Looking Back

I’m back after my Post-Ironman/Holiday Hiatus.  It’s hard to believe it has already been 2 months since I completed my first Ironman.  Yes, I’m still basking in the warm fuzzy feelings of achieving one of my bucket list goals.  However, it is starting to feel like the distant past and I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing or reading about it!  Time to move on, but before I fill you in on what this year has in store, I wanted to reflect a bit on last year.

2014 was a big exciting year for me as I changed up all the running I had been doing and jumped into triathlon with both feet.

The year started with running the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll half marathon, and then 6 weeks later I ran my 10th marathon, the Phoenix Marathon, where I set a PR and qualified for Boston.  This was a great race and I hope to someday run it again.

Never been so happy to finish a race!

In April I got the best present imaginable and ran my 2nd Boston Marathon on my birthday.  In 2013 I was in the finisher’s chute celebrating my first time running Boston when the bombs went off behind me.  Boston holds a very special place in my heart, as do all those that were affected from this horrific act.  I was blessed to run the race again in 2014 and be a part of the healing and strength of this great race and city.  It was truly an incredible day.

My sweet friend, Sheilah, that ran with me the entire race and even got runners to sing Happy Birthday to me at mile 25!

My sweet friend, Sheilah, that ran with me the entire race and even got runners to sing Happy Birthday to me at mile 25!

In June I completed my first half Ironman in Boulder.  Having only done a couple of other shorter distance triathlons years prior, this was a happy accomplishment that I was able to get through 70.3 miles!

My sister and kids after the race, I have the best cheerleaders!

My sister and kids after the race, I have the best cheerleaders!

September brought the annual MS 150 Bike Ride, where our Miles and Trials team road 150 miles for the 3rd year in row to raise funds for MS Research and Awareness.  I got to reconnect with friends I had met in previous MS Rides and make new friends, all while riding across Northern New Mexico with my husband and supportive friends.  I am so grateful to be surrounded by people that support me every step (and mile!) and help me feel like I am not going through the journey of MS alone.

2014 Miles and Trials Team Riding to cure MS

2014 Miles and Trials Team
      Riding to cure MS

Next up, the culmination of a year of hard work and training.  My first Ironman!  I won’t bore you with the details, you can read all about it here.  What I will say is that if any of you have ever thought about “someday” doing an Ironman, or you have watched the Hawaii Ironman on TV, as I have for years and were inspired by it, you too could be an IRONMAN.  I am not anything special, I was not born naturally athletic, and I did not grow up playing sports or running, biking, or swimming (unless you count hours and hours of playing Marco Polo swimming).  All I had was the thought and desire years ago to complete a marathon and check it off my bucket list, and a very small part of me thought that someday I would also do an Ironman.  (Keep in mind I could not even run 1 mile at that point, nor had I even been on a bike or swam 1 lap in a pool for many years!)  I simply started one step at a time.  You could too.

2014 Ironman Arizona, a dream come true

2014 Ironman Arizona                     A dream come true

These are just a few of the highlights of 2014.  There were other great moments too, running the Boston 5k with my sister, who recently took up running, meeting a fellow Ironman that also has MS at the Buffalo Springs 70.3 Ironman, completing 2 years of an MS clinical trial, just to mention a few.  It was a fabulous year.

While this post and the majority of my blog focuses on the exercise and physical goals that I aim to achieve while fighting MS, my life is about much more than this.  I have a wonderful and supportive husband, 2 beautiful children, amazing friends and family, and most importantly God who has allowed me to pursue my passions and turn a diagnosis of MS into something that hopefully can inspire someone else.  All of that means much more to me than any medal I get from crossing a finish line.  My ultimate finish line will be the day I go home to Jesus.