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Hi all. This is rather long but I won't be back to the internet until later this evening so you have plenty of time to read it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">. I am in an off-site training class all day (ugh), so please don't think I'm ignoring any questions, I just haven't made it back in here yet. Thanks for reading.<br><br><br><br><br><b><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">1. Why do you run?</span></span></b><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I have run off and on for about 10 years, usually when I needed to lose weight and typically I would hit the treadmill for 3-4 miles a few days a week. The first time I started was when my ex-husband told me he would divorce me if I didn’t lose weight and walking wasn’t taking it off fast enough for me. Since that time I have lost and regained the same weight several times--I’d take a break for a few weeks or months and the weight would come back. A couple of years ago I decided that setting a goal to be consistent might work better than setting a goal to lose the same 30-40 pounds. A big part of that was to keep myself challenged—constantly changing and tweaking what I do so I stay interested and motivated. In other words, make it a lifestyle, not just another means to an end. Running has definitely provided that challenge for me. Since I ditched the treadmill a couple of years ago and started running outside and racing locally, I have lost almost 50 pounds and kept it off—and since I like to eat and now require a lot fewer calories to maintain, I expect to continue running for a long time. Running is also my stress reliever and my “me” time.</span></span><br><br><b><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">2. What is your greatest accomplishment?</span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I don’t know if the greatest has happened yet but I have a few good ones. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college after going straight after H.S. (B.S. in Engineering Physics w/Electronics emphasis and Master’s in Materials Science), although my dad beat me to a Master’s degree by about 6 months. And I had a full ride scholarship to do it with, along with a number of other scholarships that were pretty much cash in my pocket. I did however work full time for most of my college career--at one point I had 2 fast food jobs and a computer lab job on campus. I met my ex-husband the day before the first day of class my freshman year and married him about a year later—I’d been 19 for a month. He didn’t feel like he needed to work more hours or get a higher paying job but liked to spend all the money we didn’t have on his hobbies and beer. This got worse as the years went on and when he didn’t get his way he tended to be emotionally and mentally abusive. Like I said, I was very young when we got married, didn’t have a whole lot of experience with men and I’m sure it was pretty easy to walk all over me. That whole marriage was all about making him happy, never about me or us. If you came to visit our apartment, you would never know anyone besides him lived there—it was full of his things. As I got a little older (and smarter I guess), I wasn’t such a doormat and that’s when things got pretty bad. Leaving him was a HUGE accomplishment—the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I now have a wonderful husband and kids—my sweet 4 year old boy is the smartest kid I know but I’m probably a little biased. My 11 y.o. step-daughter is a lot of work but I love her and if we can help her grow up to be a responsible, productive adult despite all the crap her mother has put her through that will be a huge accomplishment.</span></span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b>3. What is your motto/theme song?</b> I don’t think I have one. I do have a few songs on the mp3 player though that I think are very appropriate for running and tend to stay there no matter what:</span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Move Along—All American Rejects</span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">‘Til I Collapse—Eminem</span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">How Far We’ve Come—Matchbox 20</span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">If You’re Going Thru Hell (keep on moving)—Rodney Atkins</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b>4. How do you deal with bad runs?</b></span></span></span></b> <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Bitch about them to my friends and husband and forget about it. Hopefully by replacing it with a good run the next time.</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">5. Do you reward yourself for good runs? How?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Not with specific rewards but I might think of something spur-of-the-moment. For example, this past weekend I did 10 miles Friday to help my VRAA team finish the course and 18 on Saturday—my longest run ever. So it was a good weekend to try out the new DQ Tin Roof Brownie blizzard! Twice! A couple of weekends ago I did my second half marathon and PR’d—a good reason to check in at Hibbett’s Sports to see if they had any of my favorite shorts on sale, which they did and which I bought.</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">6. Who do you admire most?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">This is a tough one, only because I have so many to choose from. First, my parents. They are wonderful parents and I have the opportunity to see that despite maybe not thinking that so much when I actually growing up. After having 6 kids (I am the oldest) and all of us were grown up and out of the house, mom and dad decided to become foster parents. K came to my parents when he was 5 and it was his 6th foster home. His mother has had 5-6 kids; all with different fathers and the state of CA has taken all of them away from her. K was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and his mom had been addicted to drugs for a number of years. One of her boyfriends had beat him up and broken his leg when he was 18 months before the state stepped in. Dad was in the Air Force at the time (now a 31-yr retired Lt. Col), and when they were transferred to Texas they would not have been able to take K with them, so they adopted him. While in Texas they decided that K deserved to grow up with brothers and sisters like we had. G was 2 when he was put in foster care after he was found in the middle of a street in his diaper only, which had not been changed regularly in a long time. He had burns on his bottom from sitting in urine all the time. His mom was getting high somewhere and nowhere to be found. Now he is my brother. And then several years ago mom and dad got a phone call from the state of CA. K had a brother and a sister who were adopted by another family. That family had a number of adopted and foster kids, and for some reason they decided to abuse K’s brother and the state had to remove him from the home—so they called my parents and asked if they would take him. I now have three brothers who are 14, 16 and 17—I’m 34. All of these boys were on a number of different meds when mom and dad got them—ADHD meds, anti-depressants, etc. That’s how many people deal with kids like that instead of trying to actually help them. Especially with these kids who are older and are considered un-adoptable. Now they take no medications and have not done so for years. Oh yeah—and through all this, my mother has Lupus and has been sick on and off since I was a kid. They would hospitalize her for a week or two just to make her get some sleep and dad would take us to various family friends’ houses until she could come home. They’ve had evidence of it in her records since 1978 although no official diagnosis until the very late 80’s, when I was a teenager.</span></span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Then there is my MIL. She has been fighting breast cancer now since before I met her—1993 or so. First in one breast, then she was in remission for a number of years after a mastectomy, reconstruction and then chemo. It came back in 1999-2000 on the other side and has since metastasized into other parts of her body. Until this most recent round of chemo, you would have never have known this woman was sick. She has always been the fittest, most energetic person I know. In fact, she has been my fitness role model since I have known her. She doesn’t run but the woman can walk a 12-minute mile. She absolutely would not let cancer get the best of her and I think her fitness has played a huge role in that. Lately the chemo treatments have been getting tougher because they are not showing as much effectiveness as they have in the past, so she is finally admitting to being sick, and that is scary as hell because it’s just not like her.</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">7. What is the greatest advice you have ever received?</span></span></span></b> <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My mother has told me since I was a teenager that I should finish my education and be able to support myself because there is no way to predict what will happen in life. I am glad I listened because I would not be where I am today had I not.</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">8. What do wish you had learned younger?</span></span></span></b> <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">To stand up for myself and not let people walk all over me.</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">9. What do you wish you could do but can't?</span></span></span></b> <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I tend to cry pretty easily and I hate that. I wish I could control it better.</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">10. How would your friends describe your personality?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Very quiet and reserved until I get to know you better. I am a loyal friend, and I have a very sharp sense of humor, and I tend to think very logically for the most part. But I’m also somewhat of a softie (see #9).</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">11. What do you wear running? favorite outfit?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Winter—I hate being cold so usually layers of long sleeved tech shirts, my Hind tights and sometimes a pair of wind pants if it is very cold. I also like this fleece vest my friend gave me for long runs especially b/c it has pockets, and I love my Mizuno headband to keep the ears warm.</span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Summer—Nike Tempo shorts that I will only buy when they are on sale and a sleeveless top. Most of my stuff, no matter what the season, tends to be black or white with color as an accent. I’m not too creative with the colors.</span></span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Footwear—currently the Saucony Progrid Triumph 5. My first pair that is not Adidas that I can actually run in without injury—I have very high arches and not enough forefoot cushion in the balls of my feet so shoes are a real pain, literally, if they are not perfect. I also have these super-thick Thorlo socks that help with the cushioning issue.</span></span></span><br><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">12. What has been your favorite race?</span></span></span></b> <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">All of my races have been smaller local races and I think I’ve enjoyed them all. My favorite 5K so far is this all-women’s race I did last summer—the entertainment was fantastic, the food was awesome and they had free massages! That was a first for me. Then last fall we did a 10K that was a bit bigger (about 600 runners) where the last part of the race you run into the stadium for the Springfield Cardinals (AAA team for the St. Louis Cardinals) and they announce your name and show the runners rounding the bases up on the jumbotron screen as you come through—you run from 2nd base around to home to get to the finish line. That was pretty cool. I didn’t place in either of those races but the experiences were awesome.</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">13. Do you have a goal race right now?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Our one and only local 5K is this coming weekend. It was my first race ever last year so I want to beat my time, which should be no problem—last year was a 28:30. It is a hilly course so I don’t think I’ll beat my current PR of 24:18 but I run that course a lot and I know I can hit those hills a lot better than I could a year ago. Besides that, I think I’ve decided to try for my first marathon, possibly the Bass Pro marathon in Springfield MO the first weekend of November since it is local. There is a half on the same day so I can still bail! I need to figure out how I’m going to train for the marathon. Long runs on the weekend aren’t a big deal but anything longer than 5 miles are hard for me to do during the week because I like to run at lunch so it doesn’t interfere with family time. I’d like to have at least one other longer run besides the weekend LSD for marathon training, so I need to figure that one out.</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">14. What makes you happy?</span></span></span></b><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lots of things, here are a few: my family, hugs and kisses from my sweet boy, running of course, new running gear, new shoes (any kind), spring weather after a crappy winter, a good meal—either eating it or cooking it, coming homing to find out my husband has cleaned the house, a good book, being recognized for good work at my job.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b><span style="color:#000000;">15. Tell us one interesting thing about you that you haven't said (at least not often) on this forum in the past.</span></b> <span style="color:#000000;">Since I tend to lurk more than I post, probably everything on this will be something I haven’t said before. I am an Air Force brat and did quite a bit of traveling as dad was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for 4 years when I was very young and then Mildenhall AFB near Newmarket, England when I was in elementary school. Dad was enlisted for 11 years and then was told they would send him to Officer Training School if he would go into missiles. We moved to Whiteman AFB in MO in 1982 and I have been in Missouri ever since, although mom and dad have been transferred elsewhere until they retired here in Lebanon. Since we lived in England prior to 1982, I have to answer “yes” on that question for donating blood because in years prior they didn’t test beef there for Mad Cow disease, which means they don’t want my blood. So I suppose I could go crazy at any time but it’s a perfect excuse because I HATE needles. And spiders.</span></span></span><br><b><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">16. Tell us one interesting thing about another user of this forum that has not been posted (at least not often) on this forum in the past (make sure the other person will not object to posting the info!).</span></span></span></b><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I don’t know anyone here well enough to do that. Hopefully that will change with time. It’s been great so far to be here.</span></span></span><br><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lisa</span></span></span>
 

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Thanks for the great post Lisa. Your "Ex" clearly deserves to be an "Ex". It is great you're confident in yourself now and have a great and supportive family now. I much enjoyed getting to know you a little bit.<br><br>
Bill
 

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Thanks Bill for reading. I hate to say it but even people like that have a place in your life because I think you learn something from everyone. Unfortunately with some people, lessons are learned the hard way. My current husband thinks I am a fantastic cook, and other people have said the same thing. Some of the things I cook these days were learned through trial and error in the previous life because my ex wouldn't eat it if it wasn't perfect. Now other people reap the benefits of those lessons.
 

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I had actually read too quickly and missed the ex part the first time around. I thought to myself, "I hope she dropped that guy." Then as I read farther down and saw the ex-husband part, I re-read the beginning and grinned. Good for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
And I love that they got those kids off the meds. I tend to agree with that in most situations.<br><br>
Excellent post!
 

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Wow, Lisa - that's one helluva' story dealing with your ex- to your parents and the foster kids (that's awesome that they did that) and your finding running and more. I'd say you've lived a full life already and then some<br><br>
Thanks for the POTD...I really enjoyed the read
 

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Late getting to read this but glad I dug it up. Congrats on your 18 miler!! And your parents and MIL are really special folks as I am sure your kid and Stepdaughter will be saying about you when they grow up.<br><br>
Thanks for sharing!
 

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Thanks for sharing this...sounds like you have some wonderful people in your life who are also fortunate to have you<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 
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