Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An open letter to the Wall Street Journal

Dear editor,

As a slower marathoner, I took offense to Kevin Helliker's article Sept. 19, "The Slowest Generation".

Not everyone gets a medal. Actually, very few people do.

The people who stop training because it's too hard, or too much work? They don't get a medal. The people who train dumb and wind up injured or burned out? They don't get a medal. The people who don't train and drop out midrace? They don't get a medal.

The people who don't even try? They definitely don't get a medal. 

What's left, the people who train hard but smart, who get out of bed at an ungodly early hour whether it's 100 degrees, raining or snowing to run 3.1, 6.2, 13.1 or 26.2 miles, they deserve medals regardless of if it takes them 3 hours or 6.

Saying the decline in elite runners has something to do with the boom of nonelites is false logic, and faulting a generation of people who are racing to get fit and have fun is downright insulting. We run because we love it. We race for the camaraderie, the support, to raise money for our favorite causes, and -- yes -- for the competitive atmosphere.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Volunteering at the Rochester Marathon

Big bucket of medals.
I spent most of this morning sorting and handing out medals at the Rochester Marathon.

Seeing the faces of everyone crossing the finish line -- those I knew and those I didn't -- was a wonderful experience. I hope to find more volunteer opportunities in the future.

I hadn't wanted to race this event this year, instead I'm planning on the Wine Glass full in **gulp** two weeks. But two weeks ago on Facebook Yellow Jacket Racing put out a desperate plea for volunteers.

Close to home. I know people running. Why not? I contacted them, and said they could put me where they needed me, happy to give back to the running community. But please, fingers crossed, not road marshal. Standing at an intersection for five hours with a flag did not sound like fun.

Ok, the volunteer organizer wrote back, how about the finish line?


I arrived at about 9, just in time to see my friends doing the half start to finish. I was put on full marathon medal duty, and started pulling the medals from a giant bucket, unraveling them and sorting them into piles that would be easy to grab when the masses started coming through.

Friday, September 20, 2013

September: A good running month

I've been on a great streak lately.

Every run lately has felt great, and I'm back to the point where I look forward to each run.

To recap, I burned out from running after the Flying Pig Marathon in 2012. Then I moved to Rochester, didn't have my running buddies, so I started training for a triathlon instead. In July, I checked the half iron off my bucket list, then turned my sites to the Wine Glass Marathon.

Training did not start out well. On Aug. 8, I couldn't find the motivation to train. On Aug. 17 I regretted signing up for the race.  

But now I feel strong and ready.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tips for the first time marathoner

Right now is the running boom. More and more people are taking up the sport, and I'm so excited that so many people on my Facebook and Twitter feeds are about to run their first marathon or half marathon!

My first was the Cleveland Marathon in May 2011. I've run two others since and am about to tackle the Wine Glass full on October 6. In my mind, I'm still very much a beginner, but I'm happy to offer some tips to the first timers out there, pulling off my limited experience. I'm no pro, but I'm happy to answer any questions you may have leading into your first!

In this post, I'm assuming you trained well, or as well as you could. I'm assuming you know the very basics, nothing new on race day, carb up, hydrate, eat smart, arrive early, use the facilities before you go, remember to fuel, dress for the weather, yada yada yada.

The following are things that I'm either glad I knew or wished I would have known, or just things I believe are really important and want to reinforce!! In the comments, feel free to add your own, I'll do my best to add suggestions from others into the main part as I see fit, or ask questions!!

(Computer is being difficult right now, I'll add a couple photos and links and make this post look pretty later!!)


Monday, September 16, 2013

A long overdue music post (that's not about Miley Cyrus.)

It's been awhile since I've done a music post. A long time. So here's what I've been listening to lately.

(Disclaimer: This is not a post about new songs. Because I really have no clue what's new nowadays.)

Much music talk nowadays involves Miley Cyrus ramming the final nail into the coffin of Hannah Montana. Even though search engines love it when you talk about Miley Cyrus, I will absolutely not mention Miley Cyrus' name on my blog as a shameless attempt to get web hits. I'm one of those snobs that's above cheap music, so again, I will not talk about Miley Cyrus.

But I will talk about Katy Perry. I cringed at the fact that I had to talk about Katy Perry. I heard this song on the radio, loved it (apparently they play it all the time, but I don't listen much), then found out it was by her. I guess the part of her that isn't completely plastic can sing. (UPDATE: One week later, I'm sick of this song.)

Then a new hit by an old band, "Rebel Beat" by the Goo Goo Dolls. The song got my attention with the lyric "We'll take what's ours for once, and baby, RUN LIKE HELL!!" It's a bit generic, but I still love it.

Looking ahead: Wine Glass Marathon logistics

Training has had its ups and downs, but my excitement is ramping up for the Wineglass Marathon Oct. 6, 18 days away.

I got my long run in with Tara, a Fleet Feet connection, on Sunday. I'm feeling prepared.

I'm hoping for nice, cool weather and incredible scenery. The race starts at 8 a.m. so I'll probably start with a throwaway then go with whatever the forecast calls for. According to the FAQs the weather traditionally is in the 40s, but it's been so wacky lately.

It's a smaller race, 2,250 in the full, 2,000 in the half. It doesn't look like headphones are banned so I'll come with a fully charged phone so I'll have music.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello, potential employer

Dear potential employer,

You are most likely here because I sent you my resume, and you decided I was worth at least a second glance so you plugged my obnoxious Italian last name into Google. Welcome to my blog.

Brandy and Lizzie
This is my life outside of work. I like to run, bike and swim. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy wine. I have two aging-yet-obnoxious greyhounds, Lizzie and Brandy. I love them dearly. You'll also see me talking about Flower. She's my bike.

I earned my 70.3 triathlon title (half iron distance) in July, after training for a year. I'm contemplating going for the full Ironman next year. It's a big decision. I'm a slowpoke, I'll never win anything, but I enjoy the competitive nature of races and triathlons. My next race is the Wine Glass Marathon Oct. 6 in Corning. I'm one of "those people", the back of my Honda Fit is now up to six oval stickers.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Highlander cycle tour ride report: Pedaling on

Naples, New York, one of the many beautiful scenes at the Highlander. 
This blog post was almost about quitting a century ride at Mile 30. I wrote it in my head as I looked for the SAG wagon as we turned onto Route 6, heading east toward Prattsburgh during the Highlander Cycle Tour's Corkscrew Century from Canandaigua Saturday. My quads hurt. I was exhausted.

Would I have blamed myself for quitting? No, just add it to the list of things that have gone wrong in the past few weeks. Most days have brought new challenges. Why should this slightly-chilly morning be any different? (And why didn't I wear a base layer?) Pile it on. 

Ahead were 73 miles and some brutal climbs. French Hill nearly killed me and now this flat road was fatiguing. But what if I managed to hoof it up that beast of a hill from Naples on Flower the Cannondale Synapse, my trusty companion, then five easy miles until pulled pork and a bottle of wine? 

If I could finish this ride, it would mean that all the crap life has put me through these past few weeks would not win. If I could ride 100 miles, I could definitely wake up Monday morning, bang out a few cover letters, and move forward.