Posts Tagged ‘marathon’

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With more than 330 disabled athletes  – in 150 wheelchairs, the TCS NYC Marathon has the largest fields of athletes with disabilities of any race in the world.  As part of our partnership with Runners World for this year’s marathon Amy Freeze caught up a New Yorker who has done more than 30 marathons on two wheels.

With arms that barely function and legs of diminished strength, Bill Reilly must use steady kicks in small motions to move his chair. What seems like a method against the odds – is actually the inspiration of an endurance athlete.

He’s become so familiar racing through the boroughs, the crowd gave him a nick name explains his guide Harold Chayefsky. “He’s famous on the course. They approve and they scream and they know him on the course after 25 years or so.”

“Backwards Bill,” is the nickname of Bill Reilly who has Cerbal Palsey yet claims nothing – not even training for 26.2 miles – to be difficult. He takes a trip in 1.5 hours to get weekly workout in every Saturday  with his team.

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He meets up with his Achilles Team Guides – and they simulate the steering and breaking they will do on race day – where downhills can take them to a 7 minute pace amongst their 10 minute pace.  On the course when runners are shoulder to shoulder on the course,  “First ave is tricky and in harlem some of the hills are tricky and 59th street brigdge…” Harold explains.

His never give up and never give in attitude comes from his family –

“Started with his mom – his mom they wanted to put him away – his mother said no he’s my son and I’m going to make him grow and productive.”  It’s the same  message Bill hopes others get from seeing him on race day.

Bill says, “Disabled people you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it!”

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NBA Basketball Pro Amare Stoudemire is not the only athlete in his family –  his wife and mother of their 4 children is taking on the TCS NYC Marathon this year.  Amy Freeze joined his her for a run in Central Park to hear about her training.

Athletics is nothing new for their family but – now the spotlight is on Alexis Stoudemire  – who is literally turning in to a  a marathoning mom! I have four children ages 9 8 6 and 16 months… I take the kids to school and then I’m running literally running after wards,” says Alexis.

Her training includes weekend training runs including all the ins and outs of marathoning from chaffing to goos. It’s a brand new sport mixed in with her duties as a supportive wife and doting mother – she’s pounding the pavement to help others!

 “My gf amber sabith whos husband plays for the ny Yankees signed me up!” Alexis said.  To run for charity!  What started as a way to raise money for the Sabitha’s inner city youth charity became a Bucket list item! http://www.pitcch.org/

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Alexis was an athlete growing up – but that was before babies and being and adult life took over! Now, she admits training is tough! “Its one of the hardest things ive ever done the discipline waking up and setting a schedule – figuring out when I can run.”

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After years on the sidelines encouraging Amare – she says her husband has become her biggest cheerleader – Watching over the kids while she does long runs on Sundays – and of course he gives her recovery tips!  “He knows how to recover rest and taught me to ice espon massage eat correctly have to recover –enough rest!”  And it’s all paying off!

Alexis said “I feel good about myself and I feel lean and healthy!!  It’s something that i’ve noever done before so that is the joy I’m getting out of it!

Goodluck – see you at the startline Alexis AMY FREEZE & TEAM ABC7

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Thought I'd kick off my part of the blog with how I started running.  I've asked several runners I know to do the same.  I'll be including their stories in separate profiles.  Please share your story of how you were Raised to Run!

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Amy Freeze covering the running community in NYC's Central Park in 2012

Everybody has a story about how they started running as a sport. Mine started young. I began running road races when I was 8 years old growing up in Southern Indiana. My father Bill Freeze would get up on Saturday mornings and enter the local races of the 1980s. His example and love for running is why I am a runner today. He started taking my sisters and me along with him to races from the time we were in strollers.  

At first, we ran the kids “fun runs.” Looking back, I still think there was an energy and excitement to those Saturday mornings that is better than any party or concert or club. Plus, a race was my first brush with fame!  I remember meeting a local TV news anchor, the beautiful Jackie Hays (now retired from WAVE-TV) in Louisville.  She was so nice and even took a photo with us.  After years of running with my age group, I eventually got a number and joined my Dad in the 5Ks… and then 10Ks… and then my first Mini Marathon in 1983. It was such a thrill to run along side my Dad in the races. I grew up loving to run. In a time where there were not many sports for girls, I was taught a love of physical fitness that I have had my entire life. 


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My Dad was usually a “middle of the packer” but that didn’t keep him for admiring the guys that won the races. He met many of them and had his photo with them. And for many years, a personally autographed poster of Bill Rodgers hung in my father’s home office.  “Boston Billy” is still the only American born (Hartford, CT) US Citizen to have won the NYC Marathon.  I think I knew his name before I was able to write my own!

 

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Bill Rodgers 1979 NYC Marathon

Rodgers was the King of the Marathon boom of the 70s. Track & Field News ranked Rodgers #1 in the world in the marathon in 1975, 1977 and 1979. Of the 59 marathons Rodgers ran, 28 were run under 2:15. In all he won 22 marathons in his career.  My dad tells the story of meeting Bill Rodgers in the early 1980s in Louisville KY at a Cherokee Road Runners 10K Race in Iroquois Park — where Rodgers actually placed 2nd.  He finished behind a young man in his 20s.  When asked why he lost, Rodgers replied, “this is a sport of fitness and he was fitter than I was today.”

The summer after my first Mini Marathon my Dad sent me to camp to learn how to run better.  I attended a running camp put on by the legendary Swag Hartel.

 

Rare Video of Swag Hartel in 1983 Mini Marathon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O56dWHXroew

At Swag's running camp, I joined other preteens learning form, how to run sprints, drinking just enough water before races and how to chose the right shoes. I still think about the tips Swag taught me during that camp:

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Form – holding my fists gentle enough to carry an egg!
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Sprints – sprints can be incorporated into any run… it’s called tempo training

  • Water- drink the day before a race, sip on race day

  • Shoes- ALWAYS get them at a Running Store so you have the right size

I ran Middle School and then High School Cross Country with my Coach Robert Calbert.  We traveled all over the State of Indiana to attend meets. I loved running and my teammates.  When I was a senior, two of my sisters and I made up half of our high school cross country team.  I didn't win many races but looking back, the most important victory was learning to run.

AmyhighschoolfinishAmy Freeze crossing the finish line in a JHS Cross Country Meet

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Running is a habit that I have had throughout my life.  Doing it I have found some of my fondest friends.  Training for races, I have learned to cope and endure.  Competing I have been able to travel and see great places.  And running has given me humility time and time again.   

“If you run enough marathons, you’ll learn that the race can humble you.  If you’ve been humbled, you can go on to greater glories.”

Bill Rodgers 

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By Meteorologist Amy Freeze

on Twitter  Amy Freeze

Raised to Run: Josh Cox

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Running
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COXJosh Cox, the 50k American Record Holder (31 miles), is a 4-time US Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier and 3-time US National Team member. In 2009 and 2011 his 50k was the fastest in the world, the latter effort was the second fastest in history, and missed the world record by a scant 7 seconds. Cox starred on ABC’s Bachelorette show and currently offers his professional perspective for NBC Universal’s marathon broadcasts. You can get tips, giveaways and be inspired by following him on Twitter and Facebook

Josh Cox is one fast, cool runner. I remember the first time I met him.  He came to visit the TV studios before the Chicago Marathon.  We talked about his high altitude training in Mammoth Lakes, CA and how he would take "natural ice baths" in the freezing cold waters of local creeks after runs.  Josh is easy to talk to about running and he's a curious guy who was interested in the weather.  I thought I'd give him a challenge in front of the green screen – but then again, is there anything a quick guy like him can't do?!  (See photo at the end of this artile of Josh in front of the weather wall!)  As you might imagine, he was a natural and has gone on to have some assignments of his own calling races on TV Broadcasts!  Since then, I've seen Josh race, met his beautiful family and shared time with him at the expo talking to other runners about race preparation.  His life on the run is motivational to me in more ways than one! For this year's TEAMABC7 blog Josh took time to answer some of my questions about his current career and shared insight on how he was "Raised to Run."  

AMY FREEZE:  JoshcoxandamyWhy do you run?

JOSH COX:  My first  response is to maximize the gifts entrusted to me, to discover what I can get out of the machine, to push limits. But in reality, running is so much more than that… it’s my outlet, my alone time, my thinking time, my praying time, my creative time, my time away from the calls, social networks and the busyness of life. Running has always served as my daily reset button – my therapist. It’s an easy thing to take for granted but dealing with an injury this year has brought it all back to why I first fell in love with running in high school… I love it for the act itself.


This past January, I injured my foot at mile 8 of the Olympic Trials. I tweaked my left plantar fascia in December, had some therapy, and never thought it would be a limiting factor in the race. The race went out hard, I reached 8 miles in 39:20. At that point, there was a 180 degree turn and in one stride it felt like a knife was thrust into the back of my arch near my heel. With every stride I felt the same pain, for a moment I thought about stopping but I stayed in the race because at this stage in my career I know the Olympic Trials is one of those races you always remember. I finished, in 2:13:50, but it came with a price. I couldn’t walk without limping for a month and couldn’t run for the next two. Initially, all I could think about was the next race, the next marathon I could run where I could pace myself to a PR but eventually I just missed running. Not the intervals, the tempos, the long runs and races but running the roads with friends, running the trails with my music, the feeling of the lungs burning, the heart pounding, legs light in flight and heavy in labor; I missed reaching the mountaintop and taking in the postcard perfect views that serve as the reward for the climb… ElliptigoI missed it all. I don’t intend to romanticize it but I really, truly just missed it, it was like losing a close friend. This was just my third injury since I started running my freshman year in high school back in 1989, so I don’t have too much practice with the whole injury thing. Normally when I have any sort of life issue I head out the door and running seems to bring clarity to just about everything, but when your issue is “you can’t run” – well, it’s problematic. Having an ElliptiGO allowed me to get outside and experience running without the pounding. It was really the only thing that kept me sane.

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AMY FREEZE: How did u start running?  Did someone or some event trigger your running?

JOSH COX:  I was a soccer player, I started playing year round in 5th grade. My first race, the first race that mattered anyway, was that same year, the Presidential Fitness Testing. This year, the sixth graders were the first to go. When I heard the result I was mortified, a girl had beaten all the boys, but that wasn’t the bad part, the bad part was the girl was my sister, she took first place in 7:15. 

I grew up in a family of six kids – 3 older sisters, and 2 younger brothers. Our family was divided, girls had one bathroom, guys had another, girls had certain chores, guys had the others. My sister, Merae, is 11 months older than me. Growing up, we were close friends, in that I love you but there’s no way you’re going to beat me at anything sort of way. For a time, our sibling rivalry was intense. This race was about one thing and one thing alone, beating my sister’s time. If I didn’t, life as I knew it would be over. She would own me. The race finally came. We started out on the far side of the field; it felt easy, as starts always do. I made a left turn toward the sandbox, ran off the grass and onto the blacktop, and heard someone was shouting from the street, “Goooooooooo, Josh!”

JoshamyatxpoI looked to my right and saw my mom’s large brown station wagon; she was right outside the chain-linked fence. She came to watch me race. I still have no idea how she knew what time we’d be running, but she was there. I was leading but we were only 30 seconds in, lots of race left. There I was – all 53 pounds of mean, lean, ten year old soccer playing machine – tearing around the sandbox and soccer fields. Faster… faster… faster…  head down, arms pumping, knees driving, feet pounding. I finished in 6:05.  I was exhausted but excited. I gave my mom the thumbs up.

We returned to class and after fifteen minutes or so the secretary came on the PA system, “Congratulations to Joshua Cox for setting a new school record in the mile this morning, he ran 6:05. Great job.”  My buddy Mike patted me on the back. I was all smiles, not because I broke the record, and not because the secretary announced my time over the PA, but because I knew my sister was in the next room over and had just found out she was not faster than me.

When I got home that day I was as gracious as a 10 year old could be to his older sister. Mainly, I just smiled a lot, Merae was actually impressed and told me good job. For years I had dreams of playing professional soccer but I soon realized running was the road to take.

AMY FREEZE:  What are your current running habits – are you training for a race?

JOSH COX:  I’m currently in the base building phase of training; a good base is the foundation for everything we do. Everyone wants to know the secret to running fast, and certainly there are lots of tips, specific workouts and diet but if you want one tip it’s this: lace ‘em up and get out the door for weeks, months and years and you’ll start reaching your potential. The truth is, most of us don't need more information & inspiration, we need more implementation & perspiration. We know what we need to do, we just need to do it.

As far as races go, I’d like to run another marathon PR (aren’t we all), and would like to make a run at the World Records for the 50k, 50 mile and 100k – I’d like to do all that in the next two years.

AMY FREEZE:  What’s your most favorite running/race experience? When/Where, etc.

JOSH COX:  I’d have to say representing the United States is always a huge honor, I’ve had the privilege on a few occasions and there’s something humbling and incredibly awesome about representing a nation. I always enjoy the major marathons, Mary Wittenberg and the entire NYRR crew put on amazing events at all their races, and I love the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series, they’re relentless in their pursuit of providing a fabulous race day experience. On a personal level, I love getting really fit and running for hours on the trails near our home in Mammoth Lakes, California. It’s a runner’s paradise.

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AMY FREEZE:  How do you overcome challenges in your running life – when you hit the wall, when injury strikes, when your life gets busy and it’s hard to get a run in, and all the other obstacles of life — what helps you keep running!

JOSH COX:  Obstacles: no one wants them but they’re a fact of life. Tough times are transformational, either for better or worse, and we each have the power to choose which path we take. Successful people learn from their mistakes, they get better not bitter. My biggest breakthroughs have always come on the heels of my toughest times and greatest disappointments. Now when dark times come, in running or in life, I see it as God’s way of preparing me for something bigger, something better. It’s in the tough times that we’re molded and shaped into the men and women we’re destined to become.

With respect to working out: don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others, be better than you were yesterday, be the best you, you can be. Don’t let being short on time keep you from working out, it’s not an all or nothing proposition. The shortest workout is infinitely better than no workout. Make your daily workout a priority, an appointment you keep everyday. Good health is the greatest gift we can give ourselves; without it we can’t enjoy anything else.

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Thanks Josh! See you… on the Run!  Check out Josh’s Gear Bag:

Favorite shoe: K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light

Long run fuel: Double Latte PowerGels

Water when I’m in NYC: Poland Spring

Recovery: CEP Compression

Watch: Garmin

Headphones: Polk UltraFit

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By Amy Freeze

DianaWatching someone on TV can make them seem invincible.  Well, Diana Williams is exactly the same in real life.  I’ve known her a much shorter time than all of her viewers in my time here at WABC-TV.  But what I do know, is that there is no distance she won’t go to be a friend, a light, and a motivation to others!  Last October I got to see her in action at one of  her favorite fitness events, the annual Strides Against Breast Cancer.  We will all be back at that event in the coming weeks so if you are out in Central Park or one of the other many Strides locations doing a long run — drop by and cheer on the American Cancer Societ Event.  Diana once had the ING Marathon on her bucket list…. but now, she’s on the Finishers list!  Here’s Diana Williams look back at her 2010 ING Marathon!

DIANA WILLIAMS:  It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I ran the NYC Marathon.  It seems like yesterday.  I can still recall the rigorous long distance runs, and the hours spent discussing  food, potty stops and aches and pains with my training partner and “Live” producer, Lori Schulweis.  Many of my runs were in the suburbs – as I worked my way up from a measly 3 miles to 22 before race day.  I learned so much, about my body and my loving husband (hubs), who would plant bottles of water or a  banana along my running routes.  And if my long run wasn’t a full circle, he would drive 13- 15 or 18 miles to pick me up, occasionally driving by and cheering me on. 


Here’s a link to Diana’s Blog aboout her marathon!

Race day was filled with butterflies.  My son was there, hubs too.  They picked spots along the way to cheer me on.   Good friends came too, including Tara Zimmerman, another Eyewitness News producer. She jumped in around mile 18.   We ran the More Half Marathon together the year before and she was welcome company.  She was with me until the final 2 miles—when the adrenaline kicks in and you know you are going to make it across the finish line.        

This year, I am back running again, but no marathon for me.  Instead, a group of us at Eyewitness News are doing a 5k –  the day before the ING NYC Marathon.  I am retracing many of the same training routes I ran before, but dong fewer miles.   The 5-K starts at the U.N., runs across 42nd Street past Grand Central, and then up into Central Park where they are already set up for the marathon the next day.  We get to cross the marathon finish line without running the previous 23 miles.   

It’s just 3.1 miles, but we are taking it seriously.  TEAMABC7 blogger Jason Holder is our training coach.  He recently had us in the park doing a simulation run, followed by drills and strides.  Tara is running with me again, and rather than distance, we have set time goals for ourselves.  I don’t know if I will run another Marathon, but I have a great appreciation for those who do and an understanding of the commitment involved, not just for the runners, but their families too. 

Best of luck to everyone on race day.   And don’t forget to look for TEAMABC7 both at the 5k and on Marathon day.  We will be tweeting and facebooking and looking to hear about your run! 

By the way, Lisa Goldberg was my food coach.  Yes, food (fuel) really matters, especially for first timers.  Her information:  Lisa Goldberg MS,CNS, CDN  President, HealthCoach LLC
Phone 212-920-0070 www.HealthCoach-Lisa.com  HER BLOG             

Keep up with Diana on the run … Diana on Twitter

By Amy Freeze

Happy Birthday TODAY to my sweet friend Maree Chavez

She is the kind of person that not only INSPIRES adventure.  

SHE IS the one that you CAN COUNT on to SHOW UP! 

Maree is my middle of the night, early in the morning, over fire, through the mud, and even with a broken pinky toe – running partner!  We have run many races together including the NYC Marathon in 2002 and the Philadelphia Marathon.  Maree is a wife, mother, business owner and a marathoner that I look up to and admire!

 

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Amy and Maree WARRIOR DASH

 

I met Maree through my sister Jessica when I was living in Denver, Colorado in 1998. I actually went to her salon HAIRPEOPLE for a haircut and we’ve been friends ever since. I liked her instantly.  She has a lovely way about her – a warm smile and just a glowy personality altogether. Maree and I ran together in races in Denver.  We did training runs together at sunrise up at Denver’s Red Rocks Ampitheatre.  Every year for 10 years she showed up at the Miles to Fight Melanoma Race I hosted.  We ran in the dark of night together at Cherry Creek Park while the rest of the city slept! We’ve had dozens of adventures. And SHE WAS THERE for my very first NYC Marathon


and despite a broken toe, she ran alongside me for half the race. And while she was writing for Women’s Magazine I asked her to join a MEDIA RELAY TEAM for the Outward Bound Relay… our team ran 185 miles in 24 hours. Yep. She is the kind of person that not only INSPIRES adventure.  SHE IS the one that you CAN COUNT on to SHOW UP!   One of my favorite stories was the time we were wanting to do something “different” so I looked up online an obstacle course and we drove 90 minutes to run in a homegrown cross country race over boulders, through a creek, used ropes to climb an embankment (oh, and we paid them to do it!)  Another good one was while I was living in Chicago we signed up for the Warrior Dash – where we ran through fire and crawled through mud. You get the idea.  She rocks.

I hope you know someone like Maree too.  They are more than running partners. They are your friends… even when you are running miles apart!  Here’s more about how she is “Raised to Run!”

 

Amy and Maree Philadelphia Marathon 2005

Amy and Maree Philly Marathon

 

AMY FREEZE Why do you run, bike, workout?  

MAREEE CHAVEZ  It’s a way of life. I love getting up in the  morning before the sun rises and getting that part of my day taken care of.

AMY FREEZE How did u start running?

MAREE CHAVEZ  I started running in high school, but I didn’t start really running until I started training with friends and meeting people who loved it as much as I did. It then became more about the fun of training and not really the ‘race’ itself.

AMY FREEZE What are your current running habits – are you training for a race?

MAREE CHAVEZ I have slowed down on running at this stage due to hip issues. I am still able to ride bikes, as it is more ‘forgiving’ on MY body:)

AMY FREEZE What’s your most favorite running/race experience?

MAREE CHAVEZ My first marathon! Washington DC’s Marine Corp. Marathon. 10 of us trained together and hopped on a plane together to do the race. It was so fun having a destination and doing it with others. I had never been to our Nation’s Capital, so it was a great ‘tour’ as we ran past all of the monuments.

AMY FREEZE How do you overcome challenges in your running life – when you hit the wall, when injury strikes, when your life gets busy and it’s hard to get a run in, and all the other obstacles of life — what helps you keep running! 

MAREE CHAVEZ Having had a taste of the satisfaction of how it FEELS to accomplish the goal of a particular race, keeps me going. It’s the fact that it IS so hard and one does sacrifice a lot to get the training in–it’s not easy and it’s up to ONESELF to put the work in. It’s about the feeling…not the medal.

If you are ever in Denver, check out Maree’s Favorite Workout Spot Kinetic Fitness Studio in Cherry Creek!

 

Amy and Maree NYC Marathon 2002

Amy and Maree NYC Marathon 2002
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Deirdre, Amy, Maree NYC Post Race

 By Amy Freeze