Guest Blog Post: My Side of the Story

This is a guest blog post from Kendra’s sister, Rondi:

Fifteen years ago I was graduating from high school and preparing for a transition to college, with playing basketball as my number one focus. I hated running. In fact, I decided not to play soccer in college because I didn’t want to have to run long distances or run outside when the weather was bad. Ha! It makes me laugh to look back on it now….

After my first year of college, my sister, Kendra, told me she was going to run a marathon in Alaska. I thought she was nuts! But Alaska sounded like a fun adventure, and I felt it was my sisterly duty to go with her and cheer her on. I had never run a race or any real distance outside of what I had to do to get in shape for basketball or soccer… So I became a little intrigued. A few weeks later I decided to go out for a run one night, just to see how far I could go. I had no fancy phone or GPS, so I just went out and ran. When I was done, I got in my car and drove the route to see how far I had gone… The distance was 13 miles, so I decided I would give this marathon thing a try. My first ever race was 26.2 miles in Alaska with my crazy sister. Let’s get the record straight that all of this madness has been her fault from the beginning! Haha!

Rondi (left), Kendra (middle), friend Sara (right) after finishing their first marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. August, 2002.
 


As I recall, things have gone back and forth a bit since then… I got into triathlons around 2009 and this intrigued my crazy sister a bit. By 2011 we were signed up for a full Ironman triathlon… The second triathlon she had ever signed up for in her life was 140.6 miles long! We just tend to have this effect on each other…

 


Now fast forward to 2015 when Kendra decided that this was the time to qualify for Boston. I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit to such a big challenge after having my first child in 2013, but of course I agreed to join her as I always do. About a month into training I found out I was pregnant for baby #2 and had to drop out. She kept going and of course DID qualify for Boston, but because of ridiculous time requirements, she didn’t end up getting to go… Which brings us to 2016.

First, Kendra tricked me by asking me to join her in a goal of running a marathon in every state together before we die… Which I agreed to, of course, because this is what we do! And I am always up for a a crazy adventure with my sister (and she knows it). But THEN, after I was fully committed to our 26.2 and a brew, she started in with her continued determination to run Boston!! In 2017!! Which means she would be qualifying in 2016, less than one year after my second baby…. And more importantly, would be crossing Massachusetts off the list of states! She tricked me! Haha! I have always had the Boston Marathon on my bucket list, but I really don’t think I would’ve committed to training for a BQ while having an infant at home if I had not agreed to the 50 states goal she talk me into prior… But those who know me know that once I say I’m going to do something, I don’t make a habit of backing down…so here we are. And I’m so thankful that she got me here. We’ve had so much fun being long distance training buddies! I won’t miss the crazy workouts any time soon, but I will miss getting texts on a daily basis about the madness we are both enduring with this BQ training plan. She’s been with me every single step of the way, with neither of us missing more than 1 or 2 runs at the most throughout the last 5 months.

I’ve had people asking me lately if Kendra and I are going to run together at Bayshore… And at first I was very reluctant to think that we should. We have both trained so hard, and I just have always thought we should each run our own race. Anything can happen when you’re out there for 26.2 miles and we both know that. But as I have been working on my mental training, which involves visualizing the finish line and imagining the feeling of success that comes with accomplishing the goal, it has become overwhelmingly clear to me that crossing the finish line with a BQ will be basically meaningless to me if my sister does not share that success on May 28th. I will not go to Boston to run without her and I won’t be able to celebrate if she is struggling from a rough day. The reality of it is that this is my first try… And I had a baby 8.5months ago… She has been training for this for 2 years. The chances of me not having a good day are up there, and if I am the one struggling, I have begged her to leave me behind and continue to the goal. I have a couple of races lined up as backup plans this summer/fall and will do everything I can to make it to Massachusetts with her in 2017… Even if Bayshore isn’t my race. She has done all of the work TIMES TWO and she deserves a time that leaves no doubt that she will be going to Boston in 2017!! And I will be by her side as long as I am able… And I feel so blessed to have that opportunity.

 


So no matter what happens, I love that I have a story to tell about the races my crazy sister and I have done together, and I love that this story will be “to be continued” for many many years to come! Love you, Sis’… you are such an inspiration and a blessing.

-Rondi 

Everything Hurts and I’m Dying

Whoever came up with the original idea for this shirt is a genius. 

Over the last few days, that thought (everything hurts and I’m dying) has gone through my mind way too many times. It’s the first week of tapering for my marathon, and my body HATES me. 

One would think that tapering is easy, but this week may be more challenging than last week. And I thought I might die last week. The fact is that my body is WORN OUT. It is getting a little tired of the nonsense that I’ve been putting it through. And it’s starting to question if my mind is stable.

Honestly, so am I.

A couple of weeks ago, my treadmill had to be moved into our garage because my house in under construction, and there wasn’t a home for it in the house anymore. This was a bit disappointing because the garage is kinda dark and just not a sparkly running space. But, it’s much better than “losing my treadmill for a while”, which is what I was originally told was going to happen. (We all know that was NOT going to happen…)


On my first morning, garage, treadmill run, I had an unexpected visitor. A little mouse ran by my treadmill and gave me a passing glance as if to say, “What in the world are you doing up there?! Please don’t squish me!”  And, I’m not going to lie, the thought crossed my mind that I could probably hop off the treadmill and squish him. But it was a very fast passing thought, because I could never actually do that.

Then, the next morning, my little mouse friend was back!! This time, he ran by the treadmill, climbed up onto the handle of a shovel, and watched me run for a few minutes. My heart was happy to have company in the dingy garage. I felt like we had suddenly become pals.

Then, on the third morning, he was gone. The sadness I felt over my new friend standing me up for our morning run “date”, was somewhat embarrassing. 

Then, yesterday, he came back!! This time he brought a Cheez-It and enjoyed a nice snack while he watched me run. The debate is still out as to where the Cheez-It came from….but I was overly excited to have my friend back.

Unless you have a gaggle of crazy friends that live down the street from you, training for a marathon is a lonely endeavor. And, even if you do have a great group of friends to run with, the mental aspect of the work you are putting in is still pretty lonely, and entirely exhausting. You are trapped with the voices in your head that are constantly working against each other, trying to wear you down. 




And sometimes those voices succeed and trick you into thinking that you actually ARE dying. 

Luckily, I’m not dying. 

Does everything hurt? Yes. 

Am I going a little crazy? Yes. 

Is the end in sight? HECK, YES!!! 

Two weeks from tomorrow I will be lining up at the start line with my amazing sister at 7:15 AM, and crossing the finish line 3 hours and 30 minutes later, celebrating a BQ.

It’s happening.

Sparkle.Pounce.Be A Little Crazy. 

-Kendra


Become A Mom If….

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Since becoming a mom, 10.5 years ago, it has become one of my absolute favorite holidays. Somewhere along the way, I did something right and let it be known that Mother’s Day is “my” day, and therefore, I should get to spend the day as I please. And, for me, that generally means spending at least 3 hours doing something I love…by myself…pretending for a brief moment that I do not have the ten million responsibilities that go along with the job title of “Mother.”

Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is amazing. It is everything that people say it is when they first become a mom and explain that they didn’t know their heart could hold that much love. They didn’t know they were capable of loving another human that way. Unconditionally. So much that it hurts. So much that it makes you cry. Yes, it is all of those things.

But, it is also extremely challenging. And sometimes there are tears, not because you love your little humans so much that it hurts, but because they are driving you out of your flipping mind and you cannot understand how or why they are being so miserable. Yes, that is also part of being a mom.

Regardless of your opinion of what it means to be a mom, there are some definitive truths about the job. Here is a glimpse into why we celebrate moms everywhere this week.

Become A Mom If….

  • You love spending hours in the kitchen each week preparing meals for your children, only to spend hours each week arguing with them about eating said meals, and watching them fake gag as they swallow it down, pretending they are going to vomit it all over your kitchen table.
  • You LOVE the sound of your name, “Mom”, and have no problem hearing it screamed from all corners of the house approximately 3 million times each day.
  • You love doing laundry. Actually, you love doing it so much that you don’t even mind washing clean clothes that your kids have put in the laundry basket because that’s much easier than putting them in their dresser. Yes, laundry is your friend. It is always there for you. It will never let you down.
  • You prefer to survive on 4-6 hours of sleep a night. Whether it’s because your beloved human hasn’t figured out how to sleep through the night, or because the laundry needed attention, or your husband needed attention, or your treadmill needed attention, or the kitchen needed attention…something will need your attention more than your sweet, soft pillow.
  • You love the idea of trading in time with your girlfriends (things like manicures, pedicures, shopping trips to Marshall’s…) for time in a lawn chair on the sidelines of a soccer field, baseball field, dance studio, hockey arena…you pick! 
  • You are bored with your adult-centered group text threads and would prefer that they were replaced with texts that fit into one of the following categories: 1.) Bodily fluids 2.) Sleep 3.) Little humans and how cute they look 4.) Drinking wine or working out? That is always the question.
  • You love dedicating nearly every ounce of your energy to someone else, realizing that they will never fully appreciate how much you truly love them.



And that is why we celebrate Moms this week! It is such a thankless, yet AH-MAZING role. I’m honored to be a mom to two healthy, crazy, loud, energetic, awesome boys. 



And I am blessed with the best mom out there. (Who made me this awesome quilt to help motivate me as I train to make it to the Boston marathon!)


Thank you to all of the Moms out there! I hope you get to celebrate your special day doing something that you love, and taking a break from all of the work that goes along with your number one job.

Sparkle.Pounce.Moms Rock.

-Kendra