The Countdown is On for the Marathon

DC Rock n RollI can’t believe it…race day is less than five days away.  In five days all the training, all the sweat, all those runs I didn’t want to do will be worth it.  I will be running the streets of DC with two of my great friends, Maya and Maddie, my cousin Kristy, Brian (who is running much faster than all of us) and some others who will be running the half and carrying the rest of us home after the full.  🙂

We will also have a great support team. Our families, friends from college, family friends and 22,000+ other runners families and friends cheering us on.  It will be an experience.23

I do not think I will be doing this type of training ever again so I intend to take in every minute it of, all 4 and a half hours of it, if everything goes well.

Over the last 3 weeks I have been battling knee pain, strained hamstrings and probably taking on to much.  If I could go back I would definitely add strength training into my program.  I think going from such a high impact sport in basketball to a completely different type of high impact sport of running, I took for granted my strength training and did not make it a focus.  I would also try and dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes a day to stretching and rolling out.  I really tried to do a lot more stretching as I got further into it but I need to make more of a habit out of it before I need to do it.

But unfortunately I can’t go back now.  As I sit and write this post, icing my knee and hip (a side effect of walking around this weekend and compensating for my left knee) I think about making it across the finish line of the race with Maya and Maddie, cheering each other on and finishing together.  I never would have imagined running this race with the two of them, never would have thought that five years ago when we graduated high school that we would be celebrating that anniversary with a marathon – 26.2 I still can’t wrap my head around it.  It is also Pie Day (3.14) so I know K.A.F will be watching us from above and motivating us and driving us forward.  We run this for you Ms. Ferris.

This will probably be the most intense and crazy thing I ever do but I will be able to say I did it and it will only make me stronger! Holy count down –  4 days, 12 hours, 35 minutes!

marathon running

Where has the Time Gone?

where has the time goneIt has been a while since I last blogged and it is really sad! I love blogging but lately being able to take the time to write a post, edit, make it look nice and share with whoever is reading this about my life has been a struggle.  I tell you training for a marathon, coaching two teams and working a full-time real world job is no joke and I don’t recommend it.  I recommend doing 2 of those things at the same time no more especially if you haven’t truly learned the balance of the real world lifestyle.  I use to think I was superwoman but now I am tired woman!  Only have to hold on one more month for the season and under 2 for the marathon training.

Oh another thing I don’t recommend is training for a marathon in the middle of winter! Unless you absolutely love the cold, snow, sleet, rain, hail, ice or the treadmill this time of year in WNY is not good!

As far as the actual training itself I will be running 18 miles this weekend which is SCARY! I had to do 16 miles 2 weeks ago and had to do it on the treadmill because it was 1 degree out and for me running outside for 2.5 hours did not seem fun when you are frozen.  To keep my mind from going crazy I ended up doing a combo of sprint walks for a part of it so I was constantly using my brain instead of going stir crazy.

I am less than 2 months out now, flights are officially booked, hotel rooms are booked and Brian and I are ready to go…well kind of.  I am really excited to do it with some of my family members and 2 of my really great friends from high school.  Our plan is to really just enjoy the morning run (haha 26.2 miles of enjoyment), take a lot of pictures and really catch-up.  These are the type of friends where we could not see each other for years and we would pick right back up where we left off so hopefully the stories between the three of us will keep us going for the full race!

I am also really excited to run around DC.  Getting to run without traffic on the course will be nice because we will be able to see all the monuments, hear some awesome music every few miles (it is the rock n’ roll marathon so there are a lot of bands) and by some miracle crawl our way to the finish line and spend the rest of the day “celebrating”.  When I say celebrating I mean sleeping, taking a long shower, refueling with a ton of food and hopefully the hotel hot tub!  And if by some miracle we are still alive – celebrating with a few drinks.

I plan to try and make more time in my busy schedule to blog about the different areas of my life and to my MDP readers I have not forgotten to update you on some of the exciting things that we have been doing in the program!  And finally an update to the new team I am working with at the bank!  Life is moving fast, it is so crazy that I have been working for more than 6 months already!

WHEWWWW – What a First Week of MDP Training!

The Sunday night before our first day of training, the program held a MeetandGreet Happy Hour at Pearl St. which is this local brewery in Buffalo that is in a really unique building.  We were in the basement part of the restaurant and had it all to ourselves, which was nice.  meeting new peopleThere was an assortment of appetizer type food and the brewery’s light and dark beer on draft.  Here we were able to practice Bravo’s Millionaire Match-Maker two drink maximum rule (which is not really a real rule) but if you are drinking like you are in college on Thursday Night at a corporate event you probably have a problem.  This event was nice because it was just the MDPs and the two program managers, Jillian and Sarah and their boss Kate.  It was really just to get to know each other, out of the office and without the pressure of being in training.  Of course it is expected that you understand you are being watched and it is very important to remember that as you socialize.  We are not in college anymore and how you eat, drink and socialize in and often times outside of work is being watched.

Our first day of MDP training was a lot of getting to know one another but not in the typical ice breaker kind of way, although we did participate in one or two ice breakers throughout the day.  We introduced ourselves, where we were working, who our manager was, where we went to school and told an interesting fact about ourselves.  The facts ranged throughout the week from tame to probably didn’t need to know that (example: someone said they could burp the alphabet and were then encouraged to demonstrate).  We were given a lot of opportunities to network during the day with the speakers and connect with our peers after all the MDP class you graduate with can be one of your biggest resources throughout your career.

During the rest of the week we were prepped for our branch rotations that we would fulfill the following month. We had speakers come in from the 1 M&T Plaza branch and we also had Corporate Security talk about fraud detection, bank robbery, online thieves and a few other topics within that spectrum.  Security was certainly intimidating, hearing that bank robberies do still happen; however, not usually in the old western movie type of way.  It is also better to be prepared and understand that bank robberies still happen than to be in the branch and caught off guard and panic.

We also had the traditional lectures about the company’s culture, mission, vision, how to eat in a corporate setting and how to dress in the business world which covered everything from the dos and don’ts to what is appropriate for business casual and what is necessary to be considered business formal.

If you are a potential MDP, you may wonder if the dress code is the same across the bank.  I can say that the dress code is not the same across the bank; however, as an MDP you should always lean towards the more formal end of the spectrum for your department because you will constantly be meeting someone.  Jillian and Sarah presented it as, dress as if you were going to ride the elevator with Bob Wilmers, the company’s CEO.  I liked that comparison and I think it put a lot of people in the mindset of how to dress for a bank.

Throughout the week we had two additional happy hours, one was another just for the MDPs which was at Bambino a local restaurant just down the street from M&T Center.  It was a nice classy event except sadly it was extremely hot that day and we were all in our business clothes and the event was outside on the 2nd level porch.  Had it been 10-15 degrees cooler it would have been perfect.  A few of us grabbed a table inside to be able to connect in the AC rather than sweat outside. networking happy hour

The other Happy Hour/Networking Event took place at Shea’s Theatre.  This was great because it brought all of the MDPs and their managers together.  The program is not only a resource for the MDPs but also for the managers to all connect with each other. At Shea’s we were able to take a back stage tour of the theatre which was really cool because it is currently undergoing the 4th and Final stage of the restoration so the ceiling was completely tarped up as it was being clean, painted and restored.  The point of these networking events is not about the food, which is hard for fresh out of college students to understand because they come from a point in their lives where free food was desired, regardless of what it was and you took it without question! My point with this is, remember you are not in college anymore and as much as you would like to treat it like your whole dinner, you should probably avoid that at all cost.  The goal of the event is to network with people and make connections that can help you or someone else in their careers in and outside the bank.  But I will say the food at Shea’s was probably the best of the three MDP events but the food from the Lodge (where we went for our happy hour following the first day with T&BO) was probably tied for first in the category of best place to host a happy hour, simply based on food.  Atmosphere – Shea’s probably won hands down.networking events

 A major change to the program this year overall was that there would be two separate groups for MDP.  I am a member of the Green Group which is led by Jillian and the other group is led by Sarah and that is the Gold Group.  Both groups are going to be working on exactly the same things it will just be at different times to accommodate classroom size and allow for discussions to flow more easily through the groups.  Think about it like this, in college, discussion is easier and student’s tend to learn more with a smaller class size than they do in a huge lecture hall with 100 people. The same concept is being tested with the MDP program.  This first week of orientation we were all together but starting next month we will be divided based on the group we have been assigned too.

After this week, I know it is going to be a great year with this group of MDPs.  I am looking forward to it and being a part of M&T.  Coming up in a few weeks we have our branch rotations and I am excited to share my experience of working in the branch and learning the customer experience side of everything we work on within the corporate track of M&T!

**The opinions in this blog are strictly my own and are not endorsed by M&T.**