Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why I Run

It occurred to me today on my run
that some people may not really know why I joined Team Hoyt. 
Sure, they may have heard about my brother passing,
and known this race is in his honor,
but I wanted to explain how it is so much more than that. 

I joined Team Hoyt in 2011 because I grew up with a brother with a disability. 
It was my every day. 
And I certainly don't mean that in a bad way; in fact, just the opposite. 
Growing up with a brother with a disability meant that I was given the advantage of learning that we all have our differences, our own special obstacles, 
and regardless of what they are, 
we all deserve kindness and respect.

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People with disabilities have come a long way.
This is mostly thanks to the fight of so many of their family members. 
My brother, for instance, escaped having to go to a special school. 
His mind worked just fine, and so my parents fought for him to be in public school with us. 
Dick Hoyt and his wife were told to put Rick in an institution. 
Instead of staring at four gray walls, he's now seen the world. 

The point of me running this race,
and doing so right after having a baby,
is to spark attention.
But don't be confused in that I want the attention for myself. 
I dont' want the attention on my brother passing either.
This attention is to hopefully direct you to the world of disability awareness.
A world where these people feel accepted.
This inclusion brings comfort, confidence and prosperity.

I saw this in my brother. 
He grew up in a world where he was treated no differently by his family and peers. 
I know this world is possible, and so I run to bring this possibility to other people's lives. 

I run for Ryan; to celebrate his incredible existence.

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I run for the Hoyts; to celebrate their fight for disability awareness.

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I wish every day that I could visit these courageous people and be a part of that difference. 
But I am raising my own family, and so I leave it in the hands of the Hoyt Foundation. 
They work so hard to make sure that so many lives are touched and brightened. 

You too can be a part of it!
To make a donation to the Hoyt Foundation, please click HERE.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feeling Good

One of the greatest feelings in the world is the feeling of accomplishment. 
I'm not sure what it is about this week, 
but it has given me high hopes that this crazy path I chose to go down
is actually going to happen, and in good fashion.

When I was pregnant, the idea of juggling two kids, training and fundraising seemed doable.
Then I was all of a sudden juggling two kids, training and fundraising,
and I honestly felt that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off. 

Dollars weren't coming in like they did the first time around. 
People didn't seem as interested. 
My body was out of shape.
My head was tired.
I was trying to work out an impossible schedule. 

But somehow, and like most things generally do,
everything worked itself out. 

I started training smarter and exercising my core instead of just my legs. 
That turned two miles of slow jogging and walking 
to running long distances in sub 10-minute miles. 
This gave me a stronger body and a clearer mind,
and I believe that played a huge role in boosting my confidence in fundraising.

Now I am hoping to organize a fabulous fundraiser with a local company here in Memphis.
My fingers are crossed, but with how great things have been going, 
I imagine that everything is going to fall into place as it should. 

Today we enjoyed a beautiful run in 60 degree weather.

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Special thanks to my sidekick girlfriend for keeping me entertained on the road.

As I find myself in this great happy place,
I hope that my teammates and anyone reading this finds theirs. 
Cheers, friends!
(And cheers to you, too, Ryan)

If you need help finding your happy place, 
I think you can find it here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best Run Ever.

The best part about having a terrible run,
is that it's most likely followed by a fantastic one. 

Today I woke up to the sun shining,
not a cloud in the sky, 
35 degree weather,
and the ambition to take on my long run a little early. 

I didn't want to compromise my Valentine's night. 
I have a date with a bottle of wine and Congressman Underwood. 

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My husband will likely be around too. 

I don't take long runs lightly. 
I like to eat a good meal the night before. 
I concentrate on hydration. 
I ensure that I  have food and drink for recovery. 
I have my clothes laid out.
iPod charged.

Running purely on Cabernet Sauvignon is probably not a smart idea. 

SO, today was the day. 
It started off perfectly chilly,
and by mile 3 I was taking off my wind breaker. 
By mile 5 off came the long-sleeve. 
I was running in a tank top. 
In February. 
It SNOWED yesterday. 
It was magical.
I even noticed that my arms were looking more like arms and not marshmallows.

Dozens of neighbors were out walking their dogs and pushing their babies.
Smiles and waves.
Even the mail people were happy and smiling. 
I even got a little hoot from the lawn man.
Everyone was being so friendly. 

I thought to myself, "This may be the best run there ever was!"
That's when I noticed that my nursing pads were sticking out of my top. 
The word embarrassment doesn't even begin to cover how I felt. 
No wonder everyone was so giddy. 
Luckily enough, I remedied this issue before I ran into my husband's best friend.

But other than that small, weird hiccup,
I had a seriously beautiful run.
10 miles are in the bank for the day. 
24 for the week. 
Boston in 67 days!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

A Bad Run

Every runner knows that you have good running days and bad running days.
My long run this Saturday was a bad one. 

I'm not sure what made it bad??
Perhaps the beef stew the night before was a little too hearty.
Maybe it was the blanket of snow that gave me a scare.
Or it could have just been that I didn't want to run because I didn't want to run.

All I know is that I did everything to back out. 
I texted my Dad about the weather, hoping he would say to sit it out. 
Instead he gave me a "You can do it!" text right back.

I messaged my northern teammates.
I have no clue why I expected sympathy from them. 
About 80% of my team runs in mounds of snow daily. 
One of them even posted sweat icicles hanging from his face after his run.
My most favorite teammate Jen rocked one hell of a shiner thanks to ice.
Another went to the ER to stitch up his forehead from his slippery run.

Part of being on an inspirational team includes plenty of inspiring teammates.
I got flooded with Yes You Can! messages. 
And really, yes I could. 

So off I went. 

The beginning was tough. 
I was probably being over cautious of the road conditions. 
I mean, let's be honest, 1 inch of snow doesn't really wreak havoc. 
But I was taking my time. Watching every step. 
Convincing myself that every wet patch I saw was ice.
After about 4 miles, I felt a little more comfortable, and it was actually quite peaceful. 
Well, until I realized that my loop wasn't long enough.

In retrospect, I think that changing my course half way through was a bad idea.
I'm a creature of habit. I like running loops. 
I know where I'm at. I know how far I have left. 
It gives me something to look forward to and thus, something to push for. 
So when I thought I was at mile 8 of 13, and my GPS told me otherwise, I was pissed.
I had to improvise a couple miles, which threw me off balance mentally. 

I never walked. I never stopped. 
I finished, but absolutely, positively felt every dern mile of that run. 
I was so tense that my neck hurt. 

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Post-run photo. Quite literally could not smile. 
A terrible photo. 
And truth be told, I took like 15, and this was the best one.

My recovery wasn't any better. 
Maybe it was the leftover beef stew? I really want to blame the stew.
Who knows, but I could hardly walk up the stairs afterwards. 
To get down, I went step by step on my rear. 
Getting into bed, you'd think I was a crotchety old man. 

I did everything right. 
I put the weekday runs in. 
I went to boot camp. 
I drank lots of water. Even electrolyte water.
It was just a bad run. 

But as my Dad said in reply to my whining that this run was worse than birthing a baby, 
"Had to be done. It's 'good' pain."

The good news is that it's a new week! 
and better yet, it's a recovery week.
This weekend, I only have to run 10 miles,
which mind-blowingly sounds like a breeze to me.

177 miles logged in so far.
283 more to go before the big 26.2.
11 weeks until I take on Boston!