Monday, August 13, 2012

IRON will

As most of you probably know by now, I have three pretty amazing sisters. In their own quiet little ways, they do things that most people only dream about doing and go about these accomplishments like it's no big deal. Run a Tony-award winning Broadway show? Sure. Travel around the world as a professional triathlete? Yep. Complete your first-ever Ironman in under 10 hours? Now that's been done, too.

Because of the nature of my job--and the fact that I'm the most vocal of the bunch--I often find myself telling my sister's stories for them. Not in a braggy-wow-how-great-are-we kind of way, but in an are-these-people-really-related-to-me? kind of astonishment. This was especially true yesterday as so many people asked me how the Ironman went for Laurel. I couldn't help but gush. She broke the 10-hour mark! Finished 10th! Ran a 3:16 marathon! But the most impressive part? She was still walking, talking, and fully functioning at the finish line. As though she could have gone for five more hours. So many other competitors crumpled into balls or stretched out in prone positions of agony around her in the massage tent, while she was gabbing away acting like she just finished a sprint. I felt more exhausted after simply spending the day tracking her from Jersey to Riverside Park. I was certain she'd feel the effects of the race yesterday, but 24 hours after crossing the line, she reported feeling "great!" and stepped out in five-inch heels. If she wasn't so nice, I'd hate her.

Seeing this sort of strength and pure power emerge from such a small package is inspiring, to say the least. We all know she works hard, but there's more to Laurel than just fitness and talent. There's heart. There's determination. And dare I say, stubbornness. She just doesn't give up. And like so many of her "super fans", I'm so excited to see where these qualities take her next.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Silver: The First Loser?

Like the rest of the country, I've jumped on the Fab Five bandwagon. I've been getting to know these girls since the Trials, following them on Twitter and Instagram and just loving their exuberance. They are quintessential teenagers...all sparkles and smiles, their tweets punctuated with OMGs and emoticons. They're pretty, hard working, and talented. What's not to love?

But that bubble gum charm popped last night as we watched McKayla Moroney lose what she clearly thought was rightfully hers: The gold medal in the vault. Yes, she was the best vaulter of them all. Yes, she soars higher over that thing than anyone else on the planet. But she landed smack on her butt on her second attempt. And that, my friends, does not a gold medal make.

Did she feel like she was gipped? That the judges low-balled her score? That her vault was more difficult, so she should still get the gold? Whatever it was, McKalyla was mad. Mad enough to go from teen queen to ice queen the second she stepped off that mat. I wanted to feel sorry for her. I wanted to see her shed some tears and bury her head in the shoulder of her all-too touchy feely coach. But after watching her morph into a Mean Girl who could not even offer a phony "congrats" to the much appreciative Romanian winner, I could only think that this "champion" needs to learn a lesson in losing.

Granted, the girl is 16. Gymnastics is her life. We put so much emphasis on getting the gold that silver becomes some sort of consolation prize. So who can really blame McKayla for letting her emotions fly? I'm sure that in a few years (heck, maybe even in a few days), she'll realize it's pretty freaking cool to go to the Olympics, period, yet alone take home two medals. And then she'll be able to see the, uh, silver lining in her London experience.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Golden Girl: Kayla Harrison

Well she was an American Girl...(photo by  LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/GETTY IMAGES )

Keeping on the Olympian theme, I wanted to touch on Kayla Harrison, the newly-minted gold medalist in women's judo. We chatted a few months ago about her goals and journey leading up to the Olympics, and she shared with me her dream of becoming the first American judo athlete to win gold. Because of the nature of the story I was writing (a positive, motivational service piece as opposed to an in-depth profile), we never touched on the startling fact that Kayla was sexually abused by her former coach when she was just 13. Knowing this now and everything she overcame to achieve her lifelong goal makes her story even more impressive. Here are four inspiring facts about Kayla. 

She uses failure as her fuel.
“One of my favorite quotes is by Michael Jordan: 'Failure is my fuel.' Any time something bad has happened to me, I've used it to make me stronger. Anytime I lose a match, or when something goes wrong, this is what makes me a better player and person.”

She's resilient.
“I usually don't take more than a day to sulk after a bad performance. The older I get, the more I overcome, the more mentally tough I've gotten. This comes from experience and getting back on the horse, and really having confidence in myself." 

She's focused.
"When I was 13, I was about to compete at my first Junior World Championships when I snapped a ligament and broke bones in my thumb. I couldn't compete and I was devastated. I thought my career was over. Missing out on that opportunity only made me hungry for more." 

She's a fighter.
"One of my favorite mottos is that a goal set is a goal met. No matter what, you are going after that goal. As corny as it sounds, never give up. If you have a dream and you're willing to work hard and make sacrifices, the sky is the limit." 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Manny Huerta's story

Olympic dreams coming true...

Another Olympian I chatted with in the months leading up to the Olympics was triathlete Manny Huerta. Manny's story is nothing short of inspiring--a true American dream come true. Since qualifying for London back in June, Manny has become a paramount figure in the triathlon world. But, like athletes in "niche" sports, his name has yet to make an impact in mainstream media. Hopefully, that will soon change as Manny has a very, very bright future ahead of him.

To give you more insight on this here's story I wrote for the summer issue of USA Triathlon's magazine. (Since I don't have the pdf, hopefully the text will do).  Manny will race the triathlon on Tuesday, August 7. Can't wait to see how he does. 

Manny Huerta knew he had had the race of his life. After two hours of swimming, biking, and running around San Diego in hot pursuit of a top-9 finish to automatically qualify for the Olympics at the ITU World Triathlon Series, he thought had it locked up. Or did he? Upon stepping past the finisher's strip, he was still not positive where he placed. So he started counting. With a shaky index finger, he pointed to the heads in front of him in the finishing shoot. One, two, three, four...he ticked off eight men before he reached himself. Suddenly, he looked up to the sky and buried his head in his hands, seemingly in disbelief of what he had just done. Huerta, 28, a political refugee from Cuba, was an U.S. Olympian.

Huerta's story is so profoundly impressive, it's almost hard to believe: A 13-year-old kid, his mom Marta, and his sister Claudia leave everything behind in Cuba to join his grandmother, who fled the communist country by boat in 1981. They have nothing. No money, no possessions. They don't even speak English. Slowly, Manny makes friends, joins the local swim team, then the cross country team at his high school, and starts competing in triathlons. He's a good athlete. So good, in fact, that he earns a running scholarship to Florida Atlantic University and, after that, a spot on the USA Triathlon National Team. But good enough to make the Olympics one day? Manny believes so. He leaves his family and friends in Miami to train in Colorado Springs, then Switzerland with Team TBB, and finally, in Costa Rica, where he sets up a training base in a secluded spot 7,000 feet above sea level in the Irazu Volcano. After climbing the ITU ranks for a few years, he's among one of the American men to watch in the Olympic year. The little boy who came to this country with nothing is within reach of gaining everything he ever wanted as an athlete: To represent his adopted home on sports' greatest stage.

Still, Huerta knew this dream would not come true without a perfect race in San Diego. “There are so many variables with ITU races,” he explains of the draft-legal and super-technical style of racing. “It might take a miracle, it might take everything on race day to fall in the right place. You may be in the shape of your life and if something goes wrong, it could change everything.”

But nothing went wrong for Huerta that day, and when he sprinted down the bright blue carpet towards the finish, it was as though he was floating. As though the weight of his past hardships—not only his rough upbringing but the death of his father to cancer in 2010 and his mother's subsequent battle with the disease—were lifted off his narrow shoulders, giving him an air of lightness that effortlessly carried his 125-pound frame along the home stretch.

“That was my entire life's work,” says Huerta of his performance. “It was not just a two-hour-long effort, I spent my whole life working towards that goal.”

Granted, this is just the beginning for Huerta. After all, there's an even bigger race in London coming up, followed by what Huerta hopes will be a lengthy career. For that, he looks to fellow Olympian Hunter Kemper as a role model, hoping to duplicate both his longevity and success in the sport.

“Triathlon has changed so much since Hunter began racing [in 1998] and he has been able to change with it. He actually gets better with age,” says Huerta. “I hope I can do the same. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from him during our time together in London.”

A realist, Huerta knows not to expect another flawless race at his first-ever Olympics. Still, he asserts that he's not taking a field trip to the U.K. “A medal would be great, but there are so many amazing guys out there. My goal is to finish in the top 10,” he says. “I just want to prepare the best I can and gain everything possible out of the experience.”

And with his girlfriend, Argentinian triathlete Pierina Luncio, and his mom (now stable after chemo and surgery to treat her melanoma) joining him in London, he plans to make the most of every second he's not racing, too.

“I'll go to the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony, and go watch some other events,” he says. “I want to look back in 30 years and say, 'Wow, I was an Olympian, and those were some amazing memories.'”

Missy Mania

Photo: Getty Images

One of the very cool perks of my job is to get to meet and chat with athletes of all levels, including Olympians. Just a couple of months ago, I interviewed swimming superstar Missy Franklin for an Olympic build-up story highlighting "Secrets of Champions". Admittedly, at the time I had a vague notion of just how talented Missy was. I'd read about her enough to know that she was making huge waves in the swimming world. But what I didn't expect to discover was just how poised she was. I was so impressed by her modesty and her enthusiasm. She is a rarity among elite young, so fast, but just so normal. 

With all of the Missy Mania happening at the moment because of gold and silver (so far) in London, I thought I'd post the outtakes of my Q&A so you all can read a bit more about this phenom.

Sarah Wassner Flynn: What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you? How have you applied that advice to your career as a swimmer?

Missy Franklin: I’m lucky to compete with many older swimmers on the National Team. It’s hard to pick out just one example as everyone has great advice for what it’s like to compete at such a high level and stay focused on racing while juggling things like school and times with friends. One constant theme has been to stay in the moment and enjoy every minute of the experience. That advice has really helped in practice and at competitions. In practice, I have fun with my friends and look forward to seeing them each morning and night. We support each other and this helps me get through some very tough sets. I was so fortunate to
go to Australia last summer with other National Team swimmers to train for the World Championships and
then to Shanghai to compete. I enjoyed every moment of every day. I appreciated that here I was, a 16
year old teenager, actually visiting these incredible places that most people will never see. I believe this
attitude assisted me in managing the pressures at the World Championships. I was relaxed and was able
to contribute 5 medals to Team USA.

SWF: If you could name one secret to your success as a swimmer, what would it be?

MF: My secret to success is to be mentally ready for competition. Yes, of course it is vital to be
physically ready, to set goals and train hard. But when the moment comes when I need to perform, I
know I’ve done the work necessary and it all comes down to confidence and faith in my abilities. At the
competitive National and International meets it can be very intimidating and easy to lose focus. Mental
preparation or the lack of it can make all the difference.

SWF: Have you ever had an experience where you surpassed your own expectations--or those of others,
especially when there were odds stacked against you? How did you manage to come out on top?

MF: In October 2011 at the World Cup in Berlin, I was tired and not rested for the meet. I had been training very hard and had just competed in Moscow. I wondered how I would do. I felt no pressure and went all out in my favorite event, the 200 Back. I felt good in the race. I got in the groove with my stroke. As I touched the wall I heard an enormous applause and wondered what had happened. I looked at the times and saw that I had won GOLD and also noticed a “WR” by my name. I had just claimed my first World Record! I learned so much from this! You never should give up and should always try your best. You never know when it will all come together and give you a moment to remember forever!

SWF: What are some tips you have for other people out there going after their own goals?

MF: My advice is to love what you do and have fun with it. As others have told me, stay in the moment and enjoy your sport. I try and live the life of a normal child or teenager. Take control of your sport and what you want to do with it. Don’t let it take over your life. Finally make time for your family and friends. I am successful because of the love and support they all give to me. I would be nothing without them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Up with the Sun

We are spending the next 10 days in Corolla, North Carolina. Ten. Whole. Days. In the spirit of a true vacation, I'll likely be as lazy as possible without falling off the wagon. This means, squeezing in a run nearly every morning and then parking my bum in a chair (or, more likely, on the sand, digging holes and building castles with E & N) for the rest of the day. My goal is to get my runs in first thing...bypass the tempting donuts usually piled on the kitchen counter...which is somewhere in the ballpark of 6:30. Brutal.

For a lot of runners and triathletes, waking up at 6:30 is a lovely sleep in. For me, it's anything but. I stay up late (usually working), so mornings are always difficult for me. Running in the morning is even more of a challenge. But it always feels so great once I'm finished and allow myself to veg for the rest of the day. I just don't always remember that sense of satisfaction when my alarm's buzzing well before I'm ready to open my eyes.

But,the benefits of running before breakfast have been touted by plenty of researchers (it's better for stress release, speeds up your metabolism, keeps your energy levels up, and you're likely to run farther because of reduced heat and humidity). Plus, considering the fact that I have a bunch of extra hands to help with the little ones if they happen to rise before I return and that I can take a nap or two throughout the day (like the one I took on the sand this afternoon...just perfect), I am determined to churn out those miles with the sunrise. Or at least before high noon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chasing Sunsets

Last night I had a lot of my mind. So as soon as M walked in the door, I headed out for a head-clearing five mile run. After writing about meditation technique for Girls Life magazine, I made a point to not think about anything. I didn't want to search for answers. I wanted to focus on nothing but the road in front of me, inviting resolutions to seamlessly enter my conscious like a whisper. (Isn't it amazing how just one run can solve so many problems?!)

Typically, I'll run an out-and-back hugging the Hudson River, a meandering and flat route with million-dollar views of Manhattan's skyline. But last night, I felt a need for a lift, literally. So three miles into my run, I made a sharp left turn and climbed a rather ominous 150-foot-high hill to the top of the cliff-like overlook on the edge of West New York. Completely engrossed in my run (and still recovering from the climb), I continued to keep my eyes trained in front of me. But suddenly, I felt the urge to peer to my left. And this is what I saw:

A fireball over midtown Manhattan. 7/25/12

It was at that very moment that the sun began its final descent beyond the horizon. I reached for my phone, snapped the shot, and ran along. No more than 45 seconds later, I looked over my shoulder and the fiery sun had slipped out of view, leaving only a dazzling golden light in its wake. I ran home feeling lighter, refreshed, my mind disposed of the clutter I'd been carting around all day. 

After five years of living on this side of the city, I have yet to be anything but awed by its panorama. And it's these moments--these fleeting images of the day turning into night--that inspire me, take my breath away, and keep me motivated to keep chasing those sunsets. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An interesting column...

Well, if I'm going to blog, I better be more consistent about it! A few days away at my parents' and I've fallen behind. And with vacation looming next week, I'm making a promise to myself  to NOT drop the ball! 
Picture of heartbreak: The girl on the left won--and gets to go to the Olympics. (Source: AP)
Anyway, speaking of parents, I recently read this column by Scott Lucas, a writer in Charlotte and the father of elite runner Julia Lucas. For those of you non-track geeks out there, Julia failed to make the Olympic team in the 5,000 meters in the most painful way possible—by being outleaned at the finish line after leading for much of the latter part of the race. The difference between her booking her ticket to London and staying home and watching the Games from her couch at home came down to a miniscule 4/100ths of a second. Heartbreaking? Yes, at least for Julia. But for the girl who got her at the line—Kim Conley—it was a dazzling display of pure guts. She made up an enormous gap in the final 200 meters of the race and ran Julia down with an explosive sprint—something no human being should be capable of at the end of a 15-minute-plus race.
To go through that anguish as an athlete must be completely gut-wrenching. But what about enduring it as that athlete's parents? Scott Lucas offers this unique perspective in his column. The pride he describes for his daughter, regardless of the results, is touching. And it highlights an issue that all parents wrestle with on various levels. It's cliché to say, but as a mom or dad, you truly do want nothing but the best for your children. And when that doesn't happen? Your heart may break along with theirs, but at the same time you have to be there to help hold their chin up and realize that life goes on. To do otherwise only gives off the impression that that they've failed you some how. Because we all know that feeling, when we have a bad result--in a race or otherwise in life--when we feel like we've let everyone down. Through his words about his own daughter, Lucas offers a reminder, that as a mom or dad, as much as you want to cry along with your kid or kiss the hurt away, there's a point that you just have to step back and let her "bear her own burdens." Because, in the end, I guess we all rebound from loss, whether huge or tiny, in our own ways and our own time. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pity Part of 1

What I feel like after a bad race (Note: Outside of this moment, NC is a very happy kid. Swear.)

Confession: I am a sore loser.

Nearly every single day, I tell E—who is the most sports-obsessed almost-4-year-old in the world—that winning isn't important. When he sticks out his bottom lip in a pouty reaction to the news that the D.C. Nationals lost or bursts into tears after one of his buddies beats him in a sprint down the sidewalk, I am quick to step in with my “Everyone has to lose sometimes” life lesson. But deep down inside, I get it. I know it sucks to get outnipped at the line or to watch someone else celebrate a victory that you wish was yours. And while I would (obviously!) never throw a tantrum as a result of a loss like my dear son, I do experience a similar raw, emotional response, only internally. I may smile and shrug it off as a bad day, but later on, when it's just me and my thoughts, I all too easily stumble into a puddle of pity, which I wallow in for way too long.

It's not like I'm even used to winning. As a runner, I've had moderate success but never on a level that would ever give me any sort of sense of entitlement. I don't approach the starting line with the “I'm the fastest one here, I can win this” mentality. Rather, I assume that even the gray-haired 80-year-old can beat me (hey, it's happened). For me, “winning” a race is running smart, setting a PR, maybe even placing in my age group. Mostly, I just want to feel strong from start to finish without letting a negative thought cross my mind.

And when that doesn't happen? When I go out too fast or let self-doubt step between me and a solid finish? When I tell myself I'm too tired to pick up the pace or to pass that person steps ahead of me? To me, that's a loss. And I can't help but beat myself up for it. Was all of that training a waste of time? Am I just so weak that I can't push through the pain? Do I even deserve to call myself a runner?

Dramatic? Yep. But my long-term relationship with running is an extremely intimate, though volatile one. I love it. I hate it. I want it to be better. Maybe I'd be happier if we just parted ways. 

I read once that Dathan Ritzenhein gives himself one day to get over a bad race. (I think it's a rule his wife enforces...which I totally get...who wants a grumpy husband moping around the house for longer than that?). I try to live by that standard. I tell myself, take 24 hours to analyze splits, rehash the race, figure out what went wrong. After that, you've just gotta move on. Or at least try to.

That works. Sometimes. But nearly 48 hours after my last (not-so-great) race, I'm still hanging out at that pity party like a bad guest who refuses to leave. And because I clearly need work in this area, I'm curious: How do you move beyond a sub-par performance?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Piece Wonders

Holy heck is it hot outside. The temps topped 97 on this side of the Hudson today, and all I wanted to do is float in an ice cold pool. But instead, I worked and ran a 5K. You can guess how that went (or you can read my previous post...).

Anyway, thinking about swimming gets me thinking about bathing suits. I'm still on a mission to find the perfect suit...the same mission I've been on ever since I had E back in August 2008. Despite gaining 60 pounds with him (yes, 60. Over 9 pounds of that was baby, but that still doesn't make it right. Copious amounts of ice cream were involved...), my body eventually morphed back to its original shape and managed to do so again after NC popped out in November 2010 (I was smarter with her, only gaining 25 pounds. Thank God). Yep, back to normal everywhere, except for one major area: My stomach. While 8 years of competitive running in high school and college earned me some decently-defined abs, pregnancy introduced me to that ugly thing called a diastasis recti. And a pretty bad one at that. Post-pregnancy, my six pack went wayward—to either side of my body, to be exact. My rectus abdominals completely separated, leaving a fugly gap in the center of my stomach, disfiguring my belly button, and, well, I'll spare you the rest of the details.

The abs have slowly knitted themselves back to the point where I don't feel like a circus freak without my shirt on. But I'm too traumatized from the nastiness that was my stomach for so long to rock a bikini on the regular. Not to mention I have four little hands grabbing me at all times in the pool just ready to rip off a skimpy top. So, point is, I've become pals with the one piece. I've found some decent suits over the past couple of summers, but nothing I'm absolutely in love with. It doesn't help that I spend way too much money on E and NC's wardrobe (baby needs a new pair of shoes...or four), so I'm usually left shopping the clearance rack at Old Navy for myself. Not that there's anything wrong with Old Navy, but, as my sister likes to say, those racks are usually a bit to' up. an effort to locate The. Perfect. Suit., I've gathered together some of my faves. Who knows how these will actually look like on me, but they look pretty hot on these models. Now to decide which one to actually order...

It's technically not a one piece, but this Ralph Lauren Ikat Multi Stripe tankini will do the trick. I'm currently into all things ikat. And the bold blues would look great with a bright yellow beach tote. 

J. Crew Seersucker Underwire Tank. Gotta love anything in seersucker. And the underwire offers a much needed, uh, boost. 
Anthropologie Natalie One-Piece. Loving the retro vibe, the halter style, the boy-cut shorts, and the polka dots. The $148 price tag, however? Not so much.  
Kenneth Cole Reaction Bandeau Ruffle Swimdress. So girly and sweet--and a perk that the color is called pinkberry. Besides, who wouldn't want to wear something called a swimDRESS?
I'm all for a plunging neckline like this Pucci Isfahan Twist  One-Piece. Especially because the bold Pucci print transports me right into Capri. Bellissimo!   

And to toss on after the pool or beach, how cute are these OndadeMar Eyelet Shorts

J. Crew off-the-shoulder tank. I've been a fan of this style ever since my Aunt Jeanie made me an asymmetrical Prom dress senior year of high school (we were so ahead of the trend!). Plus, the draping and pleating is super-flattering.

Feeling HOT

Racing to the finish line. I use the term "racing" loosely because I was actually STRUGGLING. 

What do you get when you mix a 90-degree night with a 5K race and toss in a too-fast first mile?

You get heat exhaustion, that's what. At least that's what happened to me.

I was really excited to run the Partywith a Purpose 5K in Hoboken tonight. It's a local race that I've done a few times, they have a post-finish beer garden, and it's on a Tuesday evening, so it's a fun way to break up the week. Going into the race, I told myself to just take it easy and see how I feel. If I could push the last half, I would. No expectations. When the gun went off, I went out in what felt like a solid but relaxed pace. I left my Garmin at home and wanted to just run on instinct, a la Ryan Hall (except I don't have the voice of God telling me what to do). So that's just what I did.

Turns out I should have tuned those instincts out. Because I ran a 6:20 first mile. Ugh. A few months ago, this would have been the perfect pace. That was when I was cranking out speed work and intervals three times a week in preparation for a that didn't go so well because it was HOT. (Sensing a pattern here?). Since I just started incorporating intervals and tempo runs into my workouts again, I've kept my expectations realistic. A 6:45 pace would have been ideal tonight.

Which is what I ran my second mile in, and as for the third, who knows, but I'm sure it was way over 7. I could hardly get my legs to move towards the end. My total time was way off any recent 5K finishes, which is super frustrating, especially considering what happened next. After dousing myself with one bottle of water and chugging another, I could not shake this feeling that I was going to pass out. My heart raced, my eyes were heavy, and I could not concentrate. Then, my arms started to go numb and I could hardly stand. All this after a mere 3.1 miles of racing. I sat down, ate some pretzels, drank more water, and willed myself to stand and shake off this feeling. It worked, sorta. Now, almost four hours after finishing, I'm still a little woozy. (Yes, I should be sleeping, but I'm a night owl with or without heat stroke).

Maybe I should have stopped after that first mile. But I had M, E, NC, and my good friend R all waiting for me at the finish line. Maybe I should have gone to the medic tent after finishing. But I thought I would be OK on my own. Maybe I shouldn't have even attempted to run given that I basically melt down in any race over 80 degrees. Who knows. One thing's for sure: I should not have gone out so fast. It's a lesson I reminded of over and over yet never seem to full grasp...even after over 15 years of racing.When will I ever learn?

Here I Go!

I'm supposed to be working.

In fact, because I write for a living, I tend to feel a touch guilty whenever I'm typing words that don't have to do with an assignment. Even my emails are sparse. I always wonder what people think of my choppy, straight-to-the-point messages. (Uh, and she calls herself a writer?!). I usually save my eloquence for my editors. Until now. Because today I will start my very own blog. One that does not focus on my wedding (the impetus for my original blog, started way back in 2005!) or my children (a spinoff of the original, hatched in 2008). Although surely my little darlings will make plenty of appearances, because, well, why not? They're cute.

In short, this will be the receptacle for my thoughts on all things to do with running, endurance sports, and motherhood. Yes, I am attempting to become a running mommy blogger.

I had no idea this niche even existed until a couple of months ago, when I happened upon the online home of rockstar writers Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, the authors of Another Mother Runner. They have like a zillion followers, run marathons all the time, and are way more accomplished than I ever imagine being, but hey, one can dream. From there, I happened upon a slew of other similarly-themed blogs and was completely inspired to do something like that for myself. So, thanks for the kick in the butt, ladies! 

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from. From here on out, I hope to entertain, inform, and enlighten those of you out there who want to read my thoughts on being a runner, a writer, and a mom—and whatever other random thoughts that cross my mind. And in return, I have one small favor: I want you to keep me on task, to inspire me to go after my goals (and not continue to put them off because I'm “too busy” or "too tired" as has been the case pretty much my whole life), and to join me in an ongoing conversation about this crazy life we're all leading. 

Oh, and if you're wondering about the title of this blog? It's a little tribute to my little ones, E (almost 4) and NC (1.5)  who have both at some point shouted those words to me from their perch in our trusty BOB jogging stroller when they want their chance to run. "I go, mommy, I go!" It's this simple phrase that reminds me of the relentless drive and motivation that we're all born with...and gives me the hope that I'll be able to recapture that endless amount of of these days.