No, I will not run with you

I haven’t written a post in a while, this came to me on my run this past Sunday.

I am one of the most socially interactive people you will ever meet.  I smile and say hello to anyone as I pass them.  I am very engaging in conversation.  I was painfully shy as a child and growing up.   Anyone who knows me is probably shaking their head right now and saying “I don’t believe that for a minute”.  

I came out of my shell when I was promoted from hostess to waitress at a restaurant in North Carolina.  I’ll never forget that exact moment when my shell cracked.  I walked up to my first table.  My trainer, Lori, was right behind me.   I spoke so quietly the people could not hear me.  They were regulars, knew me as the hostess so they knew they were my “first” and actually volunteered for this awkward opportunity.   Lori promptly elbowed me in my back and said to me “You are not going to get anywhere in this position or in your life unless you speak up”.

For those of you who know me now and want to say “Good Lord woman do you EVER shut up?”  Blame Lori!

What on earth does me yammering away in the grocery store line and having the ability to find out a stranger’s third grade teacher’s gold fish’s name have to do with running?

Everything.

It takes a lot of energy to be “social” and engaging in conversation.  Bubbly.   I rarely have “alone time”.  Ever.  My time for me and only time for me is when I run.  I am not “Mom”.   I am not “Wife”.  I am not “Friend”.  I am not “Coach”.  I am “Me”.  

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I get invited to run with groups and individuals, a lot.  It’s really nice actually.  There are so many awesome people where I live.  Amazing people visit where I live. My schedule and family schedule make it extremely difficult for me to run when others do, however there are times when I can run with others.  I have run with other people.  I have run with a group. I’ve had a lot of fun running with others.   However, I prefer to run alone.  I want to run alone.

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I am a lone wolf when I run.  I want to be left alone, just me and my thoughts.  I want my run to be on my terms.  No expectations to live up to other than my own.  I guess this is another reason why I love running on the treadmill, just me and the run. I don’t want to talk; I don’t want to be social.  I want to be alone. This is my time to reboot.  Refresh.  De-stress. 

Does this mean I am like this 100% of the time.  No.  As I said before I have run with others and groups and enjoyed it.  But these are rare special occasions. I cherish my alone time with the run.

When I am asked to run with someone, usually schedule truly prohibits this from happening.  Most often times I will be cordial and say, “that would be nice”.  In theory I enjoy people’s company and want to see the person who is asking.  Do I want to run with them?  Maybe, but the chance of it happening, slim to none.   Would I want to meet up with them after a run for coffee, breakfast, or lunch? SURE!

I love my friends, family, and running community.  I am truly very lucky to be surrounded by great wonderful people.

But for the record…

No.  I will not run with you.

#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!”

 

 

Product Review and Giveaway: Words to Sweat By

You have to love the power of social media to make a big world, not so big. It was a great day when I “bumped” into Words to Sweat By on Twitter, please, give them a follow: @wordstosweatby

I have never been so instantly attracted and interested in a product before. Words to Sweat By has unique, one of a kind fitness accessories. There are a lot of options out there with fitness and endurance accessories but what set them apart is they are truly unique, hand crafted designs that don’t look like all the others out there.

Seriously, how cool is this scarf?

1379967715_infinity_scarf_running_close_store_300_2They were very generous and sent me one of their necklaces.

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First and foremost it arrived so quickly my head spun. As an athlete we love our “stuff”. Gear, supplies, all our “stuff”. When we order things we want it, well, yesterday. This came so fast! It was well packaged with a professional presentation and a lovely personal note from Dana Lardner the CEO/Designer of Words to Sweat By.

I have worn the necklace 3 ways, as shown in the photo above, with just the dumbbell, and with just the square:

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When I first put the necklace on with just the square, I forgot I was wearing it. I went to the gym, went swimming with my son, ran errands, took a shower, and oops went to bed wearing it.   It is so light it was very comfortable. Keep in mind I live in Vegas, it is HOT. I cannot stand anything heavy or cumbersome. Also, I had spine surgery recently and my neck is VERY sensitive because of that. The necklace did not bother me at all.   I couldn’t tell I was wearing it.

Plain and simple. I love it. I have already ordered a few other pieces.

Now. Here is the fun part. I have a necklace TO GIVE AWAY!!!

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Here’s what you do to win, and I will keep it simple:

  1. Go to my Coach Kristie PRS FIT Facebook page where the link to this review is posted.
  2. In the comment section below tell me why you want to win
  3. Tag Words To Sweat By in your comment.
  4. The comment with the most “likes” by Friday, August 1st 12:30pm Pacific Time will win this necklace

So tell me?  Why do YOU want to win this necklace?

 

Product Review and Giveaway: Lace Locker

I happened to have the “chance” meeting @lacelocker (TheLaceLocker on instagram) @StashSports on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to give them a like/follow!

First impression was how quickly they arrived, that is always important. As athletes are pretty impatient when it comes to getting things in the mail, we want it and want it yesterday, it keeps us excited and motivated when we have new things arrive. The packaging was also very well branded and professional.

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The test. Simple. Easy to put on, and for those of us who are impatient I didn’t have to look at the instructions on how to properly “install” them.   They work, simple as that.

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I wear elastic, no tie laces in my racing shoes, but that is personal preference, they are not for everyone. However, my cross training shoes all have laces. Laces annoy me. Period. I catch them on weight equipment causing me to trip and fall, they come untied. Don’t get me started on if the lace rubs up on my ankle and I think there is a critter running across and it makes me jump to the ceiling. Lace Locker gets rid of all those lace annoyances. They also come in a variety of colors, even Lady Bug print.

I am not only a Coach and athlete; I am also a Mom of a very active boy who REFUSES to tie his shoelaces. Double and triple knots stand no chance with this boy. Lace Locker fixed that.

Another random use that was discovered, I was recently at the gym doing my first wear test of Lace Lockers.  There was a girl in the locker room fighting with a pair of workout pants that were refusing to cooperate. She awkwardly noticed me watching her antics and responded with a sheepish statement “I accidentally packed my sister’s pants, they are too big and I can’t get them to stay tied, no one needs to see that when they fall off of me!” LIGHTBULB went off. I took one of the Lace Lockers off my shoe and handed it to her and said to find me and give it back at the end of the workout. Problem solved. I was on the treadmill behind her as she was on the elliptical, a few times during the workout she would flash a big smile and thumbs up.

So in keeping with my workout pant friend at the gym, I give Lace Locker thumbs up!

A quality product made 100% in the USA, affordable, easy to use, excellent customer service, commitment to safety and passionate desire to send kids to college (in addition to Neely’s scholarship a significant amount of proceeds go to create scholarships), and finding a product that is a solution to annoying shoe laces.

Here is the fun part: PRIZE GIVEAWAY. That’s right! I am giving away a pair of Lace Locker Pair Neely Inspired.

IMG_20140708_100249_021-2“20% of each pair sold of the Neely Spence Gracey Signature LaceLocker® “Inspired…Get Running” will contribute to a scholarship fund. The fund will be at her undergraduate school, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, and will first be given for the 2014-2015 academic year. “

What you need to do to win:

 

  1. Like my Coach Kristie PRS FIT Facebook page
  2. Like the PRS FIT Facebook page
  3. Comment on my Coach Kristie PRS FIT Facebook post of this blog review WHY you want to win the Lace Locker Inspired
  4. Give @lacelocker a shout out on Twitter that you want to win and tag me @kristiecranford and @StashSports
  5. Then comment on my Coach Kristie PRS FIT Facebook post of the link of this product review, with the most “likes” by 12:30pm Pacific Time Thursday, July 17, 2014 will win.  In the event of a tie, all names will go in a drawing and my 7yo son will do the honors of drawing the winner.  That’s what Mom’s do!  Good luck.

So…on your mark, get set….GO!!!!