Thursday, July 29, 2010


(above pic, just emailed to me from David Monti, awesome pic of Ry smiling! Thanks for sharing, David)

Hi there blog. It's been a couple of weeks, but recently mentally re-focused again to start rounding out the last few months of this training and fundraising. I have a couple of amazing runs lately. I got in a great mid distance run on Tuesday, and an awesome tempo run yesterday as the temperature dropped a few degrees in the overcast weather. It's been a roller coaster of a summer, but Ryan's spirit has seeped back into my running workouts, and it's actually been very helpful during the tough moments on the trail when I feel like stopping or even slowing down to a minimal jog. I am starting to visualize the finish line in NYC right now, like I did when I started getting geared up for the Austin Marathon last Valentine's Day. Personally, a few rough patches here and there, but nothing that won't work itself out in the end. It's amazing how training for a previous race can be totally opposite for another race. Undoubtedly, I will feel so much happiness, relief, and satisfaction with the ING NYC Marathon. When I visited Central Park a few times after Ryan's death, near "the rock" in Central Park, the sunlight always seemed to illuminate through the trees and shine down, just enough to feel him looking down on the city. I hope to write more is the training will start to pick up, and fundraising becomes very important in the final days. I continue to feel lucky to have this chance to keep Ryan's memory alive and give back to our troops. My best bud just headed back overseas today, and I found out someone else dear to me will go over for a 2nd tour very shortly. As usual, the realness of their service, and of all our men and women over there is what helps me truck along with Running For Ryan. Thanks for helping spread the word.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So, a couple of weeks ago I had a message from a guy named Ryan to see a condo we manage in the Austin area. It was the first day back after returning from Michigan, so my desk was swamped, and my energy limited, but I made the appointment to show this unit and the funniest thing happened. Actually, I would consider it a fateful thing.

I showed the two guys the place, they liked it, and so I started the small talk of, "So, what do you do in Austin". Mark told me he was in computer software, or something like that, and Ryan said he helped train professional runners. I was like, "cool, my brother was a professional runner, Ryan Shay." Both of them kind of dropped their jaws, and said, "You are Ryan's sister"? Then they said in unison, "We are Flotrack"( . I was like, get out of town, huh, what a small world. So, we got to talking about Ryan and my younger brother Stephan, and pretty much how funny it was for me to bump into them, neither of us knowing each other, but connected through the common interest of running.

We finished chatted, they got the place, and a couple of weeks later, I got a nice email from Mark about meeting up soon for an interview regarding Running For Ryan. So, I look forward to the opportunity as funds need to start coming in now as we are nearing 3 months before race day. (By the way, I asked Mark if I could bring this story up---as I am not usually one to discuss our clients, but this was a unique encounter indeed).

Well, going to get a 7/8 mile run in later on, and Max comes back, after vacationing with his dad the last 2 weeks, so looking forward to a lot of hugs and kisses this evening from my little man!

Friday, July 16, 2010

JULY 17, 2010

("T" (left), and me)

Ahh, I feel somewhat better now that I have some medication for my 2 week cough that turned out be be Bronchitis. I am going to knock this madness out with some antibiotics and hopefully be on the way to a full recovery in a couple of weeks. I did get in a 4 mile run today, very slow pace, but manageable. Came home, laid on the couch, and started my antibiotics and cough medicine that wiped me out for a bit. Now I am pretty much wide awake in the middle of the night, but hopefully writing a little bit will get me tired again.
I still plan on running while getting through this upper respiratory infection, but I will allow my body to decide how far and how strong.
Got some great news recently that my best bud who is currently serving overseas is on R & R for a couple of weeks and she's going to pop into Austin and hang out with me for a day before heading back home and flying back overseas. It was quite a surprise, but I love her for taking the time to visit, even though it's only for 24 hours. Her friendship to me is unlike any other, and well, I am sure we will have some nice long chats about my current dating situation and her on going sagas as well. I mean what's better than grabbing some good food, maybe some good chocolate and shooting the breeze with a woman I admire so much for her service to the U.S.
The visit is a great boost for my spirit and I hope for hers as well. Okay, now I am getting to the point of maybe catching some zzzzzzzz again. I will attempt a long run around the lake tomorrow and going to bake some banana bread with the rotten bananas on my kitchen counter tomorrow. I have been know to bake some killer banana bread. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

JULY 15, 2010

Yesterday morning I had the great opportunity to chat with Bart Yasso and Chuck Engle for a Purefit Radio interview. This lead to meeting some ladies of a great online apparel store, Check them out, as they have befriended me, and may just be able to help out a bunch in the near future for Running For Ryan.

It's been about 10 months since I first started blogging for Running For Ryan, and in between the hustle and bustle of being a mom, working, running, and trying to get the word out for donations, I managed to squeeze in some dating. I must admit, I am pretty awful at it, but it wasn't until recently that I met someone I find interesting and well, the first man I have known for more than a couple of dates since my marriage ended 3.5 years ago. But unfortunately, I may still have a bit to go before I know just how to ease into another relationship. I think I pretty much blew this chance, because I still have a hard time communicating what's important to me in a partnership because I am afraid I am not going to like the results/answers I may receive in return. I guess I am not at that level of confidence I need to be, so I will keep on trucking and trying. I am not saying this guy has run away, saying, "get me out of here", let's hope another chance at getting to know each other is in the works, but like running....the more I get out there and do it...the easier it gets.

I have been on day 10 of a nasty persistent cough, but managed to get some good runs in earlier in the week. Looking forward to an easy run tomorrow evening as I gather up energy for a 10-12 miler on Saturday.

Watching Forest Gump (on VHS!) as I check emails/blog and I cannot believe how time has gone by. The movie was filmed in 1995, but the love story is always still great to watch between Forest and Jenny(Forest never giving up, yeah!) , and the resilience of Gary Sinise's character as the amputated Lt. Dan always makes me think of our troops, past and present. It's time to get rolling and pump of the energy for remaining training months. I pray good things come our way for Running For Ryan, and we get this goal met. If you are reading, keep spreading the word, and make a donation---any amount is appreciated!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

JULY 13, 2010

(Ryan Shay mid-summer night run shirt and medal for July 4, 2010 race in Central Lake, Mi. I ran it in 59:34, going for a 10 min pace, so ok with the time :))

I really enjoyed my time going back home. As I mentioned, it was the first time I had been back since Ryan's funeral. Yah, I know almost 3 years, but with moving from Michigan, to Maryland, and now Austin, it was a busy 3 years. One thing I realized though, was I don't want to go 3 years without a vacation again. I don't mean to say this in a spoiled sounding way, but with the divorce and the death, I was a non-stop working machine, focused on supporting my son and myself, trying to make ends meet, and build on some kind of stable future. But I realized along the way, everyone needs a break! Whatever your budget is, get out and live a little! Before I headed to Michigan, I was having Lupus flare ups, for a few weeks, and I caught something towards the end of my vacation, because I have been hacking and coughing for a week now, so I think my body is telling me to slow down. So, I took a little vacation from my vacation and did nothing this weekend expect spend it with great company and some pretty great running days despite the heat.
I am starting to come to the crucial months of this fundraiser. Due to being kind of worn down the last few weeks, I couldn't put too much time into this challenge. But yesterday my 7 mile run was different. It was like the running I used to do for the Austin Marathon challenge. I was energized mentally, which made the physical challenge of coughing and feeling a little weak feel alright. Sometimes I wish I didn't open my big mouth about doing a fall marathon. I really think I was even a little crazy to think I could train in this heat for the NYC Marathon, but when you make a promise to a cause dear to your heart, there really is no excuse to quit. My brother would never quit at anything, and it wouldn't honor him to put up my shoes now. I am very lucky to have made the trip home, as it reconnected me to loved ones, and to Ryan's spirit. I was a little homesick when I returned to Austin for the first couple of days, but Austin has become my home, and I will continue to kick up dirt around the trail and hope that I can reach out to those who also feel our troops need our support. I am almost certain this will be my last marathon challenge in Ryan's memory for the Wounded Warrior Project. If you are reading this, I TRULY appreciate helping spreading the word and donating any amount you can. Thank you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

JULY 1, 2010---Hometown Visit

(Ryan Shay Run banner)
(Me and bro Nate, who gave me courage to not worry about Lupus marks in photos anymore!)

It's ridiculously late, but felt like writing a little before I finally close my eyes. I arrived in Chicago yesterday and spent the night at my brother's house. It was a great night of catching up and finally seeing him again after so long. What I love about my siblings is that we can go several months, maybe even a year or more without seeing each other, but it's always like old times. Last night was one of those special times when we bonded after Max finally crashed for the night, discussing, who would have guessed, relationships! It was pretty good chat and kept us up a couple of hours, which allowed for a late start up to Northern Michigan. But without an agenda, Max and I got up here at a decent time and enjoyed an awesome dinner at the Blue Pelican, a local place in Central Lake ,with my parents.
Before the dinner, I put my running shoes on and hit the country roads for an amazing 5 mile run. It's soooooo cold up here compared to Austin right now that I am in running heaven! The tempo run felt great and there weren't any strong UV rays tearing into my face. One thing about this trip is that I hope to calm the Lupus flare up a little and enjoy the pleasant weather before heading back to Austin.
On the way into town I saw the Ryan Shay race banner for the first time, and it took my breath away. Sadness, mixed with inspiration, as I cannot help but feel him everywhere I turn while I am at home right now. I kept picturing him running toward me on my run, as I know he pounded the same pavement hundreds of times while visiting my parents over the past few years before he passed away.
As I was helping my mom prepare a little for the race this evening, she told me she had an amazing dream about Ryan a few days ago, dressed in fatigues and an absolute positive vibe came between her and him in the dream. My mom didn't get why he was dressed in camouflage, but, I will take it as a sign to keep on trucking with this challenge and get the monetary goal met for our wounded soldiers.

It's almost 4th of July, and while it seems many are frustrated with America lately, let's never forget how much more difficult our severely wounded veterans have if there were no funded organizations, like the Wounded Warrior Project to help meet some or several of their needs.

Please continue to spread the word to family and friends and businesses. Thanks!