#4Bunny

Many of you know the meaning of the hashtag, #4Bunny some do not. This post should explain everything.

This may not “flow” as it is very difficult for me to write.   There are a lot of raw emotions with this, some will be addressed, some won’t be, so if there seems to be a gap here and there, that is why.  This is also my second posting.  The first one I took down because to say I got “hate mail” is the understatement of the year….

Not to be cliché but I am going to enlist the help of one lovely lady by the name of Elsa to help tell my story. She is one of the most popular ladies lately and to be honest, her words help me…greatly. (Disney please don’t come after me with your firm fist and legalities, I just have a story to tell and need Elsa’s help…ok?)

My upcoming race has HUGE emotional significance. Will I post pictures? Maybe not. Will I write a race recap? Most likely not. It is personal, it is between Mom and I and no one else.

I am a “pleaser” to a fault. I like to bring love, comfort and happiness to people. To the point to where I have changed myself to be who I need to be for what someone wanted me to be, for them.

“a kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I’m the queen”

2012 I was told I needed to do Triathlons.   I signed up for a bunch.   I like training for them, because I am a runner and love the cross training aspect. I love triathlon. I LOVE IT, as a spectator and Coach, NOT personally as an athlete. It is not who I am. I am a runner. I love to run long, and slow, that is my happy place. But being the pleaser I am, I did what I was told and was miserable.

“Be the good girl you always have to be, conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know”

My Mom and I had a very special relationship. She was unique. Due to our life circumstances (we went through hell together more than once) we grew close. Cancer, death, homelessness, and abuse…we went through a lot together and survived together. We understood and accepted each other for who we were. She was my Mom and scared the CRAP out of me like any Mom should, but I knew 2000% she loved me no matter what. I was lucky to be able to have that 1 person I could always talk to about anything and everything, no matter what.

On August 17, 2013 I called Mom like I usually did on weekends. I had just run the Nevada State Games 5k and won my 2nd gold medal.

Note: Mom has always listened and supported. Always. No matter the situation, she wouldn’t say anything negative. She would show support, no matter what.

That day. She didn’t. For the first time in my life, she let it fly…..

“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside, (she) Couldn’t keep it in”

She unleashed her fury on me….

Her words: When did I make someone else’s goals mine? When did I become a puppet?  She was angry, VERY angry. She pointed out the joy in my voice that day. She said I was always happy when I was running. I had been chasing and dreaming of ultra distances and suddenly stopped. She said that was when she noticed my joy disappeared.

I will spare the other details of the rest of the conversation, as it was a beautiful, wonderful conversation with Mom. One thing she did do and she was adamant about it, she would not let me hang up the phone until I made a few promises, the big one was to go after my dream of running an ultra marathon.

I promised.

This was the last conversation I would ever have with her.

That following week my world began to unravel. Mom was found on the floor in her home. She was rushed to the hospital. She was already frail from years of battling breast cancer that had spread into her lungs.

I spoke to a nurse via phone at the hospital. Her words “you need to get on a plane, now”.

I flew to North Carolina. My heart in my throat.   Mom was on a ventilator and they weren’t taking her off until I got there.

I remember running in the hallway to ICU. I went through the doors, walked into her room.   She looked at me with piercing fierce eyes and snapped her fingers and pointed at her legal pad and pen.   I handed them to her.   She wrote one word “ultra” and pointed her tiny finger at me. I giggled. My sisters and the nursing staff were puzzled. I put my hands on my hips “OK!!!! Seriously Mom. I promised! I flew 2000 miles for this??? GEEZ!”  She was unable to smile because of the equipment she was hooked up to, but the smile, was in her eyes….

After a lot of ups and downs and long sleepless nights, Mom passed away quietly on Sept 6th. The staff at Moses Cone Hospital was so good to “Miss Bunny” and my sisters and I. I will be forever grateful.

People in the running community were supportive and ran in Mom’s memory “#4Bunny”

I am going to wrap the rest of this up pretty quickly now. I just needed to capture the emotion and significance. After Mom’s funeral a “kink” in my shoulder escalated to THE WORST pain of my life. Only those who have had this know the depth of this pain. It was awful. I was in my own personal hell.

People were upset with me because I wasn’t “there” for them.   It hurt. Then it made me very angry. I did this to myself. It was that “pleasing” nature.   Never again. Never. Painful lesson learned when people turn on you when you are in despair.

“I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage on”

I’ll admit I was sunshine and roses on social media.

“don’t let them in don’t let them see be the good girl you always have to be”

That is what people expected from me.   What was really going on was more than anyone could even imagine.  I was in a dark place. A very, dark place.  I was confined to a chair.  I could not care for myself, let alone my family.  It took 8 hours for a medical staff to be able to get me to lie down for 30 seconds to get an MRI.   Every time I would try to lay down the pain had me screaming at the top of my lungs. The MRI showed many things wrong but most importantly that I had bone spurs on my spine sawing on my nerve chord.  Surgery was necessary.

My chiropractor was a huge advocate for me and was able to speed up the process and get me to surgery. 10/24/2013.   I am forever grateful.  Dr. Easton and Martha, you both have been more to me than just a chiropractic office.  Thank you.

After surgery true beautiful colors showed and a lot of people supported my family and me. They came with food, helping to care for my son and more.   This allowed me to be able to heal and recover quickly.

I also have to say my husband is a loving, supportive and patient man. He had to do everything as I couldn’t do anything. He was beside me every step of the way as I went through this hell.

Since spine surgery I have been slowly, and carefully rebuilding. My supportive friend, business partner, and coach, Rebecca supports my goals. She “gets” my training happy place. MY goals. Without her, I would not be where I am today.

“the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all”

For those who have seen my profile photo on Facebook, this is what it is about. My Mom’s name is Bunny. Her favorite color is purple (like me).  The promise I made is #4Bunny. On Sunday October 26, I will begin to fulfill my promise I made to Mom.

#4Bunny

As long as can….I plan to continue to fulfill that promise….

“It’s time to see what I can do, To test the limits and break through, no right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free!”

 

 

Broad Street Race Recap Part 4 of 4 The Race

Part 4 of 4 finally, the race recap

Ever have a morning where you wake up 30 seconds before the alarm goes off? That was me. I had my lost luggage finally, slept well, and woke up to no alarm. SCORE.  After getting ready, I snuck downstairs and had a banana and peanut butter. I placed my mother’s ring I gave her on my right hand. She was going with me this time. BIL and hubby awoke, dressed, and we were on our way. I had prepared my GenUCAN chocolate protein mixed with coffee (oh yeah baby).

On the ride to the race I teared up a little. I had a lot of messages of support , “Run for you” and “I (you) can do this”. Those two rang home the loudest.

The weather was perfect. Overcast. Low 50’s. I was wearing something warm to protect my neck (spine surgery site) prior to the start.

I was texting teammate Neeli Mann. We found each other, on opposite street corners. DOH! Thousands of people between us, we decided to try find each other at the finish, just as I was told to get off the fence I had climbed. Hey, I am short, gotta climb to see!

I had plenty of time to hit the sea of porta-johns. I then settled into my corral, very close to start time. Then the rumbling started….

Oh no.

No.

Not “that”.

I don’t do “that” outside of my home or familiar area. But boy was “that” knocking loudly. I had 5 minutes to the start and took off sprinting toward the port-johns. Pre race warm-up, right Coach Rebecca? I fought against the sea of runners like I was swimming upstream back into the sea. I luckily found one with no line and hopped in. Don’t know why but I looked into it. I know, I know, gross, but I laughed SO HARD when I saw the cell phone deep in the belly, ringing. Ain’t no one going in after that!

Back to the coral I go. Spiderman (yes, full costume) was there and stretching. Simone from New York was freezing, I enclosed us both in my hoody. Then when we started moving, I gave my hoody to my husband. It was show time.

I love this race.

I ran, comfortable. Sped up when I should, slowed down when I should. Could NOT WAIT to see cake lady.

There was a veteran, in a wheelchair. We played cat and mouse. I would tease and pass him on the uphill as he laughed at me, and in turn he would scream past me on the downhill, both of us giggling playing our “game”.

Words CANNOT describe when I arrived to the aid station by the Capital and I heard “THERE SHE IS! IT’S HER!” I got THE BEST Kidiot High Fives EVER. I felt like a rock star.  Love my fellow Idiots and Kidiots.

At about mile 7 a woman running in front of me passed out cold. Went face first onto the pavement like a falling tree. I screeched to a halt not to run over her. I stood over her and could see she was rolling over. She looked up at me “what hit me?” I said “the pavement”. She giggled. I helped her up, threw her arm over my shoulder and helped her off to the side. A paramedic on a bike was there in seconds. This race has amazing support. She gave me a high five and a thumb’s up and I was on my way.

The drum lines and local bands were AMAZING, the patients of the Children’s hospital were out in their wheelchairs cheering. And there she was, on the corner, I could hear her. “Y’ALL RUNNIN’ I GOT PIE!!!”

WHAT????!!!!

There she stood in all her Lula lookalike glory. Not with a cake, but a pie. I stopped, put my hands on my hips “WHAT? Where ‘s the cake?” she replied with the BIGGEST smile “Honey, you runnin’ slow, I ate it, I’m eatin’ pie now. Don’t you need to go run or somethin’?” She winked and smiled and waved me on. I cannot tell you how much this woman makes me smile every time I do this race.

Honestly the rest of the race was uneventful. It was just smooth, fun, and I was having fun. I could feel the finish coming and I wanted my pretzel. Did I mention they have fresh, yummy ballpark pretzels at the finish?

At mile 9 I heard my husband and brother in law yelling. I stopped, ran back and gave my husband a kiss. His being there means everything to me. I heard a guy next to me as I started back running “now that’s some motivation right there!”

I waved to the battleship as I passed it.

The finish was in the near distance and I was beaming. I did it, I ran. It was glorious. I crossed the finish and immediately ran into THE BIGGEST HUG from Neeli. She was the first person I saw when I finished.

Going through the finish area, they were out of pretzels.   Bummer.

I found my husband and BIL and we started walking in the parking lot toward the car.   A vendor was on the corner “PRETZELS!!”. My husband buys me one. I smile, the race is now complete.

This is the third time I have run this race, and of the 3 times, this is the only time they captured a race photo of me.

Broad Street, thank you. I’ll be back, and this time, I want cake.

And for those of you following the saga of “Hoppy” the bunny, alas, he was never found. On our layover in Houston, TX on the return home ”Blue” joined the family.

blue

 

Boob. Breakdowns. Broken Body. Ballpark Pretzels…no wait BAGGAGE. Broad Street.

And so the story continues with part 2 of 3…. 

2012. Breakdowns.

I was late to the race. I wasn’t able to connect with my pacer. I was so focused I missed the cake lady on her corner. I did hear her yelling, people later told me this year it was red velvet cake, and she was sharing. Dang.

I also missed my husband and brother in law at mile 9. I crossed the finish crying. No. I was a sobbing, blubbering mess. I had not PR’d. Had not reached All American. First thing said to me by the first person I talked to after the race was “where did you go wrong?” I was crushed. I had “friends” turn on me saying they wanted no part of someone who could not succeed. One of the most painful days of my running career, ever. However, if you talked to my son, he would tell you I won.

Race recap of 2012 can be read in its entirety:

https://coachkristie.com/2012/05/09/2012-blue-cross-broad-street-run/

Mile9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013. Broken Body

We decided not to travel to Philly in 2013. I still entered the race, the first year of the new lottery system, and gained entry. Whew. I was able to defer to 2014. Thank goodness as my body fell APART in 2013.

What happened in 2013:

https://coachkristie.com/2013/10/18/back-into-the-ring/

neckoween

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014. Ballpark Pretzels will have to wait. BAGGAGE.

So. Here we are. Boobs still in tact. Breakdowns, over. Long gone are my 8 minute miles. Forget All American for right now, it is about rebuilding and being able to run again.

Broken body, recovering? Kinda sorta. Coach Rebecca and I have been rebuilding me slowly and carefully. My body has good weeks and bad weeks with recovery. Thankfully the fatigue and pain is completely gone. In the last few weeks before the race there were a couple set backs.

Set back #1:                       ******BREAKING NEWS*******

Dear friends and family it is with a sad and heavy heart that I announce the passing of my dear trusty treadmill. 7 years and over 11,000 miles, it was given the dreaded “it’ll be cheaper to replace it than fix it” diagnosis. It served me well. BUT RIGHT BEFORE A RACE???? SERIOUSLY? Ok, spoiled me, I have a gym membership. The gym is open 24/7/365. The treadmills there shut off at 60 minutes.   #spoiledtreadmillrunnerproblems.

Yes, I can hear several people saying “Uh, HELLO?! Run outside?”. Hi, let me introduce myself, I am Coach Kristie, we obviously have not met….

Set back #2:

In the 2-3 (?) weeks leading up to the race I was experiencing this crazy thing with my leg.   I could run 30 minutes and then my glute would lock up and make my leg go peg straight. Think Pirate. ARRRGGGGHHHH. Makes for an interesting quick dismount on a moving treadmill. Back up and punt, I could get on an elliptical without this happening.   I was getting nervous. Didn’t tell anyone how nervous I was, but I was at near panic. You see Broad Street is a big, fast, race. You can read on the website, they are not exactly walker friendly.   Strategy was to enjoy the race and finish. Strategy change, it was to finish and not get pulled off the course. New plan: run as long as I could and walk through aid stations.

A visit to my chiropractor in the days before we were to fly out to Philly resulted in a diagnosis and solution to my “peg leg”.   My chiropractor discovered an adhesion in my neck blocking nerve signals to my leg. He taught me a vascular release that I could do while running to stop the peg leg. He also taught me a lymphatic release I could also do while running that would help drain the lactic acid from my psoas. My psoas was causing my glute to lock and my leg to rotate outward. Lots of stretching and yoga was encouraged. Cobra and Pigeon pose are my friends.   He had me practice the releases so he could make sure I had it down. This is what I feel like when I am doing them:

rubheadpattummy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uneventful travel with on time or early flights and seamless layovers we arrive in Philadelphia. Exhausted, we have been up and traveling since o’dark thirty, mind you, with an energizer bunny of a 7 year old. We were so ready to see family and settle in for the night. As we sit and watch the suitcases circle around baggage claim, an unsettling feeling hits me. My husband and son have their bags. Where is mine? There are only 2 to 3 left going around and around and around.

I will not freak out I will not freak out I will not freak out I will not freak out

At the exact moment I am being flagged into the “lost baggage” reporting zone my son completely starts crying and freaking out as he has somewhere from plane to here, he dropped “hoppy” his stuffed bunny he received from the Easter bunny.

Long travel day + lost bag + taper madness + freaking out child = Mommy is about to lose her sh&t. It is all I can do to keep it together. I can feel myself falling apart at the seams. I tell myself. It is Southwest Airlines. They are KNOWN for fantastic customer service. It will be ok.   It will. Breathe……..

Boob. Breakdowns. Broken Body. Ballpark Pretzels. Broad Street.

Broad Street 10 Miler Race Recap- Part I of 3

2011: 1:24:05          Div. 163          Overall 5334

2012:   1:26:02        Div. 284          Overall 8977

2013:   Deferred

2014: 2:00:46          Div. 1657        Overall 30,950

2011. Boob

The untold story of 2011 Broad Street.

Yep. You heard me right. For those who know and those who don’t, I am a breast cancer survivor. I was lucky for it to be caught very early. After a successful lumpectomy, I was left, well…looking like a shark took a hunk out of me. I lived with it for years. Finally had reconstruction in 2010.

The day before leaving for Broad Street to run this race for the first time, I woke up with something missing. HOLY CRAP where did my boob go!!!!????? Yep. There she blows, GONE. Imagine adding this into the mix with taper madness. Fun huh? Not so much.

I have a “sockerstition”. I run with a new pair of experia socks every race day. This day, I wore 2. Thank you Thorlos for protecting my feet, and yes, filling in (literally) for one of the “girls” who decided to back out of this race last minute.

The course is alive with spectators, musicians. My favorite memory was of a woman (if you read the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum novels, picture Lula) standing on the side of the road holding a GIGANTIC chocolate cake and a fork. She was screaming at the runners “Y’ALL RUNNIN’!!!! I GOT CAKE!!!!” The next fond memory was of my husband and brother in law cheering for me at mile 9.

Had a blast running this. It was instantly my favorite race. It wasn’t until I returned home from the race and someone sent me a message telling me “DUDE, you were almost a USATF All American, you should go for it!” . So. I decided to go for it.

Picture below is just before the start of the 2011 race. Stay tuned for Race Recap Part 2 of 3.

QUIT STARING AT MY SOCKS!!!!!

 

Beat It!