Tag Archives: Ocean City NJ

Cape Island Spotlight – Lisa Rumer

spotlight imageCape Island Spotlight” will be an occasional series about runners I know and love and think you will too! Runners are an interesting breed – a little quirky mixed with a little masochist mixed with hard work and hard play makes for some of the most fun people I know!

Here, I’ll show you…

Lisa Rumer

lisa biking

I think of Lisa as my mama hen as far as racing is concerned. I first got to know her in 2004, when Lil Sis was working at the Ocean City Fitness Center. Lisa welcomed us into a group of women who all worked out together, training and competing in road races and triathlons. She is that incredible mix that is so hard to find – someone super talented yet very open with sharing with her time and experience to help others along. As you can see from the picture above, Lisa is all business on race day… but the rest of the time? She is one of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet. On group bike rides, she was the one that would make sure no one got lost, pedaling back and forth between the groups that inevitably form to make sure everyone was ok. She is the primary reason I never learned to fix a flat – although she taught me multiple times, she would just as easily take care of it for me! She is a great cook and has fed me many a night when my own culinary skills would have left me high and dry (aka eating cereal for dinner). And she takes care of everyone in the same way – from her own family of Carrie and TJ, to their extended one of aunts, cousins, grandparents, to the larger Ocean City community, Lisa is someone we all turn to for inspiration (she really is one of my favorite runners to watch, her form is efficient and beautiful) and encouragement (I did my first tri because of her and started running harder because I saw through her that road running could be a place to push myself and try to reach my own potential). Check her out:

Who saw the runner in you, ie how did you get into running?

I guess that would be my dad. I’m not even sure how it started, but when I was a kid, he would take me out – I would run and he would bike next to me. Then one summer, he signed me up for an Ocean City Rec Run. I think I was 9. There was no running attire back then and I remember I had on my huge glasses and wore a Mr. Peanut shirt, jeans (not even jean shorts) that I kept up with a huge belt buckle! This was an event for kids – it was prior to Fenton Carey and they were just testing out whether a kids run would work. It was a 1-mile run and my clearest memory is thinking it took awhile to get to the turnaround cone. After that, I ran it every summer that it was offered, plus some other races. I remember I was in 8th grade when I did one where they forgot to put the turnaround cone for the .5 marker and we wound up running a mile out so they gave us 2 medals for the 2 miles we ran when we finished!

I had just started girls track the year before and during school I got called down to the office. I was really nervous, thinking, “what did I do?” But it turned out they just wanted to give me a letter from the high school girls track congratulating me on a recent run (ed note: that she had won) and asking if would I run for her next year?  I was like, “yeah man, somebody wants me!” so I did– but I remember I got terrible shin splints that first year! I wound up running all four years in high school for all three seasons (ed note: cross-country, indoor track, spring track). I did not run in college, which turned out to be one of my biggest regrets in life. I had a boyfriend at home so I always wanted to come back to see him.

By the time my sophomore year ended, I had gained 25 pounds so I took up running again. (ed. note: I want pictures!!! Lisa is so sculpted and petite I just cannot imagine her with 25 pounds on that frame!) I earned my degree in recreation administration and when I was about 26 I got a job at the Ocean City Fitness Center. About this same time, I started doing road races and triathlons. There were a bunch of us that were pretty hardcore – just a great a mix of people that worked really hard.

Running is my forte but I enjoy all three disciplines of triathlon. I believe that cross training has really helped me be an athlete and it makes it more enjoyable. There are days that your body feels like doing one or the other so that helps with motivation to keep training.
How long have you been pounding the pavement/trails?

I started when I was 9 and I am 47 now, so 38 years.
A moment where you said to yourself “oh my god, I love running!”

Oh, that is so hard…one of my favorites was one of the first times Carrie and I did a race together. It was the Broad Street Run. We ran together the whole time and I remember thinking “we are running hard!”. I just loved that feeling of really working hard and doing it together.

A moment when you said to yourself “Whose idea was this again? Why in the world am I doing this!?”

Oh boy, one would be the Miami Man Triathlon, international distance in 1994 (ed note: .6 mi swim, 22 mi bike, 10k). The run was excruciating! I said to some “older” woman who was probably in her late 30 (I was in my 20s) “Come on, let’s go!” and man, did she kick my ass! That run was so hot and I was working so hard and by the end I was thinking “that was the worst run ever!”

Running adage that is not true for you (i.e. they say to avoid running on a full stomach, but Lil Sis can house a hoagie and be fine to run immediately)?

I pretty much follow all the rules. *laughs* I do always have one drink before race day – either beer or wine. I have it with dinner and it is a bit of a superstition now!

Prefer to run alone or with partner/group?

Umm, I enjoy both. There are times that I am like “it is so nice being out here” , being away from everything but other times that I really like running with people.

Favorite winter running gear?            

My Nike running hat – it’s royal blue. It’s not too heavy, not too light, covers my ears, love it. Even if it is almost too warm I will wear that hat.

Bucket list race?

I would really love to do one more national championship triathlon at international distance. It will be in  Milwaukee in 2013 and it stays in the same place two years in a row. That area does not really appeal to me so I’ll probably wait until it is somewhere I want to go!

Would you (or have you) ever do a bare it all (ie naked) run?

Yes, I would. It would have to warm enough though! My co-worker was visiting her son out west and was on a duck boat and saw a naked race going by!

What is your favorite race distance?

The 10k

Do you run on vacation or take a break?

We always run on vacation. A memorable one was Jamaica – I was running on dirt roads with just the goats out and guys driving by yelling “Hey mon!”

And you know something really interesting that I have noticed at work? (ed note: reminder, Lisa works at the Fitness Center in Ocean City, a prime tourism location on the Jersey coast) 20 years ago, the attitude of most visitors was, “I’m on vacation, I’m not doing anything!”. 10 years ago it was, “I’m on vacation, I get to work out! This is great!”  And then the last few years it has been “We’re a family on vacation, what can we do together?!”. It’s been really cool to see that transition.

What is a running ritual you have that makes other raise their eyebrows?

Umm, nothing weird, I am a pretty by the books runner. I have my drink the night before, race morning  I usually have a banana with PB, and then I do some squats and jumps right before the gun goes off.

Advice to fellow runners?

Stay loose. Running does not feel good when you are tense. So physically, make your body relax.  While running, I think to myself, “fast without tension” and also “good arms”  to remind myself not to let my arms cross the center line of my body. It’s amazing how bad your form can go when you are tired and equally amazing how much energy you can get back if you just adjust your form. When I’m really hurting, I think “breathe slower and deeper” “stay relaxed” and “foot cadence”. When racing, I constantly think about form and that is what gets me thorough the entire race. I think a lot of runners would improve if they worked on focusing on what their body was doing as they run and race.

What is your favorite post-race indulgence?

Whatever I can get my hands on! I pretty much indulge all the time, so there is nothing specific I wait to have after a race. It is more like indulging while feeling that feeling of success!

Weird, random fact about yourself?

I have this reoccurring dream where I am trying to run and can’t move! I am using everything I have to move even a little bit.  I am just trying to move one step forward but I can’t. Eventually I get on the ground start trying to pull myself forward and I can’t. I think it is related to anxiety.

Thanks so much Lis! Lisa is the race director for all the races that happen under the City’s sponsorship. If you have never done the Mayor’s Labor Day Race, the OC Tri or (my personal favorite) the OC Half, you really must! She puts on great races – very well organized, excellent food after, door prizes in many cases. The best!

Since the first photo of Lis is of her fierce racing self, I wanted to also include on that is more in line with the Lisa we see day to day – friendly with a huge smile on her face:

Lisa and Carrie, my running heroes and one of my favorite couples around! I did a Spotlight on Carrie a few months back, check it out here if you missed it the first time around!

Lisa and Carrie, my running heroes! I did a Spotlight on Carrie a few months back, check it out here if you missed it the first time around!

Anyone have questions for Lisa?

 

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My sister, myself

You know what helps you miss your hubby a little less? Sister time! I long for the days when Lil Sis and I lived within a mile (and sometimes much closer – in the same house or on the same block) of each other and could pop in and out of each others lives a the drop of a hat. I love living in Cape May so much, but one of the prices to be paid is having my sis a 45 min car ride away. Granted, this is not exactly the other side of the planet, but to me it feels awfully far. We have done really well over the last year, taking turns hopping on the parkway and carefully figuring out dates and times we are both free. One result of the distance is that it makes days like today special. What once would have been a normal Sunday hang out has becomes something more – a few hours to connect to a person that means the world to me.

How did we spend it? As is so many times the case, running and talking 🙂 When people see us together, they often comment that we never seem to run out of things to talk about. How could we?! With shape-shifting lives that we could not have imagined as two little girls growing up on Tiverstock Drive, there is never a shortage of things I need her opinion on, need comfort over or want to hear details about.

We decided to go for a run on the boards (no surprise there). Lil Sis prepared by drinking moonshine last night and nothing for breakfast today (no surprise there). I told her we would run 3 but squeaked an extra mile out of her (no surprise there). We had a fantastic time, content in our sister world, lockstep in body and mind. Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same (happily, no surprise there).

Ohh, a new mural since the last time I was here - pretty!

Ohh, a new mural since the last time I was here – pretty!

This is the kind of winter day I can get behind - bright, blue sky, low wind, reasonable temps. Very nice, winter, very nice.

This is the kind of winter day I can get behind – bright, blue sky, low wind, reasonable temps. Verrrry nice, winter, very nice.

Even the gulls were digging this day! Tons in the intertidal zone and right offshore.

Even the gulls were digging this day! Tons in the intertidal zone and right offshore.

Gotta touch the turnaround point! We swapped gloves today - I was trying out one of her pink Lululemon mittens (that Rocelle turned her on to) and fell in love! Sadly, the only ones I could find online were all black ones. But I want the girly ones! *stomps foot*

Gotta touch the turnaround point! We swapped gloves today – I was trying out one of her pink Lululemon mittens (that Rochelle turned her on to) and fell in love! Sadly, the only ones I could find online were all black ones. But I want the girly ones! *stomps foot*

Sissy also likes touching this rail for the heck of it - just one of those weird runner things. Not weird are her socks, which proudly proclaim "BACON" for no particular reason. They make me smile.

Sissy also likes touching this rail for the heck of it – just one of those weird runner things. Not weird are her socks, which proudly proclaim “BACON”. They make me, and everyone who sees them, smile.

Remember when I was talking about the salt water taffy machine last week? Well, clearly I could not resist a trip into Shriver's to see if the machiners were running. Coinsidering it is the middle of February, I am guessing the demand for taffy is at a yearlong low, but I still gazed longingly at my beloved machines!

Remember last week when I was talking about the salt water taffy machine? Well, I could not resist a trip into Shriver’s to see if they were running! Considering it is the middle of February, I am guessing the demand for taffy is at its yearly nadir, but I still gazed lovingly at my beloved machines!

Lil Sis loves the bench at 18th Street at the end of a run to take in the day, be grateful for the life she has and, in times of strife, to remind herself that everything is going to be all right. It was hard not to believe that on a day as beautiful as this.

Lil Sis loves the bench at 18th Street at the end of a run to take in the day, be grateful for the life she has and, in times of uncertainty, to remind herself that everything is going to be all right. It was hard not to believe that on a day as beautiful as this.

What are some of you favorite winter routes?

Do you run with your sibling(s)?

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Race Spectating – Ocean City Half Marathon & 5k

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to volunteer at a race. I love spectating almost as I love racing, so it was hardly a tough one to check off. Especially when you are greeted by a day like this:

The Ocean City Half Marathon & 5k was set for this gorgeous morning and it was all we could do to contain our excitement that we would be able to share this day with fellow runners, cheering them on.  Yup, I actually am as dorky as that sentence would lead you to believe.

Lil Sis and I spent the majority of our time directing traffic and cheering on runners as they tackled the Longport Bridge. Once we finished being super proud of the 500+ participants as they cleared that hurdle, we made our way to the finish line to check in on some of our favorite race organizers and runners. Here’s what they had to say about the day:

Lisa Rumer – Race Director Extraordinaire!

What is your least favorite part of race directing? Most enjoyable?

Lisa Rumer – I try, but I find it hard to really hard to enjoy the day itself, it is so busy. But my favorite part is hearing the runner’s reactions to the race. There was one woman that crossed the finish line and she said, “that was such a great experience, everyone was so positive!”. At the end of the day, that is what is really important to me.

Lil Sis with her baby, er, megaphone.

What did you enjoy most about volunteering this year?

Lil Sis – Bringing a smile to the runner’s faces before and after they crossed the bridge (ed note: she could have said megaphone, but at this point that is a given)

Lil Sis and her old classmate Ryck Signor. Class of ’98, what what!

What was your race plan today?

Ryck Signor – Mainly I am training for the Schalick Alumini 5k race in a few weeks. Yep, all these weeks of training and this half-marathon just to get ready for that. (ed note: It was so great to see Ryck and his mini-me! What a sweet family he, his wife and baby make! Congrats on a great run today, Ryck! Can’t wait to see you kick those whippersnappers asses in two weeks, lol)

Heather Connolly of Girls on the Run fame!

What was your favorite cheer station?

Heather Connolly – Umm, around mile 9 there were groups of girls that were spread out but all cheering the same chant “If your legs give out, run with your heart!”. I loved it, they were channeling inner Lisa Rumer… she always says crap like that! *laughs* Like *singsong voice* “you don’t need your legs, you can run with your arms!” *laughs*

Matt Purdue

What was your least favorite and most favorite part of the course?

Matt Purdue – The most challenging to me is stretch from 23rd to 36th (Carrie pipes in “Wait, that’s not part of the course!” lol). *laughs* There is just something about it, you are at the 9 mile mark and your legs are starting to go. My favorite part is coming down off the bridge into the Gardens. It’s fun to see that view and you still feel pretty good.

Carrie Merritt and nephew Merritt Connolly, manning the finish line!

What’s the best thing you said as you were cheering people on today?

Carrie Merritt– Pleeease watch the surrey cart

Merritt Connolly – I see pizza in your future

Kat “Call me Kathy” Cody

Kat is training for the AC marathon (stay tuned for a spectating report for that!) and so we asked her how she liked running the half with the full around the corner?

Was it a good idea to run the half before the full? No. No, it was not. Because now I realize that in just a couple of weeks I have to do double what I just did today. So, it was a terrible idea. *laughs* Whoever calls that s*&% a shake-out run or a shake down run or whatever (ed note: tune-up run, I tell her) *laughs* Whatever it was, it was terrible! *laughs* (ed note: don’t be fooled, Kat killed it out there today and she is going to do great in AC!!)

Jeff Battersby, but will also answer to Billingsworth 🙂

Is this the first time you did the OC Half and if so, how did you like it?

Jeff Battersby – Yes it was and it was great. Weather was awesome, awesome run, had a blast. This was my second half.

Oh, great! Are you doing a full in a couple weeks or was this a stand alone race?

Jeff Battersby – Absolutely not. Actually, I will NEVER do a full. I want that on record. *laughs* (ed note: I can’t wait til he does one!)

Post-race chatter

Overheard in post-race chatter

Jeff – So there were these girls saying “If your legs give out, run with your heart!” and this guy behind me says “but what do you do if your f*ing heart goes out?” *laughter*

Kat – And there were these girls saying “go, you are almost halfway!” and I’m like “no, no, we are wayyy more than halfway” *laughs*

Me and my favorite volunteer

A hard day’s work is rewarded by a muffin from Bashful Banana!

Yeah, it was a tough day of volunteering, but someone had to do it.

The Sneaker Shop is a major sponsor (so you know the quality of the race is high!), there are bands playing along the way, each water stop doubles as a cheer station since local community groups man them, and the finish line features not only the usual fare of oranges, bananas and bagels but also local OC specialties like Manco and Manco pizza and Who’s On First scones!  Definitely put this race on your list for 2013!

Congratulations to all the finishers and to the race organizers for a job very well done!

Do you like volunteering at races? What was the last one you helped at?

What is your favorite volunteer story (either something you did or someone who helped you)?

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