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Each day is a blank page and I hold the pen! I am the author of my own story!!

I am thankful for each day that I am given. For each opportunity to begin anew and let today be the day to focus on. Life is too short, but it should be long enough. Long enough to do the things that are important in a life.

I am of the mindset that life isn't about sitting back on the sidelines and watching a sort of "life-parade" go by and cheer those out there "doing it"! NO NO NO!!! It's about being the parade, the band, the enthuisiam, the tickertape, the cheers, the whole thing. It's about not only the events, but the atmosphere around those events. Of not just seeing life, but tasting, smelling, diving into it. Rubbing it all over like a salt rub and then then letting out a primevil type utterance.. YEAHHHHHH!!! That's what I'm talking about..extreme.. extreme... grabbing what you can with both hands and not letting go even if you end up being dragged a bit, just hang on and never ever quit!!

This is a new start, a new and updated spark page but the story I bring here is the same. Over the years you name it, I tried it to get to a normal weight for my height. I tipped the scales at over 250 pounds twice and am near to the lowest I've weighed as an adult. I am on medication for hypothyroidism and in Nov 2008 I was taken off my high blood pressure medication due to the amount of exercise I have taken on.

I started running in 2004 for the local Cancer UK Race For Life. That enabled me to challenge myself to do more and I decided to celebrate my first year of running with a half marathon. With that goal reached in June of 2005 I set my goal a bit higher and wanted to run a marathon to celebrate 2 years of running. In Edinburgh on another hot June day I completed Marathon #1! I was hooked. I am pleased to have now run the Dublin Marathon (Oct 2006) London Marathon (April 2007) London again (April 2008) and New York City (November 2008) That is 5 marathons in 3 short years!! After taking a bit of a break after NYC, and watching my husband do outstanding in the Boston 2009 Marathon new goals were set. Marathon number 6 was completed in Berlin, Germany on 20 September 2009. What lies ahead? Only I set the limitations.
The date is set, Marathon number 7 will be the first Virgin London (UK) Marathon in April 2010! Excited? yes! Determined? Yes! Goals set and planned written? YEP! So it's time for burning the road, gearing up and seeing what I am made of!! Bring London 2010 on!!! UPDATE: London is a memory and although I had some leg and toe issues in the later miles I proudly have my 7th marathon medal!

Forward to Marathon number 8! Hubby and I have already booked the flight, the hotel and registered for the Philadelphia Marathon on 21 November 2010!! Talk about major excitment...not only will we be able to have some of my family there, but we will be staying on for Thanksgiving and my 59th birthday!! Now THAT is a celebration!! WOHOO! Training will start again in July after I enjoy a bit of off road running on some trail events. The Philly Marathon (number 8) is now history!! The training paid off and I did a new personal best time of 5:37:30. It was a perfect day weather wise and loved seeing my son before the race, and my lil brother and family at the finish line to cheer me in! Now a bit of rest and recouping before planning number 9!
It only took about 2 weeks after our marathon in Philadelphia that hubs and I decided to return to Edinburgh for our next marathon! My number 9 will be on May22 in the capital city of Scotland...the place I first became a Marathoner!!! I am so looking forward to it! Marathon 9 has been completed and another PB! I'm thrilled that even with the hardship of rain and a severe headwind for the last 9 miles I was able to shave off another minute! 5:36:37 is my new marathon PB and was so close to breaking through the 5.5 hour mark until the last couple of miles.
With needing a goal to aim for Marathon 10 has been registered for: Liverpool on 9 October 2011! I set a personal goal of doing 10 marathons before my 60th birthday in November...this fits the timing and I'm going to alter my training plan with hopes of doing a sub 5:30 time!Marathon number 10 was completed six weeks before my 60th birthday. It wasn't the sub 5:30 I had hoped for, or even a new PB but it was a goal achieved. My time was 5:49:59. The delay of about 45 minutes didn't go right with my legs and the inclines of the second half took their toll. Hubs was watching from the sidelines due to injury, so it was me out there keeping my endurace going. Somewhere in the last third I lost my focus and let the time slip on me. Lessons learned for my next marathon! After all.. there is ALWAYS another race!
Another race there is indeed!!! After taking some time off in October after the marathon, I raced my first race as a 60 year old! The day after my 6-0 I ran a ladies only 5.25 mile that I hadn't run in 5 years! So cool to be back there and see some friends I met there the first time 7 years ago!!
Marathon plans came to reality in mid Jan 2012 when I saw I needed to put some goals in place. With hubs injured it has meant picking races closer to home. This spring I will be doing the Manchester UK Full Marathon (29 April) The first time in 10 years! I'm now training with a focus and determination to be race fit! Aiming for a new PB too!

Time to update to say that I didn't run a spring 2012 marathon due to me getting injured! Bummer for sure as I not only didn't get the marathon done but the half as well. Due to lower back issues I had to stop running and slowly let it mend. It was several weeks of very gentle short walks and then longer ones until I could begin running. I did my annual Race For Life and then signed up for the Preston Guild series of races that only occur every 20 years. I wanted the serious bling at the end of all four and since I didn't want to wait another 20 years.. I registered for the 5k (did it in June) the 10K in Sept, the FULL MARATHON October 28 (number 11) and the 10 mile in November. Hubs thought he would be recovered enough to race the Liverpool Marathon on 14 October so I signed up for it as well. OH MY! I have really taken on a challenge this year.. not only am I doing the Guild Series but TWO marathons two weeks apart!! Now that is a real challenge!!! Lots of ice, rest, hydration and good nutrition to get me from Liverpool to Preston!! (Liverpool will be a solo marathon for me as hubs isn't ready yet to do a marathon) October 2012 ..two marathons...two weeks! Yes numbers 11 and 12 have been completed. Liverpool was just a couple of days after the burial of my FIL and hubs let me have the weekend to myself to run and do my best. It was strange getting myself ready alone, walking to the bus pick up alone and then crossing the finish line with just me to congratulate my hard work. It was hard but I knew the course and the pain I would feel on the long drags out of the Mersey Tunnel and the 16 mile mark hill before entering the parks. My time was out of my goal but the experience was marvelous.
I couldn't say the same for Preston, number 12. I was ready for the race, knowing I was pushing myself beyond what I had ever pushed before. But I HAD to complete the Guild Marathon in order to collect my Preston Guild medal at the end of November having finished all four of the pre determined race series. The weather for the marathon was as bad as could be!! Rain started as soon as I crossed the start line and got worse with wind the entire 6 hours I was out there. I did finish slightly better than Liverpool and considering the dreadful condtions and the body fatigue with hyperthermia I suffered I am very proud of marathon 12! Hubs was there at the finish with a large towel and warm words of encouragement. I shivered the 15 minute car ride home. A hot shower never felt so good! (I did complete the Preston 10 mile race in mid Nov 2012 and not only collected another race shirt, but a Preston Guild Series shirt and the coveted Preston Guild Race Series medal..."once every 20 years!"
I'm looking ahead now to 2013 to see what further challenges I can set for myself! There is ALWAYS another one around the corner!!!

The challenges for 2013 have been set. No marathon this year as I think I cooked myself in October 2012.....so the game plan is train smart for a half marathon on August 25 in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The Sunday prior I will be racing a 10K in Birchwood, a race I have done 4 times before. I know the course and will push myself to better my last time. To round out the race plan I have also signed up for a trail race up in Cumbria that I have not run in several years. I love trail races for their challenges and beauty!
I have found a focus and purpose to keep my training in check as my youngest son is getting married in Sept and keeping to my plan will allow me to pick a smoking hot dress to make a memorial occasion even more so!
The trip to Montana was awesome!! The wedding of course made me cry!! It was a long trip and well worth the time. Wonderful to see my family, my children and my grandchildren.
2013 is over and so much has changed in my life. The passing of Annie, my MIL left a huge void, the closing of our business has altered how we are doing things. I am refocused on what will make 2014 even better!! I am getting back into a running plan and looking ahead to a half marathon this spring. Not sure beyond that as so much uncertainty about the future. It's all good..and I am flowing along with it!
2014...no spring half but who knows, might see what is on the race calendar for fall. I have been getting to the gym just about every day and doing intervals on either the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or boxing. I pair that up with strength training. Keeping a focus will enable me to feel healthier and stronger.
Oh yeah.. I am soooooooooo DONE with some things that's it's about time to put them to screen:

DONE with being an unhealty weight for my height!
DONE with a jiggly lower ab and upper arms!
DONE with yo-yoing and not staying down there!
DONE with wearing jackets or long shirts to cover up the tummy when running!
DONE with not wearing shorts when running because don't want to show my upper legs!
DONE with not being able to use my new iPod arm holder because my upper arm is too big!!
DONE with worrying about "should I do a particular race because I will most likely finish last"!
DONE with thinking, when I....
DONE with putting off things until I....
DONE with putting myself down for not achieving.....
DONE with negative thinking!
DONE with comparing myself to others and feeling inadequate!!
DONE with wondering, what if I had.....?
DONE with making excuses!
DONE with hiding my body when I work out at the gym!
DONE with letting others decide if I am OK!

Iam DONE DONE DONE DONE......... D O N E!!!

Words gathered from a multitude of places that encourage and enrich me:

Life is a leap of faith. Spread your arms, hold your breath, and always trust your cape.

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour or a day, but after sometime it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, then it lasts forever." Lance Armstrong

I'm a warrior, I'm a runner, I'm an athlete!!

Live life to the EXTREME!

I'd rather be RUNNING! Friends at your side, The wind in your face, The freedom of running, The JOY of the race.

Do you want it so bad that you not only just smell it, you can taste it? That's REAL hunger! Be hungry!

You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face.

There will be more to add as these every days unfold.

Member Since: 8/25/2006

Fitness Minutes: 125,907

My Goals:
Never ever give up on myself!
Live each day to the best of my ability!
Focus on the positive of life and what I have been blessed with.
Bring my weight in line with my height to have a "normal" BMI

Main goal will be reached, 5 lbs at a time.
1. -5 pounds :
2.-10 pounds:
3.-15 pounds:
4.-20 pounds:
5. -25 pounds:
6. -30 pounds:
7. -35 pounds:


My Program:
WATER 8-11 glasses/day
Whole Foods Plant Based
Exercise as planned
Plan meals in advance
Eat like an athlete, because I am one!
EVERY day remember the BIG WHY!!

Personal Information:
I am an American living in NW England.

Other Information:
Rewards for each 5 pounds lost:

1. new lipstick
2. new nail polish
3. nail book
4. flowers
5 Clarian's product
6. facial
7. make over day
8. new wardrobe!

Read More About HILLRUNNER - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 1)

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 current weight: 144.1 
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