Friday Question: Why did you decide to start running?

By | January 30, 2015 5:05 am | 0 Comments

This week’s question — Why did you decide to start running? There was a moment at which you decided to try running. Tell me about that moment.

In my early 20’s I was a competitive roller skater and I started running to strengthen my legs and gain endurance. — Leo Fohl

Around April, 1979.  I was recently engaged.  I gained a few pounds during my first three college years  (180 to 240) and my fiancé asked if I thought I should lose a few before our May, 1980 wedding.  She offered to buy me a new suit!  Diet and running got me down to around 170 by wedding time. — Mark Dombrowski

When I turned 40 several years ago, I had been working out for many, many years but wanted to try something new. I started running alone (run 1 min, walk 2). Last year, I ran 3 half marathons and countless other smaller races. I still don’t consider myself a “runner” though. — Renee Uht

Age 38 and entirely by accident as part of the first Krauza Family Chiropractic wellness program, Challenge Erie. Steve’s brother was a marathoner so I asked if I could run with him for the 1.5 mile run that was part of the fitness assessment that launched the program because I had no idea what I was doing. I was instantly hooked and then went from running 1.5 miles to ultras in just about a year. It’s all Steven Krauza‘s fault! — Sean Donachy

I had always enjoyed walking for fitness but after a while I had to keep going longer in order to feel like I’d had a good workout. So one day I just thought “maybe I’ll run to the corner” and I did. I never really planned on being a runner, it sort of snuck up on me. — Rhonda Berlin

When I quit smoking. I needed something to give me a boost that I no longer got from nicotine. — Jim Lang

I was going into the Army and thought I should probably start…lol! — Cynthia Tickle

Plain and simple: selfish escape. Totally stepping away from home responsibilities, listening to the music I choose, taking the path I want to journey, at a pace most comfortable for me–it’s my sanity. — Eloise Hawking

I started running consistently right after my second child was born. My goal was the Hamot 10k—a distance I hadn’t yet accomplished. That was in 2012, and I’ve been running ever since. About the same time, I joined Team Adrenaline where I’ve met a great group of running friends who have been by my side through wine runs, beer runs, and my first marathon this past October. — Stacey Hammer

It was on my bucket list to do a triathlon. I knew how to swim and bike, but I’d never tried running. A friend agreed to challenge herself with me and we trained together for the PI Tri 6 years ago. We started with the run-one-minute-walk-one-minute method and built from there. I remember practicing running on the peninsula with her one day, finally trying to run a full 3 miles and being so scared we wouldn’t be able to do it! We both completed the event and gained so much confidence from it, leading us to try so many different events and distances. We’ve done everything from fun runs to full marathons, various adventure races, and other triathlons. All because we figured we had enough in us to learn to run 3 miles. — Kristen Currier

My reasons to start running were two-fold. I played with running for a few years, but the turning point came when my dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I ran hard and long and often to deal with the stress and sorrow I had to cope with. And it helped immeasurably. My other reason for running was I had been telling my young children that they could achieve whatever they wanted in life. As a stay-at- home mom with no prestigious career to back this up, I felt running marathons would allow me to achieve something outside the workplace and prove my point to them. I ran my first marathon the year after my dad died (10 years ago) and have been running them ever since. Now I run because I am with a great group of people whose company I so enjoy. If I skip a run or two, I miss them and the run. — Carol Crandall

I went to my second Team Adrenaline workout, coached by Sean Donachy, and it just happened to be a running clinic. The only other person there was Stacey ‘Dias’ Hammer, my now favorite running partner. Running helped me deal with stress better than anything else I tried, so I set some goals and the rest is history. That was 2.5 years ago and many races later! — Leslie Cooksey

I had good friends my age, who had run for years and I never understood the crazy reasons for why they did. I was asked to do the Turkey Trot about 5 years ago. Took me 45 minutes, (and couldn’t move for days after), but I felt incredibly accomplished. That was my moment when I knew this CAN be done. Also I started a weight loss program along with it, lost 40 pounds, and love how I feel! — Teri Zalewski

I married Cyndie Filutze Zahner….enough said — Jeff Zahner (Editor’s Note: As a longtime running partner of Cyndie’s, I can tell you she can be very…influential…I say I want to do 10, she talks me into 12. I can see why Jeff ended up running. LOL)

I was 24, felt fat, was smoking and partying and felt terrible. I had played sports all my life but when I came to college at Edinboro, I fell into the party scene and athleticism fell by the wayside. I knew I had to change. One day, I decided I would start running. I ran about a half mile and was bent over, out of breath and ready to hurl. But kept at it and it changed my life! — Ginny Sackett

I had always tried to run in high school and college. I was very slow and would only do it occasionally. Once I was called a manatee for running 3 miles in over 33 minutes. Then as I went through my early 20s, I did a few 5ks. After my first son, I wanted to try a 10k. My dad ran one after I was born so I figured I could. Then after my second son, my challenge was a half. Who knows what I will do if and when we decide to have another. Full marathon? Triathlon? — Betsy Haffley

Four years ago, some friends from high school and I were looking for a reason to go to Disney, but felt we were too old to go for no reason. So we decided to sign up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon as an excuse to vacation there. So instead of just a leisurely 13.1 mile walk, I decided I wanted to actually train for the thing. Thus, my running career began. Since then I’ve decided that you CAN go to Disney for no reason, no matter what age. — Bethany Kelley

When I reached 246 lbs, smoked, and had pretty unhealthy eating habits, I realized it was time for a life change. I tried running on a treadmill once while I was still smoking and lasted only a few minutes before quitting. So, I quit smoking, and started jogging with a friend who also was looking to get into better shape. Slowly I started to get my lungs back and was able to run a couple country blocks before needing to walk. Getting the diet in check was also happening as well. Team Adrenaline then became a big part of my life where I met so many great people. The first time I started to run for any kind of distance was when I joined up with the Will Run For.. group and the start of the winter beer runs. Now my health is in check, better eating habits and keeping the weight between 170-180. To this day, I’m not the biggest fan of running, but add in friends and maybe a destination, and I’m all for it. Once the snow and ice is gone, I’ll be back to running outside again! Oh, never in my life did I think I’d run 13.1 miles on a Friday morning “just for the hell of it.” I have my running friends — Leslie and Stacey — to thank for that one. — Matt Kleck

I was trying to lose weight and had talked to Karen Overdorff Groshek about running. After a summer vacation to Maine in 2012, I pledged to start Couch to 5K as soon as I got home. I signed up for the Her Times 5K as motivation. I followed the program exactly. I did my first 5K that October and a 10K in March 2013. Since then, I’ve run multiple 1/2 marathons and one marathon. Besides running, I also joined Team Adrenaline which connected me with my awesome running friends. — Jen Kelly

I started running to get my husband in shape. I bet him I could beat him in a 5k. Three years later, I still haven’t beaten him, but I am training for a 100k this October! — Tisha Ryden

My sister said “Let’s do the Disney 1/2 marathon together one day,” and I thought why not? That was 3 years ago. — Angie Faulhaber

When i joined the Army in 1992 and they made me run! I enjoyed it and continued to run after discharge. —Hermeanness

I was so young when I started running that I don’t remember ever making an actual decision to start doing it. But I do remember at age 14 when I still attended a small, private school, my gym teacher made us run a mile before class, and the first half mile was up a really steep hill. Most kids ended up walking before they got halfway up the hill. So my first running goal was to get to the top of the hill without walking. When I went to a regular public school a year later I joined track and never stopped running. It wasn’t a decision; it was just me. — Karen Beebe

My friend Lauren Piera inspired me to start running. I was 29, weighed the most I’d ever weighed, and was miserable. Lauren had started running 5k races I think in January of 2009, and she was losing so much weight I was inspired to join her. The Her Times 5k was my first race. In 2013, we ran the Marine Corps Marathon together. — Tracy Jenks

I decided to add it to my “mix” of workouts about 5 years ago, mentored by my neighbor and friend Sandie Zaksheske Sweet, I could barely run a mile without feeling like I was going to die but I built up to a few 5K’s a 10K, the Beast x2, and mostly just run (slow) more like a jog, for the mere pleasure of being outdoors, I enjoy running with friends and also alone. :) — Cindy Slivinski

I started running with Couch to 5k and I NEVER thought I could do it. The feeling of accomplishment and being empowered as a human being kept me motivated. I was amazed at what I could do. The health benefits and the weight loss is an added benefit. Nothing can top that feeling of exceeding that which you never thought was possible. —Dawnmarie Dumond

As for me, well, there’s a longer story (which I should find the time to write down one of these days) but here’s the short version:  I was a chubby kid and really packed on the weight in college, topping out at about 170+ lbs. on a 5’ 1” frame. I whined constantly about my weight, filled journals obsessing about it. One day it occurred to me that if I stopped wasting time hoping, wishing, dreaming and writing and actually did something, I might feel better about myself. I started walking, which eventually progressed to running. I remember vividly the day I decided to run. I can point to the spot on Athens Street (Near Rolling Ridge Parkway) in Harborcreek where I ran my first steps — from a mailbox to a line of pine trees.

I’m not sure why I began to jog a little that day, but it probably had to do with the fact that my parents were runners when I was a teen. Though I made fun of them and found their itty-bitty shorts terribly embarrassing, I always sort of wished I could be a runner. That day I decided to be one. It would be another six months before I could run continuously for more than a mile or two. That fall I did my first race — the Turkey Trot 10K (it was only a 10K back then) — and that was the first time I felt like a runner…like  I could call myself a runner. Now, I wear that title like a crown. :)

Friday question: Water stops – walk or run?

By | January 23, 2015 10:31 am | 0 Comments

 water_station

Today’s question: During a race, do you walk water stops or drink on the run?

13 miles or less I run/ jog. On hot days, I drink some and dump the rest on my head. —Laurie Bruce

I walk them because otherwise I have a tendency to choke on the water, which leads to coughing my face off. I’m evidently not coordinated enough to run and drink out of a cup. — Leslie Cooksey

If it’s a warm day run I for sure stop. And then I usually swish and spit a little first, then dump the rest down my back to cool off. (Reason it quite simple for this, I can’t drink it without choking or dumping it anyway.) — Teri Zalewski

I walk through water stops (when I grab water from them). I would rather walk them and down a good amount of water, than run them and get the majority of that water all down the front of me. — Bethany Kelley

I walk through too. That way the water goes in me, not on me. — Rhonda Berlin

I walk them. I can’t drink and run, and I’m not winning a car or big money jackpot at the end, so what’s a few seconds? — Lisa Shade

Jog through – which I do while on training runs as well. I always drink water while running. Occasionally will slow to a fast walk, but mostly jog it. — Heather Machmer

Depends on distance and weather. — Amy Cronk

I walk thru them, take a sip then if it’s really hot, I dump the rest on my head. If I drink too much it messes my stomach up. But I do drink on training runs when it’s hot again only a little at a time. — Amy Morrow

Depends on the distance. For anything half marathon or shorter, I run through. For marathon, I walk. — Jan Vieyra

Have you seen the oatmeal comic about this? — Holly Waychoff

I walk through water stops, mostly because I am clumsy and uncoordinated. But also because it gives my muscles a quick little break for a moment. — Karen Beebe

I usually drink on the run, but slow down a little. I don’t like to stop because it causes collisions. — Ginny Sackett

I always walk through them and I usually catch the people who don’t. — Dan Cass

I run through every time. And I curse, silently, the people who stop just in front of me and stay in the middle of the course instead of pulling off to the side. Because I run into them. Or have to dodge & twist to NOT run into them. I’m a big guy. You don’t want me running into you. — Jim Lang

Depends on how I’m feeling. I’ve done both, but I always save half the water to dump on my head (making sure it’s not Gatorade. I hate it when I mix them up). — Kristen Currier

I walk fast thru…..drink and target where to discard the cup. I hate running through trash thrown to the ground…..then I push to make up the time lost. —Dawnmarie Dumond

Precious seconds are not really a concern of mine. — Mark Dombrowski, water stop walker

I walk through the water stops because, honestly, I’m not an elite runner and the few seconds I give up walking spares me from aspirating my water. — Kim

I do both. I walk early when I have energy to save. — Paul Bressan

When I do training runs, I carry water.  When I race, I race like I train and carry water and save precious seconds by running through water stops. — Leo Fohl

I walk. — Dennis Albrewczynski

Personally, I rarely stop at a water station in any race less than a 15K — unless it’s super hot. But, in a race longer than 9 miles that has water stations, I walk while drinking my water. I just cannot seem to drink it without choking or spilling it all over myself and, honestly, in a 1/2 or longer, I look forward to the few seconds break it affords me. (In a marathon, in my mind, I’m running water stop to water stop….that’s how I get through 26.2). I almost always catch right back up to the people who tried to drink on the run.

BUT….here’s the thing: It’s bad manners to stop in front of other runners at a water stop….also, you can cause a collision (it happens, trust me). Even if you’re going to walk, you should grab your water and keep moving THROUGH the station.

Once you pass through the congestion of the station, look behind you to be sure you’re not going to cut anyone off, then step off to the side (usually whichever side the station is on as the faster runners who want to keep running will naturally stay on the other side farthest from the table) and walk for a few minutes while you drink your water.

Bottom line: Walking or running through an aid station is a personal choice — it doesn’t make you less of a runner and it’s unlikely to significantly effect your finish time, but if you do walk, please don’t ever come to a dead stop in front of the water table (unless it’s a very small race or you’r a back-of-the-packer with few people around you).

And…if you’re going to stop & pose for photos…definitely get out of the way….runners REALLY hate it when you trip them up for a photo opp. :0)

1167183_10201609481056217_854207377_o

 

Friday question: What’s to love about winter running? Plenty!

By | January 9, 2015 4:42 am | 0 Comments

winter-run-pisp1

I asked runners to look on the sunny side of winter this week and tell us what they LIKE about running outdoors in winter.

Here’s what they had to say:

I don’t get hot. — Tracy Jenks

The cool air helps breathing. — Jennifer Bach

I feel like I can run forever in the winter. Mainly because if I stop, I’ll get cold. — Bethany Kelley

Stillness. — Katie Mihalak

That fresh brisk wind filling your lungs. — Jean LaFuria

Nothing compares to a night run in the woods after some fresh snow, so peaceful. — Dennis Albrewczynski

I definitely like the cooler temps. — Dave Lesher

No sweating. — Karen Manganaro

I find it relaxing in cooler temps. I run more on my treadmill in the summer then winter.  — Amy Cronk

I love the silence & crispness of the air. — Renee York

When it’s snowing like a bear, but not too cold (warm enough to sweat a little), and icicles form on my eyebrows. — Jenny Cadden

Only hearing the puff puff of my own foot falls in the snow. Not another sound around. — Stephen Haeseler

Well the obvious answer is that I don’t get too hot. But I also think it’s beautiful, and if you run while it’s snowing it feels like a magical winter wonderland. — Karen Beebe

When there’s snow, the world seems a bit quieter, more peaceful. It’s easier to notice wildlife; I enjoy looking for cardinals and squirrels. — Melissa Medwid-Skinner

I like running in the winter because it doesn’t feel like I’m sucking in someone else’s hot air and I get to wear my favorite winter hats!! — Lesley Cooksey

There’s nothing like a cool crisp run to enjoy the beauty of the winter scenery! Although the cold air can be a bit harder on my asthma, I love it!! — Shana Krivonak

I LOVE WINTER RUNS! Fresh, crisp air. Before running, it seems like I never got outside during the winter. — Jen Kelly

This may sound weird….but running outside clears my head of the fog that winter brings. I really believe it makes my mind sharper. And like Karen there are days when it snows that make it a beautiful wonderland! — Brenda Carr

It’s more comfortable than the heat of summer. At least you can dress in layers for cold! You can only take off so many clothes in the summer (at least without getting arrested!) I’d much rather run on a 30 degree day than a 75 degree day. Of course if it gets into the low 20’s or below I have to put shoes on! —Tom “barefoot runner” Madura

The sunny side of running in the winter is when you run in 10 degree weather and it later warms up to 20 and you feel like you’ve been hit by a heat wave . Mind you I’m extremely sensitive to the cold. LOL. — Erin Ryan

You have stumped me Heather. I’ve got nothing. I like to be outside year-round, no doubt. I only run outside in the winter because I hate the treadmill and I don’t want to have to start all over in March. Other than that, it’s very uncomfortable for me to run outside in the winter. — Kristen Currier

I only like it if its over 25 degrees. I like the crisp cool air but under 25 degrees I freeze. One time my finger tips were numb for months when I ran below 25. So that usually is my limit now. — Amy Morrow

Coming in with ice in my beard & my face warm. It’s a guy thing. — Jim Lang

Might be a guy thing because:

I agree with a lot of the above… I prefer to be a little cool/cold than running in summer heat. Oh, and because you can’t get this (below) in the summer. — Matt Kleck

kleck

It’s quiet, peaceful, and bright. — LeAnne Morton

Fresh air . Otherwise I’d hibernate. — Karen Groshek

There is something so calming about it. Especially in the early morning. No kids screaming, no husbands bugging, not many cars or background noise. Just quiet calm and friendly conversation. — Betsy Haffley

I love my winter running clothes, so bright and comfy! Plus, running in the winter has an “other world” feel to it; you can run past places that you’ve seen a million times,but they look completely different in the snow.  — Bri Hodges

The sound of freshly fallen snow squeaking under my shoes! — Stacey Hammer

As for me, I prefer running in cooler weather (summer heat make me super crabby and sweaty and I hate that). Here’s why:

I love the fit, feel and coverage of my winter running tights and Under Armour compression gear.

I love the absolute SILENCE of winter running. It’s so peaceful and serene. (This is probably my favorite thing)

I love the fresh, cool air. I love that it clears my sinuses. I love

I love winter sunrises (March is the best).

I love it when people drive by and look at me like I’m insane and I think…you have no idea what your missing!

I love that I sweat less and, on a super cold day, I barely sweat at all.

I love running in gently falling snow — it’s like running in a snow globe.
I love hot coffee and a warm bath after a long cold run.

I love the brilliant (sometimes blinding) sun in winter.

I love seeing winter up close…and really noticing things that all those folks speeding by in their cars miss.

winter run -me

 

 

 

 

Friday Question: What are you thankful for as a runner?

By | November 28, 2014 1:59 am | 0 Comments

This week’s question….in honor of yesterday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday: What are you thankful for as a runner?

Friendships. — Jen Kelly

I’m thankful for a great group of running friends! — Stacey Hammer

The ability to run. My brother has a hard time walking a mile due to a brain injury and my mom has M.S. — Trisha Schrieber

Friendships! And the freedom of being able to lace up and move. — Leslie Cooksey

Being able to run! So many things in life we take for granted! — Shana Krivonak

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made running, and nipple sized bandaids… lifesavers. — Matt Kleck

Running buddies! — Betsey Haffely

Just grateful to be able to run. Wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to after injuring my knee. —Chris Farrell

I am thankful that I can run and for friends to talk to while running. I am also thankful for my friend Eloise that taught me that I don’t always have to run for time, instead I can go out and just have fun. — LeAnne Morton

My great group of running friends, a wonderful family who supports my running and the ability to run. — Bri Hodges

For my legs. — Eloise Hawking

That I CAN run! — Allison Jeric-Carroll

This one is easy – after an injury-filled year I’m extremely thankful for just being able to run! I’m also very thankful for all my running friends. — Sandie Sweet

The ability and desire to move; the friends can’t be beat! — Kristen Currier

My running buddies who will get up early on a Saturday morning to run 10-20 miles with me. I wouldn’t make it without them! — Jessie Zahner

That running lead me to my beautiful and awesome wife, Amber Christine Smith! — Dan Smith

That I’ve been mostly injury free and I’m often able to help others with their running and training. I’m also thankful that running allows me to explore places I otherwise would never see. — Pat Krott

The friends I’ve made along the way! — Karen Groshek

Meeting my adopted dad David Comi and then my husband Jim (aka the big scary bald man). Of course also the great feeling after an awesome run. — Jennifer Lang

Getting to add 2 notches to my belt, my first Marathon and first 50k Trail Race. A couple years ago I never would have even considered this. — Dennis Albrewczynski

My running friends! — Lisa Shade

Trails, roads that don’t slant, and feeling strong after recovering from an injury. — Karen Beebe

The amazing people who have come into my life through running.— Christine Vassen

My health so that I can run….and the many great running friends I have made along the way!!! — Brenda Carr

Running with my 9 year old son every Wednesday and enjoying his excitement. — Amy Cronk

The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ability and capability to continue running. — Ginny Sackett

The running buddies! How strong, thankful, and free I feel when running! — Cindy Tickle

Friends to run with, ERC, running friends, Presque Isle state park. —Suzy Carstarter

Being able to run, running friends, supportive family, volunteers at races, my pillow at the end of the day. — Jennifer Bach

All the people whom I no longer consider running mates… but rather family!! — Carol Crandall

For all the wonderful people I’ve met! — Rachel Prozan

Many things!
The ability to run/ waddle
The drive to do so
The area to run roads easily and safely as well as access to trails paved and unpaved.
The ability and drive to host a race that benefits an awesome charity.
The ability to volunteer at other events and help other groups give based on running Events ie oc100.
To be associated with your awesome group of Wednesday night running group and be blessed enough to know I can never keep up with them for long.
To understand the camaraderie of group runs and long distance runners and the benefits if each.
To understand the affect that running has on my mind and the benefits of re prioritizing thoughts, clears clutter, allows time to study difficult tasks from a distance allowing solutions to become obvious.
It gives me the time to not think but just do.
Then there is the benefits of weight loss etc.

And…my wife says my temper is much less active when I run so I guess that is good too.

Stephen Haeseler

I’m thankful for the huge “family” I have met through running. I’m thankful for my good health. I’m thankful that I’ve been wearing the same size clothes for a decade (thanks to running). I’m thankful for the opportunity to see, witness and really experience was a limited few do: frigid, but stunning sunrises in March (they are most beautiful then), a whole new view of the cities and places I visit, the opportunity to have deep heart-to-hearts with friends on a weekly (or more) basis, and the serenity and peace to be found in a silent solo run (especially in winter). I could go on & on & on… but, then…I’m sure we all could.

Aren’t we lucky?

Area runners tell us about their first time going 26.2

By | September 12, 2014 1:01 am | 3 Comments

In honor of this weekend’s Erie Marathon at Presque Isle, I asked area runners to tell me about their first time running 26.2.

Here’s what I remember about my first marathon:

first marathon

My first was Erie in 1999 and, at that time, it was run all through the city. I couldn’t tell you where we went, but I think we did loop the peninsula. It finished in Perry Square.  I remember getting to the 25-mile mark, which was the final water stop when some guy said “you’re almost there” and I had an overwhelming urge to punch him because I thought…a MILE is not almost there. STOP LYING TO ME. When I got to the courthouse, I could see the finish line which was set up right across from the Erie Police Station on Perry Square & I was like…oh, thank God…there it is. Thank God I can stop running soon.

Then, the volunteer told me I had to go around the block. I was like…what? uh…ok…so I got to State street & tried to turn over and another marshal said…”No, no, no….you have to go all the way around…go to French Street up there!” I nearly cried. I think I did cry, actually. I felt so entirely sorry for myself.

When I finally got to the finish line, I was relieved and happy to see that that my time was, like, 4:15 or something (I’m probably the only runner on earth who doesn’t remember their race times or PRs). My whole family — my parents & all my brothers and sisters — had come down to surprise me.

I remember trying to sit down on the curb and my dad (a former runner/marathoner) told me I couldn’t…that I had to keep walking and…again…I wanted to punch someone. :0)  Apparently, I get mean when I’m in pain.

 

Here’s what everyone else had to say:

If I was going to run one it had to be big, so my first was in New York City in 2009. An unforgettable experience and the start of my obsession. Marathon/ultra #24 & #25 coming up in October!!  — Karen Manganaro

___________________

The Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013 was my first marathon. It was an amazing experience. I’m registered to run it again this year. They do such a wonderful job of organizing it and the city is so supportive (I can think of very few stretches where there wasn’t anybody cheering us on). The neighbors vie for the best entertainment along the route, which makes for a wonderful race.

The experience was so positive that I registered for and ran the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon in Canton, Ohio, half a year after Toronto. Despite being an inaugural run, this race, too, was extremely well organized.

Because of these great experiences, I’m a marathoner now until my body gives out. ;) The training program, I find, helps me organize the rest of my life. I have to get the running in, so I better be clear about how I’m getting everything else done! — Rob von Thaden

___________________

Sunday (Erie Marathon at Presque Isle) will be my first. I did all the training, but I’m still nervous as heck. — Dennis Albrewczynski

__________________

Pittsburgh, 2009! It was the first of two for me so far. Great course, a lot more hills than expected, but definitely enjoyable and I went back for a 2nd time in 2011. I would like to do more, but the training is so time consuming that it may be awhile before I can train for another one. — Amy Cronk

___________________

Pittsburgh in 2001. I had trained in San Francisco and was a nervous wreck. I had trained using the Galloway method. I remember how hard it was to walk in the early miles. I was afraid I would never catch up. Then, something really cool happened. Around mile 21, I realized I did not have to walk anymore. My 24th mile was my fastest and I had a kick at the finish line. I loved the fans and the cityscapes. — Paul Bressen

____________________

Dublin, Ireland, 2001.  Just 2 months after 9/11 and 6 months after losing my mom.  I was so nervous, but the race was full of folks from around the world wearing FDNY caps, and long-lost family members were at every water/Guinness stop.  It was an amazing atmosphere, and I made friends I still communicate with today. I had the time of my life! — Mary Connerty

___________________

Athens Marathon 2012. OK, Athens, Ohio but still…. It starts with a downhill first mile, more or less…I never got over that and it crippled me in later miles. Live and learn. — Al Warner

_____________

My first marathon was at Presque Isle in 1977. I had a 3:20. My last marathon was in New York City with Bruce Yount in November of 1997. Bruce died two months later in Mexico. I’ve run 103 marathons and am one of six runners who ran their 100th marathon at Boston! — Mike Filutze

_____________

My first marathon was the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2014. I was worried that I was going to be swept, but ended up with a time I was very proud of. I never had that “I will never do another marathon” thought. I was very surprised how sore I became around mile 22. I’ve signed up for the Dopey Challenge for 2015 at Walt Disney World. Jay Williams

______________

Pittsburgh in 1991. Started at 9:45 a.m. and it was hot as hell. I walked A LOT. It was awful. I had no idea how to train. 17 was my longest long run. What a fool. I said I’d never do another one. Ha! I did 6 more. — Ginny Sackett

_______________

My first was in Pittsburgh this past May. My Garmin watch did not work so I just ran with no idea how I was doing. Thought the hills were easy after running in Erie. Wanted to finish in four hours, finished at 3:48. Was ready to sign up for another marathon on the car ride home. Running my second one in less than a month. — Susan Ellsworth

________________

Baltimore Marathon in October 2013 with my mom, Cyndie Zahner, and her friends – Robin Smith, LeAnn Parmenter and Heather Cass. It was the best running experience I’ve had, although it was also the toughest. There is nothing like running your first marathon alongside your mom and some of her best friends who become some of yours. They really inspired me the entire way, kept me happy and laughing and brought me through the difficult miles. Although I wish it was my first and only, I am running the same marathon again this year! — Jessie Zahner

_________________

Chicago 2012 with Tracy Scotch, Tina Gruber, and Julie Watts. The whole experience was fantastic!! We had no idea what to expect, or if we trained well. The course was fun, people cheering with signs and bands the whole way, it was a great marathon try for the first time! — Kristen Currier

__________________

My first marathon was in Erie in October of 1984. It was a cold, gray day and the race was 2 loops around P.I. Survived pretty well with a 3:30. 14 miles had been my longest training run. I guess I didn’t know any better because I didn’t hurt too bad….until I got home and had to crawl up the steps to my second floor. — Ron Krystek

_________________

I’ll let you know mid-day on October 5th. — Jen Kelly (running her first 26.2 at the Wineglass Marathon)

_________________

Marine Corps in 1987. I was woefully undertrained. Collapsed at the finish line and spent time in the med tent. Walked downstairs backwards for days. Redeemed myself a couple years later in Erie. — Chris Borgia

_________________

Marine Corps in 1982, and I LOVED it. I was very nervous going into it, so I started really slowly, just jogging along with the huge crowd. I started feeling good and picked up the pace. The crowd was fantastic. When I finished, my first thought was “I can’t wait to do that again!” I ran nine more, and each of those times, I swore “never again!” — Fiona Branton

__________________

Presque Isle Endurance Run…don’t know the year. I finished and went to a wedding feeling very accomplished. First “real” marathon was the first Baltimore marathon in October of 2001. Security was very tight as it was just after 9/11. There were helicopters patrolling the course. — Jan Vieyra

_________________

Pittsburgh, 2002, I think. My marathon PR. There were only about 2,500 runners – enough that I never ran alone, but few enough that after the first mile I had open road ahead of me. — Jim Lang

________________

Erie Marathon in 2005. It was warm out during the month of September, so I was struggling and my Uncle Mike jumped in and helped me finish. My 2nd one in 2012 was much worse. — Adam Rowe

__________________

I did my first marathon being undertrained (I thought running one day a week was enough – LOL) and with a lot of prayer. Often succumbing to despair, I continually had to remind God that he needed to “help me out a little down here.” I also panicked as I thought they might sweep us off the course for going too slow (no watch) until a really nice RATIONAL guy assured me we were doing great. We finished in 4:19. When I saw that finish line I was overjoyed with a sense of accomplishment! I felt even better when everyone was impressed that I was now a “marathon runner!” That was 8 years ago and I’ve been doing them ever since. — Carol Crandall

_________________

My first attempt was at Cleveland in 2012. It was a DNF. At mile 23, I had severe cramping due to lack of water/electrolytes. Following week I ran Buffalo, no troubles, nice race. — Pat Krott

____________________

Cleveland Marathon 2010! I loved it! I ran a 3:48:39. I ran Cleveland because that is where I was born and raised!!! — Allison Jeric-Carroll

_____________________

Marine Corps marathon in 2013. Training went really well, stuck to the program decently. Didn’t miss any long runs. Race day mistake, knew I would need to stretch after we got started since it was 40 degrees in the corrals, but a mixture of adrenaline and the elbow-to-elbow course for the first 3-4 miles prevented me from making myself pull over to stretch. Finally stretched around mile 5-6 but it was too late. Felt tight and crampy at the halfway point, wondered how I would keep going, but knew quitting wasn’t an option. The spectators, my awesome family at various mile markers, and fantastic signs got me through. Finished much later than I wanted to or planned to, but I high-fived the Marines lining the hill to the finish and powered through to the finish line on my own two feet. Was also running in memory of my uncle who died from ALS and had collected donations from supporters….so that was a huge motivator! — Tracy Jenks

________________

Erie marathon in 2002. First big item on the bucket list after my mom died. I’ve been chasing down the other bucket list items ever since. — Doug Oathout

________________

My first is 10/4/2014. Going to learn a lot, I’m sure. It’s a trail run that is almost 6,000 feet of ups. I’m going to walk a lot, but that’s OK. — Stephen Haeseler

_________________

My first was the Pittsburgh Marathon this May. It was my first time running anything more than a 5k. I trained for six months and ended up tearing something in my foot at mile 18. I walked Miles 20-21 and ran the rest in severe pain. I’m looking to redeem myself at the Cleveland Marathon in 2015. — Jon Wolff

___________________

I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 40 and I ran my first marathon 3 days before my 40th birthday. It was the God’s Country Marathon in Coudersport, Pa. I was only there to run the half with my friend Jan, but when I finished the half, I decided to keep going! People say the course is extremely hilly, I would refer to it as mountainous! But, after crossing that finish line, I wanted more. I couldn’t wait to run my next marathon! — Cathi Mitchell

Friday question: Fav local running spots

By | August 29, 2014 1:28 am | 0 Comments

This week’s question: Where is your favorite place to run locally (in the tri-state area) other than the peninsula?

Asbury Woods and Frontier Park. — Amy Cronk

Only Asbury Woods. — Al Warner

Edinboro Lake, Ernst Trail in Meadville, and around Findley Lake. — Lisa Shade

Drake Well trails. — Terry Zalewski

Asbury Woods. — Heather Bedell

Behrend/the gorge. — Renee York

Asbury Woods. — Dennis Albrewczynski

Oil Creek in Titusville. —Christine Kalie

Findley Lake (with a stop at Addie’s after). — Lisa Meyer

Chautauqua Overland Trail. —Chris Borgia

Asbury Woods. — Julie Kaufman

Oil Creek in Titusville….worth the drive. —Christine Vassen

Erie Cemetery. — Marcy Hall

Any lightly-traveled back-country road. Any of the creek crossings promise a nice dip as well. — Jim Lang

The gorge and Harborcreek Community Park trails. — Karen Beebe

Oil Creek State Park. — Rob Kolodziejczak

I say Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The trail system is unbelievable. — Diana Leroux-Woolf

Bull’s Dam (Eaton Reservoir), Our Lady of Mercy Church, Point Gratiot Park. — Adam Rowe

No doubt frontier park to bayfront around all the docks and back! — Joe Dobrich

Depend on the definition of local. Bull dam/ Howard Eaton reservoir. Penn state Behrend. Vineyards in the fall. — Stephen Haeseler

I love the bayfront connector trail…can safely run from Behrend to Frontier with minimal interaction with traffic and a nice amount of scenery! — Tracy Jenks

Behrend/SW Harborcreek and the Gorge. — Dave Lesher

Asbury woods … Hill Repeats. I get a great workout even if I’d rather slug off. Hills don’t lie. — Cynthia Johnson

Findley Lake. Also, Logan House (Penn State Behrend’s property on Station Road in Harborcreek) to Brew Haha (Colony Plaza). — Jen Kelly

Findley Lake, especially when there is ice cream involved. — Bri Hodges

Penn State Behrend campus & trails.  — Leslie Cooksey

Anyplace But the peninsula! — Susan Ellsworth

Findley lake. — Renee Uht

HC Community Park…I love the option of pavement plus trail running for my low mileage style! — Brenda Carr

I have to agree with those who said findley lake. But fall in North East with the smell of the grapes and vineyards in full bloom is great. — Tina Gruber

Findley Lake. But truthfully, running anywhere with my friends is enjoyable! — Debbie Humphreys

From my house on Mooreheadville Road to Freeport beach. Also South Shore Frontier Area. — Amy Morrow

Really anywhere, but definitely Findley Lake and what Tina said. I like all the routes created in NE during all the seasons. — Kristen Currier

 

 

 

We asked: Dream running destination

By | August 22, 2014 1:15 am | 0 Comments

If you could do your next run anywhere in the world, where would you go? What’s your dream running destination?

Brazil!!!!! — Allison Jeric-Carroll

I want to run the National Mall. — Lisa Meyer

Base camp of Everest. No doubt. —Diana Leroux-Woolf 

Pacific Coast Highway or Grand Canyon! — Bethany Kelley

Run Ireland with my boy Paul BreenFollowed by drinks, futbol, and celebration. — Eric Ellis

Australia…or the moon. — Jen Kelly

Italy’s wine country. — Barb Armour

Grand Canyon, rim to rim.  — Karen Manganaro

Baaaaa Harbaaaa, Maine. — Mike Vieyra

 I would love to run through the Andes to Machu Picchu in Peru! That would be a slowww, tough run! — Jessie Zahner

Chamomix, France where they run the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Beautiful. — Sean Donachy

Wesleyville. — Dennis Albrewcyznski

Hawaii along the ocean. — Karen Beebe

Stockholm along the water. — Brian Swantek

San Francisco…again. — Ron Krystek

California Coast. Or the A1A in Daytona!!! — Teri Zalewski

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® . Takes place in the Alps, goes through parts of France, Switzerland, and Italy. — Pat Krott

Europe! — Amy Cronk

Pikes Peak. — Virginia Sackett

Great Wall of China. — Lesley Cooksey

Sorry , I don’t have just one . Central Park , Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone , Hawaii and Disney World around Halloween or Christmas time. — Erin Ryan

Australia is my bucket list destination. Running at Disney would be magical also!!! — Brenda Carr

Vermont in the fall (next year!) or New Mexico in winter or Montana anytime BUT winter. — Al Warner

Las Vegas half marathon. — Jameel Gavin

Athens, Greece. — Paul Bressan

Italy! — Stacey Hammer

Key West, Florida. — Susan Ellsworth

Down Under! — Debbie Humphreys

San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. — LeAnne Morton

Whatever path makes this (below) my end point. — Eloise Hawking

10636111_778552308863181_8625685181752597374_n

Egypt — around the pyramids. — Joe Dobrich

Did a bucket list run on the Great Wall. That was very difficult. Too many people…very slippery. Stairs were very awkward, but beggars can’t be choosers. I ended up walking most of it but it was really awesome just to be there. Another bucket list run completed was Yosemite. I was aiming for a 10K, but bonked. Dehydrated and altitude cramps in my calves. Did lots of hiking though. And…Red Rock dessert was another dream run completed. Beautiful! I thought I would run from the Welcome center to the bottom of the mountains. An hour into my run, running directly at the mountains I seemed closer but not close enough to get there in the time I had left. It was so beautiful I went back to the mountain side and ran the mountains the following days.” — Stephen Haeseler

377899_326515414026369_746450094_n

Stephen at Red Rock

We asked: One word description

By | August 15, 2014 1:17 am | 0 Comments

We asked runners: Describe your running self in one word.

Turtle. — Linda Young

Hare. — Dan Young

Juggernaut. — Eric Ellis

Dedicated. — Stacey Hammer

Tough. — Susan Ellsworth

Mirror. — Paul Bressen

Injured :-( — Patrick Dwyer (We feel your pain, Patrick. We’ve all been there. You’ll be back. Rest & heal).

Commitment.  (Committed to myself, my health, and achieving what I set out to accomplish. I never ran more than 3 miles at a time and I signed up for my first race — The Pittsburgh Marathon — and accomplished it. Now looking forward to The Cleveland Marathon in May 2015.)  — Jon Wolff

Determined. — Karen Manganaro

Patient. — Allison Jeric-Carroll

Persistent. — Mike Vieyra

Social. — Lisa Shade

Strong.  — Carol Crandall

Gliding. — Joe Dobrich

Lost. — Tom Twohig

Determined. — Trisha Schrieber

Happy. — Cindy Tickle

Free.  — Leslie Cooksey (We think alike. :) )

Imaginary. — Jennie Hutchison

Stubborn. — Mary Kay Synder-Migdal

Passion. — Ron Krystek

Underachiever. — Pat Krott

Determined! — Dee

Happier. (I may not look it but I am.) — Stephen Haeseler

Disciplined. — Teri Zalewski

Finisher. — Diana Leroux-Woolf

Strong. — Laurie Thompson

Social. (Or my running mates would say Talkative.) — Jen Kelly (Me, too, Jen…Me, too)

Capable. — Erin Ryan

Focused. — Karen Groshek

Learning. — Lisa Meyer

Positive. — Renee Uht

Strong. — Karen Beebe

Creative. — Eloise Hawking

Turtle! — Susie Ann

Persistent. — Brenda Carr

Purposeful. — Debbie Humphreys

Me? I had a hard time deciding — leading contenders — social, happy, free, Zen…but ultimately I have to go with: Peaceful. Running is where I find peace, in many ways.

 

Rules are made to be broken

By | May 16, 2014 1:24 am | 0 Comments

I seem to have my best races when I break all the running “rules” and it would seem the same for my husband, Dan, who after drinking four beers the night before the Pittsburgh marathon and stopping for one DURING the marathon (handed out by spectators), had a P.R. of 3:22. So..I wondered, if he does better breaking the “no alcohol before a big race” rule, are there other running “rules” that area athletes routinely break without consequences?

I’ll confess to never stretching, foam rolling, or “warming up” of any kind (Don’t tell Dr. Dan Young!). I also refuse to pile on mileage these days (that’s more sage runners wisdom though).

I’m with you, Heather. I don’t stretch, foam roll, etc. I also don’t drink enough water (sad to say). I also talk the ENTIRE time I run. — Jen Kelly

Wait…there are running rules? — Debbie Humphreys (LOL)

I’m a rule follower. — Karen Beebe

Breaking rules seems to come easy, try not to dwell on it, I think I only use half of my brain, saving the other half for later. — Tom Twohig

Beer is good luck!!! I always drink a beer before race day. — Karen Groshek

Speaking for my husband, Dan Young, he never eats heavy carbs like pasta. — Linda Young

I don’t stretch or warm up! — Stacey Hammer

What’s warming up? — Lesley Cooksey (Editor’s note: in my opinion: It’s the first mile :-) )

Rest days…moms really don’t get rest days. — Christine Vassen

1. taper for races 2. rest after races 3. ramp up mileage no more than 10% per week 4. take in calories during runs that last more than 2-3 hours; 5. stretch before and after running. — Pat Krott (Editor’s note: You little rule breaker, you!)

I don’t warm up… I also take shots of fireball whiskey when the chances arise during said events… Typically tough mudders and and other mud runs. — Matt Kleck

What rules? I always ran what I felt like running and it worked well. And beer the night before. Every time. — Jim Lang

Running multiple marathons in a short period of time. I don’t believe in wasting all that training on only one marathon. — Karen Manganaro

I do the same thing as Dan Cass and that’s why I like him.  — Eric Ellis

Increasing my mileage more than 10% a week — Tom Toale

I think the beer the night before is perfect for this reason: he was relaxed, comfortable, and not “up in his head.” The beer is irrelevant, but rather it was his state of mind that helped him reach a new PR. Many competitors “get up in their own head” which affects their physical performance. — Steve Krauza

I don’t carbo-load before the race. Instead, I eat my good luck cheeseburger and french fries the night before the race. Terrible idea but every time I have broken my PR, that is what I have ate! It’s good luck!  — Jessie Zahner

I don’t follow written ideas and schedules to a tee. If I feel like I need to stretch, I do. If I want to run 5 days in a row, I will. If I fall a few miles short of a scheduled day, meh. If I want to run further than scheduled, that’s OK too. — Kristen Currier

Ode to moms of runners

By | May 9, 2014 1:56 am | 0 Comments

We asked: How does you mom inspire your running? Does she run? Is she a faithful fan? Does she bake you energy bars for your long runs?

 


 

My mom is very supportive of all the events I do. While I was doing my first Tough Mudder last year, she made a poster with my kids and helped them hang it with a balloon to welcome me home. My mom is not the kind of person to sit at home. She likes to get out and try new things. Her way of living inspires me to find new challenges. — Leann Morton

 

leann


 

My mom is awesome! She has always supported me and cheered me on. When my kids were little, my mom babysat for me so I could go running. She buys me running gear for Christmas. She has come to races before, and last summer she followed me in her car for an entire half marathon and took pictures!  — Karen Beebe

 

45407_10201204976760502_62459915_n


No mom here. However…AS a mom, I think running & fitness has made me a better mom. Running with friends is the best therapy & stress reliever. Moreover, I hope CJ & I are setting a great example for our boys by being active and cognizant of our eating habits & overall health. — Jen Kelly
1487351_459588777479202_320063416_n
Jen Kelly and her sons, Jaret and Hunter

My mom is probably the first to admit that she doesn’t understand why I run. After having a knee replacement last year, she helped me realize just how lucky I am to be able to run like I do. Now that she has seen all the good that has come from my running, not only physically but mentally as well, she has started her own path towards wellness. She’ll never be a runner, but knows it is how I choose to improve myself and is behind me 100%. She may stay “behind the scenes” but supports me by offering to babysit or making special meals based on how I am eating at the time. — Bri Hodges
1239441_10201602742367017_260827528_n

Anytime I tell my Mom about a run I am doing she always asks where it is and if she can come down to cheer for me.  She always has a bottle of water and snacks with her for the finish.  I even got her involved, she has done the Her Times 5k and is about to do the Mother’s Day race.  She came down to the Endurance Run to cheer for me last year and ended up walking five miles.  She inspires all of my family, at 70 she is going stronger than ever, love you Mom! —Dennis Albrewczynski
49293305E

My mom ran when she was in high school and has supported me since I ran my first 5k in middle school. She doesn’t always understand why I have the determination to conquer a full marathon and is concerned when I enter physical therapy for running related injuries. She has never stopped being my biggest fan though. She has sat through multiple early mornings for half marathons, given me rides home when I need them, and has dropped off extra items when I was less than prepared on the road. She’s the greatest.  — Carolyn Michael
10338326_10152038032227204_4645921296876586286_n

My mom doesn’t get the running thing. She worries about me, probably more than I know. But she always asks how the runs went, and listens. She gave me my “You Can Do It” running shoe token to get me through my marathon. She doesn’t get it, but she supports all of it.  — Kristen Currier
 598512_10201602750247214_514291626_n

 

Our mom is our biggest cheerleader. She shows up at races and we can always hear her in the crowd because she has the loudest yell. It doesn’t matter if you are first or last–she yells the same encouragement for both, and everyone in between. — Karen Groshek & Eloise Hawking

533245_10151711077848392_262418194_n

 


 

 

My Mom doesn’t run at all, but she’s impressed with the amount of running that I do with all my crazy friends, especially coming from a guy who was a seriously overweight, pack-a-day smoker.  — Matt Kleck

 

942841_10151923643167571_1469675667_n

Matt and his mom, Karen


 

My mom is my number one fan. She encourages and supports all the crazy stuff I get into. For instance, she happened to be in Boston on the anniversary of the marathon bombing, and she sent me a note that she lit a candle for all of us runners and I got this in the mail today…   — Leslie Cooksey

10270680_10151987964791557_8789776429830656671_n 1234219_591766910875056_844283238_n



My mom is awesome! She watches my boys so I can run with my Krazie runner friends! — Stacey Hammer

1235270_537462412975347_2003469873_n

 


 

 

My mom was there for me during marathon training. On my longest training run, she jumped in on her bike and paced me when my first running buddy’s ‘shift’ was over or I’d have to do the last 12 miles alone. — Tracy Jenks

1006131336

 


 

My mom, Cyndie Zahner, is the best inspiration! She is an amazing runner. She has inspired me to run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and my first marathon, which she ran and finished the race with me. The entire marathon she pushed me. I would have never made it without her. Any time I have questions about racing, training, or injuries, she is there to give me advice, what she has done that worked. Knowing how fast she has run and the distances she has gone encourages me that I too can get better and I work everyday, every run to be half the runner and person she is! She is the best! — Jessie Zahner

 

baltimore2

Jessie Zahner (center) and her mom, Cyndie, to her immediate right at the 2013 Baltimore Marathon (Jessie’s first). Cyndie recruited friends, too, from left, Leann Parmenter, me (Heather Cass) and on the far left, Robin Smith, who is not Cydnie’s sister, but may as well be as they’ve been running together for like 30 years and are tighter than any sisters I’ve ever met.

 


 

As for me, my mom is not only inspiration for my running (she and my dad used to run when I was a teenager and she still goes to the gym every morning & walks 3 miles on the treadmill), but she’s the reason I could even go run half the time. She was always understanding and accommodating when I asked her to take (or keep) my daughters for an hour or two so I could get a run in. She’s been to more than a few finish lines (my first half, my first marathon, etc.) and she always asks about my races and watches the girls for us a few times a year when Dan & I go to marathons for a weekend.  I’ve been running for more than 15 years now, but I’d have quit — or given up — long ago if it weren’t for my mom’s support (in more ways than one). — Heather Cass

This photo is old — from 2000! — but it’s one of my favorites and we pretty much still look the same (just a few more wrinkles)

225548_2042519979992_5980620_n