Monday, January 23, 2017

Isabella Santos Foundation 5K and 10K for Kids Cancer Race Recap

In reflecting on 2016 I realized I have not yet completed my race recap for the 10K for Kids Cancer I completed on September 24, 2016.

This event is a difficult one to write about. A typical recap consists of the description of the race route, was it easy, difficult, was there support, etc. It helps runners decide if it’s a race they may want to consider in the future. I don’t know about you but I search for recaps before I run ANY race! I learned the hard way and found myself in some surprising situations on runs. I now find a recap to prepare for the race.

This race was unlike any other I have ever ran. I have wanted to do this race for a couple of years now but just haven’t. You see I have a little buddy Sam who was diagnosed four years ago December 29th, 2012 with Neuroblastoma. Sam is now heading into 2nd Grade! 

Sams mom Denielle has been my friend for many many years. My little girls where the flower girls in her wedding in 2003.

Having a child diagnosed with Cancer is something I cannot even imagine. My heart broke for their family and I watched helplessly as they endured the most terrifying journey of their lives. It has been a long hard fight and Sam is doing great today!

Isabella Santos was a little girl who also had been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 2 and fought for five courageous years. In June, 2012, she ended her battle. The Isabella Santos Foundation was created to continue to fight today, in her honor and memory and for other kids still fighting.

I can’t even type this re-cap without sobbing. Losing a child is my worst nightmare.

Tess and I registered for this race, I would run the 10K, my very first 10K, and she would run the 5K. I loved having Tess there at this race with me. I love that she runs!

Looking around at this HUGE crowd that filled the streets I found myself wondering how many of these people have lost a little child, how many of these kids that I see might be fighting right this very minute. I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

There were so many people, purple flooded the area!

The race day packet pick up went smooth and quick. Music was playing for our entertainment and I heard them announce “This was Isabella’s favorite song”.  I found myself again choking back tears (and now again as I type this too).

As we lined up to the starting line this man and woman jumped up in the back of a pick-up truck and the man handed the microphone. These were Isabella’s Parents. I quickly turn away to collect myself. Standing just steps away are these people who once had this amazing full of life little girls and now don’t have her anymore. My heart breaks. You can tell they are overcome with emotion. Missing their daughter and honored that so many people are in this place in her honor.  

The race started, the course was a loop for the 5K and a double loop for the 10K. There were a few rolling hills but nothing too bad. Plenty of water along the course however there was no water when I finished my race. No biggie, knowing that there were that many people there that they ran out of water filled my heart with joy. Next time I will remember this and take some water with me just in case.

At the finish there were medals, oh and the race shirts were great too. There was a huge like festival after the race, tons of activities for kids, tons of vendors and a silent auction.

Molly was there from WBTV having kids write get well notes to other kids currently in the hospital. This was another reminder that while this was a fun event there are children sick and families suffering.

As far as a race goes it was great. It was a beautiful day, we were gathered with friends and we ran.

As an experience, however, it was emotional. The most emotional event I have ever participated in. It was reminder that while I go about my day to day every day others are in a very very different place. It reminded me to wake up each day and first pray for others, like these children and families,  and then be thankful for the healing, our health, and all the blessings we are given.

The Isabella Santos Foundation shared that the race was a huge success. The foundation provides financial support to Neuroblastoma Research to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Neuroblastoma Research to NMTRC, Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, Make-A-Wish- of Central & Western Carolinas, various pediatric cancer charities and providing financial support to local families battling cancer.

I will absolutely run this race again! I encourage you to as well! It is powerful, it is meaningful and it is for a great cause!

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” ― Wendy Mass

Monday, January 9, 2017

Couch to 5K to Half Marathon – A training update

As you know I spent the months September through December leading a Couch to 5K Program

I love leading this program but while I am running with this group I tend to scale back on my long runs. I like to run long on Saturdays and through this program I run group runs on Saturdays as we work up to the 5K. Now that this 12 week program is over I have begun ramping back up! 

This works out nicely for me as it is perfect timing to begin training for my next half marathon in the spring, the Asheville Half.

I ran 8 miles on January 1st. I will run 9 miles again on the 14th and I will run the Atlanta HotChocolate 15K on the 22nd!!!

It’s so fun to add in some fun races in amongst your training! The Hot Chocolate 15K will be my first event for 2017! I hope it’s a tad bit warmer than it was last year! I am looking forward to a fun girls getaway weekend. I have my entire running group going this time and Tess will run the 5K!

I have enjoyed some great runs around town, on the greenway, at the lake and even on the treadmill! Getting in those miles every way I can!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A reflection on 2016

2016 came and went in a flash! It amazes me how as I get older the years seem to get shorter and shorter. This past year was a great year but I am looking forward to 2017!

I have seen many people setting their 2017 goals and others who say they prefer not to. I love setting goals, even if I don’t reach them. I feel that by setting goals I set myself up for success and start the New Year off in a positive way.

For 2016 I set a lofty goal of running 1,000 miles, running two half marathons and incorporating cross training into my routine. I DID run two half marathons and I did add in some cross training for a little bit and then slacked off. I didn’t reach my mileage goal but I got further than ever before so for me the goal setting was a huge success. If I hadn’t set the goal I may have never even tried and I did meet one of my goals 100%. Without a goal I would not have had a direction to head. I am excited about my goals and I am proud of how far I have come this past year as a result of goals!

I ran 717 miles in 2016!! This is a big, huge, giant jump from my previous years! I am again so thankful for my goal because without it I may not have even reached this far!

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” ― Norman Vincent Peale

Each year I run I make it further and further! I love it!

2016 – 717 miles
2015 – 437 miles
2014 – 261 miles
2013 – 254 miles

This past year I also ran 9 races!

10K for Kids Cancer
South of the Mountain Trial Run

We didn’t get in any camping this past year, my girls are at the age where they are just not interested and having Tess still at home we have decided to wait until next year to get back out there!

We have gotten in a few great hikes and spent some time on the river!

2016 was a great year to run but I think 2017 will be even better!

One of my favorite podcasts, The Running Lifestyle Show, always closes with this quote:

“Honor where you have been and look forward to where you are going”

I love that! I am thankful for 2016 and cheers for the New Year!

Monday, January 2, 2017

One Word for the New Year

As I began to think about my first post of the New Year I originally thought I would do a recap of the past year. On second thought I decided that for 2017 I wanted to spend more time looking forward than looking back and so I choose to save the recap for another day and look forward today instead.

I am facing some big changes this year and rather than dread the change, I will become an empty nester as my little Tess will head off to college the summer of 2017, I will look forward to it and prepare for it making it the best experience possible.

Over Christmas as I was baking Christmas Cookies for the first time without my girls and I acknowledged that things were changing and I immediately started to feel sad about it. I then thought of my Nana Mayer, she spent the majority of her years baking those same cookies with no one to bake with her and she found so much joy in it rather than sadness. Change is well change and instead of resisting I have decided to embrace it.

I have thought a lot about my New Year’s resolutions and Goals for 2017. I have been reading a lot about having one word for the year, a word to shape this New Year. When I first began thinking of my word I thought of the word joy. I want to live a joyful year this year but as I found myself deeper in thought the word light became a prominent word that pushed past joy.

Light will be my one word this year.

Here is what says about Light.

Light has so many meanings but my thoughts led to these ideas of how I want Light to be my one word for 2017:

I want to be Light in my own life, I want to have a light air about me, light and happy. I want to find the light in all that I do, have a light mood all year, I want to take things a little more lightly and I want to be light and always cheerful with others as well.

I want to somehow be a light for someone else. Through interactions with others I hope that someone will find their own light. I want to share my light with others.

I want to be light on my feet, light as a runner, injury free, maybe shed the few holiday pounds. I have set my running goals for the year accordingly.

I want to enjoy the light. I love being outside and the more I get out the more light I get. I want to enjoy all the sunlight there is this year!

The goals I have set for 2017 are:

Live my one word - Light

Run 1,000 miles

Complete 12 Races, I already have 9 on the calendar!

Read 12, printed copy, Books, I have a few I know I want to read but I would love suggestions if you have some great recommendations!

I have already started my first book for 2017 but my second I think will be Jon Gordons “One Word” Book to help me on my journey with my first “One Word”. There is also this great One Word Promise.

I love setting new goals for a new year. It feels so deep and meaningful to me. I have filled out my calendar already this year with the word Light and my goals on each page so that I do not have an opportunity to dismiss my intention and purpose for the year.  I look forward to seeing what this New Year brings and how my One Word shapes my year!

Join me and find your One Word for 2017! This is going to be a great year!

Many blessings to you and yours in the New Year! May you have health, happiness and prosperity in 2017!


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