• Della Pierson

Although I started running alone, little by little my family has become involved in one way or another. It’s wonderful to have supportive family members and crazy ones that run races too!


THE HUBS

Dan has been my biggest supporter since my very first 5k, and always swore he would never become a runner. But dangle a Christmas booze-to-booze stop run in front of him and well, he caves! His first 5K was "It’s a Wonderful Run," an annual Christmas run where everyone dresses up and the whole town cheers you on from fun, boozy stops in their front yards. He was a great sport, running as the deranged bunny from A Christmas Story. We had a blast and he got his first medal. Next up was a mini race-cation in Virginia Beach where he completed the 8k and got his second medal. In 2019, he did the Marine Corps 10K in a monsoon and yes, he got another medal. Not bad for a non-runner! Just recently he was overheard serving 8k Kool-Aid to a friend. Ha! How times have changed. If you ask him why he does these races, he’ll tell you without hesitation that it’s FOR THE BLING!!



MOM

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve called my mom, Hubbard (Mother Hubbard) and she’s a good sport about it. She's never raced with me but has been a proud supporter since the start of my running career. In 2016, I ran the Women’s Half in Niagara Falls and dedicated it to my Mom. It’s a great course and Kathrine Switzer is the big draw. I had both my BFF Trish and my mom’s friend Nancy there. We all got to meet Kathrine Switzer at a dinner she hosted, and got to listen to her amazing story of being the first woman to run the Boston marathon. The day of the race we wore home-made Team Hubbard T-shirts and tutus. We were quite a hit! It was great to finish and see everyone cheering for me, including my mom, watching in tears. Thanks Mom, I love you.





NANA AND THE ALBERTA GANG

When I was training for the Chicago marathon I went to Alberta to visit my Grandmother (Nana) for her 95th birthday. We have always been very close and she has supported my running career from it’s beginning. Unfortunately, I had a 20 miler to do while I was there. I plotted my course around a small park near her building and the surrounding long, flat prairie roads. Other family members, my brother and his wife, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins and their kids came to cheer me on. 20 miles is not easy as a solo run and I was grateful when my aunt and uncle found me in the wheat fields, brought me water and supported me from their Prairie Cadillac (half ton truck). When I got back to the park they were all there cheering and it pained me to tell everyone I still had 3 miles to go. I mean, it was agony! But they all hung around until I was officially done and were good sports about wearing the bibs I had made with their names and ages on them, even my uncle who was 69 that year. LOL! It was a great way to celebrate Nana’s birthday. When I could safely walk again, we went out for a family dinner and I ate all the food!



THE NIECES

What could be better than running a "Diva Half Marathon" where you get a tutu to wear for the run, then tiaras and wine at the end? The buff fake firefighters were certainly a highlight, but the best part was running it with my two nieces, Andie and Sarah. AND it was Andie’s very first half marathon. I was so proud to run with these badass women. We took Nana to packet pick up, posed with the firefighters and took a ton of photos. Race day was so much fun and even though it was hot as hell, we had a blast. The nieces made me laugh the whole time with their goofy antics and were such good sports about all my picture taking. Sarah was light-hearted, kept us motivated and moving. We took the required flip off pic at Kilometer 20 when Andie was definitely ready to be done. We had a fabulous finish with all our family cheering at the end! It was a proud, fun day for me and I will never forget it. Andie swore she would never do another half marathon, but as I write this, she has caught the serious bug and has been running a lot. Sarah just had her second adorable kid and is already back running too. I’m trying to serve some triathlon Kool-Aid to them... stay tuned to see how that goes. They both have long athletic careers ahead of them and I’ll probably be running vicariously through them sooner than later, but for now I‘m staying in the game so we can run together again.



J MAN

My nephew Jesse shocked me when he texted me and told me he had started running. I was so excited at the prospect of racing together someday. I asked him if he thought he could do a half marathon and he said, “Of course!” I looked around for a fun half in the Toronto area but the timing was never good. I heard about some Syracuse friends doing the oldest race in North America, "Around the Bay" in Hamilton, Ontario. I told Jesse he had the choice between a 5k or 30k race, and together we decided to train for the 30k. I got him a real training plan and promised to check in to see how his training was going. Unfortunately that winter was horrible and as a great dad to two young energetic boys, training had to take a back seat. We decided to do the 5k instead, and what a great decision that was, because the weather that day was yucko. When I showed up with my signs and tutu, he just smiled and said, “Ok Auntie!” He was such a good sport! We watched the 30k runners take off and congratulated ourselves on switching to the 5k. It was a short run but one I’ll always cherish. Auntie loves her J Man!


You may have noticed there's a recurring theme in each of these segments. My family is a family of good sports. It’s either that or they just don't think it's worth arguing with the bossiest person in the family. That's up for you decide! I’m sure they’d all tell you it’s a little bit of both.


Run and done

DMP

xoxo



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  • Della Pierson

When I started this streak 100 days ago to help cure the Covid blues, I had no idea I would actually last this long. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is by no means some great test of athleticism or will; it is simply 1 mile a day running outside. I can walk all the rest of the miles, which I generally do, but one of them has to be running. Not fast, not furious, just not walking or sauntering. Slogging is totally okay though!


I’ve asked myself many times why I continue to do this and the answers vary. For one thing, I served myself and drank the stooopid OneNY 500k Kool-Aid and will continue until at least the last stoooopid mile of that is done. To date, I have 63 miles to go and 37 days to do it so I’ll definitely continue the streak for that long. Another reason is just out of pure stubbornness. I always feel like I have at least one mile in me.


I expected to feel some great enlightenment by day 100 but in actuality, that has been somewhat lacking. I have learned and experienced a few things. Here are the highlights:



1. Do not tell your PT what day you’re on when you are trying to wrangle 2 appointments a week instead of just 1. They hate that, especially when you’re over 60 days and he’s a non runner!


2. Ignore the eye rolls from said PT and do ALL the prescribed exercises.


3. When you run the same route everyday, you meet the neighbors. I met a Mom and small daughter that dress up their dogs. The little girl was pretty fancy too and they all had weird names that I can’t remember, but now they wave at the crazy sweaty lady running down their street.


4. Since I made my virtual Mountain Goat course in May, I have done it a few more times to feel badass and to check the water situation at Thornden pool. I’m happy to report it is a beautiful blue mermaid haven so that hilly hellishness can cease!


5. Because of this OneNY BS, I have been walking longer miles in the evening so I call people I haven’t talked to in a while and we enjoy a nice wheezy conversation. Well, I enjoy it, they may find the wheezing hard to hear. This has been the best thing that has come out of my streak, so don’t be surprised if you get a late day call from me.


6. Streaks are hard and boring at times.


7. Streaks make you cuss more than normal.


8. You observe your fellow humans. Yo buddy, you’re walking on the wrong side of the road. Hey mister, did you need to almost run over me just for fun? Ummm, we’re in a pandemic, keep your snot rockets to your dang self! Did I mention the streak mood swings?


9. I have started wearing hats to run. I have never worn them because my ears seem to be in the wrong place for a good fit and a cute look. In 90 degree temps, I succumbed to keep my Covid hair out of my face. The hat hides all kinds of hair sins. I even wear it to the grocery store now. Paired with a mask and sunnies, I can look like Godzilla under it all and no one even knows! That’s a definite win.


10. Back in my younger days, streaking was something very different and it makes me think of that hilarious Ray Stevens song. My favorite line is “Don’t look Ethel! Too late she already got a free shot!” And in the end Ethel became a streaker too! It’s catching!


Well folks, while I don’t recommend the streak, I don’t discourage it either. Do whatever makes you happy and keeps you active and if you’re out on your run or walk, give me a call, we can get through it together.


Run and done

DMP

xoxo



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  • Della Pierson

Ahh, the running Kool-Aid! Akin to the Kool-Aid served by Reverend Jim Jones to his cult followers but with much less dire consequences. A means of getting people to do something they really want to do, but just don’t know it yet. Anyone can whip up a batch and start serving. Here’s how it's done:

Step 1: Someone gets a bright idea and signs up for a race. (Let’s say it’s a destination marathon in Maine).

Step 2: They start arm twisting their friends into signing up and the friends comply.

Step 3: Now that there’s a little gang going, they widen the net, perhaps looking for newbies to the distance. They try to convince them it’s something they really want to do or maybe even NEED to do.

Step 4: One of the original friends posts a picture of the 26.2 sticker sent to them by the race and it has a mermaid on it. Uh oh!

Step 5: The newbie starts chugging this kool-aid like it’s last call and signs up.

Step 6: Regret, vomiting, tears and general malaise.

Step 7: Watch the race video and cry every day. No one said there were gently rolling hills that look like mountains in the video.

Step 8: Train like there’s no tomorrow and love every minute of it.

Step 9: Survive the really hilly course and have an epic finish with your whole team cheering.


Step 10: Start looking for your own Kool-Aid to serve!

OK, that was my first Kool-Aid story and since then, I’ve been the victim of much more and I’ve served my fair share too. Kool-Aid is not limited to running either; I accidentally drank some and ended up becoming a dang triathlete. That was a surprisingly potent batch served by a master mixologist.

Sometimes the Kool-Aid comes in the form of real libation. Maybe your victim needs a little fireball or perhaps some Trish Delish to press the register button. No shame, whatever it takes.

There are definite pros to drinking the Kool-Aid. Right after my first batch, I drank a second batch and ended up running the Chicago marathon. How the heck did that happen? I even had to raise money for that one, talk about 100 proof Kool-Aid! BUT, what a fantastic experience, a great city, a great race with a flat course and it remains my marathon PR. Drinking Kool-Aid also led me to NOLA where I learned of the open container law. Umm, hello, if crossing a finish line with a mimosa is not a pro, then nothing is!

Now, the first batch of triathlon Kool-Aid had a distinctly different flavor. It tasted like Benjamins, as I doled them out for a bike, wetsuit, Tri kit and numerous other things I had no idea I needed. But the training brought a whole new batch of crazy people into my life and that first race finish was a thrill. Since then, I have served my own Tri Kool-Aid to innocent victims and although they may have felt I betrayed our friendship by doing so, they too felt that immeasurable thrill at the finish line. And yes, we’re still friends, but I may be pressing my luck as I nudge them toward a longer distance!


Everyone has their own Kool-Aid stories and not all Kool-Aid is dramatic. Sometimes it’s just about getting everyone to sign up for a local race to enhance the huge finish line party, or it may be to support a great cause in your community. Just know, if you run with a group, you are susceptible. What the hell, take a sip! It may not change your life, but then again, it very well may do just that!!


Run and done

DMP xoxo

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