Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Run Because.......

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas Day! I am in Montana enjoying some time with my family. The weather is cold, foggy, and snowy but that did not stop me today going for a run. Yesterday I ran in the local gym on the treadmill and thanks to my iPod I made it through 10 miles on the treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill and I really don’t like the cold. Today it is about 20 degrees in Montana. I really didn’t have an option today except to run outside. Hesitantly, I begin the preparation process for the cold run that I plan on embarking on. My dad, mom, and sister all watch me put layers of clothes on. I have three shirts, a jacket, gloves, headband over ears, and full face hat (that I mostly use for riding but came in handy today). My dad comments that I have to go through a lot of work just to get ready to run. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to last in the cold but was hoping to go 6 miles. I was reluctant to step outside but forced myself out the door. As I began my run I didn’t feel the cold or dampness at all. I actually felt really good. Then about 10 minutes into my run I realized the beauty around me. It was amazing! Yes, this is why I run. I love running in unfamiliar places and I love taking in the beauty around me. As I kept running I was amazed by the beauty of the snow, the trees, the fog, the sound of the crunch of snow under my feet, the snow falling from the trees….it was all so beautiful. It reminds me why I love to run. Before my run I didn’t want to go and now I have pictures in my head that I will never forget. The beauty of my run today takes me back to a different kind of beauty at my first marathon. The Maui Marathon was the first marathon I completed. What a beautiful thing to run along the coast of Maui and see whales playing right off shore! How many people can say they have seen that beauty? The 50-mile run I did in San Francisco’s Headlands Park was amazing for its beauty. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done but the things I saw on that run will never leave my memory. Running by the river with my dog Tigger in Atlanta was always beautiful and a great run. Running in New Jersey and seeing deer as we ran was another great sight to see. I have so many great memories of my runs throughout the years. I absolutely love to run and some of my best runs were when I really didn’t want to go at first like today!
Today was a short run but an Epic run because it reminded me why I run. I run because……….

I run because I see beautiful things most people NEVER get to see and enjoy like I do on a run.
I run because of the way it makes me feel when I am done.
I run because it keeps me healthy.
I run because it keeps me sane.
I run because it allows me to eat Twizzlers.
I run because it challenges me ON every run!
I run because it takes me to new places I would never see from a car.
I run because my dogs love to run.
I run because it helps me think clearly.
I run because I get to meet so many great people that also love to run.
I run because I LOVE TO RUN!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Run with a group, have fun, and achieve your goals

Rockin Runners Henderson Group

These are some emails I received from some of our Rockin Runners after they ran the marathon. If you ever considered running with a group The Rockin Runners Henderson group is the one you should run with! We have a great group of people and two great coaches! We start running together again in January so come run with us!

From Margaret:

My Dearest Torturer! I say that lovingly you know Words alone cannot express the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I crossed that finish line, I wanted to cry but held back. Six months ago I decided to try to run the marathon and in doing so I knew that I needed expert training to help me accomplish this huge goal, so I told my husband that I was going to join a training group to help me get through it. At first I sort of balked at the price, but the the price that I paid is nothing compared to the invaluable coaching I received from you and Cyndee. I know for a fact that if it weren't for all the time you two put into our little group I would not have finished the way I did. I'm walking today and I went to work, sore but a good sore! Annnddd to top it off, I finished in 4:15!!! I did have a little set back between miles 22 - 25 but I was determined to finish this race running and went back to all the little things that you had coached us on, (let gravity work for you!!!) BEST advise ever. I had 3 goals in mind when I decided I was going to do this: 1. Finish the race healthy 2. Not come in last 3. and finish under 4:50, WOW, THANKS to you ladies I accomplished all 3!!! I am still beaming with pride that I accomplished this and to think 25 years ago I would have never considered taking this on. I am so grateful for having come across some of the best people, I've made such good new friends and will continue on this running journey all thanks to the great coaching. Yes I am still considering a sprint! So many, many heartfelt thanks to you! Thank you Cyndee for showing up some where along the route, I am in my own little running world and I hear dogs barking and the first thing that came to my mind is where is Trigger??? LOL and there he is with his buddy, and Cyndee what a great lift, I think you need to cut them back on the pupiccinos (sp?) lol. Anyway, Here's a big heartfelt THANK YOU and look forward to training with you in the future!!


And yet another from Stacy


Thank you for all the hard work you have done to train us!! You will never know how much this has meant to me and Krista. I appreciate all your encouragement, and all your knowledge that you have tried to pass to us all!

Thank you for all your help at the gym, I believe that helped to make me stronger and cut that ten minutes off my time.

It has really been a pleasure getting to know you.

Luv, Kisses & Blessings,


Another from Katie

Dear Cyndee, Nancy and Josh,

Thank you so much for all of your training, support and stretching over the past few months. It was so amazing to go into my first 1/2 marathon feeling completely confident of my ability and finishing bang-on my anticipated time (2:06 - next year sub 1:59!). I can't wait to start training with you again in January and am already planning on my 1/2 marathon schedule for next year. This was such a fun experience and I'm so grateful to the three of you for making it so!

Thank you, thank you!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Leilani's first half marathon CAN do it and you did!

Three and a half years ago, I went through something traumatic…I became a
statistic. After 10 years of marriage, I found myself divorced. I read somewhere that when you are at your lowest point, you discover what you are made of…this holds true for me. Exercise and endurance sports was not only an instrumental part of my emotional recovery and healing, but it brought back energy and fitness I had not seen in years. Exercising is now a part of my life and I love it. Last year, I made the decision to move to Las Vegas to get a new start on life and be closer to family. It was here that I was blessed to meet my trainer and coach, Cyndee Platko. Working out with her has definitely brought out the best in me.

What attracted me to choosing her as my trainer was her love for endurance sports…something that I now have a deep interest in continuing to do. Her experience as an incredible triathlete was another big reason for wanting to work with her. I did my first Olympic distance triathlon in 2009, the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona. After this event, I experienced the beginning stages of plantar fasciitis. I could not run more than 10 minutes without my feet hurting. After months of physical therapy, proper stretching, and exercise I finally got better. I told her that I wanted to challenge myself and do the Las Vegas Half Marathon. Not only was my goal to finish, but my ultimate goal was to finish it pain free. The farthest distance I had ever run was six miles, so 13.1 was a huge goal for me. Without hesitation, Cyndee took me under her wing and conditioned me run the distance. Coupled with strength training, she stretched my abilities in ways I did not know were possible. I also became toned in areas I did not know were toned. In fact, it took looking at pictures of myself to realize that I now have muscles! What a beautiful thing! What I love and respect most about Cyndee is that she is a straight shooter and will always tell me how it is…no fluff (but with love her in her heart). Her honestly and dedication in helping me reach my goals has made me a better person.

As part of my training, she introduced me to Rockin’ Runners. By nature, I am a social butterfly, so this was a perfect fit! However, I have to admit, waking up before daylight to meet with the group at 5:30 am during the summer was sometimes a struggle because I am NOT a morning person. But, the reward and feeling of accomplishment was so worth it! Through this running group, I had the blessing of meeting so many amazing people such as Coach Nancy who is another incredible triathlete. Her energy, passion, and sincere love of helping people become better in all facets of life made it such a pleasure to work with her. The best part of working with Nancy was all of the stretch sessions she provided, which I believe to be instrumental in helping me to perform better during my runs. Thank you for stretching me, Nancy…it hurt so good!

The best part of training with Cyndee, Nancy, and the team was creating new friendships that I know will last for a life time. Through this experience, I met Dalia and Tiffany, two incredible women that I am blessed to call my friends. I was honored to cross the finish line with them at the half marathon.

I truly believe that things do happen for a reason. Though I am still part of the statistic, my journey has brought me many blessings in disguise. I am so proud of what I just accomplished….I crossed the finish line and completed my first half marathon! The best part is that I finished it pain free! I now know this is exactly where I am supposed to be…my life could not be any better.

Thank you, Coach Cyndee! Thank you, Coach Nancy! Thank you, Rockin’ Runners!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nancy's Perspective

I have coached Nancy Dickenson for almost 2 years now. She is an amazing athlete. It has been great to coach an athlete as talented as her. This year she had a great year qualifying for and competing in The National Long Course Triathlon in October. At nationals she qualified for Worlds Long Course which will be held here in Vegas in 2011. Nancy happens to be a great personal trainer at LVAC Central location. About 6 months ago I asked her to help me coach a running group in Henderson called The Rockin Runners. Here is her perspective on the group, which is the best running group around...............
Last Summer I received a serious distress text message from my Coach/respected Colleague, Cyndee Platko..."I need your help."

Anything for you! I of course replied. Little did I know that my attempt to GIVE Cyndee help turned out to be one of the best coaching experiences I've ever RECEIVED. Cyndee asked me to co-coach the Henderson location Rockin Runners of the Athlete's Foot shoe store. The program, intended to be a beginner run/walk training group for the Las Vegas Marathon; was in reality a multidimensional wellness learning program full of camaraderie and the shared love for endurance. I was in heaven.

Upon entering the group as a new coach, I was so fortunate to walk right into Cyndee's exceptional structure and expertise in training for one's first Half/Full Marathon. Her extensive background in endurance training made me utterly confident that we would guide these brave new run/walkers in the right direction. I felt as though I hit the jackpot in a coaching partnership as Cyndee and I shared a similar vision for our loyal people, though we were able to give our own independent perspectives on endurance training.

Oh and our loyal people!....I may have been the coach, but boy did I learn a LOT from our runners in every facet. Everyone so hard working and so dedicated on a level so inspiring to say the least. Smiling faces at 5am every Saturday morning...voluntarily...that is good character. And everyone exhibited that love (except for when I stretched you). I feel so rich to have been chosen to guide such character in their endurance endeavors.

I want to thank Cyndee, the Athlete's Foot, Biomechanics of Las Vegas, and especially our runners for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for your faith in my coaching abilities. Thank you for your reciprocated hard work. Thank you for your love of running! Consider me endlessly dedicated to your wellness and endurance goals!

Much love,
Nancy Dickinson

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race Day Done! Great Job Everyone!

About year ago Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas asked me if I wanted to coach a running group called the Rockin Runners in Henderson. I kept saying, "I really don't have time." He kept asking, and reluctantly I said yes. Today I am very grateful I did say yes. It is a great feeling to see the people from the group finish their first half and full marathon. In June we started training for the Las Vegas Marathon. I asked one of my elite athletes that I coach and a personal trainer, Nancy to help me coach the group. She has proven to be an asset to the group. Together we have coached the group to run the Rock and Roll Marathon that took place today. Nancy ran the half race today and was the first one from our group to finish. She finished in an unofficial time of 1:34. She did outstanding and now is training for the Rock and Roll Arizona full marathon in January.

I live about 3 miles from the race so I dropped a few people off in the morning and parked my car at the Mandalay Bay. Last year I have a very funny story of my marathon experience. If you know me, you know the story. I have an old blog post about it if you want to read it. Last year the course once again went directly in front of my house. I stopped at mile 23 and went home....I know that's lame but I did it. I decided I can never run this race since it goes in front of my house. The temptation is too much. This year I wanted to cheer on the full marathon people so I ran 3 miles from the Mandalay Bay to my house. Does that count for a full? I ran 23 last year and the 3 that I missed last year I got in this year........nice try!
As I was running from Mandalay Bay to my house I saw several people that I know. I saw Chris who was running a pretty good pace. He is a triathlete that I know that competes in Ironman races. I am guessing he had to have finished in 3:30 or so but not sure. Great job Chris!

Next I see Toshie who is an amazing runner. She did the 50 mile run last year in something like 9 hours! 26.2 is no problem for her.

Then Stacey who runs with our Henderson group. She wants to finish sub 4 hr and she did it finishing in 3:53. Great job Stacey!
I ran home and got my dogs Daisy and Tigger and went back out to the course to see if I could spot anyone else. Daisy wanted to run with everyone and was barking like crazy and Margaret noticed us! She runs with us in Henderson too. She was doing excellent. I think she finished in 4:15. By that time I had to take my mutts for a short run and head home.
Facebook is a wonderful thing. I saw pictures on their of Leilani, Dalia, Ronnie, and Tiffany after the race. They are all looking great after their 13.1 run! Their pictures are at the top of this. For most of the group this was their first half or full marathon. When you accomplish something like that the feeling is amazing.
I am so glad to be a small part of helping people accomplish their goals. It is so rewarding to see people achieve a goal they have worked so hard for.

We will start our running group back up after the New Year. If you want a group to run with then we have a great group of people! Here is a photo of our last run before the marathon!