2011: A Year to Remember

I’ve been reading everyone’s posts recapping 2011. It seems like the thing to do with the New Year only two days away.  It’s inspiring to read back over your victories, races, accomplishments, challenges, struggles and goals – especially the joyful times. Last year on this day, I wrote my own recap and it was happy. My mother started running in 2010 and I said then that she [Mom] has once again reminded me that no matter what you think stands in your way – it doesn’t – you can still accomplish your dreams if you put your heart into it.

Mom and I finishing her first 5K in August 2010.
 I closed with this:
As I lace up my shoes, zip up my jacket and head out the door this afternoon for my last run of 2010, I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot to be grateful for. And a lot to look forward to. I hope you do too. My sincere wish for each of you is that you have a happy and safe New Year, and I can’t wait to see where the new year takes us. I’m already looking forward to reading your blogs. Happy New Year from us.

It’s funny how everything changed on April 21, a short four months later. 2011 was horrible. There’s not really much I wish to remember. In all honesty, I wish I could just forget. My life changed forever a little after 2:00 p.m. on that day when the local police called to tell me there had been an accident and my mother was being taken to the hospital. What I didn’t know until I got there was that she had passed away. I can’t ever change that. 2011 ripped my one of the people who loved me the most right out of my life without even a chance to say goodbye. The last time I saw her? After a six and a half mile run the Saturday before and we went to breakfast with our friend Wendy. The details of that morning? They’re fading faster. The last thing she texted to me I’m going out for a four mile run! Love you, angel!The last thing I said to her? I don’t remember.

Sure, there were some memorable times in 2011. Even some happier times, but everything is overshadowed by how much I miss her and how lonely I am sometimes without her by my side. So many questions, so many things left undone. Not unsaid, my mother knew how much I loved her, just undone.
We ran Cap City, the race she had been training for, in her honor:
Cap City Memory Bib we wore.


The Lucky 13’s getting ready for the race.


Mollie & Me after the race.


Julie finishing the Cap City 1/4 wearing Mom’s Bib #.

I ran Pittsburgh, my first full marathon, with the unexpected help of my dear friends:

After the Pittsburgh Marathon.


My friends drove all the way to PA to surprise me on the course – AND RUN WITH ME!

I kept running even though I wanted to quit:

Westerville Rotary Fourth of July 5K.


Me & Mollie on the Fourth of July.


Running in the rain.


2011 Race Club. I’m in there somewhere.


Me & Mollie after the Columbus Half.


Mollie & Me at the Veterans 5K.

I continued coaching the Lucky 13’s with MIT.

I was honored to receive the Spirit Award from the Columbus Marathon in October:

My friend who nominated me Dave, Me, Michael & Dad.

We carried on the family Thanksgiving Day Tradition:

I know there are good things on the horizon for 2012.

Continued reporting for Pace Per Mile Radio:


Representing FitFluential as an Ambassador to inspire others to achieve their health and fitness dreams:

Pace Coaching, of course:

And my biggest challenge, happening soon, The Goofy:

Spending time with the ones I love. I’m not taking them for granted.

And more blogging, you blogland friends, have been with me through the darkest time in my life. Your support, love, encouragement, sympathy, understanding and friendship has not gone unnoticed.

But, I also know 2012 won’t even be the same. Every joy is laced with sadness too at all that is left undone. Opportunities lost. Death is so final. You can’t demand a redo. I never knew what that felt like before this year.

So, for as much as I wish I could forget, I will remember. For my mother. Because she would never want me to forget that I love running – and so did she.

My wish for you all? A joyful New Year filled with love, happiness, friendship and good health.

Until the next mile marker,


  1. You and I have never met Sara, but I am a fellow MIT’er. I really was touched by your profound post. As a mother of 3 kids, I can tell you that your mother would be so extremely proud of you! It is obvious what an incredibly strong, courageous and loving person and daughter you are. Thank you for sharing this post.



  2. Okay….I’m just sitting here bawling my eyes out! This post is beautiful and it is everything that makes you, you. I love you and am so glad we are friends. Knowing you has changed my life. Watching you live your life with grace and courage inspires me.

    Ready for 2012? Gulp…yeah, I think so….let’s do this thing!

  3. What a fantastic post Sara! You really honor your mom here. I know she’s still running right there with you.

    And look at your fabulous support crew! Reminds me of my running group. Where would we be without them?

    Happy new year!

  4. Megan Landry says

    Thanks for the beautiful post. It did bring me to tears. Thank you for reminding me to cherish my loved ones, especially my mother.

  5. Kimberly Turner Bouldin says

    Beautiful post, Sara. I feel so blessed to have met you this year. You are such a beautiful person. I am sure your mom is looking down from above with a smile on her face.

    Love you!


  6. lauriewalksfast says

    Beautiful post Sara. You really honored your mother and her memory. I am so glad to have met you and gotten to know you better! I look forward to an awesome 2012!

    You will rock Disney next week and your mom will be by your side the whole time. Can’t wait to hear how it went.

  7. Wow Sara, I have never met you but my heart goes out to you for all you have gone through this past year in losing your mom. I am so sure you are making her proud by continuing her love of running. I wish the happiest of all new years. Keep running. You are an inspriration to us all!!!!

  8. I’m really sort of shocked that I’m only biting Mollie in one picture. I’m going to have to up my game. I still can’t believe I only met you all this year and somehow my entire running-free weekend is filled with various stuff with MITers. I’m so glad I got the chance to know you all!

  9. Amazing post, Sara. My eyes are streaming. Your mother would be so proud of you and Mollie for the way you’ve both walked through this difficult time. I’m honored to have met you and to have been given the privledge to learn from both of you as you walk through this with grace, humor and, above all, determination. Now go out there and GET GOOFY!!!

  10. Thank you for sharing this Sara. I know your mom is looking down on you and Mollie and your Dad. I’m so grateful to have you in my life. Love you to pieces! Here’s to a fabulous 2012!

  11. Suzanne Westenhofer says

    This is a wonderful post and so heartfelt. I hope that 2012 brings you so much happiness and joy and lots of continued success in your running!

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