Monday, January 30, 2012

Livin' on a Prayer

I've been trying to figure out what to post about.

I could go through mile-to-mile of the 12 I ran this weekend.
It was following a 3-hour birthday celebration at Chuck-e-Cheese
and fueled on a breakfast of greasy pizza,
which is impressive... 
but sort of a snoozefest. 

I could walk you through how much I loathe mid-week runs,
but get incredibly excited to go to bed early on Fridays so I can run my heart out the next day.
But I just did, and that's not much of a story after all. 

But there is a celebration to be had.
It's not an obvious celebration, but certainly worth celebrating.
This weeks marks the half-way point of my training. 
I downloaded a lot of Bon Jovi songs to aid in my celebration,
and my heart is fist pumping. 

Seriously though,
it's pumping really hard.
My heart, that is.
In 69 days I will run 26.2 miles with a ton of people who are are legit runners.
Who wear running sleeves that aren't actually attached to their shirts,
and have running shoes that even look fast,
who run and don't have to stop for the bathroom,
or some, I have learned, actually just don't stop.
These people actually had to run another marathon in record time 
in order to even be considered to participate in this race.
AND don't have to listen to Jon Bon Jovi to do it.

So, I'm half-way there.
And it is true that I'm living on a prayer.
I can only assume that 12 miles feels much different from 26.2. 
SO, in celebration of being half-way there, 
I present to you 13.1 reasons to donate to the Hoyt Foundation:

((13)) Team Hoyt chose me to run for their team in honor of my brother, Ryan.
I feel strongly that people with disabilities should be open to the same possibilities that able-bodied people are. The Hoyts are living proof, and I hope to give an ounce of hope to someone that they too can accomplish anything.

((12)) My training includes over 400 miles throughout the streets of New Orleans.
I'm not sure if I'm more impressed that I haven't been shot or that a pot hole hasn't swallowed me whole. You donate a dollar, I dodge bullets and leap over 400-year-old oak tree roots - fair trade.

((11)) I have given up my Friday night wine consumption and instead plan on how I'm going to better the lives of hopefully many.
I've been through hundreds of yards of fabric, dozens of spools of thread and countless hours just to get to Boston.
There I plan to visit the Children's Hospital of Boston, where I will see with my own eyes where my hard work and dedication and some of your dollars will go to. 

((10)) Dick and Rick Hoyt have finished 1,072 races together.
That includes 6 Ironman Triatholons, where Dick pulled Rick in an inflatable boat for 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles with Rick riding shotgun, then pushed him 26.2 miles.
And I thought my Saturday's were productive.

((9)) Rick Hoyt just turned 50, and his father, Dick, is 71.
I am 26... and suddenly my knees don't hurt anymore...

((8)) The Hoyt Foundation supports Easter Seals,
an organization that works endlessly to help people with disabilities to live full and productive lives.

((7)) Rick and Dick not only make me want to be a better sister to Ryan and to support people regardless of their condition, but to also to be a better mother. 
The unconditional love that they display makes me want to push, pull and wheel Gray in 1,000 races -
not because he can't, but because I would.

((6)) Being a part of this team has opened my eyes and heart to so many emotions and experiences.
From learning to sew, to battling runner's trots, to understanding the passion behind charity running, I feel I am a better person now than I was 10 weeks ago. I see people differently. And although I am gaining so much personally, for maybe the first time in my life, I feel completely selfless.

((5)) The Hoyts have reached an incredible amount of people in similar situations with their slogan, "Yes You Can."
Every time I see that slogan it is all in caps, and I think that it is that way for a reason. It should be loud and proud and used well after Dick and Rick decide that they have run their last race. So many families, such as mine, have found themselves saying, "Wow! I can't believe they are doing this. What can I do to help out?"
I think that little people like me will be able to spread their inspiring words and story forever.

((4)) This has inspired me to figure out what I want to do in the long-term of my life.
I've always wanted to help, but I wasn't sure how. I'm still figuring out the details of my grand plan, but I feel entirely at peace putting my personal needs aside to help someone else.
I think the Hoyt Foundation is a great start to what I feel will be an amazing life journey.

((3)) I believe I am creating an incredible story to tell my son.
If you know me, I'm all about telling a story... and a lengthy one at that. I thrive on details. I have a feeling that this 20-week experience is going to pave a lifetime of story and inspiration to guide my son to be an incredible friend and companion. You just can't make this stuff up. I think I'll make him proud.

((2)) I, with the help of the Hoyt's, will hopefully be inspiring others to make similar decisions in their life.
I don't mean that everyone needs to run a marathon to raise awareness for disabled people, but rather find what makes them helpful to their community or family or surroundings. Because if I can promise any advice to anyone, it's that joining hands with other people for a meaningful cause is a very powerful and uplifting experience. It's contagious in that I don't want to stop. I want to help Team Hoyt, my brother, the blind child down the street, the old man juggling his groceries to get to the car, my son when he can't figure out his buttons, my friend when she has man trouble, my mom when she's exhausted from babysittting, my friend who just had a baby, and anyone else who crosses my path. 

((1)) Ryan is living proof that a disability only holds you back as far as you let it.
This is a logic that just cannot be taught - it must be experienced. Pushing oneself comes with benefits. For Ryan, it was driving, buying his own home and owning the hell out of SoHo Tampa. For me, it will be a marathon; a marathon that will entirely benefit those who need that extra motivation to make their own life dreams happen. 

and the 0.1, which is the shortest part of a race, 
but oftentimes the most powerful and memorable part:

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((0.1)) Our kids, our future.
Let's make way for unsheltered minds who don't judge and who treat others equally. May this kid and his friends not be afraid to stand up for what's right and love all shapes, size and colors.
Kindness will go a long way...

Join me in making a difference

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No Milk for My Cereal

(This was actually written last week. The delay in posting further supports how awful it was)

I've just had a god awful past few days. 

Let's recap, shall we?
Come on, hop on the crazy train.

Saturday's 11-mile run was actually not bad;
however, I must say Boo to Gu.

My first encounter with this flavored dog slobber was just about 1 year ago.
It was my first half marathon.
I kid you not the guy that ran next to me had 10 strapped to his gadgety belt with 18 bottles of water. 

At first I was laughing.
Like, what a total goober.
But then I was like, wait a minute...
maybe mambo man knows some sort of secret.
He'll probably pass me with this energy-in-a-packet miracle.
He has every flavor to please whatever palate may come about during this trot.

So the first Gu station I came to, I sucked one down,
and immediately spit it back out.
I mean, who serves black cherry anything... ever?
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce to every race function ever:
Lemon-lime Gatorade is grossy-pants. I'll take orange, thanks.

But that was a half marathon.
This is a full marathon. 
I need fuel.
I need a punch of energy every hour.
I need to be able to run 26.2 miles without passing out.
But I do NOT need sugary boogers in a plastic shooter.
I do NOT need Gu.

Well, that's what I learned anyhow.
I received it for Christmas as a gift, 
and I thought, "Eh, might as well give this tri-berry a whirl."
So, around mile 6, I did just that. 

One word:
I was instantly like the roadrunner.
I had to talk myself into running slower.
After all, I still had 5 miles left and 5 levels of the garage.

I could feel it leaving my system around mile 9.
Roadrunner shortly turned back into regular Kellyn.
I started to notice how badly I wanted water,
but as soon as I tasted water,
I didn't want it. 

THEN, at mile 10 I had to stop to take a few breaths.
Was this nausea? Am I dehydrated? 
Ok, keep going.
WAIT. Take a few more breaths...
Keep going.
Oh my word.
Am I going to hurl? 

I had to walk the .5 miles home because I was literally going to get sick.
Stupid Gu.

Sunday wasn't that awful. 
Give me a glass of wine and an awards show and I generally have very little to complain about.

But Monday came with a vengeance. 
I had several apron orders to complete since I was sick the week before.
Mother Myrtle was being a little testy mama.
The tension was off? The thread was too tight? Was the bobbin right? Was there dust? Did the needle that broke last week get lodged in there somewhere? Do I need to oil this piece? What the heck does this button do? Was I JUST A TOTAL AMATEUR WHO HAD NO BUSINESS SEWING APRONS IN THE FIRST PLACE???
Google DID NOT get what I was asking.
I just cried. and cried. and cried. 
I called my mother who offered several helpful options.
They were ALL wrong.
There was nothing that could be done. 

On top of this obvious travesty, 
I had to ice both of my knees. 
One knee: 15 minutes.
Next knee: 15 minutes.
Switch x 2 hours.

I decided to step away completely from everything. 
I watched The United States of Tara,
which entirely spoke to me.

One minute I am super awesome mom who is good a disciplining and always open for a hug. Then, I'm craze-o fundraising Kellyn, who starts planning blueprints for some great development that she's going to build to save the planet. Then, I'm a wife, who wants to be sweet and flirty. Then, I'm some running woman who wears a watch, a knee brace and orthotics in her shoes and says things like, "I need to run 8:21 miles in order to qualify for this wave to get my half marathon PR." Then I'm a gossiping sister/daughter or a "No he didn't!" girlfriend. And then I'm this apron-making maniac.


So ALL OF THESE got the best of me. 
I wanted to explode.
I wanted a break.
I thought it was over after my glass of wine and a full night's rest...

Then Tuesday morning came.

There wasn't enough creamer for the coffee.
NO milk for my cereal.
No bread for my peanut butter.

I was so mad that my choice food items were unavailable,
that I didn't eat.
Out. Of. Spite.
I was a total toddler.
Then I was getting sucker punches from everyone.
Home. Bills. Work.
I couldn't escape the hate.

When I went for my run to escape the crazy train,
I found myself totally fatigued and gasping for water.
My spiteful self did not properly eat or hydrate,
and my body was P.O'ed.
My easy 3-miler was not so easy.

Lesson's learned:

- Gu is not for me, but I need to figure out an alternative
- I need to take a major chill pill
- I must eat and drink, regardless of temper tantrum
- Sometimes, a spool of thread is a bad egg
- My mother is a very patient woman
- My husband is a very patient man
- I need to work on my patience
and finally:
- I am doing my part in saving the world, one mile at a time

Tomorrow is a new day,
another run,
a new perspective,
and another chance to find my peace in this crazy life.

Cheers to my other mother runners who know exactly what I'm talking about.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brotherly Love

If everyone had even an ounce of the love these boys have,
the world would be a much happier place.

I needed a little inspiration today,
and these sweet boys did just the trick!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good 3 Miles

Clearly, anticipated-day drinks are a completely awesome motive for a fast run.
It's as if there was a Stella Artois dangling from a pole in front of me:


(Couldn't resist)

It could also be my new Oakley sunglasses that I received today!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Whatever it was, I ran 3 miles in 23:49 which made me feel super.

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Super enough to go pound a Stella.

Even Raya was like, "You did whaaaaat, girl?!"

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Time to celebrate!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Lesson in Running

If anyone ever attempted to argue that running was easy
I would probably judo-chop their ass.

Today was hard.

I wasn't feeling top-notch, although I wasn't feeling bad enough to postpone.
Hal Higgy told me to run 9.
Uta advised runners that we should be at 11.
So I did what Kellyn always does: what I wanted.

I felt that I would satisfy Uta and impress Hal with a center 10-miler. 
I hadn't run 10 miles since my half marathon.
I didn't even run 10 miles during my training for the half.
Actually, I told people I did, but it was a complete lie. 
I only did 9.25.

So today's run started in pretty mild spirits: not too pumped, not too much dread:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I was wearing my new running skirt though,
so that helped the mood.
I am also seen wearing my most favorite bandana.

Clearly it has no luck value to it,
because by the time I reached mile 5
I had what I will call a "Runner's Crash."
I haven't any idea if that is a real term, 
or if this even happens to other runners,
but I had to walk
I've never walked on a run. 
Even at street lights or to let cars pass, I jog in place.

My body was all like, "Slow the hizzle down, girlfriend."
And then I remembered the great phrase:
It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

SO, I allowed myself 2-1/2 minutes to walk
and I talked myself out of calling husband to pick me up at St. Charles and Audubon.
I regulated my breathing,
did a little strecheroo,
and thought of my brother, Rick and all the others unable to be running a 5th mile
and their LIFE marathons.

I strapped my water bottle thing-a-magig back on my hand,
powered on some Chamillionaire
and I was back in business. 

Now, as some of you are well aware,
the only hill in New Orleans looks like this:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

So I've had to take on to parking garages to train.
I say that like I've already done it.
That is another lie.
Today was my first day of parking garages,
so this was a lovely surprise:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Good thing I wasn't jogging.
I was running that piece.

I had this whole plan in my head of the cops chasing me down
and me screaming, 
"Don't stop me, or you will be the reason that there is a heartbreak in Heartbreak Hill!!!"

The good thing about parking garages are this:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Am I not the only one who sees the holy light?

So two parking garages and 3 post miles later,
I arrived home.

I wanted to puke.
I could hardly bend my legs.
I could hardly straighten my legs.
I needed orange Gatorade.
I wanted a massage.
I longed for a nap.

I secretly hoped no one was home 
so I could lay face-first on a cool hardwood floor without being pegged by a Cheezit 
or a Thomas the Train tank engine.

After all of those feelings went away,
I felt awesome.
I immediately called my Dad 
because I've always felt the need to athletically impress him.
I called Husband to let him know that I was alive. 
And then I sat down to write this blog because I didn't want to lose my thoughts.

I wanted to remember this exact post on my next run
and any run to follow.

This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
I do not follow that in any way, shape or form in any aspect of my life,
but I feel so refreshed knowing that I can control that in a run.
I worked with my body today: I listened, I pushed, I held back and I learned. 

Somehow my worst-timed run became the most inspirational. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Now, it's time for a celebratory beer.
Who's buying?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stella and Dot Trunk Show

Meet Megan.


(Down, boys, she's a married woman)

Megan is a stylist for Stella & Dot,
a super hip wonder world of jewelry and handbags.

She has agreed to donate 50% of sales proceeds to Running for Ryan! 
So basically, you get to look fabulous
while I'm sweating and running.

I'm totally OK with this. 

Valentines Day is around the corner!
I'm not making any promises,
but I imagine that if my honey bought me,
this very brooch:

... he would be nicely thanked.

Stella & Dot is full of really amazing accessories 
that have been featured in all the right places:
*Marie Claire
*In Style 
*Real Simple

So you're bound to be more than thrilled with your purchase!

New Spring line comes out Jan 9!

To purchase some stellar accessories
AND support Running for Ryan,
visit Megan's store by clicking HERE.
(OR you can click on her direct link on the right-side of this page.)

When all of your tons of goodies are in the shopping bag,
be sure to choose Kellyn Gowen from the drop-down trunk show menu before checkout!

If you need any help along the way,
you can email Megan at
or ask me.

Happy shopping, ya'll! 
And THANK YOU for all your support.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It Is Cold

It's a bitter and frigid day here in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

It's 50 degrees.

Considering I was wearing a tank top and jorts under 48 hours ago,
I find it the least bit strange that this is my attire for a quick and easy 3 mile run today:


I pray
(yes, occasionally I pray)
that the weather gods will be kind to this Florida heart on April 16, 2012. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I haven't made a solid new years resolution in years.
I don't know if it's because I weirdly mixed it up with Lent,
meaning I could never commit to giving up any of my guilty pleasures
(i.e. McDonald's double cheeseburgers, Coca-Cola classic and cursing),
or if it's my classic scatter brain that couldn't focus on one single resolution...

But this year it's pretty plain and simple,
and oddly enough,
there is nothing plain or simple about it.

Running for Ryan and the Hoyt Foundation wrapped up my 2011.
The last 3 months of that year (weird that it's past-tense already),
were totally dominated by this incredible force that took over my body, mind and soul.

I am so proud to announce that I have already met my team's required fundraising amount.
As of December 28, 2011, Running for Ryan has raised an astounding $5,525 for the Hoyts!!
I nearly fell out of my chair upon receiving a jaw-dropping donation from the SoHo Tavern,
which I had the pleasure of visiting over Christmas break,
to push us over that goal amount.

Some of you may be thinking,
"Thank god. Perhaps the Facebook updates and blog links will end."
Sorry to disappoint, my dears,
but there is truth to the saying to reach for the moon and you'll end up amongst the stars.
I haven't a clue as to how far up the moon is,
and I haven't ended my quest to reach it.

Running for Ryan isn't about reaching a set goal,
as I had my (well, my husband's) credit card on file fully prepared to make that final donation payment;
it's about raising awareness, and we won't stop until we have reached as many souls as possible.

So my new years resolution is:
To plainly and simply do everything I can to be the best member of Team Hoyt that I can possibly be.
I've raised the money,
but the world has yet to learn how passionately I feel.
You have, since you are here reading this,
but I feel there are others who haven't.

However, there is more to this team than raising awareness and a few thousand George Washingtons...
I have to run a marathon.
That's 26 miles, plus what I feel will be the toughest 285 yards of my life,
with the world's most impressive athletes,
including Dick and Rick Hoyt.

I need to train smarter. 
Eat better.
Budget my time. 

This is my first and it most certainly will be well done. 
I just bought two running skirts to ignite my celebration. 
I received fabulous gifts from my husband, parents and sister-in-law all geared towards running.
I've got all that I need.
It's on like Donkey Kong, ya'll.

So 2012,
I'm ready for you.
You will bring longer runs than I thought possible to run.
A Boston Marathon bib.
A Boston Marathon medal.
More minds thinking about something perhaps they hadn't before.
My family and friends coming together to support a common cause.
More aprons.
Knee braces.
Blog posts.
New running shoes.
Runs in Audubon Park.
Fundraising ideas.

This is going to be a great year.
A year to celebrate.
Cheers to the 2011 happenings that have brought me to 2012.

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