2015: Five Life Lessons I Learned From Running

As the New Year approaches, I am reminded that nothing in life is for certain.  This time last year, my family and I were getting ready for my Dad’s surgery on January 2, 2015.  While a piece of me felt unsure of what was to come, I celebrated with friends and family and watched the ball drop at midnight welcoming in 2015.  Looking back on that now, I realize I was taking it all for granted.  It’s not until life as you know it comes to a screeching halt that you really begin to understand the value of every moment we are given to live.  As the horror of 2015 unfolded and my Dad grew sicker, I zeroed in on the one thing I could control.  Running.  My sanity only remained because I ran.  I woke up every day not knowing what would come next, but I knew I would run.  I knew for the 30 minutes, hour, or several hours that I ran, all of the horror surrounding me would melt away and I would feel free.

"Free"- my shoe art for an ASICS contest asking how running makes you feel.

Not surprisingly, I ran 1,360 miles in 2015.  By far more than I’ve run in years past.  With every mile I logged, I learned more and more about myself.  See, when you’re out there pounding the pavement, whether your alone or with your crew, you put yourself to the test.  Only you can get your ass up that next big hill.  Only you can tell the negative voices in your head to shove it.  You’re the only one that can truly push yourself to the limit, or better yet beyond, and see what you’re really made of.  It’s addicting.  It’s rewarding.  And I love it.

So although there were many ups and downs in 2015, I’m coming out on top and riding the high as I kick this year out the door, welcome in a new year, and most importantly, open the door to new opportunities, new goals, and more life lessons.

Here are the top five life lessons I learned through running in 2015.

Step out of your comfort zone.  I signed up for the Catamount 25K Trail Run on a whim.  I didn’t think twice about it.  It was one of those rare moments in my life where I just said “O.K.  I’m doing this.”  Next thing I knew, I had paid the registration fee and added another race to my calendar.  I was completely unprepared.  I was and still am not really a trail runner.  I never trained on trails leading up to the race, although I had big plans to.  I had no idea what I was in for, but I was invigorated at the thought of something different.  Running that trail race was one of the best things I ever did.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and was reminded how amazing it feels to push fear aside and just go for it.  I got out in the woods.  I experienced nature in a new light.  I got muddy.  I choked for air running up the mountain.  My ankles rolled running down.  I laughed my ass off with a great friend.  I remembered not to take life too seriously.  I remembered how important it is to just have fun.  My friend Crystal and I finished that race hand in hand with smiles on our faces.  Even though it was one of the most challenging races I’ve ever run, it turned out to be one of the best ever.

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Never give up.  This past June, I broke my 5K PR from 2012.  Yes, you’re doing the math right.  It took me three years to do it.  In that three years, I had two babies, changed careers, and well, life happened.  I never stopped running.  I never lost sight of that goal to beat my 5K PR.  When I crossed the finish line of the Hollis Fast 5K, it was the high point of racing for me in 2015.  I had literally been chasing down this goal for what felt like forever.  I changed my approach to training.  I implemented consistent speed work.  I saw the results.  I never gave up on myself.  I finished the race with an official time of 23:09, a mere 20 seconds faster than my old PR.  20 seconds or 20 minutes…doesn’t matter.  I did it!

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There is no “I” in TEAM.  An oldie but goodie…  My husband and I committed to run Reach the Beach again this year with a group of awesome friends.  If you’ve run RTB, you know that it is truly a team effort.  Everyone has to pull their own weight, come together, and achieve as  a team.  Otherwise, picture it…cramped van, no sleep for 24 hours, living off of PB&J, stinky bags of sweaty clothes…let’s just say, it can get ugly quick.  So when our sitter bailed on us one day before we were to head out for the race, we debated what to do.  Does one of us go race and cover the others miles while the other stays back with the kids?  Do we both not go?  Do we have someone sort of random pick the kids up and cover the time on day two before we get home?  No option was great, but in the end, we agreed that we couldn’t abandon the team.  We couldn’t ask someone else to run our miles.  It wasn’t about us or our situation.  It was about our team as a whole that we committed to.  So what did we do?  After finishing our second legs of RTB, we jumped into our own car, drove back home, slept one hour, jumped out of bed, picked up the kids, circled back to run our third legs with our team, and then headed to the finish where we crossed the line WITH our team and a double stroller.  We wouldn’t change a thing.

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Be part of something bigger than you.   It is truly unbelievable the things that can be achieved when people come together.  I have experienced this before this past year, but not to the level that I have experienced it in 2015.  I am part of the most amazing, supportive group of women I’ve ever come across as a member of Greater Manchester Moms Run This Town (GMMRTT).  Some of us have met while many of us have not.  We are over 1,000 members strong.  We manage to support one another unconditionally, lend a listening ear, offer advice about running, race gear, and life in general.  When motivation is lacking, it will be found by simply jumping onto our Facebook page and scrolling through the countless posts about other members achieving a new goal, going further than they imagined, or experiencing their first headlamp run.  Together, we are unstoppable and together we can achieve the unthinkable.

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Never, ever, ever forget your “why”.  If you do, it’s over.  Motivation is lost.  You’re wasting your time and you’ll begin to feel that way.  There is a reason we do most things.  It’s that reason that pushes us to keep going when we want to stop.  If there is no fire under our ass to keep us moving, wanting, doing, then why would we?  For every single race or goal I committed to in 2015, there was a reason.  While I came close, but did not achieve my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon, I set that goal so that I would push myself beyond my limits in training.  I set that goal because while I knew it would not be easy, I wanted to test myself.  I’ll keep chasing it and never give up, just like with my 5K PR.  When I set my goal to run two marathons in one year, I did it because I wanted to force myself to train smart, take care of my body, get adequate rest, so that I could actually do it.  Yes, I am also slightly insane, but my driving force behind running two was about the underlying challenge on so many levels.  That goal, I did achieve.  When my husband and I signed up yet again for the Seacoast Series, we did so because it meant time together AND with our two kids.  All but two of those races were run with the double stroller.  We want our kids to see what being healthy is all about, how fantastic it is to have a community of positive people surrounding them, and how fun it is to hang with Mom & Dad.
When I decided to apply to run for Team Tufts in the Boston Marathon, I did so knowing that I would love to fundraise for such an amazing hospital and organization that gave so much to my family and so many others, not to mention that I would be making a dream come true by having the chance to run Boston, the mother of all marathons.

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So as we welcome in 2016, don’t be afraid of the unknown.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Do it!  Surprise yourself.  Push negativity to the side and surround yourself with positivity.  Look around for inspiration.  Keep moving forward.  Never give up on YOU.  Remain loyal.  Stay close to your “team”.  Join forces with others.  Set goals  you didn’t think possible.  Achieve them together.  And never, ever, forget why you started.

Cheers to you and yours for a Happy New Year!

 

Yin Yoga Does A Body Good

Anyone that knows me would probably tell you that I never stop moving and I never sit down.  And they’d be right.  It’s just not built into my DNA.  This not only applies in my daily life, but also in my training.  I have consistently pushed my body to keep moving with each training cycle I have worked through for each marathon.  Yes, I have incorporated cross training and rest days, but what I have completely failed at is stretching and flexibility which is blatantly obvious to anyone that has seen me try to touch my toes…I mean my knees…because that’s about as far as I get.  I have failed to give the love back to my body that it has shown me with every speed work out, with every long run, with every hill repeat I have pushed it through.

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So for this training cycle, I have made some changes to my weekly schedule.  I am still incorporating speed work, tempo runs, hill workouts, long runs, recovery runs, cross training, strength.  You name it and it’s probably represented on my calendar at some point over the next 18 weeks. The biggest change I’ve made though is that  I have vowed to incorporate at least one day of yoga into my schedule each week.  I have wanted to do this in the past, but never actually built it into my training calendar and made a point to commit to it…and so of course, it never happened.  This time around, it is built in, every Thursday morning at 6 AM, and it is happening in large part to my great friend Victoria.

Victoria is an amazingly talented yogi.  Yoga is her passion and it shines through when she speaks about practicing and most definitely when you practice under her.  Did I mention she also has a British accent?  Yep.  That doesn’t suck either.  I just find it relaxing listening to her talk so when she is instructing me bright and early each week, it’s exactly the type of calm I need.  It’s the one day each week where I truly show my body the love it deserves as I flow through the poses, ground myself, and exist in each and every moment.  I am reminded to “just be” every time I walk into her studio.  It is a fantastic way to start my day.

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My experience with yoga has always been flowing through different poses and for the most part constantly moving during the practice from one pose to the next.  Remember, I never stop moving in general, so this type of yoga has been right up my alley!  I felt as though I was getting a good stretch in along with a workout.  This was the type of yoga that Victoria and I were doing…until last Thursday.

Last Wednesday night, I got a text from Victoria asking me if I would be interested to try “Yin Yoga”.  I wondered what the hell Yin Yoga was.  Victoria told me that we would do many of the same poses we had been doing, but each pose would be held for 3-5 minutes allowing for a deeper stretch.  She also mentioned it would be a bit more meditative since we were holding poses longer and using the breath to do so.  MY WORST NIGHTMARE.  That was my exact thought.  HOLD A POSE FOR 3-5 MINUTES! STOP MOVING AND FLOWING!  OH DEAR GOD HELP ME!   But because I love my friend and respect her knowledge of the practice, I agreed to try it…once.  I’m pretty sure I told her I didn’t think I’d like it, but I’d do it.  Needless to say, I wasn’t super excited come Thursday morning when my alarm went off.

I headed over for 6 AM for this Yin Yoga.  We practiced for our usual 60 minutes.  We held every pose for 3-5 minutes.  We did not flow.  We did not constantly move.  I did not hate it.  I LOVED IT!  WHAT?!?!?!  How could this be possible?  It went against everything in my DNA!

Yin Yoga was exactly as Victoria described it to me.  It was a slower-paced type of yoga with each pose being held for a longer period of time.  It was EXACTLY what my body has been screaming for.  It was the love that my body needs!  Every pose was a deep stretch and every pose forced me to focus on using my breath to “get comfortable being uncomfortable”, something I have been working on.  I loved it so much that I told my friend we need to continue doing it each week throughout this marathon training cycle.  I truly believe it will benefit me to restore balance, improve my flexibility, and give my muscles the stretch they’ve been looking for.

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Victoria later told me that she suggested we try Yin Yoga because she had read a lot about how it is great for runners.  Running would be considered a “yang movement” because it is high intensity.  To balance that type of workout, one should seek out a “yin” opportunity.  If only we all had a friend like this looking out for us right?  AMAZING!  After learning this, I had to check for myself online and voila, she of course was correct!  Yin Yoga is meant to be restorative to the body while also being a great way to avoid injury as a runner.  Check out this article from Competitor.com:  http://running.competitor.com/2013/11/recovery/using-yoga-for-injury-prevention-and-recovery_47712  Of course, you can also You Tube “Yin Yoga for runners” to get ideas for several different workouts to try yourself.

A huge thanks to my friend Victoria for helping me on my journey to Boston and pushing me to try something I never would have done on my own. If you’re like me and constantly putting your body through the wringer, try giving it some love.  Do yourself a favor and try some Yin Yoga.  It might just be exactly what your body needs.

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Purchase a Sweaty Band and Help a Great Cause!

As I fundraise for Team Tufts Medical Center and continue on my journey toward Boston 2016, I have been trying to get creative and offer a variety of ways for people to donate and help support such an amazing charity.  While I’m sure that my friends and family already feel overloaded with opportunities to help, I want to make sure there is something for everyone.  All of the fundraising events I am organizing speak to things that I love, am involved with, or are just plain fun!  This fundraising opportunity is no different.

When I learned that Sweaty Bands would let me custom design a headband to sell AND donate a portion of proceeds directly to Tufts Medical Center Boston, I was over the moon excited!  Sweaty Bands are my favorite headbands!  It’s true when they say that they don’t slip off your head…THEY DON’T!  I have a pretty big collection of Sweaty Bands going at this point and unless I’m wearing a hat to work out, I’m sporting one of these babies.  They are functional AND fashionable and I love them!

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So the “piece of me” that I implemented into this fundraiser is the actual Sweaty Band because I’m such a lover of their products.  I also included my Run For Your Sole logo as a symbol that we are all inspiring others around us with every step that we take.  I wove in a “piece of my Dad” as well, since he is the reason behind my being part of Team Tufts Medical Center.  If you read my earlier post about my Dad’s illness, you probably remember that he NEVER GAVE UP fighting for his life this entire year.  He still battles daily to get stronger and stronger with each step he takes.  So my Sweaty Band will serve as a reminder to NEVER GIVE UP.  Never give up on your goals.  Never give up on yourself. Never give up on a workout.  Never give up on your journey, whatever that may be.  There will be ups and downs, but if you continue to work hard and continue to fight, you WILL succeed!  Quiet all the noise and the negative.  Focus on the positive, keep your head up, and NEVER GIVE UP!

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Head on over to Sweaty Bands between now and January 19, 2016 to get your own custom “Never Give Up” headband.  Why not get one for a lucky friend too!  They’ll make great gifts for the holidays.

http://www.sweatybands.com/shop/special-collections/fundraisers/team-tufts-never-give-up

Be sure to enter code “TeamTufts” to get 10% off and to ensure a portion of proceeds is donated directly to Tufts Medical Center on my behalf!

HAPPY SHOPPING & THANK YOU!!!

 

Rule # 1 of Training: Cadence

Yesterday I had my first group training run as part of Team Tufts Medical Center with the Marathon Coalition.  Before our run began, Coach Rick kicked off the morning with a great, motivational talk for the group.  He reminded us of the impact that training for and running a marathon will have on our lives and on each of us individually.  He told us that we will be forever changed by this journey we have embarked on together toward Boston this coming April.  Finally, he talked about key things to keep in mind as we begin our marathon training.  This was the piece of his talk that stuck with me.  There is always room to improve and if someone the caliber of Coach Rick is going to give me tips and things to work on, you better believe I am going to listen, soak in those tips, and get to work.

Coach Rick's tips for week 1

Coach Rick’s tips for week 1

Lately, I have been hearing chatter about something called “cadence”.  After running four marathons, I somehow didn’t even know exactly what this meant, but the more I heard about it, the more I paid attention.  Cadence is simply the number of times your foot strikes the ground in a given timeframe (typically one minute) and is measured in steps per minute (SPM).  My friend pointed out to me a few months ago that my Garmin 220 kept track of my cadence and so I started looking at it.  I noticed my average cadence over the last month has been about 153-155 SPM.  This is NOT good!  See above from Coach Rick:  “Running Efficienty – 180 SPM” is the FIRST thing listed.  It is his #1 rule of training.  With quicker foot turnover comes better form, ideally a mid-foot landing (versus my usual heel strike), and overall a more efficient approach to every run which can save the body from injury…Yes please!

So, after finishing our 4 miler on  Saturday, I hung around for a bit and caught the ear of Coach Paul, another awesome Marathon Coalition Coach, to ask about rule # 1.  This is how the conversation went…

Me:  “So I am wondering about cadence.  I know ideally I should be targeting 180 SPM.  Right now, I am averaging between 153-155 SPM on all of my runs.”

Coach Paul:  “153-155?  Yeah.  You’ve got some work to do.”

And that was that!

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Of course, the conversation continued and Coach Paul helped me to understand all of the negatives to being in the 150’s, like the fact that I am putting my body through unnecessary hell and likely heel striking every step of the way.  He helped me to figure out exactly how I was going to start making changes to train my feet to turnover faster, ultimately leading to my body remembering that striking rhythm so that it eventually becomes natural.

Now, it sounds easy enough to increase your steps per minute.  Right?   Wrong!  For some reason, I just couldn’t wrap my head around how I was going to do this when I already felt like I was maxing out steps each mile I pound out on the pavement.  So I decided on my next run, I was just going to do what Coach Paul and Coach Rick told me to do…count my foot strikes.

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I headed out this morning for my local 3 mile route and immediately started counting how many times my right foot was striking the ground over 30 seconds.  My coaches explained that if you count for 30 seconds, you ideally want to have about 45 foot strikes.  If you count for one minute, then you’re looking for about 90.  That would equate to 180 SPM.  I continued counting for the entire 3 mile run, setting a metronome beat in my head and visualizing faster foot turnover.  I must have counted about 12 times, a few times on each street I took, and I averaged approximately 42 SPM in 30 seconds.  I was so focused on counting and turning my feet over that I didn’t realize until the end of the run that my average pace had improved quite a bit as compared to previous runs.  This was a direct result of my cadence work.  What I also noticed was that even though I was running at a faster pace than usual, my body was not screaming at me and I did not feel as tired.  Don’t get me wrong, it was not an easy run, but I felt like with my shorter strides, I was not heel striking as much as I tend to, my body was naturally aligning, and I was much more relaxed.  The tension that I typically hold in my neck and shoulders wasn’t there.  Counting my foot strikes was like a game.  Gotta get in 3 more steps before my 30 seconds is up!  Move those feet faster girl!  Progress is what I am looking for and I saw it today.  According to my Garmin, my average cadence today was 164 SPM as compared to my usual 153-155 SPM.

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Training the body to make changes certainly does not happen on one single run.  But today’s one run marked the start of my working toward consistency…counting my foot strikes, setting that metronome beat in my head, turning my feet over faster, and embracing rule #1!

 

Training Day 1…Doing It My Way!

Yesterday on a whim, I decided to join my friend Nicolasa of Shoe Laces & Bibs for an early morning hill repeat session.  This week marks 20 weeks out from the Boston Marathon.  For every marathon I have trained for, I’ve used a 16 week plan so I had no real plan for runs this week other than to just get out and run.  When I woke up at 5:30 AM to 20 degree weather and darkness, I dragged myself out of bed to get a run in and support a great friend as she began her training for Boston.  By the time we finished our warm up, cool down, and six hill repeats, the sun had risen and I had made the decision that today marked day one of my own training.

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Having a goal to work toward makes me push myself, guarantees I will put the time in, and keeps me moving forward toward the finish line.  That’s why making that decision yesterday morning felt so good.  I’m back on track.  Mentally, my mindset has changed.  For the last month or so I’ve been in between training cycles.  I’ve felt a little lost, extra tired, and realized that my body does not like that much rest.  Officially beginning training  has given me that feeling of excitement again, that feeling of knowing I’ve got goals to achieve, and that feeling of positivity that I needed to get my ass back in gear!

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So this time around, I’m switching it up a bit!  I’m going for a 20 week plan that will be a variation of what my Team Tufts coach has put together and what my local coach has suggested.        Someone once told me that this (training cycle) is mine.  It’s all about my goal, my pace, my push, my “why”.  Keeping that in mind, I’m going to trust my own instincts.  I know what I want.  I want to train happy.  I want to run long every week.  I want to do a recovery run every week.  I want to workout at OrangeTheory Fitness and cross train every week.  I want to do speed work every week.  I want to do yoga every week.  I want to let my body rest and recover every week.  I want to cross that finish line of the Boston Marathon, a proud member of Team Tufts,  with a smile, knowing that one of my dreams just became reality, and I achieved it my way.

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Ten Things I’m Thankful For!

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There are so many incredible blessings to be thankful for year round, but sometimes in the midst of all the chaos, it takes a day like today, Thanksgiving, to reflect back on those blessings, those moments, and those people who truly make a difference.

While I could list so many personal things I am very thankful for, in the spirit of keeping it light for the holiday, here are ten things running related items I am thankful for every time I take to the open roads, breathe in the fresh air, and pound some pavement.

  1.  Of course…my ASICS!  I haven’t broken my addiction yet to the ASICS Gel-Kayanos and don’t see that happening any time soon.  Hey, if the shoe fits…

"Free"- my shoe art for an ASICS contest asking how running makes you feel.

2.  Strobe lights are where it’s at when you’re running before sunrise!  I turn to Nathan for my strobe lights and wear one on my back and one of my chest so I’m covered from both sides!  The clips on their lights are nice and tight so they don’t fall off mid-run like some others I have tried.                                                                                                                                                                                                 3.  Along those same lines, my reflective Amphipod Xinglet Vest keeps me even more visible as cars approach me and probably wonder “WHAT IS THAT THING?!?!?!” … but hey, at least they see me!

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4.  Lastly, when it comes to being visible, I won’t leave home without my headlamp!  I used to run with an Energizer headlamp which did the job but was heavy on my head and hurt my forehead by the end of the run.  Thanks to my friend, I discovered the LED Lenser NEO headlamp.  This thing is affordable, super lightweight, and extremely bright, not to mention it comes in an assortment of fun colors

5.  On those long runs, I need to make sure I fuel up to keep moving and for that I turn to Honey Stinger!  I am in LOVE with the Ginsting Energy Gel, Organic Honey Waffles, and Orange Blosson Organic Energy Chews.  They do the job and they taste SO GOOD!

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6.  Hydration is key and that’s why God created NUUN!  You won’t find me racing without NUUN in my water bottles to keep me good and hydrated mile after mile.  My favorites are Orange and Fruit Punch, but I’m pretty sure I’ll drink any flavor!

7.  When I have 5 minutes to sit and relax, I used to open up US Weekly for my “news”…not to say I don’t sometimes do that (guilty pleasure), but nowadays if I have the time to read a magazine it is definitely Runner’s World!  I love the training tips, must have gear, new workouts, race information, and so much more!

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8.  My running group, Greater Manchester Moms Run This Town, is by far one of the BEST running related things to have happened in my life.  The motivation and inspiration in the group is OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING!  Even though many of us have not met in person, we lift each other up, push each other to the limit, and support one another in everything we do.  Nobody is left behind and nobody goes it alone!

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9.  Speaking of inspiration and motivation, I have fallen in love with my Motivate Wraps and Foot Note shoe charms from Momentum.  I am thankful for the small reminders I get when I glance down at my jewelry mid training run from hell and remember there are “no excuses” or as I circle the track for speed work and “remember my why”.  Not to mention, Momentum products make great gifts!

10.  Mostly, I am thankful for the running community and for the friends I have made that are just as crazy as I am, getting up at the butt crack of dawn just to get their workout in and work out their crazy!  I am thankful for life to my ROCKSTAR RUNNERS (you know who you are!) because every last one of you keeps me in check, pushes me beyond my limits, and reminds me what it really means to run happy!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Take time today to reflect on all of your blessings, large or small, and be thankful for every last one of them.

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Five Months, Good Health, & Boston!

When I logged in to edit some pages yesterday, I realized it had been almost exactly five months since I had posted anything here.  FIVE MONTHS!!??!! Just another example of how quickly time passes us by.  In the last five months, a TON has happened!  I’m a little sad that I missed writing about it all, but instead of going back in time, here’s a quick recap!

I have completed 11 races including Baystate Marathon (my second marathon of 2015), the Catamount Ultra (my first true trail race- AMAZING!), three relays, and a handful of 5K’s.  (For results, click here.)   I am now a proud ambassador for Momentum, which makes the most amazing, inspiring, motivational designs and jewelry for all of us who are always on the go, living an active lifestyle.  I just recently joined Gate City Striders here in Nashua, NH because the group is AWESOME, I love the idea of working with a team, and I need the extra push that this group will give me as I begin training again…for BOSTON!!!  YES!!! I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON!!! Did I just say that??? I actually still can’t believe that this dream of mine is actually happening!  IT’S REAL!!!  I’M  DOING IT!!!

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As many of you know, the toughest part of my year has revolved around my Dad being very ill.  Thankfully, while I was MIA here, he was busy working hard to fight, get his strength back, and work towards recovering.  In case you missed it, back in January my Dad underwent a double bypass surgery.  He came out of that surgery and recovered extremely well, but began to go down hill fast within just a few weeks.  He was in and out of the hospital several times without real answers or diagnoses as doctors continued to point to the bypass surgery he had just come through as the issue.  After months of his decline, countless trips to the hospital, watching his muscle waste away, and seeing my Dad begin to disappear in front of my own eyes, he was admitted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston where he was finally diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome so severe that his cortisol levels were 47 times the norm.  Additionally, a neuroendocrine tumor was found on his lung which was actually responsible for “spitting out” the excess hormones and driving his decline.  It was cancerous.  The only way to literally save his life was to get the hormones under control while at the same time managing his overall health and condition that resulted after so many months of nobody knowing was was actually happening.  He had to be well enough to undergo yet another surgery to remove the left lower lobe of his lung.  His team at Tufts told us that this type of case was so extremely rare that at a hospital the size of Tufts, they MIGHT see it once every 25-30 years.

While it seemed like forever to everyone involved, my Dad fought…and fought…and fought…finally getting well enough to undergo the lung surgery to remove this tumor.  The surgery was on June 16th.  Everyone held their breath that day as you might imagine.  When his amazing surgeon came to tell us that everything had gone perfectly, I think I nearly collapsed with shear relief and joy.  I will never forget that day as long as I live.  It was like a weight had been lifted and life could begin again.  I could not be more thankful or happy to say that he is now able to breathe freely,  walk unassisted, and he even drove the car for the first time this month!!!  There were MANY days that I’m sure my Dad may have wanted to quit fighting, but he NEVER GAVE UP!  He never quit!  It has been a long road that continues on even now, but I’ll be the first to say that miracles do happen!  We owe his life to Tufts.

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While I have always dreamed of running the Boston Marathon, I always knew that to run as part of a charity team, I would need to have a deep, personal connection to the cause to commit to all that is involved.  While the circumstances that led me to being forever indebted to Tufts Medical Center have been horrifying, this entire experience has gotten me to this point and I could not be more proud to be running Boston as part of Team Tufts Medical Center!  I can’t think of any other team I would want to be part of knowing how amazing Tufts is inside and out!

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So as you can see, while I have been absent with my blog posts, I have been busy experiencing life, with all of its ups and downs.  I can’t wait to take you on my journey from this point forward as I begin training with Team Tufts and getting closer to the finish line at Boston with every step I take!  Stay tuned for more!  It feels so good to say…I’M BACK!!!

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