• Running Heroes

    June 29, 2011

    Hi, friends! Happy Hump Day!

    I spent the morning trying to defer my registrations for the summer races on my calendar. (I haven’t had any success yet.) Tomorrow night, I’m supposed to run the Squantum 5-miler, on Monday the Harvard Pilgrim 10K, and the Boilermaker the following weekend. Clearly, my colitis has bad timing. I’m really in no shape to run any of these races right now. 

    I’m bummed that I wasted money on the registration fees, but not running these races makes me so sad. I feel like I was finally getting into a grove with my training. I (finally) wasn’t dealing with injuries, my speed was increasing, and I felt strong all over. I was really looking forward to these summer races. I’m disappointed that I’m probably losing some of the gains that I’ve made, but I know I can get it back. It’s just going to take some hard work!

    This might sound really cheesy, but Runner’s World (the magazine and website) are really keeping my outlook positive about running. I mean, I’m generally a negative person (I swear, just ask Mal!), so it would be really easy for me to slip into a dark, depressing hole and think that I will never run without GI issues again. But, with the whole Runner’s World thing, my thinking is: the more I obsess about the running, the easier it will be (mentally) to motivate myself through the hard times, especially when I head out for my first run after I am well again. My legs already feel tired just thinking about it!

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    Over the past few days, I’ve spent time flagging inspiring stories from the June and July issues of Runner’s World. If these people can overcome serious obstacles to achieve their running goals, so can I! Here are a couple of the runner stories that have really struck a chord with me. They definitely put things in perspective.

    Gladys Burrill

    At 92 years old, Gladys Burrill finished the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in 9:53:16, setting a Guinness World Record for the oldest women to complete the distance. Burrill ran her first marathon at 86 years old. Never say never!

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    Eric Cornell

    In 2001, Eric Cornell, 49, won the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating the coldest matter ever known. He’s also a runner, who participates in his favorite race, the Bolder Boulder 10-K, which takes place every May in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado.

    In October 2004, Cornell developed an ache in his left shoulder. The pain got worse, so he headed to the emergency room, where doctors opened up his arm and found an alarming amount of dead tissue. His diagnosis? Necrotizing fasciitis— a potentially lethal infection known as flesh-eating bacteria. It had spread well beyond his shoulder. By the time they figured out the problem, it became less a question of whether doctors could save his arm and more could they save his life.

    In the end, doctors amputated Cornell’s arm, shoulder, clavicle, and scapula. When Cornell regained consciousness two and a half weeks later, he was unable to stand or even sit up. He needed a tracheotomy to help him breathe; he also suffered severe pain on his legs where surgeons had removed skin to graft onto his wound. Nevertheless, over the next few days he embraced his physical therapy routine, treating his rehabilitation like race training.

    In May 2005, seven months after his diagnosis, Cornell returned to the Bolder Boulder. Walking it with his daughter Eliza, he finished in two hours. In 2008, Cornell ran the race in 53:35.

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    Feel Great Weight

    This week’s Feel Great Weight post is about my recent colitis diagnosis: A Bump in the Weight-Loss Road: When a Health Problem Gets in the Way.

    Question of the Day

    Who’s your running hero?

    P.S. I’m giving away Popchip on Trading Up Downtown today!

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    { 90 comments… read them below or add one }

    Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I read about an 80-something year old that runs multiple marathons a year. That’s INSANE!!!

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    Alaina June 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Those are some amazing stories! I’m so glad to see that you have such a positive attitude. I would probably be down in the dumps too but your attitude is very inspiring. :-)

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    Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Wow that’s inspiring! I’ve been trying to push myself to start running and seeing other people do it makes me think I could do this!! I’m with you on the negative thinking sometimes. I always have to remind myself to think positive and it’ll all be ok!!

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    Katie June 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I saw this article in a daily e-newsletter I get and thought you might find it helpful if you haven’t already seen it!
    http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/ulcerative-colitis/ulcerative-colitis-diet-tips.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthDietandNutrition_20110629

    Reply

    Andrea (Run. Learn. Repeat.) June 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I’m so sorry you have to miss all your races because you’re sick! I know how that feels and it’s so disappointing! This year I trained like never before and was ready for a huge PR in Boston, and then I got a nasty illness the week before. It’s still a little disappointing when I think about it, but it gives me motivation to get back in to that kind of shape again, and now at least I know I can do it!

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    Nicole @sugarcoatedsisters June 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I love reading about phenomenal people in running magazines. Inroad about an army man who ran in a gas mask to honor those affected from war-caused respiratory injuries. So inspiring.

    My running hero is probably my mom. After her and my dad got divorced, she joined Team In Training and got involved in running and jogging. She has completed a couple marathons and many half marathons. I can tell that running has made her much happier about her self :)

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    Caitlin June 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Molly Barker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Megan @ On The Road Again June 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    The cancer survivor stories in RW this month were utterly amazing. They make me think differently when I go to complain about my own running or abilities.

    One person that inspires me: kind of a wacky one, but there’s a lady in her 50′s that runs a local 10-mile race that I do every year. Each time I’ve run it, she’s done it faster than me and while wearing a cheetah-print sports bra top and running briefs AND a cheetah tail. Silly, maybe, but I love that she just goes out and enjoys running, no matter what!

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    elizabeth June 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    i just found your blog while looking for training advice for half marathons. i will be running my 4th in november. i love all of your workouts and advice and can’t wait to start trying some new things out. thanks for all of the awesome tips!!

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    Lisa June 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    awh I’m sorry you won’t be able to run those races. I would of seen you at the Harvard Pilgrim 10k! But soon you’ll be better & just keep staying positive!

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    Tina June 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    @Lisa: I’ll still be there– probably with Murphy! Mal is running the race!

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    Amanda Jewell June 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Seriously amazing. It’s never too late to make a change. This comes at a good time for me since my recent family drama + PCOS has led to some overeating and unwanted weight gain. It’s really hard to lose the lbs with PCOS (hello insulin resistance) so I totally understand your current struggles to maintain your health while dealing with a disorder. We just have to be that much more motivated! Hope you feel better today :)

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    Chad @ thebreakupnote June 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I live and die by runnersworld’s running programs.

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    Lauri (RedHeadRecipes.com) June 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    WOW!! 92 years old! Holy Schnikies!!

    I don’t really have a ‘running hero’, but the farthest race I have ever done is a 10k. maybe someday I will be like Gladys… preferably before I reach my 80′s, but who knows!

    I think Glady’s is my ‘new’ hero :D

    Bummer about the races and registration fees :( Seems like they would have been a little more understanding!!

    Reply

    Caroline @Everyday-Caroline June 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I’m gonna have to check out runners world! I have never read it and everyone always says there is such valuable information. Thanks Tina, thinking of you as well!

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    Tanya June 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    It is so great that you are choosing to stay positive! I hope that your colitis goes away and never comes back!!! I have had IBS since I was 30 (I am 45 now). I love to run half-marathons, but my time is totally depending on if my gut decides to have a good day or not. It is very frustrating because several times I have been in excellent shape, run a great first half of a race, and then spent the last two miles of the race running from port-a-john to port-a-john. I feel your pain! Hang in there!

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    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Wow 92 and still running marathons?! I think Gladys is now my new hero!

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    Lindsey @ Gluten-Free Lindsey June 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    WOW! 92?! How inspiring is that??!

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    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I LOVE that RW always highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is so inspiring.

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    Katie at Faith N' Funfetti June 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Holy. Moly. Talk about inspirational stories! I get down on myself when I have a bad training run and both of these stories from Runner’s World just remind me to be so thankful for my health and ABILITY to run, even if it isn’t the speed or distance I want to be at right this second. God is so good, and his plan for us is perfect. Even when we can’t understand. Thank you for sharing!!

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    Kat June 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Runner’s World is such a motivating magazine, everytime I read it I want to go out and run! Sorry to hear that you have to miss your races, I had to miss a race a few months ago and decided that at least my $$$ was still going to a good cause- so thats good right? Get well soon!

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    Bridget June 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    THat is definintely annoying about the registration fees, but so happy to hear that you are keeping a positive outlook. And stories like that one of Eric Cornell really put things in perspective…I can’t even imagine something like that!

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    The Healthy Engineer June 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    This post makes me so happy for them.

    Life is never easy, but the accomplishments despite the setbacks make it so beautiful.

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    marie June 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Couldn’t somebody else run in your place maybe?

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) June 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Reading the stories of the runners who overcame what we would see as the worst to keep on running. It is inspiring to keep going.

    You have the drive and desire to run…as so as your bowels are in agreement you’ll be back at it!

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    JT June 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Can’t remember the guy’s name, even though I just read about him this morning but on Caitlyn’s blog “Healthy Tipping Point” she just blogged about the guy who is running from the north pole to the south pole….a couple marathons each day, every day no rest days. Some of his days are + 100 miles….all to raise money for the international Red Cross….that is amazing to me.

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    Heidi June 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    God wants you to get better and enjoy the life he has planned for you – which I’m sure involves lots of the things you already love! Let something other than colitis take over your life, it will make you so much happier. with love, Heidi

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    Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    SO inspiring! Honestly, anyone that runs is my running hero. Running absolutely does not come naturally to me, and it is HARD. I have so much respect for people who get up and do it every day, every other day, once a week, etc. Runner’s World magazine rocks!

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    Lindsay June 29, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    These stories were SO inspirational! Thank you for posting them today, as I was having an off-day, and now they have me feeling pumped and determined to get back out there. I don’t have a racing hero, for I am not a runner, but I am a dancer, so my heros are of the dance/musical theatre world, such as Kristen Chenoweth…she is bubbly, positive, and takes on the world with strength, kindness, and determination. That’s something we can all strive for!

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    Amber @ Stop and Smell the Wildflowers June 29, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing those people’s stories! They are so inspirational!

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    Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Those are some crazy inspiring stories! You’ll be back there soon, no worries! Take care of yourself!

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    Sophie @ threetimesf June 30, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Wowzer….I hope I’m still in marathon shape when I’m 90! (well, I hope I get there ages before, but you know what I mean!)

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    ~Jessica~ June 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I know I’m commenting very late on this one, but my running hero is Paula Radcliffe. She’s had to battle so many injuries and setbacks, but has never, ever given up. She also had many digestive issues and now has to follow a gluten-free diet.

    I just read your article too, and have been catching up on your recent posts. I had to say I’m so sorry to hear about the debilitating symptoms you’ve been experiencing, but your humour, candour and honesty has been like a breath of fresh air. You haven’t shied away from the gritty details of dealing with colitis but you’ve truly been an inspiration with your attitude. After years (literally) of terrible digestive problems/GI issues and being embarrassed as heck about it, I’m finally getting some answers which might help me, but will have to make dietary changes I’m not particularly happy with and aren’t ‘Blogger approved’ in terms of tonnes of veggies, etc. I want to post about it but am still slightly afraid and hesitant…

    I really hope you can get some support and answers too. Wishing you all the best.

    ~Jess~
    xxx

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    Marcie June 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Tina,

    If you need someone to take your Harvard Pilgrim Race over from you, I could do it! I live right near Foxboro… I’ve never run a 10k before so I hope they would switch our names so you don’t get credit for my crappy time :)

    Reply

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