All posts by roseerunner

Princess…

Wow. What a weekend.
Friday was Career Day at work. It was a great success (from my vantage point). So many visitors sharing about their professions. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and everyone seemed to learn a lot, adults included.

I cried.

Saturday I ran a 9 mile trail run through icy and snowy terain. It was cold. I ran with newer friends and we really had a good time.

Meanwhile,  in Florida, my friend from high school was running the first part of the Glass Slipper Challenge, a challenge I participated in last year.

Today, was the Princess Half Marathon (Part two of the Glass Slipper Challenge). My friend Tammy Alexander signed up to run this with me last year, but couldn’t.  Cancer was attacking her bones and it was just too painful to travel. I am having an emotional day, thinking about her. Lots of tears.
The school district chose two pictures from our Career Day to put on their home page…both were people I met after Tammy’s death, in an effort to raise Lung Cancer Awareness.  I cried when I saw it.
Too many coincidences. What does God want me to do? What is He trying to say?
I am not good with His subtle messages.
I miss her.

Sorry for the disorganized post. I was hopeful that the rambling would help me…

Next year, I hope to go back to the Princess Half, and run with one Tammy to honor another. #R42

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2014: What I learned about myself (Runner, edition)

I like to reflect upon things and learn from them.  I haven’t really been a “runner” for long, but this past year I ran the entire time…no injuries!  That in itself is a huge accomplishment.  However, I have three overriding themes for 2014, with regards to my running life:

1. I am stronger than I think I am.

Seriously. I set a goal in January, to run one half marathon every month…not 12 in a year, one every month.  In Northern Illinois, January, February, and December are a risk.  I did it though.  I accomplished that goal! In addition, I ran the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge at Walt Disney World, my first TWO full marathons (Green Bay, WI http://www.cellcomgreenbaymarathon.com, and Madison, WI http://www.madisonmarathon.org), and my first Ragnar Relay. It’s been quite a ride, and let me tell you, the training for that final marathon and December half were quite lacking.  I was tired.

2. I get by with a little help from my friends. (AKA…I need my run buddies!)

I didn’t run a single race alone.  I have a wonderful group of supportive run friends from all over Wisconsin and Illinois.  Not to mention the friends I have made on Twitter through #Runchat.  I am a very Blessed person.  Most of the races were with my husband, Steve, and when he couldn’t run, he was supportive of every race I did.  He is amazing and I am fortunate to have his support in everything I do.

However, November and December were particularly hard for me with regards to training.  My closest run pal broke her leg, another run pal had a hip injury, still another had ACL surgery, and Steve pulled a muscle in his calf.  I really dislike the treadmill, and have a hard time motivating myself to run on it.  I really missed having my run pals around.

3. I will never, ever run alone again. wpid-img_219556771533955.jpeg

In August, my dear friend, and upcoming runner, Tammy Alexander passed away after battling lung cancer.  As a non-smoker, and someone who was working on improving her health at the time of the diagnosis, this seemed particularly unfair and angered me a lot.  I heard a song by Matthew West called “Do Something” and decided that rather than being angry and paralyzed, I should help Tammy as best I could.  I started running every run for her. #R42 (Running 4 Two, a moto I now live by, started by http://www.annieslocker.org).  She wanted to badly to run that Princess Half, and couldn’t.  She wanted to do Ragnar and couldn’t.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the Madison Marathon was November 9.  I ran for her, in her running shoes, and Team Lung Love (www.myteamlunglove.org), to raise awareness for the illness.  Steve, of course, ran with me.  I had a horrible time training, and just wanted the race over with because I didn’t feel I had given what I needed to be prepared.  That morning, Steve fell behind me, and usually catches up (but I have apparently been getting faster, who knew?!).  I ran the majority of the second half of the race alone…except I wasn’t alone.  At mile 19, Steve said he wasn’t going to finish.  He asked me to call on Tammy.  I did. I let him run a little ahead of me, looked at his calf where the pain was, and asked Tammy (and God) to help him finish.  About 10 min later he said he didn’t hurt anymore.  We both finished together, and I took 40 minutes off of my time from my May marathon!

I believe Tammy was with me.  I believe she kept me strong.  I believe that she is ALWAYS running with me (yes, I talk to her).  Her parents were at the finish line of the race, cheering us in as we crossed.  The official pictures even have them in it.  I am not sure if I am describing this whole scenario in a way that someone who hasn’t lived it can understand, but I need the world to know, we get our strength from internal, and external sources.  Tammy lives on in my heart…and my shoes! Love you my sole sister!

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2014

Wow…what a year…and what a big ball dropped on keeping a blog.
Let’s try this again…

So many things to write about, but I want to see if I can even recall how to post something so this won’t be too long.

My running goal for 2014 was to run a half marathon every month. I accomplished that goal and then some! 🙂

I also, throughout my running year, had to say goodbye to my friend Tammy. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung cancer in June of 2013, and passed away on August 31, 2014. She asked me to fight the cancer and continue to run for her. Every run is for her, and noticeably WITH her. I can’t begin to describe what it is like to be always running for something so much bigger than you…and Tammy is always with me. We have good talks on long runs! 🙂 That is another post altogether.

I also ran two full marathons in 2014. Again…another post.

Ragnar introduced me to some amazing people, and again…another post.

So…you see, I guess I really should have kept up with my blog. I may start a separate Facebook page just for my running stuff, because I post there all the time.

Gotta run…sorry about the quick snipit. More to come later…before 2015! 🙂

Marathon training on a treadmill?!?!

Seriously?

I made the commitment to do my first marathon in May at the and I am really nervous. I am a wife, mom, fulltime teacher, and taking 6 credits of graduate school this spring, and I signed up to run 26.2 miles at one shot. What am I thinking?!?! So, I recruited my husband, and my Twitter/ friend, Tiffany, to give me support and a training plan! The plan started today.

Today. My first run (with a marathon goal). And, it is -6 outside…before windchill. This is crazy! So, I start my training on the treadmill. Now, I have done many runs on the treadmill, even trained for my first half marathon on the treadmill, but today I struggled. Seriously, 2 miles, and I had to get the mind over matter mentality in full gear. Why is 2 miles on the treadmill so difficult when 13 outside is fun?!

Listen, treadmill. I will win. I will conquer your boredom. I have a tv, music, dogs, and a child for entertainment! I made my little two mile run. It was at a pace that I usually don’t keep on the treadmill, but have kept outside. It seemed tough, but I won out! Take that! 🙂

Tomorrow, like today, school is cancelled, because it is going to be colder than today. I have no plans to go outside. The basement has transformed into a workout area, with my 2014 goals posted on the wall. I can do this! I will do this!

How do you survive on the treadmill?
How do you train in frigid temps?

Looking Back, to Look Forward

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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.

http://myteamlunglove.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=442225&lis=1&kntae442225=8FBA14DC36D3477BB5E43E7E32384BDD&supId=389815977

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?

“The good Lord …

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” – Vince Lombardi

2013: Year in Review…Running Edition

Just to be clear, this is my very first blog post, of my very first blog (people don’t blog-hop, do they?), so please be nice. 🙂

I started 2013, worried about a nagging injury in my Achilles. I wanted to only run on the treadmill, for fear that I would head outside and get hurt and be stuck out there in the snow. Mind over matter is a constant struggle with me, and I seem to be doing ok with it most of the time. I ran more in 2013 than I have ever before and plan to top it in 2014!

Where would I be without the inspiration of RunThisYear?  Found Running Hutch (www.runninghutch.com) and Pavement Runner (www.pavementrunner.com) through the Runners World RunStreak Challenge, and Twitter (which I found through church, another story) and never looked back.

So, goals have been the theme of my 2013.  Did I really think I would get to 2,013 miles? No, but it was a goal.  I switched it to Kilometers, and probably still won’t make that goal.  I have, however, run more this year than any year in my life!  I am over 1,100 miles with less than a week to go, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself!

Running community makes it so much easier.  I found #RunChat.  I found several amazing runners in my area, and those in Cali who can see my pics of snowy trail runs! I ran races in Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Illinois (yeah, not too much variety…working on that!) I found my local run club and have made MANY new friends there as well!

I could list my races (maybe I should…it would probably shock me how many I ran!), my PR’s (again…so much improvement) or my inspiration (www.myteamlunglove.com). But all of those accomplishments lead me to new goals, which is what keeps me ticking!

I love running. I love to share running with my friends and family.  I love the beauty of the trails, snow-covered or ocean side. I love the adventures that await me every time I lace up. Thank you to those who have inspired me in 2013 to be a stronger person, and I look forward to continuing to be inspired by you, and share your words/inspiration with others!

Here’s to a strong finish!!