Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hello to all! Welcome to the innaugural edition of my blog, "Run Blondie Run". I am a 40-something, "blonde", south Floridian runner. I'm starting this blog as I train for my 1st marathon. I've run my entire life; just different distances at different ages.

I didn't call myself a runner until my 20's. Anything before that point wasn't running, it was play! I played basketball and softball; I played "hide-and-go-seek"; I played "last one there is a rotten egg" (and I never lost!). No, I wasn't a runner, I was a player, I was a kid, I was having fun!

In my 20's, I not sure why, but I decided to run a race; it was either a 5k or 10k. I don't remember my finish time, although I'm sure I have it recorded somewhere in my files. But, needless to say, I wasn't at the top nor at the bottom either! Over several years, I ran many races and did end up placing 2nd or 3rd for my age group in a number of races.

But, then life took over. I met my future husband. I decided on pharmacy as my career choice, thanks mostly to my mentor Debbie D. I was accepted by the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy; Go Gators!!! My 1st year @ UF was very memorable for a very unpleasant reason. Tragedy occurred with the murder of 5 students.

Fast forward to 2001. 1 husband, 2 children, and 1 stressful job as a Pharmacy Supervisor and a need to find a stress outlet; I needed some "ME" time! A neighbor had "referred" our kids to karate. And before long, the entire family was enrolled. Karate seemed perfect for me; it wasn't running which would aggravate my knees. But lo and behold, part of the black-belt curriculum was running!!! Wasn't this the reason I got into karate, was to avoid running?!?!?!

But, I wanted my black belt badly....I hated the timed running! I knew I had to do 2 miles in 16 minutes; this shouldn't be a problem, but my knees screamed! I came so close to not making it.......but I did; I ran 2 miles in 16 minutes exactly; no more, no less. November 2004, I earned my 1st degree black belt and it was one of the most memorable and satisfying moments in my life!!!

Success was blissful, but short-lived; professionally, it was time for change. And change came quickly; an opportunity to be part of the system develpement team for a new mail order pharmacy. Yahoo!!!! I was psyched. This was going to be great!

Next thing you know, I was offered a management position.........but isn't this the reason I came here, to get out of management and get into the computer/IT pharmacy arena? Needless to say, I took the Administrative Services Management position (aka Director of Pharmacy). Did I take it because I felt guilty that no one else would take the position or did I take it because I truly felt that I could make an impact? The latter is the reason; I think I did make an impact in many areas and with many persons!

Fast forward (again) 18 months and 80 hours per week later; no time to spend with the family, no time to run or go to karate; it was time to step down from that position and "get a life". Easier said than done; but, by March 2007, it finally occurred.

Yeah, I had my life back. I could go to karate and maybe work towards getting my second-degree black belt. But 1st, I had to get my cardio back to "black-belt" level. So, I started running. And, this time, it was fun! It wasn't required of me (as of yet!),. I was doing it to get me to the level I needed to be. And, to remind myself that I was a "runner", meant that I had to register for a race.

I had "tried" to run the Miam ING 1/2 marathon for the past 3 years. But. something had always turned up as an obstacle to prevent me from running it. This year, I was going to do it!!! I registered for the race Tuesday October 2nd. That night, during katate class, I tore my right gastronemeous muscle. I was so upset; this was my 1st katare injury and I thought it was going to prevent me from running the 1/2 marathon in January. After my visit to the orthopaedeic MD and the physical therapists, I was advised it was a "minor" tear and that I would be back to karate and running in a few weeks.

Two & 1/2 weeks later and I was back to running & karate; I just had to be diligent in stretching my calves!!! January 27th came & I was so excited; I had forgetten how much "fun" it was to "race". Everything was perfect; temperatures in the mid-60's; enthusiastic crowds; and my husband at the 10.5 mile "cheering zone" & the finish line; receiving the beautiful "finisher's" was heaven beyond words!!!! My goal was 2:30 and I finished it in 2:15:21!!!

So what's next? What is a 1/2 marathoner to do? Go for a full marathon, of course! My younger sister lives in San Diego. She is a high school physics teacher (yeah, brianiacs in our family!!) and runs with the HS cross-country team. She ran a 1/2 marathon for her 40th B-day (finishing in 1:55!!!! Awesome!!!!) and signed up for the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon.

My sister had offered to come run the ING 1/2 marathon with me if I quit smoking. Well, I had too many excuses to NOT quit; so I told her not to plan on coming down to run with me. BUT, after running my 1/2 marathon, I was ready for a FULL marathon; that was the impetus I needed and I told her I'd quit smoking and run the FULL marathon with her.

So, I registered for the FULL marathon, I booked my flight to San Diego (love those frequent flier miles~!~), and, on Ash Wednesday (February 6th!) , I quite smoking. Today (Saturday 2/16th) is day 11 without a cigarette, a single puff, a hit of nicotine, nothing; nada!!!!!! And yes, I am aggravated, aggitated, irratated; pretty much any adjective associated with quitting smoking, I am feeling IT!!!!! But, I'm not smoking!!!!

I started "smoking" reguarly around 17 years-old; so it's a 25 year habit that I am trying to break.......please keep me in your prayers and good wishes; I really want to quit for good! for my health and for my children Lauren & Ryan

Till next week,

Blonde Rx
Run Blondie Run

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