Running for the Bling of It!

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Why do you run? We all run for more than one reason, I know. Maybe we are supporting a specific cause; participating in a certain race; getting or staying healthy; remembering a loved one; honoring a spouse, friend or parent; to accomplish the impossible; to show we can; to say we did; to prove ourselves wrong or right; because we rolled out of bed this morning; to celebrate life, love or freedom; because we can. Sometimes, we don’t run for a reason at all, other than just because. Sometimes we are so dedicated to our cause that we run come hell or high water, pain or fatigue, and even when regular life tends to get in the way. Sometimes, regular life does get in the way and we have to stop to handle the situation – sometimes it is quick, sometimes it seems to take forever and our training is derailed. But, it is only temporary. We will run again. And we do. Sometimes, we don’t even want to run, but we do. We run because we have to. Non-runners don’t understand – sometimes they are even close to us, share the same bed or house with us – shouldn’t we just toss in the towel when the going gets tough? We run anyway. Maybe we haven’t always, but we always will. We run because it is who we are.
I run …
for my mother, Darlene, who can’t run with me here on Earth anymore. I know she is running in Heaven – telling everyone else all is takes is the “courage to start,” and watching everyday as I run here. Running brought me and my mother and sister closer together than we had ever been. Sometimes I feel like I took for granted the times I ran with her – like when she pulled me through a tough 18 mile or 20 mile run. She was my biggest cheerleader, my biggest fan. She was on every race course I ever ran cheering me on. After she passed, I begged God for just one more second with her to tell her how much I loved her – what I wouldn’t give Him for just one more run with her. My mother loved running with all of her heart. The No Boundaries program changed her life. It made her happy, strong, healthy and positive. She discovered she could do what she once thought was impossible – run a few yards, run a mile, then two miles, then her first 5K, then 4 miles, then 6.5 miles and eventually her first half marathon. Throughout my life, I have always said, I would like to be one of those people who died doing what I love. My mother wanted to be like that too. And she was – she passed away while running a 4 mile training run in the park not far from my parent’s house on a sunny, mild day. We know that she finished her run. I know that she was happy in love with her life because of her sport. I run for you, Mom.
… for health. Running has changed my life too! While I have not reached my weight-loss goals yet, I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. I went from being pre-diabetic and lethargic – out of breath after walking up the stairs – to running a full marathon just weeks ago. I will run everyday to keep myself healthy and to keep reaching my healthy goals
… for happiness. Read: to stay sane! I went from being unhappy all the time with low self-esteem. I literally felt like I had nothing left to live for before I started running, like I was on a dead-end, fast-track to the end of my life. As painful as it is to say, I hated myself. I was miserable. It was never going to get better, I was never going to be happy. I started running with MIT and, as they say, the rest is history. Without running and the family I have in the running community, dealing with my mother’s passing would not. even. be. possible.
… for the future. I want to help inspire others to run when they think they can’t. I want to be the best person I can be out on the trails and streets – I want women and men like me to know that they can do it. Whether they choose to run or not, I want to one day inspire our children to dream big and achieve their dreams!     
… for the bling of it! Who wouldn’t after you check out this bling??
Custom-made Allied Medal Display
Okay, it didn’t always look this spectacular. As a matter of fact, for two years the bling shared the spotlight with our shot glasses. Classy, right?
Then, I was fortunate enough to actually win (I never win anything!) a giveaway for an Allied Medal Display from Amanda at 5 Miles Past Empty. Check her out, if you have not, she is a superstar in my book, and very caring too. I cannot even describe to you how excited I was to win! To top it off, Joel at Allied Medal was generous enough to offer to custom design a display in memory of my mother. Once again, I was floored my the generosity, compassion, support and love I received from the running community. Here is my display:
I love it – this design as well as Allied Medal has surpassed all of my expectations! Listen closely, please, if you do not have a place to display your race bling – contact Allied Medal today! I was on the fence about whether or not I really needed a special display or if I should just nail them into the wall one by one. Then I thought, why not display what I have worked so hard for? I was so impressed with my display that I hung it right in our living room – which is the first thing you see when you walk in the door:
I am looking forward to it being a wonderful conversation starter from now on. There is a story behind each one of these medals, not to mention the story of me, my mother, and how the “Courage to Start” changed our lives. I hope I can help to change someone else’s too.
4 Milers and 5K’s (Left); Pittsburgh Full and Half Marathons (Center); Quarter Marathons (Right)
Joel and the team at Allied Medal have demonstrated superior customer service throughout the entire process from design to shipping. I never felt like I “won a free product,” Joel was more than attentive to my requests and treated me just like any other customer. My display is currently holding 11 medals and there is plenty of room for more! I love the design because it is sleek, shiny, matches or spices up any décor, and substantial. It arrived neatly packaged with mounting instructions and my husband actually said when I took it out of the package, “Wow. That is a nice piece of metal. I was expecting something flimsy.” No flimsy here. If someone breaks in, I plan to yank it off the wall and after I sling medals at them, I will hit them over the head with it, if I need to. On second thought, I wouldn’t want to ruin the masterpiece! 😉 But, you get the point; this is a sturdy piece of craftsmanship that is worth every dollar of the $40-$65 or so to purchase one of your own. I will be doing so when this one is filled up.
So, why do you run? Happy National Running Day, friends! Today, I am thinking of you! 🙂
Until the next mile marker,


  1. Sara!! What a beautiful post!! I got all teary eyed, seriously. You have the heart of a runner, courage of a warrior, and I have truly been touched by your dedication. Keep running lady and fill up that awesome display! I love it!! I could not be more happy that YOU won this giveaway! And I agree, Joel is amazing!

    Happy National Running Day!!

  2. I always love reading your posts. Always. Love you.

    That display is awesome! I also have a medal display from Allied Medals and have been 100% satisfied with my purchase as well!

    Articulating why I run has never been something I can do. I just do. 🙂

  3. Ok, I have to stop reading your blog at work. It made me tear up and now people there think I have a heart. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR MY REPUTATION! Tomorrow I run for you.

  4. I’m with Sarah….your posts make me tear up, but in a good way! What a great post!!! Love your new bling holder. The one before was pretty classy too….booze and bling, what’s not to love with that combo?

    Your story continues to inspire me to keep going. I loved the “courage to start” quote (hence the shirt I bought last year before we met), but it means even more now knowing how it’s touched your life.

    Love you, Sara!!!

  5. Another wonderful, thoughtful post. You are so eloquent.

    Love seeing your bling!

  6. This was awesome. Loved it! I agree with you as well – I definitely run for the bling of it!! :0)

  7. Anonymous says

    Love this post!

  8. Love this post!

  9. I’m with Sarah….your posts make me tear up, but in a good way! What a great post!!! Love your new bling holder. The one before was pretty classy too….booze and bling, what’s not to love with that combo?

    Your story continues to inspire me to keep going. I loved the “courage to start” quote (hence the shirt I bought last year before we met), but it means even more now knowing how it’s touched your life.

    Love you, Sara!!!

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