Tag Archives: running

Do you have any advice?

I received the message below from a friend who has begun her running journey.  I want to give her a thoughtful reply and I would love to hear any advice or suggestions you may have.

Thanks in advance!

“Hey lady!  You aren’t goingto believe it, but I’ve done the couch to 5k the past 8 weeks!  A friend and I have been running in the mornings 3 days a week at our school.  We run like a cross country like course.  Anyhow, today we were to run for 28 minutes straight and decided to try to go somewhere flat b/c at school it’s hilly.  We ran at 3:30 which was WAY too hot.  We did a straight/flat run in downtown Maiden.  Our usual pace has been 12:30min mile.  Today we thought we were at our pace and the Runkeeper said we were running a 10:40min mile.  Well, at about minute 15 we fell apart!  Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
We did learn some things….not to run in the middle of the day and we need to figure out our pace.  Help!”

Thought I would update with my reply that I sent to her…

Thank you Anna and Zen City!!!  I copied and pasted both of your replies along with mine and sent to her.  Below is my reply just in case your are interested.

“First of all, pat yourself on the back because you are doing something that most people at our age don’t do. Running is one of the hardest things anyone can do. It is hard physically and mentally but you are still doing it!

Second of all, running in the heat sucks always. The only time I really enjoy running in the heat(it still sucks…) is when I have over indulged on the weekend and I convince myself that I am sweating out the toxins!!! Self torture!

Finally, what you are experiencing (not talking about the heat now…) or what it sounds like you are experiencing is that you are pushing yourself to your personal wall. The more you visit that wall on your runs…(not on all your runs!!!) the more that wall will move. And, trust me…that wall will move! I can remember not being able to run a mile.

For me, some of my runs are long and slower paced while some are short and rough. I am constantly playing a game to run to that edge where I am pushing myself and training my body to get better, but not falling over the cliff. Knowing when to back off a little bit and when to surge comes with time. I promise you that in 6 months if you keep on doing what your doing consistently, your facebook message to me will be very different. And your personal wall will not be 15 mnutes at that pace. TIME on the road or trail is what it takes for you to learn your body and how it operates while you are running.

hope something in one of these replies helps!!! keep me posted! Tessa

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Should I stay or should I go now? What would Clash suggest?

Should I run?  Should I cycle? Should I swim?  Should I crossfit? Should I watch Housewives???  What would Clash do?  Life is good when you wake up in the morning and your biggest concern is deciding what activity you are going to do for the day!

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Air Squats…

The first AIR SQUAT sucks too.  No matter what, my hamstrings remain so tight!  Looking forward to my next workout!  Also, I need to get back on the road to run!  I have a 10k coming up and I have made no effort towards my running!  Oh my!

 

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RockHill Ramblin’ Rose, REALLY?

Swim girls swim, bike girls bike, run girls run!   Feel girls tap you on the foot in pool?  Let them pass, Tessa, let them pass.  See Tessa transition?  Hurry, Tessa, hurry!   See clips not clipping? Clip-in, Tessa, clip-in!  Feel thighs burning?  Pedal, Tessa, pedal!  Don’t wreck Tessa, don’t wreck!  See transition area?, Rack bike, Tessa, rack!  Friggin’ run Tessa, RUN!  Run to the finish line!  Thanks DICK and JANE!  Geeeze.

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I Found True GRIT in Central Park.

My family and I are in NYC on vacation.  The day we arrived we did a CrossFit workout at the Black Box.  You don’t have to do anything but show up 10 minutes early.  Thought we were doing “Barbie” but ended up doing a BUNCH of deadlifts!  Had a great workout!  Michael and this other guy(I never got his name..) were EXCELLENT instructors.  The gym was 3 floors up in an old building.  Nothing fancy, just perfect!  My afterbash was in Bryant Park with a red wine sangria.

Later, we went to Hershey.  I bought dark chocolate kisses thinking they would be healthier, but my hand keeps finding itself in my son’s reese minitures bag!!!

I found true GRIT the next morning while running with my husband in Central Park.  It made that perfect crunchy sound under my shoes with each stride I took.  I love that sound.  Running behind Stephen always sucks but the first mile didn’t suck as much since I was in CENTRAL PARK!!!  Seeing so many people out there just being healthy was a sight to see.  There are some great rolling hills.  It was a beautiful run!

A few hours later we HOOFED it from Times Square to Canal Street in Chinatown.  We took the subway back thank goodness!  Thank you Mr(s). subway inventor!!!

Heading to a Yankees game this evening and plan to consume hotdogs and beer! (All gluten free!!! yea right!)  Tomorrow, we will all do the Rugged Maniac in Brooklyn and head to Coney Island to rinse off in the ocean.  I have never been to Coney Island but I have heard mixed reviews.  Looking forward to it and a Nathan’s hotdog!

Finally, we will visit the Guggenheim and the 9/11 Memorial on our last day.

Any other suggestions????

Whatever we do, I am sure it will be fun and involve walking!

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And the WINNER is….

The BOYS!

TEAM “Waldrep to the 3rd Power” claimed their victory over the GIRLS once again in the 2012 Shelby Sprint Triathlon!  Congratulations MEN!!!  The weather could not have been better. Crisp McDonald with Setup Events did a spectacular job.  The race was extremely organized and I loved the fact that we were able to run straight through the Foothills Farmers’ Market!  Hearing the live music and the cheers from the shoppers helped perk me up!  Congrats to TEAM “Are we there yet?”!  You all did GREAT!

Below are the Relay Splits!

1st-Team Waldrep to the 3rd Power       Swim-7:43 Bike-45:29 Run-21:12

2nd-Team Runs in the Family                 Swim-8:27 Bike-45:59 Run-24:03

3rd-Team Are We There Yet?                 Swim-10:27 Bike-45:33 Run-27:11

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Girls against the Boys!

So tomorrow it is going down! Where Amy’s hands part the water, Connie’s rubber meets the road, and my feet hit the pavement.  The Shelby Sprint Triathlon at Shelby City Park starts at 8am and our Girl Team “Runs in the Family!” will face the Boy Team “Waldrep to the 3rd Power!”  for the 2nd annual local triathlon.  The three generation team consists of Ben, the swimming grandson, Benny, the cycling grandfather, and Stephen, the running dad.  Last year the boys team took first with the girls in a close 2nd in the relay division.  This year Team “Are We There Yet”, with Robin, Victoria, and Missy, will add some friendly but stiff competition!

Here is a quick summary from the event website:

Shelby Sprint

The Shelby Sprint Triathlon takes place at the Shelby City Park in Shelby, NC, also known as the City of Pleasant Living. The Shelby City Park holds a fantastic outdoor 10 lane Olympic size overflow swimming pool, where participants will snake their way down the pool only swimming one direction in each lane. The transition area is located a mere 50 meters away on the front lawn of the Park, allowing excellent spectator vantage points.

The 20 kilometer ‘lollipop course’ on the bike takes participants into uptown Shelby where they immediately turn out of town onto rolling hills. The participants will then circle back and head back towards town. The 5K run portion is nearly completely flat, and is run on some of the most scenic streets in uptown Shelby, passing the Courthouse and many other 100+ year old homes. This event will definitely become an instant favorite with its beautiful outdoor pool and beautiful scenery.

 

Good luck to all who participate!

 

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Daily Funny….

Yesterday was a GREAT day for working out!  The weather was great.  The company was even better.  I cycled, swam, and did a crossfit workout all before 2pm.  On cloud 9, I was!  So, after cycling, I was putting my bike in the back of the Scout.  I saw my friend, Maria, running down the street so I called out to her.  “Woooooooo!  Looking GOOD GURL!!!!!”  She She looked great!  Her hair had been highlighted.  Her stride looked strong.  She  stopped and started walking towards me.   I met her half way.  When we were within a foot of each other, with arms stretched out to give each other a hug, we both realized that we were complete strangers!  It was not my friend Maria.  That didn’t stop us!  Without hesitation, we hugged, then shook each other’s hand and introduced ourselves!  Her name was Gina.  After our hug, we said our goodbyes and she was back on her way to finish her run.  Hopefully, one day our paths will cross again.  She seemed like such a sweet lady! 

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Rest days are important!

Rest days are important!  Try to include one or two rest days each week.  This will decrease the chance that you will skip a workout and these days also allow your body to heal and grow!!!  Don’t feel guilty.  Enjoy and know that your next workout is right around the corner!

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Anyone can do crossfit…

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If you want to do CrossFit, you can! I know the lifting part and some of the exercises can be intimidating.  But, do you realize there are modifications for everything???  Your heart will beat as much as the next person’s.  What is stopping you?

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CrossFitting Fool

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CrossFit specializes in NOT specializing.   It doesn’t focus on just one facet of fitness or health. Whether you are an Olympic athlete, a grandparent, or a 40 yr old runner….the fitness needs are similar but the intensity level necessary varies.   Balance, stability, agility, power, flexibility, endurance, stamina, etc…Every workout is different. It reminds me of the things I did as a kid but took for granted like jumping, hanging, stretching, climbing! I love CrossFit!

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MUD RUN!

If you haven’t completed a mud run then you are missing out on a lot of fun. Find one near you and sign up for it with a group of friends or your family. And definitely carpool. Riding together is sooooo much fun!

Carpool!!!

I completed a 2nd mud run this past weekend with my husband, son, and a group of 10 friends. A friend told me about a groupon, so I saved about $40 per person! The run was called the Warrior Dash. It was a blast and was very similar to the Rugged Maniac race I did a couple of years ago!

Clean Warriors!

We climbed up/over/down/under/around/through so many obstacles. At one point, we were submerged to our necks in a mud pit. At the end we were face down crawling under barbed wire in 2 feet of thick mud to the finish line. The water hose party was hilarious. The Warrior Dash post race party was probably one of the best I have attended. I love how people get pumped up and dressed up for this type of race.

newlyweds before

newlyweds after

Shower time!

Checklist of what to take to a mud run:

  • 1-2 heavy duty trash bags
  • throw away running shoes
  • ball cap
  • croc sandals
  • change of clothes
  • large beach towel for “deck changing”
  • photo ID for beer garden
  • camera phone (leave in bag!)
  • good attitude

Have FUN in the MUD!

ride home..
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Runner plays volleyball?

Absolutely…or at least I tried. Remember i did do CrossFit 2 days in a row.
I was actually going for the intimidation technique tonight.
My 8th grade Algebra student is on a traveling volleyball team. When she got wind that her 40 yr old teacher was playing, she took it

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outfit provided by Allie!

upon herself to make sure i was outfitted properly!  I thought the knee pads and jersey with “RAGE’ across the back would send a “don’t hit the ball to me” message. I was wrong. It was fun eventhough we lost. Sorry coach. I will come up with another strategy next week.

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HissyFit…CrossFit

Last night I rode with a group to a nearby town to try CrossFit for the first time.  My husband and son have been doing for a couple of weeks now and bought me three trial visits.  Unable to do one pull-up, I arrived at the warehouse type building full of apprehension.  All types of people, (young/old, male/female, big/small) were running around the outside of the building with a weighted medicine ball.  Some were carrying theirs on their shoulder, some in front of their belly, while others on a hip.  We walked in and the music was pumping.  I was so excited.  There was nothing fancy about it.  The owner/instructor, Michael, did an excellent job with his instruction.  I had no clue what a “burpee” was…Excuse me.  😉  Squats, squats, and more squats with proper form, shoulder presses, 200m run with a medicine ball, etc…  It was different than running but sooooo awesome! 

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I woke up this morning and parts of my body that I had forgotten about were screaming for attention.  I am going back tonight so I am hoping that I will be able to walk at the Warrior Dash this weekend.  

Any CrossFit experts out there?  I don’t know a lot about it, but the little I have read makes sense. 

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This is not me…yet.

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I love everybody.

This is not really me…

When I am running, I wave at everybody! I wave at the car that moves over to give me way more room than I need. I wave at the car that doesn’t move over, because I think maybe they don’t see me, but possibly at the last second they will see me and think to themselves, “next time I am going to slow down or move over for that runner…” I wave and smile at the creepy person as I SPRINT by. My mother told me that when I was little, she would push me in the grocery cart at Huxley Village;-). She said that I would raise up my hand and wave or say, “hey!” to strangers we passed in the grocery aisle, forcing them to wave back, smile, or speak to me.

I mean, of course, I LUUUUUUVVVVV all of my family members and my friends. But I truly feel like I have a “level” of love for strangers. Is that weird?

No matter their gender, their religion, their origin, their appearance, their preference, their anything…

No matter their anything, their political preference, their vote, I have love for everyone.

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Course Map?….Not this a.m..

Note to self…

Look at course map before running a race.

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I needed one of these signs this morning!!!

Yep…ran a different route than the other runners this morning at the local “Race for  the Cure”..  Dodged holes running through a field with my buddy.  Two other runners followed us.  Bless their hearts!  I guess we just looked like we knew where we were going!  I love when crap like that happens!!!  Added some mileage but beautiful run!  Awesome race for a GREAT cause!

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Positive Peer Pressure….

Sometimes, a running buddy can motivate you to run way more miles than you set out to do.  I love when 2 loops in the cemetary turns into 4!  Two bowls of Breyers Vanilla ice cream also inspires me to run more.  I am sure that we all have different motivators.  Do you know yours?

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I teach, therefore, I drink…and run.

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All independently of course.  Although, this morning while I was running the Clifford’s 5k race for abused animals, I thought that if I licked my sweaty arm that I could enjoy the previous night’s glass of cabernet again.   Pshaw…did I say, “glass”?  I meant bottle… A group of my teacher friends and I get together on Fridays at the beautiful Owl’s Eye Vineyard.  Above is a picture of the aftermath. I used to drink the night before a race and brag that it helped me run faster…sadly, it doesn’t work that way anymore.  I think I am going to stay in tonight and chill.  My body is requesting some reprieve.  Tomorrow, I may swim a little…
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My Dreadmill Assault…

Rainy days are inevitable.  Therefore, running indoors on a treadmill might be part of your training at some point.  Whenever I am forced to battle the dreadmill, I mix it up by doing a “5,4,3,2,1” workout, a friend shared with me. 

My starting speed is very important in the plan of attack!  I start out running the first 5 minutes at a comfortable and moderate pace, usually around 5 or 5.5 mph).   Then, I bump up the speed 1/2 or 1 mph and continue running for 4 minutes.  Next, I bump up another 1/2 or 1 mph for the next 3 minutes.  And again, for the next 2 minutes.  Finally, I increase to a full sprint for my final 1 minute. 

After this interval, I slow my speed down to my original pace and start building again.  Each round is a total of 15 minutes of running.  Try this 3 times and you have conquered a NICE 45 minute run and your treadmill battle!!!  Spice up the clash even more by adjusting your incline! 

For those or you just joining the running world, you can start your first 5 minutes with a brisk walk and build from there.  This workout helps me so much because it makes me pay attention to something other than my boredom!

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In search of the Silver or Ruby Red Slippers…

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Asics and Saucony and Mizunos, oh my!  Asics and Saucony and Mizunos, oh my!

I took a trip to OZ yesterday and tried on “forty-leven” pairs of shoes at a local store.  Tapped my heels together three times and left the store like a “twista” with a pair of Asics off the clearance table.  There’s no place like home, I thought.  Just let me out of here.  I wasn’t even sure if I liked the shoes or not.  I think I just bought them because I ran the poor sales clerk, who had only been working there for the past three days, to death.  Yes, this tin lady does have a heart.

Basically, I have trained in about every brand of shoe and can honestly say that I have no clue which shoe I like the best.  In fact, I am embarassed that I didn’t even know the brand of my latest running shoe until I just looked in my workout bag:  Asics Gel Kayana 16.  They have done their job.  My knees and ankles are still intact.  I am not complaining.  But, I really want to find a shoe that makes me want to buy it over and over again.  I want to feel like I am rolling up on Michelin tires.  I want each stride to feel like I am floating in a big ole Lexus running about 70mph down the highway.  I want each step to feel like I am falling into the plushest down comforter on the planet…

It’s almost 4:30!!!  Time to go follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road!

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Practice your UPSWING…

For the last month, I have been experiencing a surge in my desire to run.   “Tessa done got her groove back”, thank goodness…(for the moment, at least…)  My latest running funk lasted about 4 to 6 months.  I would force myself to run on a Saturday morning once every two or three weeks.  All my girlfriends were still running like clockwork.  Getting up as early as 5am in the cold.  My eyes mght have been open at 4:30am, but I had absolutely NO desire to get up to run.  I am not sure what caused my slump.  But, obviously I am crawling out of it for the time being.  Eventually, I know the pendulum will swing again at some point.  So, while I am up high on my perch, I feel like I need to take advantage of my running boom as much as possible.  Although, 5am runs still don’t entice me, I pack two workout bags in advance for afternoon runs.  Why two bags?  Because Imageof all people, I know myself all too well.  In the past, I would be all jacked up and run Monday.  Then,  get busy on Tuesday morning and forget to pack a bag or not have time to prepare.  So, my well intended run would not come to fruition.  NOW, my packed bags have warm and cool running clothes plus yoga pants if I get a hankering.  “SNAP!” my students would say.  Well, maybe they would have said that last year.  “SNAP” has kind of run it’s course, hasn’t it?

What causes the UPSWING, swell, or rush?  I wish I knew.  What will help foster it?  I wish I knew that, too.  But, if you are in an upswing, savor it, feed it.  If not, then look forward to it’s return…Yes, it’s coming soon.

Get your feet lined up, get a good grip, take a gentle backswing, and follow through by running a little every once in awhile!  And your upswing will be magnificent!

Look forward to seeing all the superheroes tomorrow!!!

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Stick around for the real action..

Have you ever hung around after your race is finished and the awards and prizes have been given out?  If not, you may want to consider it next time. The post race ultimate fighting trophy matches are where the real action takes place!  My trophy got her bootay kicked at Bubba’s 5k.

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Meet Betty, the fat lady…

The first time I met Betty, I did not like her. Actually, when I introduced them to Betty, most of my friends did not like her either. Depending on our mood, some of us would give her the silent treatment or call her ugly names like “fat lady.” Sometimes we would yell or curse at her. Some of us would just downright refuse to go near her. So you would think that our relationship with Betty would only go downhill. Ironically, the opposite occurred, despite how she made us feel.

Now, the last thing I want to do is give you a negative impression of Betty. You may fall in love if you ever meet her. But I would like to share with you how I have learned to live with Betty through the years. In fact, she has become an inspiration to me.

These days, I run a lot. However, growing up in my town, running never entered my mind unless it involved escaping the wrath of my brother. I attempted to run in the early nineties to impress my new husband.  I tried to run a few 5K races with him. Confusion describes my finishes back then. Big or small, young or old, it didn’t matter. All those runners trotted past me whispering words of encouragement. Once, a pregnant lady pushing a baby stroller flew past me going up a hill. This lady had to be at least seven or eight months pregnant!

During the fall, my friend and co-worker, Jerri, and I decided over drinks that we wanted to run a marathon. We assumed the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February would be perfectly flat. I knew that Jerrianne had been running for years but she had never done a race. She was my “healthy” friend who wore really cool Keen shoes. She was always running, cycling, hiking, doing yoga, or walking the dogs.

So, let me explain the seriousness of this. In that discombobulated moment, I was convinced that I could complete a 26.2-mile footrace without sleep breaks. At the time, my husband’s suggestion to start training the following day seemed perfectly feasible. So Jerri and I decided to meet at her regular running route in the cemetery. The next morning I was not thanking my husband for his bright idea. To put it mildly, we will just say I was worried.

We arrived bright and early and Jerrianne was already there. The gates were locked. For a split second I rejoiced that our running appointment might be cancelled. Jerri seemed unfazed as she led us through the shrubs past the gate. Inside the graveyard, we had a decision to make. Go right and meet Betty on the way back, or go left and see the Gold Hill. “Who the heck is Betty?” I wondered.

Jerri explained that one loop, which was basically the perimeter of the cemetery, was approximately 1.4 miles. She liked doing one loop and then turning around and doing the loop backwards. We decided to go right so, I guess this meant that I would meet Betty on the way back to our starting point. Off we shuffled, chatting all the while. Down, down, down the hill we ran. My grin was large. Jerri said that she called the hill, “Gold Hill”.  I realized why when I saw all of the headstones to my left. She reminded me that we would be travelling up on our second loop. My grin disappeared.

Fortunately, I had yet to feel that my running shoes were too small. I looked to the right and saw the gravesite of my grandparents. I really miss my grandmother. I guess this was about when my breaths started shortening and my jammed toes starting talking to me. I made it up to the top of the hill and turned right on a gravel road called Laurel. I said hey to a friend, Stacy, who died way too soon. Even though many years have passed, his headstone looked newer than so many others nearby.

My heart sank as I made the turn onto Ford Street. I realized that we were about to embark on a very long uphill journey.  I immediately quit talking. Up, up, up we ran. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other. As Stephen and Jerrianne laughed and had a full-blown conversation, my frustration and the hill’s slope were increasing. “You guys go on,” I said. “I will catch up!  Don’t wait on me!”  My pace slowed to a snail’s.

As they ran up the hill ahead of me, I wondered who the heck Betty was and how in the heck can they run so fast up this gigantic hill?  Up, up, up, I staggered, determined not to walk.

Everything by now was a blur. The pain and lack of oxygen were comforted only by the fact that I was in a cemetery. Up, up, up we ran. Right foot, left foot… Eventually, my staggering trot turned into a survival shuffle, then to a walk, and finally to a dead stop.

After what seemed an eternity, I was finally nearing Jerri and Stephen. They stood admiring a tombstone at the very top of the hill. I was almost in tears. Tears of joy since they were standing still and not running! Finally, I made it.

As my heart pounded, I read the inscription on a headstone.  I read that her name was Betty and that she had come to this town as the “Simple Fat Lady in the Fair.  She left this Earth as our friend.”

So, I finally met Betty. I could not believe what I was reading. How awesome it was for our community to care enough for this 46-year-old stranger who died in 1954. She wasn’t from our town and had no family here. Betty was from Rochester, N.Y.   Later, I learned that Betty went from a 104 lb dancer to 600 pound carnival act. Her weight gain was caused when she was stricken with pneumonia and a treatment affected her thyroid.  She eventually died from a heart attack in her sleep.

Jerri, Betty and I trained for four solid months. Eventually, this “fat lady” became a driving force in my daily runs and a major part of my inspiration to complete a marathon. We ran our race in February and finished gracefully. Jerri and I shared our favorite stories and talked about Betty as we ran mile after mile. It was a very memorable event in my life. Since then, I have shared the tradition of introducing the “Betty” hill to several people who wanted to run with me or train for a special race.

Betty may have left this earth as our friend, however, she still lives on in spirit to help train and encourage many people to push themselves more than they ever thought they could. I encourage everyone to come out and meet our friend, Betty. She will always be waiting at the top of the hill for you.

Simple Fat Lady from the Fair

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