Crazy about running…

People who are close to me often ask me why do you run? Are you crazy? My answer is I run to keep me from going crazy and then there are runs like yesterday where I can actually say I’m crazy about running…

Yesterday I woke up at 4:45 to participate in the Mount Hope Bridge Run. This run is a point to point 5k that includes running over an 89 year old suspension bridge from Portsmouth to Bristol Rhode Island. It is the only time pedestrians are allowed on the bridge. The early wake up time is because runners are shuttled from Roger Williams University to the starting line at the South end of the bridge.

I drive over this bridge at least twice a day four to five times a week to work and back. The views are spectacular which explains why so many of us are rear-ended on the bridge each year. You can’t help gawking at the spectacular sights. So to run this race was a no-brainer for me! I would’ve got out of bed at 2am if I had to.

The weather forecast wasn’t that pleasant, rain and possible thunder showers were predicted.Thankfully they held off and the horrendous humidity of the past week was tolerable.

Participants gathered on the Portsmouth side exchanging small talk, anxiously awaiting the start of the race. I love meeting people at these events, you have varied backgrounds but a common interest and on race day a goal to participate and finish. There are always conversations about different races, gear, injuries and training. It makes me smile to see families participating — Parents passing on their love of fitness to their children. Runners are the nicest people, they encourage and cheer each other, even though they are strangers.

It was finally time to start the race, the horn sounded and we were off! The views were spectacular, people were taking pictures and selfies. The first part was a steady incline until we got to the middle of the bridge where the American Flag was hanging. I have to admit I got a little lump in my throat passing under the flag. We continued on to mile one not too far from the base of the bridge then we headed toward the entrance of RWU and ran through the campus. There were a lot of rolling hills but the campus was lovely. The weather was still cooperating until the end. Where I crossed  the finish line not with a PR but fairly close. I was greeted with fist bumps by some of the guys I met earlier in the day. I caught up with my student and we took in the views of the lighthouse and the bay.

What an amazing run! What an amazing morning! I’m Crazy about running on days such as this…

Run on,

G

 

 

Scent – A- Mental Memories

I love how scents can evoke a memory whether it’s the smell of food from your child hood or a cologne from a loved one. Today’s run by the bay brought back so many memories. As I came down surprise hill in Colt Park (Bristol RI) I inhaled the unforgettable scent of sea air. Suddenly I was back in 1960 something riding the Prudence Ferry to Hog Island and summer camp. Where we’d march to swim lessons and free swim and had the time of our lives and when the day ended we boarded the ferry once again singing songs and anticipating which lollypop flavor our camp director would give us, but there was much more we’d all sit on pins and needles wondering if this would be our day to “drive the ferry”! You see each evening Hector Massa (our camp director) would choose a few campers to “drive” the ferry with Captain Manny Souza. We’d be seated on a high stool and hold onto the giant ship’s wheel with captain Souza “assisting us”. What an incredible view of this beautiful harbor we’d have.

The sea scent continued to jar my memory to the wonderful times I had with my dad and my uncle Danny at the Bristol Teepees. My brother, cousins and I would swim, snorkel, raft and the most fun having our dads toss us into the air to dive. The day seemed to go on forever it was always a highlight of the week when we got to go.

Then there were more memories from the Bottom of Maple Street in Warren where we’d swim with my cousins and their neighbors when we visited my aunt Virginia. There was a large rock that came into play during high tide and the always fun adventure of walking on the railroad tracks (now the East Bay Bike Path).

There are the times spent with my mom clamming or qua hogging (she couldn’t swim and this was her only beach pursuit).

My memories took back to the mid seventies when I live in Newport and would head down to First Beach for a walk and to listen to the surf. Walk the cliff walk or sit at the Purgatory Chasm and take pictures. Flying kites on second beach or riding around ten mile drive and Fort Adams.

The sea air is my tonic, my zen, my home…

What’s yours?

Gin

Running Because I Can…

First let me begin by explaining I use the term “running” vey loosely – I’m more of a Slogger (a sloth that jogs). However I enjoy participating in 5K events. The people and the atmosphere are so welcoming.  5K races were Planet Fitness before there was a Planet Fitness… Everyone goes at their own pace and will eventually finish! There’s no intimidation especially in the charity runs. After all we’re all trying to do our best to support the cause…

Which is why I run these  5Ks Be “cause” I can… Next Saturday I will be strapping on the Brooks and hitting the pavement for the MS Run. Multiple Sclerosis has been in my life in more ways than I can count. One of my first patients as a nursing assistant was afflicted with MS. She taught me to never take my health and physical abilities for granted. I also have friends, and family members who are affected and one dear cousin who lost her battle with MS. (Ironically today would have been Rita’s 61st Birthday) So,pushing myself to run after what looks to be a crazy final week before vacation at work — No matter how hot it’s going to be or how many annoying mosquitos there’ll be — Is still going to be a breeze compared to what someone who suffers from MS goes through each and every day. Which is why when things get a little rough I accept the challenge with gratitude and remind myself keep running because I can… 

The Rhode Island MS run is Saturday August 20th at 6pm, in Bristol RI, for more information check out the Rhode Island Multiple Sclerosis Society’s web site or support me by going to my link on my Facebook Page!

Truly Blessed,

G

Running in the Woods

I decided to take the path less run today, and hit some of the wooded trails in the beautiful state park in my home town. I don’t often run trails mostly because of time constraints, however I had an errand to do this morning, close by one of the most beautiful parks in the world and decided to veer off the pavement.

The woods in southeastern New England are ablaze with color and the musty scent of autumn, coupled by the scenes of Narragansett Bay that can be viewed through the foliage today’s run was art in motion! The runner in me was ever mindful of the uneven terrain but the photographer in me was scanning views for potential shots after the run. As I came out of the woods and by the  town beach I had the delight to watch kite surfers manipulate the wind and the water in what appeared to be a thrilling ride through the chop. 

Obviously none of this would have been experienced out of my front door and onto the streets of my neighborhood, which reminds me of why its important to look for new places and challenges to run. So if you haven’t tried off  roading in running shoes you’re missing something wonderful!

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Scent Remembered…

Ran in Colt Park today. While running down surprise hill toward the water, I caught a scent of the bay. That’s when the memories flooded back; The walks down Church Street to board the ferry to Hog Island for Y Camp. Where we had swimming lessons, free swims, family days when mom would quahog and dad would catapult us into the water off his hands. There were family swims in the Kickemuit. Parties at the teepees. Rides around Colt Drive. Swimming at the bottom of Maple Ave, with Aunty Virginia and cousins – Outings to the ocean and beaches like Easton, 2nd Beach and Horse Neck. Later there would be kayaking, Bay Queen rides, and meditation along the shore.

No matter what the year or who I was with or what went on. The bay, harbor, ocean and rivers that surround me have been as much a part of my living as the blood that courses through my veins…

That salty scent is home to my soul…

Ginnie