You Can Get a Blood Clot: Know the facts, Save a Life

Awareness Cover

March is Blood Clot Awareness Month. And before you decide you don’t need to read this post because it could never happen to you since you are (insert that amazing, wonderful thing you are here); I am here to tell you it can happen to you. The National Blood Clot Alliance (a.k.a. Stop the Clot) is getting this urgent message out to the public and policymakers to raise awareness, “So You Think You Can’t Get A Blood Clot? Think Again.” It does not matter how fit, unfit, skinny, young, old, active, healthy, unhealthy you are. You can get a blood clot.

Blood clots affect an estimated 900,00 Americans each and every year and kill up to 600,000 Americans every year. Blood clots kill more people than AIDS, Breast Cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined every year, except there is far less public awareness about them (Source). In fact, the statistics are astounding:

  • Blood clots are a leading cause of preventable hospital deaths in the United States (Source).
  • Blood clots are the leading cause of maternal deaths in the United States (Source).
  • 1 in 3 people who are diagnosed with PE will die.
  • In 25 percent of people who experience a PE, the first symptom is sudden death.
  • One person every minute will be diagnosed with DVT in the U.S. One person every six minutes will die from a PE in the U.S. (Source)
  • 10 to 30 percent of people affected by DVT/PE will die within one month of diagnosis.

I didn’t think I could get a blood clot. It never crossed my mind, especially since I decided to start running, lose weight and take control of my health in 2010. I spent nearly three years running – countless 5K’s, half marathons, a marathon and over half of the Goofy Challenge in 2012. I dropped out of the race – and not for lack of trying – at mile 22 of the full marathon (the day after I completed the half marathon) due to severe pain in my left lower leg and knee, which I attributed to ongoing knee problems. I was disappointment (mostly because I had to leave the Goofy Medal behind), but I was content I gave it everything I could in the race – because I did.

That was in January and I took an extended break before picking up coaching again in late May of the same year. Many of you already know my story, but for those of you that don’t, here’s the brief version. I went out for that two mile training run with my group on that Saturday morning and it went well, but I could tell I was out of shape due to not running. My leg and knee hurt immediately after the run and I was frustrated that my knee still had not healed, in my opinion. The pain was slightly different too, and I suspected an early case of plantar fasciitis. I went home to rest, ice and elevate and took a nap.

I woke up with a pain in my left side, which I attributed to a pulled muscle, once again, due to being out of shape. I took a hot shower, stretched and went about my day, hobbling on my leg, which was nothing new to me.

By that evening, I was feeling tired and decided to go to bed early, only, I could not lay down flat in bed. When I did, my side hurt even more. I propped myself up with some pillows and slept – restlessly – on the couch. My husband checked on me a few times and did ask if I needed to go to the hospital, but I declined saying it was from my run.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling better at first, but the situation escalated throughout the day and into that evening as well. By Sunday night, I could barely speak in full sentences because the pain in my side was so great. It felt like someone was stabbing me or jabbing a finger between my ribs. The pain in my leg had also become significantly worse. It felt like someone had the fleshy part behind me knee in a vice and kept tightening. I could barely walk and my breathing was becoming more shallow. I cancelled plans to attend a family birthday celebration, which is not like me, and out of concern, my father called my physician who called me. When I explained I would not be so worried about my “sidestich” if I could walk on my leg, he became very silent. I knew then something was wrong. He instructed me to go to the nearest Emergency Room with a trauma center and he would call ahead to let them know I was coming. He believed a I had a Pulmonary Embolism.

I was admitted to the hospital and spent the better part of the next week in the intensive care unit, unable to walk, eat or use the bathroom on my own. What I suffered from was a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in the leg (upper calf in my case) that broke off and traveled through my bloodstream, my heart and lodged in my lung as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). I was lucky to be alive. I left the hospital a week later on blood thinners, with oxygen and unable to walk unassisted. I had heard of blood clots before – PEs even –  and I knew they had to be serious, but I had no idea the extent of the damage done to my body or that one could ever happen to me. I did not know the symptoms or that I could have no symptoms (of a DVT). I did not know I should put the pain in my leg and the pain in my side, or as I now know, my lung together. Knowing may have saved me a lot of pain and damage to my body.

The symptoms of DVT (blood clot commonly in the calf, groin or pelvic area) can include swelling in the affected leg, ankle or  foot; pain in your leg, ankle or foot (keep in mind pain in the calf can feel like cramping or a charley horse that won’t go away after massaging, ice, elevation or rest); warmth over the affected area; and changes in skin color such as turning pale, blue red or purple. If you suspect you have a DVT, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible or seek prompt medical attention.

The symptoms of a PE (blood clot that has traveled to the lung) can include unexplained sudden onset of shortness of breath; chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath, cough or lie down; feeling light headed, dizzy or fainting; rapid pulse; sweating; coughing up blood; and a sense of anxiety, nervousness or impending doom. If you suspect you have a PE, seek emergency medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1, as it is life threatening.

While there are several factors that put you at risk for a blood clot including a hospitalization or recent surgery, major accident or trauma, immobility due to a long plane or car ride, pregnancy, taking hormone replacements including contraceptives, heredity and obesity, there are also several things you can do to help prevent a blood clot. Your risk is greatly reduced by staying active and stretching often when sitting or traveling by plane or car for long periods; maintain an ideal body weight; know your genetic risk factors and family history for developing a clot; and if you have a major hospitalization or surgery, discussing blood clot prevention with your doctor.

Blood clots, especially those to the lung, are devastating physically, emotionally and psychologically. My entire life was turned upside down. Nearly two years later, I am still recovering from what happened to me and while I have slowly regained my physical abilities almost to what they were, the emotional and psychological impact of what happened to me is something I am still facing on a daily basis. It was discovered I have an autoimmune clotting disorder that will never allow me to come off blood thinners for the treatment and prevention of blood clots. At 30 years old, that is a very scary prospect, as well as the associated complications that come from the disorder and a lifetime of intense medications.

Yet, I am alive and was given a second chance to live my life and for me, a part of that is educating others about this silent killer. Awareness is key. Knowing matters. It could save your life or the life of someone you know one day. Spread the word.

For more about my story, blood clots and Blood Clot Awareness Month, including materials to share, please visit-

Until the next mile marker,

0 - blog post signature


I woke up yesterday fully convinced I was done with running

done with running cover

I woke up yesterday fully convinced I was done with running. Not just, “I’ll take today off and back at it tomorrow” done, but really done. Never to run again done. “I’ll take up biking,” I thought and maybe that will be fun. Or maybe it won’t be fun, who knows.

The truth is, running has been nothing but difficult for me since I got sick. Not that it was ever easy – I’m not a natural-born athlete by any means – but I got to the point where I could knock out four or five miles without much of a second thought and feel really good about myself afterwards.

That hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long. Before the Goofy, for sure, which happened over a year ago. I’m convinced my health problems were beginning even back then and in part, impacted the way I was running in that race and the pain I was feeling then.

Nothing is easy any more. Not even getting out of bed on some days. I take that back. It’s easy to become bitter, angry, sad and jaded by all that has happened to be in the last two years. It’s easy to say, “Forget it. I hate running.”

And that’s exactly what I said yesterday morning. Still, I met my friends for a four mile run, convinced I would run a mile or so and give up and walk back to the car and finally have proof that I was done running – the proof being that I couldn’t do it.

That’s not what happened, though. And I was more surprised than anyone.

We set out on the run, 2:1 run-walk intervals and by a mile and a half in while I was still going; I was greatly concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make it to two miles, let alone four miles. The sun had risen and the humidity felt like it was increasing with each step, making it harder for me to breathe. Yet, I somehow made it to two miles and then we turned around and headed back. Back is always easier, in my opinion, there is an end in sight.

It was a little into mile three when I really started to feel the run. Until then, I realized, I was actually enjoying the run. Whoa. I thought I hated running. We slowed down for the last half a mile or so – due to the increasing sun and humidity – and walked it in. I felt like I could run, though, which if I remember correctly from my glory days was a sign that I had trained well. Fatigued, but not to the point where I could run another mile or so if I had to. I felt that place again, for the first time in a long time.

And suddenly I realized running has never let me down. People in running have let me down, my own performance has let me down, injuries, bad weather, poor training and failure to plan have all let me down, but running in and of itself has never let me down. If I go out and give it my all, running gives back. Even on days when I try and perceive a failure, running doesn’t let me down because small improvements to my body and ability to run are being made that even I can’t see until a day like yesterday.

And, after a day like yesterday, a single clear and persuasive thought is ever present in my mind. This isn’t easy, it’s not supposed to be easy, it wasn’t easy before and it won’t be easy again. I am reminded of, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

So, if you’re out there struggling to run, work out, eat right, lose weight or hey, even get out of bed in the morning; no, it’s not easy by a long shot, but it can be done. Don’t ever give up.

What about you? Share your thoughts in the comments below! How are you overcoming obstacles in running or in life? What keeps you going when you want to give up? At the lowest point you can remember, what reminded you that all hope was not lost?

Until the next mile marker,

0 - blog post signature


Reflections on Friday the 13th

Normally, I would consider myself pretty superstitious. Don’t step on cracks; don’t walk under a ladder; knock on wood; pick up a penny for good luck (only if it is heads up); put that penny in your left shoe and you will marry the man of your dreams; I will buy something else at the grocery store if (God forbid and yes, it has happened) my total is $6.66 or $66.60; bad luck comes in threes; Murphy’s Law; don’t talk about something bad or it will happen; and for the love of everything Holy or Not-So-Holy, do not even acknowledge Friday the 13th. There are three of them in 2012, in case you wondered. (I always need to know these kinds of things.)
I’ve been like that my whole life. I believe in signs, spirits, ghosts, numerology and all kinds of supernatural stuff. I also believe in God. I used to spend a lot of my life afraid of things I couldn’t explain, didn’t want to explain or that terrified once I understood. Instead, I usually freaked out, overreacted and mostly assumed the absolute worst.
Running changed that for me. When I started running, I gained I confidence that was entirely new to me. I could do whatever I set my mind to. Through running, I have become happier, healthier, and I enjoy my life so much more than I used to. I believe we can achieve the impossible. I believe I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. I control my own destiny – my own race, if you will – and after my first half marathon in August 2009, my life has never been the same. Running has brought me joy, friendships and a freedom that I never even knew existed. Bad day? Go for a run. Worried about something? Go for a run. Need to figure out a problem? Go for a run and you’ll be amazed at how clearly your mind works. 
Now, I embrace my bad luck, to some degree. For example, it just made sense that I coach the 13 minute pace group. It made even more sense to call ourselves the Lucky 13’s. Nothing like grabbing bad luck by the horns and screaming, “Bring it on! We are who we are and we’re not changing!” Um, yeah, that only kind of worked for us. (Duane still made us turn around and run like hell back to shelter when we accidently set out during a lightening storm). His exact words were, “People like us should not run in lightening storms. That’s just asking for trouble.”
(We only pretend to like each other and where the heck is Duane?!)

I’ve overcome my fear of storms. I photograph them now, as a matter of fact.
(From the safety of my very own porch)

I took on the greatest challenge of my life when I attempted to run the Goofy Challenge in Disney this year.

(Don’t mistake our smiles for happiness)

I will be prepared next time. Doesn’t even scare me now. I know what I have to do and do it I will. I’m coming for you, Goofy. 
(Um, one question, where were you when I needed you most?
Oh, Walgreens. Who knew?!)

I have even overcome my fear of physical pain. Nothing hurts more than a pulmonary embolism. Not even a marathon and that hurts. In fact, since I almost died then, what’s there really to be afraid of now? Clearly, God wants me here for a reason still. (Oh wait, apparently the one time I should have actually freaked out, I did not).

(I really have had nothing better to do than take a lot of pictures
and plus I look almost normal now)

Actually, I think Tequila is more deadly than a pulmonary embolism. We celebrated our five year anniversary last Saturday with some Italian food, star gazing and Mr. Montezuma. Never again. I do not know how people drink it! 

(Who the heck drinks Montezuma Tequila anyway?!)

Hell, I think I overcame my fear of Friday the 13th.

Notice I can’t be entirelypositive about it (I’m also a gigantic pessimist for the most part). I’m just thinking WHAT ELSE COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?! The old me wouldn’t even have asked. Now, I feel as if I can handle anything thrown at me. It even crossed my mind to celebrate (not with Mr. M. though, I assure you). 

So, there you have it. The still-very-superstitious-and-very-unlucky-but-I-can-pretty-much-handle-whatever-life-throws-my-way-now-new me. What about you? Are you superstitious? Do you avoid Friday the 13th like the plague? What scares you the most and are you able to overcome that fear?

Until the next mile marker, 

Could YOU Have a Blood Clot?

One of my running friends said it best, “It would be nice to know how to tell the difference between muscle pain and the type of pain you felt. Or maybe the really scary thing was that you couldn’t tell?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that. And yes, one of the really scary things was that I honestly had no idea the pain I was feeling in my calf and lung was anything to be that concerned about until it was almost too late. That being an acute blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism (PE), which developed as a result of a complete autoimmune meltdown. Why you ask? Because my immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against certain normal proteins in my blood, also known as antiphospholipid syndrome. You can read more about my hospitalization and diagnoses here and here.

The truth of the matter is we are all runners, cyclists, walkers, lifters – athletes – and we have learned through racing, training and pushing our bodies to the limit that pain is not only acceptable, but sometimes just the way it is. I know, I’ve struggled with Patellofemoral Syndrome (a.k.a Runner’s Knee and yes, everything really is a syndrome nowadays) all but the first year I ran. Knee pain for me? Completely normal, something I’ve had to live with if I want to run. It hurts worse at times, feels better other times and with no apparent rhyme or reason can totally make or break my run. And, I’m not alone. Most runners I know and run with seem to struggle with some sortof ongoing pain, injury or bodily malfunction.

We see each other in the Physical Therapists’ waiting room and don’t recognize each other because we are dressed normally. “How was your run?” becomes “How’s your PT going?” or “How’s that knee holding up lately?” We live with pain. In fact, some people might even argue it’s what makes us real. I thought that at first, Yes! My first running injury. I’m a real runner now! Um, no. That got really old, really fast and yet; we still run, bike, swim and tear up the gym with pain. Push through. Get over it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You can run 26.2 miles with pain, what’s stopping you now? You’re fine. Walk if off. Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. You know all the right things to say to yourself.

Given all of this, it only makes sense that when we have real pain that we need to be really concerned about, we shrug it off. We’re runners, right? We live sometimes everyday of our lives with an ache here or a pulled muscle there. We run long on Saturday and hobble around on Sunday and Monday (and maybe even Tuesday if you’re like me) until we’re recovered. Why are you walking like that? Someone asks us at the office. I ran 22 miles on Saturday (meanwhile we’re thinking, I bet you didn’t). And we go about our day, proudly displaying our battle scars.

Looking back, now? Yes. I should have known something was wrong. Really wrong. I blamed in on my knee.

The pain was different.

First there was the leg pain. I had been complaining about leg pain for a couple of weeks or so. I distinctly remember telling Duane, not only did my knee hurt, but my calf hurt too. I told him this pain extended down into my ankle and bottom of my foot. The thing that was different is this pain was not as a result of running. I had it even when I didn’t run. In fact, when I ran, I noticed it less.

I have always had a discolored left leg:

June 2012

You can see the brown, which now looks like freckling, but before this incident, it turned almost purplish. In fact, the other thing that makes my situation complicated is that I have had more than one doctor look at my leg for the discoloration. It had been discolored ever since college, from what I can remember. I even had a biopsy on the skin about two years ago in which a dermatologist determined it was a pigmentation issue and not cancerous or anything like that. Even my gynecologist was fascinated by the color of my skin and listened to my blood flow. No one ever heard a disruption of blood flow. Hence, no one assumed it was a clot. I didn’t have varicose veins, either, further indicating a blood clot was out of the question.

DVT Causes:

  • Slow blood blow (often due to lying or sitting still for an extended period of time – such as in the case of a long plane ride or car ride)
  • Pooling of blood in the vain often due to immobility, medical conditions, or damage to valves in a vein or pressure on the valves, such as during pregnancy
  • Injury to a blood vessel
  • Clotting problems due to aging or a disease
  • Catheters placed in a vein

Symptoms of a Deep-Vein Blood Clot (DVT):

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected leg
  • Visible surface veins
  • Leg fatigue

DVT can partly or completely block blood flow, causing chronic pain and swelling. It may damage valves in blood vessels, making it difficult to get around.

Half of all DVT cases cause no symptoms.

My Symptoms:
  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected leg
  • Visible surface veins
  • Leg fatigue

What I Felt:

Excruciating pain that extended from the back of my knee down to my ankle whenever I put any amount of weight on it. I was nearly dragging my leg by the time my husband and I went to the hospital. I have said it previously and I will say it again because it is the only way I can describe it: It felt like someone had the soft, fleshy skin behind my knee in a vice and just kept on tightening. Runner’s Knee caused me to hobble, caused me to scoot down stairs, sidestep curbs and grimace when getting in and out of the car. Runner’s Knee never caused pain in the back of my leg. Also, the side of my calf was tender to the touch, but not overly warm, now I know that soreness was primary along the femoral vein. I did not notice any swelling, especially in my lower leg. My knee is always slightly swollen to being with. I will note, remember Goofy when I was limping at Mile 4 of the full marathon due to my severe kneepain? It wasn’t knee pain. It was this pain that caused me to slow to the point of being pulled from the course and after a three hour plane ride and countless hours on my feet after that, I’m not at all surprised in hindsight.

I just wonder how long this clot had been building. It is terrifying to think about.

Then there was the side pain. I texted Judi on Sunday when she asked how my knee was doing, “Sore but okay. The weird thing is my left side. Hurts when I breathe like I can’t catch my breath. Slept propped up. No idea what the hell happened. Started mid-day yesterday.”


Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism:

  • Shortness of breath that may occur suddenly
  • Sudden, sharp chest pain that may become worse with deep breathing or coughing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing up blood or pink, foamy mucus
  • Fainting, lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Signs of shock

Pulmonary embolism may be hard to diagnose because its symptoms may occur with or are similar to other conditions, such as a heart attack, a panic attack, or even pneumonia.

Also, some people with pulmonary embolism do not have symptoms.

My Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath that may occur suddenly
  • Sudden, sharp chest pain that may become worse with deep breathing or coughing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing up blood or pink, foamy mucus
  • Fainting, lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Signs of shock

What I Felt:

I honestly thought this was a really bad side stitch. Only, it got worse over time. A pretty good indicator that it was not a side stitch was that it did not happen while I was running. It happened much later in the day once my body had a chance to relax. As time went on, the pain became nearly unbearable and not only that, it became hard to breath. I could not lie down at all – the pain was excruciating.I never really felt chest pains, but I did feel like someone was jamming their thumb into my rib cage. My breathing became shallow and I could only say two or three words at a time. The best indicator? I could not draw in a deep breath – very similar to when you are trying to catch your breath during a hard or hot run, but it doesn’t go away with rest or pain meds. One of my doctors told me, there should have been a moment in time when I realized I couldn’t breathe (when the clot entered my lung and obstructed air flow); however, I think this happened when I was taking my nap and I didn’t know the event had occurred. If I had been up, walking around or running errands, I may have noticed it as it happened and thought differently about it. Although this was serious, I am convinced my symptoms did not feel more life-threatening because thankfully my heart was not affected by the trauma to my lung.

The pain in my leg/knee/calf combined with the new pain in my side should have been an indicator that something was wrong and I needed immediate medical attention because a PE is most commonly caused by a blood clot that breaks off from a leg or pelvis vein and travels to the lung, creating a big problem.

(Now we know? I should have put the two pains together.) 

So there you have it. If you at all think you are suffering from a blood clot in your leg or lung, please do not wait to get emergency medical attention. Most people who are going to die from a PE do so within 30 to 60 minutes of the event, which is why I am so lucky (since I took well over 24 hours to go to the hospital). PE causes or contributes up to 200,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone. One in every 100 patients who develop DVT dies, due to a PE. Immediate medical intervention is essential to reduce the risk of death to less than 10 percent. I’m still here!

As runners and athletes, we all live with pain, some of it more severe than not. We will probably always have to deal with pain. Its part of what makes us who we are – we push and workout and run until sometimes we just can’t go anymore and in those moments, we do sometimes find victory whether it be setting a new PR, going a new distance or achieving a negative split. But, listen to your body. If something doesn’t seem right, doesn’t feel right or just as even the slightest tweak to it, seek medical attention. Even if it is putting a call in to your family doctor. After all, I am convinced that is what saved my life. I wouldn’t be here had my family not been persistent in checking in with me and eventually calling my physician who then called me and told me to go to the E.R.

Until the next mile marker,

In Case You Missed It….

  • What the #$%! Happened. In June 2012, I was incredibly lucky to survive a pulmonary embolism (or blood clot in my lung) that broke off from a clot that had formed deep within a vein in my lower leg. Read my story here.
  • What the #$%! Happened: The Aftermath. What caused this, what my treatment entails and what the future holds for running, my job and life.

  • “That’s Why I Pray.” God is not finished with me yet – and that’s why I’m still here! Do you believe in the power of prayer to make a difference? Do you believe there is hope when all seems hopeless? Do you believe in better days? I do now more than ever! The lyrics and meaning of this song got me through some seemingly hopeless moments in the days after my discharge from the hospital.


Reflections of One Goofy Runner

It’s been a week since I attempted the Goofy Challenge (13.1 miles followed by 26.2 miles the next morning) in Walt Disney World Orlando, Florida. The pain in my feet is starting to subside, I am walking with only a slight limp and my toe and foot is slowly growing new skin. Plus, I can breathe out of one nostril now so it gets better everyday! I’m actually looking forward to my next run – Saturday, maybe?! – and can’t wait to start training for the Cap City Half in May. I’ve been taking it easy, sleeping a lot and reflecting on what I learned from this experience. Here are my thoughts:

  • Sometimes your body just says No. Now usually it is my mind that says, “No. You can’t do this” or “It hurts too much” or “You’re too slow, fat, tired, busy, etc.” The mind can be a precarious thing and negative thoughts are more than difficult to overcome once you get caught in that downward spiral, but physically not being able to go on is different and something I had never quite experienced like this before. Can you push though physical pain? Is it really mind over matter? I have learned that I think you can push through pain to an extent, but sometimes your body just stops you from going on. The mind is very powerful – and has derailed my body a time or two before – but I don’t think wishful thinking can always make up for physical limitations.
  • Blisters are more painful than I ever imagined. Period.
  • Florida is not flat.Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
  • A DNF (Did Not Finish) is better than a DNS (Did Not Start). Thank you, Bill. And to those few of you that said I couldn’t, did you even try?
  • There is always another race to run.
  • I ran two very challenging races on very little sleep. I could play the what if game over and over again (What if more sleep would have made a difference), but it wouldn’t change thisoutcome. I now know I need plenty of rest to perform at my best.
  • It got hot. I wasn’t appropriately prepared. Lesson learned. No matter the forecast, from now on I take at least one racing outfit for each possible weather scenario. After all, I had 11 pounds left in my bag before I hit the flight weight-limit.
  • I need to stop comparing myself to other runners. I am not other runners, I am me. I ran my race and that is all that should matter.
  • “Hard” is not a figment of my imagination. This race was damn hard.
  • I was not in my best physical shape to run this race. I will be when I run it again. “THE WILL TO SUCCEED SHOULD ONLY BE SURPASSED BY THE WILL TO PREPARE.” Train harder, train smarter.
  • Never underestimate the value of an effective training plan. Stick to it. Learn from those who are more experienced than you are. Everyone has a story, a lesson learned, a triumph achieved, a challenge not met. Thanks, Jeff, for making me run those 20 miles the day after Christmas. I wouldn’t have made it to 22 without them.
  • 22 miles on the heels of 13.1 is an accomplishment, no matter how many more there were to go.  
  • I am a relatively young runner – and I dream really big. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I need to remember I took on a challenge that even seasoned runners have not or maybe even will not.
  • Practice makes perfect. Even in running. This was my second marathon ever. My first one was only about eight months ago. I have not had a lot of marathoning practice. (Never mind that Shalane Flanagan has also only run two marathons, one of which was setting a record in the Olympic Trials…stop comparing…).
  • Vacation and Race don’t really go well together for me. Not good, not bad, just a realization.
  • I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.
  • I have said it before and I am saying it again now – The running community is second to none. Where would I be without everyone who helped me get to and go on this journey? Some of you I personally know, some of you I have never met; some of you I see every week and some of you I may never see again, but you have all made a difference. Your support, encouragement, kindness, motivation, love and advice has been a meaningful part of my journey. Thank you to: Dad, Mollie, Michael, MIT and the Lucky 13’s, Judi, Deb, Amy, Laurie, Kim C., Kim K., Kim B., Laurel, Duane, Jeff G., Jeff H., Ben, “The Bike Boys” (Chase, Joe and Adam), Julia (Pain, Pride, Perseverance), Elle (Eat Run Sail), Jennifer R. (From Fat to Finish Line), EMZ, Miss Zippy, Running to Health, Dr. Bright, Randy, Judy, Dave, Heather, Nita, Kris, Brent, Jennifer M., Jennifer H., Suzi, Keri, Lisa, LeDawn, Chrissy, Julie, Mandy, Sarah, Wendy – to name a few, and I know I forgot some! Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey, you know who you are. (Is this how Grammy winners feel!?!?!)
  • Honestly, I am comfortable with a DNF. Yes, of course I wanted to finish and earn the Goofy medal too, but looking at where I came from only a few short years ago, that was downright incredible. I am proud that I gave it my all and left it allon the course. It was emotional, exhilarating, exciting, real, raw and surprisingly, healing. This for my mother and I know she was there with me every step of the way. I know she is not disappointed in me and therefore, I am not disappointed in me either.
  • I may be content with a DNF in this race, but watch your back Goofy. It doesn’t end here!

Until the next mile marker,