It was exactly 4 years ago that Dicks Sporting Goods shared a video series called Every Runner Has a Reason, A thirteen part web series about runners and what they run for. I was lucky to be featured in one of those videos. I hadn’t started my blog yet and I thought I’d share a little bit about that experience on this 4th anniversary.

Every Runner Has a Reason

Every Runner Has a Reason

It all started through the social media world. Someone knew someone on Facebook who worked for the agency that was tasked with this campaign and had posted a request for stories. My friend Lisa and I submitted our story and the rest was history.

Lisa and I worked together and she was well into her pursuit of completing a marathon in every state, one of many running goals that seemed impossible to me, a girl who loved to exercise but was not a runner. I was intrigued by Lisa’s running goals, and where running took her. She had an amazing circle of running friends that met often to train and then travel to various states throughout the year to run a marathon.

More than 5 years had passed since my husband died of cancer. He was 29 and I was 25 and I was feeling fairly blah. I was going through the motions of life but didn’t have anything to get excited about and felt like I wasn’t fitting in with most of my friends who were either getting married, having children or moving forward in family life. Lisa helped inspire me to start running. First a mile by myself. Then a few miles with her running group and in 2006 I ran my very first race, a 4.8 miler in Central Park. I was hooked. Each year I only became more and more excited about it all. Running, friends, traveling….I felt like I had finally found an identity that could replace “widow”. Sally, the runner sounded and felt so much better than Sally, the widow. I had found a “family” and felt complete.

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn't in the shot. :)

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn’t in the shot. :)

It’s hard to believe that I’ve run over 35 half marathons and 7 full marathons over the last decade. If it weren’t for Lisa I don’t know where I’d be today. I’m grateful to Dicks Sporting Goods for finding our story compelling enough to use in their campaign. They even made a TV commercial using snippets from each of the videos.

Without further ado, here’s the video: (note: some of you might have already seen it as I link to it in my about me page.)

You can also read more about my entire experience of filming (including being part of a photo shoot in Charleston, SC too) when I documented it here in my 2013 recap post.

What’s your reason? What do you run for?

I’m deeply saddened to share some heartbreaking news.

Last year I was part of Dicks Sporting Goods Every Runner Has a Reason Campaign. I got to meet so many inspirational runners. One of those runners, Meggan Janota, passed away this morning. She had been battling cancer for quite a few years.

I’m just so sad. Such a beautiful, young woman with her whole life ahead of her. (Meggan is # 3972 in the photo below).

Every Runner Has a Reason photo shoot (a faux marathon)

Every Runner Has a Reason photo shoot (a faux marathon)

I remember feeling terrible that I had to literally give her the sweaty white shirt off my back because they needed her to wear it for a different shot. I remember not even knowing she was sick or in the middle of treatment at first. But most of all I remember sitting around in between takes just sharing laughs with a bunch of runners who understood me and understood how amazing running is.

You’ve probably seen my video but here’s Meggan’s video. Please watch. Please take a minute to say a little prayer for her family as they start their lives without her. And please take a minute to be grateful for this day that wasn’t guaranteed. As cliche as it sounds each day truly is a gift.

I’m probably going to head out in a few for a run. Just a short one. A few miles for Meggan. It just seems like the perfect way to remember her today.

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Yesterday I decided to run a 5k distance in my neighborhood and “push it”!

photo 1-1

Not necessarily “all out” but I focused on getting out of my comfort zone. I am running my first official timed 5k on Saturday and I have no idea how to pace myself! I’m a fish out of water with short runs. I ended up keeping a 9:31/mile pace. I know I’m probably capable of keeping a 9:15 pace. So I’m just going to leave my goal at breaking 30 minutes. Let’s see what happens.

I am off from work today so I took the doodle for a nice walk in the crunchy, colorful Autumn leaves.

Red Autumn leaves

Red Autumn leaves

And then stopped off at the vet clinic to get a 6 month supply of his heartworm and flea and tick preventative meds. Of course he started shaking when we pulled into the parking lot. Poor doodle. He must have thought he was going in.

photo 2-1

 

Tonight I’m meeting my “wolf pack” for dinner for a little birthday celebration. And in the next few days I have some exciting news to share! I’ll keep you in suspense for now.

Now go have a great day and make it count!