Quad City Moms are finding friendship and motivation to get up and go thanks to a local chapter of MOMs Run this Town/She RUNS this Town. If you are ready to get strong and live long, enjoy these monthly blogs, featuring Quad-City moms who walk and run and who will inspire you TO MOVE!
By Lori McFate, Quad Cities Area Moms RUN This Town/She RUNS This Town (MRTT/SRTT)
If you knew me before 2010, I was never an athlete. Sports scared me! I hated them, I wasn’t competitive, and it was too much effort.
Gym class in school was intimidating and there was nothing more dreadful. I had zero athletic skills and spent a lifetime living with asthma.
If anyone had told me I could run, WOULD run, any distance from 0 to 30+ miles in one day, I’d have argued them, and proved them wrong.
Prior to 2010 (at the age of 40), I had a lot of life experiences; I graduated college twice (Bachelor of Education 1994 and Master of Organizational Leadership 2008), had a full and part time job, was a fulltime single-parent, married and divorced, and moved around the country a few times for my career.
And, I was sick. REALLY SICK; a rare blood cancer that didn’t respond to chemo or radiation so my days were numbered.
By the grace of God, I found a great doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. As a last result, he performed a MIRACLE/LIFE-SAVING bone marrow transplant. It was not easy process (and even 10+ years later it still offers up complications), BUT I AM ALIVE!!
However, all of these life experiences made me FAT and LAZY.
Yes, some of it was controlled by disease, medication, fear, and anxiety, but some of that “fat and lazy” I let happen.
But in 2010 (4 years post Bone Marrow Transplant), I decided I was healthy enough to at least take up walking. I went out the door to do 2 miles, and only made it one mile.
I also decided this was no way to live life; I wanted something better for myself, my son, my family, my friends, my coworkers, and everyone else around me.
It was slow, it was painful, it was very little “bang” for my “buck” but I stayed with it. One day, one pound, one foot in front of the other.
I remember the day (Sunday, May 26, 2013) that I ran my first full 5k. It was Walled Lakes 5th Annual 5k Run in Michigan.
It took me 3 years to achieve this goal, but it was only a matter of days before I set a few more.
I vowed to only run 5ks (no more walking), tackle a half-marathon, get the weight off, and help others with their running goals. Here’s how my own goals shook out:
- Sunday, October 20, 2013 I finished my first half-marathon, the Detroit Free Press.
- By fall of 2014 I had reached my goal weight, 130 lbs.
- In 2015 I finished my first full-marathon, the Quad City Marathon.
I am not fast, it is not easy, and I am certainly not good at running. But I can do it.
Some days are harder than others, some days I can’t do it at all. Because of transplant, I can have zero sun exposure, so that limits my outdoor running.
Because of the transplant, my bones (feet, hips, knees) hurt.
But when my body allows me, I RUN, even on days when Iowa temps fall well below zero.
My sister runs, my friends run, even my mom runs!
Thanks to running, I have kept the weight off, and seen many amazing things.
I have witnessed my sister tackle her first half and full marathon. I have witnessed my friend Sarah finish her first full marathon. I have witnessed my friend Scott finish several 100-mile runs.
I have witnessed a friend with injuries finish his 20th Quad City Marathon, some of it in a wheel chair. I have witnessed my 10-year old nephew run 2 back-to-back 5K races in one day, and place 2nd in his age group.
When runners need me, whether I can run or not, I will be there to help them get to their goals, on and off the course!
I have also experienced other FUN adventures because of running. I’ve:
- Joined Quad Cities Area Moms RUN This Town/She RUNS This Town (MRTT/SRTT)
- Completed many mud/obstacle runs
- Survived RAGBRAI
- Finished my first triathlon
- Finished more than 30+ miles in one day; Live Uncommon’s Santa Gump Run
I also serve as:
- Co-Race Director for LeClaire’s annual “Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K”
- A race committee member for Rock Island Arsenal’s “Run the Rock 5K/10K”
- A race committee member for Gilda’s Club “Run for Laughs 5K”
I’ve come so far!
If my high school gym teacher could see me now! I do Jazzercise, lift weights, and go to yoga to complement my running.
At 47 years old, I’m better health than I have ever been. I think I might now be a runner, maybe even an athlete.
LIFE IS GOOD; THANK YOU GOD for this ONE great LIFE!!
Here’s my last advice: If you think you can’t, you are probably right. If you think you can, I KNOW you are right.
If you want to run, start by going out the front door. If only walking, if only for a block: one day, one pound, one foot in front of the other.
I run, because I can.
I run, for those who can’t.
I run, because I was given a NEW life.
I run to honor my health!
I run, to meet my goals and help others meet theirs!