Remembering 9/11

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename74That day will forever be branded in our minds.  Between the first impact of the planes, watching as those poor people jumped to their deaths, the towers crumbling and just the total devastation, so hard to take in and believe this was really happening.

Yet out of that devastation rose the stories of heroism of the emergency personnel that rushed towards the danger – many not making it back out.  The men on United Airlines flight 93, that over-took the terrorists crashing the plane into a field instead of the intended target.  Then hearing the last words of  Todd Beamer,  “Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s roll!”  So many examples of selfless acts of courage in the face of such evil.

I visited New York’s Ground Zero with my family in 2006.  We were all overcome with emotion when we first saw the devastation up close. Since that time we have gone back and in 2012 we were able to see the newly constructed memorial.  The waterfalls were certainly beautiful, but didn’t have the same impact as the first visit.

This past spring, I and a friend ran in the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon in New York’s Central Park.  We went to the Memorial and the Church that houses all the tributes from survivors to those who lost their lives.  It made it all too real when we came upon a family that was sobbing as they held each other in a corner of the Church.  They were survivors of a lost loved one.

I’ll never forget during that early part of the attack when we really weren’t sure what was going on.  Rumors were flying about what would be other targets.  Not taking any chances, I went to my son’s school, directly across from our State Capital, and took him out early.  The office was crowded with other parents.  Alex vividly remembers that day.  He’s now 18 and this is a picture of him at the 911 Memorial in 2012.

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename31We will never forget the horror and pain of that day and days that followed, but also the heroes that emerged and their examples of great courage.

 

 

The Last Long Run Before More Half Marathon

The 11 miles is finished.  So tired.  Yesterday – rain.  Waited till today and glad I did.  It was beautiful…

We met Mary Jo, George and Greg for brunch after church this morning @ 11:30.  It was family style fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, slaw and bread.  So good.  Only ate small portions though I  did eat 2 pieces of chicken (white meat and thigh).  Normally we have a larger family gathering but this year it didn’t work out – while we missed seeing everyone – this was good too.

Then 2 hours later set out on my long run.  I wore a brace on my left knee which has still been giving me a little trouble, but nothing like last week.  That brace really helped – taking that baby to New York for sure.

At first my muscles were so tight.  Felt like scissor legs with a rubber band around them – for about half mile.  Then after about 3 they started to limber up.  After mile 5 I forced myself to take a “Power Pack.”  I then stopped at mile 6 to do stretches.  Then stretched again after I finished.  Will be doing a lot of stretching, leg extensions and short runs over the next 2 weeks to build up my flexibility for the race.

Okay, back to the chicken dinner…I know that meal is not what you eat before running – especially 11 miles, but it’s Easter!

Nausea set in about mile 6 after I ran a really steep  and long hill.  For those who live in JC – it’s the hill on Edgewood (Mexican Restaurant side) just before it meets 179.  After I made it to the top, I could feel stomach was upset.  Pushed through it then about mile 9 I had to walk it out to get stomach to settle.  Battled through that for the duration.  I’m sure the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. had nothing to do with it :).  Okay…but it was still good and worth it to get together with family too.  Just finished a Sprite and nausea is almost gone.

We had the pleasure of having my brother Greg visit this weekend while Mary Jo took care of the Easter preparations for catechumens/parish, etc.  Greg is so funny…if anything is out-of-place, he has to move it back, whether you want it moved or not.  When Greg lived with us, I’d leave myself notes and then leave the room and Greg would quickly get up and pitch them to keep things neat and tidy.  He was very busy the last couple of nights turning off lights, moving chairs, etc.  I’d give him a bottle of water to have by his bed (to sip through the night as needed), Greg promptly reaches for it and downs it in a few gulps.  That’s Greg.  Here’s a picture of him, with Jim and Alex last summer after Church.

Alex Greg and Jim in front of St. Peter's Rectory

Well Tonight is Amazing Race and Celebrity Apprentice All Stars.  Good thing because I am probably not going to be doing much else – run wore me out.

My Week with the LIFE Runners A-Cross the Country Relay

429187_175143219300984_1725405808_n

Me on Old Hwy 40 in Danville, MO. I ran a 7.5 mile stretch of the relay the first day for Mid-MO LIFE Runners.  That car is my sister who trailed me as I ran those first 2 legs.

My week with the A-Cross the Country Relay…By the  Numbers:

The relay course (our part) started about 60 miles north of my house and finished 110 miles north.  So when I left in the morning – had to take everything needed for the day.  I had a large cooler in the trunk filled with water and sport drink for the runners.  Also had bags of snacks, first aid kit, LIFE Runner cards, sign, my running paraphernalia, extra clothes, laptop, paperwork, LIFE Runner binder and probably a few other things.  My backseat looked like I had issues with hoarding.

The first day we were on some pretty muddy roads, so after pulling in and out of those a few times, my mud caked tires looked like we had done some off-road driving.   Add to that the backseat, the dashboard covered with maps/binder and the muddy car mats on the floor board and heavy layer of dust from the gravel/dirt roads (day 3), we were looking pretty questionable when we pulled into Macaroni Grill on our way home after we finished on Thursday.

map mid mo 2

My personal numbers:

  • 532 – Miles driven to get to and from –  start, stop and legs. 
  • 18 – Miles I ran in the 3 days.
  • 10 – Average minutes of each mile I ran (just kidding – didn’t time it but not that fast).  :)
  • 10 – Average hours I spent with relay each day.
  • 4 – Number of times got lost :) due to fatigue or missing/faded signs.

As the LR Mid-MO Chapter leader with Bill and Kris Pauls, we were pretty proud of these numbers…

  • 143 - Miles covered by all Mid-MO runners.
  • 40 – Number of  legs for Mid-MO averaging 3 miles each.
  • 35 - Number of Mid-MO runners.
  • 23 – Number of new LIFE Runners participating.
  • 4 – Number of months ago that planning began for us.
  • 3 – Number of days of the Mid-MO part of the relay.

The Pauls were a tremendous help with all the planning and implementation of the relay.  They are awesome team mates!  They did so much to insure success of the relay.  I can’t begin to quote their numbers, but here are some that I do know -

  • 31 - Add’l Miles (Western MO) Bill and Kris ran so MO hit 100%.
  • 24 – Miles Bill (17)  and Kris (7 ) ran of the Mid- MO portion.
  • 10 – Average hours Bill and Kris spent with relay each day.
  • 7 – the a.m. hour Bill took so I didn’t have to leave house so early.
  • 1 – Times Bill  trailed me as I ran, drawing attention of local sheriff.
Bill and Kris Pauls are my "partners in crime" with the Mid-MO Chapter.  This was about 4 weeks out from the Relay.

Bill and Kris Pauls are my “partners in crime” with the Mid-MO Chapter. This was about 4 weeks out from the Relay.

There were 7 of us from Vitae (my office) running in the relay.  Not pictured here isRene Maxey also ran with us.

There were 7 of us from Vitae (my office) running in the relay. Not pictured here is Rene Maxey who also ran with us.  Carl Landwehr, Vitae’s president, showed his support by joining us in the picture.

Sarah Black (my niece) and Zach Lauf (Godson and nephew) met the St. Louis LIFE Runners to start the Mid-MO Chapters portion of the Relay.  They are pictured here (Center) with St. Louis LIFE Runners as well as Bill and Kris Pauls.

Sarah Black (my niece) and Zach Lauf (Godson and nephew) met the St. Louis LIFE Runners to start the Mid-MO Chapters portion of the Relay. They are pictured here (Center) with St. Louis LIFE Runners as well as Bill and Kris Pauls.

Some of the Mid-MO women of day 1.  Heart and soul.

Some of the Mid-MO women of day 1. Heart and soul (sole).

Howard County, MO Sheriff checked in on us as I was finishing a leg on day 2 of the 3 days our chapter covered.

Howard County sheriff checked in on us as I was finishing a leg on day 2 of the 3 days our chapter covered.

Our good friend Karla Lang ran a couple of legs on day 2 and then offered us a great spaghetti dinner at the end of the day.  Beautiful Bed and Breakfast.  Go to her website at http://www.auntjodysfarmhousebedandbreakfast.com/

Our good friend, Karla Lang, ran a couple of legs on day 2 and then offered us a great spaghetti dinner at the end of the day. Beautiful Bed and Breakfast. Click on the image to go to her website – great place to stay while running, biking or sight-seeing, in beautiful Blackwater, Missouri.

Day 3 was the warmest of all the days we covered.  We ended up eating a lot of dust running on all gravel roads with a lot of hills to finish it out.

Day 3 was the warmest of all the days we covered. We ended up eating a lot of dust running on all gravel roads to finish it out.

This is Jim Thomas from Share-Life farms in Marshall, MO. He saw some of the LIFE Runners and wanted to donate something. He made a trip back home and gave us some of these refrigerated  organic sour apples - they were really good.  Blessings to him for being so generous and kind.

This is Jim Thomas from Share-Life farms in Marshall, MO. He saw some of the LIFE Runners and wanted to donate something. He made a trip back home and gave us some of these refrigerated organic sour apples – they were really good. Blessings to him for being so generous and kind.

My sister Dolores did this with me and was there on the first and last day.  She walked 7 miles of the relay and trailed me with the car for most of mine on both those days.

My sister Dolores did this with me and was there on the first and last day. She walked 7 miles of the relay and trailed me with the car for most of mine on both those days.

IMG_2504We met some awesome people along the relay journey. This is the Whitney family and we are near Marshall, MO. They are all runners. (L to R) Me, Corey Lyons (Stephanie’s brother), Matt (Dad), Talon, Ty, Stephanie (Mom) and Dolores (my sister). They covered 5 legs of the relay.

A lot of dirt/gravel roads finished out day 3.  Notice the layer of dirt on my bumper.

Day 3 was all dirt/gravel roads.  Testament to that is the layer of dirt on my bumper.

I am so thankful I'm able to run and participate in such an exciting adventure.

I am so thankful I’m able to run and take part in such an exciting adventure. My running pouch that is under my shirt adds a few inches to my mid section.  No, that is not my stomach – ha!

My friend Kristina Davis and I are running in the More/fitness Half Marathon (her first) in New York next month.  Here she is finishing her 4 mile leg of the relay.

Handing off the East baton to Bernard Krumpelman in Davis, MO after my last leg and Mid-MO portion of Relay.

Handing off the East baton to Bernard Krumpelman in Davis, MO after my last leg and Mid-MO portion of Relay.

The area in Missouri that we were running in was so rural that the street sign marking the end of my last leg and the Mid-MO portion...was in the tree.

The area in Missouri that we were running in was so rural that the street sign marking the end of my last leg and the Mid-MO portion…was in a tree.   My red face and bare legs tells you it was much warmer than when we started that day.

This was 142 miles (35 Runners) from where the Mid-MO Chapter of LIFE Runners began their quest to fill in the legs of the A-Cross the Country Relay which had 4,089 total miles.

This was 143 miles (35 Runners) from where the Mid-MO Chapter of LIFE Runners began their quest to fill in the legs of the A-Cross the Country Relay which had 4,089 total miles.

Bill and Kris Pauls and their son, Jeff, adopted several open legs near Kansas City so Missouri had 100% coverage.  Bill and Jeff ran so many miles, that it is the equivalent of a marathon for each of them.  Bill actually had just completed a marathon in Kentucky on March 9.  That was less than 1 week before the start of the Mid-MO portion of the relay.  Cheers to them for their commitment and passion for the cause of life.

Bill and Kris Pauls and their son, Jeff, adopted several open legs near Kansas City so Missouri had 100% coverage. Bill and Jeff ran so many miles, that it is the equivalent of a marathon for each of them. Bill actually had just completed a marathon in Kentucky on March 9. That was less than 1 week before the start of the Mid-MO part of the relay. Cheers to them for their commitment and passion for the cause of life.

James Vignola wanted to run in the relay so much that he chose to do so even though the MSsHAA told him it would disqualify him from competing in high school track and field for 1 year.  James ran the last 2 legs of day 2 of the Mid-MO portion of the A-Cross the Country Relay.  It was not a competition, he and many of the other runners ran alone, there was no medals, etc.  It was about raising awareness, offering our running up as a prayer and sacrifice.  We are hopeful that MSSHAA will allow James who is a Freshman in high school, to continue competing.  He is a great example to other students and role model for all.  Blessings to him and his very supportive family.

James Vignola wanted to run in the relay so much that he chose to do so even though the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) told him it would disqualify him from competing in high school track and field for 1 year. James ran the last 2 legs of day 2, of the Mid-MO portion of the A-Cross the Country Relay. The relay was not a competition, he and many of the other runners ran alone, there were no medals, timer, etc. It was about raising awareness for the unborn, offering our running up as a prayer and sacrifice. We are hopeful that MSHSAA will allow James who is a Freshman at Helias High School, to continue competing. He is a great example to other students and role model for all. Blessings to him and his very supportive family.

So today the relay continues through Kansas City and  begins edging north to St. Joseph, Missouri.

It was a wonderful experience.  We met some of the most fascinating people along the way with stories that could fill a book.

For me, today, I have a 9 mile long run.  As I run those miles I’ll be thinking of all the LIFE Runners that are running the great A-Cross the Country Relay for Pro-life.

 

LIFE Runners Amazing Race Across America

The launch:

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. 16510_164880503660589_309542359_n 521669_164876820327624_1437104170_nThe Task:

To run 5K legs, covering over 4,000 miles and both East and West, meeting in Sioux Falls, SD.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The race is on – started Wednesday, Feb 13 and will continue until March 24.

Join in the excitement there are still legs open.  People are coming from all over to participate.

RAA-Route-Jul-12-1024x328Follow (for updates) on the LIFE Runners Facebook page.

It’s definitely the amazing race for life!

 

 

What Are Your Running Plans for the Year???

My 2013 Running Plan

36527_10151311600108718_1913624762_n

  1. To start the year off right, I’m running with my LIFE Runner team mates in the Life Runner/March for Life 5K, Washington DC, January 26, 2013.
  2. January/February/March – Train for More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon, April 14, 2013 in New York’s Central Park.  Running this with a friend of mine and also Elisabeth Haselbeck.  This will be the third year I’ve run this women only event and it’s in my favorite place…Central Park.  Read about past half marathon experiences at my website.  Registration opens January 14, 2013 and this race is capped – usually fills up within a couple of weeks.  If you are running your first half marathon this year, take some tips from an article I wrote about running my first one.  Everything you’ll need to know wrapped up in one place.  My First Half Marathon From One Rookie to Another.
  3. 6a0133ecb07c7a970b0162ff5a8543970d-800wiRun three 5K’s  May through July.
  4. July/August/September – Train for the Crazy Horse Half Marathon in the Black Hills of South Dakota, October 3, 2013.  Running this one with my LIFE Runner team mates again.

Black-Hills-2013-Logo-v2

New York and New Jersey…Lean on Us! The Marathon Will Be Back.

A hard decision; probably the hardest for marathon officials since the early beginnings of the race- 1970.

They were wanting to do the right thing for all involved and for New York.  To prove the tenacious and dynamic spirit of New York they first chose to move ahead.

Bravo!

Then after receiving heavy criticism, even though some of the 50,000 runners were already in New York from countries far away, the decision was made today to cancel.  That took great courage.

Bravo again!

As sad as it is for those athletes who have trained hard for months then had the heavy outlay of expenses for the race including travel and fees, it still isn’t even a fraction of the pain felt by the storm victims.  So sorry for all of this.

There are just too many that are without basic needs.  Too many that have died or are missing still.  So many scared, suffering and in pain.  The images are hard to watch.

So many who have lost their homes, jobs due to the storm, can’t get food, transportation,  fuel, warmth, water, basic needs…we as human beings created in Gods image, we understand… they come first.

We as American‘s rush to their side and want to comfort and help them.   It’s the triumph of the human spirit that we celebrate following times like this – it along with our faith enable us to overcome great adversity.

We will stand with them until they are brought back to normalcy.

It was right to cancel the marathon.  But runners, please come back next year.  Race officials struggled with decision obviously.

To the runners:  Consider donating  your time while here to helping those in need.  Feel good about coming here and then…come back next year to race.  We want you to come back.

It’s a sad time for NY and NJ…but the cities that never sleep…never quit and they will be back in business soon.

Donate to the effort through the American Red Cross.

I will miss watching the marathon Sunday morning, however we’ll spend that time before Mass, gathering items needed for the victims of “Sandy.”  My friend and LIFE Runner team mate, Joanne Zitz sent this list of needs.  She lives in Poughkeepsie, NY.  She said her neighbors in New Jersey are desperate for rubber gloves and masks beyond that they have a list of other things they need.  Please send to the address below.

To all my friends/readers in New York or New Jersey…the rest of us out here in America are praying for you and donating to your needs.  Some are even traveling there to help.

It will get better…soon.  Until then, lean on the rest of us.

NYC Marathon – It’s On!

The City That Never Sleeps…Never Quits!

This Sunday is the NYC Marathon.  I will be up and blogging as I watch it live (same as past years).  Holding vigil at command central.  Picture below is from morning of 2011 ING NYC Marathon.

Settling in to watch NYC Marathon  (2011) 45 minutes to race start!

It starts at 7:30 am (CST) with wheelchair division to 9:40 am (CST) last wave of runners.

There is much controversy surrounding this years race in the wake of “Sandy.”

Stretching resources, shifting focus away from those in need or providing boost in revenue to small business owners – $340 million, something positive epitomizing New Yorker’s spirit, tenacity, vitality and determination.

Where do you stand…agree or disagree that race should go on.  Also, leave a comment if you have something to say about it.

I may be in New York for the More Half Marathon (April 2013).   Love NYC!  Prayers to all who were in Sandy’s path of destruction.  Please pitch in to help with recovery efforts in addition to prayers please consider a donation or volunteering or both.

Apple’s music store is facilitating donations to the foundation, and thankfully 100 percent of contributions go directly to the Red Cross. You can donate anywhere from $5 to $200 via iTunes, but Apple warns that it “may not qualify for any tax deduction or other tax benefits.” Of course, you can always donate directly at the American Red Cross’ website, and you can volunteer with the foundationthe New York City government, with New Jersey’s state government, and elsewhere.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 730 other followers