Tunnel To Towers: Post Run

In the last nine months I’ve come so far with changes in my lifestyle.  I’m more active, pay more attention to what I eat and trying to enjoy more of what life has to offer.  Never did I imagine that I would be apart of something so amazing as the Tunnel To Towers 5K.

I was lucky enough to participate in this extraordinary event to honor many firefighters who gave their life on 9/11.  People of all ages and sizes were involved and the kindess of strangers reminded me of the days after 9/11.  Everyone was there for the same purpose, to never forget.

Our Team: Dana, Kevin, Me and Greg

Our Team: Dana, Kevin, Me and Greg

30,000+ people strong we ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and along the waterway behind the World Trade Center. It took approximately 30 minutes to get to the start line from when Mayor Rudy Guiliani started the race – there were that many people!  As you turned the corner to enter the tunnel Chuck Schmumer was there to slap your hand.  As we entered the tunnel the crowd chanted “USA, USA” over and over again.

The tunnel was very hot since there was no fresh air in between the 2 miles of openings but I kept thinking to myself, “if a man ran through here with 75 lbs. of gear I have no excuse”.  We ran by groups of military that kept together behind their flag, a group of NYCD wearing their gas masks and MANY firefighters in full gear.  You couldn’t help but be in awe.

The gas masks

The gas masks

As we emerged from the tunnel over 300 firefighters in their blues lined the street holding banners of those who died.  Runners stopped to shake their hands in gratitude for what they did that day and everyday.  To our left were military holding American flags.  As we ran along the waterfront behind the WTC there were several school bands and cheerleaders pushing us to keep going.  Many people lined the streets just to watch.

Emerging from the tunnel: Firefighters with banners on the right

Emerging from the tunnel: Firefighters with banners on the right

Emerging from the tunnel: Flags lined the street on the left

Emerging from the tunnel: Flags lined the street on the left

I was truly humbled by the amount of runners and walkers that came together to support a great city.

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Here is a follow up article and video from NYC’s CBS…

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/09/29/stephen-siller-tunnel-to-towers-run-tens-of-thousands-honor-firefighters-in-annual-race/

Tunnel To Towers

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This Sunday I will be doing my first Tunnel To Towers 5K in NYC.  I am beyond excited and proud to run in honor of the brave who ran into the World Trade Center towers while everyone was trying to get out.

The route traces the run firefighter Stephen Siller took to get to the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Running from Brooklyn, through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero in full gear.

I came across this footage from last year and it gave me chills…

I’ve also been told that soldiers in Afghanistan will be running along with us too.

I believe WCBS will be broadcasting live and you may see me!  I’ll be sure to take as many photos and video as I can to share with you.  Wish me luck!

Suicide Prevention Walk Update

I wanted to give you all an update on the Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention walk that took place this past Saturday.  My team did an amazing job of raising almost $1,500.  Big thanks to Eileen, Kathleen, Kathy, Dennis, Melissa and Jennine for walking.  Even though there was rain the sky did look beautiful.  Thanks to Kathleen for the photos!!

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Dating Sucks: Take 2

dating sucks

I feel like a kid learning to swim by taking a chance and giving up when it doesn’t work out.  Recently, I took a dip in the dating pool again.

I met this super nice and cute guy via Tinder.  Tinder is an app that syncs with your Facebook profile and per recent reports it’s just for hook ups but that’s not what I’m looking for.

At any rate, he was Irish and a chef.  Could it get any more perfect for me?!

We spoke for hours on the phone and I felt I may have had a connection.  We set a date and admittedly this was the first date I was ever really nervous for.  What if there’s no connection after talking?  What if I’m not his type or vice versa?  So many what if’s entered my mind.  Luckily, I felt an instant attraction and the date couldn’t have been any better.

The signs were all there that he was into me as well.   As the days went on the communication was less and less.  I tried to get him to schedule another date but that fell flat.  In the end I wished him well because I assumed we weren’t a match.  It was a bummer for me because I thought he was nicer than many guys I’ve dated but maybe him living an hour away was the deal breaker!?

I’ve come to learn that guys tend to lead women on because they aren’t up front on what they want or don’t want.  Instead of telling me nice things, just tell me you’re not interested.  I’m not a games kinda gal.

Bummed and still single….

Sad News

As many of my Facebook friends know, I have been working hard to raise money for the Out of the Darkness Walk organized by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.  Last year was the first time I had participated.  It was very moving with tributes to too many kids in our area who had taken their own lives, including my brother Sean.

Unfortunately, my Uncle passed away two weeks ago and I must attend a memorial service on the same day to celebrate his life.  While it is important for me to be there for my family during this time I cannot help but want to be at the walk as well.

I am so proud to say that we had organized a team of 12 (up from five last year) and created t-shirts to honor my brother.  The team has also raised more money that I had expected as one of the top five fundraisers.  With the help of many friends and family members I exceeded my goal of $750 as well!

I would like to thank the team: The Coyne’s, The McGackin’s, Melissa, and Janine.  Thank you for raising money, wearing your shirts proudly that day and walking.  I will be thinking of you all on Saturday!

Please consider donating to this great cause that educates our communities to prevent loss of our loved ones:  http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=428347

The t-shirts

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*Big thanks to Kathleen Beck for the design.  Go to www.kskydesign.com for your marketing needs!

Lastly, I strongly urge my readers to become an organ donor if you are not already.  People are losing loved ones because organs are not available.  For more information go to: www.organdonor.gov

I Am A Runner

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We are well into September and the air is cool, the sunrise is later and the sunset is earlier.  The lack of sunlit hours in the day is making it hard to stay motivated.  Part of why I loved running was getting up just before the sunrise so I could see the beauty that many people miss.  Now it’s chilly, dark and the sun doesn’t come up until I would get home from my run.  Womp Womp!

With the changing of the seasons I needed to adjust my strategy.  Running in the middle of the day is ideal but that doesn’t work during the week.  Some days I wouldn’t mind having an unconventional job that allowed me to run during the day but alas my iPhone, nice car and rent doesn’t allow for me to be carefree.

I did discover something interesting this past week while running the 9/11 Memorial Run in Belmar. Since we were to run in silence I left my ear buds at home to pay respect to those who lost their lives.  By doing so, I learned that listening to my own feet pound on the street and the sound of my breath helps me to focus on what I am doing.  I gave it another shot this weekend and boom!  I had a personal record!

I also did not use the C25K app and just ran.  I set visual goals for myself.  For example, I start out on Brown Avenue in Spring Lake and my goal was to run straight through the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club.  Done!  I did a little walk to catch my breath and allowed my body to rest then ran back.  It felt amazing to listen to the sounds around me instead of Pitbull or Pink.

I received a quote today from Dawn that reminds me that even though I’m haven’t run 5 miles, 10 miles, a half marathon or a full that I am a runner:

I often hear someone say I’m not a real running.  We are all runners, some just run faster than others.  I never met a fake runner – Bart Yasso