I often wonder how these hills can reflect different aspects of life’s ups and down.
The hills vary in incline and length …they are hard and at times never seem to end. They are strenuous…one day we are fully charged and run them non-stop, other days we just need to catch our breath and just walk. Hot or cold, rain or shine, no matter how many times we do them, it just doesn’t seem to get easier. Read more →
Down hill Running
“The Ups And Downs Of Hill Running; Training The Kenyan Way”
by Mindy Solkin
Ever wonder what makes the Kenyans such great runners? In a word…hills! And many other things, too, like training at high altitude and their basic physiology and anatomy. However, a lot can be learned from their hill training methods. Read more →
The person that has inspired me the most, who I just adore, is my good friend, and my husband’s cousin, George Taborsky.
You see, George was very active, was a lifeguard, and played many sports, before he was injured. Life slapped him in the face and he was badly injured in a pool accident in his early 20’s, ~25 years ago. As a result he broke his neck and is a quadriplegic. He does not have any control in his legs and he has limited use of the muscles in his arms. Well since his accident, you pretty much name the sport, and George has done it. He plays rugby, bikes, skydives, runs (racing wheelchair), water skis, and body boards, to name a few! He also educates other paralyzed individuals on various sports. He is such a positive and upbeat person and so much fun to hang out with. I consider myself very fortunate to call him cuz!
While training for half and full marathons there have been so many long runs where I just think of him and how he doesn’t let daily struggles stop him. He finds a way around his obstacles. I would think to myself that George would probably give anything to do exactly what I am doing….to just run. Quitting on a long run because everything hurts is not an option. Quitting on a long run because my mind is begging me to stop is not an option.
When I think about all the people that have influenced me towards running, or just to helping me develop into someone I can be proud of I would have say my husband and best friend Jim. He’s given me more insights on how to grow and be independent and at the same time allows me to just be me. He’s the one who asks after a hills run “how do you feel”! Or don’t forget to stretch your calves- try this new stretch read this article. He’s always looking to better himself and his family. Read more →
When I think about who inspired me to be a runner, the first person that comes to mind is my dad, Tony Velsmid. My dad has always lived an active lifestyle. He was a city letter carrier in Nassau County for 30+ years and has always had a landscaping business after work. Delivering mail and running in triathlons led him to a hip replacement in his mid 40s. He is now almost 62 and is still participating in 1-2 triathlons a year! His doctor told him no more running so he asked if he could run 3 miles a year. The doctor’s response was “I guess so. 3 miles is nothing throughout an entire year”. So, each year, it is tradition that we participate in the TOBAY Triathlon together and he kinda run/walks the 5k at the end.
Being that my dad is into competitive sports, he is my biggest cheerleader at many of the local races. During this past NYC Marathon, he parked in Manhattan and rode his bicycle to Brooklyn to follow me along the course. I think I saw him a total of 5 times between Brooklyn and Manhattan. During the 18 Mile Central Park race, he would bike loops around the park with David Rockitter and I, encouraging us to keep going even though we felt like gerbils on their caged wheel running in circles. Long Island Marathon? He’s the guy on the corner of Jericho and Post Avenue camping out with a folding chair, coffee, and a cowbell cheering on the elite and then eventually cheering me on. Sometimes if I have a long training run and I’m running 20 miles alone, he’ll meet me halfway and bike along side next to me with water, a banana, basically anything I needed. I hope you all get to meet him some day! He is truly an inspiration!
The person who gave me the push to send me on my way was Marty Schimmele. Back in 2010 I had been running for about 11 years basically on my own with no strong connection to the running community other than showing up on race day. No group training runs or ancillary running. Just me training solo. I spoke with Marty after races on occasion and he began pushing me to join the Greater Long Island Running Club Racing Team of which he was a member. I told him I wasn’t interested…numerous times…until he wore me down and said he recommended me to the coach. He told me I should speak to her. The idea started to intrigue me but I felt I was not fast enough to join a racing team and in June 2010 i noticed a group run from Selden in the back of Footnotes magazine. It said it was hilly. I spoke to the person whose name was attached to the run, Rich Hollman, and he said no one ran the course any longer. He sent me the map and the rest is history. I started running the Selden Hills to make myself a better runner before I made any commitment to joining the racing team.After running them a half dozen times and seeing my race times improve dramatically I pulled the trigger and joined the team in August 2010. Without Marty hounding me to join him on the team I probably never would have run the Selden Hills! So it is fair to say that without Marty’s encouragement and belief in me there would not be a Selden Hills running group today. Thank you Marty for being my spark that opened up a vast running world where I have met and made friends with so many other motivating and wonderful people!!