Blogger On the Run, Indeed

Welcome to all of you clicking over from Women’s Running Magazine! And thank you so much to Kara and WR for the featuring me as their Blogger On the Run. It’s an honor.

womens-running

If you haven’t seen it, you can click here. I thought long and hard about how graphic I would get while describing my experience at the Jersey Marathon. In the end, I decided to go for it and flat out say “diarrhea” because, hell, that’s what it was. Not “tummy trouble” or “bathroom stuff” dammit. It was diarrhea and it’s what people with IBD deal with every single day.

TMI? Maybe. Deal with it.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

If you comment on the post over at Women’s Running, you will be automatically entered to win a 12-month subscription for the magazine. So go comment!

As a running blogger, I sometimes feel pressure to share my every workout, every run, everyday stuff the way that other bloggers do. But when I first started this blog, Obi-wan (my Dad) counseled me to focus on what I wanted to say and who I wanted to reach.

"Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings". Obi-wan's always so smart.

“Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings”. Obi-wan’s always so smart.

I didn’t want to be like the other bloggers. I wanted to share information, science-y stuff, and help runners run stronger and get smarter. Obviously, some stuff changed as I got sick. Like, I didn’t run as much and for a long time.

I didn't run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

I didn’t run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

But no matter the fact that I don’t blog 3 times a day or break down every mile of every run or didn’t run for weeks at a time or have tons and tons of giveaways or get invited to special events, I’m still a Blogger On the Run! Just a different kind of Blogger On the Run.

And I want to thank Women’s Running Magazine for recognizing that and inviting me to be a part of their feature.

And for those of you who haven’t heard yet, now that I’m all healed up and running again, I’m running for a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis! RUN WITH ME! Or cycle. Or swim. Or elliptical (is that a verb?). Or walk. Or hop.

Kick some ass with me, won't you?

Kick some ass with me, won’t you?

Here’s the gist:

  • Donate $15 to my fundraising page and you get one entry into the raffle.
  • For every $10 over the initial $15 that you donate, you get one more entry into the awesome raffle.
  • Email me the amount you donated: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com so I know how many raffle entries to mark down for you
  • Wear the bib I send you on April 9th (don’t forget to water proof it!) and take a picture
  • Rock your 5K and share your photos with me!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Now go out and run.

What It Means To Run Stronger Every Day

At the end of a marathon, I am not running fast. To be honest, the only marathon I think I finished “fast” (8:20s) was my worst marathon ever in Jersey where I walked/jogged from POJ to POJ from  miles 13-20 because of my UC flare-up. I had lots of rest and pounded out those last six miles like they were nothing.

Mile 25. Pretty sure I was the only person smiling as I ran past this photographer.

Running fast is not necessarily running strong. I have fast runs that are the easiest runs of my life where I am cruising along and could go on forever. That’s not what it feels like to run strong. So what does it mean to Run Stronger Every Day?

To me, it means that I run when I don’t feel like it. I run when it’s snowing outside (remember that day, Fat Bottom Slim?!) or 85°F with 97% humidity in August. I run when my legs feel like lead. I run when all I really want to be doing is eating homemade cookie dough. I run up the hard hills. I run harder when I think I’ve reached my limit. I run on the treadmill when my stomach won’t let me be more than 15 feet from the bathroom. I finish my runs when I really want to sit down on the curb and cry.

I run.

I Run Stronger Every Day.

No matter what, I run. I train. I lace up my shoes and give it my all for that day. I don’t compare my times with my times from 5 years ago. I don’t always wear my GPS watch to obsess about my splits. I run how I feel.

Dear Garmin,
I love you but you are a sometimes running friend. No hard feelings?
Love, Abby

Running Stronger Every Day means that I take stock of how I feel that day, what my body will tolerate that day, what my limits are that day, how hard I can push that day, and I run.

If it’s 2 miles before I go and lift, it’s 2 miles. If it’s 10 miles on the treadmill while I watch Bones, it’s 10 miles. If it’s 7 miles in Central Park, it’s 7 miles. If it’s nothing because my body just won’t allow it that day, then it’s a rest and recover day. But whatever it is, I make it my job to Run Stronger Every Day and live my life so that I CAN Run Stronger Every Day.

In a few short weeks, I will be starting from a different place and really learning what it is to Run Stronger Every Day. I will be challenged like I’ve never been challenged before. I will have to listen, take it slowly, start from scratch and re-learn what my body can do. I will be the comeback story of my lifetime. And everything I do will be in an effort to Run Stronger Every Day.

Yes! I Run Strong! And am a very sweaty beast. But I Run Strong!

How do you Run Stronger Every Day? What does it mean to YOU? I want to know.

Now go out and run!

Better Than The Alternative Tuesdays: Bad Stuff

Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful end-of-summer Labor Day weekend and are getting pumped up for the Fall race season, wherever you are. I, for one, am relieved that I made it through yet another New York City August without passing out from the intolerable heat and humidity. But that’s not our theme for today. Today’s Better Than The Alternative theme is Bad Stuff. You read that right. Bad Stuff is the reason why it’s better to be here than there.

Bad Stuff, like people getting sick, having the worst race of your life, losing a friend, failing a class, having to DNR a race, missing the train, getting sick yourself, anything bad that happens to babies or children, or simply having tremendously bad luck under difficult circumstances, happens. It just does. And it sucks.

Having experienced enough of this Bad Stuff in my life, I know that it has given me a gift in return. The gift to appreciate the moment and what I have. It’s a special gift that I know not everyone possesses.

I have a very large, very loud, very close family whom I love and who love me deeply. Whenever something happens, we pull closer together to support one another without missing a beat. Not everyone has that. When we lose someone, there are tears that always end with a party. When there’s Bad Stuff happening, none of us is ever alone. Maybe it’s just lucky we have a big family. Or maybe it’s that we are blessed to be as close as we are. Either way, with every trying time, we become more tightly knit together.

Bad Stuff in the form of bad races are the worst for me, at least physically. I had the worst race of my life in Jersey this year. I thought I wouldn’t finish. I was dizzy, sick, getting sick and so far away from the finish line and my husband that I couldn’t imagine I’d be able to get through the last 12 miles. But after that horrible race (and my victorious finish!), I have a newfound appreciation for when I feel awesome during a race. Or, at least, when I don’t have to stop 8 times at the POJ’s and get the dizzies. Even the ridiculous humidity at the Battle of Brooklyn didn’t stop me from celebrating my getting through the entire run without feeling yucky once! Yay!

Bad Stuff happens all the time. To good people, to everyone. No matter how horrible it is to go through the Bad Stuff, it has always taught me to respect the time that I have and to love the people I have in my life. So we endure it. We live through it. We fight through it. And we come out the other side different. Stronger. A little wiser. And we go on with that learned knowledge and newfound love for the good and we share it with the world.

If you are going through Bad Stuff, whatever it may be, please know that you are not alone and you are stronger than you think. You will come out the other side, we will all come out the other side, and we will be all the better for having gone through it. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced. So, I’m grateful for the Bad Stuff because, as cliché as it sounds, I have learned more from having gone through it than anything else in my life. And that’s why it’s better to be here rather than there; the good stuff is that much sweeter. And the good stuff (ahem, like baby nieces!!!) is GREAT.

So, friends, keep fighting the good fight. Now go out and run!

“If you’re going through hell, keep walking.” -Winston Churchill