Welcome Cara today with her running story! I love hearing from people like Cara – an every day mom and wife accomplishing extraordinary goals. It reminds me that our successes don’t have to be epic or earth shattering or lifechanging to define us and keep us striving for more. Thank you so much, Cara! You have inspired me and I hope you get that goal of a marathon soon (take care of that knee, though!).

cara

I thought I would share my story with you, because if anyone out there honestly believes they could never run a race, they are sorely mistaken! If I can run, ANYONE can!

I started running 5 or so years ago. I’ve always been a treadmiller, and occasional gym goer, but I could never run for longer than a minute or two. My best friend was a runner and I always admired her for her dedication! I took it slow (obviously, it took me 4 years to run a race!), but eventually built my base up. 3 years ago my husband and I did the Warrior Dash with some friends, and I honestly thought I might die, or drown in the mud…

After that I really wanted to become a “runner” (who determines that anyway?). My New Years resolution for 2014 was to run a half marathon. The mere thought of it made me sweat, but I found some good running plans and started.

Most of my training was done on the treadmill, but also got enough outside runs in. I did have to take almost a month off with a lower back injury, but I kept chugging along!

My half was in May, and my goal was to run the entire 13.1 miles, and finish in under 2:30. My actual was 2:32 and I ran the entire race! When I finished I couldn’t feel my feet and my calves were ON FIRE. My dad asked if I would do another one and I promptly said “No way!”. However, as soon as I got home I was looking into more races!

This was one of my proudest days, right up there with giving birth! I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. My goal this year was to run the Fargo Marathon in May. Unfortunately I am dealing with a knee injury, so the marathon is out…for now. I continue to run 10-15 miles a week and enjoy every second of it!

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This next story should come with a warning to get some tissues ready. Thank you Jessica for emailing me. My heart aches for your sweet friend Christine’s family; what a wonderful tribute to her through running.

Hi Mel,
An incredible sister in my ward has been training for the last several months to do the Phoenix Marathon here in Arizona. She has run the St. George Marathon a few years back and decided she wanted to be able to do Phoenix too. I know she was planning to walk it, but she could do a 15 minute mile. A week ago today (this was in mid-January, a few weeks ago), while at church, she collapsed, stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. After being rushed to the hospital and having several test done, no one knew why this happened. She passed away last Monday evening, January 26. She was only 45 years old.

In attempt to remember her amazing life (she had over 1000 people at her funeral yesterday), a good friend of mine spoke with her husband and suggested that we run the marathon for her. After working through some of the details and discussing with the directors of the marathon, it was decided that 26 people would all run one mile. The director is creating special bibs for the runners that will include Christine’s name and each runner will receive a special marathon medal, different than the regular medal. We are making shirts that will say ‘Running for Christine’ and the runners will wear these. The marathon director even released the official marathon logo to add to the shirt. The marathon isn’t until February 28. Every time I hear the details repeated it makes me cry. This woman was incredible and left behind an amazing family. I know that this will inspire many people to realize their potential. Many of the 26 runners do not consider themselves “runners”. Anyway, that is my story. I know there will be a lot more details and likely a news report/story after the marathon occurs since it is such a big deal to have 26 separate people coming on and off the course (we even had to be cleared with Home Land Security). I can forward you more details after the race.

5 Responses to Cara’s Story + A Heartbreaking and Inspiring Story from Jessica

  1. Cara says:

    Jessica, I will be thinking of you all, what an awesome way to honor your friend!

  2. Germaine says:

    Mel.. You did warn us about the tears not even half way I was crying..though I am so far away my heart goes out to the people who are taking up this challenge and running g for Christine and my heart goes out to her family.. Thanks for sharing such great stories with us and have a great day..

  3. linda says:

    What a tribute that will touch the hearts of so many families and friends of Christine.
    Will be cheering each on from the Pacific N.W. to your region……Go Girl!

  4. Tanya M. says:

    Way to go Cara! That is awesome!!! Hope the knee heals up quickly and youre on your way to your marathon!!

    And yes, that was a tear-jerker of a story about Christine and the friends that will run in her honor. Wow! Lots of love to her family and friends… from a native AZ gal living up in Utah!

  5. Jessica says:

    I don’t know how I missed you posting my story, but I did! Thank you for sharing it and I’m sorry I never sent any pictures…the whole experience was amazing and made me cry awful ugly sobs at the end of my mile. Something I will never ever forget.

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