Who am I? Why do I run? Why Roadkill Racing? If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are looking for a reason to join yourself…or maybe you already know me and just want to know me a little better. At any rate, here it is for your reading pleasure.
Back in the 80’s, I was a pretty good runner. All we had was outdoor track at Red Jacket at the time and at every meet, I could be seen running the 800m, 1500m, 3000m, and the 4×800 relay as anchor. My senior year, I was 2 seconds away from the school record in the 1500m and qualified for sectionals which was going to be my time. But a commitment to sing in a wedding made it difficult to get there and my dad drove to Geneseo about 90mph to get there in plenty of time to find out upon arrival that they changed the order of events and the race had already been run. This, my friends, I have never forgotten. I have no regrets but I can’t help but wish I could have done both.
I’m a wife and a mother of three beautiful children. They are all teenagers now and I have watched each of them excel at running in their own right! There is NOTHING better than watching your children doing things they love to do, whether it be singing, playing in the band, writing an essay on life, or running. They inspire me every day and I can only hope to be as big of an inspiration to them as they are to me.
At 17 I was diagnosed with UC. At 40 I was diagnosed with RA. Autoimmune disorders SUCK! But what sucks more is letting them win! What also sucks is letting yourself fall apart from the athletic youngster I was to a frumpy, overweight woman who was starting to have a hard time keeping up with all the things I wanted to do.
So last year, a friend and I started a local walking group. It’s amazing how facebook can provide such accountability. I started posting times and places that I was going to walk and anyone who wanted to join me could. Some days there would be three, some days there would be none. But if I said I was going to be there, I was going to be there. So I walked. Then one fine day, I told my eldest daughter that I wanted to try running. She joined me. It hurt but it was grand! And that is where it all began again. I had dabbled in starting to run several times over the years but this time was different. I started running 5K’s again and it was a wonderful thing to be out there on the starting line. That feeling never ever goes away and oh how I had missed it!
Some pretty impressive side effects came from this renewed passion for running. I dropped 25 pounds and reduced the amount of medication I take. I went over a year without needing antibiotics for the usual random sinus and ear infections I would get every few months. I also found myself intentionally seeking out friends who had similar passions and decided it was time to live a little more for me.
All the while, I had watched through facebook posts about my friend, Heather Ostrander, who has had her own struggles but was rising above and kicking ass! I’m not really even sure how it all went down, but I ended up deciding that I wanted to be a part of a team again. Partially for that accountability but also to feel a part of something that I had missed all these years. Though I may curse Heather a bit during those XC races, I know if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have found this dynamic group of pretty awesome people who have become my teammates! Ha! I love being able to say at 45 that I have teammates!
I don’t love XC, I love roads, but I love running with this group and if running with them means trudging up muddy hills in the freezing cold repeating mantras such as “pain is just weakness leaving the body” or “just keep running” or “dear God just let me pass that old guy” then I’m there!
To date, I have run 1 mile, 5K’s, 10K’s, and a Half Marathon, which just happened May 2015 in Canandaigua’s inaugural year. I had no goal for that other than to finish and somehow managed to complete it without stopping to walk in 2:05! Mighty proud of myself, I was! What’s next? Buffalo Marathon 2016 with my girl, who also happened to just join Roadkill Racing! We must be doing something right!
I am a runner.