From Ice Cream to Marathon

Follow my journey from being overweight and addicted to ice cream, to running marathon's!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Looking back and looking ahead

And just like that, 2017 is gone!
I only ran 7 half marathons, which isn’t many for me. My big thing for the year was hiking the Grand Canyon. The plan was to hike rim to rim to rim, but I passed out at mile 17, so we didn’t get to finish. But that was definitely the highlight of my year! The highlight being that I miraculously lived. 

In January my father-in-law passed away, so it’s been a year of learning to live a new normal without him. 
I had liposuction, and then liposuction revision 6 months later.
My precious niece finished her chemo and is cancer free as of this summer and forever!
I turned 40. Gulp. 
I got a new position at the bank where I work, which I love. It’s so nice to love my job!
I celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary. 
I had some impossible times as a wife and stepparent, that I thought were going to do me in and be the end of me.

But through it all, God has never left me alone. I couldn’t have survived without Him.

I still love running more than anything, but I definitely didn’t run as much as I have previous years. I didn’t keep track of my miles, but I know they were nowhere near 1000, which is always my goal.

Starting tomorrow I will be meeting with a personal trainer once a week for an hour. We’re going to do strength training, and I told him my goal is to lose 30 pounds and be in excellent shape. So he’s going to help me!
 I also want to become a faster runner. My times are pretty much the same as they were 5 years ago when I started running. That is not good! I know losing weight and really focusing on speed work will help. 

I already have 8 races planned so far for this year, including a local 5K race that I’m helping to put on.
 I would really like to do some different races this year. It seems like I always do the same ones over and over again, but this year I want to do new ones, and definitely more travel. 

Cheers to an amazing 2018!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Indy Women’s Half Marathon, #30

A couple weeks ago I ran my 30th half marathon. This was my 3rd (or was it 4th?) time running the Indy Womens half, and it is one I plan on doing every year!

Like last year, Margie and I got a hotel, did some walking downtown, then went to eat at Weber's. Btw, she has lost 30 lbs since the last time I saw her, by doing the Keto diet. She’s amazing!!

This was my first race since having my liposuction revision, so I hadn’t done much running the month prior to the race. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, I was trying to mentally prepare myself  for walking the whole thing. 
 Although I hadn’t done any running, I was still walking at least 3-5 miles almost every day. 

 I was able to run almost the whole thing, walking through the water stops and a couple other times. But I had no pain at all, and finished in 2:43. Definitely not my fastest, but it was better than I was expecting!

I was a little excited to see my precious runner mama near the finish line.

I ran the Indy Half marathon at Fort Ben 2 weeks later. It was my first time running that one, and I loved it.
It was a beautiful course, just an excellent race through Fort Harrison state park. 

This course was really hilly, and it was a pretty hot day too. I struggled through this one, but loved every minute of it. I crossed the finish line in 2:47. 
 Although I haven’t had many sub 2:30 races, I know I’ll get back there someday. For now I’m just enjoying the journey as I keep pushing myself to get better.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Highlights from my summer

Last Tuesday was a very special day. We celebrated my niece's last chemo treatment!
It's been one year since Kristin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had a successful surgery, and many chemo treatments and so much more over the year.
 But now it's all over. Her hair can grow back and she can go back to being a normal kid. (Well, she's almost 15 now!)
She has a great prognosis, and will live to be a little old lady.

I know I haven't been here much lately, but I've still been running and going to the gym.
I'm loosely following a half marathon training plan. My next race is the Indy Women's half on Sep 30th.

My Twinnie and I recently went to Ohio for the weekend. We found a beautiful park to run/walk in.

I ran a 5k with some friends one night, had a great time. There is nothing better than running with friends then relaxing and listening to a good band. I just love it.

On Sep 1st I'm having a liposuction revision. I had lipo 7 months ago, and have never been happy with how my stomach and hips turned out. So I'm going to go through it all again.
Thankfully, I only have to pay the anesthesiologist fee, the doctor doesn't charge anything for revision.
 That recovery was one of the hardest things I've been through. I wasn't able to run without pain for at least four months.
 But I'm going to push through it, I have 5 half marathons already scheduled for this fall, and I'm not going to be canceling any of them! My doctor did say since he's only redoing two areas instead of all four, recovery won't be as bad.
This time I'll be staying with one of my sisters, so Jeremy doesn't have to deal with me again!

My sweet niece wanted to go hiking with me, so we went to a park that also had a waterfall, which she had never seen before. We hiked 4.5 miles. I was sooo proud of her. She ran a 5K with me one time, but that was the furthest distance she's ever been. 
 She was a great little hiking buddy and didn't complain one time! 

And that is just a very few highlights of my summer. 

Have a fabulous Monday, my friends!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sea to Shining Sea virtual race sign up!

My friend Kristy, from Runaway Bridal Planner, (and also my Grand Canyon hiking buddy) is hosting this virtual race in September. I hope you all will join us!

Do you love to hike? Or love to trail run? Maybe this next challenge is right up your alley.

What is a Virtual Race?

Runners, walkers, and hikers sign up for a distance they want to conquer. Come race week, participants pick the course of their choice, any day that fits their schedule, at go at it any pace. Efforts and completion of Virtual Races are rewarded similar to a regular road race, a race t-shirt and beautiful unique finishers medallion are sent to you to show off accomplishments and add to your race bling collections.

Design the Perfect Course for YOU.

Yes, you can do the Virtual Race in the comfort of your home or gym on a treadmill or on a track, around your neighborhood or wherever fits your schedule. But many don't realize you can also take your virtual race to the trails, hike your way to your goal distance too.

Maybe you love a mountain hike with breathtaking views, or a relaxing walk across a beach? Possibly your dream course is fast and flat or all downhill. Or past waterfalls, caves or a National Park? Are city streets more your style or a quiet country road?  What course would you choose as your dream course? With a virtual race, you don't have to keep searching for that race, you can make it happen!

Spots are filling up quickly. 

The Run Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races are filling up fast and prices go up on August 1st. If you register today, you can use discount code FUNRUN and save 15% off the registration price. HINT: If you are willing to share you signed up on Facebook during registration you can save an additional 10% on top of the promo code discount. Don't wait, secure your spot today!!

Love unique finishers medallions?

Run Sea to shining Sea created a unique medallion all participants will earn. Here is a preview of the design (Note: the actual medal will be a nice quality heavier nickel metal about 3 inches wide with a navy blue splash of color.)

Still Wondering Why you should Participate?

* Use it as a training run for a fall race you are gearing towards.

* To motivate you to stay active or to become active.

* As an excuse to get a group of friends together for some healthy competition.

* Compete against yourself.

* Compete in your own way with no restrictions, run during the time of day and day of the week that works best for your schedule.

* It supports American small businesses, medal creation, and t-shirt screen printing all done by American based companies. In addition, the event project itself is for a college thesis project so you'll be helping a runner get her Recreational Management degree!

* Earn a new medallion to add to your race accomplishment displays.

Want to give it a try? You can REGISTER HERE today before registration prices increase.

Where would your dream race course be? Or what type of course would be your perfect to run?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grand Canyon Adventure- Kristy's side of the story

As you know, Kristy, from Runaway Bridal Planner, and I went backpacking in the Grand Canyon. She posts about it here.

I laughed and cried as I read it. Again, it makes me so thankful to be alive, seeing how close I was to death. 

She has lots of good tips to help in knowing what to do if you're ever with someone in heat exhaustion or heat stroke. 

So grab a drink, and read about our great adventure, from Kristy's point of view

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hiking in Zion National Park

After my exciting, near death experience in the Grand Canyon, I really had to think about if I wanted to continue on with our plans to do some hiking in Zion 2 days later.
 Honestly, I was scared. And because I was scared, I knew I had to do it. I knew if I let the fear take over, it would cripple me. I did have thoughts going through my head that I just need to quit running and hiking, and just stay inside where it's safe.
I knew the only way to shut up those voices was to just do it. So that's what we did.

I had to convince Kristy that I would be ok. We took it very slow, lots of water breaks, and she wouldn't let me carry anything, not even my own water. She's so stubborn. ;)

The views were unbelievable! So stunning.


We hiked a total of 5 miles, on a few trails. 
The first one was Emerald Pools. We went down to the lower level, and then walked up to the 2nd level, then I wanted to go on up to the 3rd level as well. The views were worth it! (I didn't get many pictures, unfortunately)

Rocks we had to climb to get to the 3rd level

Our hike went great. I was disappointed we couldn't go on any 'difficult' hikes, but I knew I had to be smart about it. I was not going to take any chances.

This was a tunnel right through the mountain
 After our hike Kristy took me to a restaurant that she's been to many times, Wildcat Willie's. It was sooo good!

 We had a great hike, and I'm so glad we still went.


I've been home now for a little over a week, and haven't done any running yet. But that will change tomorrow; I'm going for a run! 

Again, I'm a little nervous. (The dr said I'm more susceptible to heat exhaustion again now that this has happened.) But I'll keep my water with me and be very careful. This will not stop me from doing what I love! 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Grand Canyon adventure and an unexpected helicopter ride

My rim to rim to rim adventure didn't go quite as expected… but let's start at the beginning.

6 months ago Kristy posted about how hiking R2R2R was on her bucket list, and did anyone want to join her. Since I am always up for an adventure, especially if it includes something outdoors, and it's not easy, I said I DO!!
 So we trained and prepared for 6 months to be able to do this. (I was out for a couple months due to surgery, but trained every chance I got after I recovered) We were so excited about this!

We got to the Grand Canyon on Thursday afternoon. We checked into our campground and got our tent set up. 


After that we set out to see the Grand Canyon.
It was even more stunning than I had imagined. It is so, so vast. Everywhere you look, there's more of it. It truly is breathtaking.


After walking around for a while, we ate dinner at the lodge. Spectacular views!


We then went back to our campground, built a fire, roasted marshmallows and starburst. (Have you ever roasted a starburst? You must try it!! The outside gets a little crispy, the inside gets gooey and it literally burst in your mouth. This is a Kristy specialty.)


We went to bed early, 4 AM would be here before we knew it.
I got so cold that night. I was wearing a T-shirt, a sweatshirt, sweatpants, hat, gloves and handwarmers. And I was still shivering most of the night! I believe the temps were in the upper 40's. I did think about how in just a few hours I would be in 100 degree temps though!


About 2 miles into our hike one of the straps on my backpack broke. My foot just slipped a little bit and when I reached out to catch myself, it pulled on the strap and it broke. We tied it together with my bandana, but it was never quite the same after that.
The rest of the hike the majority of the weight was on my right shoulder. 

The first 13 miles were mostly downhill. It hadn't got unbearably hot, I was feeling really good. The only thing really bothering me was my pack. Kristy ended up taking one of my water bladders, so I wouldn't have so much weight. Which meant my pack was now around 15 lbs and hers was close to 40. She's a beast! And such a sweet friend. That really helped me out a lot.


We reached Phantom Ranch campground after 13 miles and took a little break.
Kristy had looked this place up online and saw that they had lemonade in the little store there. I cannot tell you how much we were looking forward to that lemonade! And it did not disappoint. Best lemonade I've ever had. It tasted so good!


I knew once we left Phantom Ranch it would get more difficult. We had 13 or so miles left and they were straight up to the south rim, it was also now the hottest part of the day. 
 I had no doubt I could do it though. Physically I felt fine, my legs weren't even sore, but I was tired. Mentally I was in a good place. I was positive, I kept telling myself I can do this, and things like that.

It was brutal, the heat was insane (105),  no shade whatsoever. I felt like I was taking a few steps and then stopping to rest. I was feeling so bad for Kristy, knowing I was holding her back. But I knew I was giving it my all.
It really was the hardest thing I've ever done. It felt like I was walking through hell. A beautiful hell. Ha!
I remember thinking I wish I could sit down by this rock and rest. But I knew if I did I would die there because I would never get back up. So that was not an option. I just kept saying I can do this, I've trained for it, I've got this!
And that is the last thing I remember.


The next thing I knew, I was struggling to open my eyes, and I was laying on the ground.
I KNEW I was dreaming. I just knew it!
When I opened my eyes there were two ladies with me. One was sitting right beside me, and the other one was standing over me fanning me with a shirt. I kept asking them if they were angels, they just smiled. 

Kristy filled me in on all the details and said how she noticed right away something wasn't right with me. I was stumbling and couldn't answer any of her questions (we had just been chatting normally). She sat me down and I was telling her to just leave me, just let me go, just let me go. Then I told her to just put me in my house. 
 She did whatever she could to keep me awake. 
 But then I slumped over, and my face and lips went white. She said my skin was drying out quickly. 

Right then 2 women hikers just happened to be walking towards us. Kristy knew she had to get me to shade, and there was some just a little ways up. Somehow they managed to stand me up and push me up the hill into the shade.
She begged the two women to please stay with me while she went to get help. She had taken some EMT training in college, and one thing they did was learn how to help people with heat exhaustion. I could not have been hiking with a better person, no doubt about that.
So she told them what to do, while she ran 2 miles back to the emergency phone.

When I woke up I kept telling myself to wake up from this dream, it was the craziest feeling I've ever had. I just knew this was a dream that I would wake up from. 
 The girl sitting next to me kept me talking, and from going back to sleep. 
I knew my name, I knew where I lived, I even knew I was in Arizona. But I could not for the life of me remember WHY I was there. She told me I was hiking, and I said but why? (Her reply "I know, right? Why would anyone do this! Ha!!)
 I knew I was with a friend, but I couldn't even remember her name. It was driving me crazy that I couldn't remember those things. I would try to talk and couldn't even get the whole sentence out, because my brain couldn't get the words to my mouth. My brain was total mush.
 I kept asking her if I was paralyzed, because I told her I had to run again! I was also so worried that my brain wouldn't return to normal. She assured me I was not paralyzed and that I would be fine.

I remember being so mad that I passed out. I only had 7 miles to go! I was so mad at myself.

I could tell the two girls helping me were foreign, so I asked the one sitting beside me where she was from. She told me she was from India. Well, that got me crying. I told her I was once going to adopt a baby girl from India.
 Oh, I was such a mess! It was funny the things I could remember, but then the things that I should remember, I wasn't able to.

I remember seeing a group of hikers coming up to us. One of them was an ER nurse, and she actually had an IV with her! What a miracle! That absolutely saved my life.

Meanwhile, Kristy had reached the phone in 28 minutes (which was another miracle, it took her an hour and a half to get back to me. No doubt God helped her get there quick), told the Ranger exactly where I was so they could get help to me.

Betsy, the park ranger was 1 mile away from me. She also had an IV with her which I needed as well. 
She was so sweet and comforting too. She later told me she wished she had recorded me on her phone, because I was so funny. I can only imagine! I know I was so out of it. She asked me some questions, some I knew, some I didn't. I totally butchered my last name as I was trying to spell it for her.
A couple of them asked me if I wanted to try to stand, which I did. (I still wanted to finish my hike!)
I was very wobbly, my shoes felt like they were stuck in mud. I could not get them to move. So I sat back down for a little while longer. 

Around that time Kristy came back. I overheard someone ask her name, and when she said it then I remembered. She said I was just holding onto her hand and I kept telling her I remember you, I remember you. I was so happy. 

A few minutes later the helicopter arrived and they helped me walk to it. I have always wanted to ride in a helicopter, especially over the Grand Canyon! Although that's not exactly how I thought it would happen.
I really wish I had my phone with me at that point so I could've taken pictures. Words can't describe the beauty that I saw. Of course I was also looking through new eyes, thankful that I was alive.

After we landed I was taken by ambulance to the Grand Canyon clinic. I was there for about an hour getting fluids.
I was talking to my doctor there about running (I know, hard to imagine), and found out that she is an elite marathoner, who has won many races, including New York several times! She went to the Olympics, and came in eighth place. (My brain was functioning pretty good at this point)
 I asked her what her average marathon time is and she said 2:40. Amazing!!! Meeting her was definitely a highlight of this whole experience.

When I got into the helicopter, Kristy was able to finish the hike to the south rim. She ended up with 30 miles that day, on raw feet, covered in blisters. She had gotten them wet as she was running for help for me, which is why they got so bad.
Betsy let me stay in her apartment for the night, which was so incredibly sweet of her. Then Kristy got there on Saturday after hiking 7 more miles, and we stayed that night there too. 
 Sunday we (miraculously) were able to get seats on the shuttle for the 5 hour ride back to the North rim, to her car. 

I feel like there are so many details I'm leaving out, but I know this is long enough already.
So many miracles happened that Friday afternoon.
The biggest being that I was in stage 3 heat exhaustion, with stage 4 being death, and I was moments away. 
I found out that my nutrition and hydration were good. I was only slightly dehydrated because in the last 2 miles I quit drinking much water. It was solely due to the heat, and my body couldn't take it.

I know if Kristy hadn't done everything she did for me, I have no doubt, I would not be here right now. She absolutely saved my life.
I am so thankful to the two Indian girls who helped me, the hiking ER nurse who gave me an IV, for Betsy the park ranger, and every other person who played a part in my rescue. 
 I am most thankful to God, who knew everything that was going to happen and He put every single person in place at the perfect time to help me. 

I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude. 
Facing death, knowing you were minutes away, and surviving; it changes you. 


Tomorrow I'll write about our hike in Zion National on Monday. Yes, I hiked again. 
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