The Daily Mission – Sharing experiences, stories for success in running – Sharing the love!

What is daily mile? has been an incredible community of runners and athletes that I am so happy that I discovered.  It is a place you can post your workouts and keep track of your mileage and efforts, and gear and more!  But more importantly it is a place where you can have “virtual” friends with your same interests, your drive and support you toward your athletic goals and races.  I have truly enjoyed meeting people here online, not knowing if I would ever meet them in person, but getting and giving advice and karma and sharing my love for the sport of running. I love the groups I have joined and the karma I receive from the other athletes out there.  I check in every morning before heading out on the roads for all the added inspiration!

On “DM” (dailymile) they have a mission question every day.  Now and then I participate and share my stories and advice.  This is a collection of my notes and favorite answers to the mission question — a sort of interview with myself…  πŸ™‚ So here it is!

How do you get yourself out of bed on the days that you don’t want to the most? 
1. The dog – my 10 year old “puppy” yellow lab Oakley
2. The scale – it hasn’t gone down lately – THANKS to Christmas cookies!
3. Mileage total on DM for the week = OH YA!
4. Goals = I have a TON of them

If you could tell a younger version of yourself something you know now what would it be (running/biking/training related:)
I would tell myself that all things are possible, don’t get discouraged with not being in the top 10 – keep training hard – and set goals for YOU – not someone else, or someone’s ideal of who you should be. You never know when your day may come and your goals realized beyond belief. Dream your own dreams, play your own game, thank others along the way and take advantage of every coach that offers you advice (whether you take their advice to heart or not). Be gracious and celebrate every victory in racing and training!

 Five years ago, were you a runner/cyclist/triathlete? If not, what do you think THAT person would have thought of this person?
Five years ago I was a runner/cyclist/triathlete and competing obsessively every weekend and year round…. I was in “therapy” with my running and it was my escape. I hit the roads hard and never was good enough for myself. I would never thought that I could give up any of the 3 disciplines of triathlon because it defined me. Who I am today is incredibly healthy, smart and balanced, in life and sports of all kinds. Although I am still pretty obsessed with running and trails, it is with a balance and positive attitude and for me, not an escape from reality. My cancer experience has taught me a lot about what running and athletics does for my psyche and well being and health as a whole and it isn’t just my competitiveness that keeps me driven to do my best.

What is the first race you ever ran? What details do you remember most?
First race I truly remember was my first triathlon when I was a junior in college (1985). I cycled with my friend Glen and he put together a team. I was the only one he knew that was a good swimmer, but biking was truly my strength back then. On race day I swam my leg in the pool at Green Mountain College. It was a small race with only about 25 teams and some individuals. Glen went out on the bike and our runner “Warren Duty” (I have no idea where he is now) —- didn’t show. He was too hung over and I was making calls all over to find out he was still in bed. SO I ran! We fared well and all I could think was that I swam and ran and my fave is the bike! The next year I did the triathlon as an individual and won! 1st woman! There may have only been 5 woman, but still it made a lasting impression and I got some cool schwag! πŸ™‚ It’s all history after that — I was obsessed with triathlons, all three sports and LOVE to win! Just recently I reconnected with my friend Glen on facebook and he is as active as ever! I need to thank him again for getting me into racing! I love it.

What is the biggest sporting adventure you have ever undertaken?
That is tough remembering the 4 Ironmans that I competed in the 90’s (my PR is a 11:51 – and I still remember floating and running a 3:51 marathon truly amazed at myself) :)). Then the CycloCross challenge — riding a mountain bike in thick mud, running up hills with the bike on my shoulder and hurdling through the courses in Colorado were just amazing too. My new challenge – mountain running is truly my favorite and I can’t wait to do my ultra in the fall…
BUT – the biggest adventure would have to be the “Sea to Summit” race I did about 5 years ago – Kayak 11 miles in the channel (watch out the current doesn’t flip you over!) — Bike 90 (ok it was 80 but I got lost — rogue race — markers were hard to read and I took a wrong turn—UGH) and then run 9 miles up the side trails, rocks, boulders to the top of Mt Washington where it was (I swear) 80 mph winds and sleet! I was on the brink of hypothermia, fighting with my ex-husband and lost my “support” person because she couldn’t keep up with me on the ascent through the rocks. We finally found her (she wasn’t too happy with me).
AND I was 2nd woman! 10 hours 36 min 24 sec (took me a while to find that flag at the top!)

Yay! Tough in so many aspects, but a true victory and incredible adventure in my books!

What race, anywhere in the world do you hope to complete one day?
Hawaii Ironman — I came so close to qualifying in my twenties and have completed 4 ironmans, but still have this “crazing” to do Hawaii. Maybe someday.

If you could invite 1 person in the world on a run – who would that be and why? 
Ellen, Oprah, Regis, Jay Leno just for entertainment factor! : ) Or how about Paula Radcliffe, Joan Benoit, Deena Kastor, to get some real running tips and hear their experiences? πŸ™‚ OR Jeremy Camp, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Usher — just because they come along every other day any way?! πŸ™‚

How far do you drive to get to the starting point of most of your runs/swims/rides? 
Most all runs are out my door or where I am staying / visiting. I love discovering new territory but also love my familiar runs. I do drive to group runs (1-3 times a year) – but would ride my bike if possible. I have run to group runs, but then it gets to be a bit much! πŸ™‚ Depends on how desperate I am to get together with the group — which is pretty desperate these days, since I don’t have a regular running partner. Need to recruit my neighbors! πŸ™‚

What is the most awkward thing you’ve done during a race?
Funny trying to think of awkward things that I have done during a race…. So here are the top ones. 
1. Flagged down a French Canadian couple on a motorcycle and begged them to borrow their phone so I could call some one – get directions and get back on course. 
2. Running into a store to buy a couple bananas and a chocolate bar because I was so darn hungry!  The people inside the store stepped aside and let me right up to the register.  I ran in place the whole time, so not to feel like I was taking a break! πŸ™‚
3. Dying to go the bathroom as a woman is tough when there are not many port o potties – and searching for anything to hide behind in the city…. finally found a dumpster!  Whew!  πŸ™‚

What do you say when people tell you your knees are going to give out one day from all the running/cycling/etc?
Do you tell a scholar that their brain will give out from thinking too much? πŸ™‚ I had ACL knee surgery in 2005 and 2 yrs later ran my PR marathon (3:05), 1/2 marathon (1:28) and was faster than ever in my forties. I tell them that the more you exercise your legs the stronger they are…. this coming from a avid, expert alpine skier & ski coach too. Life it too short to stay on the couch! πŸ™‚
A lot of athletes tend to travel quite a bit. How many states (or countries) have you run, biked, or swam in?
I lived in Colorado for a while and love to travel to ski as well as every time I travel for work I run & swim… so that covers all states EXCEPT North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Michigan, Hawaii, Alaska, Mississippi, Alabama & Kentucky. 9 out of the 50 — not so bad to have that on my bucket list… especially Hawaii! πŸ™‚  The furthest away I have been is Washington state – and although I didn’t race there, it was an amazing place to run!
What’s your weakness? Shoes? Shirts? Gadgets? All of the above? 
Jackets (LOVE marathon jackets!) I know they give you a tech shirt, but the jacket really is such a statement. I am glad they are really cool looking too! I don’t think I will ever do a marathon again without buying a jacket, even though after 27 marathons – I own 10 jackets and don’t NEED another one. πŸ™‚ It it truly a point of pride that I love to wear – even for my own internal motivation.
Weakness #2 is gadgets – which is my friend Judy’s fault when she introduced me to the Nike Plus, which I upgraded to the Garmin 405 – which I CAN’T live without and wear everyday. His name is Coach Gary. πŸ™‚ I love my GPS in the car too – her name is “Sarah” after the talking house in Eureka. πŸ™‚
Shoes are a weakness too – but more out of necessity (I need shoes!) πŸ™‚ I hate to call these things weaknesses as they really give me strength! I love all my tech shirts for motivation too — seems as though presto chango I am wonder woman and racing that race all over again. Sounds silly but it’s true! 
 What is your limit on race entry fees? 
I would think this would vary depending on how many “big” races one does in a given year. I remember when I was doing a race every weekend and spending a TON of money…. especially on triathlon entry fees… which were all nearing $100 per race. I would do series that offered the “deal” for multiple entries (VT Sun) and loved that deal and the NETS as well. Marathon entry fees are crazy right now – nearing $200 per race and glad I have only 2-3 / year. I think that $200 a race is a LOT, but because it is a monumental life experience (marathon, World Championships for 1/2 ironman, Ironman etc.) Each of those “ultra” races are truly worth it in the end.
What was your first marathon & what did you wish you knew before running it?
 Montreal 1989 was my “first” – it’s kind of like a first love or a first baby…. πŸ™‚ Very monumental for me. It was so incredible, I remember feeling so great for the first 18 miles and then hitting the wall, but not too bad. I ran a 3;35 and remember in the first 5 miles I was running so fast and smiling and talking to everyone! This guy told me I was crazy and I should slow down. The finish line food was vibrant! Fresh fruit piled high and cases and cases of Labatts Beer. : ) I was INCREDIBLY sore the next day, after dancing and going out to this bar drinking 100 proof Schnapps and watching this German Band play on a rotating bandstand. I remember it all like it was yesterday! πŸ™‚ Especially the fact that I could barely walk the next day (with a tad bit of a headache too – truly a lightweight!) πŸ™‚ I was so proud of my results for a first time marathon and qualifying for Boston! I was a rockstar in my book! What did I wish I knew…. to pace myself early as hard as it may be with all the excitement, a slower pace earlier helps to maintain the pace throughout. (still trying to learn that lesson to date…. LOL
Do you have a post-workout routine? 
My post work out routine varies a little, but I always walk to cool down, stretch (even if a quick stretch – I love the stretch after a run when my muscles are warmed up). I have some water and scope the fridge for what may be looking tasty at the time…. post workout shake of OJ, protein, Shaklee Performance, banana and strawberries (YUM!) — and then post my workout on #dailymile, quickly check Twitter, Facebook and Farmville and then back to work! πŸ™‚

What is your most favorite way to celebrate finishing a race? 
First of all A HUGE hug from my sweetie! Also a fabulous finisher photo as my husband mans the camera and gets some amazing shots to capture the moment. Rest & recoup & celebrate success!

 What was your most memorable moment of 2010? 
 My most memorable moment was the Chicago Marathon 10-10-10! Training through my cancer treatment and running a marathon 2/3 of the way through chemo was truly amazing (even for me!) πŸ™‚ I relish the memory and tell everyone who will listen about my trials, my challenge and then race day! Running in the Wonder Woman costume my sister made, alongside my new best friend Cara (in BatGirl costume also made by sis) — running through CNS issues, cramping, and just sickness throughout to finish in a 3:57 was a true victory! πŸ™‚ My husband’s support and love that day and always kept me strong and my focus never wavered from the goal to FINISH that marathon. The ACS DetermiNation support and colleagues, the Dream Team and just so much more that my blog “The Toughest Marathon of my Life” outlines gives the whole story. ( Looking back now – I feel it was such a high that the lows and lack of motivation, and tiredness are well deserved. πŸ™‚

Being a runner – Do you have any secret ailment or handicap that no one would ever guess you have? Hmmm – not sure these are secret handicaps, but I had ACL reconstruction in 2005, but have come back stronger (I think because I didn’t want it to be a handicap!) and recently I was diagnosed with cancer in July — and although I pushed harder than ever with the Chicago marathon to beat those odds, it can be tough when your health is not 100%. But on the flip side, these things have made me push harder and run stronger in the end… and we shall see what this year has in store — hope to meet all my goals in health & running!

What are your 2011 goals for running & racing?
(full list to follow next week – this is deserving of a blog post, but I am inspired)
1. Run 10 mi plus once a week – preferably a 1/2 marathon once a week!
2. Run my first Ultra (VT 50 Here I COME!)
3. Win my age group in a road race- anywhere, any distance – Random! πŸ™‚
4. Do a triathlon (it has been a while – – not sure what distance)
5. Ride my bike more (once a week after the snow melts)
6. PR – any distance? This one will be TOUGH as my times in the past have been pretty fast (maybe the 10K, maybe 1/2 marathon?)
7. Complete trail races that I haven’t competed in before (Seven Sisters)
8. Boston marathon! Goal: 3:15
9. NYC marathon! Goal: 3:15
10. 1500 miles for the year! A lot easier to track with DM! Yay!
11. 120 miles per month! Ditto (fell so short this month – it was a great push to have that goal!)
12. Run a race with my son Schuyler πŸ™‚
13. Ride a century with my husband Steve. πŸ™‚
14. Build in strength & core workouts to my routine
15. STRETCH & Yoga!
OK – that is it! I think that is enough – at least for now! 
Cheers for a great 2011!!  I are truly on the “road” to success! It is that positive attitude and daily strength that keeps me going?  How about you?  What keeps you going?
Thanks for stopping by — please leave a comment – I love comments!

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.Β  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles.Β 

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