass, rocks, trees, you name it. “This is why I don’t bring her along,” I kept thinking to myself slightly begrudgingly.

More looks from neighbors as I practically dragged my Siberian Husky down the street.

Once done, panting, but clearly very pleased with herself, she was happy to curl up inside and take a snooze.

I’m not sure if my little “rabbit” will ever reform herself, but I guess once marathon season is over, we’ll see what we can do to turn her into an old pro. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s one article from Runner’s World on how to get your dog ready to be a runner. Going to read up!

(Don’t forget: Raffle ends April 11 with names being drawn on April 12! If you’d like to support me, here is more info on how you can donate to Childhelp and also be included in my raffle for 16 prizes!) More details.