5K Doughnut Run
It’s Monday morning. I woke up at 5am unable to go back to sleep. Images from yesterday’s event are still swirling around in my head. I went down to the bakery to get a cup of coffee. It’s like waking up the day after a raging party, only with 3000 sets of running shoes & poly-tech tights instead of heels & cocktail dresses. There are empty tubs from hot chocolate and coffee stacked tall inside the bakery. The patio is filled with barricades, tables and water bottles waiting to be picked up.
Two months ago, I asked Dr. Mayes if there was an off chance I would be able to run my 5K this year. Dreams of participating in the Ironman Lake Placid and the New York City Marathon were far behind me. My recovery was progressing but I didn’t have any real goals besides walking on my own and resuming my normal daily activities, which I’ve accomplished. At the time, I hoped I would be able to walk the course by December 9th as I was only just able to walk without crutches. He told me that it was a possibility but not to get my hopes up. We were going to keep taking my progress one day at a time.
Yesterday, I stood at the starting line waiting to send the runners up the hill. My kids were next to me. Brad was there with us as the official race photographer. The great thing about being the one who starts the race is that you’re never late! I took off my jacket, shed my track pants and pulled my sweater over my head. I handed my clothes to Josie who took pride in wearing my race director jacket for the rest of the day. After I counted down the start, I passed off the megaphone and jumped into the crowd. I knew if I started crying, I would lose the tiny bit of lung capacity I desperately needed to get up the hill. I held back my tears.
For the first time, I wasn’t annoyed by the crowds of people in front of me. I didn’t bob and weave to get ahead. I stayed right where I was and I was happy to be there. Runners passed me. Some said hello and congrats. For the first time, I was able to appreciate everything I have accomplished. I ran my first mile exactly 5 years ago during the first 4K Doughnut Run. I brought together a team of people who help to create this event year after year. 2500 runners showed up in 22 degrees to run for doughnuts. I led a group of bakers and volunteers to make 8000 doughnuts on Saturday night. 8000 doughnuts!!! I survived. My body got put back together and I survived. I didn’t stop when I could have. I didn’t give up. I put one foot in front of the other. I used the walker to get to the end of the hall so I could be discharged. I figured out how to walk down two flights of stairs with crutches so I could leave my house. I taught myself how to bake with one hand so I could work while balancing on a cane. I got back on the bike. I got back in the pool. I laced up my shoes this morning and I ran 3.1 miles with 2500 people.
“It’s just a fucking doughnut.” This sign hangs on the wall in the bakery office. It’s a common behind-the-scenes response when a customer overreacts because we sold out, aren’t taking any more orders, didn’t meet their overreaching expectations… It’s not going to change the world, it’s just a fucking doughnut. This race was started to thank the community who encouraged my doughnut making madness…the runners who came in every Sunday morning to carb-load after their runs. The strangers who handed me wet, sweaty dollars are now my closest friends. The doughnuts brought this community together. It’s scary to go out with strangers and run your first mile when you’re overweight and out of shape but they like doughnuts and I like doughnuts so we have that in common. Doughnuts helped and continue to help break the ice, unite strangers and make running fun. I didn’t do this on my own. Pia, Anne, Anne, Cara, Roselynn, Gina, Mary Rose and all the other runners who decided to make Montclair Bread Company a destination after their miles, they did this. I just made the doughnuts.
This Week @ Montclair Bread Co.
Post Race Recap: Although it may appear as though nearly 3000 runners, volunteers, kids and sponsors had an amazing event, Gina and I think it was the best one yet, there were several people who didn’t find it to be so great. Take, for example, the thread which appeared on one of the local FB groups about how my organization needs to be “taught a lesson” because someone was “trapped” in their home and couldn’t attend a “very expensive” dance class they signed up for. Ashley & Hillary jumped in to say ample notice was given and we raised money for a worthy cause. That wasn’t good enough. Apparently, it is not acceptable to post notice of these events in the very same place residents lodge their complaints. There were numerous other concerned citizens, the same citizens who didn’t say a word when PSEG shut down the very same streets for 6 weeks this summer, who felt they should have been been personally greeted by the race staff and given accommodations for their loss of residential space for the 40 minute disruption. Our team does everything possible to alert the town. It’s easy for someone to say we should send out messages through the town wide alert system but what they don’t know is that we sent several emails requesting this notification, none were returned - EVER, in 5 years of races. At least I know that If I should ever decide to step down as race director, I can find at least 10 people on the Share Montclair FB page who can do a much better job than Gina & I did.
On a much happier note, Gina and I received hundreds of messages from people who enjoyed our race. Social media was a sea of doughnuts on Sunday and Monday. It was, and always is, the highlight of my entire year. I couldn’t believe the number of first timers and PR’s we had at this year’s race, an incredible display of fun & community!
Baking Classes: This week began a packed calendar of cookie baking classes. They sell out almost immediately upon posting, in September! My first class was Wednesday evening and was just for kids. One mom dropped her kids off 30 minutes before the 90 minute class finished, then sent a very nasty email to our team about how she wasn’t properly attended to and she will never be signing her kids up for another class with us again. Sad, the kids were nice.
We had one space open for an adult class. Someone emailed us to ask if she and her boyfriend could share the space for one person. They would only eat the cookies and use the equipment for one entry. Shockingly, this is not the first time we’ve received the same email. I’ve decided to create a canned response suggesting they call the Richard Rodgers Theatre and ask if they can share one seat to the next Hamilton performance. If the theatre says yes, I will allow them to share a space in my class.
Yelp: Years ago, as in 5 years ago, my therapist demanded I delete the app from my phone and block it from any other electronic devices which would allow me to see my customer reviews because it was causing me an exuberant amount of anxiety and was doing no good for anyone involved. This may have been after someone wrote that “monkeys could do it better” than my staff. Jessica and Carolyn monitor the review sites for any riff-raff that may require actual attention, otherwise, I only see what’s posted on FB and IG. This week, Jessica shared a review with me because it was just that absurd. Someone in Montclair wrote a very negative review because I chose not donate to her event….FOUR years ago, when we were still on Walnut Street and didn’t have enough space to bake everything we needed for a normal day!!! “How can we call ourselves a community business without helping our community?” she asked.
I wish I could let these outliers roll off my back. I just want everyone to be happy. Why is it so fucking hard? If I don’t give anyone anything, they complain. If I give to some and not others, they complain. If I give to everyone, I can’t pay my staff and I think they will definitely complain about that one the most.
Needless to say, I came down from my 5K high pretty quickly this week. My anxiety levels are through the roof. I am more grateful now, than ever before, to have my ability to run back so I can release this negative energy. Hopefully I can make it to the 25th!
Weekly Training Log
Sunday: 5K Doughnut Run! Made it through the finish line under 30 minutes, 27 and change, a goal I set for myself. I tried to stay steady, focus on my form and take whatever I could get.
Brad & I gorged ourselves on fried chicken, mashed potatoes & mac and cheese from Raymond’s for dinner. We had it delivered (yes! delivery from Raymonds!) and ate on the living room floor.
Monday: Swim: “It’s Called Water,” my coach aptly titled today’s swim. Warm Up: 100S, 100P, 4x25K Main Set: 2x 4x50S, 2x100P, 4x25K Cool Down: 100S
PT: Almost called to cancel my appointment as the fatigue of race prep (not the run part) weighed on me. I didn’t and I’m glad. I made it through another series of jumps - single leg, double leg, up, down, sideways…
Determined to avoid ordering take-out, I made spaghetti bolognese for dinner. It’s tough cooking for one when Brad’s in Brooklyn and the kids are with their father.
Tuesday: Run: First track workout. 400, 800, 1200 with rests equal to intervals. 1.25 warm up and cool down. I wasn’t sure how my new hardware would tolerate intensity. My 400 matched what it would have been six months ago but the longer distance were more difficult to complete.
Finally, the fridge is stocked with real food. We made it to the grocery store. Brad made roasted chicken & rice for dinner.
Wednesday: Strength: 45 Minute HIIT with Adrienne at Architect Studios. Lots of squats & deadlifts.
Still avoiding take-out, I made ramen with roasted pork tenderloin for dinner post-cookie class. I swear I only ate two pieces of rugelach.
Thursday: Ride: 45 minutes total on the trainer. 10 minute warm up, 10 @ 70%, 8 @ 75%, 3 easy, 6 @ 80%, 4 @ 85%, cool down. I finally set up my trainer inside and watched TV while riding. What a great way to multi-task!
PT: I was thrilled when Dr. Mayes introduced a very familiar series of drills. It was just like my warm up routine I use during speed work…hip openers, cariocas, side steps. I also made it the entire length of the slide board. I gawked a couple months ago when Geno suggested this was a possibility. I’m still apprehensive about the 20” box jump.
I reheated the spaghetti bolognese for dinner and added a cold carrot & beet slaw I picked up earlier this week at Trader Joe’s.
Friday: Swim: Warm Up: 100S, 100P, 4x25K Main Set: 2x 2x100 S, 2x50P, 1x200S Cool Down. Today was one of those days I needed to remind myself that I would have done ANYTHING to be able to get in the pool three months ago and I need to continue to be grateful I have the ability to swim. I wanted to go to the Y early but I kept finding reasons to delay my trip until almost 2pm. When I couldn’t come up with any more excuses, I completed my workout for the day.
After a very long day of work at the bakery and the running club, I managed to throw a pot roast with carrots, potatoes and peas in the oven. It was a late dinner but it worked.
Saturday: Run: 55 Minutes Easy. I couldn’t help but add 3 more minutes to round out 6 miles. Great turn-out for the Saturday group run. The pack got several head turns by solo runners on the opposite side of the street. I think they thought they missed out on a local race!
I have a thing for instant oatmeal - the maple & brown sugar kind. I like it a little runny with a splash of milk in a coffee mug. I microwave it when I get in the shower, post run, so it’s the right temperature to eat when I get out. I followed it up with avocado on yesterday’s baguette because the avocados were rotting and needed to be consumed.