Ready?

It’s been a busy summer so far! I’ve just completed 15.0 credit hours of graduate coursework for a certificate of graduate study in traffic safety. I took the classes from April to June, and usually, students complete 15.0 hours of coursework at the graduate level over the course of a year. It was a lot more time consuming than I imagined it would be at the beginning, but I am glad that it is over! You wouldn’t believe the comments you receive when people find out you’re getting a driver education endorsement! I’m still going to teach English Literacy to ELLs so don’t get too excited. And if you are asking yourself right now, “Is she crazy?” then just go ahead and nod your head because the answer is “Yes, she’s definitely crazy.” My last day of class was June 28th, which was the same day  a year ago that I lost my cousin, James Nickel, in a traffic collision with a 17 year old motorist. Also, I used my settlement from November 2012 when I was hit by a 17 year old motorist to pay for my tuition, so I consider it to be a “coming full circle” of sorts.

I am still taking 6.0 credit hours at two community colleges to finish the endorsement requirements for driver education, and those classes won’t finish until the beginning of August. It’s been a battle to get my training in during June with the tug-of-war between college and other responsibilities. It sort of resembled this:

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Last Saturday, I was able to return to CARA for my long runs. We ran 9 miles, and I wasn’t sore afterward which is a good sign. However, I forgot how really very super hungry running that far makes me. There had better damn well be some food in the kitchen after I come home from a long run! Hence grocery shopping on Friday night. Being hungry after running, for me, is similar to always feeling at least a little bit hungry even after a large meal. It is like there are only varying degrees of being hungry but never really a full feeling. I am really uncomfortable with never feeling full :-/. I will get used to it.

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Here’s what the training looks like for week 5:

week 6

 

Today, I will run while watching Germany destroy Brazil (Note: Ben is cheering for Brazil).

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I’m going the distance with the Alzheimer’s Association ALZ Stars®, a program to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Association. 

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research to discover methods of prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

This year, I am running in honor of my grandpa, Merle Willson, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. He no longer remembers who I am, but I would like to recognize all of the hard work he has invested in our family throughout the years beginning well before I was born. His hard work on the farm cleared the path for my mom to go to college, which turned into the opportunity for my brother and me to become college graduates as well. His generosity and work ethic through the decades are his legacy, and they will echo into the future long after his time. He may not remember, but we always will. Thank you Grandpa! 

I would also like to recognize Grandma Willson who has become Grandpa’s primary caretaker. Thanks for taking care of Grandpa! You rock! 

Grandma and Grandpa Willson (2006)

Grandma and Grandpa Willson (2006)

Thank you in advance for your generosity – together, we can outrace Alzheimer’s disease.

 

To make a donation, please click the green “Support Me” link on the right side of the page or visit http://act.alz.org/goto/canderun. Follow training on twitter @willsonstrong.

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Thank you to my supporters! I cannot do it without you!

Brent Eames

Susan Aamodt

Benjamin Tatham

Jeanette Schultz

Merle and Anna Willson

Mike and Barb Tatham

26.2 for Alzheimer’s: Chicago Marathon 2014

I’m going the distance with the Alzheimer’s Association ALZ Stars®, a program to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Association. 

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research to discover methods of prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

This year, I am running in honor of my grandpa, Merle Willson, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. He no longer remembers who I am, but I would like to recognize all of the hard work he has invested in our family throughout the years beginning well before I was born. His hard work on the farm cleared the path for my mom to go to college, which turned into the opportunity for my brother and me to become college graduates as well. His generosity and work ethic through the decades are his legacy, and they will echo into the future long after his time. He may not remember, but we always will. Thank you Grandpa! 

I would also like to recognize Grandma Willson who has become Grandpa’s primary caretaker. Thanks for taking care of Grandpa! You rock! 

Grandma and Grandpa Willson (2006)

Grandma and Grandpa Willson (2006)

Thank you in advance for your generosity – together, we can outrace Alzheimer’s disease.

 

To make a donation, please click the green “Support Me” link on the right side of the page or visit http://act.alz.org/goto/canderun. Follow training on twitter @willsonstrong.

______________________________________________________________________

Thank you to my supporters! I cannot do it without you!

Brent Eames

Susan Aamodt

Benjamin Tatham

Jeanette Schultz

Merle and Anna Willson

Mike and Barb Tatham

Week 19: Endure

**This is in need of some editing. Please excuse any errors****

Well friends, I survived. Against all odds, I did not die as projected at the Chicago Marathon. In fact, neither my calf nor my hip hurt during the whole run. My upper back and the bottoms of my feet hurt, but it really didn’t start until mile 20. Today, everything is sore, but it doesn’t matter. I lost my ipod shuffle before the race, but that doesn’t matter either. In fact, I ran the whole stinking marathon without a note of music with the exception of the music being played by the bystanders. I reached my post-flu goal of finishing in under six hours, and I came to the start line with a BMI of 23.44 weighing in at 158.2 at 5’9 (reaching my weight loss goal).

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May 2011

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

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Happy Bathroom Double Marathon Medal/Marathon T-shirt Selfie
October 2013 (Go Ahead Judge Me!!

The Chicago Marathon was one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life.

I can understand why people say that the marathon is the ultimate metaphor for life. There are definitely good times, and there are definitely bad times. There are times when it’s amazing, and there are times when you want to quit. There’s early mornings when you’d just rather sleep in, but then there’s the flood of text messages from amazing friends the night before when you are too nervous to sleep.

There’s momfriends who tell you the ultimate truths in life such as “boys pee on walls less then a mile into the race just because they can.”   When times get difficult, there’s people there to cheer you on. They’re there to scream things like, “Go diabetes!!” “Run diabetes!” “YEAH diabetes”!!! Then there’s others who are there to give you a hug (Seija and Rovens) and will make you push harder. There’s the people who almost take you out with a stroller (trying to cross through the road) at mile three. There’s those who run up behind you when you think you’re all alone (Ben) and tell you, “It’s not much longer. Keep going!” There’s the crazy runner that screams, “WHAT DO YOU SAY WE WIN THIS THING!!!” when the race was won long ago.  There’s the minister playing “The Old Rugged Cross” on the keyboard in Little Italy at mile 18 who blessed my legs. There’s the delirious talks with friends (Kreml and Meyer) about how our legs and feet don’t really hurt after 20 miles it’s just our imaginations.  There’s your mom to scream “GOOOOOO CHRISTINE” when you’ve got .2 left and one big hill left between you and the finish line.

When you think you’re alone and no one understands, there’s someone running next to you who is going through the same thing. You’re never alone. There’s always someone on the sideline to cheer for you. There’s strangers to lift you up, and they want to help you. There’s something left inside you when you believe you have nothing left. You can endure against the odds. With hope and the will to succeed, you can make your own luck.

Finally, there’s your five year old nephew who asks if he can wear your marathon medal forever. When you tell him, “After you run 26.2 miles,” he gives you a look crazy enough that it makes you believe he just might do it, and then you know you’ve started something.

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I’ve been really touched by all of the donations my supporters have made. Thank you so much for believing in me. Together we’ve raised $1,502 for diabetes research!

I’ve received two medals for finishing the marathon: one finisher’s medal and one for raising money for Diabetes Action Team. I will be engraving my Diabetes Action Team medal and giving it to the family of my very close friend, Nina Draganowski, who lost their family member, Jason Carlson, to complications related to type 1 diabetes.

May the money we raised together lessen the pain caused by diabetes by providing funds for research that will one day lead to a cure.

In memory of Jason “Bear Down” Carlson

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and in honor of Grandpa Anderson who has pushed me every step of the way ever since I was old enough to work hard. Keep your blood sugar in check old man! I love you.

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Thank you to everyone who has donated to Diabetes Action Team including:

FAMILY OF “BEARDOWN J” CARLSON

VIRGIL COOK & SON, INC-DEKALB

Grandma Willson

Susan Aamodt

Laurie Wissinger

Jeannette Schultz

Susan and Bruce Jones: “Congrats! You can do it!!!”

Lynn Anderson

Sarah Meyer

Sue Phelan: “Best of luck to you, Christine!”

Ryan Waite

Barb Tatham

Deena Hamdan

Laura Villanueva: “In loving memory of my grandma, Mary Franson and her personal battle with diabetes. Thanks for running for this important cause Christine! :)”

Kayann Steinmetz

Sydney Menning

Laura Butterfield

Michelle Spiker

Erika Seija: “Love ya!”

Anne Marie Salazar

Andrew Scharm: “Told you I’d support you eventually – just in time to help you get to your goal :)”

Deborah Grant

Erin Reid

Christi Castenson

Lisa Nelson

Meghann Tyndorf: “So excited for you Christine!!”

Heather Wawak:  “On behalf of my mom (who has diabetes), and myself (who has insulin resistance), thanks for supporting the cause!”

Oswaldo De La Hoja

Randi Schoon

Kendra Rovens