WOW. 1 YEAR. So humbled so grateful!

Wow, a close friend reminded me today that tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of my major spine surgery performed by the amazing Dr. Randall Porter at Barrow Neurological / St. Josephs Hospital. So much has happened since that day a year ago. So much that I NEVER thought I would accomplish within a year of having the team of surgeons go in through my stomach and back, put in screws, rods, and plates fusing my spine together. I remember waking up from that surgery and laying there thinking, it hurts so bad, I’ll never run again. I remember the days in the hospital. How it seemed like no bodily system was working. I was amazed how I could work for 5 years to build a strong core and after hours and hours of surgery that core was GONE. Strength was MIA and muscles had atrophied. I remember laying there each night at the hospital, HGTV on around the clock and secretly wondering would I ever stand at the start of another race.

Well within the last year, I have run a 3:16 marathon qualifying for Boston and placing 9th overall among the women at Quad Cities. I ran a 1:32 Half Marathon just 3 weeks after  the 3:16 marathon, had several top 3 finishes at races 5K-10K, undergone yet another back surgery and am still just as determined to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. In addition to the running accomplishments which still some days seem unbelievable… I have cherished the amazing friendships I have.

There is NO WAY I could have gotten through the last year (the up’s and down’s) without the simply amazing friends that have stood behind me. Pushing me along, holding me up, kicking me in the butt, and wiping tears of frustration away and sharing tears of happiness and accomplishment. No doubt there were and still are days that I simply don’t think I have the strength to push forward but I am never more than a minute away from those giving me the strength and encouragement to pursue the dream. I can’t thank these people enough. Sarah, Chrissy, Mike, Dr. Porter, Sheila and Rick, Dr. Werner, Dr. Lesko, Dick, Dr. Kreiner, Kevin, Linda, Cassie, everyone at Froedtert Sports Med., Pastor Raasch, Russ, Dr. Niedfeldt, Ursa Major Paul, friends in AZ, my athletes and clients, family, and so so many others. You ALL are huge AWESOME and so appreciated.

Today is the 6 week mark from the most recent spine surgery. The back is feeling great. The knee needs to catch up on the memo “that’s it’s time to get fit and ready for 2011. I am so excited to represent my killer cool sponsors including Brooks Running, Hammer Nutrition, Froedtert Sports Medicine Institute and Performance Enhancement and Grafton Chiropractic Center

2011 Looks to be a super exciting year on many levels. New obstacles to overcome on the running front tackling some longer distance races, training to achieve a Olympic Trials qualifying time, Grad. School, being the most motivating and inspiring Coach and Trainer, and exploring the relaxation and mind/body connection in yoga practice. I have learned that training at a high level the mind must be conditioned in the same way the body must be conditioned. One has to believe in themselves and trust their training. That will be my biggest hurdle moving forward. I am so excited to pursue 2011 and know that my Faith in God will provide me everything I need moving forward. It is God who is my greatest coach.

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