happy 6 year RUNNAVERSARY to me!

6 years! 6 freaking years running. How many total miles have I run? Don't know. It's got to be around 4,000 maybe? How many pairs of shoes have I gone through? Don't know. It's got to be around 10 pairs maybe? I do know that I have run 16, no 17. No, 18....crap. I don't even know how many half marathons I've run. 3 Full marathons. That, is a fact. Big Sur April 2015, LA Marathon February 2016, Mesa - Phoenix February 2017.

I'm forever grateful for my first mile. Over the years, I've run for me. I've run for others. I've raised awareness. I've met some pretty freaking UNBELIEVABLE people & I just can't thank myself enough for taking the first step 6 years ago.

I am who I am today because of running. RUNNING IS AWESOME.

How long have you been running?

I Run 4 Michael needs Y O U

If you follow me on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM (if you're not, you should!) than you know who I run for. If you are new to my little corner of the interwebs, than let me share with you:  #IRun4Mataya . (you can catch up HERE ). 

Please share this post - there is a waitlist (roughly 9 months) for runners to be matched with buddies, it is so long because there is a shortage in buddies. Below is a video that Facebook Stories created as well as an except from the whoIrun4.com blog. 


 

“You can run for me anytime!”  
A simple phrase that sparked a movement.

From the I Run 4 Blog Page: We all have friends who say, “run some for me,” because they don’t WANT to run. But what about those who can’t run for physical or developmental reasons?  Having been inspired by a close friend battling bilateral hip dysplasia, Founder Tim Boyle discovered a whole new inspiration to run.

Here at IR4, we foster relationships. We want to see runners and buddies alike experience the profound power of encouraging and being supported by people who were once perfect strangers. Running can just be about health. Or it can be about dedicating our miles to and creating awareness for our buddies with special needs whose conditions span the spectrum from total physical disability to developmental delays to autism spectrum disorders, as well as myriad rare conditions we’re only now learning about thanks to our participation in IR4.

Through I Run 4 Michael and its branch organizations Kerri On: I Run 4 Remembrance and IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes, athletes of all levels and kinds find new motivation, purpose, and power for their workouts. It’s about more than miles; it’s about building relationships and bolstering support systems.

We hope you will join with us!

To learn more, or to register for YOUR perfect match, click the Match Me tab above and get started!


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change is good

Change is part of life. And whether you like it or not, it's going to take place with or without your approval. It could be something pint-size (your favorite ice cream joint shut down), or something more drastic (death, divorce, or disability). The universe has a natural way of balancing things out.

With that being said, it is time for runningandwine.com to make a change. I have so many ideas in my head that if I didn't start acting on them, they would just sit there and basically die. I listen to the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast and Kelly is constantly encouraging her listeners to believe in themselves and believe in their voice, and share their story!  So, this is my leap of faith .... I'm not changing the world today or tomorrow, but this is a start. 

Thank you for coming along on my journey and allowing me to share. 

I left a piece of my heart in....PHOENIX!

If you had asked me 6 years ago if I wanted to run, I would have laughed in your face & (kindly) said HECK NO. I grew up playing softball and HATED running the bases. There was no way you were getting me out there to "run for fun".

And then this happened:

June 19, 2011 I went out for a walk. I saw a couple girls running and thought, Hmmm…..ok, that kind of looks fun. So off I went running down the street and back to my house. That was my first mile. On June 26, 2011 I ran my first 5k (28:18) and haven’t stopped since.

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Fast forward from June 2011 to last week. (one day, I'll post about everything in between). Until then, let's chat about how I got to Phoenix and how I left a piece of my heart there.

DID SOMEONE SAY PARTY IN THE DESERT?

What started out in February 2015 with a few friends meeting up & running a marathon, turned into a social (running / party) event in 2016. I kept seeing the hashtag on instagram: #ItsGoingDownAtPhx . It caught on like wild fire and next thing I knew - I was simply missing out. Shortly after 2016 Phoenix Marathon,  #WeRunSocial: A crew with the sole purpose of running all the miles and winning life on the interwebs, was born. ((you can read about all that here))

2017 BMO MESA PHOENIX MARATHON RECAP TIME:

Without boring you with all the details - I signed up for what would be my 3rd marathon, I made plans, I booked a hotel, flight, trained for MONTHS and off I went. Marathon #3..... am I crazy? Maybe a little bit. But who isn't really. And, in case you don't know, #IRun4Mataya . You can read about that here  (go ahead, I'll wait for you).

Thursday, February 23rd: THE ARRIVAL

@pavementrunner and I caught the same flight into Phoenix. Once there we grabbed lunch, checked into the hotel and ventured out for a beer and a movie - The Great Wall. Ya, lets just say I probably would have fallen asleep but I was scared Brian would have done an Instagram live featuring me snoozing, so I muscled through. (I'm not a movie go'er so I was pleasantly surprised with the comfy recliners!! )

Speaking of Instagram live, when we got back to the hotel that night, Brian thought it would be fun to do an IG live session. So we did- and it was fun and should happen more often.

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Friday, February 24th: RACE DAY EVE

**MORNING**

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@pavementrunner and I picked up @fitfam6 at the airport, grabbed breakfast at Starbucks and headed to the Lululemon outlet. I'm not much of a shopper and the only Lulu item I owned at the moment was gifted to me. Buuuuuuut, when in Rome right....I picked up a pair of shorts on discount. (and now I'm obsessed. I blame THESE TWO!)

**NOON**

Bib pickup and a quick walk through the expo (which was extremely easy to navigate and lots of great vendors) .  @WeRunSocial and @ProCompression hosted a meetup which was awesome. I was able to finally meet some of the awesome peeps I've been following online.

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**NIGHT**

After the expo, a few of us headed over to  La Grande Orange. They have great pizza, delicious dessert, beer and then some! And of course, we took more pictures.

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Back to the hotel,  laid out my clothes, and tried to get as much sleep as I could. 3:00am wakeup was going to come fast.

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Saturday, February 25th: RACE DAY 

Alarm was set to go off at 3:00am. The course was a point to point so we needed to catch the shuttle at a certain time. @Pavementrunner and @carleemcdot had done this before, so I just followed the leader and rolled with them.

I trained for 4 months and was ready to run. Only thing I forgot to do......Check the freaking weather. It was a tad chilly, but thankfully, they let us stay on the bus until it was time to head to start line. (which would end up hurting me. I'll explain, keep reading)

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What should have happened was 20 minutes of stretching and warming up -- sadly, I lost track of time chatting & keeping warm on the bus that by the time we got off of it, we had 3 minutes until race time. YIKES! I did a few jumping jacks, found the 4:40 hour finish pace group, connected my garmin and off I went.  Almost immediately after crossing the start line, the feeling of defeat, sadness, and mostly ANGER came over me.  My left shoe wasn't tied tight enough, my right shoe seemed to be a little too tight, my quads weren't loose, I felt defeated and I hadn't even run a quarter of a mile. It was over before it had even began. Or was it...I had two choices in this moment. 1) give into the defeat & be miserable  or 2) pull my shit together, dig deep and remember why I am doing this.

I run for Mataya. She is a year old and has gone through far more than ANYONE should ever have to in life.

In the past year she has: ▶beaten cancer! ▶had 2 helicopter rides ▶5 surgeries ▶7 rounds of chemo ▶51 blood product transfusions ▶almost 1,000 labs/scans/images done ▶spent 5 months inpatient at a hospital 2.5 hours away from home ▶been a resident in the NICU, PICU, and PEDS.

I pulled over, re-tied my shoes, pulled it together, got OUT of my head and carefully caught back up to the pace group. It was dark for the first 3 miles which is too bad because I'm sure the scenery and the views were amazing. It was also downhill so I had to make sure I pulled back a little and didn't go all out or I'd be regretting that later.

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I stayed with the pace group through mile 16. We stopped for a quick bathroom break. With 10 miles to go, I knew it was time to listen to my body. I had maintained an average pace of 10:30 minutes per mile to this point. I was starting to get tired and my quads never really loosened up. I chose to take the time to stretch as I watched the pace group take off without me. I had told myself that there was no goal for this race other than to just finish with my head held high.

“If I run with no regrets and no excuses, there is no way in hell I will finish and feel like I failed. I will be so proud of myself.” - Kelly Roberts  ( Run Selfie Repeat podcast, episode 4:  "Fear of Failure")

One of the many things I loved about this marathon, the free race photos!! They caught me at mile 19, mile 23 and the finish line.

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Mile 23 was tough. My legs were tight. Mentally I was in it, but my legs just weren't having it. Concerned about injuring myself, I chose to walk at a 15 minute mile walk and then gave it my all coming down the chute for the finish.

My friend Linda was there cheering for me at the finish line and handed me yellow roses (my fave!) as I crossed. We ran our first marathon together (Big Sur) back in 2015, so to share finish line #3 with her, was special.

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The Celebration

@ProCompression graciously hosted a party with the ambassadors. It gave us all a chance to see people we didn't catch at the finish line, enjoy a well - earned beer, yummy food, race day stories, what's lined up next and who is coming back next year.

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Will I be back next year? OH HECK YA. Redemption baby. I won't make the same mistake twice. I missed 2016 (which is a huge bummer because the medal from 2016-2020 half or full marathon all match up to create a copper star). SIGH! I also won't make the mistake of not taking the time to stretch.

This was mine and Mataya's first marathon together. It won't be our last.BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phx Marathon stole a piece of my heart that day. I can't wait to go back, give it my all and HOPEFULLY, cross the finish line and ring the PR bell.

Registration is already open for 2018. I'm registered.

So now the big question , who's coming to the party in the desert with me?

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my LA Moment (2-14-2016)

"The marathon represents more than just 26.2 miles, it symbolizes the adversity we face in our lives and our ability to overcome the greatest odds."

365 days later and I still get teary eyed and emotional thinking about the LA Marathon last year. 26.2 miles from Stadium to Sea - on Valentines Day.

Friday February 12th: arrival to LA, the Expo, walk around / check out Santa Monica & Venice.

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Saturday February 13th:amazing morning - a run with the fabulous Julie Weiss (this was her 100th marathon! She has been pounding the pavement to raise awareness for the beast that is Pancreatic Cancer) followed by an amazing and oh so inspirational talk with Jimmy Dean Freeman. EXACTLY what I needed.Back to the hotel to watch the Olympic Trials which were happening back down by the LA Convention Center. Followed by the #WeRunSocial meetup and back finally back to the hotel to rest and relax before the big day.

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Sunday, February 14th: THE BIG DAY! Yes this was my 2nd marathon. But it was my first one alone. I made a new friend (shocker I know!). We met up bright and early, chatted about our game plan and goal for the race. I told Jeff I MIGHT try to run with the 9:30 pace group, to finish in 4 hours and 30mins. It was him who really pushed me to go for it. What did I have to lose really. So I did......

I ran strong and only stopped once - at mile 22. I had hit my wall, HARD. The leader of the pace group was amazing, but I needed to fall back and go at my own pace. Half a mile later, kneeling on the ground, bawling my eyes out, I called my husband, Kyle. No words were coming out of my mouth, just my sobbing cry - as usual, he was there for me. Now at this point, I had no clue what my pace or time was. "You're freaking KILLING IT!" he said. "Don't stop. You can do this."  It was at that moment I realized, I was just in my head and I could actually do this. Picked myself up and repeated the words: I Can and I Will. And that I did....

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I crushed my goal and managed a PR (of roughly an hour!). Unofficial Finish: 4:38!

“Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles”.

Yup. That’s the truth.  I had big {scary} goals. I put a plan into place, I followed it and I did as I set out to do.

The photos above are a reminder that I am capable of ANYTHING I set my mind to. As I told myself REPEATEDLY with every single step “I CAN & I WILL”.

I have never in my life felt so strong, so powerful, so unstoppable. THAT is #myLAmoment

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Happy Valentines Day to the best and most supportive group of friends a girl could EVER want. (A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to my amazing husband. I love you 💖💖)

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BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF , I do!

There was a long time when the lack of belief in myself was a major factor in my life. I didn’t push past my comfort zone. All because I didn’t really believe I could.

While I’m not free of self-doubt these days, I can honestly say I believe in myself like never before. That doesn’t mean I think I’ll never fail or quit: I will. Probably often. And that’s OK.

In 16 days I'll run Marathon #3 (who would have thought)! I have gotten to where I am today because I work hard & believe in my self.

So go ahead, throw yourself out there not knowing what will come of it. Go all in. Don't hold back. Believe you can do it. Believe you are worth it. Start today- post a picture of your self in the comments. Go on, BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF , I do!

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Do you have a big scary dream or goal? What's holding you back from going for it?

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Don't tell me you're not a "real runner"

Back in November, PRO Compression posted that their 2017 Ambassador applications were open. Without hesitation,  I threw my name in the hat, because why not. I rock the socks and love the community. With that being said, you can imagine the excitement when I received an email earlier this week welcoming me to the 2017 ambassador team! I've suggested PRO Compression socks to friends who suffer from shin splits and to other friends who suffer from swollen legs & cramps on long flights. More often than not the response is: I'm not a runner or those don't really work.

There is a misconception that because one doesn't run "fast" they aren't a runner. THAT IS NOT TRUE. A 13 minute mile is just as far as an 8 minute mile.

My goal and sole purpose for wanting to be an ambassador is to help anyone who feels they aren't a "real runner" know that they are and they need to be outfitted properly. (and if you haven't worn these socks on a long flight.....you're missing out!)

What's your go to sock to rock?

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My Buddy and Me- #IRun4Mataya

Personally, I enjoy dedicating my runs to others and “running for those who can’t”. Last year, after some searching, I found an organization called I Run 4 (and the private facebook group: I Run for Michael ) which pairs runners with “buddies” who have physical or mental disabilities. Runners dedicate training miles to their buddies and keep in touch through social media posts, phone calls, and in-person visits. This group had my name written all over it. I signed up and waited for 6 months to be paired. When the day finally came, it was love at first sight, we are literally a perfect match. I knew there was a story behind my buddy though --- and here it is: Mataya was born on a freezing cold January night in Bemidji, MN, and immediately struggled to breathe, which perplexed her doctors and terrified her parents. With the cause unknown, Mataya was rushed to Sanford Partners Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Sanford Childrens Hospital in Fargo by Sanford AirMed. There her family received the devastating news; their newborn had cancer. A large tumor was wrapped around her spine and aorta making breathing difficult and threatening her life. Mataya spent the next 5 months at Sanford Children’s moving from NICU to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to the Pediatric floor. In that time, she underwent 5 surgeries, 7 rounds of chemo, 51 blood transfusions and more than 1,000 scans and tests.

Together, we are now on a mission to teach the world about neuroblastoma cancer – creating awareness and fighting for a cure because NO ONE, especially a newborn, should ever have to go through all she’s been though. For now, I’m her voice, as she gets older, she will start being her own voice.

Please share this link: The group is always looking for more “buddies” who have physical or mental disabilities to pair with runners: https://youtu.be/mUDXsOTYn6U

www.whoirun4.com

#IRun4Mataya

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#irun4Mataya

Incase you missed (one of) my last blog posts, I mentioned that I was on the wait list for a running buddy. You can catch up here . The day has finally come. I got my "Congratulations, You've been matched" email last night. So many questions ran through my head. Who is it, will they think I am crazy for the amount of times I post, or the amount of times I thank them for the motivation & inspiration? Will it be a boy or a girl? A young child, a teen, an adult? Who is my buddy? I could hardly wait.

---I will not be sharing who my buddy is at this time. To respect the privacy of the family, I'm waiting for approval. Not everyone wants to share their life on social like me and I 110% respect that!---

I'll tell you this: she is the cutest, she's a Capricorn, (our birthdays are 15 days apart which I think is pretty neat!) and she lives in Mid West. She was diagnosed shortly after birth with neuroblastoma.

Cancer is a beast. I hate it. I am full of hope and on a mission to find a cure for the beast that is cancer.

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I look forward to running for my new buddy, getting to know her, and fighting this fight along the way with her. You got this girl. You've got this!

Have you heard of the  group who I run for / I Run For Michael?

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