Monday, September 26, 2011

Tunnel to Towers 2011

Yesterday (Sunday) I ran in the 10th Annual Tunnel to Towers Race in New York City. I was in line for the Start by 8:30, over an hour before the race started. I couldn't even see the starting line from my perch on the sidewalk. During that hour as I waited for my turn to start, I thought about how I even got to that point. I woke up at 5:15, was out the door by 5:30, for a 9:30 race. I took a car to a train, to a shuttle bus to the registration center and then walked about 1/2 mile to the starting area. I was right in front of Engine Co 202 and Ladder 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York. 

Amid the throngs of almost 30,000 people were firefighters, soldiers, marines, children, and grandparents. People from as far away as 29 Palms in California and members of the London Fire Brigade. T-shirts identified people's locations, from the Massachusetts Police to high school soccer teams to Fire Departments across the country. As the Opening Ceremony started, we could see the presentations via large video screens. And then, it was 9:30 and the race was on!

I didn't cross the starting line until almost 10am, and then it took a lot of self-control not to speed down the hill into the tunnel, I knew the tunnel was going to be crowded, warm, and full of jostling people. I paced myself well for the first mile or so and then got stuck in throngs of people and found myself being way too polite. After being bumped a few times, I made up my mind to stay just left of the walkers and go at my own pace, people could pass me if they wanted. I took a few walk breaks, which ended quickly when I saw someone in full turnout gear or a ruck sack shuffling along. I knew I could pace with them until I got back in the groove.

Exiting the tunnel was overwhelming. On the left were thousands of cadets from West Point holding American Flags. On the right were 343 firemen all holding a banner with the picture and name of their comrades lost on 9/11. The line stretched for a long time. We crossed into Battery Park and came across a lot of bottle necks as we turned and ran along the river. Here is where you could start to feel the finish approaching. There were high school cheerleaders and marching bands pushing you on, and spectators applauding your efforts. We turned out of the park and could hear the voices of the people at the finish line. I decided to sprint towards the finish and was able to squeeze through pockets of people to do so. 

Post race, I gathered up my back which was efficiently transported by UPS truck and headed home on the train. I knew my time was not going to break any records and I am still telling myself that time doesn't matter in a race like this. Will I run this race again? Yes. Next year? Probably not. Its a fun race, but I don't think I can handle the number of people and the potential for injury from all that jostling. Maybe for the 15th year, if I can get a group together to go with me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall 2011

This Autumn is going to be full of activity and adventure for the Alwines. I have a lot planned, don't tell DH, and I think the kids are at a perfect age to enjoy these activities.

I promise to (try) to upload pictures and tell the stories of all our Fall 2011 Alwine Adventures.

Running Mom ... That's Me!

My next race is on Sunday. I'm both nervous and really excited! If this were any other race I would have backed out by now. My hip has been acting up, my training is not where I wanted to be, (excuse, excuse, excuse)  BUT, I'm going. Mom and I are packing up the kids and heating to Grandma's where they, along with Aunt Kathy, will watch my kiddos. PopPop is insistent on driving me into New York City and that's just fine by me!

My goal for this race is to run the whole thing. No walk breaks. That's it. I don't even care what my time is, I just want to run. Consistently. I know this race will be full of emotion and I'm hoping that will also work to my advantage. No way can I stop running knowing what the race is commemorating.

Expect a race report on Monday. And hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Day in Declan's World

So, after yesterday's information about "beeping" ID Cards, Declan decided I was not able to handle this situation and informed the guard of her mistake this afternoon. He said, "You're supposed to beep the ID Card, is your beeper broken?" She was not amused.

This morning he was at it again. He dropped his spoon on the floor during breakfast. "I'm so sorry Mommy. Now you are going to have to vacuum again." I told him this was a plus to having a dog now.

Oh, I didn't tell you? We got a dog.

Running Mom Challenge

We've got 9 days left and we've run 1880 miles so far this month. WOW!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Preschool is Amazing Mom!

Declan started preschool this week! He was so excited he couldn't stand it. He goes two full days a week, Monday and Wednesday and gets to play with his best friend Jacob as well as all his new friends. Here's his first day of school picture. I wish I could get him to tell me more, but all he can say is "I love preschool Mommy. Can I go everyday? My school is amazing!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Alwine Family Vacation

Saturday we set off on our Alwine Family Vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We are staying in a Beach House called Lost Shaker of Salt. Here's the numbers:

  • 8 cars in the driveway from 3 different states
  • 5 kids under the age of 4 with 1 on the way
  • 2 dogs
  • 2 great grandparents
  • 2 grandparents
  • 1 doting aunt and uncle
  • 3 moms and dads
We've been having a wonderful time on the beach, in the pool, and watching the kids play together. Its been a wonderful few days, and we're have several more left. The numbers are dwindling as work calls, but I'll be here until the end. And pictures will come when we get home (I brought the wrong cord with me).

Running Moms Update

507 miles

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Running Moms Challenge

So, its September 3rd and we're well into our challenge. So far, in fact, we've amended it.
We want to run 343 miles for the firefighteres killed, then an additional 72 for the police officers killed, then another 2819 for the civilians killed. A grand total of 3,234 miles for September. And as of tonight, we're at 231. I think we can do this!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Week 5 Couch to 5K .... Complete!

This morning I rolled out of bed at 5:50, met up with my good friend Jennifer for a 5 minute warm-up walk and completed Day 3 of Week 5 of my C25K training. A little over 2 miles later, I am so happy to say that I finished Week 5! Today I ran 8 minutes, walked 5 minutes, and then ran another 8 minutes. I'm looking forward to starting Week 6 on Sunday, although I know it will be extremely challenging.

On another great note, the Running Moms have hit 108 miles and its only the morning of the second day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running Moms Unite!

I have a wonderfully supportive group of friends who have two things in common.

  1. We are moms.
  2. We run.
We have joined forces to run 343 miles between September 1st and September 11th in honor of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. 

On Sept 1st we ran 53 miles!
Keep up with us here!