Friday, August 16, 2013

Inspirational Friday

So you might remember I used to do Inspirational Mondays (okay, so I did that like twice!) - I want to switch it up to Fridays! We could all use some good motivation as we start our weekend. One of the people I admire and totally look up to is Denise C.

Let me let her tell you about herself in her own words...

Denise with her Fellow Flowers Rockstar Shirt
How long have you been running and what started your running love? I started running when I was 39 and I'm 43 so about four years ago. My husband needed a partner for the Muddy Buddy race which is a seven mile bike/run obstacle race. He's 6' and I'm 4'11" and we had to share a bike...LOL! It was around 7 miles long and I'd never ran a solid mile since HS. I had the flu and was miserable but when I was done he suckered me into Disney's Expedition Everest and then some 5Ks, 10ks, onto halves...some full and eventually an ultra!

I know your are dealing with Chemo and training for an ultra. That's super amazing! Can you tell us a little bit about that? I'm a cervical cancer survivor and I have chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I was diagnosed with CLL at 35. It's rare in someone my age. I'm in a clinical trail and when my white blood cells get too high I have to go on either oral or IV chemo. I'm also on steroids a lot of the time. Every full marathon, including Goofy, and my ultra (50K) that I just ran I've ran while on active chemo. It can drain my reserves but as long as I supplement my minerals (potassium, sodium, magnesium) and run a slower pace on hot days I always finish. I'm no speed demon to start with a solid 11 to 12 mm half pace and 13 to 14 in a full so slowing down in no issue

Do you have any advice for those of us who might want to run an ultra someday? Ultras are a different beast! I've crewed and paced for several National team members and I've only ran one. A very, very hot one! You have to put in the miles. Unlike a half or marathon training you need to go the whole distance. It's not about speed, it's about mental and physical endurance. It's about nutrition and taking care of your body. Strength training and logging miles are important.

What keeps your motivated every day to be the best you can be? My mantra is Embrace the Suck and Attitude of Gratitude. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and beauty in each day. There are people that are blessings, there is a joy in every disaster and sorrow. Even when I am at my most humble and lowest, I'll sing and keep moving because what else can you do? Get busy living or get busy dying!

Any final words of wisdom? Motion is lotion, no matter how old or how sick you body is cable of movement. People are surprised that I can run and do cross fit while on active chemo. Sure I stop to puke a lot but it can be done. I have a great team of doctors at the Cleveland Cline and MD Anderson Cancer Institute that guide me. I'll never run Boston based on my time but I can be the best runner that my body can produce.I can encourage others. I can look uber cute while I'm doing it! Now where's my bloody mary?
Denise with her Coast to Coast and Goofy medals

Check her out on Facebook at DaDivaRunning or follow her on Twitter @DaDivaRunning

Do you know someone awesome who should be featured in this blog? Send me a message and let me know all about it!!


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