GIVEAWAY: Win 3 Tough Girl Tutus!

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We women, we’re tough. With friends by our sides, we get through the toughest of times.

And with flair and moxie, we embrace new challenges and adventures, like running a team relay that spans over 180 miles. Or tackling our first 13.1 miles side-by-side. All with a smile on our face … and a tutu ’round our waist. 

GIVEAWAY: Win a Tough Girl Tutu for You and 2 Friends

Enter by December 31st!

Boulder-based runners Christina and Julie co-own Tough Girl Tutus, a company that creates and sells racing tutus. Christina and Julie believe every woman is tougher than she thinks she is … and that wearing a Tough Girl tutu can give you the extra boost of confidence and empowerment to get you through the toughest of races.

Tough Girl Tutus is a community-focused company that partners with Positive Tracks, a national, youth-centric organization encouraging young people to get active and give back using the power of athletics.

run inspired - Tough Girl Tutus giveaway

Julie and Christina are close friends and mountain girls at heart, living in beautiful Colorado.

Win 3 Tough Girl Tutus! 

Designed with comfort in mind, each Tough Girl Tutu has a wide built-in waistband and fun, flowing material that won’t interfere with your pace. Race bib toggles eliminate the need for safety pins or a race belt. There are no built-in liners or shorts, which enables you to walk, run, or cycle in what you’re most comfortable wearing underneath.

If you win, you’ll get to pick one tutu for yourself and gift the other two tutus to friends!

How to enter the Tough Girl Tutus giveaway:

In a comment below, share a running or life experience that taught you that you were tougher than you ever thought you could be. Details, please! 

Enter by December 31st!

Winner will be randomly chosen from all entries on January 7th, and notified by email. Good luck! 


Want to give tutus as gifts this holiday season? You can save 15% off each regularly priced tutu when you use the discount code RUNINSPIRED at checkout.

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  1. Melissa Gamez says

    I am a single mom to five kids, own my business, and go to school full time finishing a BA in June :) still had time to train for 2 half marathons (losing 50lbs in the process) and getting ready to run another one in January!!

    If I can do it anyone can!


  2. Darcy says

    I ran my first 10K in May, but I felt bad afterwards. I thought I hadn’t hydrated well. Turns out my gallbladder needed to come out–what should be the size of a gherkin was the size of a zucchini! They ended up leaving me with a sizable scar and discovered it was partially gangrenous too.

    I am lucky to be alive.

    I learned that the world … work, parenting, etc. … could actually run just fine without me. I also learned how tremendously loved I am.

    And I went back to running. Finished both C25K and C210K completely. Completed a 10 mile race in September. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my first half marathon.

  3. Angela Lewis says

    I have seizures from temporal lobe epilepsy and running has given me a new found sense of accomplishment as well as a healthy way to relieve the side effects of medication.

  4. Kellie says

    I have been running races of various distances (5k to half marathons) for about 3 years. I like many am not fast but just keep going til I reach the finish. I am currently signed up and training for an Olympic distance triathlon. So exciting! Aside from running one of the highlights of my year is jumping into the FREEZING ALASKAN waters every December with my 2 crazy friends. It’s an event called the Polar Plunge and it raises money for Special Olympics. This was our 3 rd year and we were excited to add my 12 year old daughter to our group. We are tough girls!

  5. Joan Nehls says

    With a coarctation of the aorta and asthma, I never thought of myself as a runner. My cardiologist nudged me to get active at the age of 39. I started with a 5k, moved to a 8k, and finally began to conquer longer runs….a 10 miler, a 11 miler and two half marathons.

    I’m very inspired by runners, old and young. I’ve seen blind runners, runners with disabilities, and 9 month pregnant women run. Anything is possible.

  6. Lisa says

    2013 will forever in my mind be the year that my father died! It made me realize how tough I can be when I need to and it reinforced what I’ve known for sometime also – that running saves me from myself every day! Each mile I’ve run this year has renewed my spirit and made me want to live each day to the fullest! Sometimes I needed help and it was my friends in the running community that have encouraged me, helped pick me up, and pushed me when I thought I could no longer go on. Running continues to change my life on a daily basis!

  7. Jennifer says

    This past October I ran my first full marathon. There were many times during my training and especially during the marathon itself that I thought I couldn’t do it but I never gave up! The experience of training for a marathon taught me more about myself than I could ever imagine. The strength I needed to came from places I didn’t even know existed. “If you want to run a mile, run a mile. If you want to have an experience, run a marathon.”

  8. shelly says

    Runspiration is a great source of encouragement when needed! I began running 3 years ago when the doctor told me my cholesterol was high…believe me, at first I couldn’t even run for a minute without thinking I was dying. I am proud to say since then I have completed three half marathons and quite a few 5km and 10km runs, but even better than being able to say I have accomplished this is the fact that my cholesterol is down and no medication is needed….yeah. Running is a regular part of my life, a wonderful addiction!

  9. Kelley says

    I would have to say running my first 5k. We did the couch to 5k program and in the beginning I had to skip some of the run intervals I was so out of shape, and then by the end I was able to run a whole 5k without stopping. It brought tears to my eye to cross the finish line!

  10. Lydia says

    I recently completed my first full marathon, something a few years ago I thought impossible. It amazes me what your body can achieve if you push it just a little. I just had to get out of my comfort zone and DREAM BIG!

  11. Tracie Groff says

    Ran my first 5k just 8 weeks after I started running in August 2012. Now a bunch of 5k’s, a 10k, and a 15k I am training for my first half marathon in February. Disney Princess Half here I come!!!!!

  12. Kimberly says

    10 years ago I left an abusive marriage, that act alone taught me I am so much stronger than I thought I was. I left and never looked back.

  13. Michelle Jacoby says

    A few years ago we moved across country and I quickly began to feel the effects of leaving my family and friends behind. I am a introvert by nature and was truly concerned that I would never make any friends. Thankfully, my son was an active 3 year old and not afraid to talk to anyone. We met a neighbor who invited us to a mom’s group and we went. At the group a lot of women were talking about running and exercising. This was a foreign concept to me since the most I did was go for an occasional walk with the dog. They invited me to join them on a Tuesday night and go for a run. I can’t tell you what that invite did for me. Of course the first time I thought I was going to die. I didn’t think I could make it around the block, let alone 3 miles. But someone always stayed with me and encouraged me to keep on going. Determined to keep up with the group, I ran on my own a few other days a week. Finally, I was able to run the 3-4 miles with them and keep up with all of the conversations. I made so many new friends and found my happiness on those runs. Today we still run together and continue to encourage and push each other to reaching our goals. I have completed a 1/2 marathon and am currently training for my first marathon. My friends and fellow runners were a true blessing.

  14. EILEEN Buser says

    I’ve been a recreational runner for the past 35 years, running approximately 10-15 miles per week. Two years ago, while on the sidelines of the NYC marathon, I was inspired by runners of all shapes and ages. I realized how much running meant to me, and how I was my own obstacle. I ran the NYRR 9+1 program in 2012, and just completed the NYC 2013 Marathon – my first. It took me 5:20, but I loved every step of the way. I’m turning 50 next month, and it was my birthday present to myself. I love the running community and I am proud to call myself a runner.

  15. shannon dailey says

    I was inspired to take up running after I realized I could do a hour of cardio doing Zumba, why couldn’t I try to get to the end of the block? The end of the block turned into the next block and the next, the next thing I knew I was able to run many blocks then a 5k and even a 10k. This last September I accomplished my first Tough Mudder. The end of the year is just about here and I look back and see that I have ran 7 5ks, my first 10k, and 3 mud obstacle courses, I joined a virtual running club that lets you run wherever you want, and as far as you want, you can challenge yourself by distance or by miles you want to run each month and for those that like your bling you get a medal at the end of each month with your goal on it. My goal for the new year is a half, after this year I know by training hard I’ll pull it off. Thanks to all the runners who inspire me!

  16. says

    I was unathletic and slothlike for my entire life. Eventually, I found running while going through a horrible breakup. I completed my first half marathon this year and the toughness carried me through.

  17. Kristin says

    During my 13th half marathon I was having such pain in my hips that the flats and the uphills (and there were many of them) were just agony that I wanted to just sit down on the side of the course and stop. Thankfully I had a friend who was there with me and she stuck by me and we both finished hand in hand.

  18. Theresa says

    I figured if I could give birth to four children and adopt/raise two others, surely I am strong enough to run a marathon! Ran my first 26.2 last month…and in under 4 hours. Sometimes you never know how strong you are until you dig deep enough!

  19. Rachel says

    After a few years of running half marathons I was finally starting to get faster. Unfortunately, a series of injuries kept me from training for several months and starting graduate school made my schedule really unpredictable. After around a year of inactivity I finally made a commitment to train no matter what – just get back out there. My first year back was rough but this fall (my second year back) I finally beat my previous personal record! My mantra through the race was the same mantra I adopted for graduate school, “I don’t care that you’re (tired, in pain, insert complaint here). Keep pushing.”

  20. says

    At 51, I had ran an occasional 5K over the last couple years. This year I wanted to set a goal for myself to run my first half. After battling heel spurs, I started a running plan to prepare for my half. I then suffered a knee injury. I got very frustrated and felt it was hopeless. But I vowed to not give up on my dream. I got an MRI on a Friday, by Monday morning the pain was completely gone. The half was only a week away, so I ran the 5K instead. After I signed up for a half 2 months later and trained, trained and trained, and without any knee pain. I ran my first half, not in the time I hoped, but I finished and I think I was grinning ear to ear. Can’t wait to run my next race at the end of January!

  21. Lisa says

    I ran my first half marathon while receiving chemotherapy for leukemia while I was in college. Everyone told me it was going to take too much out of me nd I wasn’t going to finish and I thought they were going to be right and I wouldn’t even be able to walk the entire race. I wanted to try to prove them and myself wrong and ran it anyways. I was able to run the entire race and even beat my goal time by 11 minutes! It was so empowering for me to finish! I ran each mile that day for another cancer warrior/survivor/angel who touched my life throughout my treatment and it is something I continue to do with each mile of every run I do now! Thankfully I am in remission now but running through cancer has taught me I can do anything I set my mind to completing!

  22. Bethany Galligher says

    3 years ago, give or take, I decided to start running to lose weight. As I ran I found my feet would start to go numb, and after a few Dr visits and an MRI later it was discovered I had ruptured a disc in my back. I had to stop running (short of an elliptical). I managed to do what I could, lost 40lbs on diet, bought a new mattress, and did PT therapy to no avail, and had surgery a 8 months later. My surgeon said my back would determine if I could run again. I have been running for 2 years, run multiple 5k races, and am training for a 1/2 marathon. Running is my love and sanity, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to run (and walk) pain free.

  23. Courtney says

    I started running last spring. A friend said lets do a race, she got injured and I ended up doing the race alone. Since then I have been running and doing bootcamp. I’ve never been a runner and still wouldn’t call myself a runner but I kept going, am losing weight, and have the best friends that inspire me… I’m training for my first half and will be running it with a friend who will be running way faster then me but will be at the finish to see me cross. We would be adorable in these

  24. Christine Zorn says

    My youngest daughter has epilepsy and autism. The first few years of her life were the hardest years of mine. She’s now 5 and things are getting a bit easier….but thinking of how I got through those tough years has helped me to keep running when the running gets hard. I tell myself if I could make it through that I can make it through a run! :)

  25. Debbie Mahoney says

    I am a new runner. I began walking/running in may if 2013. I stRted running during lunch with a couple of girls at work. They are experienced runners, and about 10 years younger than me. The 4 mile route we run is very hilly, and I needed to walk the hills. After a few weeks, I was not only able to run the hills, but I was able to talk during our runs too! I learned that if I keep pushing myself, I can do anything! I will run my first half marathon and 25k in April 2014. I love running!

  26. Carol Mitchell says

    Diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer in 2010, fighting a battle for my life, chemo and many surgeries, I knew I had to do something that would make me active. I set my goal as being able to run/walk the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in March 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Those first few weeks were a struggle to just get out and walk. First it was with a cane and just on my block, then gradually my time and pace has increase and no cane. I have entered several 5K and have placed 2nd in my age group each time. I still am unable to run the entire time but I feel good about my accomplishment. January 10th will mark 2 years of remission when I was told I had 2 months. So much to be thankful for. Lesson learned – never give up the fight no matter what it is that you are doing. Keep a positive attitude. Good luck to all and stay safe with your runs.

  27. Sarah Compton says

    I ran my first marathon in June 2012. I spent the winter and spring training for it. Training started a month after I ended my 16-year marriage. Running through the stress and anger and life changes during those first six months taught me more about my own mental toughness than I’ve ever learned during a race. On race day I “ran” into some problems with my plantar fasciitis around mile 12. I kept going, alternately walking and running. Through the pain I remembered all of the training and all of the trials I’d faced both during my marriage and going through divorce. I finished the race, slower than I had hoped, but renewed in my own power and strength to tackle anything.

  28. Leslie says

    I never participated in organized sports of any kind. In January 2013 I decided I wanted to try C25K and run a 5K by April 2013. I felt like million bucks crossing that finish line for the first time, and I immediately became addicted to the rush! I’ve since run 3 additional 5Ks and a 10K in October 2013 and a 4 mile fun run in November. I am now signed up to run my first half marathon in May 2014! I had no idea I had that kind of determination and grit buried deep inside :)

  29. says

    When my mother died suddenly in 2004 I didn’t know how to deal with the grief of losing my only parent, but also the person I was constantly in a feeling of battle with for some reason.

    I didn’t understand how grief would it me or how hard it would be until I was in the middle of it. In September of that year I had a chance to watch the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile here in NYC. I’d never realized that runners came in all sizes and shapes until that morning. I asked my then-husband if I could run, too and he said yes. I started taking a class with New York Road Runners that October and went out and cheered all of the marathoners that November. Again, I saw every type of runner – all ages, abilities, sizes, skill and I was hooked.

    I spent the next year training and added all of the race distances from 5k to a half marathon before running in, and completing, my first marathon in November 2005. That moment will always stand out in my mind because I spent a year in a sort of running therapy. It no longer mattered that I didn’t look like everyone else, it only mattered that I was out there, giving myself time to think – time to be.

    I’ll forever be grateful that the streets of NYC and Westchester welcomed me and my thighs and were happy to embrace this runner. That year changed my life, taught me that my body was bigger than I ever thought. it also taught me that I could run from Yonkers to Newark if I really wanted to!

  30. Melissa says

    I have been a runner now for about 5 years. I started because my dad was a marathoner when I was a kid, and I thought it would be fun…. It’s a lot more work than it looks! My dad has been running by my side ever since. Hand in Hand, we have crossed the finish lines of many 5ks, 3 half marathons, and 3 full marathons! I love being able to say, not only do I run marathons, but I run with my dad! He’s my motivation to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. In October, we ran the Victoria GoodLife Marathon. It was beautiful! At 10k, my hip gave out and I was in incredible pain. My dad held my hand through every painful step. He asked if I wanted to stop many times, but I couldn’t let him down. I cried….a lot, but he was there. I have ran many miles in 5 years… but I didn’t know I could push myself through to finish. I had my aha moment as a runner. It’s never about your time or about how far you’ve ran. It’s about the Journey that it takes to get you there and the passion inside to finish. We crossed the finish line and only 15 minutes later than our goal time. I am a proud runner!! And a proud daughter of a runner :)

  31. says

    In 2009 I was severely obese and running the risk of being pre-diabetic, I was on cholesterol meds and miserable. I finally bit the bullet and joined Slimgenics to learn how to eat right and lose weight and maintain it. My family was very proud of my progress, no one more than my brother Tony. Then in April 2010 Tony was killed in an accident. I had started doing step aerobics but my mind would often wander during the workouts to my brother and I would end up sitting on the floor of my gym in tears. I started walking instead, as one foot in front of the other was both easier and therapeutic for me. Walking progressed to running and soon I was pouring all of my grief into miles. Running was my therapy and helped me through one of the hardest times in my life. It helped me see that life keeps going and you have to keep going with it; one step in front of the other. God Bless!

  32. Jennifer says

    In 2013 along with a group of friends, we decided to run our first half marathon. We used our race/training as an opportunity to raise money for a family member going through long term cancer treatments. While the 5 of us all lived in different states, we trained “together” through social media and when race day finally arrived we pushed through injuries and illness to make it to the finish line together. Never once did the thought of quitting cross our minds and through the journey we bonded even closer than expected.

  33. Diana says

    I started running when I decided I needed a better workout! After 12 1/2 marathons and 3 full marathons, running is my favorite workout! Running is the challenge I needed for myself! I love the training, the planning and racing! I’m always looking for another race, a different race, trail race, something to keep me training hard! I would love to wear a tough girl tutu on my next trail race!

  34. Chris Schwartz says

    It is all the great women I roll with at 5:30 am every day in Katie Hawkin’s Mission Impinkable Boot Camp that got me running again at age 51. I was sure my knees couldn’t run on the pavement anymore, but I was wrong! Now I’m participating in 5K’s and even ran my share of a 50 mile relay race this past October. These women and my good friends Terri and Lisa have pushed me to do more than I ever thought I could do! I even think a sprint tri-athalon is in my future next summer! Kickin’ menopause one step at a time!

  35. Stephanie P. says

    I started running while going through my divorce. It was a small build up, occurring after a particularly stressful day with lawyers and what would happen with my 3 small children. The emotions were pounding me, I felt as if my children were being stolen by a man who had never cared for them in the first place, and yet my only choice was to let go. But how could I let go of my babies?? It was then, when my children were left with him to begin a week away from me, I laced up some shoes and ran in desperation. I ran to escape the pain and loss of letting them go, I ran to exhaust myself and finally sleep, and then, I ran just to run. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option.

  36. Meredith says

    I used to think that I hated running. I was a gym-goer for years but stuck to the elliptical and stair stepper rather stubbornly. Then I had 3 kids in fairly quick succession and suddenly going to the gym meant getting my stuff on, my gym bag packed, getting the kids fed and dressed and the diaper bag packed and then timing the whole thing to fit around naptime schedules. More often than not, just getting to the gym took 1-2 hours, forget the actual workout. So I decided I’d have to suck it up and run, since that only required my husband to watch the kids for awhile and some running shoes on my feet. I could literally just step out the door and go.
    Since then, running gradually changed from something I did grudgingly to something I love. Which was really important a few years ago when I was suddenly facing a possible lymphoma and/or breast cancer diagnosis. I was in and out of surgery and in and out of recovery times, but the first question I would ask every doctor as I woke up from surgery was “When can I go running?” I have had to give up concerns about my times and my distance much more than I’d like, but even when everything hurts and I’m slow and the run is pretty ugly looking, I still love it. It helps me power through.

  37. Jen Miller says

    I ran my first half marathon! After having a stroke at age 28 I became depressed. I spent a lot of time just sitting and feeling sorry for myself, frustrated by my numbness on the right side of my body. I finally got tired of feeling that way and decided to start running to prove to myself that I could. This summer I decided why not train for and run a half marathon. I overcame a hip injury and a sprained ankle while training, but on September 15th I completed my first half marathon with my best friend and training partner by my side! I now feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!!!

  38. Elizabeth says

    I’ve been running for only five years now…I’m not fast but that’s OK. Five years ago my friend challenged me to run the Komen Breast Cancer event in Charlotte, NC. My first thought was “no way” – I don’t believe I had ever in my entire life run one mile…I used to exercise – through aerobic classes and such but was never a runner. It took 6 weeks of going out 5 days per week to run one mile without stopping – it took me 3 months to run 3 miles with out stopping….after that it took about 18 months for me to believe I could actually complete a half marathon….but I did. It took me 2 1/2 hours – but my goal was to run the entire race without stopping and I did – never ever thought I could do that!

  39. Eloise Swets says

    Started running so many times, liking it, but not enough to keep going. Not liking it enough to not have every single little pain being a very convenient excuse for not running for weeks.
    Until my husband thought: ‘I can do that!’ and he started running.. for me, that was the drive to keep going.. Joining a training group and finally get to that 5km.. en even further!
    So, a few weeks ago I made it through 15km’s on the Bruggenloop in Rotterdam.. Not fast, but hey… I did it!!
    My goals for 2014 are getting faster.. and maybe train for that halfM in august..

    Who would have thought that, for this couch-potato..

  40. Amy says

    I am not the fastest runner, but I am determined. I just finished my first half marathon (dead last, but I finished). I have been accepted to the Team in Training Boston Marathon team 2014. I may not be the fastest, but I will not give up until I step over the finish line!

  41. says

    I ran in High school, and have always ran and walked since then. I had a hysterectomy in 2012, and I wanted to participate in a sport that I liked, could set goals, have fun, and be inspired. I like running for health and fitness, and it always provides a challenge in life. I get out of the house to do something I enjoy.

  42. Becky H says

    I started runnin for the first time in my life last February at a starting weight of 280. I didn’t really believe that I could do it but I figured, what the hell. Now it’s December and I’ve lost 90 pounds. And found a love for running I never thought possible. At my last 5k, I was determined to run the whole thing without stopping. Even as we started the race I was feeling uncertain. But I did it! I ran the whole thing. I’ve never felt so accomplished in my life. My running has taken a turn for the better and I’m more confident than I’ve ever been. Yesterday I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon. The happy girls run in sisters Oregon. I can’t wait and I know I can do it.

  43. Christy says

    I used to run as part of my job (military), when I retired I got lazy, gained more than a few pounds and it wasn’t pretty. I decided to get it all back. I announced I would run a half marathon, based on where I was fitness wise I could see the doubt on my friends and families faces. Well I did it, the first wasn’t pretty and I am painfully slow but I am getting there and loving crossing each finish line even if it is dead last.

  44. Linda Gail Voet says

    I have endured 3 knee surgeries, a spinal fusion, and several fusions in my foot yet still was bound and determined to keep running/walking when possible. In June of 2013 I was in an auto accident and not able to exercise for quite some time. When I was able to get out and start walking again I did. I have learned no matter what I am faced with I WILL make it my goal to continue to walk since running is no longer an option. I am stronger than my physical setbacks and will overcome them.
    To keep myself motivated and inspired I did a Holiday 5K as a goal this past weekend. YES I walked it and it was such a proud and thankful moment just to cross the finish line.

    • says

      I joined a gym a few years ago and in the process of trying to get healthy I injured my knee! Afraid of ever enduring that pain again, I babied my knee and didn’t workout. After gaining 30 pounds I decided I needed to make a change. I never thought I could be a runner, but friends encouraged me to do a 5 k. After doing c25k for two weeks I ran my first 5k. I have now signed up for 5 races in 2014 and doing them in honor of my mom. Never thought that would be a way I would spend my money, but I always feel good after!

  45. Chelsea says

    For 25 years, I openly hated running. Everyone knew it. Running and I didn’t get along. It wasn’t that I hated runners… In fact, I openly admired them. I thought they were tenacious and strong, driven and generally incredible. It wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver, BC, here everybody and their dog runs, that I finally got the courage to give it a try. If moved away from my dance academy and needed to find a new kind of cardio! Much to my abundant shock… I LOVED to run. Six months into my new favorite habit, I ran a celebratory 5 miles to ring in my 26th birthday. Im so excited to work my way up to my first half!

  46. Melissa K says

    I just ran my first 5K this past October for breast cancer. I have always been overweight and not that healthy so I began to train at home using the couch to 5K app. When I first started the 5K, people kept running by me and I went from near the front of the pack to the middle… I said to myself I’m not here to beat them I’m here to run for my future, my friends sister who passed away from breast cancer and my family. … I pushed myself and finished in 52 minutes and when I finished my husband was waiting for me at the finish line. He hugged me and I remember thinking I was going to puke lol. I am proud of how I did that day and look forward to running in that 5K next year.

  47. Darsha Whorton says

    2 1/2 weeks ago I had a hysterectomy. By day two I was on the elliptical and day 10 I completed my “normal” everyday run of 8 miles. I was on top of the world. No pain no adverse effects just an amazing run.

  48. Leigh Elwood says

    I had 3 friends approach me about running a half since I had ran many. I helped all of them train, all different paces, all running at different times of the week,etc. I kept them motivated and inspired them by being positive, reminding them they were tough girls and could do it, and by encouraging them every step of the way. I realized when they all crossed the finish line that I was the lucky one. I had been inspired and motivated by their new found love of running and friendship! If I won, I would give these to my 3 newest friends who are tougher than all the obstacles they conquered on their journeys.

  49. Meg says

    Despite having had multiple knee surgeries when I was younger, I have completed 7 marathons in the last three years. I was tired of excuses and decided that if I wanted it bad enough I would find a way to make it happen

  50. Rebecca says

    I have asthma. Not just any asthma either, but exercise induced asthma. While it makes running difficult, I haven’t let it stop me from completing several 5ks and, hopefully, my first half marathon in the Spring. I refuse to let asthma keep me from the sport I enjoy most, running.

  51. Stephanie says

    I have traveled a LONG journey to be able to call myself a runner. Divorce? Check! 70+ pounds too heavy? Check! Recovering and escaping a terribly abusive relationship? Check!
    When I look back at my journey over the past ten years, I look at myself finishing my first 5K seven years ago this past Thanksgiving, barely able to cross the finish line. But I finished. A year later I finished my first triathlon and I’ve completed many more 5K’s. Earlier this month, I finished my first IronGirl 10K, and I’m on my way to the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February.
    But this journey isn’t about how many races I’ve done, it’s not about how fast I’ve done them. Running has taught me to find myself and be the right person for me. It’s been really difficult at times to be inspired with so many negative (and abusive) people telling me that I wasn’t worth it, wasn’t worth the effort to run at all–that I should just give it all up. Running has connected me with positive people who have shown me the beauty that is within me. Running has taught me that I am worth every step, every mile. Running has taught me to believe in myself, regardless of what I’m doing. Running has taught me that those ugly people who tried to break me are just scared. They don’t have the courage I do to stand on a start line on a cold Sunday morning with dozens of other runners and share an amazing experience. They don’t have the commitment to stick with a training plan, to set a goal and put all of their effort to reach it.
    My running journey has taught me that I do not have to accept less, that I am brave and strong and powerful. I am a runner, I am an athlete, I am beautiful.

  52. Shannon Burke says

    This year I gave myself a challenge to run 13 races in 2013, and have done so! Woohoo! I got to run with lots of friends and got to see a lot of cool races. Next year a half and a sprint tri.


  53. says

    Actually mine was today. I have 4 kids – 2 of which are twin 4-month-olds. I started running regularly when they were a month old. But I was very, very slow. Outside I could hardly run for a minute without feeling like my chest would explode. Then when the weather started changing and/or I couldn’t make it outside, I would run in place in my apartment. So absolutely no way to tell a time or distance and then this became my norm. At the beginning of November I really wanted to run a turkey trot on thanksgiving day – but I ended up chickening out because I didn’t want to do it and end up finishing a 2 mile race in 39+ minutes because my run was more of a fast walk in what looked like a running body movement. Just after thanksgiving my husband an I decided to join a gym, and really so glad we did. Last week on Friday, I was challenged by a group I am in to run my fastest mile and until then I wasn’t working on speed. I ended up running it is 13:05. Oh my. that was worse than my middle school mile time (about 12 min). So today I went to the gym a little frustrated over car issues and decided to challenge myself to beat 13. I start going and I am going really fast and I feel great. So I press on without watching my time or speed. I start feeling a bit exhausted/ my legs want to quit and my heart is racing. So I look at my heart rate which is almost at 185 so I immediately see I’m at 5 minutes and well on my way to that mile so I slow and grab a drink and then speed way back up again and I feel oddly rejuvenated. I just keep pushing and pushing and I look down in at .90 and I’m like I am kicking this mile in the teeth and push even harder and finish in 9:10. I couldn’t believe it! I was so extatic! Even my fastest previous mile in high school was about 10 minutes. When I got home I couldn’t stop talking about it. This has really showed me that I can sign up for a race and I won’t be as slow as molasses. I really want to do the color run and so many others but that one seems in my grasp now. :)

  54. Missy Robbins says

    Labor Day weekend 2012, I had signed up for a women’s half marathon on Saturday. I had barely trained for it. About 2 weeks before a friend told me she signed up for a half marathon on Sunday but wasn’t going to be able to run and she asked me if I would want to run for her. I said sure why not I love to run. The first one was in extreme humidity. My time was 20 minutes slower than my previous 4 half marathons. I felt horrible. I went home and rested. The next morning I go to the next race and it’s sprinkling out. I thought okay this won’t be so bad. Half way through it starts to pour, which wasn’t the worst part for me. My hips were so tight and sore that I had to walk the hills and close my eyes because of pain. I got to the 10 mile mark and I knew nothing could keep me from finishing. I dragged my worn body on. I mustered a small sprint the last 100 meters and noticed my time was 15 minutes faster from the day before. After all that pain I knew I had no limits in my running. I even did a sprint triathlon this past summer while being scared to death to swim in open water. Where there is a will the task will be accomplished.

  55. Becky Massey says

    I signed up for my first 10k in Feb. I do Taekwondo as well as run and was determined to stay injury free so I could run my best. Within a week, I sprained my neck/shoulder doing a spinning hook kick. I tried to go on that day and ended up breaking my hand during boxing. Needless to say I ended up in physical therapy and on meds. With both my injuries, I still completed my 10k and rocked it!! I found out a few weeks later that I had also gotten a stress fracture on my right foot doing that kick. So I ended up in a boot for 4 weeks. So I ran my first 10k with a cervical sprain, broken hand and a stress fracture!!

  56. Erica says

    I’m just a scrawny girl that felt like I’d never be good at anything “physical.” After doing a super sprint triathlon two years ago, of which I did terrible at but it was my first race ever, the running stuck. Since then I’ve run countless races including 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, a full, Warrior Dash and 3 Tough Mudders! Now I know I can do anything!

  57. Amy Forsythe says

    After a completely normal pregnancy, my twins were born 14 weeks early. After major complications one of them was moved at just 5 days old weighing less than 2 pounds. I spend months doing what needed to be done. After months in the hospital no ventilators, monitors and tubes they came home. We’ve spent the past 4 years being followed by more doctors than I can count, been in and out of physical, occupational and speech therapy. I never knew that anyone could make it over the hurdles we have, let alone that I had it in me. Now having just turned 4, they are normal and crazy preschoolers. I’m so proud of how far they’ve come. When I think about it, I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come too and all my accomplishments too. Running has helped me keep my sanity. After having done some 5Ks over the past couple years, last month my twins cheered me on at the finish line as I finished my first 10k trail run. I’ve never been so proud of what I was able to do.

  58. Audri says

    By all accounts, I should not be running. I have four children, and after my third child, I felt…off. It wasn’t until years later, when my fourth child was one, that I found out something was wrong. Really wrong. Like stay in the hospital a week bleeding in abnormal places life stops wrong.

    A week later, my world was upside down. I quit teaching at the local university, quit leading a tutoring group, and quit homeschooling. Hundreds of pills and colonoscopies later proved I had a bad flare from Crohn’s disease, something I never knew I had….

    I am a pretty tough cookie. But this set me back. Way back. I lost a ton of weight, was horribly unhealthy, and was able to only eat things that were bland….

    Five years later my third child wants to join a girls running club- and needed a running buddy. I was trying new vitamins and thought, hey, she needs me…..she needs mom.

    That was awesome. She loved it and I did, too! And yes … We wore a tutu!

    One year later, my symptoms are still there but the doctors declared me in remission. Woop!!!!

    I am not a fancy marathon gal- we committed to a 5k each month a running at least one mile 5 days a week.

    Tiny steps…made a big difference. No maintenance medications , and feeling fantastic! In fact, my sister roped me into my first half this spring! (And each time? Oh yea- We’ve worn a tutu! )

    Running is fun- and more fun if you run with fun people and try to make it fun, who care about you and know how far you’ve come.

  59. Amy says

    I lost 93 pounds over 12 years ago. Growing up I was the least coordinated athletic person in the world. Even after loosing 93 pounds none of my family could ever believe that I would start running. But one day I decided to try it. At first I made it to the mailbox without stopping (not very far) and then from there I continued on and increased my distance. I will never forget the feeling of running my first 20mins. Without stopping, what a high! Since then I have run in 4 5k’s and run 10k distance and even had an 8 minute mile. Accomplishing something nobody including myself ever thought that I would is an amazing feeling!

  60. Shannon Cole says

    I began running in 2011, 4 months following my open heart surgery! I have stuck with it and will have been considered a runner for 3 years in March…I ran my first 5k in 2012 and have done many many more since then even winning medals and overall trophies…I will run my first 1/2 this year and plan to run 35 races in honor of my 35th birthday on March 1st of 2014. Running has changed my life in so many different ways and after being faced with the horror of open heart surgery I look at life a little bit differently. I have many friends that I run with and without running I would have never met them and feel blessed to have the opportunity to run for myself and for those who cannot run :)

  61. Cathie Shaughnessy says

    I ran my first 5K a little over two years ago at age 49. I really not only think that I WOULDN’T run, but that I COULDN’T run. Well, 4 half marathons later and too many other races to count, it has become a part of who I am. I have battled injuries, foot ailments and have had so many stop signs put in front of me, but I refuse to give in so I just keep chugging along. I am slow as a turtle, but I get out there and hopefully inspire others that its never too late to start and that we all can RUN with pride.

  62. Sherry Moyle says

    I have been struggling with my weight since the birth of my 4 children. I topped out at 230! Since I have started running I have lost 20 pounds! It is hard to stay positive when you run 18 min miles and elderly women walking there dog is moving faster than you. But I don’t give up! I have ran several races and even though I am the last one crossing I didn’t give up! The police followed me in the car and opened the roads back up :( but my 8 year old son stayed with me and was my inspiration. I am tough and I will never give up!!

  63. Julie Wood says

    I began running in 2006, a few months after my youngest child was born. I just wanted to lose weight. We had a treadmill and I began walking, then alternating walking and running, until I could run 5 miles in an hour. I had been at it for a year when my runner SIL asked me to do a marathon with her. After much thought, I agreed. In April 2007 I ran my first marathon in 5:08 and was hooked. Now I’ve run 5 marathons. Last spring I ran a half marathon in 1:54. I had been trying to do it in under 2 hours for years and finally accomplished. I was euphoric. Running has changed my life and made me a better person.

  64. Jennifer Smith says

    In 2012 I signed up for my first half marathon, the Tinkerbell race at Disneyland. I was scared out of my mind!! I thought for sure I could never make it thru 13.1 miles. I’m sure everyone thought I was crazy! I signed up at a spin studio to cross train and ran hard on the weekends. My race was Jan 19, 2013, and I rocked it!!! I felt so accomplished at the end. I went on to run 4 more half marathons this year, and I’m signed up for my first full marathon, the LA Marathon which happens to fall on my birthday in 2014. My plan is to wear a big sign that says it’s my birthday, a tiara and a tutu to complete the outfit.

  65. says

    In June of this year, I ran my first Tough Mudder! I was super proud of myself for making it through the entire course. My friend Nicole and I trained for it for months leading up to it, combining running with strength training and we were so excited when we finally crossed that finish line! After the 33 degree water baths, giant leaps of faith (literally) and all the barbed wire and electric shocks, we proved we were tough enough!!! :)

  66. Jennifer says

    I ran my very first 10K in Feb 2013. I ran it by myself with my mom and daughter waiting for me at the finish line. From the very start, I was at the very back of the pack. It wasn’t long before I was all alone on the course with no one else in sight. I never saw a mile marker and after a while I stopped seeing directional arrows. If it wasn’t for one firefighter riding the course, I would never have known how to get back to the finish. Come to find out, no one knew I was still out there and they had begun picking up all the signs long before I got there. As I came down the home stretch, the crowd parted and cheered me to the finish. I finished in 1:27. I know I’m slow, but I had never imagined I would be the only one that slow, but as I crossed that finish, I couldn’t care less about coming in dead last. I had finished and that was all that mattered. I just completed my 3rd 10K a few days ago with many 5K’s in between. Best of all, my daughter loves running races with me. :)

  67. Laurie says

    At 55, husband of 20 years was exposed as a serial cheater. It was either have a breakdown ( which I did, for about a month ), or change my life.
    Weight watchers & power walking 7 + miles a day lead to 50 lb weight loss & switching to running last August 2013. I run 20 plus miles a week despite questionable knees, but am so in love with it because running saved my life! Took me from feeling like a lower to feeling proud. My 5 adult kids are a riot with how they are rooting for me.
    I have run two 5 K’s with my oldest son & brother- both marathoners, & am planning on running a half marathon in the spring. Love being 56 and a runner. And I can thank a nasty spouse for my motivation!!

  68. Tracy says

    This past year I completed a trail half marathon..with 2500 ft elevation gain…for some that may not be much but for me at this point in my running “career” it is. I have gained weight, not felt good about myself and it is hard to get back into shape. Even though my time was horrendous…I did finish…and it was a wonderful feeling!

  69. Catherine says

    When I tore my ACL in an accident in high school I was warned by doctors that there was a chance that I would never be able to run long distances again due to the strain it would put on my knee and the chance of early arthritis that plagues the women in my family. After a long and painful rehabilitation I was able to go back to racing track and even placing second in the 100 meter dash. However it was only about a year out of surgery that I began to develop arthritis is not only my knee but my hip as well. My love of running was replaced by bitterness. This past year I new love was awoke in me as I decided to take on a half marathon that had a slow enough pace requirement that meant I could try to take the race on without the fear of being pulled of the course because the pain and forced me to take a walk break. Even thorough all the pain I managed to finish and much to my surprised I finished 30 min under what I thought I could do.

  70. Concetta Pucci says

    My ortho doctor advised me not to run more than 5 miles at a time after I had my hip arthroscopy. But, my physical therapist told me I can run but listen to my body. So, I got tougher up and I ran Cherry Blossom 10-miler!! I am stronger and tougher than ever! I am preparing to run in my 3rd marathon next fall of 2024! Listening to my body was better than listening to my doctor! ;)

  71. says

    The life experience that taught me that I was tough was losing my husband. He died of a heart attack one night in our home; I found him at 3am. That night and weeks to come were like living in a nightmare. But over the last 18 months, I’ve rebuilt my life on my own and have found myself. I’ve faced things and done things that I never thought possible. I changed my life completely including losing 50 pounds and finding my passion in running. I even ran my first half marathon this past October! Finding my strength when my husband passed has prepared me for anything. I know I’ll be okay if I survived that nightmare!

  72. brandy says

    I am an over weight person. I was intimidated that i couldn’t run. I have ran several 5k’s and already signed up for several and my friends are going for a half marathon soon :)

  73. Diane Hasenbank says

    Last January my dad and I decided we were going to get our Disney Coast to Coast medal so we signed up for the Princess half marathon and the Disneyland half marathon. Then about 3 weeks after signing up for Disneyland he had a heart attack and we almost lost him. 1 month later at the princess weekend he was clearly unable to run the half but he walked the 5k. He then fought back and was ready to go to do Disneyland, I was so excited to cross with him but about 2 weeks before I developed horrible plantars fasciitis and was so upset. I had 6 acupuncture treatments in that short amount of time to help get to where I could at least finish the race. Then the Monday before my dad tore his meniscus and was not able to participate again. As I stood in my corral I knew I had to do this for him even more then for myself. I took the race very slow and managed to finish the race. His face as I walked up to him with my medals was priceless. I will never forget how proud he looked. It was my worst time ever but it was the most rewarding race ever for me!

  74. Becky Arnold says

    I was bound and determined to scratch running a marathon by my 40h birthday off my bucket list …even with 50 extra lbs…Steamtown Marathon was my race of choice..and though it was difficult even after a year of training..I completed the full marathon. This was just the start of my passion to run!

  75. Robyn J says

    I stopped running when I quit playing soccer my senior year in high school, 20 years ago! I swore I’d never run again because I had to meet times set forth by our coach etc. Now I’m 38 and running for my health, to set a good example for my kids, and for “me” no one else. No one is timing me or making me run, it’s my decision and I love it! Never say never! #onemileatatime

  76. Lindsey Handley says

    In 2008 My friend asked me to run the turkey trot with her on thanksgiving. I couldn’t even run a full mile but after mostly walking I completed the 5 miles. Two weeks later I called her up and said remember you made me run the turkey trot? We’re training to run a marathon. She said ok! 5 months later after not being able to run a full mile I finished my first marathon in just over 4 hours. At that point I knew anything is possible!

  77. Kennedy hills says

    Shaved 30 min off my marathon time on the marine corps course. I ran the publix Atlanta in march and had some issues so I trained harder (trails and speed work and more hills) and did some things differently (better fueling while running) and did so much better! 4:11:05! Albany snickers marathon march 1 is my next one. Hoping to break 4!

  78. Donna Mosser says

    I’m recovering from an illness that I thought was going to leave me either dead or completely disabled. A year ago this time, I couldn’t even walk across the room without getting weak and out of breath to the point of needing to sit down and rest. After many, many doctors, tests, procedures, and medications, I am doing much better and am able to run a bit and walk 3 miles or more at a time. That might not seem like much to some people, but to me, it’s a miracle. I’ve completed 3 5Ks this year–primarily walking them. I am doing 5K training with a phone app and feel myself getting stronger every run. I plan to take a coached class at a local running store in the new year. Frankly, I am amazing myself and loving the new, tough, athletic me!

  79. Rachael Pepper says

    I started running with a group in the spring. I had never tried training for a 5k, I completed my training and a couple of 5k’s. I went forward feeling great and am now training for a 10k. I was recently laid off from my job and have found the running has kept me positive about my future..I love to run!

  80. Deb Kelterborn says

    I am a 63 year old mother of 6, who joined a run/walk group this past March, after having retired my job as an RN. My plan was to walk, however I thought I would try running. I loved it!! I ran my first 5K in June and. Have since run many more and an 8K. I am currently registered to run a Half Marathon in May 2014!!! I have surprised myself! And my husband and kids are cheering me on!

  81. Jessica Bruns says

    Last month, I ran my 2nd 10k. I was partially trained for it but slacked for the last couple of weeks. I ran the entire race without breaking and PRed it! I used my training experiences of running farkleks and used the next light pole as my goal. It got me to the end faster than I thought!

  82. Susan Irving says

    I’m new to running and currently in training to run a 5k. Every run day, I learn I am tougher than I think. It’s very hard running with 100 extra lbs but that just motivates me even more. Every training run completed makes me feel on top of the world. I even got the courage to sign up for my first 5k taking place on January 1, 2014. I’ll have to complete it by doing run/walking intervals, but this is only the beginning.

  83. says

    I am learning that I am tougher than I think right now! I am currently training for my first marathon in January. And every time I go out for a long run, it’s longer than I’ve ever run before and I doubt myself. But when I finish that run, I feel so much confidence and know I can do it!

  84. says

    I recently wrote a Throwback Thursday post on my first half marathon and reflecting on it I realized what a significant event it was for me. I was undertrained and felt like the race was insurmountable but when I finished it, I was absolutely exhilarated. Its served as a metaphor I look back on in all types of problems I face in life. There will be times that are easy, hard and some that seem like they will never end. but if you persevere, you will come out on the other side with new experiences, goals, ideas, and as a changed person.

  85. anne says

    I have been running for 2 years now , started at age 52. Thanks to my younger sister who is always encouraging me and telling me that I can do that. I will be doing my first 10 k in May to surprise her. My nieces also run and are also very encouraging to me. I would love to give them these awe
    some tutus instead of the ones I have been making for them for our fun runs.I run the trails in snow and rain with her 3 times a week. Some days I don’t feel like running until I get her text telling me she will see me there.

  86. Lisa says

    In September 2012, I made the decision (with the help of a friend telling me to GO RUN)! Just a couple of weeks into my journey, I had the pleasure of learning about a man who was running across the country from Seattle, WA to Daytona Beach, FL to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Talk about motivation!! I was frustrated and ready to give up a lot of days…but the thought of him out there literally running almost every day for 7 months was truly inspiring!! Many times I would turn to him for some motivation. I was able to make it to Daytona in April 2013 to watch him cross the finish line. Then in May, just 8 months after my very first attempt at running…I completed my 1st half marathon!! I will forever be grateful for his inspiration.

  87. Mary says

    I guess the toughest thing I have done is having 3 large babies (Two 8+ pounders and one at 10lbs 5 oz!) unmedicated. It was something that I wanted to do, but until I was in that situation each time I wasn’t sure if I could do it. Being able to do that in a safe, healthy way gave me a lot of confidence about my body. When I was running my first half and feeling awful for a number of reasons I kept saying to myself “If you can push out a baby who is close to 10.5 pounds, then you can do this!!”
    Being a mom makes anyone pretty tough, I think. Why not have a tutu to go with it?

  88. Heidi says

    I started running about 6 months ago, and moved away from the town I lived in a year ago. I lived off a highway and would always see people running or biking on the highway, and always thought, that is something I would like to do. When visiting a month ago, I decided to go for it. I previously have only ran 4 miles, and thought that my route wasn’t much more than that. I left and after 4 miles, wasn’t even close to being near my finishing point ( was going in a huge circle away from town). To my surprise, I was still pushing when I got into town, and pushed harder when my finishing point came into view. Overall I got over 6 miles and it was the best feeling in the world. The next day I was hurting, but well worth it.

  89. Barbara Williams says

    I just started running in July of 2012. I am a very slow runner, but that is okay. This summer I added the challenge of running with my son. Our first race together was August 3, 2013. A local 5k that I thought would be nice and small. It was small. It also has a killer hill that I had no idea was part of the course. I would have had a hard time running this race by myself, but running with my son just made it that much tougher. You see by running with my son I mean pushing him around the course as he has Cerebral Palsy and is non mobile. While pushing him made the hill seem that much harder, it also made me that much more determined to finish. I wanted him to see that we would always get around a course together. We did 8 races together in two months and we finished every single one of them. We have already registered for 3 races next year and we look forward to running that hill again this year. We WILL beat our last time!

  90. Ila says

    Moving away from home and family for my first adult job alone. I knew no one in my new town, no coworkers. No friends, my sister was an hour away, it was hard. Add to it I worked nights and I learned a lot about myself! But it was good for me! And I would do it again!

  91. Debra Kerns says

    Whew, well here goes. My daughter served in the Army Reserves and was deployed to Afghanistan. When she returned, she was irrevocably changed. PTSD and a myriad of other physical and mental ailments plagued her return to civilian life. Xanax was prescribed, and then other opiate based pain killers. She continued to spiral downward. Ultimately, she began using heroin, which resulted in an overdose, followed by repeated suicide attempts, followed by rehabs, followed by more suicide attempts. At the same time, my “new” husband decided this was more than he “signed up for.” Double Whammy. These were TOUGH, TOUGH times. Thankfully, I began running again after a 20 year hiatus. It helped me to survive by reminding me that I can be TOUGH, and I made it through those TOUGH, TOUGH times. I was able to help my daughter reclaim her “self” and her life. My marriage made it too. I believe the strength I found through running saved us all.

  92. Jen says

    I have been hit by a SUV when I was running and thought I would never run again, but I did. This past year I have had two fractures and was in a bike wreck in a triathlon race this summer, which resulted in surgery and I know have a metal plate and 9 screws in my elbow. I am questioned why I keep going and how I do it. I stay positive and these events make me work even harder to get back. I am on my way back and I am mentally stronger.

  93. Renee Benson says

    I turned 50 this summer, was out of shape and made every excuse in the world not to get motivated. I had not run since high school!! Our church bell tower cracked and a committee planned a fundraiser to help pay for the repairs. A FABULOUS group of runners from our parish willingly volunteered to coach anyone willing to try to run and get us ready for a 5K which was appropriately named “The Steeplechase”. For 12 weeks, about 20 of us, at all levels of fitness, met and prayed and ran. I was one of the slowest and most out of shape… but also one of the most determined to DO IT. I went from running for 60 seconds that first session and thinking I was going to simply die… sucking air like it was in short supply… to finishing a 5K just 12 weeks later in 2 minutes under what my goal was. I made a friend during the training that will be my running partner forever… she and I are a yin a yang to each other we push each other when necessary and encourage each other always. Amazingly, 3 weeks after that 5K, the 2 of us also ran a 2 Mile. I still run at least 3 times a week, have purchased and treadmill for those days that are just too cold to go outside, and can not wait to tackle a 5K in the spring. I want to improve my times before I increase my distance. I went to Columbus to cheer on the trainer from the church group as she tackled her first Marathon and was simply inspired by seeing all of those runners. I was smiling each time I saw a tutu run by and though that it would be so fun to wear on in a Spring 5K. Would love to give one to my incredibly patient and persistent trainer and one to my run buddy. Maybe we could all run in the same 5K together!

  94. Christina B says

    I survived 8 years of a verbally, mentally, emotionally, and ultimately physically abusive relationship/marriage. By the time I escaped, I had gained 40 pounds (wearing a super tight size 16) and was basically restarting my life. Now, 8 years after my escape, I am in the best shape of my life – both physically (I now wear a loose size 10 – can squeeze into an 8, and have completed 4 Iron Girl sprint triathlons and one Olympic distance triathlon) and emotionally (I just married the absolutely love of my life in September). Do I wish things had worked out differently, so that I would not have had to endure the abuse? Absolutely, But do I actually want to go back an change the fact that it happened? No way. I would not be the person that I am now if it weren’t for that experience….nor would I ever have met my new husband (and best friend). :)

  95. Melissa says

    About 4.5 years ago I decided to change careers – I was a teacher and determined that it was not the right fit for me. Though I didn’t have another job lined up, I told my principal that I was leaving the school at the end of the year and I applied to a grad program in accounting. My family wasn’t very supportive, and the change was VERY stressful. Though I often felt “alone” during this major life change, I always found peace while running. Part way through my first year of grad school, I let myself get talked into running a marathon. At this time I was taking 4 grad-level classes, coaching a high school tennis team, working 20 hours a week, and volunteering a minimum of 10 hours a week with DABC (oh, and somehow finding time for friends & family). While I had never been a “serious runner,” I thought it would be a great opportunity and challenge for me, and hoped that it would help me to better structure my time. I signed up for the race, created a training plan to fit my crazy schedule, and adopted a motto: “I am the tortoise.” While I wasn’t the fastest person on race day, I had a BLAST and was able to achieve both my “realistic” goal and my “stretch” goal. From that experience, I learned a few things:
    1. I can achieve anything as long as I’m willing to commit and “buy in.”
    2. Running made me feel GREAT (even if it hurt a litle bit from time to time), and I wanted to keep doing it for a long time!

  96. Cathy says

    I ran in the Army 20+ years ago and hated every minute of it. I picked it up again in August, 2011. Everything was going well and I had completed my first half marathon. In April 2012, 2 weeks before my second, my knee began hurting so badly that I couldn’t go a mile. A PT worked with me through those 2 weeks and I did that race. I PR’d that race! When I finally saw a dr, he told me he had no idea how I made it through, and I would never run again. I went for a 2nd opinion, have had lubricant injections (I have a pretty good case of arthritis), and ran 2 halfs 3 weeks apart this fall. Doing that has proved to me that I can get through anything I set my mind on, and am willing to work for.

  97. Larrissa says

    I started running in 2010 after being diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome). After web-md’ing myself into hysterics, the thing that stuck with me was that a critical link in this is insulin. I already know that insulin issues run in my family (hyper and hypo-glycemia along with Type 2 diabetes).
    I realized that I didn’t have to suffer through this, that I could fight back and take control of my body. I am fortunate that my PCOS isn’t as difficult as it could be, and a big part of the reason, I believe, is my running. Running has helped me drop three pants sizes, if not a lot of weight, and I have found that in times of high stress, running calms and soothes me.

  98. Trisha says

    I started running in June of this year. I’m short and stout at 5 feet exactly and started out at 208 lbs. I’ve always wanted to be runner, but just never thought I would be. One day, God told me to start. I used the Podrunner couch to 5k program. I didn’t do it every day, but would always pick myself back up and do it again. It was very hard in the beginning and I would often “old-guy-shuffle”, but I kept plugging away. It has been 6 months, 20 lbs off, and i’m now an addict and still going. My farthest distance is 3.65 miles. I’m still not very fast, but i am one of those crazy winter runners in Wisconsin with the face-mask and all! Ice does scare me though. I think it’s amazing that i never thought i could do this, and by the end of the year, i’ll have 5 races in. I even got a 3rd place medal in the first 5K that i ran the whole way at 48:20. I was last for my age group at 3rd, but i still cried when i got that medal. It meant so much to me! I normally walk now with friends, but i’m keeping all of my bibs. My goal is to run in a marathon one day! I still have a long way to go, but i’ve come so far already!

  99. Ruth says

    I am a 53 women who started running. Much has happened in my life and running each and every day gives me hope, and life. If you look up the group (FUN) and the song – CARRY ON and Melissa Etheridge’s song- I run for hope. (think that is the name). Those 2 songs speak to me in ways I can not verbally express. All I really want to share is that running is my saving grace for life.

  100. Anne Brunson says

    I am a runner. I am not the fastest. I am a runner. I started running May of 2012 after being told in 2001 I should stop because of my knees. I started with a great group of ladies that taught me I could do anything. I have learned to enjoy the process of running. The good runs the great runs and the bad runs. I take every run one step at a time. This past year a der friend was training for Chicago. We started training with her to keep her focused knowing I would not make it all the way through. Next thing you know I am running 20 miles. On Oct 13 2013 I ran my first marathon. It was not fast it was not pretty but I finished. I loved every mile. At mile 23 I was ready to do another. Amazed the entire way I was there. Amazed at every mile conquered that day. Amazed at every mile of the process that got me there. I am a runner. I enjoy the run the pain the sweat the process! Every step of this process I have made life long friends. Friends that encourage. Friends that support. Friends that run. I am a runner.

  101. Claire says

    I have never officially ran a marathon but I believe that I have come close many times back when was younger living in Portland. I used to call it my urban adventure runs, sometimes studying a map beforehand but always creating my own trail connecting the green spaces across the city. My mission was simple ‘find a new way home’. I learned the city well during my 3+ hour adventures connecting bike paths, park trails, strangers backyards, bridges and graveyards. Eventually asking the question which way is home? I loved these runs. I had all but given up running due to aging knees and hips till recently when I decided to start PT. This summer I ran my first official half marathon and I have taken to exploring the trails of my new home. I can only imagine great adventures waiting to had wearing a tough girl tutu!

  102. Jean says

    The first time someone called me a runner was at the podiatrist trying to figure out why I was having foot pain…and right before 3 months of physical therapy. A year ago if you’d said I would go through the time, effort, and discomfort of ohysical therapy just to be able to run, I’d have laughed at you. But this year I started running with a new purpose-to inspire my friend whose daughter is in chemo to take care of herself while caring for her baby girl. And then the government shutdown happened and my husband and I were working with no guarantee of a paycheck and I found the only times I didn’t feel anxious were the hours spent alone on the road with my dog/running partner and a good audiobook. The run have me the strength to face those scary days ahead and I fell in love with it all over again. On these cold winter days when I don’t want to go outside, I remember what the run has given me, what it is giving to my friend, and what we together are giving back as Team in Training participants…and I suck it up and go :)

  103. Amanda Chmiel says

    In July of 2004, my whole life was shattered. I was thrown against the windshield in a near fatal accident, and spent the next 6 months learning to talk, walk, and use my left hand again. I had a traumatic brain injury, a shattered radius, and a compound fracture in my femur. Physical and speech therapy were brutal and humiliating, and I just wanted to give up. I couldn’t remember words, dates, numbers…and every car ride scared me.

    But I didn’t give up. And soon I was back to walking. And once I realized I could walk, I realized I could run. I signed up for my first 5k in 2006, and have done dozens of races since. Half marathons, mud runs, obstacle courses…90 degree weather or icy, snowy craziness. I learned in that rehabilitation center that the only thing between yourself and your goals is your own determination.

  104. Jen says

    I ran my first half while dealing with a horrible stomach infection- I was dehydrated, could not keep any food down, had lost 10 lbs, and stopped at every port-a-pot along the way. I finished, but knew I could have a better time if I was healthy. So I signed up for another half 4 weeks later after I was over the infection. Both taught me that finishing is more about your mental strength than your physical condition.

  105. sacha says

    I have participated in 6 3Day for a Cures in memory of my mom who lost her fight with breast cancer in 2007. (It’s not running, but walking 20 miles a day for 3 days.) This year, I knew was going to be extra tough–I had knee surgery in June AND I turned 40 on the second day of the 3Day. Happy to report, 40 miles on my 40th birthday all in memory of my mom!

  106. Nichol Davis says

    In April of 2012 I did my first 1/2 marathon. I have some nasty knee issues so running is not for me but I wanted to do one so I decided I would walk and knew I would be slower than all the runners but was okay with that. Well, the day of the race it was cold and rainy and within about 3 miles I could feel the blisters forming. The farther I went the fewer people I saw…I was cold, tired and in pain….a little part of me really wanted to give up but I kept going and not only did I finish, I was a couple of minutes faster than my goal!!!!

  107. Lauren says

    I ran my second marathon last October, the Chicago Marathon. My first marathon, the year before, I ran injured. I still did it – every step more painful than the last, but the fact I was running for homeless animals pushed me onward.

    After that, I struggled all year trying to decide if I should run another marathon after the last one hurt me badly. I decided to do it, but to do it with more humility and a sense of humor and gratitude. I GET to run.

    When i found my new attitude is when I discovered ToughGirl Tutus. It was fate. I ran 3 half marathons before the marathon, wearing my leopard print tutu. It kept me smiling, and uplifted toward the finish line.

    When the morning of the marathon came, i was nervous. Would I get hurt again? What if I cant finish? As soon as I put my tutu and charity singlet on, I knew I had it. Yea, it hurt. But my tutu helped me remember that it is just for fun, for the homeless animals i was fundraising for, and for myself.

    I crossed the finish line strong, tough and smiling. I did it again! I couldnt have without my new found attitude, or my tutu.

  108. Ann Irvin says

    My goal is to run a half marathon in May 2014 wearing a tough girl tutu!!! I have lost 30 pounds and have 35 more to go! At almost 57 it gets harder to lose that weight and trying to run(without hurting myself) :) Watch out…. here I come!

  109. Becky h. says

    Recently I ran on a trail near my house. It’s one I’ve done lots of times, but this time I didn’t need a break. I was able to keep going and at a pace that’s faster than my usual. All the sudden I’ve turned a corner and it makes me more excited to run everyday. I never thought I could be at his point.

  110. Lizp says

    I ran my first half marathon just 6 weeks after spraining my ankle. It didn’t make my ankle hurt at all, my body is tougher and more resilient than I could have ever imagined.

  111. Kristina Studebaker says

    I began running in April of 2012. I was a smoker at 15 and in April of 2012 I decided I was done. So I quit. With quitting I new I would need a new vice. I wanted it to be a healthy vice and one that would not make me gain weight. So I turned to running. At first it was down my driveway. ( half a mile). Then it was down and back. A full mile within a couple months. My cousin and I had talked and she decided she was going to run too. So she did. She has Crohn’s disease. We found a 5k benefitting this disease and decided we should run for this cause. So at the beginning if October we started training for our first 5k in November. It came and we thought what the hell are we doing?!!! But we got out there and ran it in 35 min and 43 sec. Not amazing but completely amazing to us!!!! That was November 11 2012. On October 6 2013 we ran our first half marathon in 2 hours and 25 min. We are runners now. We struggled and fought and cried and laughed and loved training for this half. We did it!!! We never thought in a million years we would ever be able to run a few miles let alone a half marathon!!!!! I’m proud to say I am a runner!!!!!!

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