Just Another Running Blog

A few months ago (who knows when, since I’m so terrible at this thing), I promised a redesign/refocus of this blog. Multiculti ME was created as a space for me to get my rants off in a space where I wasn’t being graded but allowed me to process some of the more academic things that crossed my mind. Honestly, since finishing my master’s work 3 years (!!!) ago, I haven’t done much academic pondering. As I gear up to (hopefully) go back to school for my PhD in 2018, I’m sure the academic ponderings will return, but for now let’s just accept the fact that after work I just don’t want to brain any more.

Which means…..

*drum roll*

This blog is going all running all the time!

Hopefully more consistently than in previous years (ha! Where have we heard that before?)

Anyway, training diary for real as I officially start my training for the Chicago Marathon. Today I am recovering from the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon. Last year Mickelson was my second ever half marathon and I PR’d by quite a bit. This year, I was about 3 minutes slower (1:58:06). It was significantly warmer this year, I approached it as a training run rather than a race, and I didn’t do a great job of doing tangents. My GPS showed 13.55 miles instead of 13.1 which tells me I was taking some wide corners out there.

Based on what I saw in the medical tent at the finish line, it’s a good thing I didn’t push too hard. Quite a few people needed IVs and cold rags to get their body temps back into a safe range. I love the course at Mickelson, but an 8am start time for a June race – even in South Dakota – is late and asking for heat struggles. Hopefully they’ll consider an earlier start time in the future.

Tomorrow the real work begins. Hopefully this Nike coaching plan isn’t too rough on me. I’m really just trying to finish without winding up in a walking boot again.

Fingers crossed for injury-free training!

Just another medal pic

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#BlackGirlsRun – Danica D.

Name:  Danica D.
Age: 40
Where I Run: New Jersey
Who I Run With: Black Girls Run (I’m in the Central Jersey and North Jersey Division)

Favorite Race: I can’t say that I have one yet.  My only race was Rutgers Big Chill 5K in December. It was a host of fun especially since it was my very first race. Once I have a few more races under my belt, I will know which is my favorite.

I have the following races upcoming:  Cupids Chase 5K, Rutgers Unite ½ Marathon- (I’m on a 4 women relay team), Spring Lake 5 Mile, Sandy Hook 5K, Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K and of course the Run The Year 2017 with a 3 person team.

I”m sure if you ask me this question on 7/1, I will have a different answer.

When did you first start running?: I turned 40 in August, and wanted to try something new. I was never a runner or even an athlete. I wanted to work on health so a friend introduced me to Black Girls Run. I went to my first meet up at Mercer County Park on November 4th and I’ve been running 4-5 days a week since then.

Why do you run?: For health, mental clarity, to enjoy the environment and bond with my sister friends in Black Girls Run

Who is/are your running role model(s)?: My role models are all of the members of Black Girls Run. They inspire me daily, with running, walking, wogging, jogging, etc. Just getting out and moving.

Advice for anybody looking to start running: My advice is to just get out and move. Walking, jogging, wogging or running as long as you are moving that is what matters. Don’t compete with anyone other than yourself. You are your only competition and critic. Your body will be sore, you will have good and bad days, however take your time and pace yourself. Remember, health is wealth.

#BlackGirlsRun – Natina G.

Name: Natina G.
Age: 30s
Where I Run: California (by way of Texas)
Who I Run With: I’m connected locally with BGR San Francisco Bay Area; I am connected to a few virtual “running clubs” which are sooo supportive, especially when traveling to running events Black Runners Connection and National Black Marathoners Association!
Favorite Race: People who know me well know this question is like asking a parent to choose between their children (I’m totally my father’s favorite). But, if I must, it’s a tie. Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas was my very first half marathon, and since 2011, I’ve been back every year save one. Running the Las Vegas Strip at night should be on everyone’s bucket list. And, there is a distance for every type of runner! 5K, 10K, Half, Full…you name it! I’m also a Ragnarian. I live for living in a van for 2 days because that’s the only way you’ll be able to do a Ragnar Relay. They are so much fun! I’ve done 4 already, and looking forward to #5 in May! That is another running event for the bucket list. You have just got to do it, at least once. Or twice. Because, challenge medals.

When did you first start running?:
For fun, in 2011. One of my staff members convinced me to do the Wicked 10K in Virginia Beach. It was awesome! Happy people, running? Who knew that was a thing. Plus, they were in costume!!! The race ended at Virginia Beach right in the sand. I thought I “won” the race when I finished because they gave me a medal. I was sooo hyped, but confused because I definitely saw people finish before me. Just a whole mess in my black angel wings. For serious, in 2013. By that time, I had completed a couple of 8K’s, 10K’s, and my very first half marathon in Las Vegas.

Why do you run?:
If I knew the answer to that, I would have more of my life figured out. In the beginning it was for the most innocent and genuine reasons – to have fun. I had no anxiety about it – not a drop.

Around the end of 2013, I was at a bar with friends watching college basketball, you know, an alumni gathering. Two white, female presenting individuals and I were having a conversation and running came up. I agreed with them about a distance running event that we had all done at one point, and they looked like deer in headlights. Their eyes were saying, “wait, you run?” and “wait, you run, like in distance running events?” It took my friend (a black man) confirming that I had taking my body across more finish lines than his athletic build had ever done for them to sorta, maybe believe it was the truth.

That hurt. All because I didn’t “look” like a runner (to them). The only single digit size I’ll probably get to in this here thing we called life is on my ring finger. I oscillate between making my peace with that and sadness. That was the first time I realized there was something very different about someone with my body type running. I felt so much shame about it. I almost quit.

But that is why having a community of support makes the difference. From that, two of my very close running friends and I decided to commit to #14in2014. We set out at the end of 2013 to earn 14 medals from 14 running events. 2014 is in the top 3 of ‘most amazing adulting years’ I’ve had in my life. I met so many people. Traveled the United States. Had so many firsts. I earned 17 medals and completed 18 races.

I would say then, I did it because people believed I could not do it. Which was a terrible reason to start because I almost got lost in that negative place. Once I realized that those people were people I shouldn’t even concern myself with (that took some time), it became my thing. I run because it’s my thing.

Who is/are your running role model(s)?:
I don’t know that I have a running role model. But there are two running stories that are so inspiring to me. They center me back to my why when I doubt myself. First, the story of Antoine Craig. Dude ran an 8K in Richmond, in the same year I set out for greatness, blind. I don’t wonder if I have enough to run when there are people who come with less and make it to the finish line. Then there is Mirna Valerio. If ever I needed to see an example of someone looking like me having the audacity to be exactly who they are, then it’s her. I almost typed ‘having the audacity to be great’ because that’s what we think, right? Someone who does something that it seems they shouldn’t (have the nerve, ability, etc) do, then it’s somehow greater, right? But of it all, it’s the humility she shared in her distinguished journey. She might be the only Cross Country coach that looks like her, and that is okay. That did not stop her from being as accomplished as her peers – hell, probably even more. I want running to always feel okay. Like it’s something I’m supposed to do because I want to. And have that be enough.

Advice for anybody looking to start running: Just do it. I know that seems lame, but you have to get out there. I had so much anxiety about running, even that first race, that I almost did not go. Find one friend, pay for their race registration if you need to, and go. Walk it if you’re not ready to run it. You will quickly figure out a few things: 1. There are runners, joggers, woggers (walk+jog), and walkers – and they all register for the same event at the same time; 2. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of everyone; and 3. Once you cross the finish line, you will wonder why you were worried in the first place. Oh, and that running playlist. You must get that all the way together. My running playlist is one of the reasons I love to run. Active time with my amazing music library? Yes, please!

Blog: #TheGirlieGurlChronicles It started out as a running thing that’s evolved. My good friend told me that I needed to post the letter I sent to the Competitor Group after I ran my very first half marathon and left Las Vegas sans medal.

 

#BlackGirlsRun : Molly H-M

Name: Molly H-M
Age: 28
Where I Run: South Dakota
Who I Run With: Pierre Area Run Club
Favorite Race: Half Marathon

When did you first start running?: I’m not entirely sure when I first started running. I was always involved in sports growing up and one of my favorite days in elementary school was Track & Field Day. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a sprinter, but that’s probably because 100m was the “long distance” race for 2nd graders and all of the famous runners who looked like me ran sprints. When I played soccer, I was one of the younger girls on the team. Some of the older girls got to middle school and started running cross country. When I heard them talking about it, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I ran my first cross country race in the fall of 2000 and have loved running distance ever since.

Why do you run?: I don’t know that there’s just one reason that I run. I run for my health, for sure. I have a history of heart disease and diabetes in my family, so want to combat that as much as possible. I love the way running makes me feel, the strength in my legs, the burning in my lungs, the runner’s high (endorphins). There’s nothing else like it.

Who is/are your running role model(s)?: Shalene Flanagan is definitely on my list. She’s a fellow Tar Heel, an Olympian, published cookbook author, and just an all-around beast out there on the road. My cross country coach from high school, LeAnn Vette is probably my biggest running role model. I’ve known her since I was very young, and even 10+ years after my last high school cross country race she’s still providing support and encouragement.

Advice for anybody looking to start running: Don’t think that you need to be an elite to consider yourself a runner. If you’re out there putting one foot in front of the other, be it on the road, the trail, or a treadmill, you are a runner. Also, don’t feel like you need to be able to go out and run a 5k or half marathon on your first day. It takes time to build a base safely and without injury. You’ll get there.

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At the end of my first half marathon (8/16/15).

 

 

Black History Month

Hello, Friends.

Yes. It’s been awhile (again). I know. I suck. I completely the first month of Run the Year and the streak challenge, logging 168.5 miles for the month. I also did Kathy Freston’s Quantum Wellness Cleanse as a bit of a bodily restart to kickoff the new year.

Now that I’m in my groove with my workouts and eating normal food again, I have conceived a lovely way to motivate myself to write more often (at least for the month of February): Black History Month!

If you’ve read my Bio page, you know that I’m Black. If you haven’t: Surprise!

Any who, I’m quite proud of that fact, and the events of the past few years (‘Murica) have really driven that home for me.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that while track & field have solid representation from the USA’s Black population, American distance running is shockingly white. This should come to no surprise to anybody who pays much attention to the sport. Runner’s World even had an article about it in 2011. Slowly, we’re seeing growth in the numbers of Black folks who run distance “for fun,” but the ranks of the American elites are still largely white (with the exception of naturalized citizens like Meb).

Running groups turned organizations/movements like Black Girls RUN! and Black Men Run are working hard to change the community’s perceptions of distance running and helping to increase the number of us out there logging miles. To do my part – however small – I will be profiling different Black women who run over the course of Black History Month. While I know there are some wonderful Black men out there pounding the pavement, I want to take the month to focus on women because #BlackGirlMagic.

Stay tuned!

 

I Won the Lottery!

Last time I checked in, I was finally free of my walking boot and easing my way back into a fitness routine. I am happy to report that I successfully completed the Nike Training Club program that I was using with no adverse effects on my foot.

I did the Start Up Plan and chose not to integrate running because I wanted to make sure that I addressed any muscle imbalances that may have occurred as a result of the extended time in a walking boot. Not only did I make it through the 4 week program without my foot bothering me at all, but it got my cardio fitness to a point where I was able to run a 5K at an 8:36 pace for my first run. Other than some slight muscle fatigue the next day from waking up muscles that hadn’t been used in three months, I was fine.

Now that we’ve covered the basic update on the comeback, I can share the important news: I won the Chicago lottery!

That’s right. My One-And-Done Marathon Career is no longer one-and-done. On a whim, I decided to enter the lottery for the Chicago Marathon, and I was lucky enough to be drawn for an entry. I thought the women I spoke with after my marathon were kidding when they said I would get marathon amnesia want to run another. They were right. I am a little scared knowing what happened the first time I attempted a marathon, but I am mostly excited. Chicago is one of the premier marathons, and I will get a chance to see a city I have never visited (unless you count layovers in O’Hare and Midway) in a way that many never will. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Chicago Marathon and can’t wait to count myself as a finisher come October.

This time, I am going to train correctly which means consistently and with a plan. Today I started the Get Started Plan with the NRC app. My marathon is far enough out that there’s no need to start the Marathon Coaching Plan just yet. I figure the Get Started Plan will help me build a solid base before I start adding miles. This will be a race filled year with my planning to run a half in June and another in August in addition to Chicago in October. I will also once again be logging my miles as #MilesForTheFight to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. If you are interested in donating, you can do so here.

All that to say that this lovely, underutilized, beauty of a blog is going to become my training journal. You will get to hear all of the wonderful ups and downs of my attempt to prepare for and complete my second marathon. Strap yourselves in, folks.