Thursday, May 7, 2015

Runniversary: 4 Years Running Strong

This week in my personal history is one of the best, most life changing weeks of my life. This is the week of my runniversary, and the week of my handsome husband putting a ring on my finger and promised to keep me forever. I have to say that I love him more than I love running, but I am still pretty pumped about my runniversary. On May 9th, 2011, I went out on my first intentional run, and I have accomplished so much in the four years since then.

I completed  my first half, the Wadell and Reed Kansas City Half Marathon, in October 2011, and this week I signed up to run the same race a second time. I can't wait to return to my first half, only the second race I ever ran, and I am going to work hard over the next 5 months to hopefully set a new half PR for myself.

I raised money for ALS research with help from some very generous friends and family members in conjunction with training for my first marathon. I ran the Philadelphia Marathon with my Anything for 10 sister, Grace, in my grandma's memory in 2013. I had said after running the KC Half the first
time that I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 26. It was the runner's high talking at the time, but when my amazingly strong and independent grandma lost the ability to walk, talk, and eat before she passed away on my 25th birthday, I looked at my sister at her funeral and I said, "You know we are running a marathon before I turn 26, right?" She smiled and said, "Yes." And although it wasn't pretty, I finished that marathon. I spent the MANY training miles logged thinking about and talking to my grandma. Running was a way for me to grieve and heal. Did my grandma love running? No. But she was the absolute picture of strength and grace, which is something all marathoners need as a beacon.  I wrote "Anything for 10" and "For Grandma" on my race bib, and as I was about to cross the finish line, the announcer asked me what it meant, and then announced to the crowd that I was running in my grandma's memory one week before the one year anniversary of her passing. As the tears started flowing when the announcer spoke to the crowd, I thought I might not make it the last couple steps, but Mayor Michael Nutter grabbed me and pulled me across the finish into an embrace saying, "She's proud. Good job. Congratulations."

I ran three half marathons in two states in 45 days in the Spring of 2014, and I earned membership in the national running club, Half Fanatics, and I earned a Road Apple Award that same year. I set my current half PR at the first half in that Spring series, and afterward I got my first and only tattoo. It is a running tattoo on my wrist so that I can see it when I am out on the road, and it signifies love, life, run. It means that I need to remember to do those three things regularly, and that I need to run in order to love and live life fully. Running helps me to appreciate life and all that I am able to experience in life. I have met many amazing people in the running community since I started running, and I am thankful for each of them, and when I see my tattoo I often think of them as well.

I am a fortunate and blessed human being, and running reminds me to be grateful. Here's to many more years of crazy goals, meeting new people, connecting with family and friends, and logging lots of miles.

Monday, May 4, 2015

True Chronicles of a Bad Luck Runner 2.0

I've done a post by the same name in the past, but it seems that it is time for another installment. I may be one of the most unlucky runners out there, and quite possibly being fairly clumsy and a bit crazy may have something to do with that as well. You see, I might be the only person to get bursitis in my ELBOW from running. Now I suppose I should tell you the story because it will make more sense, but seriously, I just want it gone.

I have trauma induced septic olecranon bursitis. Pretty straightforward really. Bursitis in my elbow from a trauma (falling like an idiot) that is infected... I'm not entirely sure how the infection happened since I have no open wounds or anything, but nonetheless, I am on some aggressive antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medications. And it's a good thing I didn't tell the nurses and doctors the full back story on the whole thing because they already thought I was an idiot for waiting 10 days after the initial fall to go to the doctor. To be fair, I went to the doctor when it really flared up and became didn't hurt all that bad until 10 days after the fall... thus my waiting 10 days. Geez, people.

There's the culprit!
So how did it happen? Well, you see... First you have to understand... gahhh. I am dumb. That's basically what you need to understand. I am a lot of fun though! My husband is so lucky that he gets to live with me really. I decided to do some hill climber sprints. If you don't know what a hill climber is, then do a quick Google search. And a hill climber sprint is just where you use something to put your hands on so that you can move across the floor as you do the hill climbers. I just happened to try doing this in our tiny temporary living apartment using a hot pad on our essentially concrete floors. Yes, that's right; I'm an idiot. Matt looked at me, and said, "Don't do that." Without missing a beat, I ran across the length of the apartment, and fell over onto my elbow when I got to the end and realized I couldn't stop, and I was about to hit the wall. Oh, the look on his face as he stood over me as I half writhed on the floor in pain and half laughed. Priceless really.

Run when you can, walk if you must,
crawl when you have to;
just never give up. -Dean K.
I am not really supposed to be running until the pain and swelling subside. It's been 4 days of torture. I am supposed to be doing some pre-training training. Yes, I am training to train. I have some big goals for myself this summer and fall, so I need to start getting ready for that fall race goal now. Only I can't run, so I have been bummed. I decided to go for a walk on Sunday and I went out again tonight. If I can't run, then I will walk. There are some people who don't have the good fortune to be able to do that! And even worse, there are people who are able to do so and choose not to! I have big goals, yes, but life is really about the little things. I have been reminded of that lately. I often spend time thinking of or talking to my grandma when I run, and I have always been a bit of frantic person. I can remember my grandma frequently telling me just to calm down. "Don't make such a fuss." "It's fine," she'd say. She was a wise woman.

Don't make such a fuss. Life's about the small things.

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