• Coach Lisa

Celebration, Memory or Victory Medals

As I continue this journey towards a Boston qualifying time, a friend of mine posted a picture of a very special medal earned at the Big Sur 21 Miler. My conversation with my friend, Carolyn, continued as typically my friend does not save her medals - only the ones that are true Victories to her personally like Big Sur. I, on the other hand, save all my medals and hang them proudly in my home gym.

This weekend I am running the Virtual Eau Claire Half Marathon with no signs, crowds, medals or shirts. Yet, this virtual half marathon is a race - it is my A-Priority Race so I am going to give it all I have - push myself to reach my goal of a personal best time for a half marathon. My coach, Jeremy, asked me to prepare as if it is a race and to get myself in the right mindset to race. So I have created my list of what I will need to bring, will lay out flat Lisa on Friday night and have a few Mantras - words I will use when the race becomes tough - so here they are: "I love running", "Just Push It!" and "I do this for mom".

Here are a few that represent memories and victories. Hot Dash is still my fastest 5K on record because my friend Veronica pushed me to my limit at that time. I earned my running nick name of "LedFoot" at some point prior to this race which is a great memory. Calla's Run was a virtual 10K I ran for my friend, Calla, as she was fighting for her life with a traumatic brain injury suffered during a fall while running.

My "first" tough races that I will always remember as experiences.

Great River Ragnar in a van for 3 days with little sleep, a lot of pain and a very wet 7 miler on mud roads in the dark with only animal eyes staring at you from the woods.

My first marathon - a destination race to Florida and it was 30 degrees while we waited in the corral for hours with inappropriate clothing; yet my training was typically in the dark early in the morning on cold MN December days with raccoons and skunks.

My first tough mudder 10 miler ran with my cousins and experiencing cramps as I climbed up a tube with a shower pouring water over my head and let's not forget being jolted by electricity when someone decided it would be a great idea to just fly through it and move all the wires over to me - fell flat on my stomach.

My first time to complete a 100 5K challenge and an awesome homemade wood burned medal made by my friend, Carolyn's husband. 2015 was a year of racing and most of my personal records too!

Finally, the Ultra Loony Challenge - a 10K, then 5K on Saturday and a full Marathon on Sunday. The joy I felt from completing this challenge successfully as training was difficult in the heat of the summer for this early September race. At mile 17, I met a young lady who was struggling and we ran together until mile 25 and then I told her to push ahead. So fun that I was able to experience this challenge and help someone else push through to the end as well.

This got me thinking about my medals and why I keep them.

  • To celebrate the effort I put in to my training

  • To celebrate and remember the race experience with my friends

  • To honor those I run for - individual friends or charities

  • To remember the joy I find in running

  • To celebrate my victories of firsts, personal records and place

Medals to me signify the experience and solidify the memory plus they make great wall art for a home gym! Why do you keep or not keep your medals?

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