Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to write to me, to share so honestly and bravely your stories and your reasons for wanting to run your first marathon with me and 26 Strong. I received nearly 200 comments and emails from some of the most incredible and remarkable women.
Making this decision was very hard for me.
By this morning I had narrowed my list down to 4 amazing women. With the help of my husband and a few dear friends who listened to me work through my thoughts and considerations, I have chosen Kristi to be my cadet.
Kristi’s email to me touched my heart from the moment I read it. Here is what she wrote to me on Thursday morning …
I started running 4 years ago this May. I had my daughter, Kaylin in January and having struggled with weight a lot in my life, I wanted to be fit for her. So I started running. I couldn’t make it a mile with K in a stroller! But I stuck with it. I found MRTT after my running partner PCS to Hawaii. Kaylin and I even ran our first race together- Arlington 9/11 memorial when she was 8 months old. Then my world started to change. 2 weeks before her first birthday a simple eye exam changed my life forever. Two weeks later after being rushed into specialists for neuro and genetics I got a diagnosis of Sandhoff disease. Incredibly rare, degenerative disorder and fatal usually by age 3. No treatment, no cure. We continued running. I needed the stress relief and to stay in shape knowing that my daughter my never walk, crawl, and she never did speak but her facial expressions spoke volumes. I went through a nasty divorce while managing Apnea coupled with Epileptic seizures, feeding tubes and years of almost no sleep and hardly any support (except from my running family who literly kept my spirits high through the roughest moments).
I started back to school when she was 2 divorce on the horizon. This time I was going to be a nurse. I saw how much more my already great attentive skills and meticulous work with Dr and nurses could help K and meant I could do more to help others.
It wasn’t easy but I knew it was something I had to do.
So last year I ran MCM historic half- glad I love hills! Every race I run I have a necklace with some of her ashes. It reminds me when things get tough that we are always together and gives me motivation to keep going.
My last half was RnR Dc (can you say burrr but an amazing 11 min PR for me!) Then followed up with CB 10 miler. And I’m running the Fredrick nut job and half .
I actually have been training on time over miles but consistently put in 20-25 hrs of running plus strength training a week. Worked out to 4-5 runs a week and about 20 mi. I’m running for maintenance right now (3-5 mi runs) with all my back to back races I’ve found well rested legs give great results.
My longest weekly runs are currently 12 miles, but it varies between 8-12 depending on my half plan for the day. With my recovery getting easier and seeing the benefits of weight training and doing what “garmin says” (yeah 220 training plan input!) I know I can add the distance.
I also hail from the Midwest so it would be pretty neat to run my first Full in Chicago. Lived in WI for years and my family and boy friend are there. Let’s face it having your own cheering section would help that last push to the end!
I feel confident that Kristi is ready to embark on the journey to her first ever marathon, and I could not be more honored or grateful to be a part of it!!
I am so excited for her, and look forward to sharing our experience with all of you along the way.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart to all of you who contacted me. I hope that each one of you will run a marathon this fall, I really really do! I am so inspired and touched by you all!!!