Author Archives: Michelle Richards

United We RUN for Boston

 

526651_461840243894097_239540445_nThis morning was the first of a three run series I have organized in Lake City, Florida, to pay tribute to the victims and runners of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

I remember one year ago hearing that the Boston Marathon was being bombed. I remember where I was, what I was doing and my reaction. I had driven to Haines City to negotiate a contract to produce a Mud Run for the FFA Foundation. I was actually in the middle of my meeting when my phone rang, of course I ignored it, I was in a meeting. How rude right? Well It was my Dad and he kept calling me over and over so I knew something was not right. I finally excused myself to answer the phone. That’s when the terrible news hit me. My dad said, “Have you seen the news?” “No,” I replied, “I am in a meeting.” My Dad then explained that the Marathon finish line had been bombed and there were several people dead and injured. WOW what a moment…See, I have run the Boston Marathon 5 consecutive times and once you have run this amazing event you become part of a family that is pretty strong. When you say yes I have run Boston other runners know without anything else being said. I was in shock, a lot of my friends and fellow running buddies from Jacksonville and Gainesville were there running. I had not gone because the last time I ran Boston was 2010. I took time off to have a baby and hadn’t qualified to run it again yet. Turns out not everyone knew that I was not running it. My phone rang and rang and rang. So many friends calling to make sure I was not there and that I was ok. WOW, I never realized just how many people followed my career as a runner. I was moved to tears just thinking about that and the fact that no one knew who had been hurt in this tragedy.

I remember the Lake City Reporter calling as I drove back from Haines City and I completed a telephone interview with them. It seemed everyone was grasping for some insight into the days events and looking for some hope for the future. A week would go by before we really knew that our friends were ok. Then the healing started. I organized a Run for Boston in Lake City, the following Monday, and over 40 people showed up to show their support. It was so touching to see all the runners come out for the race I hold so dear to my heart. We donated to onefundboston.com and we now know that they have helped every victim with therapy, medical expenses, prosthetics, and much more. It is an amazing group and I recommend them if you would like to help the vicitims.

This year as we approach the running of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21st. I am once again organizing not one but THREE runs as a tribute to Boston Strong and the new campaign We RUN United.

This morning marked the first of these three runs. We will run in Lake City to pay tribute to Boston, the marathon, its runners, and their families. We had 9 athletes out bright and early at 6am this morning to RUN for Boston. It was rainy and cool but we did it for them, we did it for us, and we did it to show that even down here in Florida we are supporting Boston and the Boston Marathon.

This morning I ran 12 miles for Boston, over the next two runs I will do the remaining miles to make a total of 26.2 miles that I ran for Boston.

Our next Boston Strong Run is Monday at 5am and then again Monday at 6:30pm. These three runs means so very much to me and all of the athletes that came out and are coming out to run. They bless my heart more than they will ever know.

Looking forward to the remaining Boston Strong United We Run runs and to the future at the Boston Marathon.

 

Cycling and Spin Classes

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Runners are always looking for new ways to cross train their bodies to perform at their best. Over the past 5 years I have added spinning and extreme cycling to my training schedule. I have noticed that these types of cross training have increased my endurance levels, strengthened my large  muscles, and improves my fast twitch muscle reaction time.

If you are like me just the thought of a stationary bike brings pain to my rear region. Well that is an issue, but only for the first two or three classes. This is a great option for training when the weather does not permit outdoor speed workouts. Spin and cycling can also add FUN to your training. The addition of a class puts people in your life that otherwise you might never meet.

Spin and Cycling are highly recommended by myself and most of my running buddies. Give it a try and you will see why.

Wild Sebastian Trail Marathon and Ultra Race

Me, Tony, and Alex before the start. The boys ran the 10k placing 4th and 5th overall!

Me, Tony, and Alex
before the start. The boys ran the 10k placing 4th and 5th overall!

I made it! It was Brutal. I didn’t get to muster enough energy to take a photo of the “Sugar Sand”. The photos I took are of the regular sand trails which made up 75% of this Wild Sebastián Trail Marathon. The sugar sand was about 3 feet deep in areas and yes I did walk like they suggested (thank God for the strength). This was an awesomely brutal and painful at time experience. Best part of my race…..seeing my Dad, Alex, and Michelle Garbett as I hit the main road to the finish. Alex had written in the sand the entire width of the road RUN HARD MOM . I almost started crying as my Alex and Dad then “raced” me to the finish. My legs were so exhausted I almost couldn’t catch them. Then there my Mom and Skye cheered as I crossed the finish line. Baby Rane was fast asleep at the finish too. Amazing memories made today, what an awesome gift from God. I finished in 4hours 43 minutes and was the 2nd overall female, third overall finisher. Wild Sebastián will always be a big stepping stone in this marathon journey. It was the Hottest and hardest marathon, the longest marathon and the longest everything for me. I learned so much from these ultra athletes just from the amazing conversation. Total Mileage was not your typical 26.2 but a little over 27 miles. Yep these trail runners, they explained, you never know how far the actual race will be it’s always a surprise. Yep that it was!
5th marathon in 5 months I may just take a few days off.

 

Run vs No Run

SHOULD I RUN IF I FEEL TIRED OR JUST NOT SO GREAT OR SHOULD I REST?

Who hasn’t asked this question to themselves?

As a experienced runner I have always said always run no matter what unless your illness is below the neck. Respiratory illness should always rest. I recently have revised my thinking on this issue.

As I enter into middle age I have found that my body just sometimes needs REST. No I did not come to understand this easily. I, like most endurance runners, have a go go go attitude. It took my 4th marathon in 4 months to realize that maybe my body needed a little more rest than I was giving it.

It took a pretty serious injury to wake me up and make me realize that I can OVERDO it. So have I slowed down any? WELL…… kinda, but not much. I am trying to allow myself more rest time and. I am trying to listen to how my body is reacting to training. I made myself take off from racing for two weekends straight. That is a huge thing for this runner.

Although I am listening to my body, I have still registered for my 5th marathon in 5 months. I will run my very first TRAIL Marathon this Saturday at St. Sebastian State Park in Ferrelsmere, FL. It should be quite an adventure. I am very tired this week and even took off today from my early morning run group so that I could sleep in and try and feel a little better. I am also really pushing my hydration in preparation. From the emails sent out to us this marathon trail route is going to be very challenging. With sugar sand and changing temperatures we have been warned to walk through the sugar sand and stay well hydrated. WALK? Are you kidding me? That is my one and only hard core rule, never walk. I have to admit that I will be listening to my body and I will probably listen to the advice given. My goal for this new adventure is to FINISH and to FINISH STRONG!

 

Ouch my Ankle

Did I get your attention/ Yes I have some issues with my ankles and yes I less than 2 weeks away from my next Marathon adventure. I have been fighting this ankle/achiles tendon injury since my last marathon on March 9. Since then I have run the several races and even taken home some overall wins. Needless to say I can definitely feel my body fighting back at me. This 41 year old body just doesn’t like to bounce back like it did 15 years ago.

This week will be a relax week for me. I am doing the Spring Break thing with my children and husband at Universal Orlando, actually I am hoping we spend most of our time at Islands of Adventure. It is way more fun to me than Universal. I am eager to see how Rane (my 19 month old) reacts this trip. It is always something new to him as he grows. He is quite the entertainer for our family and trips like this we make some amazing memories.

I mentioned my next Marathon is April 12th. It’s not only a Marathon it is an Ultra Race and it is a TRAIL run. Anyone have any pointers for me on this one because this is definitely a first for me. I see the times are a lot slower than the average road race so I am a little scared. It will all be ok though because my husband and my son Alex will be out there with me for the first 6 miles. They are doing the 10k that same morning.

Look for my future posts as I will be keeping everyone up to date as the Trail Marathon sneaks up on me. For now it is off… Spring Break and fun times. bwfamily

 

My Monday

Yesterday I had computer problems so I did not get to post, so sorry.

Had a great 7 miles run early Monday morning with two of my running buddies. The weather was great and the ability to go that extra two miles was relaxing and very nice. This week is my slow week at work. All my clients are on spring break, that means I get to enjoy my morning runs a little more because I can go as far as I want to without the hurry I usually face. Don’t get me wrong, I love my clients and I love being their personal trainer. It is nice to be able to put in more miles on that early morning run, at least every now and then.

Today was a 5 mile run with one of my running buddies that doesn’t run with me as regular as she use to. It was nice to be hitting the pavement with her. I always enjoy her conversations. The weather was a little cooler and the pace was relaxed. I have to admit after racing hard for 6 straight weekends some relaxing runs are a blessing.

Runs like this morning remind me that it is important to train hard but to also slow down and relax on runs. Take it easy and take it all in. Breathe and feel your muscles work. Enjoy the beauty that God gives us every morning. The sunrise and the sky. The trees and the smells.

Ok not all smells on the early morning run are great. Flash back of the trash truck we sometimes end up following. GAG!

This morning was a run to set you up for a feel good day. So for now I must get my babies up and going on their homeschool work and I must finish my cup of coffee. Have an amazing day and a fantastic run.

2009 Pumpkin Run

2009 Pumpkin Run

Cure for Duchenne 5K-Branford, Florida

Step Fitness Racing Team

Step Fitness Racing Team on the banks of the Suwannee River after the award ceremony at this morning’s 5k

This morning was the perfect morning for a 5K race. God gave us absolutely beautiful weather. I was especially excited this morning because my entire family was racing. Myself, Skye, Alexander, my husband Tony and my baby boy Rane all did the race. Tony even pushed Rane in the stroller. The race was set on the beautiful trail in Branford, Florida. This trail is where I first started training for my marathon and to be back running on it was very enjoyable for me. The trail is also right next to the beautiful Suwannee River and Ivey Park so it was a really pretty race site.

The runners assembled at the start line. The bell rang, yes a sweet bell no gun, and we were off. I started off at a 6:40/min average and I began to slow a bit to try and just relax in my pace and push harder each 1/2 mile. My pace stayed between 6:50-7:00/min mile the entire race. The weather that was so beautiful quickly began to change to hot, then very hot. Thank goodness that most of the trail was shaded by big beautiful trees. It was an out and back course and it felt like it took forever to get to the turn around, but in reality it really went by fast. I think when you are running that fast of a pace, and it hurts a bit more than usual, time tends to stand still. I think this happens so you can cherish the pain that you have endured and appreciate the finish line that much more. 21 minutes and 45 seconds after that sweet bell rang I crossed the finish line, OVERALL FEMALE RUNNER. What an awesome feeling. It was even more awesome because my family and my running team where there to share victory and to help find a cure for this disease. So proud of Step Fitness Racing Team.
Racing for a Cure for Duchenne! Loved being in my home town racing.
Top three women and second overall male plus several first places and a couple of seconds.10013935_612906525454134_1216428149_n (2)

MY HEART

My heart is consumed by these three

My heart is consumed by these three

Today was a rainy, dreary, depressing day. I thank God that I have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and homeschool teacher to these amazing gifts God has given us. These three people are the three best thing that ever happened to me, and even on dreary day like today, I have my beautiful rays of sunshine to make me laugh and smile. My favorite part of life is being their Mommy.

My morning runs keep me healthy and fit so that I can keep up with the energy that my three children put out. TODAY I couldn’t run so I felt like sharing a little corner of my life that means so much to me.

God, my husband, my babies, my family and my run. Life is good, isn’t it?