Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Blogger!

As I am sitting it out with these pesky shin splints, I asked my friend, Kari, to guest blog this week. Kari and I have known each other for three years now (Wow! I hadn't realized that until I just counted it out!) and she is the reason I started running, period. She talked me into my first 10K last winter and I've been hooked ever since. Kari is that runner who, no matter how tired she is, has a word of encouragement for every runner she meets on the course. She maintains hope for me even when I can't see that half marathon finish line. She is a mom with a full-time job who manages to work running into her life, which inspires me to no end. I could continue to gush, but you'll see what I mean. Without further ado, Kari's first blog post...

It would be an understatement if one were to say “Kari is not your proto-typical runner.” I, by no means, look or run like Suzy Favor Hamilton. I’m that runner out there that some may walk/run/bike by and wonder “is she gonna make it?” But you know what, I am out there! The day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my right calf muscle. Those of you out there with this horrible syndrome feel my pain, for those of you who do not, imagine running along, singing your song and then some ninja in the bushes throws a knife into the meat of your calf. I am not exaggerating the pain at all, not one iota.

Fast forward, when my beautiful daughter was just over a year old and I was still struggling to shed baby weight I started to walk. I walked the 2008 Crazylegs and thought – this is the worst ever – who walks!?! I used to be a runner! (And to all you walkers out there – big ups to you, I do not have the patience to walk right now in my life, maybe later, when my knees tell me I can not run any more, I will wholly embrace the walk.) By mid-June of ’08 I was on the treadmill at Prairie Athletic Club cursing the waif runner next to me who just jumped off the treadmill with a huge runner’s high, I stepped up my speed and RAN! I ran for about 1 mile before my calf started to fire a little and I backed off immediately. From June on I was hooked again, I increased my time and speed slow and steady, trying to ward off the return of my calf pain…. I have been running ever since! I am training for my first ½ marathon in Green Bay since 2004 (previously have run four) and I ran eight miles this past Sunday. I was really freaked before my run because I had not run that distance since my daughter was born, and I was kind of psyching myself out….then my husband told me something really simple but true, “you can do it.” I thought about him the whole run. The way we juggle schedules and time with our daughter, travel days, etc. to fit in my runs, because he and I both know that I am so much happier when I get my runs in. I’m usually the person telling my friends (i.e. Jody, your usual blogger) that she can kick this race’s butt, that she is strong and can do it, but it was my turn to be encouraged.

I found myself again this past Sunday, and worked through my fears with the help of my husband and daughter’s encouraging words. To quote one of my fav running songs “I run for hope, I run to feel, I run for the truth for all that is real… I run for life.” My life is better because I run, I am a better person because I run, and I seem to rediscover myself in every run. I run so I can truly live.


  1. Nice Suzy Favor Hamilton reference. When we were both competing in high school, I only knew her as Suzy Favor. Good to see that you are back to running. Great motivational blog for those of us who have fallen off the running wagon and are back on it again. There is nothing like it and I am in debt forever to my friend who reached out and pulled me back on the wagon again. Good luck to you later on this month. Hopefully we will both be celebrating great runs that day.... but if not, we will have had the opportunity to have done it and that is what is important.

  2. Thanks for your guest blog Jody. I found it very inspiring to read, as I had a baby last August and my goal since has been to successfully finish this year's half marathon. I've ran it once before and I know my time this year won't be as good and my training hasn't been as disciplined, but your words are inspiring. Thank you, it is appreciated.