Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Head is clear, back in it.

I would first like to say I am sorry for the lack of blogging as of late. (Not sure how many of you actually read this/missed me while I took a bit of a break) Since my last post I was going through an angry phase because I was going through an injury and took it easy for about two weeks. I was pissed I wasn't running a lot and I was pissed when I did run because I hurt. So that left me bitter for about two weeks and making me eat ice cream which made me happy, but then that pissed me off because I knew I was getting fat because I was not running. A NEVER ENDING CYCLE OF SADNESS.

But on a positive note, I am back and feeling really well!!! This past weekend I was in Ocean City, New Jersey for my best friend's bachelorette party and on Monday morning while I was there I went for a run along the board walk.

For the first time, in what seems like a long time, I felt great on the run. My legs felt good, my breathing was good and the conditions were perfect. For being 8 a.m. it was a bit on the toasty side, but the ocean breeze helped. I really am mentally back into it after a two-week hiccup. I think deep down I really needed it.

I ran along the boardwalk and it was so great to see so many runners out there despite it being a holiday weekend. Running is an individual sports but I will admit it is one of the friendliest and kindest group of individuals.

While sunbathing on the beach I finished my book "Running For Women" by Kara Goucher. It was a great book and  some of the things she told me is great advice. That will be my next blog post. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Where the Gorilla Juice Heads at?! TBF!

Jackie and I went to the gym yesterday and we’ve been noticing a high number in Meat Heads/Juice Heads/ Gorilla Juice Heads at the gym these past couple weeks.

Now I don’t know if the numbers are increasing because college kids are out or there is something in the water in this area.  

After observing these characters for a few weeks now, Jackie and I have learned a few basic facts:

1. We believe a lot of these guys (who are not students) are construction workers because the prime time they hit the weights is around 4:30 p.m. which most construction workers start in the weeee-hours of the morning and finish between 3-4 p.m.
2. To be considered a meat head you need proper attire. You need a cutoff tshirt that has a large dip down the sides and cuts across your chest, almost showing a guys nipples.
3. Apparently starring into the mirror at the gym gets you ripped. These guys are there for roughly 2 hours or more and they only workout for about 45 minutes. They do a lot of looking at themselves. Maybe if I start looking at myself I’ll get skinner....
4. Grunts, groans, and lifting lingo are a must. Start adding obscure muscles into your vocab and talk about how they are soooo sore, or that you love this machine because it hits those muscles just right.

Now that I have this out of my system, I hope I can finally start focusing when I’m lifting at the gym because half of the time Jackie and I are giggling. Time to get serious, Jac. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

If you look good, you feel good

When it comes to running, almost everyone wants to look good while they're doing. Whether it be because you're a fashionista with stylish clothes or because you agree with the saying "If you look good, you feel good," almost all of us want to look and feel great in some way.

Everything from clothing to accessories is out there to make you look good while you're hitting the pavement, but there is one thing that I believe is extremely necessary if you are a runner of some sort: Road ID.

As stated on their website, "If you are a runner, cyclist, triathelete or just an active person, Road ID is for you. In the event of an accident, if you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. It's not just a piece of gear - it's peace of mind"

Before I know it I am going to start going on some challenging runs and pushing myself physically to levels I have never accomplished before....mind you, these runs are going to be held during summer months with what I sure will be some terrible heat. With that being said, Road ID is a wonderful invention, allowing me to post all of my information and emergency contacts in case I collapse on the side of the road or trip and hit my head on the pavement.

There is plenty of space to engrave information along with a motivation quote (which I have not decided on yet....however I"m leaning towards 'BEAT OPRAH' because if she can finish a marathon, so can I.) Me personally I am going to by the bracelet Road ID, but they have other styles such as dog tags and ones that clip onto the laces on your sneaker. So this weekend I am ordering both myself and my cousin one (sorry Jackie, I had to blow the surprise). I really encourage everyone to get something like this because if I happen to find you on the side of the road I want to know who you are and who to call! Save your own life people!

Check out the Road ID website here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bringing my job to my blog

As my blog, I am posting an article of mine that was published today in our paper...I am giving fair warning now it is quite lengthy, but I promise it is a great, informative read. It's about a 5-mile race that is taking this weekend in Lansdale. SIGN UP!!  Enjoy!!!

When 21-year-old Melissa Heintz walks around her St. Francis University Pennsylvania campus, the Division I swimmer looks like any regular college student.

Eight-year-old Alex Rowe, a second-grade student at Oak Park Elementary School in Hatfield, enjoys playing with friends and his video games just like any other little kid.

While a healthy appearance is portrayed by both individuals, the general public would never be able to guess that Rowe and Heintz are diagnosed with a rare bleeding disorder that affects more than 25,000 people across the nation.

“Most of my friends have no idea I have a disorder,” said Heintz. “When I tell them, they are usually surprised to hear anything is wrong with me.”

Heintz was diagnosed at birth with von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood clotting protein, called von Willebrand Factor.

“My dad knew he had (von Willebrand) so me and my brother were tested right away and we tested positive,” said Heintz.

Rowe was also born with the disorder; however, his was found during a procedure at the hospital. Unlike Henitz, Rowe posses Type 3 severe von Willebrand disease which is only found in roughly 400 people in the world.

According to the National Hemophilia Foundation website, “usually, people with von Willebrand disease bruise easily, have recurrent nosebleeds, or bleed after tooth extraction, tonsillectomy or other surgery.”

All of those symptoms are issues both Heintz and Rowe endure on a daily basis.

“I bruise very easily,” said Heintz. “When I was little and just beginning to swim, I use to have bruises on my legs from when I was getting in and out of the pool. People were always asking what happened to me.”

“I’ve had a couple of surgeries also,” said Heintz. “Simple services like getting tape pulled off my skin I’d have to go to the hospital because they need to give (me) special medicine to thicken (my) blood. When I had to get my tonsils out in kindergarten that was a big ordeal. Doctors have now come out with special nose spray you take before surgeries for blood disorders. They’ve come a long way with surgeries.”

 Rowe has chronic nose bleeds which take place during the day and during the night. As an elementary school student, getting a bloody nose in class would embarass most, but it does not faze Rowe.

“If I get one in school I just grab a tissue, wipe it away and go to the nurse,” said Rowe. “I sometimes try to explain it to kids but they don’t really get it.”

Individuals with hemophilia are advised by doctors to avoid abrasions, injures, and cuts. But how do parents tell an energetic kid they can’t do sports or participate in typical kid activities?

For Heintz the solution was easy — she decided to get in the water.

Heintz’s swimming career began in fourth grade and has continued to excel throughout her college years. A Boyertown native, Heintz swam for her local swim team, continued at Olney High School and just concluded her last collegiate season at St. Francis University.

“When I was little I tried out soccer and softball, and my parents were paranoid the whole time because I could get hit with a ball,” said Heintz. “I usually stayed away from the ball anyway because I’m not coordinated. After that I took up swimming. It’s a good sport because it is low impact and chances of something happening are slim.”

Christine Rowe, Alex’s mother and Fund Development Coordinator for the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, has educated her son on the activities he is and is not allowed to participate in, but the Rowe household tries to focus on the positive.

“We really try to focus on what he can do and not his limitations,” said Christine.

Rowe enjoys playing baseball, riding his bike and swimming.

Although physical activity is limited for those diagnosed with hemophilia, both Heintz and Rowe prove that there are still ways to be active.

Runners high

Despite a 13-year age gap, Heintz and Rowe have something in common; they enjoy running.

Rowe was told at a young age that he is prohibited from playing high-impact sports due to the risk of injury.

“If I see something that looks really dangerous I usually don’t get involved in it and walk away,” said Rowe.

Running, however is one of his favorite activities.

“Because he is 8 he of course is not a competitive runner, but he enjoys it,” said Christine. “He runs at baseball and he runs around outside.”

Heintz, on the other hand, picked up the sport to continue physical exercise after finishing her swimming career.

To show support for their son and help those diagnosed with a blood disorder, the Rowe family created the Broad Street Rerun two years ago; a five-mile run, one-mile family walk and ½-mile kid run fundraiser in Lansdale to support the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation representing Philadelphia.

“I came up with the idea of a race after running in a bunch of races that (raised funds ) for charities,” said Christine. “So I came up with the idea of a 5K race in Hatfield to benefit the Delaware Valley Chapter.”

Bob Babb, owner of The Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute, contacted Christine after the 5K race in 2008 and asked to work in conjunction with the National Hemophilia Foundation to create what is now the Broad Street Rerun.

“(Bob) said he wanted to be a part of the race as a sponsor and I said, ‘As long as you get the roads closed off I’ll take care of everything else,’” said Christine.

Since 2009, the Broad Street Rerun is the largest race that takes place out of all of the chapters of the National Hemophilia Foundation across the United States

In 2009 the race totaled 425 participants, which had grown to more than 600 participants in 2010. This year Christine has already received 700 pre-registrations and is expecting more within the last week and on race day — which is Saturday.

“We are so grateful for all the individuals who participate in this race,” said Christine. “Not only for my family but for all the other families. Some families like us have to pay $350,000 for medicine each year. The money from the race helps families in need and to our scholarships.”

Both Heintz and Rowe will be present at this year’s race, along with other individuals suffering from a blood disorder.

“I really want to say people come to support the cause, but I think a lot of why people sign up and return is because of the heart and soul that goes into the preparation and actual race,” said Christine. “There are thousands of races all over, but this is a quality race and put together really well.”

Community members from all over the area are planning to participate in this year’s event, supporting the National Hemophilia Foundation, their own physical fitness, and for some a combination of both.

According to Christine, there are individuals from over six different states being represented in the race this year.

Vira Katolik from Lansdale is running her second Broad Street Rerun after a positive experience last year.

“(Alex Rowe) is my friend’s cousin so when I heard about the run last year I knew I had to do it,” she said. “I live in Lansdale and try to participate in as many events as possible. I just ran the Broad Street Run (in Philadelphia) last weekend and I’d like to beat my split time from that. It’s a good event and benefits a relative of someone I know.”

Mother-daughter duo Megan Briggs and Cindi Holman, who will be driving from outside Ann Arbor, Mich., will be running the Broad Street Rerun for the first time this year.

“I am going to spend the week with my daughter and her family,” said Holman. “(Megan) mentioned the race and it coincided with the time I’m there so we signed up.”

This duo has been running races together for several years and has completed many half marathons.

“I’m (running) to do it with Megan, it’s a mother-daughter thing,” said Holman.

Although Holman and Briggs are running this race to be in each other’s company, the meaning behind this event still means a lot to the runners.

“Almost all of the races I run are fundraisers,” said Holman. “I just love that they are going toward something good.”

Sign up

The third Annual Broad Street Rerun will take place on Saturday with the race beginning at 9 a.m. and the ½-mile kid run starting at 8:45 a.m.

Packet pick up will be held at North Wales Running Company, 111 N. Main St., North Wales, on Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. or on Saturday morning before the race. On Friday, you can pick up another runner’s packet, no ID is required.

On race day, all runners and walkers will meet at The Pavilion Shopping Center, 443 S. Broad St., Lansdale. The 5-mile out and back course will travel down Broad Street to Morris Road and turn around, running back to where the race started.

Race Bag and T-shirt are guaranteed to all pre-registered participants. A new design will be printed on a tech T-shirt for those who sign up.

The 5-mile run or walk is $30. The kids run is $15. Registration can be done in advance or on race day.

All kids who run will receive a medal after completing the half mile. Prizes will also be given out to the top male and female runners, along with first-, second- and third-place finishers in specific age divisions.

During the race, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms staff will be on hand to offer participants samples of Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms 1 percent lowfat chocolate milk.

After the run, Christine and the National Hemophilia Foundation will talk about the foundation and how the money raised from this event will go toward the Delaware Valley Chapter, which helps roughly 2,000 people.

Food, music and mascots — including Buzz the Bee from B101 radio station, Super Mario and Luigi, and Mad Dog from the Philadelphia Wings — will be present at the race.

To sign up for the race visit www.hemophiliasupport.org/Rerun. Both online and printable applications are available.

To learn more about the National Hemophilia Foundation and how you can help log on to www.hemophilia.org.

“Thank you to everyone who is coming and I hope we get enough money to help stop bloody noses,” said Rowe.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Holy Hills

Today I spent a lovely morning with two amazing mothers, Shelley Piccirilli (mama bear) and Missy Rohrbaugh (sister bear), in honor of Mother's Day. We went to KOP and then to Legal Seafoods for lunch. My choice of lunch and booze as a drink def made me suffer throughout the day. I also only had a few hours of sleep because I went to bed late and had a dry-heaving puppy at 3 a.m. who threw up once, proceeded to go downstairs and then ate his entire bowl of food. He's so weird!! The combo of both put me in a physical funk with me not feeling very well. Enough of my rambling....

With the gorgeous weather today and with ambition to go on a good run (despite feeling under the weather), I decided to push myself a little bit tonight. I just recently wrote out my marathon training schedule and I have "hill" training days where I will need to run anywhere from 5-10 miles with hills throughout. Right by my house on Anders Road there are HUGE hills, so I decided lets see what I got!!!

I'm really happy with how things went today. I ran 5.25 mills with hills for at least half of that distance. I ran from my house to Fischer's Park, around the Fischer's big loop once, then back to my house. I had several obstacles on the run, dodging 15 deer that were crossing the road, followed shortly by a mama goose and her 10 little babies, and I have to add being extra careful with cars because there were a lot of tight turns and blind spots. I wore a bright orange shirt and at 7 p.m. it was still light out so I made out ok.

It was a TOUGH work out tonight but I'm glad I now know what my starting base is for that run. My legs are definitely going to be feeling it tomorrow.

So here we go week 4..I'm ready to continue to kick your booty! :)

P.S.- Congrats to my cousin Jackie for crushing her 5k time by 8 minutes today at the Iron Pigs 5k race this morning. So proud of you!!!! That time difference is great!!!  Lets get that knee back in tip-top shape and hit the pavement together again! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mama Calls These My Special Shoes

If there is one lesson I have learned from playing sports and now running, it’s that you need a good pair of shoes!

The biggest mistake I made was running a half marathon in a POS pair of sneakers. Not only did my feet KILL from about mile 8-13, but I could not walk for almost two weeks after the race. The outside and inside center part of my feet on both feet were in excrutiating pain!!! OUCH!! The worst part at the time was I was working as an assistant soccer coach and had to play soccer everyday with feet hurting like this. No fun.
So after learning my lesson and reading my marathon book by U.S. distance runner Kara Goucher, “Running For Women,” I went to the North Wales Running company with my cousin and bought me a fancy pair of sneaks.

The store manager there was super nice and sized me up. He had me walk around the store to see how my feet are shaped and what style would work best for me. He brought out at least 7 pairs to try on and I walked away with a nice pair of Nike’s. Luckily they are not all solid while in color because I hate that.

He said my shoes should last about 400-500 miles so I need to try and mark down how long I’ve been using them (luckily for him/me I bought myself a running journal which I mark down everyday what I do.) He was ecstatic to hear I have a journal, not sure if he was serious or making fun of me, but I think he was serious. He firmly told me to mark down on yesterdays journal day that I “BOUGHT NEW PAIR OF SHOES.”

Thanks for your service North Wales Running company....see you in 400 miles to buy a new pair.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Broad Street Run Bib #28122

Today I ran in the Broad Street Run, a 10-mile race in Philadelphia that has 30,000 participants each year supporting cancer research. (Below: a picture of me mid-race that my cousin Jackie captured. Other is me posing with my beautiful medal.)

I thought it would be fun to tape during the race, so check out the video below. (WARNING: There is one sentence where I completely make my sentence backwards which will probably make you laugh, but give me a break- after running for a while my brain was a cloud.)

 Wasn't able to retape again during the race, check out my post-race video :)

This is the first time I've ever ran this race and by far this is my FAVORITE race I've ever ran. As you run down Broad Street the residents of the City of Brotherly Love line up cheering all of us runners for the whole 10 miles. I would like to thank each and every one of those individuals because their support really got me through the race, especially the guy who was holding a sign that said "Go Amanda, Go!" Clearly that sign was not for me, but I used it as motivation anyway. :)

I would especially like to thank MY support team, my mom, cousin Jackie and aunt Kathy for coming out to the race today and cheering me on. I love you all dearly and it means so much to me. Seeing you at the half way point really pushed me to the finish!!! Xo

While I made my time I wanted, this race really made me realize that no matter how slow or fast someone is, time doesn't always mean everything. I finished a 10-mile race, something not many people can say they accomplished. Whether I was running a 6 minute mile or 15 minute mile, I did it. Mark it down in the books....Marathon in 248 days babyy!!!!

Check out Jackie's Blog from the race today as a spectator!!! http://thereckessrunner.blogspot.com/