Join me as I travel around the country to fulfill my goal of running a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Luck of the Irish

What was un-lucky about this year's St. Patty's Day was that I slept through my alarm and missed the start of the USA Rock N Roll Marathon (don't freak out...I wasn't supposed to be running it, just spectating). 

What was lucky was that I sprinted to the metro just in time to catch a train that would lead me to the Columbia Heights metro (about mile 7.5 on the race course). 
These runners were lucky to get through the intersection just before a firetruck came across the race course!

I had only signed up to track and receive messages for my cousin, but somehow as I stood there cheering for so many runners I was lucky enough to spot several friends and bloggers. My friends James and Sarah passed by looking strong. My friend Eileen was super surprised to see me. Emily over at Sweat Once a Day probably thought I looked like a crazy woman waving to her. Not sure if SR heard me yell "Go SR!" but I was pretty stoked about picking her out of the crowd when I didn't even know she was running. I was so lucky to see so many friends and runners, but the absolute best part was seeing my cousins Emily and Christina run with their dad. Our family is pretty awesome and we all wore these "Team Gallo" shirts that my uncle had his friend make:
My family was lucky to have near perfect running weather

I don't mess around when I say I'm getting dressed up to cheer on runners!

Back of the shirts reads "Family Matters"
Tons of random people cheered for my cousins and uncle just because of the shirts. I even heard one lady yell "I love your wine!" Haha!

In the haste of running out the door that morning I had accidentally left behind the poster I had made. Luckily my aunt brought it with her to mile 9.5 and said it was a big hit with a lot of the runners. 
 I also had a stroke of luck when I spotted a Capital Bikeshare rental right next to the race course in Columbia Heights. I grabbed a bike and was able to catch up with my family several times throughout the course and then just returned the bike at the finish line near the Stadium Armory metro. Congrats to my cousin Emily on her first half marathon! She ended up finishing with an awesome time of 2:10. 
Emily, Uncle Steve, and Christina

I'm lucky to have such a wonderful family. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Generations of Strong Women

I haven't posted in a while, but as I gathered motivation from the strong women in my family this morning I logged on to blogger only to find that this is my 100th post, and I couldn't be more proud of the topic.

This post is in honor of my mom for running her first race ever, my great grandmother who is fiercely battling a truly devastating disease--Alzheimer's, and my cousin who is traveling to DC next week to run her first half-marathon.

If you've ever met my family, you know that we have an overwhelming ratio of women to men. Many of them have red hair and are yes, stereotypically stubborn and feisty. However, they are also wildly successful, frequently independent, have resilient souls, and are nurturing caretakers. They are lawyers, teachers, firefighters, realtors, grad students, wives, mothers, and most of all friends. 

This morning my mom ran her first race ever, The Pasco Challenge 5k to raise money for Alzheimer's research. She was nervous about completing it, but I knew she would be fine. When she called after the race and told me she did the entire 3.1 miles without stopping to walk I could hear the happiness in her voice and I have honestly never been so proud. She pushed herself to do something outside of her comfort zone and succeeded. In the process she helped contribute to research for a disease that hits close to home. I only wish I could have been there at the finish line cheering her on.
My mom at her first 5-k

Next weekend I have the privilege of cheering on my cousin as she runs her first half marathon (the RnR National Half Marathon on St. Patrick's day) with her sister and dad. You should have no doubt that I'll be decked out in Green sparkles and waving some ridiculous poster for all the runners. I hope I can come up with something as funny as the other spectator signs I've seen throughout my races.

I am honored to be a part of the women in my family. They impress and inspire to me to no end. Congratulations, mom! 

Looking at old photos with Grandma.
Love you, mom!
My mom with my great-grandmother