Monday, July 15, 2013

A year of running tribute!

This blog post is in loving memory of my Grandpa Woody who passed away in November of 2011.  My grandpa was a very active runner, walker, hiker, bicyclists, and archer all of his life!!  Even after losing a leg to diabetes he continued to go, move, and stay active.  He didn't let not having a leg stop him!  My sweet and amazing Grandma still gets out and walks miles upon miles every day...even though the love of her life is not with her anymore!  I am so thankful for their example in my life of being fit, healthy, and staying active even in their later years! 

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when I started running!!  If you don't know me I should tell you this is a huge thing to celebrate because I never thought running would become a part of my life like it has!  Running was for crazy people and didn't look fun in the least to me.  I was happy and content to sit on my couch thank you very much!

Since my first day of running I have put in 665 miles.  I have ran in a 5k, 8k, 10k, and half marathon race.  It has been a year full of challenges, overcoming obstacles, setting goals, running in the rain & cold, reaching goals, gaining speed, having personal records, surpassing what I ever thought I was capable of, growing in so many ways, did I mention running in the rain and cold, and developing a stronger work ethic than I ever had before running.  I wanted to take a moment and reflect back on this past year and the things I have learned and the people who have made such an impact along the way!
To start with I need to thank my sweet friend Rachel...if it were not for her I am not sure I would even be writing this blog post.  She was willing to meet up with me in the beginning, when running wasn't even in my vocabulary yet, and walk with me (and run for those 30 second increments full of huffing and puffing).   She believed in me!  She encouraged me!  She kept me accountable!  And she was willing to go with me at my very snail pace!  Rachel and I did not have a deep friendship starting out but running brought such an amazing bond and depth to our friendship.  We started out living in the same town and so running together was a regular we live several hours apart and running together is a special treat.  But we have managed to still get in a few runs/races together.  I'm so excited (and still in shock) to be running our very first marathon together!!  I am so thankful for you Rachel my sweet sista!!!  You always have uplifting and wise words when I am having a rough day.  I love our silly moments and late night laughter when we are together!  Looking forward to seeing you again soon!  Big hugs!!

There have been a few other amazing friends along the way who have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me:  Anna, Sandi, Sarah, Harmony, & Melanie....thank you so much for all the times you have ran with me, signed up for races with me, challenged me, and been such faithful friends in my life!  You each mean the world to me!

Anna-thank you for being my long run day "partner-in-crime" and for being willing to train with me for my marathon...and putting in some crazy long miles alongside me!  I am brought to tears thinking of your faithfulness and support in my life.  You were at my side for one of the hardest years of my life and I can not thank you enough for your support during that season!  It's been so much fun doing life alongside you!!  I am beyond blessed by you!!  You have the kindest, sweetest, most giving & sincere soul!

Sandi - I love running with you and spending time with you and your family!   I love running side by side and all of our conversations and laughs we have had.  You were there alongside me for my very first race as well as several others...and many more to come I'm sure!!  Thank you for being so genuine, transparent, funny, and a treasure of a friend!  P.S. I'm excited to teach our running class, "Got the Runs?" at our homeschool co-op together!!

 Sarah - Due to our husbands different working schedules we haven't been able to run together as much as I would like.  But when I think of my running partners you are high on the list!!  I love your energy and excitement for life.  You have the most contagious joy and personality about you.  You are hard working and do so many things I only hope/dream of doing someday!!  I also love to spend time with you and our families getting together!  I know running has had it's own challenges for you but you should be so so proud of what you have accomplished!!  Even when running isn't an option you still find ways to stay active with hiking, walking, riding your bike, etc...!!!  You inspire me in many thank you for that Sarah!!

Harmony.....oh my sweet friend of almost 15 years.  I admire you so much.  I wish we were able to run together more often but I am so thankful for every chance I have to come down and have coffee with you (and on a rare occasion run with you!).  I am looking forward to October when we get to run the Astoria bridge together!!  You bring a tremendous amount of laughter and love into my life!!  You are one of the most beautiful people, inside and out!!  So many memories with you that I hold close to my heart!

Melanie - You are one of those crazy running people I mentioned above!!!  And when I grow up I want to be just like you!!!  You are a precious person with the biggest heart.  Thanks for all your inspiration and the example you set of loving the Lord and putting all your trust in Him, even while walking through some of the hardest and most painful things in the last few years!!  I am blessed immensely by you and your beautiful smile, heart, and personality!!

I am also blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! 
To my sweet husband, who has been a long time runner himself, thank you for all your support, cheering me on, and help watching the girls whenever I go running or have a race!  I look forward to getting to run a race with you one day soon (that is NOT something I would have ever said a year ago!)  I love you so much babe!
To my girls, and future runners of America, I am so thankful for each of you.  You girls rock and I love all of our runs/races we have done and will do together.  I have no doubt you'll be passing me up very soon!!!   I love you so so so so much!

To my parents, you have also been such a major support, encouragement, and help with the girls so I can get my runs in!  Thank you for being there to support me at my very first 5k race and then surprising me and showing up to cheer me on as I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon.  Thank you for all the ways you bless my life!!  I love you both tremendously!!

As I look ahead to the next couple months and the year's a busy season.  I already have another few 10k's, one, maybe two, half marathons ahead, and something I never in my life would have imagined I would be doing...a MARATHON.   Wow I am tired just thinking of all that hard work and training ahead of me.  I wouldn't trade it for anything though...running has done so much to improve my life physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually.  I have learned how good hard work, dedication, commitment, perseverance, and not backing down even when it gets hard feels like.  It feels GREAT!!  Mostly, I have learned that I like being a part of the "crazy" running crowd...they are some pretty amazing people!!  One year of running down....only 50 more years to go!
Change your life
First you feel like dying then you feel rebornrun smart not hardTruth
The only thing that makes IT impossible is you saying it's not possible.
Ok time to find some tissue and wipe away all these happy tears!  I feel so incredibly blessed by the people the Lord has put in my life!!


A photo from the run I took on my one year running anniversary:

(Left to Right) Sandi, Anna, and myself


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1 comment:

  1. Andrea, what sweet tributes to your friends and family! Precious words! I'm thrilled you have found a passion that rewards you in so many ways. How blessed you are. And I am blessed to call you my friend! Not sure if I will be joining the crazy running people; that question is still up for debate! :)Hugs!