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Hump Day Giveaway: Who Inspires You?

July 14, 2010

I love it when products have an unexpected surprise. An in-case-of-emergency tag in New Balance clothing. Glittery grippy leg things–not the technical term, I’m guessing–in a Lululemon skirt (I can’t find a pic of it online…you’ll have to trust me on this one). And on the back of Luna bars, in the upper left corner, a tribute to a real woman from another real woman, telling her how she changed her life.

Got me thinking: who inspires me? I went through a whole list of people–everybody from my mom, because, well, she’s my mom; to SBS, since the traits that she possesses so strongly–mental toughness and belief in herself, for two–I feel I lack; to Amy Palmiero-Winters, an amputee and divorced mother of 2 , who made U.S. national track for the 24-hour World Championships and is currently running the Badwater 135 as I type. I interviewed Amy last week, and her take on herself? She’s not so unusual. “Everybody has their own challenges to get through, whether it’s self-image or an unhealthy relationship or another big issue,” she told me, “Running just happens to be my challenge.”

So I thought about it some more, and as convenient and corny as it may sound, I realized that you all inspire me. I love knowing that I am connected to women that strive and sweat and sympathize. Women who, one way or another, get it done. “Women are tough,” says Amy, who deliberately chose an all-female crew to get her through the bad, hard race, “Put them in extreme situations, and they get tougher. They can endure anything, but they don’t lose their nurturing, maternal side in the process.”

Amen to that. And extreme situations doesn’t have to mean 135 miles in 135-degree temps. (And thank goodness for that.) It can mean everything and everybody from Jamie, who is dealing with asthma and a can’t-do-it devil on her shoulder as she starts her running journey, to Katie, a mother of 3 who is taking on the Leadville 100 in a few weeks and has spent her weekends for months scaling every mountain she can find. Extreme situations means putting yourself in a place where your breathing is harder than you’d like it to be, your mind is saying, thanks, but no, but you hang on and come out stronger and more confident because you did. That, any way you slice it, is inspirational.

Who inspires you? Moms, daughters, coaches, running friends, survivors, sisters: all are fair game. (Even guys can be in the mix. We

A way better read than an ingredient list.

know: now we’re talking crazy.) Let us know, and three random winners will get set up verrry nicely by Luna. Which means bars galore: new protein bars, tasty fuel to chow down in the locker room or car, post-run;  Minis, which fit easily in purses and appease the peanut gallery when blood sugar drops and tantrums ensue; and the tried-and-true originals. After all, who doesn’t love a chocolate peppermint stick to ward off the 2 p.m. blahs? Plus, some Luna gear will be included, like a cute tee and hat.

So let us know: who has changed your life for the better? You can also tell Luna here–you never know: maybe next time you’re ripping into a Dulce De Leche, you’ll see your tribute. It’ll make it taste that much sweeter.

126 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 4:56 am

    The source of my inspiration changes with the day. Sometimes, it’s my kids who do something to amaze me (like, say, behave in church!) or my cousin (who has stage 4 breast cancer) or my husband (who maintains his patience and diplomacy with the world in a way that simply defies logic). But when it comes to running, the original source of inspiration is still the one I go to. My track coach as a senior in high school, Lauren Jordy. I was an “eh, whatever” runner back then until I had my heart broken. It was just before track season started and I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. But, there was this new lady coaching track and I knew I had to do SOMETHING. So, I showed up. And I ran. And we talked. And I ran a little faster. And we talked some more. I was completely inspired by her life (she had traveled the world, was in her 30s with no kids (you can DO that??), had a great husband, and had run the Boston marathon…. WOW!) Anyway, I credit her with getting me through that first and most traumatic heartache and teaching me the joys of running. Eighteen years later, we are still good friends and it is she who is impressed with me for my running… But I still blame her for getting it all started.

  2. Jami permalink
    July 14, 2010 5:02 am

    My friend DJ inspires me as she goes about her life in a very giving, serving others away- in a particular way that doesn’t give away any of her ‘serving herself too’. She started working out at a time when she had 3 small boys at home, a husband who works ridiculous hours and chronic hip and back pain. DJ walked, then ran, then ran and biked, the tri-ed. All the while never pushing me to join her, but pulling me magentically to join the benfits I was seeing in her. I picked up my fitness game and started running – even swimming. I’ve even introduced the social sport of 5k/10k running to my 15 year old and it has made all the difference in our relationship. I can never thank DJ enough – and she probably doesn’t even know for what!

  3. July 14, 2010 6:01 am

    I LOVE the glittery grippy things inside Lululemon skirts!!!!

    All of my peers inspire me. I too believe everyone has challenges to overcome, they’re just different and we deal in different ways.

    What inspires me to keep on keeping on when the going gets really tough, or I reeeeally don’t wanna roll out of bed, are my dad’s mom and four sisters who all died of heart disease in their 50’s or younger. It’s a genetic deck stacked against me that I must keep running from.

  4. July 14, 2010 6:03 am

    What a question! So many people inspire me…my husband (a police officer…enough said), my kids (they can really be amazing some days!), my friends (I wonder how I got so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing women) but my deep down true inspiration comes from my friend Kelly. I share her story whenever possible.

    Kelly married before I did and began the process of trying to have children. I got married a few years later and started popping out kids…she still struggled….starting as a consultant for a home based cosmetics company…to pay for infertility treatments. After thousands of dollars and many tearfilled nights, they decided to adopt…. a newborn little girl who is BEAUTIFUL! Chesnut brown curls and eyes so blue you think you could swim in them! If that were the end of the story …it would be great but that is far from the end.

    As baby G grew parallel to my daughter…we noticed differences. I noticed at first but didn’t say anything. I know Kelly noticed too. When G was 2 she was diagnosed with Autism. That was in the spring. That following fall Kelly’s husband suffered a massive stroke and was diagnosed with a large inoperable brain tumor. More money, more specialists and he passed away that same year on the 4th of July.

    Kelly has also faced cervical cancer as well as a miriad of other medical issues…all while raising G who is serverly autistic, as a single mom. Kelly met another mom of an autistic child who, like G, was not getting the correct services or spending hours traveling to get services. The 2 moms put their heads together and began a theraputic day school for children like theirs. At 12, G is thriving and has begun to be somewhat verbal again. It is an amazing place with an amazing staff who work so hard for the betterment of every child at the school.

    The most amazing thing about Kelly is that she never lost her faith. She never lost her smile. She never lost her positive attitude. No matter how tough things are…Kelly can always see the glass half full. She will always point out the positive. She got me through a few tough miles of Chicago last year…just thinking about her and G!

    I am blessed and inspired to have Kelly and G in my life. I am even more blessed to be able to share her story and allow her to inspire others.

  5. July 14, 2010 6:06 am

    For me, it’s a variety of women, also, as we all grow and change. My mom, always, for so many reasons. Cathy Zielske (who turned me on to this book and blog) who just started running. Reading her beginnings as a runner reminded me of starting all those years ago, instead of getting in a rut and feeling like it’s a job sometimes… All the current distant greats like Deena and Paula, the greats of history like Joan…People like my friend Melissa who runs ironman when I struggle to finish a marathon. So many women who run, but who can be so different from me and yet the same… So much inspiration. Even the “famous” person on the last page of Runner’s World each issue gives me inspiration. 🙂

  6. Jess M permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:13 am

    My daughters. Hands down. They are 2 and 4 yrs old, and already copying me so much…. which makes me focus on setting a good example of healthy living and fitness in general. I was in sports in high school, although cheerleading/poms is where I was actually “good”. I was never the skinny girl, but certainly not obese. I remember vividly how rough high school can be, how mean kids can be to others. And I want to spare my daughters as much as I can. So it pulls at my heartstrings when my 4 yr old wants carrot sticks over pretzels because “they’re healthy”. She’s also running her first Kids Fun Run in a month – and every night she says “I gotta train” as she runs circles in the yard. And both girls get down and stretch with me every time I pop in the Yoga DVD. Seeing this at an early age gives me the added fuel to know I’m doing the right thing every time I step out the door to run… for the two of them, not to mention myself!

  7. July 14, 2010 6:29 am

    You do. Seriously.

    I used to run a lot. I wasn’t fast, but I loved it.

    Fast forward 2 kids, 4 moves, and 40 lbs…and I thought that my running days were over. I live at 7000 feet, so the gasping for air anytime I got past a fast walk felt wrong, like I just wasn’t meant to run anymore.

    Like I wasn’t a “runner”.

    Then, a few weeks ago, I checked out your book from the library (which now I need to buy so I can have bits and pieces any time I want) and you made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Like that gasping for air was normal. Like maybe, I could be a “runner” again.

    I’m so thankful for you and Sarah. This week alone, I’ve run 15 miles (and it’s only Wed!). I’m calmer, less anxious, and now my 12 year old daughter is joining me sometimes.

    Wow, that was a book!…sorry! Thanks for a fun giveaway!…Cathy

  8. Amy Schehl permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:40 am

    Who inspires me…well, even though it makes me sound like I’m trying to win brownie points… the truthful answer is Dimity and SBS…I’m reading and re-reading RLAM and its like sitting with two girlfriends trying to teach me the ropes as I begin my journey in becoming a “real” runner. I read the chapters and it makes me feel like I can do this, this isn’t out of reach.

  9. Iliana permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:43 am

    This is a though one. Though I am blessed because I am surrounded by inspiring women, I would have to pick my mom. She is not a runner, never has been. She has been power walking every day of her life for the last 30 years. Rain, or shine. She’s never blogged about her mileage, or her pace, or entered any fancy walking races. She just gets up every day at the crack of dawn, takes our old family dog with her, her faithful companion, and takes off.

    This monotonous yet constant habit, allowed her to maintain a healthy weight for the lenght of my life. I saw her go through 2 other more pregnancies, gain loads of weight, and slowly, and quietly, she surely came back to her body.
    She has never followed diets, She eats what she likes, just in moderation. Ad she walks.

    Now that I am a mother of 2, I understand why she never gave up on her walking. It was her refugee from a house of with 2 crazy teens and a baby. A workaholic husband, that was addicted to distance running, a job, and a crazy extended family. Today, I understand that her glorious morning glow after she came back from her walks was because she didn’t only feel better physically, but also, emotionally. She had gotten a whole hour for herself and her thoughts, to organize shopping lists, and after school activities, and dinner plans. She had time for her. She had silence.

    Now that I am a runner, every time I feel unmotivated, or tired, I think of her and… the possibility of getting a bit of time for me and my thoughts beats all temptation of quitting. It allows me to see every run as an opportunity rather than a burden or something that I “have ” to check -off my list. I think of her, and how she has always been the strongest role model I have ever had, and in a way, when I am running, I feel connected through the distance and I know, that at the crack of dawn, even if we are separated by 2 thousand miles, we are both outside, getting our time, our workout and our hour of peace, under the same sky.

  10. Christina permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:53 am

    My Aunt Sue has been inspiring me since I was a little girl. She’s such a good mom- now a grandmother, which is crazy since she looks way too young!

  11. July 14, 2010 7:08 am

    Man, I would LOVE to talk to Amy Palmiero-Winters. My brother lost his leg in a car accident two years ago and is really struggling. Any time I see an amputee running or riding (and it’s actually pretty often) I always want to stop them and ask…I don’t even know what I want to ask. The fact that they are out there and moving and doing what they love gives me hope for my brother, but it also makes me feel that much more frustrated that I can’t help him find the movitation to get moving again. Amy was in a prosthetics catalog we got when my brother was in the rehab facility, and I was like, “See! She is living proof that this doesn’t mean your life is completely over.” I hope that one day my brother will figure it out and be able to get on with his life. In the meantime, there are a lot of times when I don’t feel like running where I’ll think about how he can’t do all of these things (though, honestly, I think/hope they’re within his reach) and realize that I have no good excuses for sitting out a run.

    As far as inspiration goes (since I’ve clearly strayed pretty far off the mark), reading and intereacting with other moms who run really helps me go the distance. That, and picturing my kids at the finish line of my marathon (which, realistically, isn’t going to happen at a race like Chicago, where I’d never find them in a million years!). They complain incessantly when I leave for a run, but I detect a certain amount of pride and awe in their voices when they ask me how far I ran that day or when they tell their friends I’m training for a marathon.

  12. July 14, 2010 7:33 am

    My older brother Alex who I recently lost inspires me. He lived life to the fullest and was the one who made up his own “P.E. sessions” and “boot camp” sessions for me when I was growing up. I was only 6 and he pushed me hard in soccer sprints, taught me how to climb trees and encouraged me to be the only girl on the All-Boys baseball team. When I’m running up a big hill and it gets hard, I think of Alex up in heaven and run towards him and then all of a sudden I feel a new strength and a lightness, as if he’s got a hand on my lower back to give me an extra push. Thank you Alex for teaching me to fight strong, do my best and most important, embrace the challenge.

  13. July 14, 2010 7:41 am

    There are a lot of inspiring runners and running blogs. I’ve been blessed to “meet” many of them through my own blog. But my inspiration comes from the ultimate inspiration. I know that my body is a holy temple of the Lord and I want to keep it healthy: physically and spiritually and emotionally. Running helps me do all of that.

    1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

  14. Katie permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:51 am

    My husband inspires me to be a better version of myself everyday. And now that I am having a baby in less than a week, I’m pretty sure I will draw great inspiration from my growing, changing, developing, awe-inspiring daughter as well. Considering changes we’ve already made in our lives during pregnancy, I’m guessing that each day will be an exercise in inspiration: to keep the things that work, and to work to change the things that could be better. Here’s to building an inspiring family!

  15. Molly permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:59 am

    I am inspired by my running partners (who have become great friends) and other moms and dads who post their workouts, endeavors, and everyday challenges on Twitter.

  16. Vanessa permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:04 am

    My husband Mike inspires me. He truly makes every day of our lives an adventure. When I’m in the slump he’s my own personal cheerleader encouraging me to put on my running shoes and get out the door. Life is never dull with him in my life.

  17. SED permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:12 am

    I look to a variety of people for inspiration. Petra majdic (who won the bronze medal in the cross country skiing sprint with 4 broken ribs and a punctured lung) inspires me when my tough runs make me want to quit. All the women who were forbidden from competing in distance running because the folks in charge thought their uteresses would fall out inspire me to appreciate every step of my half marathon training. And my little brother who at 18 happily pushed through countless barriers to fine tune his body into a tri-athlete and was killed a week after his first competition inspires me to savor life and to get out there and make it happen to give myself a body that lets me enjoy the many rewards of a healthy life.

  18. Callie Berger permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:34 am

    My high school track coach, Deesa Griggs. It’s been years since high school and she only coached me to run short distances and hurdles, but without her always trying to convince me that I could do more and be more, I never would have tried. My family, although some are outdoorsy and some do active things, are absolutely not runners. They are absolutely supportive of what I do, but for sure don’t understand it. Coach Griggs did understand and it was always nice to have an extra person in my cheering section who knew how bad it hurt and who knew how hard I had worked. I wish I knew where she was now because I’d for sure tell her how much of an inspiration she was to me then and still is now, but I lost touch with her several years ago.

  19. July 14, 2010 8:34 am

    I haven’t run an official race yet, but am training for a half-marathon September 11th at Camp Pendleton. When I’m nearing the end of my long-runs and I’ve spent all my energy, I imagine 2 groups of people at a finish line, cheering me on. The first group is my family, my husband and 3 kids. The second group are those innocent people who died on September 11, 2001 – that had the opportunity to live, play, and run ripped away from them. Those two groups of people pull me to the imaginary finish line.

  20. July 14, 2010 8:36 am

    Right now I have two main inspirations – my mom and my good friend Laura. My mom is currently biking across New York State, during one of the hottest weeks of the summer where I can barely squeak out two miles in the heat and humidity. Mom’s doing 300 miles along the Erie canal and turns 74 in September. Laura has been running since the birth of her 2nd child and the beginning of a rather unpleasant divorce. She’s parenting two little boys alone, mostly, and still finds time to train for and even win races… and she’s done it all with the most amazingly positive and chipper attitude. Both women are great role models and fitness inspirations.

  21. Cori permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:43 am

    My friend, Anna, inspires me. In December, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and the first words into my head were “I need to find a run for lymphoma and do it”. I was never a runner. Anna was. She had given up running last year due to experiencing alot of pain…but it was still the best way I could think to honour her. This spring, I started to train with Team in Training for Nike Women’s (she ran it in 2007 so I thought it was fitting for me to do that one). Her daughter is also on my team. With the two of us honouring her – she told us that she planned to be there to cheer us across the finish line as long as her cancer would let her. As she was going through her treatments, this goal to being there as a cheerleader evolved into “I am going to enter the lottery and walk it” and then it became “I am going to run it!” She was still undergoing chemo at that point!!!

    We found out 2 weeks ago that her cancer is officially in remission and she has been joining us at our weekly group runs and inspiring our entire team with the reason we are running! I am so proud of her and find her to be such an inspiration. Not only the inspiration that helped me start and discover how much I love running…but also a true testament to overcoming the odds and staying positive! Whether she will be able to run it on race day, we won’t know until then. She has to listen to her body and do what she is able. But she made it over the finish line of her cancer (this race) and I have no doubt that she will do whatever she can to be crossing the same finish line as us in October too!

  22. July 14, 2010 8:45 am

    My children are without a doubt my inspiration! I want them to see me make goals and achieve these goals. The goal may be running a marathon or opening a new company. Giving them the opportunity to see me work hard for something and enjoy the rewards of achievement is what inspires me to continue moving forward!

  23. Alison permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:23 am

    Quite a challenging question for a Wednesday morning. There are many women who inspire me in all areas of life, but when it comes to running it is the other “anonymous” women I read and hear about who are also figuring out how to be a mom and a runner.

  24. July 14, 2010 9:35 am

    my inspiration gets me through every endurance event and even through the recovery of this hip injury. my inspiration is my youngest child, my son. he was born 16 weeks early weighing 1lb 6oz and spent 132 days in the NICU where he underwent 9 surgeries. i trained for and rode the Solvang Century to cope with his NICU stay. as i would be climbing the craziest hills in the Bay Area i would ask myself how could i give up when he wasn’t?
    he is now 8 years old and readying for 2nd grade. he still has his challenges but he always manages to get over, under, around or through them at his own pace. his strength, his courage and the way he has faced and endured pain that would make grown men curl up in the fetal position and whimper inspires me every time i hit the road to run.

  25. Andrea permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:48 am

    I am inspired by two old high school friends that were certainly not athletic back then. Through the wonders of Facebook I have found them again after 30 years and they are competing in triathlons. That just gets me going every time I think about them. Also, a little old man that I see nearly every morning as I walk to work – he is running around the track. Rain or shine, hot or cold. I always salute him with my coffee cup and he raises a hand back. He must be at least 80, and I always feel like if he can do it, I certainly can!

  26. Katie permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:03 am

    Ok, this is going to sound like I am totally sucking up, but I mean this sincerely… Dimity and Sarah and all of the RLAM community inspire me. I savor the book by reading a few pages each day and your emailed blog posts are my favorite emails. On Monday, my husband came home early just as I was finishing my daily reading of RLAM, and I was so inspired, I went out and ran my best 3 miles ever (it was getting dark so I couldn’t stay out longer, although I wanted to). You have inspired me to work on getting faster, go longer distances, and just plain get out and go for a run. I know lots of other moms, none of them runners, and lots of other runners, none of them parents of small children, so they can’t relate when I talk about running or kids. But everyone here at RLAM can relate, so thank you for letting me take you with me on my runs, even if only in my head.

  27. Jessica J permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:07 am

    Maybe it’s because I just gave birth so it’s still fresh in my mind (read: haunting me!), but Nurse Denise really inspired me to get through the birth. I had a difficult delivery and the doctors while great had zero bedside manner. But through it all Nurse Denise was a great cheerleader! In fact, I just started running again and when I want to quit, I can hear Nurse Denise yelling “Push, Jessica, push!” when I want to just walk.

    In a few months, I’m sure I will say something like my husband or my daughter inspire me, but right now I’m sticking with Denise!

  28. July 14, 2010 10:14 am

    My training partners provide me with so much motivation! No matter who it is I am running with on any given day, I thank the Lord above that I am lucky to have such amazing friends to run with. They are priceless to me.

    The magic of a running partner is the give and take, and the role playing that occurs, all within the course of an hour’s run (or in my ultra training case, sometimes 6 hours or more). At any one time, my training partners and I take turns acting as a sounding board, a mentor, a marriage counselor, a cheerleader, a mother figure, a shoulder to cry on, a demanding coach, a nurse/medical attendant, etc. for one another. These roles are fluid – a give and take – depending on which person needs what on that particular day.

    And then sometimes, within my running friendships, we are comfortable enough with one another, just to enjoy the occasional gift of silence, and to know that sometimes – peaceful silence while running along, is okay.

    My training partners get me out there, they help me put the first foot out the door in the morning. They hold me accountable, not just for running, but for lots of “life stuff” as well.

  29. Kim permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:17 am

    My running buddy, Lee. Not only does she inspire me to be a better runner, most importantly she inspires me to be a better person.

  30. Sue permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:19 am

    I have been totally inspired by Cathy Zielske. Her blog is here

    She was a smoker, a “chubster” as she called herself and she is now a runner and just did her first 5K. Reading her progress and setbacks has totally inspired me to get off my sofa and get going too.

  31. Karen Falat permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:50 am

    My grandmothers, who have both passed, inspire me. On my hardest runs I picture them, in the eye of a hummingbird (my gaga’s favorite animal) or as part of the ocean (where my grandmad nita was laid to rest) and I see them supporting me. I see them telling me I can do it–both the run and raising my 3 boys. I know they love me and because of that I know I can push on. If there is one thing I know for sure, its that love is unending.

  32. Chaya permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:22 am

    Linda of Sundry Mourning has been a huge inspiration for me over the last year. I’m not sure I would be a runner now if it wasn’t for her.

  33. Grainne Keogh permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:36 am

    I inspired one of my co-workers to work out today at lunch, its humid and muggy and she didn’t want to go!! I said you will feel better!! She just walked by and said THANKS!! So who inspire’s me!! MYSELF!! I want to be stronger and faster and have more endurance!!

    And my trainer – Cat Heitz!

    She is a trainer at the gym I work out at in Stamford, CT called The Training Floor, Stamford, CT.

    I first met Cat in August of 2008. She has been so inspirational in my weight loss journey and here is what she means to me:

    She makes me feel like part of a team, whether it is in her boot camp class or in one on one personal training sessions, she is hard but energizing!! She has helped me realize I can reach for my goals, she is always inviting and inspiring and makes me think nothing is impossible, she is motivational in the group classes! She is a friend, and she has pushed my mind and body further and further to believe that I can be stronger, healthier and in better shape, she has inspired me to do my first triathlon this past weekend with her! I ROCKED IT!! 1:46, my legs felt like jelly after the 1.9 sprint, 17 mile bike and 3.1 run 🙂

  34. Amy permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:46 am

    While I am inspired by many women, some I read about in this blog, I am most inspired by my close friend I will just name as J, since I know naming her would be too much. Plus she follows this blog and would not want to see herself called out here. J is like so many of us, an everyday mom with a great family and great group of friends. Several years ago, she seemingly fell off the face of the earth for a few months. She confided to me after I continued to pester her on what she had been up to, that she had been the victim of a terrible random crime while she was on a business trip. She was raped. The guy was arrested and awaiting trial. Obviously she had been struggling with the emotional fallout, but also some physical injuries from the attack. Because it happened half way across the country she was forced to be away from home for part of the proceedings. I could not imagine how much she must have been suffering.
    J had always been a great friend to me, helping us out with childcare issues, listening to me and cheering me on when I raced. She never asked for much in return. She never needed to. I fumbled around on how to help her.
    J inspires me to no end because she stood up to the creep that hurt her and put him behind bars. That process was a living hell for her, as bad as the rape, she told me. But she had the strength and fortitude to make it through and today she is the awesome mother, wife and friend that I remember her to be from before the attack. And in some ways, even better. How did she do it? She threw herself into running and yoga and I think taking care of her body helped her take care of her spirit. We can all relate to that!
    J and I have run together countless times, though I know she prefers to run alone. I have run silently with her and looked over to see tears mixed in with sweat. I can only imagine what is going through her mind still. But I have also run with her where we end up laughing so hard we have tears of joy mixed in with the sweat!
    When I am running, either training or part of a race and just think I can’t go on anymore I think of J and what she must have endured the night she was raped and what she endured as part of the legal process and she came out the other side with a smile and a good heart! I can certainly finish this run or cross that line with a smile, too. Just last fall she was waiting for me at mile 22 and I could hear her yelling, “You can do this!! I know you can!!” Wow, YOU did it. Thanks, J! You amaze me and inspire me. I love you!

  35. kim permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:53 am

    my friend, naomi, is my inspiration. she is honest about who she is–strengths and weaknesses…and continues on. She always is finding new ways to help others, to bring light and life to others, and inspire those strong enough to try to keep up. She is my hero as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, woman…
    she has embraced life and not weakened….

  36. Jennifer C. permalink
    July 14, 2010 12:27 pm

    Like most, my list could be endless.. and mine is not limited to inspiring me to run- it’s about people who inspire me to keep on working- whether it be running or simply finishing a rough day. I have two boys, ages 6 and 9. Equally fantastic, they have made me better in more ways than one. However, inspiration comes daily from my 6-year old who has a language disorder. His diagnosis has never been clear-cut, therefore his treatment has not either. We have had to ‘trial and error’ from the time he was less than 2 years old. Everyday, he has struggles and difficulties that we do not, and they are forever changing. Many he isn’t even aware are struggles- they are his norm, but they affect him no matter what… But he plugs on in this complicated world as the happiest, most adaptable boy you could imagine! It inspires me to try harder in everything I do because I know he can’t go it alone. He still needs a happy, healthy mom who works the hardest she can for him. Judging from the smile on his face at all times, I’m not doing such a bad job of it either. If he can keep on with his struggles, I am inspired to keep on with running (which I struggle with), along with anything else…

  37. Jay permalink
    July 14, 2010 12:50 pm

    My motivation does change from day to day. Sometimes it’s my aunt who’s had 3 knee replacements and can hardly walk. Sometimes I’m selfish and I run because I still think one day I’ll get the perfect body (knowing that never happens.) But attaining the perfect body is such a ridiculous motivation! Sometimes I run because I can, because as non-perfect as my body may be, it is absolutely perfect in helping me reach my goals. And it allows me to do amazing things. I run now because someday I may not be able to. Somedays I run and all I can think of is a little girl Ryleigh whom I didn’t know, but know her friends and she lost her battle with cancer recently. Sometimes I run to inspire my 8 year old, who is *blessed* with my body, and I know she’s going to have the same stupid issues in a few years. And sometimes my motivation is tet knowledge that after my run, I will mentally feel better and be able to carry on with my day.

  38. amanda permalink
    July 14, 2010 1:03 pm

    i am inspired by the person i want to be 30, 40, even 50 years from now… healthy, strong, active and a good example to those who come behind me. there are so many things i want to be able to experience in life and i want to do all that is within my means to ensure that my body will be there to support that. i feel accountable to myself and my family to make sure i do all i can to maintain my health so that i have the capacity to be the best wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother & hopefully great-grandmother i have the potential to be.

    • Iliana permalink
      July 14, 2010 6:28 pm

      I loved your reply! Now you inspired me!

  39. realrellim permalink
    July 14, 2010 1:06 pm

    One of my biggest sources of inspiration comes from a group of women who call themselves the Dingos. What keeps is together is that we all run. Some also walk, hike, bike, swim or put in other forms of forward motion–or write about how we’d *like* to be in motion when sidelined by injuries/sick kids/overwhelming work obligations, etc. We’re primarily an online group open to anyone that started as part of a larger parenting board, but many of us have met in real life, either because we actually live in the same area, because they attended the annual campout, or because we met up with another Dingo while traveling.

    These women are fabulous for motivating each other. One oft-repeated slogan, “don’t think, just run,” has helped many of us get out the door when it otherwise seems impossible. We also chat about the good and bad in our everyday lives and offer support too. The Dingos are also the go-to people if someone wants to know if it’s possible to say, train for and run a marathon while still nursing a young toddler. It is, and several of the Dingos (myself included) have done it.

    The most inspiring part is knowing that all of these moms are balancing kids, spouses, home obligations, many also have job responsibilities and some are single parents, and yet we’re still putting the miles in, at least most days. “Not perfect, just amazing” is another favorite slogan for those days when it doesn’t happen–and one that I’ve appreciating repeating when my parenting doesn’t quite meet my expectations either. Still, we make it happen more often than not, and it’s always an inspiration to look at someone else and say wow, if she can do all that, then the least I can do is put in 3 miles today.

  40. Terzah permalink
    July 14, 2010 1:25 pm

    My friend Angela! I have known her since first grade, and unlike me, she came from a “running family” and was always a runner, and a good one–one of those intimidating easily-Boston-qualifies, whippet-body kinds once she reached adulthood. But she is also a humble, funny, creative person. When I was a decidedly pudgy adolescent, she wrote on school notebook paper my first “training” plan (I think before anyone but the hard-core had them!) in junior high and I wanted to lose some of that puberty pudge. I didn’t follow it, and I might have disappointed her again a few years later by dropping out of cross country, but I never got the feeling that she was giving up on me. And neither she nor her family ever did. I remember when, post-college, I had taken up running for real, I was able to go for my first real run with her, something my younger self never believed I could do. When I ran my first marathon (slowly) at age 24, her dad was the one I called about both my pre-race jitters and my post-race elation. I wish I had started earlier, followed her plan. But with every run I am grateful: Thanks to Angela and her family, I became and stayed a runner.

  41. Julie Fredericks permalink
    July 14, 2010 2:46 pm

    I did it. I got off my bum and went for a run at the heat, and I am not a heat tolerant person.

    My inspiration today was oddly enough myself. I am at one of those peaks where I am in danger of going down the other side- recently set a PR at a 1/2 marathon, but next race is too far off to really put the pressure on. Just thinking about what I had accomplished recently and how good it made me feel got me out the door today.

    Tomorrow I am sure I will draw inspiration from my friends and family, but it was nice to get it from myself today.

  42. Kristyn G permalink
    July 14, 2010 3:28 pm

    Cathy Zelske has totally inspired me to start running!

  43. July 14, 2010 3:35 pm

    Good question. There are a ton of people who inspire me… in particular, I would have to say that my boyfriend inspires me from both a personal and professional standpoint. It seems that no matter what the situation, he can always find something positive about it. I am a well-known stress case and control freak (I hate not being in control or having a plan) and he purposely mixes things up so that I let go… he is also one of those people who has a million ideas and takes chances to do things he wants rather than what others think he should do… I am in awe and hope to one day turn my ideas into something successful.

    Funny enough, his mom also inspires me (runs in the family, I think!). She was sedentary for a big part of her life but started getting active at 50. In 2006, at age 63, we watched her finish her second ironman. Kind of makes that 10K run I did this morning something I should be thankful that I can do rather than a “chore”. 🙂

  44. Jama Kyle permalink
    July 14, 2010 3:52 pm

    My kids are my inspiration.

  45. Jackie permalink
    July 14, 2010 4:02 pm

    My friend Angela is my inspiration. Last year she died at 37 after a two year battle with breast cancer. Everyday I wake up, grateful that I am alive & strong & healthy. I can hug my kids and my husband. I can run and bike and swim. And I know she is there watching down over me cheering me on.

  46. July 14, 2010 4:29 pm

    One of the gals I run with has lost 80 pounds by running. If she can run, so can I!

  47. July 14, 2010 4:35 pm

    This is probably gonna sound sappy, but I have to say my husband inspires me. He is the one who gently encouraged me to start running and he cheered for me (literally) while running along beside me at a painfully slow pace that very first mile. When he is home he never begrudges me a run and does everything he can to make sure I have what I need to succeed.
    Whenever I get tired or start to feel sorry for myself while I’m “suffering” on a run I think of all of the amazing and hard things he’s done (he’s a SEAL) and it changes my perspective. I hear him say, “It’s easy to keep going, all you have to do is not quit.”

  48. July 14, 2010 5:56 pm

    I am inspired anytime I hear about a mama taking on a big challenge….especially when I hear about someone with a lot more challenges than I have with just one baby. When I hear stories of moms with multiple kids doing what I doing plus more, it lights a fire under my butt, and I realize that no matter what there is always someone out there with more on their plate than me making it all work…and that keeps me energized.

  49. Kelly permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:19 pm

    Inspiration is everywhere I look as I run, but mostly I rely on my husband and two girls. I had only run a few 5K’s when I met John he was a serious runner and aspired to be both a cross country coach and track coach. I needed to impress upon him that I too was a serious runner if (I thought) our relationship could continue. I see now that you can’t fake being a serious runner; however, I did run my first marathon while pretending-I was trying hard to win that engagement ring. John helped me every step of the way-he created my running programs, helped me pick shoes, showed me how to eat…and road home with me before I showered after those 26.2 miles. If I only would have known that cutting some coupons would have brought an engagement ring sooner…

    My daughters are inspiring to me as well. When I think about them riding in the stroller, I want to keep going for them. To show them what your body has the ability to accomplish despite all the obstacles.

    When I really don’t have anything left, I think of a former student. I worked with this child during my second year of teaching; he fighting cancer. I was his homebound instructor. He used to tell me he had to close his eyes because the light hurt him but he was always listening…he answered every question, participated and did everything I ever asked him to do. If he could sit and suffer while fighting to live and listen to me, I can get through mile 20 of the marathon and finish.

  50. July 14, 2010 6:26 pm

    It seems like when I need to dig deep for inspiration, the image that comes to mind is the father Hoyt that swims, pushes and pulls his son through an ironman. I always get choked up watching themm on tv. The sons face is priceless as he crosses the finish line and listening to the dad say how proud he is of his son is amazing.

  51. Julie Berland permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:33 pm

    Every day I seem to hear about or read about someone inspiring. When I hear others stories, it makes me realize how lucky in life I am. I have a great husband, great kids, healthy body, and wonderful family and friends.
    Currently, I’m inspired every day by my friend Katie who is running every mountain while training for Leadville, I’m trying to keep up my part of the bargain and stay fit and run some slight distances so I can pace her for 16 miles. Hopefully, I’ll provide the comic relief and inspire her to keep moving forward through the night.
    Another friend Kim, who lost her husband Art after a battle of cancer, always amazes me with her strength and courage to be an amazing single parent to three unbelievable kids. It is always incredible how resilient people can be after experiencing trauma.

  52. July 14, 2010 6:34 pm

    My inspirations are actually the two women who were my bridesmaids. None of us live in the same city, but we email all the time to keep each other honest. And in weird coincidence, one had foot surgery and the a few months later the other broke a bone in her foot. The first is planning on marathons, and I know that the second will come back stronger than ever. So if I feel like slacking, I have them to answer to.

    Thanks, Tammie & Christine!

  53. WickyWendy permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:36 pm

    This is going to sound awful but…I inspire myself. Last March was the first time a ever ran a race. I was 37 years old and had NEVER ran an inch in my life. I decided to run an 8K with a friend and I did it. Now whenever I’m out there and think I can’t finish, I remind myself that I never thought I could do it. I not only started but I finished it.

  54. Holly A permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:37 pm

    My friend and I began running about a year ago and since then I have been addicted. What inspires me everyday to wake up at an ungodly hour to run 4 miles before work? My kids, I want to set a positive example and be healthy to enjoy their children someday.

  55. July 14, 2010 6:39 pm

    I’m inspired by all the kick-a$$ ultra-running women like Diana Finkel, who nearly won the Hardrock 100 outright. Meghan Arbogast also comes to mind…in her late 40’s and 2nd F at WSER. She won Waldo 100k outright in 2007.

  56. Ann R permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:40 pm

    My source of inspiration: My son most of all – I want to be healthy for him and embarked on my weightloss journey because of him. I’ve lost 90 lbs so far and have 25 lbs to go. He asks me everytime that I go to a race if I won and I answer – of course I did! Everytime that I start and finish the race means that I won the race! ( I am a penguin runner – slow!)

    I also have a friend who has been losing weight and she is inspiring me because I inspired her to run. So I run to inspire her and vice versa. We each try to kick each others but – she usually wins because she has longer legs though. I always tell her when we are struggling to run our run that this is all her fault! We have a great time together and friendly competition is always an inspiration.
    Ann R

  57. July 14, 2010 6:40 pm

    ME! I chose to make these changes to be healthier. I chose to chang emy routine and add running- something I never dreamed I would do. I chose to stick with it and run my first 5K. I’m choosing to continue and study form and technique and ways to improve my speed and endurance. So to be honest- I am my inspiration!!!

  58. Stephanne permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:42 pm

    My daughter inspires me. She’s four.

    She reminds me every day that there’s a reason I’m busting my butt right now to turn my life around. A reason that I get up and move even when I really don’t feel like it. All she has to do is smile and all of a sudden I’ve got a burst of energy to push a little harder, to go a little farther.

    And yes, a big part of the reason I’m pushing now is to be a good Mom and to set that great example of a healthy diet and regular exercise I failed to do for the first four years of her life. And yes, I’m also doing it so that I can live long enough to be there for her when she needs it most as she grows older. But most of all… I’m doing this for ME, for her.

    Now more than ever, she needs to know that strength often comes from within. That you have to believe in yourself and to want the best for yourself before you’ll ever be able to be “the best” for anyone else. My hope & dream is to build a strong foundation of pride that comes from hard work and confidence that comes from results throughout her early years so she can really shine during the teenage years–the years things went downhill for me.

    And I’m doing that… one step at a time. And she’s encouraging me all the time without even knowing it. She asks me when I’m going to be exercising. She asks me why I’m eating green stuff on my plate. She asks me why I want to be healthy. And inside I smile and I push on.

    Thanks for the opportunity to ramble… 🙂 And the chance to win Luna bars.

  59. July 14, 2010 6:43 pm

    All of my mom friends … both IRL and online… inspire me to continue to put one foot/hand in front of the other and strive to bigger goals.

  60. Carla permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:45 pm

    So inspired by my college roommate and bridesmaid and all around wonderful girl Wendy! She was diagnosed at age 28 with breast cancer. 5 years later she is cancer free, has a new baby and running half marathons!

  61. Emily G permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:47 pm

    My mom! She was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago, just 1 week after my wedding. Now, at age 64, she goes to the gym at least 12 times a month (which is usually more than I do) because she knows that staying in shape is one of the few things she can do that might reduce the chance of recurrence. Whenever I run, I remind myself that I’m not only improving my current health but also making an investment in my future health.

  62. July 14, 2010 6:47 pm

    Easy peasy: Cathy Zielske inspires me. Like forever. For years, her creativity and mad design skills have brought me countless moments of inspiration. And then, this year . . . she goes and gets all healthy on her blog readers, motivating us to eat better, love to exercise, and in turn, improve ourselves from the inside out! Since Cathy and I are roughly the same age, the stories she shared about her health quest really hit home. I could do this, too! And then when she randomly picked my name to win a nano, Nike+ and a copy of Run Like a Mother, I *knew* this was a sign that I should do this! So here I am, a newbie runner (well, I used to run in high school) at the age of 41. And I’m loving it. What’s more, it’s having a trickle down effect. My 10 year old daughter is joining me on my nutrition and exercise adventures, too. Awesome!! Thanks, Cathy! And thanks, Dimity & Sara!!

  63. July 14, 2010 6:48 pm

    My Aunt is my inspiration. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer during a routine surgery. She almost did not make it throught the surgery or the week following. As the months went by and she was getting used to her new life as a cancer patient, she would send encouaging emails to family, just because. She eventually became cancer free. But last year she came out of remission and has been told that eventually chemo will stop working for her, and she will pass away. She told me she just wants eight years to see her boys graduate high school, and college. But, if she only gets one more day she is ok with that. She is the most positive, loving, awesome person I know. She fights every day, and when I get tired on a long run, I just think of her and how much she deals with every day, and that keeps me going. Thank you for giving me strength and courage Aunt Pam!

  64. Susan Price permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:48 pm

    The person who originally inspired me to begin running is my friend Laurel- she is an incredible woman and mom of 3 who lost over a 100 pounds and now is an amazing athlete. Even though she is currently struggling with injuries that have sidelined her running she never gives up. When she can’t run she takes off on very long bike rides. She exercises outdoors in heat, cold and rain. Whenever I run I am so appreciative for the inspiration I gained from her and very aware of just how good I have it. I have had no injuries (knock wood) and am blessed to own a treadmill for when the weather is not cooperative. I often wonder if I would be as dedicated to my athletic endeavors if I had to face the struggles she has.
    My other inspiration is my children. I hope everytime I take the time to exercise or spend the time walking, running or biking with them that I set an example of how to live a healthy and strong life.

  65. Suzanne permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:48 pm

    I get inspired by many people. My kids inspire me. My friend Steph, mom of 3, who started running a year ago and just totally kicks butt inspires me. Some days as I am chugging along a hill workout with my double jogger I inspire myself! When Paula Radcliffe won the NYC Marathon just months after having a baby I was inspired. Christopher MacDougall’s new book Born to Run inspired me. There are so many amazing runners and running moms, I could never pick just one!!

  66. Edwina Richards permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:50 pm

    My inspiration comes from my husband. He started running regularly about 3 years ago. I would walk behind him. I hated running! I was not a runner. Then I started to jog a little, trying to keep up with him. He helped me get started. I would run at 30 second intervals. He’d talk me through the intervals until they became easier and longer. Now, we run together every chance we get. We help other people run! Our business has a run team. We’ve run 6 races this year. We are training for a half marathon. Its funny to think of how far I have come. This is something that I never dreamed I’d be doing. Life is good!

  67. July 14, 2010 6:52 pm

    I’m inspired by my sister-in-law Milissa, who is simply an amazing woman and who always gives me confidence and makes me think I can do anything. In running, I’m inspired by my friends Megan, Rachel and Wendy, who believed that I would be able to run even before I believed it myself. They inspire me to keep on pushing and also to sign up for some really cool races to get an opportunity to run with them. 🙂

  68. Carla Bauman-Franks permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:54 pm

    Every time I talk to another woman who runs I’m inspired by the instant sisterhood we share.

  69. heather cloudt permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:01 pm

    The gray area inspires me. That place where you do not quite fit in yet are really happy where you. The space where a round peg can fit in a square hole if you look at it the right way. My 7 year old falls in the gray area. Gabe was the child that for 2 years doctors said would not come. Yet he surprised us in a peanut shaped picture at 8 weeks of conception. He is a bright child who sometimes appears “stuck” in his own body. He has trouble communicating yet his eyes can tell you a thousand words. Due to a muscle condition, he will probably never run fast, jump high or hit a ball the hardest; yet, he has run a marathon beating any odds that practitioners proclaim he is limited to.

    You see, I am short and stout. I shouldn’t be able to finish a mile. But when I stall out and say, “I’m done.” He reminds me I have so much more riding on my heels than myself. For him (and my other special three) I keep, and will keep, going.

  70. Rhonda permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    When I’m running I am inspired by every overweight person I see who is chugging around the park. I’m a white, well-educated, fit woman who lives in a neighborhood where most people don’t look like me. These women, walking and running, 50-plus pounds overweight, wearing whatever for sneakers and clothing, huffing and puffing, with children in tow–they inspire me. If they can do it, I can too.

    • Andrea permalink
      July 15, 2010 10:00 am

      Yes! I know exactly what/who you mean! I am in your same demographic, and I am totally inspired by those who are doing whatever they can to get healthier. If they can – I can!

  71. Casey Carroll Pierce permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    Who inspires me? As I consider this question, the first person who comes to mind is my Mother. She is quite simply the most amazing woman I have ever met. I am #6 of 7 kids (we all have numbers). My father was in the Air Force and our Mom did much of the raising of us kids on her own. My Dad was a great Dad, but in order to support all these mouths to feed he was away from home quite a bit. All seven of us were born in a nine year time span. Which is incredible on it’s own. My mom is now 71. She began running in her late 30’s. She told me recently that this was her escape and her way to be a better Mom for us all. She needed to find herself again after all these years of being Mom. I have five kids and look to my Mom for advice and hugs. She is my shoulder to cry on and the one that sets me straight when I need to be set straight. 🙂 Recently she ran the Bloomsday here in Spokane and placed 6th in her age group! This year the Bloomsday run had 55,000 registered runners so this is quite an accomplishment for a 71 year old woman. This is another reason she inspires me.

    I also find inspiration in my Hood To Coast teammates. Our team name for HTC ironically is the LUNA CHICKS. We are all mothers. Each one of these ladies inspires me for a different reason. There are 40+ kids that belong to these 12 ladies. Four of them have FIVE children. One is a pilot serving our country. Go USA! I have cried, prayed, laughed, and celebrated with these ladies. They will be by my side as I run the HTC and I look forward to having them cheer me on and I look forward to returning the favor! I wouldn’t be able to get through leg three with out their love and support.

  72. July 14, 2010 7:07 pm

    Although I have many people and things that inspire me to run, probably the one I can point to the most is my two-year old daughter. I wasn’t a very athletically oriented child, and was more inclined to spend my hours reading, drawing, or playing the piano — all good pursuits, but certainly not enough to instill a habit of exercise into adulthood — and my mother also wasn’t very athletically inclined — instead spending her time chasing after my sister and I or outside in her garden. My mother struggled with her weight, and now I have shared that same fate. I’m hoping to break that cycle by teaching my daughter about the wonderful benefits of running — all while running for a good cause with team in training.

  73. Erica Richards permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:24 pm

    4 years ago my daugther was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Nephrotic Syndrome. Initially I began running (again) to clear my head, think about her diagnosis and prognosis, and have some alone time. She is my hero and the way she just rolls with her illness is so inspirational especially since she is only 8 years old. Now I run to raise money for the Nephcure Foundation to help find a cause and a cure for this disease. When I need motivation, I just look into her steroid altered beautiful face and know that I have to run. For her and for me.

  74. Cathy permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:29 pm

    My friend Kendra, the one other mom runner I know and inspired me to start. We’ve only done one run together, but I was intrigued that she was able to run, meet goals, enter races and raise two kids when her and her husband work shift work. I guess she was the inspiration that got me moving. When I’m lacking motivation, or when I’m enthusiastic about my running, I can always send her an email or call her up for some running gossip.

  75. Megan D. permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:32 pm

    Honestly, discovering this group of mother’s that are getting it done day after day, while taking care of themselves too, THAT is what inspires me to get out there.

  76. SEL permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:41 pm

    My friend Debi, who is *always* up for a challenge, and my Mom, who struggles so hard to accomplish activities of daily living in the face of parkinson’s disease and heart disease. I can’t help but wonder if her life might be easier if she were fit w/ parkinsons, vs. unfit w/ parkinsons.

  77. Wendy Bublitz permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:45 pm

    The two people who inspire me the most are my husband and my daughter. My husband loves me for exactly who I am. My daughter makes me want to be a better woman. They are both there with a hug and a smile whenever I need them and teach me new things about the world everyday.

  78. Kerry permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:46 pm

    Friends, my little ones, and family for sure – but currently my little running crush has been Kara Goucher. I’m 38 years old, it seems strange to have such a crush now. But I just like what I see when I see her run, when she talks about running, when she’s struggling, when she’s celebrating. It reminds me of my days when I was doing a sport to win, inspires me to put a little more thought into a run, to use the new found strength after a year of nothing to quicken my step a bit, find the rhythm and feel fast for a few strides….

    …even if I’m nowhere near fast. 🙂

  79. Victoria Stone permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:54 pm

    Whenever I get a bit tired of running or feel like I want to quit during a difficult run I think of my first husband and high school sweetheart, Craig. He died from a rare form of cancer 23 years ago when he was only 25 years old, but his attitude throughout his illness was truly inspirational. His favorite phrase (that is inscribed on his grave stone) was “Go For It’….any new treatment or surgery that might extend his life was always met with his grit and determination and he always said “Go for it”….. if he could endure what he did with such a positive attitude I can certainly persevere, try to find joy in every day and every run and even when I don’t feel like it I try to go for it.

  80. Susan Suiter permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:55 pm

    I have a friend named Paige. She is a true inspiration to me. Her thing is not running unless it is running through a mall catching the newest trends. Her inspiration comes in how she continues to fight her cancer that has returned. The first run I EVER did was four years ago in her honor at the Susan G. Komen race for the cure. Now my entire family runs for Paige. Whenever I feel like it is too much of a struggle to finish a run I simply think of a strong woman in her 30’s with two small children valiantly facing a multitude of tumors and treatments with her awesome sense of humor. Paige exudes fortitude and strength which I can only hope to one day emulate. Therefore she is not only my friend, my hero, but also my inspiration to run.

  81. Carolyn permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:55 pm

    I am constantly inspired by every day people I see out on the road and trail. During a 5 miler race I ran this year, as I sprinted to the finish line, I watched a much older woman finish about 100 feet ahead of me. I was so amazed, I noted her bib number and then looked her up on the reults afterwards…she was 70 years old, almost twice my age! I was blown away. At another race, I ran behind two women joined by what appeared to be a rope. I later found out one of the women was blind and the other was her guide. I watch women who don’t look like runners out running in the rain, up impossible hills, in God awful heat and cold. And I always think, “Wow. She is amazing!!”

  82. Liz walker permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:56 pm

    My daughter, who is six. I want her to women can be beautiful, athletic and have fun

  83. Valerie Parker permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:58 pm

    My Dad. He is 68 years old and in the best shape of his life. He runs, bikes and is more athletic than I am. I started running because of him when I was in college so I could spend more time with him.

  84. Judy permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:03 pm

    My children inspire me to be a better mom and to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. I know that I need to be a good example for them so that they can grow up and inspire someone else.

  85. elissa permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:05 pm

    my 5 sisters inspire me. i don’t have a favorite but what i do know is that they collectively know me completely and continually help me discover who i can become. we all have our strengths and we all need to be helped in different ways, and i try so very hard to capitalize on all of their ideas. we love each other in a way no one else can, despite our differences.

  86. Kate permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:05 pm

    I am inspired by my own mom! She is 56 and runs like a mother, even though I am long gone with a baby of my own! everytime I go to visit her, she wants to know how long we are running, when we should go and how fast would I like to go! I love her and she has been an awesome inspiration to me!

  87. July 14, 2010 8:24 pm

    Who inspires me to run? I would have to say my best fellow-mom friend and her husband, both native Minnesotans like me, who run four times a week without fail in the pre-dawn hours year-round, and who inspired me to adopt their no-skipping-runs rules of “if it’s 90 or below” (summer) and “if it’s above zero” (winter), you run. Yes, even if that means it’s January, pitch dark, and 1 degree. Or if it’s August, blazing bright 5 p.m. sun, and 90 degrees. You run. I have skipped fewer runs in the 4 years I’ve known them than ever before, knowing that they’re out there putting in the miles. And if they can do it, so can I.

  88. Carla permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:30 pm

    I am inspired each and every day by all the women out there who juggle twenty balls in the air to get everything done for everyone else and then still manage to carve out some time to run — and keep themselves fit, healthy and strong.

    I hope they are as proud of me as I am of them!

  89. Tracy permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:37 pm

    On January 17, 2009, I delivered my 3rd daughter stillborn. I had no way to let the anger and hurt go so I started running. While different days may give me different reasons to run – she is my inspiration to keep going on every run.

    • July 14, 2010 8:53 pm

      I am so sorry, Tracy. For a totally different reason, I get how running can be cathartic. It can heal and help bring peace. Take care of yourself.

  90. Rachel Ridgway permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:40 pm

    A few things inspire me to run:
    1. My jiggly belly. Regardless the miles or diets, you remain with me, my steadfast companion. Perhaps this run will be the one that makes you go away.
    2. Hannah Banana: the best runner I know, who never makes excuses. She’s slowly teaching me to run my own race, and to run with my legs, not my head.
    3. Gracie the dog, who never saw a run she didn’t like.
    4. Emma and Jake, the kids who like to brag about how far their mom can run, and
    5. The junk food drawer at work. I don’t feel nearly as guilty dipping into the candy if I’ve had a good run. Perhaps this is the biggest contributing factor to the aforementioned jiggly belly. Oh well. Further inspiration for tomorrow!

  91. July 14, 2010 8:43 pm

    My inspiration comes from so many, from my co-worker who let me tag along on her run when I was 50lbs heavier to my bestfriend who rode her bike with me through the snow as I trained for my first Marathon. My friend Amanda whose husband is away at War, who still manages to fit in a run while raising their young son. Stephanie who is YOUNG and athletic, she will have run Marathons or Ultras in 50 states ending with Boston 2011. People who get out of bed and make each day mean something inspire me.

    Pick me I love Luna!!

  92. Jennifer b permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:47 pm

    My running partner: Jane, 64 years old, and qualifies for Boston every time she runs a marathon. She is 100 lbs soaking wet and has the drive and strength of a grizzly bear. Once the gun goes off in a race, she is so focussed and meets her goal everytime. I love our training runs: I learn so much from her and she makes me feel like a hero for getting out on my runs in spite of two boys under 4

  93. Jen Nichols permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:52 pm

    My 7 month old son inspires me to run. I am a type I diabetic and I want to do everything I can to lead a healthy life in order to be around and active with him.

  94. July 14, 2010 8:54 pm

    My Brother and Sister-in-Law inspire me. After 2+ years of struggling to get pregnant, they finally conceived. Their son, my nephew, was born 12 weeks premature and though he fought and fought for his life, he passed away 39 days later. I was inspired by then during his short life because in spite of the obstacles and uncertainties, they never lost hope and didn’t love their baby any less. They spent countless hours in the hospital with him, talked to him, loved him. After he passed away, they showed incredible strength and though the grief was overwhelming, they never gave up hope of having a family and have never stopped loving him. This type of tragedy has the power to tear people apart but they grew stronger together and continue to hold tight to one another on the bad days and are thankful for the 39 days they had their precious little boy with them.

  95. July 14, 2010 9:11 pm

    My husband is my biggest source of inspiration.
    He has this way of adapting to any situation and being flexible and calm with what life hands him. He has saved me from myself and my sometimes rigid ways countless times.
    He was the one that suggested I try barefoot running which has allowed me to keep running injury free.
    We make a good team and balance each other out. I am one lucky girl to be his wife and having his help raising our four boys. He encourages me to take care of myself so I can in turn be a better mother. Which means he watches the kids when I need to get out there and kick some assphalt or he goes with me when I need some company. Did I mention I am a lucky girl 🙂
    He inspires me to be a better person for the sake of the journey.

  96. Tiffany permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:12 pm

    My hubby inspires me to run! He started running a couple of years ago and since then has run 2 marathons and recently completed his first ultra-marathon (50k). He’s currently training to run a 50-miler and is going to be a coach trainee for an upcoming marathon training program, in addition to starting a “Run 4 God” program at our church. I’m overweight and as such, at risk of developing health problems. He’d been encouraging me to start running, not necessarily to lose weight, but to be healthy. I finally relented and joined and completed a “No Boundaries” couch-to-5k program and am now a few weeks away from completing a 10k training program. I haven’t lost any poundage, but I do feel like I’m firming up and becoming healthier inside. I don’t necessarily “love” running, but it provides a challenge and a way for me to get some exercise. If it wasn’t for my hubby’s repeated prodding, I would have never done it and I’m really happy now that I am!

  97. Steph permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:17 pm

    My friend Amy is the one who inspired me to start running. She moved away after college and the next time I saw her she was about 100 pounds lighter and running road races! So I started with the Couch to 5k and just this last April Amy and I ran a half marathon together. Then I inspired my mom to start running. She’s still going which inspires me to keep going, because truthfully…if I could be healthy and in shape without exercise, I would drop the running! I do enjoy it sometimes, but not all the time !

  98. Carrie K permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:23 pm

    My BFF Amylynn…she did the couch to 5K program. Did the whole program, ran the 5K and never quit! Then she encouraged and bullied me into caring about my health!! I love her for it and she probably saved my life by doing it!

  99. July 14, 2010 9:42 pm

    My inspiration to run are my two little girls. At 2 3/4 years and 4 months, these girls are amazing, interesting, curious, wonderful, and gifted natural athletes. Well, maybe not the 4 month old yet, though the girl can wiggle. They are my inspiration not only because running is so natural to them, but because I am their first and biggest role model for how a woman is. I tell them all the time that they will grow up big and strong one day, like a woman. I run to show them part of what that means: taking care of myself, being strong, and doing something important for myself. I ran when I was pregnant, I ran during all my years so far of nursing. I am doing my 10th half-marathon in a few months – one I signed up for when I found out I was pregnant with my second. She will be 7 1/2 months old when I run it. She runs with me on each of my training runs. I hope my girls will have the confidence and strength to pursue their interests, and know that nothing can stand in their way.

  100. Vicky permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:45 pm

    My friends Tammy and Cathy inspire me. Both a little older but power houses. They are awesome.

  101. Margo permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:50 pm

    I have always been inspired by my husband, who is the finest person I have ever known; and by my parents and other friends, but just lately I’ve been inspired by someone I’ve never even met — Kristin Armstrong. She had an article in the May issue of Runner’s World titled “Feeling Lucky?” in which she talks about how changing her thinking (and speaking) of “I have to” to “I get to” affected her life. I read it and something just clicked in me. Now I have always tried to be mindful of all the blessings in my life, but I have never applied that to running. Many times I think of running or the gym as one more chore, or sometimes penance (for the giant currant scone AND cheese roll I had for breakfast)that I’m required to complete! Changing my mindset and self talk to “I get to run today” has been transforming. I push myself farther and am now training for a 10 mile race in November — my longest distance yet. It takes a little while to get in the habit of replacing “have to” with “get to” but oh, what a difference three little letters make. My attitude is gratitude — in running, at work, in life! If you guys ever run(ha ha)into Kristin, please tell her I said thank you.

    • Csaf permalink
      July 15, 2010 2:40 pm

      I have to second this! I, too, read that post, and that has become one of my mantras (I get to run today!), either to motivate to get my butt out from under the covers at 5am, or to get up and over a hill.

  102. Meghan permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:14 pm

    My dad is the one who inspired me to start running. I was 12 and awkward, with a bad perm and glasses. He was always getting up and going for a run while I watched TV on Saturday morning, and he wanted me to learn how to be active. So he found a way to get me motivated–He told me if I could run 100 miles, I could FINALLY get contacts like my best friend. 100 miles? For a 6th grader, that sounded impossible. But I started running, one mile at a time, and eventually worked my way up to 3 miles at a time. By Christmas, I had gotten rid of both my glasses and my couch potato habits.

  103. Trish permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:25 pm

    Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation absolutely inspire me. Lance is an amazing athlete and seeing what he has created in the Livestrong foundation is inspiring. You feel the incredible positive energy and support so many are able to gain through their involvement. I often chant “Livestrong” in my head when I hit my wall. Each of us needs to find our way to live strong and help others to do so as well.

  104. Megan Barnes permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:28 pm

    My little sister! In our recent (very first race ever) 5K , I was just to petered out. But she stayed right with me, and kept me pepped up to the finish line. She could have gone on and finished with a much better time, but she stayed with me!!! Love her a million.

  105. Priscilla permalink
    July 15, 2010 4:59 am

    My daughter inspires me. Her love of movement and need for physical play inspire me to be an active mom. She has boundless energy, doing jumping jacks until she falls into bed and is sound asleep in less than 5 minutes. She also inspires me to be a good role model. With childhood obesity on the rise and the reduction of kid’s outdoor time, I make it a point to show her that exercise and getting outside are important and necessary to me as an adult too. Being outside together, hiking, biking, swimming, or playing freeze tag are some of our best moments.

  106. Nancy M permalink
    July 15, 2010 5:13 am

    the memory of my Mom… and for the future of my {14 year old} daughter…

  107. Joy P permalink
    July 15, 2010 5:21 am

    My inspiration is my boys. Two very active teenagers. I want to be strong enough to keep up with their extreme activities. I am so happy to be able to have the stamina to “tag along”.

  108. Tina permalink
    July 15, 2010 5:49 am

    A article in runners world is my motivation. It talks about all the trials and tribulations of life especially the devastation’s and how we can’t change things or completely protect the ones we love but we can be strong enough (physically and mentally) for when they occur to help ourselves and all those around us pick up the pieces. I run to stay strong so I am ready to leap when I am needed.

  109. Amanda D permalink
    July 15, 2010 5:53 am

    Inspiration does change everyday for me, but there are a few constants– my dad who passed away before he could meet my kids or husband, a girlfriend who is in the battle of her life with cancer at the age of 30, my brother who has an awful disease that has inhibited him for 4 years from running… Everyday when those excuses creep into my head, these four people pop into my head– they cannot run or exercise, so why should I not? Kids, husband and friends are just some of the others that inspire me to get off my butt and go— they know it makes for a happier and more relaxed mom— sometimes they are too smart…. 🙂

  110. Suzanne permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:11 am

    Conor Lighthizer inspires me to run. Conor was a 29 year old Type 1 diabetic and an accomplished marathoner and triathlete. As a type 1 diabetic, I never thought I could run. Conor passed away from a sever hyperglycemic episode in September of 2006. I started running to celebrate his life and I’m attempting my first marathon in his honor – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 31, 2010 – he was registered for it in 2006 but passed away prior to being able to run it. Conor gave me the courage to run despite my illness.

  111. Sandy permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:28 am

    I am inspired by my friend Mary. She went through some hard times and came out the other side as a runner. I realized what good therapy running can be and I hope to come out the other side as a runner as well.

  112. Rebecca permalink
    July 15, 2010 7:24 am

    All the women who know what they want and go out and get are inspiring to me.

    My children inspire me.

    Your book inspires me!

    The hope that the further I run the clearer things will become, inspires me at 5am.

  113. July 15, 2010 9:07 am

    I run because I love to but it’s the excitement that it creates that inspires me. For me, running creates an adrenalin rush and that pushes me. My two boys get excited about my training, my racing and the medals that I bring home. My cross-country team and the kids at school love to hear about the stories I tell. My neighbours, family, friends and blogging buddies also show their excitement about my pursuits and that also keeps me going.

  114. Renada permalink
    July 15, 2010 9:57 am

    My inspiration comes from a lot of people, but sometimes my best inspiration has come from myself — pushing through the hard runs, finding and appreciating my inner strength.

  115. Csaf permalink
    July 15, 2010 10:25 am

    My kids and husband inspire me.

    And folks who are somehow disadvantaged (be it physical or financial) who still get out there and, they all inspire me to do better and leave the complaining for someone else!

  116. July 15, 2010 11:01 am

    Usually it’s my husband…..he watches the kids, always says “yes” to race fees and the “gotta have it right now” running gear. I haven’t heard him complain yet….he actually pushes me to get faster, run longer, and accomplish more than I ever thought!

    Other days it’s my kids (3 and 2). They think every runner out there is “mommies friend”. As we pass them walking or in the car they shout “mommy! look! your running friend!” It’s very cute and makes me want to jump out there and run with them.

  117. proudpatriot07 permalink
    July 15, 2010 11:43 am

    Wow, a lot of people really inspire. One person is my college roommate, Tiffany. She is from a town with sky high unemployment and an area where most people have really no hope. She graduated from college with a 3.8 GPA and has now graduated from law school. Basically, she is like an inspiration for a lot of people in that town, and thinking about going back there to practice law once she passes her final exams. Plus, it really inspires me- no matter what background someone comes from, you never know what they can truly do with their lives and help so many others. So Tiffany is my inspiring person!

    Amy Lauren

  118. LAW permalink
    July 15, 2010 4:06 pm

    I have a dear friend from high school (we graduated 25 years ago) who has been my primary inspiration and encouragement. In April 2009, she did her first 5 k and walked a good bit of it. In February 2010, she did the Disney half. I have always hated running and thought I could not do it, but after losing 42 pounds last year, I was toying with the idea. Knowing that she started where I was and is my age made me realize it is possible. She has met me to run in the mornings and has continuously cheered me on. I have several other great friends who are runners and they all are encouraging, but she has been the number one. The best thing about it is that despite how close we had been in high school, we had drifted away from each other over the years. Now we are close again and running has given us that.

    I am also inspired by any moms of young children who get out there and run and train for these long races. It is so hard! And after reading Run Like A Mother, I realize that A LOT of you do it all the time and if you can, then so can I. So I am inspired by all of you! Thanks!

  119. July 15, 2010 4:41 pm

    When I walk in the Avon WAlk for Breast Cancer there are inspirational signs all along our 39.3 mile route that say things like “Blisters don’t get cancer” and “You’re walking today for a cancer free tomorrow”. These walks are a time to put my compeditivenesss aside and look at the people around me. They are all here because they want to find a cure, most of them are here because someone they love has or has had Breast Cancer and a few are here because they are battling the cancer now or have survived it. Everytime I see pink, on anything, I am inspired. I wear pink to many of my races because it makes me feel powerful and I pull endurance from the those particpating in the Breast Cancer walks, I’m pulling love from all these people who they love that have breast Cancer, I’m pulling faith and unknown immeasurable strength from those who are battling and surviving cancer every day. Pink is the color when I think of “an Army of strong women” fighting for a cure.

    These women (and men) who walk inspire me. Pink is what represents that strength for me.

  120. July 15, 2010 6:53 pm

    I am inspired by all of the runners, swimmers, and cyclists I have met by becoming a part of the athletic community here in DC. There is no way I would have been motivated enough to train for and complete a triathlon without the support from all these amazing people! They inspire me every day to keep working, and to keep fighting.

  121. July 20, 2010 12:46 pm

    The other teachers I work with inspire me. Teaching is hard, and getting harder, and they keep focused on the bog picture, which is that we do this job because someone needs to, and it is important work. This fall I will start my 13th year as as elementary school teacher, and I know I wouldn’t have made it without them.

  122. July 28, 2010 7:45 pm

    Coming to the game late (and post-giveaway), but I wasn’t feeling inspired when this first came up. This week, however, my son gave me a big dose of inspiration. One of the reasons I started running was to set a good example for him, and it looks like it’s working. I just posted about this on my blog, but here’s most of it.

    Often I run after he goes to bed, but I’ll usually change into my running clothes before he goes down so he knows I’m going out for a run. The other day he was having a really bad morning and was crying and sobbing. I went into his bedroom and held him to help calm him down. In between the sobs he asked me “Did you have a good one?” And I’m thinking, “A good what?” I thought he might have been asking if I had a good night’s sleep because we often talk about that in the morning. The honest answer to that would have been, “No, because you’ve been up since 4:30.” But I asked him to repeat himself and after a few tries he finally calmed down enough to ask more clearly, “Did you have a good run?”

    I almost burst into tears. Here he was, so upset, but the first thing he thought of when he saw me was to ask if I had had a good run. You bet I did, buddy!

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