Why Does It Have to Be So hard?

Lately, I feel like I’m spending a lot of time trying to play catch up and just wondering when everything is going to slow down a bit.  The beginning of the school year is always a bit overwhelming, but I generally find my groove and things slow down. This year, that hasn’t happened yet and I honestly can’t figure out when or IF it’s actually going to happen.

At home, I’m nearly 8 months into living in the upstairs of my garage, where I can literally reach the refrigerator from my bed, and the only way to leave “the room” is to go in the bathroom close the door. 

Last week when I went to put on a pair of boots that I hadn’t worn since last spring, this is what I found…

That, my friends, is dog food.  And, I can assure you that it was not placed there by my dog, but rather a smart little mouse that’s preparing for winter.

 
I’m on day number 6 of my husband being out of town, and on morning number one of that, I was awoken at 4:15 AM to the sound of my dog vomiting. Thank goodness she was right next to me in my tiny space so I could jump out of bed and rush her downstairs and outside! (Insert sarcasm.) Seriously though, single momming is hard. 
 
In my running life, I have managed to run two times since the marathon. I decided I wasn’t going to run until I actually missed it. Well, that finally happened! And I’m retraining myself to recognize that when I am exhausted and stressed out, the best way for me to deal with that is to go for a run.
 
 
 
Last week, my little sister finally received her confirmation email that she was accepted into the Boston Marathon!!! Woot! Woot! I am SO SO SO happy for her!
 
Since my decision to apply to some charities and try and earn an entry into the 2017 Boston Marathon as a charity runner, I have learned that that task is extremely difficult. Thousands and thousands of runners apply, and thousands are turned down. The one person I know that has run for charity was one of only seven people chosen for her charity and there were more than 600 applicants. She was accepted after having to do three phone interviews and had to raise over $10,000.
 
It has been over two weeks since I put in my application to run for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and I haven’t heard anything back yet. Not a peep. 
 
2016 has definitely been my year to learn patience and to roll with the punches. 
 
This is my life.
 
And really, it’s pretty great. I can whine and complain about it, but what good is that? There are plenty of people out there being negative, and I have decided that’s not how I want to be.
 
For October, I decided to make myself a little challenge to turn the month into “Act-ober” and do at least one random act of kindness every day. It’s only day 3, but so far I have found things to do each day that have brought a bit of happiness to others, and of course, made me smile too.  
 
Life is hard people. But it can be a little bit easier if we take less time to focus on our own problems and more time to think about how we can make life a little better for those around us.
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Spread the Love.
 
-Kendra
 
 
 
 

Make It Count

I love running. I really do. But I also really, really look forward to taking a break from running after every marathon. Experts say that you’re supposed to take at least a full two weeks off from running following a full marathon, and I take that very seriously. And I enjoy every second of not running during that time.


During this two week break, I took the first week off completely. I didn’t do any type of physical activity. But during the second week, I started my at home strength workouts back up and went mountain biking three times!! 

Me on my favorite trails at Addison Oaks Park. 
 
Holding a plank for one of my 20 minute strength workouts in my backyard. 
 
 
I have embraced the change of seasons, and with that, a change of routine. It has been awesome. So refreshing, and exactly what I needed after soooooo much running this year. Honestly, after that last marathon and my health stuff, I was ready to hang up my running shoes and just take a break for a while.
 
And then, I went back to the doctor last week. Ya see, the symptoms that I had, that led me to getting a colonoscopy, are triggered by intense running. So, now that I’m not running hard, or at all, my symptoms are gone. In my mind, I was thinking I was pretty much home free until I decide I want to really work at my running again (which I’m not planning on doing any time soon…). But, the doctor was not of the same mindset. He wants to get this figured out with a definitive diagnosis…
 
Imagine this conversation:
 
Doctor: We need to do another colonoscopy when the symptoms are occurring.
 
Kendra: (Insert nervous joking) So you’re saying you want me to pick my running back up to an intense enough level that I cause these symptoms again?
 
Doctor: Well, yes. We need a diagnosis. And that’s the only way to get one.
.
.
.
 
FANTASTIC!!!
 
Did I mention I was ready to hang my shoes up for a while?! 
 
So, in true Kendra fashion, I went ahead and registered for another marathon. Because if I have to start running again, you better believe I’m going to be working towards that 50 marathons in 50 states goal! Indiana…here we come!
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Make It Count.
 
-Kendra
 
 
 
 






Turns Out I’m Not Invincible

Sometimes we decide to do things that we said we would never ever do. 

On Sunday, I ran my second marathon of 2016. I tried for the second time in 2016 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And, for my second time in 2016, failed to accomplish that goal.

I worked really hard, all year. Really, really hard. For my second try at my BQ, I even hired a running coach and tried an entirely new training plan. But my body just didn’t cooperate…again.

Through my second round of training, I started having some health issues. I wasn’t feeling well after a lot of my workouts and I was left weak, nauseous, and not having much of an appetite. In addition, I was having bowel issues (TMI….I know, I know…) that, after muuuuuuch pressure from my husband, my coach, and my sister, landed me at the doctor’s office. 

Turns out my doctor wasn’t thrilled with my symptoms either, and he ordered some tests, including a colonoscopy. And let me assure you, if anyone tells you that the prep for one of those isn’t that bad, they are lying. It. Was. Awful. I will spare you the details, but just imagine having the stomach flu, and then multiply how awful that is by about 1 million. Yes. It’s that bad. 

Anyway, that was about a week and a half before my marathon. Once that was over and my blood work came back normal, I felt confident that I could just take it easy, get lots of rest, and be ready to rock that race. 

Then, the Friday before the marathon, I got home from work, grabbed the mail, and opened a letter stating that the polyp they had removed during my colonoscopy was precancerous and I would need to come back every 3 years to have the procedure. 

This news hit me hard. I’m 36 years old. And healthy. I’M STINKING HEALTHY!!! And cancer was trying to grow in my body. 

I felt such a mixture of sadness that it had even existed and relief that they found and removed it. I was kind of a mess. 

And 15 hours later, I was in the car headed to Pennsylvania with my sisters to run a marathon. 

I had approached this marathon differently by keeping it under the radar. That really helped me to not feel so much pressure about getting my BQ. And the day before the race, I felt pretty good.

Fast forward to during the race, and that was a different story. I was able to keep up my pace for only about the first 6 miles. Then, my body convinced my mind that it wasn’t capable of running that fast. As I tried to hold that pace, I felt weak and dizzy and was pretty certain I would not be able to cross the finish line at all if I didn’t slow down. So that’s what I did. I slowed down. And then I slowed down some more. And, once again, I just wanted it to be over. It was so hard. I just wanted someone by my side to convince me that I could finish. 

Luckily, my sister Rondi got the news that I wasn’t having a good run, and she waited for me at the 13 mile mark. We jogged, shuffled, walked, nearly cried, laughed, and limped our way across the finish line to cross Pennsylvania off our list towards our goal of 50 marathons in 50 states (3 down!). 

Finally…the finish line!

Me, Rondi, and Tanna, our super sister support crew!!
 
And, of course, my amazing parents made the trip to cheer us on.
 
During that race, I was full of so many emotions. I was extremely disappointed that all of my hard work had not resulted in a finishing time that would get me to the Boston Marathon with my sister (who qualified back in May). And I was grateful that my health issues had led me to having a procedure that got rid of precancerous cells in my body. But I was also left with the realization that I may not actually have 50 more years on this earth to accomplish all of the goals that are on my bucket list.
 
And that is where I sit today, preparing to do something that I said I would never do. 
 
I want with all of my heart, to run the Boston Marathon with my sister. She will be running it in April of 2017. So…I am going to apply for a charity spot and try to run it with her for a charity. And THAT, is what I said I would never do. I just never understood how anyone would be satisfied with running the Boston Marathon without really “earning” it. But, I sit here today thinking that if I don’t try my best to do everything I can to run it with her next year, I may never have another chance to run it with her. Because we just never know what life is going to hand us.
 
There’s definitely no guarantee that I will be chosen by a charity to run in Boston in April. And if I am chosen, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to raise the money I need to reach that goal. But it will be worth it.
 
And, God willing, some time down the road I will get to run Boston the way I want to run Boston. With a qualifying time that earns me that position. Then I can finally be done with Boston for good and cross it off that bucket list with a permanent marker.
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Do What It Takes.
 
-Kendra
 
 
 
 

I’m Just Not Ready

Today, my inner dialogue is battling between two voices. As usual, one of them is focusing on the positive, and the other…well, it’s pretty whiny and annoying. Here’s a peak into what that sounds like:

Unconscious, habitual thoughts:

I do not want to go back to work tomorrow. It’s not fair. School doesn’t even start for two weeks, why do I have to go back tomorrow?! This sucks. I’m not ready. How am I going to juggle work, prepping healthy food, my training schedule, hanging with the family, getting enough sleep, and maintaining sanity?! I am not ready for this…again. I wish I could work from home. Is there a job I can do and work from home? And, speaking of home, I really miss my house. Seriously! I want to live in my own house. Sighhhhhh….

Counter thoughts that I must FORCE into my head:

I am so lucky to have a job which allows me to have summers off. Not many people get that time at home with their kids. And I’m blessed to have a job where I get to have such a positive impact on the lives of children. They need me! And I work with some amazing people that I am looking forward to seeing. And even though I have been unable to live in my house for over 6 months, I still have a place to live, on my property. And that’s pretty great. And I’m strong and healthy, and even though this all seems really overwhelming, it’s the 14th year that I’ve gone through these same feelings at the end of the summer. I CAN do this. Again.

Please tell me that EVERYONE goes through this. That I am not a negative person, but rather, human. Are there people out there that don’t have thoughts similar to this? I want to believe that this is a struggle we ALL have in common. What separates us is our response to these thoughts. For me, I am able to fight them off, for the most part. And I have great friends that I can share them with, who will respond with a mix of “you can do it” and ” I know. Let’s drink wine…” and that is exactly what I need. I need to be lifted up, and I need my feelings to be warranted and to know that I’m not alone. 

Today, I’m feeling all the feels. Reminiscing about a wonderful summer that is coming to an end, and trying really hard to be thankful for this change in seasons. For without change, it is impossible to grow.

 


Sparkle.Pounce.Let Life Live Through You.

-Kendra

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem…

I just got back from a fantastic family vacation to Alaska. It was pretty amazing. The majority of our trip was spent fishing for big, ugly beautiful fish. 

My son, Liam, landing a ….. salmon of some type! (In the rain…)


And when we were done fishing for the day, we would pack up the RV and drive to a new campground that had a new river to fish the next day. 

Because of our packed days, and the fact that we were in very remote areas with lots of bear warning signs, and very little shoulder on the roads, my marathon training took a hard hit. But, one day, I did manage to get in a run. I was SO excited for this run. I had done a little research and found that there was a 4 mile paved bike path down the Homer Spit. This sounded like the perfect place to do my speed work in a safe, amazingly beautiful location.
 
However, as we drove into Homer, a heavy fog came in, and by the time my husband dropped me off at the bike path, I could not see more than 30 feet in any direction. So much for my amazing view! I was so incredibly disappointed. Homer is one of the most breathtaking places in Alaska, and I was running down the entire Spit, and couldn’t see ANYTHING! 
 
Then, as I neared the end, the fog began to lift, and this is what I saw.
 
 

It was so foggy at first that I couldn’t really make out if it was actually a rainbow or not. But indeed, it was! I quickly thought that God was giving me a little sign to let me know He wasn’t letting me down. And then, the fog lifted!

 
And I was able to get a quick post-run picture at the end of the road. It was beautiful…for about 10 minutes.  And then…this…

 

Yup, there’s a whole beautiful blue ocean and snow capped mountains just on the other side of that water. But we only got to look at it for a few minutes. And because we didn’t travel to Alaska to fish in the ocean (or go sight seeing), it was time to move on to our next fishing destination.  

When I posted that running pic on Instagram, I didn’t dwell on how disappointed I was about the fog, or the fact that I would have liked to spend more time in Homer, because not many people want to hear me whine. And honestly, sometimes it’s easier to just pretend like everything is perfect. 

But, sometimes it’s important to let people know that life is hard, and things aren’t always what they seem.
 
Was Alaska awesome? You better believe it! 
 
But…it was expensive and left us feeling broke. An RV with your family of 4 for 8 days can leave you feeling like you’re going to lose your mind. It rained for 3 days straight. Two fishing rods and one net were broke in the catching of all the fish with the big teeth. Did I mention kids in an RV can be annoying? We were RV newbies, and weren’t sure about how much water we had…so I am the only one who showered for the entire 8 days…and I only showered once. And, I’m the only one who EVER changed my clothes. Yup.
 
And…when we arrived home, with hopes of finding a house renovation nearly complete, that’s not what we found at all. So, we are going to have to put our patient pants back on for a couple more months of loft apartment living. 
 
So, as you look through my Facebook and Instagram posts, and those of others, always remember that it’s easy to share the good stuff. It doesn’t leave me feeling vulnerable or weak. But believe me, that’s just a tiny percent of my life (and everyone else’s). What I share is the highlight reel. 
 
Here’s to a lifetime of highlights! 
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Cherish the good stuff.
 
-Kendra
 
 
 

Adjust Your Sails

At this very moment, this is my view.

I’m sitting in a lawn chair, in the entrance of my house, working on a blog (because the internet doesn’t work in the apartment…). I miss this house. I haven’t gotten to live in it for nearly 5 months. 

Over those months, my emotions about the situation have had many ups and downs. It’s super exciting to imagine what my home is going to look like when it’s all put back together. But it can also be extremely frustrating to live in a one room apartment and have two young boys, one tiny “kitchen”, and zero personal space…not to mention, no chance of entertaining company.

In addition to the ups and downs of my current living situation, my running motivation has been in the same boat ever since the marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running. But it hasn’t been easy, and I just haven’t felt like telling anyone about it. It is really hard to just pick up where I left off.

And…in the world of “momming”…my kids are driving me crazy. The first 2 weeks of summer vacation were amazing. We did SO MANY fun things. 

 

 


But now, although we are still doing super fun things, they seem to be taking all of the things I’m planning for granted and are not appreciative. Gggrrrrrrr.

Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in dwelling on all of these little annoyances in my life. My house is a wreck, I failed at reaching a huge goal, my kids are frustrating and fight way too much…and on and on.

The other day, when my family was out on the boat, we saw a lot of sailboats. It was pretty windy and one of the sailboats looked as if it would tip over. As we went by, we saw the people aboard the boat adjusting the sails to avoid any danger. And, at that moment, it hit me. I really need to adjust my own sails.

Each day, I have a choice of how I’m going to steer my thoughts and actions. I can choose to dwell on the frustrations, or I can ignore them and keep on working towards what I want, while setting that example for my boys.

Today I’m choosing to steer this ship towards the sunshine. 

Sparkle.Pounce.Adjust Your Sails.

-Kendra

This is 36…

A long time ago, when I was fresh out of high school, one of my good friends and I were chatting about growing up and becoming adults. He told me that his dad told him that even though he was “old”, he didn’t feel any different from when he was our age. His body was older, but he still felt young. 

At the time, I didn’t really understand that. I just thought that as you get “old” you willingly gain all of the characteristics of older people…responsible, boring…adult.

But now, I get it. 

And I feel exactly the same way. 

On the inside, I am still just a young soul, full of dreams. I have about 30 lifetimes full of adventures on my “to-do” list, and I absolutely love laughing, having fun, and blowing off responsibilities for as long as humanly possible. 

But, on the outside, I’m definitely forced to deal with all of the responsibilities that go along with being an adult…

This list includes, but is not limited to: grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, helping with homework, carting the kids around to various sporting events, making sure church happens regularly, buying presents for kids’ birthday parties, signing and returning notes to school, packing lunches, cooking, cleaning, laundry (because those deserve to be mentioned more than once…), and so much more.

Those are the parts of being 36 that make looking like an adult seem pretty lame.

But, I am bound and determined to not let those responsibilities define me. Nope. For me, 36 looks like this:

 

Bike rides with friends! I went on this bike ride with girlfriends on Saturday morning. It was so much fun. I flew down the hills and yelled, “This is 36!” (I’m not kidding…I really did yell that…) 

Road trips with girlfriends, full of laughs, sunshine, and ridiculousness. I will never be too old for that.

 

Running with girlfriends. And every once in a while, traveling somewhere beautiful and adventurous to do it!

 
Taking time for me. Because even though I love time with friends and family, I also need time to reflect and work on being the best version of me that I can possibly be.
 
 
This. 
 
Staying healthy and fit and loving almost every second of it!
 
 
And finally…these guys. My whole world. 36 will continue to be filled with love and adventures with the guys that keep me going. I will continue to work hard to show them that you get out of life exactly what you put into it. So, even though I have to work hard on the boring stuff that goes along with being an adult, I still get to do so many amazing things that make this life pretty stinkin’ awesome.
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Live Life Fully.
 
-Kendra
 

And…My Heart Is Kinda Broke

Saturday was THE day. 

It was a chance to prove to myself that all of my hard work over the last 5 months had been worth it. It was the day when my dream of a Boston Qualifier WITH MY SISTER was supposed to become a reality. 

But, those things didn’t happen. Instead, I had the worst race I’ve ever had.

The week leading up to the race was full of so much excitement. There was a tremendous amount of support from friends, family, and coworkers. I felt so much love, it was unbelievable. From the number of people who sent text messages, cards, emails, Facebook messages, to all of the people who decided to pack their bags and make the long trip up North to cheer me on…I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt that much support. It was truly heartwarming, and my eyes are getting a little leaky thinking about it all over again.

But, with all of that support came the realization that this was a BIG deal. And with that realization, my anxiety over the race continued to grow. I felt nauseous for a few days before the race, and just couldn’t shake the pre-race jitters (for four days…). To say the least, I did not handle the pressure of the race well at all.

On race morning, I lined up at the start line just like any other race. 

Rondi, Tanna (big sister who surprised us on race morning!), and Kendra before the race.


I was as ready as I would ever be. The training was done (for 5 months with only missing ONE training run!), and now all that was left to do was reap the reward.

Rondi and I started out as planned. The first miles were rough, but I kept hoping that my body would warm up and things would feel better. But, just keeping our pace was very difficult for me. My whole body felt completely exhausted. By mile 3 when I walked through the aid station, I felt wobbly and my legs were shaky. The realization that it wasn’t my day was already creeping in.

By mile 5 I told Rondi that she needed to leave me. I was managing an 8:05 pace, but that wasn’t fast enough for Rondi to meet her BQ (she’s younger than me, so I have a 5 minute cushion on her), so I urged her to leave me, letting her know that 8:05 was the fastest I was going to be able to maintain. She refused and kept trying to fill me with positive thoughts and mantras. I’m pretty sure she thought that it was my mind that wanted to quit so early on, when really it was my body. But, I kept trying to hold on to what she was saying…fake it on the outside until your body believes you…Boston…one foot in front of the other…no regrets…

 


It would work for a very short time, and then I would go back to the place where my body was telling my mind it wanted to be done. By mile 8, I knew I had to convince Rondi to go on without me. So, I just stopped running and told her she had to go. I promised her I would try to keep going, but that she had to go on without me or she was going to miss her BQ. And, she went.

For the rest of the race, I was left to process the fact that it wasn’t my day. There was no “I was so close.” I wasn’t close at all. I just couldn’t understand why I felt like that. I’ve never felt so awful in a race so early on. Ever. By mile 8 of that race, I felt like I did at mile 20 of my BQ race last year. I very badly wanted to quit. The thought of having to go 18 more miles and come no where near reaching my goal was so defeating. But I knew I couldn’t just quit the race. I had to finish. So that’s what I did. And frankly, it sucked.

Looking back on it, I realized that the stress of the race ate away at my body. My nutrition was off, and I just didn’t have the energy to make it happen. I really don’t have any regrets about the race. I don’t feel like I “quit.” Last year, when I had a mental break down at mile 20 and walked for a few minutes…THAT I regret. Because that was all mental. It was entirely different this year. 

Part of what carried me through the second half of the race on Saturday was that I had myself convinced I would try again for my BQ at the Charlevoix Marathon at the end of June. More than anything, I did not want all of my training to go to waste. I held on tight to that hope as I made my way to the finish line. 

But, after talking to some running coaches and getting professional opinions, I have decided it’s not in my best interest to do that. My body will not be ready to go through that again, and my performance would most likely be worse. (And, for goodness sake, I can’t have that!) So, I will have to wait a while to have another chance. 

One of the things that upsets me the most about all of this is that the happiness and joy my sister should be feeling because of her BQ has kind of been pushed aside. And that’s really not fair. She got what she set out to get and I am SO happy for her! If she decides not to go to Boston without me, I will be pretty disappointed. Her accomplishment deserves the reward. (Although she says we will get to Boston together…even if it’s not until we’re 70! But I just don’t think I have that kind of patience.)

Even though it didn’t go how I wanted, I feel extremely blessed to have gone through all of the months of training and emotions of that day with my sister.

And I look forward to so many more adventures with her, and my older sister Tanna. We’ve got a lot of work to do over the next 50 years or so! We will keep working towards “26.2 and a Brew” in all 50 states, and we won’t cross Massachusetts off our list until it’s to run THE BOSTON MARATHON. It will happen eventually 🙂
 
 
 
Thank you so much to all of you that supported me on this journey. I kind of have a feeling that my temporary failure may have helped some people to see that crappy stuff happens to all of us. We just have to pick up the pieces left behind and keep moving forward.
 
 
Sparkle.Pounce. Dream Big. Work Hard.
 
-Kendra
 



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