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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Today is I LOVE TO WRITE day. I'm no Bill Shakespeare but I'll celebrate the day with a blog about the week.

I belong to many fitness challenges which are easy to participate in since they involve workouts I already perform.

My fitbit automatically updates It's a nice surprise when I shop there and the cashier asks if I’d like to use my rewards coupon I have earned through my steps.

At any given time, I belong to maybe three challenges on the MapMyFitness app. Sometimes I have to manually update my workouts… such as bootcamp or yoga workouts, other times, they are updated by me using the app to record my walks and runs.

The Spark At Goal and Maintenance team I belong to always has a weight maintenance challenge running. It doesn’t take much to log my weight each week and it keeps me accountable.

Last weekend’s runs…. I wrote down the wrong date for this year’s Hot Chocolate race and then proceeded to sign up for a race the day before the actual Hot Chocolate date. Two races in one weekend is a big challenge for me!

Last Saturday's 5K benefited homeless veterans. I met a vet that was walking the race that had lost his leg. He had a cool Chicago Blackhawks prosthetic. When life throws you an unbearable challenge, you might as well have fun with it. He was inspiring to meet!

I had met my daughter the evening before for packet pickup for the Hot Chocolate race and got lost walking around the city so I fired up the MapMyFitnes app and recorded the walk. When you’re city challenged and walk out of your way, you might as well get credit for it.

Saturday evening was a party for a friends birthday, then up at 4am Sunday to get ready and drive into the city to meet my daughter for the Hot Chocolate race. Just getting up was a huge challenge but I thought of that vet I met the day before and got moving.

It was a beautiful morning, not as cold as last year and we saw the sun rise over Lake Michigan.

At the start of the run, my legs barked at me, “What are you thinking?? We are stiff and tired!” To distract me from thinking of my sluggishness, I focused on all of the people lining the beginning of the route cheering the runners.

As we entered Lower Wacker Drive, I told myself to just keep running until I got back out into the sunshine, then take a break. When I got back into the sun, I told myself not to stop yet, that I was fine, keep going, enjoy the crowd.

As I approached the water station, many volunteers held out their hands. I thought they were looking to slap the runners’ hands as we ran by so I did, knocking pieces of chocolate out of one girl’s hand. Oops. We had a laugh.

So I took a few pieces of chocolate from the next guy’s hand and what I thought was water from the next girl but it was gatorade. YUCK, the combination was too sweet but it gave me a little boost to keep running.

When I saw the split coming up for the 5K and 15K routes, I nearly cried because I knew I was getting close to the end and I was still running!

I kept running till just before the finish line when we hit Mount Roosevelt.I always dread this part of the race.... the incline that is Roosevelt Road shortly before the finish line. I slowed down to a walk as my thighs burned but only for about 15 seconds and slowly picked up the pace to the finish line.

I found later that I shaved 16 seconds off my time from last year. COWABUNGA DUDE!

As we headed back to my car, the 15K runners were running towards us. I got a boost of energy thinking of how tired they must be nearing the finish so I ran against them, holding out my hand shouting that they all looked great and the finish line was near. I got a lot of high fives and smiles! I felt like running to the finish line with them.

The sad news out of Paris feels like an insurmountable challenge. How do we wrap our heads around this? How do we feel safe? How do we go on with our normal routine when so many families are devastated?

There are no easy answers but I find solace in what Mr. Rogers mom used to tell him when he heard bad news as a child….. "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Let's all be helpers!

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