Twisted Hues

Having a blast at the Color Run’s post-race color fest. Photo Credit: Jennifer Lott

Yesterday, at 8:38 a.m., I participated in my first Color Run. While the race encourages people to live healthier, this 5k promotes diversity, creativity and community and not speed, competition or athleticism.

I ran the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor course with my second cousin Jennifer and her sister Katie. Thousands danced to Top 40 hits waiting for their wave in the race to begin. Dressed in mostly white, racers were blasted in a rainbow of non-toxic, paint powder after completing each kilometer. At the finish line, racers experienced a post-race party with beautiful hues of powder.

Prior to race day, preparations focused mostly on creative aspects not training runs. On the eve of race day, we gathered at Jennifer’s apartment to transform ourselves into the Twisted Hues. The team name represents our ideology that all colors are beautiful and that our inner warriors carry us through even the toughest of life challenges. Twisted Hues is hopeful that more family members and friends will join the team roster at future, active events that promote healthy living, unity, peace, and charity.

Twisted Hues (L to R) include my cousin Jennifer, her sister Katie, and my cousin Meghan, who created our look for the event.                       Photo Credit: kateschannel

Twisted Hues’ race style was mostly created around the idea my cousin Meghan had. She inspired and taught each of us to make rainbow-colored tutus. She planned to take part in the Color Run event. But, unfortunately, at the last moment was not able to join us at the start line. Her contribution to the Twisted Hues resulted in boosting our self-confidence as well as plenty of style kudos from fellow Color Runners.

What a finish. Katie, Jennifer and I enjoy watching all the beautiful hues. Photo credit: Jennifer Lott

I believe the next event the Twisted Hues will be signing on for is the second annual Run and Play for Ariana Mae at the Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge, Mich. The event begins with a 5k run and one-mile walk, followed by a Candyland Scavenger Hunt. The event supports the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) Program. Proceeds from this year’s event will fund the addition of a new play structure at Fitzgerald Park in memory of Ariana Mae. To learn more about the event, register, or make a donation visit www.arianasrun.com.

School’s Out: Week 1 — Hot Stuff

Issa, Riff and I sprinted through Week 1 of summer break. It was a streak of hot, warped-speed fun, which included …

pancake mornings, swim suit afternoons, and scorching-hot evenings that called for grilling out whenever possible. After-hours indulgences include ice-cold Bell’s Oberon long-necks, Hard Luck Candy Rootbeer Flavored Vodka on the rocks, Cherry ICEEs and Rock of Ages.

Issa and Slim. Photo Credit: kateschannel

critter camp at Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center. Issa continued her exploration of reptiles, amphibians, insects and plant life during this four-day camp. Each day from 10:30 – 2:30 pm she joined other nature-lovers for hands-on instruction and fun. Plus, she got to see her adopted, pet ball python, Slim. In February, we donated funds to the nature center to help them care for Slim. In exchange, Issa visits him on a weekly basis to help with the provision of that care. Slim is very charming and loves for Issa to hold him.

weekend birthday bashes for my niece and nephew gave Issa and Riff two days of play with their cousins, introduced Riff to Jackson 5 magic, and gave me quality time with a very creative, over-the-top mistress of celebrations — my sister. Sisters do rule. Mine made her children a beach-themed birthday cake, which included a palm tree made out of rice krispy treats. She also woke me up at 5:15 am Sunday to ensure I made that 5k at Comerica Park in Detroit. Blaring Blink 182 as I zoomed along M-14 to meet up for a carpool with a long-time, college friend helped, too.

Just beachy! My sister is an artist in the kitchen, garden or wherever inspiration takes her. She made the palm tree out of rice krispy treats. Photo Credit: kateschannel

running with 2012 Heart of Detroit for Kids on the Go (KOTG) with the best coaches. Two avid runners — my cousin Joe Duris and my long-time, college friend, Lisa Brady — signed up to run the 5k at this event. There was something special about all these good people running for good people; down a quiet, traffic-free Woodward to the riverfront.

My A-Team. L to R: Joe Duris (my cousin), Lisa Brady (long-time college friend) and I envision the finish behind home plate at Comerica Park. Photo Credit: Kristy Schena, Kids on the Go

a home plate finish at Comerica Park. I came in at 35 minutes, 24 seconds and placed 12th out of 28 in my age group. Sweaty, running attire did nothing to stop my growing addiction to running; and to racing. In fact, Lisa, has helped me set my next goal: my first 10k at the Flirt with Dirt next June. My motivation to train more consistently and with greater conviction starts after the July 4 holiday week.

Comerica Park
Comerica Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

training on how to change shirts — without showing boobs — when one is without the privacy of a restroom. Lisa and I had decided on a post-race breakfast at Leo’s Coney Island in Plymouth, Mich. To save fellow diners from breathing our BO, we ditched sweaty race shirts for fresh ones prior to entering.

This week I need to do laundry and scrub toilets. But, there are only 12 weeks left. That means the priorities are painting, fishing at the subdivision retention pond, swim lessons, and taking time to make new recipes for dinner.

Related previous posts …

See It: Rock of Ages

Back Health Issues

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace

About Slim

Back Health Issues

One would think the back pain issues I have been experiencing resulted from the 3.1 miles of trails, I ran Saturday in my first 5k since August 2011. My friend, Sue and the Mathes Team challenged us runner to dig deep; and to run a course consisting mostly of hills and switchbacks.  The two 5ks I ran previously were a combination of street and trail. Plus, my training runs are usually through my neighborhood because that’s what my schedule allows.

Amusingly enough, the 5k is not what caused the snap in my lower back …

It was a peaceful Sunday morning. If I remember, correctly, it was a little after 8. I  finished taking Buddy, my Pekingese for a walk; and felt healthy and ready to take another longer walk through my neighborhood. But, I needed relief. You know what I mean? Too much coffee.

As I finished, I sang Pink’s So What in my mind. It was next in my cue on the MP3, which was waiting patiently for me on the ledge in my garage. Then …

All of a sudden, I couldn’t move. Would I finish my time like that other lady who was stuck to her toilet for two years? All of a sudden the scene playing in my mind had me starring as Miranda Hobbes from Sex in the City. Remember the episode where she fears she’ll die alone in her apartment and be half-eaten by her cat? A panic attack was imminent.

I reminded myself I was way too short and had the wrong hair color to play her. So, I remained calm and managed to complete the most basic of tasks. Then, hunched over, I  waddled like a duck to the kitchen for my next coffee.

This image of myself did not bode well. I kept saying the quote I shared with you the other day — Forward is a pace — as I envisioned myself being ran over with a cart during my next trip to the grocery store.

I admitted the possibility of having to adapt to slower mobility. After all, I had graduated to a new age category (40-49) for 5k races. Perhaps I would have to adjust my pace down a notch rather than up. But, what kind of thinking is that?

Shah! I survived playing with my children, driving my daughter to Critter Camp at our local nature center, mowing the lawn, and cooking dinner two nights in a row. There is hope. Walking behind the mower actually seemed to help. I am now able to move around more rapidly.

This Sunday — on June 24 — I am at it again. I am racing a 5k in the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk.  My cousin, Joe, and a longtime college friend, Lisa — both avid runners — have agreed to run these 3.1 miles with me. Collectively, we are all running as Kate’s A-Team and are running to support Kids on the Go (KOTG), a non-profit pediatric program I advocate for. KOTG provides speech, physical and occupational therapies — tuition-free — to children with special needs in metro Detroit.

Related previous posts …

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace …

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace …

Two of the 5ks I am running this summer are quickly approaching. While my training runs have been a bit sporadic, my mental game is on, consistent and positive. I consider any preparation (biking, walking the dog, chasing children, etc.) to be a step forward.

My first run is the Mathes 5k/1 Mile Fun Walk, which happens Saturday, June 16 at Stony Creek Metro Park (West Branch Picnic Area “C”). Sue Mathes, one of my amazingly strong and smart girlfriends, organized the event, which is in its 2nd year, to raise awareness and support for the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). Her husband, Thom, was diagnosed with three brain tumors in January 2011.

To read more about the Mathes’ story, make a donation to Team Mathes or register to run, click here.

To keep me motivated to continue training as well as signing up races, a longtime college friend and Western Herald alum  — Lisa Brady — shared a couple of quotes with me this morning. The first she read on a sign during one of her races last year. It said …

 Forward is a pace

Lisa signed up to run a 5k with me at the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk on June 24 at Comerica Park. She will join me as well as my cousins Joe Duris (another runner who inspires me) and Jennifer Lott (a strong, positive, forward moving young lady), my Aunt Kate (I was named after her), and a longtime high school friend, Kelly Pelt (we were tennis partners). All of us are running as Kate’s A-Team; and we are one of 10 teams running to raise awareness and support for Kids on the Go (KOTG), a non-profit pediatrics program I advocate for.

KOTG, an affiliate of St. John Providence Health, provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to Detroit-area children with special needs during the summer months at no cost to the families. Both of my children receive services through this pediatric program.

Through participation in the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk, KOTG and I, are looking to raise $5,000. To support our efforts

1. Donate via check. This is the preferred way to donate because KOTG receives 100-percent of your donation, which is tax deductible. The company organizing the race collects a processing fee for all donations made online.

To donate by check, make it payable to Kids on the Go and mail it to:

Kids on the Go

C/O Kristy Schena

21229 River Road

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI  48236

2. Link to the following fundraising page for KOTG and Make a Donation Now.

In closing, I need to share the second quote Lisa sent me this morning, which I love …

DFL > DNF > DNS

The translation …

Dead F-ing Last is greater than Did Not Finish, which is greater than Did Not Start

Related previous posts …

College Life Replays: Print Journalism Lesson #1 — Go For It

Fit Trail Interval Training

Running For a Purpose

5 in 30

 

Where Were You Yesterday?

On Friday, I dropped in for a brief visit with those characters from the first 50k I wrote in November. Only, I didn’t leave. I lingered for the entire day. Then, I figured, what the heck? I might as well stay for the weekend and clean things up a little.

What started as some simple spring cleaning turned into a major remodeling project. So, that’s where I have been since Friday. Oh well. It’s all good. In the end, I am hopeful I will have a second draft I am happy with.

Yesterday, I managed to escape and return to the real world. I’m pretty sure it’s not the respite I was looking for. But, I think my characters needed some private time. So, here’s a look at where I went …

I dropped Issa off at school just as the last bell rang. She refused to dress and missed the bus… again!

Then, Riff and I went to the library. I let him go in his pajamas because we had been rushed to get Issa to school on time. We picked out some books for Issa to use with her reading tutor later that afternoon. Riff enjoyed playing with the toy train at the library. It operates with the push of a button and circles the the ceiling in the children’s section.

Back at home, I realized our dog, Buddy, accidentally got locked in our master bathroom. Please don’t call animal rescue on me. I put him in there to give him a peaceful place to be while Issa was having her meltdown. But, then I got caught up in the rush to ensure Issa made it to school. Upon rescuing Buddy from the bathroom, Riff and I gave him lots of attention; and then listened to music.

Riff usually takes the bus to school. But, he decided to copy his sister’s lead. Riff refused to dress and missed the bus. He was attempting to talk me into a hooky day. I wasn’t having it.

As I drove him, we experienced a delay due to a traffic jam. A funeral procession was trying to enter a cemetery. There were so many vehicles involved in the procession that it was causing traffic backups in both directions. What really struck me was the assistance a couple motorists gave the grieving family with directing traffic. It did not appear that these two guys were a part of the procession. They must have just seen the family needed help in this way and did what was required to ensure everyone’s the safety on the road.

Back at home I killed it on my elliptical. For the fun of it I tested myself. I ran 3.1 miles in less than 20 minutes. So, I think I have the bug for trying another 5k some time this spring or summer. Don’t you think it’s a good to test one’s ability on real terrain in the real world? I do.

When Issa returned from school, she got to work writing a letter to a boy she had a crush on at school. As she typed, she saw an old note from Riff’s teacher regarding behavior issues her little brother is experiencing at school. The teacher said Riff had been hissing (like a snake) when he refused to comply with her instructions.

Issa said, “I need to stop hissing like a snake at you when I’m at home, mom. Riff is copying off of me.”

B-I-N-G-O!!!!

Big sister finally catches on to what I’ve been telling her for two months, now. So, I make her a deal.

“If you don’t hiss at me for the rest of the week, I’ll take you to the dollar store and buy you more plastic snakes,” I offered.

“Deal!” Issa agreed.

Just this morning, Issa hissed at me. She claims it was just play. But, she and I both know otherwise. So, we’ll see about that trip to the dollar store.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s chaos …

After Riff returned home from school, he and I took Issa to see her reading tutor; and then went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Want to know something? I forgot to buy bread. So, where do you think I need to go this afternoon? Ugh! You know I’ll end up buying more than that loaf of bread. I even had a list. The first item was what?

B-R-E-A-D!

Finally, after Issa’s reading session was complete, my Tuesday was nearing its finish. We dined on hot dogs, chicken, broccoli, fruit salad, and pizza; and watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Issa purchased a 3-D book about snakes from her school’s book fair. So, I read a few pages about these menacing, but fascinating creatures to her.

Once my two were sleeping soundly in their beds, I opted to watch one of the many movies I wanted to see, but didn’t, in 2011. So, with my third glass of Bellissima, a semi-sweet, red from Filipo Marc Winery in Clinton Township, I selected Moneyball.

I will share my thoughts about Moneyball in a future post before the end of the week. You will find it in new category — See It — I am developing. Similar to my Book It category for books I read and like; when I see a movie, television show or live theatrical/musical performance, I like, I’ll tell you about it.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday from where ever you may be.

NaNoWriMo: In the End

At 11:10 pm, November 30, my word count surpassed 7ok. Clearly, I had made the 50k mark in my first annual NaNoWriMo challenge. But, I told myself my form needed polish. The story read like a 5k without that explosive sprint to the finish line.

So, there I sat listening to Foo Fighters’ Everlong. Do I risk it? If I edit, I could get tripped up or sidelined. I might not make it before the buzzer goes of to call the race. As I considered my options, I kept hearing Jillian Michael‘s voice from her cardio kickboxing DVD.

“Don’t cheat me!” she shouted.

Did I ever mention I hate alarms? They interrupt all the important stuff like sleep, dreams and sex. I think it’s better to let nature tell me when it’s time to wake up, go to bed, walk the dog, or write.

Besides, I just wasn’t content with my story. I kept rehashing the plot in my head. Was it exciting? If I was snuggled on my couch reading late at night, would I fall asleep or stay riveted to the action on my pages? Did the characters have enough to make an audience scream sequel?

As I reconciled the plot, it was midnight. For some reason I didn’t care that the race was officially over. I wanted my characters to feel closure to their story; or have plane tickets to the next destination in the series of adventures I am plotting for them.

So, I centered my attention on making a strong finish despite the time. If the story had just finished playing out on a big screen some-where, would I leave wanting to discuss it with my girlfriends; or would I march myself to the ticket booth to demand a refund?

In the end, I was satisfied enough to consider this very rough draft of my first novel finished. It has been left on my desktop to ferment.

Like my love for wine, it will call to me this Friday. It will tease me. I will be tested to ignore its pleas for a reread.

Thankfully, I have a new, temporary family member to care for. Santa sent Neptune, one of his elves  to keep watchful eyes on Issa and Riff through December 24. There are rules Neptune must follow to in order for his magic to work. His magic enables him to fly to the North Pole each night and to speak elf to Santa while discussing Issa and Riff. This added responsibility to my domestic law enforcement duties keeps my writing addiction in check.

Plus, there’s that Sunday night football contest between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans’ Saints. I love football and continue to think the Lions can turn in a victory; even without Ndamukong Suh.

Related previous posts …

NaNoWriMo: Weeks 3 and 4 – Gory Scene Stealer

NaNoWriMo: Week 2 – Where It All Started

NaNoWriMo: Week 1- Setting the Stage

My First 50k

 

NaNoWriMo: Week 1 – Setting the Stage

This first week of NaNoWriMo has been all about setting the stage for my characters as well as for myself. Since this is my first 50k, I have put five contingencies in place to ensure a strong finish. What tips do you NaNoWriMo veterans have for us newbies?

1. Working Outline translates to flexible. Previously, I was just going to write until I reached 50k. But, I scraped that plan. Today, I stopped typing to think about the story coming to life on my pages. Are the characters engaging enough? Am I spending too much time on certain scenes?

2. Playlist of tunes to keep me in the moment with my characters. Fellow blogger and NaNoWriMo, MB, shared her playlist this weekend. Tonight, my list included:

3. Running Goal of making one mile in five minutes on my elliptical. This is a 50k, right? So, while I attempt this first with my writing, I might as well train for that Freeze Your Fanny 5k on January 29 at Stony Creek Metro Park.

4. Escape Plan to the living and the real. One can only revel for so long in the fantastical storytelling world. Now, I know why there is a suggested daily quota.

5. Interventions to divert focus from writing to my husband, children, dog, friends, house, neighborhood, etc. Today’s successful diversions were taking my daughter to the salon for a haircut, voting, a trip to the Rochester Cider Mill for a blueberry, maple-glazed doughnut, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and blogging.

Related Posts…

My First 50k

Running for a Purpose

I have never been a competitive runner. Until now, I ran for therapeutic, social and general fitness purposes. But, for the most part, I thought running was kind of boring. To me, it paled in comparison to the adrenaline rush gained while roller blading, scenic cycle rides, or to great friendships forged on the tennis court.

This winter, something snapped in my head while running on my elliptical. I became obsessed with completing five miles in 30 minutes. Once I reached this goal, the competitive runner in my soul became unleashed.

So, now what? My new fitness challenge is to run – and win – a few 5K races. Not only am I enthused about establishing this healthy living goal, I am motivated to stay the course on this mission because so many races help others. It’s multi-tasking at its finest.

Inspiration for my new mission comes from my cousin Joe, who runs half and full marathons to raise money for the American Heart Association and two girlfriends who share the same first name. My two Lisas are long-time friends who are both committed fitness advocates. One is a friend from college who has medaled in a number of local, state and national races. The second is my closest friend. She finally sold me on registering and training for my first 5K — Back to the Beach. It takes place this Sunday at Stoney Creek Metro Park and was organized to support the Detroit chapter of Medals 4 Mettle.

To encourage me in my pursuit of victory, my husband bought me a pedometer for Mother’s Day. He’s so practical. But, I love this. When we were dating, he was about to dial the florist, but then hung up and went to the nearest sporting good store . There, he purchased new bearings for my roller blades, which had been dogging me for weeks. It’s all good. Flowers look and live better in a garden; and too much chocolate makes running shorts look indecent.