March 17, 2014

Motivational Monday #56 (St. Patrick's Day Edition)

Well, I asked, and you all delivered! After several weeks of not getting many Motivational Monday submissions, I was considering retiring the MM posts; but today, I was flooded with emails! Normally, I like to post them the week that I get them, so they aren't too untimely; but I had nearly 30 submissions, so I decided to use some today, and some next week (and maybe some the week after that!).

Since today is St. Patrick's Day, and a lot of people did St. Patty's Day races over the weekend, I thought it would be fun to post all of those first. Looking at the pictures, it kind of makes me wish I'd done a race over the weekend, too :)

My friend Stephanie and her son, Jamie, ran a (very cold) 10K yesterday! Jamie really wanted to do this race, despite the fact that he had THREE hockey try-outs between Saturday and Sunday as well (each one was 90-minutes long). It was only 13 degrees during the race, but they had fun showing their St. Patty's Day spirit! (Especially after warming up at Panera after the race)

You may remember Julie (on right) who lost her husband to cancer last September, and she was struggling with binge eating after his passing. She'd been training for her first half-marathon, the "Run for Life", to take place yesterday, the day after her late husband's birthday. The last six months have been very tough for Julie and her daughter, Sasha, and celebrating her husband's birthday without him was harder than she even imagined. She didn't sleep much, she was sad, and feeling anxious about the race, but she got up, got dressed, and ran the streets of NYC. She felt incredibly empowered and lucky to be alive to enjoy every moment!

Amber completed her fourth half-marathon yesterday! Because of her husband's schedule, she knew it was going to be tough to train with her kids in tow (1.5 year old son and 8 year old daughter); but she didn't let that stop her, and she blew her goal time out of the water. She hoped to finish in 2:24, but she finished in 2:16! She's been maintaining a 70-pound weight loss, and is proud to set a good example for her kids.

Jodi just completed her very first race--the Shamrock Shuffle 3K in Lexington! She's lost a total of 123 pounds, and is already registered for her first 5K in June! She said that after this race, she feels "unstoppable", and someday, she'll be posting about her first marathon :)

Dean ran the Wearin' of the Green 7K race and despite the freezing cold and windy conditions, he had his fastest race yet! He finished in 36:58, which is an 8:32/mi pace; his 5K PR pace is 9:01 (clearly, he needs to update that 5K PR!). Dean is on my Strangers to Sole Mates Ragnar team, and when we first invited him to join the team, he was running an 11:00+ minute mile. He's lost a LOT of weight and gotten a LOT faster over the last year! (Dean started a blog, which you can find here)

Emily completed her longest run to date: the 15K Shamrock Run in Portland! She had a foot injury that sidelined her for the whole month of February, so her longest training run was only 6 miles. Despite the training injury, she finished in 1:51:37, even with the tough course! The race renewed her confidence in her goal for a half-marathon in June.

Melissa ran the Chicago Get Lucky Half-Marathon! She planned to run with her sister-in-law and maybe run a sub-2:00. Her sister-in-law was sick and not able to run, so Melissa decided to try and keep up with her husband for a few miles, and then just run easy for the rest. She ended up staying with her husband for 10 miles, running just at or below a 9:00/mi pace, on target for a sub-2:00! She struggled a little, but was so close that she pushed herself to keep up with the 2:00 pacers... and she did it! She finished sub-2:00, which was a big goal for her. And later, they celebrated with some well-deserved deep-dish Chicago-style pizza ;)  (Melissa's blog)

Robin (in the middle) and her "Soul Sisters" ran their second Shamrox 15K! They are all training to run their third half-marathon next month. Robin said the weather was perfect for the race, and the scenic race course was fantastic!

Kylie (in the green shirt) ran her very first half-marathon, the Get Lucky Half, with her boyfriend and her sister! She originally started running last summer as a way to lose some weight, but she never thought she'd take it further than a 5K. She was really nervous about doing the half, but she had so much fun that she immediately said she wants to do it again!

On Saturday, Jill, along with her two daughters, Emily and Julia; her two nieces, Monica and Natalie; her sister-in-law, Angie; brother-in-law, Reid; and their son, Sean, ran the Irish Feet 5K in Topeka! Jill has NINE children, and she says that running together has been a huge motivation to get the kids moving, as well as a good, healthy way to connect with them. They all finished the 5K in under 30 minutes, too!

My brother-in-law, Shawn, didn't submit this, but I just have to do a little bragging for him... he ran a 1:40 half-marathon yesterday! He's only been running for a little over a year, and he and my sister, Jeanie, are training for their first marathon (which is next month). They registered for a half-marathon in San Diego to take place yesterday, so that Shawn's mom could watch them run (she hadn't been to a race of theirs). Unfortunately, Shawn's mom unexpectedly passed away recently. Jeanie and Shawn decided to still go and run the race, and Shawn wanted to put in all his effort to crush his PR of 1:48. He made a playlist of Bob Seger songs (his mom's favorite music) to listen to, and Jeanie and Shawn both wore urn necklaces that contained some of his mom's ashes. Shawn ran his best, and took a whopping 8 minutes off of his PR!

Don't forget to check out the Motivational Monday Facebook post for more stories!


  1. Such great stories! Thanks all for sharing...LOVE Dean's "only green shirt" too!! Made me chuckle.

  2. Why is it that half the time I read your blog I end up in tears!! lol Reading about your brother in law, Shawn and your sister running the race, crushing his PR and wearing some of his mom's ashes is truly a beautiful tribute to her. Congrats to them for honoring her and keeping her close during this run.

  3. Thank you for not retiring MM's yet. I am bound and determined to send you my (very much still in the beginning stages) success story. It seems so much more possible as I read all of these great achievements!

  4. I love MM! So great to see so many people having fun and meeting their goals. I love Dean's "only green shit" too! Ha! Almost makes me wish I'd found a green shirt to wear to the gym tonight.

  5. So Motivating! Just like you are Katie! I finally got a coopy of Runner's World magazine yesterday and read about your wonderful team. I liked the tip about being honest about your struggles on your blogs/journals, because it tends to bring out support from others, rather than judgment. I love that! So in the next few days, I'm going to come "clean" on my Spark blog and THEN.....I'm going to start cleaning up my act: Start eating better and walking more. See---Motivational Monday is working!

  6. Wonderful stories everyone!

  7. Excellent, love all the St. Paddy's Day race stories. To the kid wearing orange in the sea of green... you are my hero. :P

  8. Please, please, please don't stop Motivational Monday! I run on Tuesdays, and I really look forward to reading MM before I go. It makes me work harder!

  9. Thanks for sharing these. It kinda makes me want to run a 5k or something. :)

  10. I was a bit jealous of others running too! My best friend PR'd saturday when she hit a 29 min 5k! Anyways- I love the Motivational Monday posts- PLEASE don't retire them!


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