#16: Recognizing 2 amazing Boston runners
In less than a week roughly 30,000 people will be running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. Yes, it’s Marathon Monday.
- I can’t believe that it is already here
- I can’t believe that I will be participating
- I'm unbelievably excited to see my Mom, Dad, and high school running coaches Carmine and Paul
- I am so excited to be there with some of my favorite Houston runners that have made it all possible (Lisa and Christina!)
I want to use this blog post to acknowledge these two very powerful people in my life because it is important to recognize others and reflect on their profound impact on you. I hope that you will read this and think about people who are inspiring, enhancing, and encouraging you in your life. And ya know what, let them know! Don’t hold that stuff in. When you send gratitude and appreciation into the world, it will come back to you.
I feel like having the privilege of knowing these two exceptional people is already the universe giving it back to me. From what, I don’t know! But that is how this stuff works. Mysteriously.
Lisa and Christina are two exceptional human beings. If it wasn’t for running I never would have met them. And if it wasn’t for running with them, I never would have qualified for Boston.
Boston Qualifier Race: CIM December 2014 (3:27)
Bib #: 15340
# of Marathons (prior to Boston 2016): 12
Favorite pre-race meal: Rice based meal like Chinese or Vietnamese but Naan is great too!!!
Favorite post-race meal: Spaghetti and Turkey meatballs with my own homemade sauce
Favorite post-race beverage: Gin and tonic
Most motivational song: Corny but, love Eye of the Tiger
How long have you been running? Most of my life [I] used [running] as transportation. Ran in junior high and high school and recreationally through college then off and on but [very steadily] most recently since 2008.
What got your started running? My friend Mary Katherine. She said I worked too much and needed to run to distress. I was also going through a divorce.
Running/Athletic Life goal: Stay uninjured by cross training biking , swimming , working out in gym with ab work. Even 2 30 minute sessions of gym time a week has made a huge difference. Be fit and exercise for life and if I could make the Paralympics or go to a world championship that would be awesome.
Boston Qualifier Race: Chevron Houston Marathon 2015
Bib #: 16634
# of Marathons (prior to Boston 2016): 1
Favorite pre-race meal: Bagel with peanut butter
Favorite post-race meal: Hamburger and fries!!
Favorite post-race beverage: Definitely a beer
Most motivational song: Hmmmm... I don't listen to music, but I would say the song of the moment is "Shut Up and Dance" - Walk the Moon
How long have you been running? Since 2007, I started running for fun and never stopped
What got your started running? I was looking for a way to enjoy my last summer in Colorado before moving to Mississippi. So one day I started running the trails behind my house. Each day I ran just a little bit farther - to the next tree down the trail - eventually I became a runner.
Running/Athletic Life goal: My biggest goal is to be able to run for the rest of my life. I don't have a distance or number of marathon goals. I only want to stay healthy enough to be able to run for the most number of years possible.
What they mean to me
Lisa is the current President of Bayou City Road Runners (BCRR), the run club that made
me feel immediately welcome in Houston. This run club is also responsible for introducing me to some of the people that I think of as best friends. Lisa is also the owner of Modern B&B, a fantastic realtor, a daily community cleaner, and a visually impaired runner, biker, swimmer, you name it. She is one of those people that you just want to be around. Her energy is contagious and I enjoy every moment that I am in her presence.
Lisa is also the person who SURPRISED me at the Austin marathon. At mile 23.5 I hear two people cheering my name and I see Lisa and Avi (her boyfriend, also awesome). Two people made a 3 hr trip to Austin to catch me running… for about a minute…. WHAT?! I could not believe the thoughtfulness of these two individuals. Doesn’t stop there.
Lisa ran 18 miles with me on a WEDNESDAY because I needed a buddy for my long run. Runners know that long run days are Saturdays or Sundays… A midweek long run is essentially out of the question. So Lisa had already done her long run 20 that Sunday and decided to do another "casual" 18 just 3 days later. Truly amazing.
I want to say it’s the small things, but neither of these things are small. I could go on and on. But these are just two examples of Lisa’s exemplary presence in this world. She is there for you. Period. Christina is one of my BEST Houston friends. She is an Occupational Therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital. So you already know that she has a big heart, is immensely patient, and caring. She is a Houston Rodeo Volunteer, a Camp Pump It Up volunteer, my go-to running buddy. We both trained for our first marathon together last year. She ran Houston and I ran Austin. I had the honor of running with her the first 3rd of her marathon. Wasn’t surprised when she qualified. But I was certainly nervous because I knew I wanted to go to Boston 2016 with her!
One year later and we are on our way! Christina is not only my running partner, but my confidant, beer drinking partner, and a bread maker that I can only aspire to become. You would be amazed (or not) at the conversations that happen on runs. We talk about life, boys, beer, bodily functions, you name it. She is also the person I know that I can go to when I need support. She is the first to volunteer… All the time. And she has the arms of a model for an athletic magazine #jealousy #iworkout :P.
After I did the Landmark Forum, I asked Christina to come and join me for guest night. Home girl shows up in her scrubs, right from work and supports me until 10pm… And she has work and a workout the next day. I am always exponentially more excited to go to a long run when I know that Christina will be there and no one is more excited to hear your good news than this girl. Her smile is contagious as she listens to you talk, smiling ear to ear. She has also saved my butt on multiple occasions and taken complete ownership over run club events when I was unable to be there. Plain and simple, she always has my back.
How has training for Boston and 2016 been for them?
Besides getting their running “stats” I was also really curious to see how training for this race these past few months has mentally and emotionally changed/affected them. I feel like I learn something about myself, my body, my environment with every new race and this one is no different. Since I have not been able to train with them consistently, I know that there is a lot going on in their worlds that I have not been able to see/hear about.
What is something that came out of these months of training for you? Maybe a lesson learned about running, training, nutrition. A life event where running helped you get through it. Something that you learned about yourself?
Lisa: That cross training really does keep you uninjured . on days when running does not fit in due to inclement weather biking hard in the gym seems to keep the fitness up. I fell better when I work out every day.
Christina: Training for this marathon has been a challenge all in itself. I was injured last fall and unable to run for 3 months. I was so anxious about my ability to not only run, but sufficiently train for this marathon. I made my first attempt at a come back during the Houston Half Marathon in January and finished my slowest, but most meaningful half. Without having ran for 3 months, I could still make it through 13 miles, and more importantly, I was still a runner. This left me motivated and ready to train for Boston. Training for this marathon, I realized my lost love for running. Running had become a gift I had taken for granted - oh every Sunday like clockwork get up and go on a long run. After an injury, coming back smart was the goal so each run needed to be purposeful and as pain-free as possible. During training, I was only allowing myself 2 running days a week - with plenty of cross training. I began to look forward to my run days. The mentality of "Oh I HAVE to run 15 miles this week" quickly changed to "I GET to run 15 miles this week!!" I am thankful for every mile that I accomplished during this training, and I look forward to the final 26.2 miles of this journey!
What has been the biggest challenge training for the 2016 Boston Marathon?
Lisa: Making time to work out , finding hills in Houston to train on and did not do enough of that.
Christina: (If I didn't say enough already.....) My biggest challenge was pacing myself while coming back from injury. I changed running plans and transitioned to a run-walk pattern, which mentally as a runner, was extremely challenging. However, the plan kept me pain-free and able to train.
What are your athletic plans post-Boston?
Lisa: Heading to the Olympic training center in Colorado Spring for tandem cycling camp May 10 for 1 week then hiking the grand Canyon Rim to Rim , then the Bolder to Boulder 10k. Life is better with lots of goals.
Christina: I honestly have none. My biggest plan is to enjoy running more, whether it is running new places, new distances, or with new club members, I want to hold onto the joy of running I rediscovered through my challenges!
After hearing the answers to these questions I was immediately amazed and inspired by all that my friends have learned, overcome, and dream of doing! I mean, who trains for Boston injured, finds a new positive relationship with running, is accepted to go to Colorado Spring’s Olympic tandem cycling camp?! I admire these two women immensely. I am so proud of their entire running journeys to this point, all that they have accomplished these past months, and what they are about to do this coming Monday.
To wrap it up, both of these women have supported me in life and running countless times, are people that I always enjoy being around, and I consider some of my best friends in Houston.