Wednesday, January 29, 2014

HMF Staff Spotlight: Lisa Butler

Lisa joined our team last year and has brought an influx of energy, optimism and ideas! Lisa is plugged into the local running community, she's following what you're interested in, what you look for in races and training support. She's currently coordinating our new half marathon training program to help runners prepare for the April 6th Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon.

More about Lisa:

Role at HMF:
I have a few different roles at HMF! As the Training Manager, I organize and promote several different training programs throughout the year to help runners prepare for the 5K distance all the way up to completing a marathon. I also try to partner with local businesses as much as I can to host informative clinics for our training groups such as; yoga for runners, strength training, nutrition and injury prevention, to ensure a happy and healthy training experience. I’m also the awards coordinator for HMF and manage many of our medals for our races. It can get a little busy, at times, but I absolutely love being a part of the HMF Team and everything I get to do!

Role on Race Day:
My primary role on race day is to manage the awards ceremony. Till then, I’ll go wherever I’m needed, including setting up, helping with volunteers, passing out t-shirts and answering any questions someone might have.

How long you've been with the foundation:
I’ve worked for the foundation for about 8 months now, but used to volunteer for HMF when I wasn’t running.

Are you a runner, and if so, what's your running style and type:
I am most definitely a runner! I love to run and love the endurance of the marathon best. I’ve completed 8 full marathons, including the Hartford Marathon, in 2011, and used to run anywhere from 40-65+ miles a week when I was training. Now I mostly run for fun, but I did qualify for, and ran, the New York City Marathon in 2013 and will be running the Boston Marathon this April. You won’t usually catch me running on the roads, though. I much prefer to be in the woods, on a trail. I could stay out there for hours. : )

Most challenging race day moments:
I’ve “hit the wall” or “bonked” before and it’s a really helpless feeling! But you use it as a learning experience to look at your training and what might not have worked and why.

Most inspiring race day moments:
Anytime I get to meet or see an athlete with disabilities, I’m inspired. Some of the greatest athletes I know don’t let their disabilities stand in their way or hold them back from reaching their goals.

Favorite post-workout snack:
My favorite post-workout snack is an almond milk protein shake I make with blueberries, a banana, cinnamon and raw cacao. It’s really good for you, but it tastes amazing.

If money was no object, what would be your ideal vacation:
I love to travel! My ideal vacation usually consists of exploring State and National Parks. In fact, I just got back from hiking the Kalalau Trail through the Na Pali Coast State Park in Kauai - a 22 mile trail, out and back, with 10,000 feet of elevation change through breathtaking peaks, to reach the most incredible beach I have ever seen. I was able to complete it as a day hike in just about 13 hours. I’m hoping to take at least one more big trip this year.

What makes you get up in the morning:
Life! Each day is really unique. I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life and to have had so many amazing experiences. I wouldn’t take back any hard lessons I’ve learned and I try not to take anything for granted.

Monday, January 27, 2014

An Ode to the 2013 Hartford Marathon

HMF's Collar Crew are the folks who work year round on the marathon to make it into the world-class event that it has become - we truly couldn't do it without them. Our annual Collar Crew party was last Friday at the Thomas Hooker Brewery. Each year, one of our Collar Crew members, Rick Tillotson, writes a poem and we wanted to share it with everyone this year, as it carries special meaning for us all.

Hartford Marathon 2013
by Rick Tillotson

It’s a tougher year to celebrate the event we just performed,
Knowing that another event ended with so many people harmed,
One day in April the world saw what we already understood,
That it is a lot easier to do evil to this world than it is to do it any good.

But with sails aloft and eyes opened wide, we positioned for the wind,
We knew that to hold back was really to give in,
Take precautions we had to do, more tasks must be done,
But in our hearts we always knew the race must be run.

And run it was, more hearts than ever pounded together as one,
And tears of joy were seen being shed and glistening in the sun,
So here’s to us and those we serve, I’m proud of what we’re worth,
You all are what is best of humankind here on earth.

Anyone interested in joining our Collar Crew - please send us a message on Facebook! We're always looking for great people to join us.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wintertime Training Programs

Cold weather. Short days. Snow. Ice. Treadmills (aka dreadmills). Crowded gyms.

Wintertime is full of excuses for us to skip workouts, and sometimes they get the best of us all. Has the winter forced you or someone you run with into a slump? Have you become a USTA?

usta [use-tuh]
1. The act of having done something in the past.
I usta be a runner. I usta be in shape. I usta love races.
1. Someone who used to be in shape, love races and run regularly.
I haven’t run since the summer. I’m a usta.

We want to help you and your (former) running buddies get your mojo back. We find the winter months can be a particularly good time for us all to find new motivation and we have some couch-to-5K programs to help.

HMF training group
Our training programs run through the year for different skill and goals levels. The first 8-week beginner/intermediate 5K group training programs start this month to prepare for the O’Races (Courthouse O’Putnam 5K, the O’Niantic 5K and Max’s O’Hartford 5K) in March.  The program is designed to get you fit and prepared to make it to the finish line, with great byproducts of weight loss and stress reduction in a fun and motivating group setting! No experience is required, so you might even be able to convince naysayer friends to join you (you know, the ones who will say they can’t run or don’t understand why people run!).

Our coaches help with motivation, pacing and workout plans designed to suit your goals.  Groups meet every Saturday morning for group training sessions and then you continue to build up your endurance on your own throughout the week with provided workout plans.  The hope is to provide the right balance of personal and team motivation to get you moving again. Click here for more information.

Sometimes a set schedule and group of friends is all you need to get back into the swing of things. Workout buddies are great for motivation, ideally providing a good influence on each other to reach training goals.
If you want to go it alone or the craziness of your life schedule just doesn’t allow for training groups or workout buddies, we can help you get to a 5K in 5 weeks with a free “Learn to Run” training program.

We know you can do it, we’ve seen countless examples of people in your shoes who have been so gratified to take up running or retire their USTA title!  Look forward to seeing you out there!