Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 - The Greatest Year Yet?

Over the past few weeks, I have thought, off and on, about all of the amazing things in my life.  I think we all do something like that around this time of year.  There is a list a mile long including family, friends, my job and now that my health issues have (knock on wood) settled down a bit, it is time to be thankful that I have that again.  For the past three years, surgeries, specialists, medicated eye drops, long drives and doctor's office waiting rooms have been a constant.  Something that I had just figured would be a way of life for me for the rest of my years here on this planet.  Luckily, I have had several months of stability.  Nothing has gotten better, but nothing has worsened either.  I am still able to live a fairly normal life, albeit with major changes in the way I do things, but nothing is going to stop me from doing the things I love!

So it is with that in mind that I start thinking about what my goals for 2012 will be.  I'm not a big resolution maker, since those seem to fall by the wayside within a few short weeks or months.  Instead, I think of all of the things I would like to accomplish in the year.  For me, if it is more of a task list, I seem to be more successful at it than if it is a list of things I'd like to change.  A technicality maybe, but it seems to work a bit better for me.

Of course, there are several areas in my life that I would like to make task lists for, but today, I am working on my running goals for the year.  The biggest goal and the one that sticks out in my mind the most is the completion of my first full marathon!  Deb, a dear friend of mine, and I have decided that this is the year for us to tackle those 26.2!  I have to get that sticker for my car window, that's all there is to it!!

The Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee is on October 7th this year.  It's the race that we both decided on and for me, there could not be a better choice!  As I was looking at the route to decide if this was one I would like to spend 5 or more hours on, I could see that St. Mary's Hospital is located between miles 7 and 8.  The place where I spent 3 months fighting for my life and the place where I lost so much muscle and weight that I left the hospital with a wheelchair and a walker to help me in my process of relearning how to walk and keep my balance.  It's hard to believe that I was ever that sick and that I have come so far since then.  Thinking back, I remember when I first started running again, that first mile on the treadmill where I felt as though I had a cinder blocks on my feet and one misstep would land me in a heap on the floor.  I was so proud of the moment that I had worked up to running outside.  I felt like a true runner again!  I ran 2 miles in 26:46, a 13:23 pace.  I felt like I was flying!  Since then, I have run those 3.1 miles at a 9:56 pace.  Just getting stronger!

Running the Lakefront Marathon, no matter the time, will be a sense of completion for me.  I was sick, I survived, I healed, and now I'm better than I was before I ever heard of Stevens Johnson Syndrome.  It will be an emotional journey, but one well worth the ride!

I'm also planning to tackle 2 more half marathons, a 55 mile relay, and the Fox Cities relay for Team SJS.  I know there are more that I want to do, but those are the ones I have put on my list so far.  My other goal for the year is to see if I can reach 1,000 miles running.  This year was a little over 600, so we'll see how close I get.  

So here is to yet another year of living life to it's fullest, conquering those fears that still linger and that self-doubt that rears it's ugly head from time to time.  Here's to helping other SJS Survivors to realize their own potential and the possibility of achieving their own  goals.  Here's to one foot in front of the other... one day at a time!

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