Looking Back, to Look Forward


Goals…accomplishments…the new year…

There have many numerous thoughts running through my head the past several days.  I decided it was time to look back, and use my year to guide my future.

In 2012, I had a year of pain.  I was in a cast for a month, watched my friends run races that I wanted to be in, even supported them while riding a knee scooter.  It was the most painful thing I have gone through.  You see, I am very independent.  I have had a hard time relying on others, and as a result, the cast and forced reliance, as well as my lack of ability to exercise, through me into a depression.

When I got out of that cast, completed some physical therapy, and ran my first comeback race (http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/chicago/) it got my 2013 off to a good start.

Wow…what a year 2013 was!  I decided to look at exactly what I accomplished in 2013, beyond striving to meet the #RunThisYear challenge. I ran:

  • 8 5K’s
  • 5 10K’s
  • 2 15K’s
  • 7 Half marathons

I also volunteered at four races.

This blows my mind when I think about it.  I get accused of having an addiction to racing, or collecting race shirts (I am not going to lie, the swag does pull me in! Did you see the fleece pants at the North Shore Turkey Trot! (www.ramracing.com)  Oh my!) The medals are fun too.

This year, what motivated me was the desire to motivate others.  When I lost weight and saw my race times improving, I wanted to share that.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to brag, I wanted others to feel the excitement I felt.

That’s when my friend, Tammy came in.  She saw what was happening and decided to give it a try.  She changed her diet, and started to run/walk.  We ran a race together in the spring (it was c-c-c-cold), her first 5K. It was the Red Shoe Run in Rockford, IL, for Organ Donor Awareness.  In June, Tammy was all set to run her next race.  Shortly after that race, I came back to my car to find out via every way she could reach me, that she was in the emergency room.  You see, Tammy had been struggling with this nagging cough/cold for months.  Doctors called it asthma, but inhalers didn’t work.  She had gone to the ER to find out what was going on. It didn’t take long for them to find a “mass” in her lung.

Tammy found out a few weeks later that she, in fact, had Stage IV Lung Cancer.  She was, for all practical purposes, a non-smoker.  I needed to do something! But what? I couldn’t climb in there and pull the cancer out (oh, how I wished.) So, I began looking for races to run for the research of lung cancer.  Ultimately, I decided to run every race for Tem Lung Love, and the Lung Cancer Alliance.


The picture above is my first race dedicated to Tammy.  I had a Personal Record, and in the picture, am crying…that’s a selfie, and the back of the medal (I didn’t notice until later, due to the tears in my eyes.)

Now, all of my races are all for Tammy.  I will run 2014 for a purpose.  A purpose beyond my own health and wellness.

Before the end of 2013, I had decided that my goal for 2014 was to run a 1/2 marathon every month.  I have January and February already scheduled…as well as June, and August.

Last week, I took another leap of faith…and signed up for my first full marathon! I am quite nervous!

I will accomplish these goals, for those who can’t.  Tammy still can…she is improving…


  • What goals do you have for 2014?
  • Have you ever participated in a race for a charity?
  • What motivates you to set and keep goals?


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