Happy Birthday to Me

Could this day get any better?  It is my birthday AND I get to run the best marathon in the world!  I will not forget just how blessed I am each step of my 26.2 mile journey today.  Thank you to all my friends and family for your support, prayers and well wishes.  And most of all thanks and glory be to God!

Today is the day

 

Boston start line

Off to run my 11th marathon and 7th one PMS (Post MS Diagnosis)!

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

 

One year ago today

One year ago today I was celebrating my first Boston Marathon in the finisher’s chute when I heard two explosions go off a few hundred yards behind me.  Please join me in lifting up in prayer the families of the 4 who perished (3 at the finish line and the police officer killed during the hunt for the bombers), the many people that were injured, and all who were affected by the terror of that day.

Just after I crossed the finish line and minutes before the explosions.

Just after I crossed the finish line.

The next day looking toward the finish line were the first bomb went off.

The next day looking toward the finish line where the first bomb went off.

6 days from now I will be back at the starting line and, God-willing, eventually at the finish line to support this amazing city.  I am blessed to be a part of so many people that will come together to show that perseverance, strength and love ultimately win.

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2 Weeks Away

It’s been a busy few weeks for me between family, work, training, and a 5 day bus trip to California with 38 middle school kids!  Yes, I was “lucky” enough to chaperone my daughter’s show choir to a competition in Southern California.  It was a whirlwind of a trip with very minimal sleep and constantly being on the go.  Other than one early morning 5 mile run to help maintain my sanity, there was no other time for training.  That is unless I count 14 hours on my feet at Disneyland as a long run, which I’m tempted to do because I felt just as exhausted (probably more) as after an actual 20 mile run!  The trip was tons of fun and the group even won the middle school competition.

Stopping for a quick picture on my morning run

Stopping for a quick picture on my morning run

In 2 weeks I will be running the Boston Marathon for my second time.  I am beyond excited and a bit emotional at the thought of being back in Boston after last year.  Unfortunately, my family won’t be able to come with me as it is quite expensive for a family of 4 to travel across the country, but my sister will be meeting me there again like last year.  We had a great time together hanging out in Boston the days leading up to the marathon and she was a huge support and cheerleader for me on race day.  We are so blessed that when she came back from watching the race near the halfway point on the course, she was not able to get close enough to the finish line to watch me finish due to the crowds of spectators.  As it turned out, we were both a few hundred yards away from the bombs and were able to find each other quickly and make it safely back to our hotel.  Everything about that day has stuck with me throughout this year, and I think it will be a very emotional trip to Boston, but something I am looking forward to.

Finish line

Marathon Recovery and Cool Relief Review

It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I ran the Phoenix Marathon.  I have been working hard at my recovery since I will be running the Boston Marathon in just 5 more weeks.  I took 3 days completely off after the race and then added back some light swimming and biking for the next week.

It was tough, but I did not run a single step for 10 days post marathon!  For my injury-prone self I know right now with a couple of important races coming up that first and foremost, I need to stay healthy.  While the pull of jumping back into my half Ironman training is strong, I know that I need to allow my body time to recover.

In addition to recovering through time off, I have been icing, foam rolling, stretching, and even tried an Epsom salt bath.  I was also fortunate to have some special ice packs from Cool Relief to try out.

Cool Relief ice packs and shirt along with a cooling travel bag.

Cool Relief ice packs and shirt along with a cooling travel bag.

They sent me the Soft Knee Gel Ice Pack and the Soft Gel Foot and Ankle Wrap along with this really cool Ice Cooling Shirt that I can’t wait to try out in the summer months.  One of the major issues that many people living with MS have is heat sensitivity.  When your body gets too warm MS symptoms can flare up along with extreme fatigue and your body feels like shutting down.  I think this shirt will help me in the summer both for working out, and also for being outside doing different activities with my family.

I like that I can wear the knee pack while walking around and still get the benefits of icing.

I like that I can wear the knee pack while walking around and still get the benefits of icing.

I have been dealing with some patellar tendinitis, you may have seen me sporting some Kinesio Tape on my knee lately, so I have been working on icing my knee after running, and I love how I can wear this ice pack and yet still walk around and get things done while working my icing in.  Go check out there extensive line of hot and cold wraps here.

Do you have any other recovery tips that you do? 

Do you like to use ice for recovery?

High School Runner with MS

You may have seen this around the internet the past week, but I am so impressed by this high school runner who was diagnosed a few years ago with MS, that I felt the need to share it.  You can watch or read about Kayla Montgomery here.

Some quotes that stood out to me from Kayla:

“Instead of letting it stop me from running, I’ve used it to motivate me to break records.”

“Since I know that my mobility is a gift right now, I guess I make every day that I run as best I can, so I don’t waste that gift.”

What a courageous and inspiring young woman.  I look forward to hearing more about her in the future.  We can all learn some life lessons from Kayla.