Pass the Baton - I want to run HTC with Team Nuun!!!!

Nuun is putting together an ALL BLOGGER, ALL FEMALE team for this year's Hood to Coast relay. Twelve women. 200 miles. Two days. SIGN ME UP. My entry for the contest is below. I'd like you to be part of my entry, too, so please comment on how the blogging community has helped you achieve your goals. Guys, I know this is a bit heavy on the "girl power," but without my dude support system, I wouldn't have accomplished as much as I have today. Without futher ado - my entry to be considered for the 2011 Nuun team.

To whom it may concern:

I would like to be considered for the Nuun Female Blogger Hood to Coast Team for 2011. When I heard about the opportunity to apply, my first reaction was to think “Geez, that sounds way too scary.” Then I realized that that very same thought is what got me started running, what got me into triathlon, and what keeps me out on the road/trails every day. Scaring myself tends to be the way I keep a smile on my face and a skip in my step…

I started running in 2004. I was recruited to run on a Susan Komen Race for the Cure team by the realtor I bought my house from – Lista Yarbrough. Lista and I became friends through the home buying process, and I was consistently in awe of her upbeat demeanor and unfaltering positive world view. The idea of running three whole miles seemed near impossible at the time. The day I closed on my first home was Lista’s last day of chemo. Only five years older than me, Lista was fighting breast cancer and winning. You never would have known she was in for the fight of her life – she always looked full of energy and talked about every day with promise and a sparkle in her eye. I was positively in awe of her. My fear of a 5K was nothing compared to what she was dealing with on a daily basis.

Lista (#50, pink bib) at the 2004 Komen race with several teammates.

I trained for and ran my first 5K that year thanks to Lista’s encouragement. It was truly an amazing feeling to look a fear right in the face and conquer it. I would love to say that from that moment on I kept running and never looked back. It wasn’t like that at all actually. My marriage fell apart shortly after, and I found myself a bit lost. I took refuge in being a wild and crazy gal not focused too much on health.

Thanks to a wonderful woman, Lauren, that I met through my graduate school program, I was re-introduced to running. Lauren is one of the people who finds refuge in running. It is her therapy, her soul-cleanser – her way to make the world a calm place. If she couldn't run, it ruined her day. She encouraged me to get back out there. And I did. But I was slow, and I was self conscious. I didn't actually run WITH Lauren for a couple of years. Again, I was just plain scared.

Lauren’s consistent encouragement reminded me of the power of women’s friendship for all things in life – exercise, wellness, relationships - you name it. She was there with me in my first half marathon, my second half marathon, and as my Maid of Honor when I married my wonderful husband. We don’t live in the same state now, but our bond of friendship will never be broken. We’re “Sole Sisters” and I will be forever grateful for what our friendship has done for me in all areas of my life. She gave me the courage to open up my heart and face the opportunities presented by friendship and sisterhood.

(L to R) Lauren, Meredith and me at the NC Half Marathon 2009 (our first half!)

Lista, who first inspired me to start running, lost her fight with breast cancer in January 2008. Every time a run gets “too hard,” I think of Lista and her fight. I think of how she inspired people and what she had to endure the five years of her treatment, and I am grateful for her being a part of my life.

It is in the spirit of women’s friendship and conquering those occasional fears in life that fuel my desire to take part in this amazing team endeavor. The blogging community has been positively integral in keeping me going with my training in running and triathlon as my life has changed and taken me across the country to face new challenges.

I met Becky, Darrah and Laura online almost ten years ago. They are three of the best friends I've ever had, and this August we'll all race a triathlon together!

I consistently work to conquer my fears of open water swims, runs in 100 degree temps, SPD pedals, lake monsters, etc. Having Nuun in my water bottle ensures I maintain full confidence about my hydration needs so I can fully concentrate on my performance and busting through obstacles as they appear. My training bag always contains a container of Nuun (strawberry lemonade, please!) – it’s a must have for me!

Darrah and I at the 2011 Kansas Half Marathon - Darrah's first!
(and check out the Strawberry Lemonade Nuun in my fuel belt!!!)

To be able to share an experience like HTC with women from all across the country would be a huge honor. The power of women’s friendship (online via a blog or in person) enables us to overcome so many fears and obstacles every day, and I would love to do this race in tribute to the women who have encouraged me in every step I’ve taken. We’re supposed to do something every day that scares the crap out of us, right? I think HTC will work just fine to accomplish that for a couple of days…….

Who has encouraged you in your journey?


Ellobie said...

Look at that beautiful bride! ;) Michelle, you have "passed the baton" to me by inspiring me daily with your workouts. I know I can do this and am slowly but surely (Ok, maybe more in fits & starts) finding my way, largely thanks to you.

I hope you get picked!

Mom in Motion said...

You, you big goof. And the rest of you guys (you know who you are). And my daughter. And my mom. And bunches of people I don't even know or know I exist. Too many to count. :)

rebecca said...

In keeping with what's already said, and to the people who have said it as well — I'd like to quote Peter Cetera (and the rest of the Chicago boys): YOU'RE the inspiration. :)

Kristy said...

Michelle, it was so great to read about how you were scared to run, and that's what made you like it! That's exactly how I feel! Having never been a runner, I've signed up for my first half marathon this fall, and the training has been so illuminating. I feel like I'm taking the word "can't" out of my vocabulary!!! It's hard, but so worth it. And when I start to panic (because still, 13.1 sounds daunting), it's blogs from women like you who motivate me to keep up - that I'm not alone in how I feel or what I'm doing. Good luck!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I would vote for you

Matty O said...

great post! You have my vote!

Lisa said...

Good luck! I hope you make the team (especially if I make it too!). I also submitted my application.

The blogging community has helped me in so many ways. In the beginning, I started reading blogs to conquer my fear of running my first marathon. Various blogs have inspired me to try trail running and maybe even someday a triathlon.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Good luck! Now just wait wait wait! The 22nd is going to take forever to get here!