My (Running) Year in Review… Don’t Call it a Comeback (by Leanne Rainey)

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve written. I thought I was on top of the world when I turned forty, only to realize a few months later that life had a curve ball coming my way. Funny how things tend to happen. Anyway, I’m feeling sentimental, so forgive me as I get personal and reflect on the past 12-15 months. After major abdominal surgery with unforeseen complications in November of 2016, twelve weeks in bed (Yes, 12 weeks in bed!!) and 16 weeks of limited activity, I have risen from the dust and found myself again— or rather, a new version of the person I used to be. I knew the girl I was before was gone, but after my surgery I desperately wanted to find a “new normal.” I turned to running since it had been my refuge for the past decade or so. I’ve always felt that we are all born to run. It’s the one thing anyone can do… to put one foot in front of the other. So, that’s what I did. Early in the morning— before the kids woke up, before I went to work— I rose, and I ran.

And lo and behold, I had the best year in running I’ve ever had.

I ran the Fairview Half Marathon in April as my official “comeback” race. It was six  months (almost to the day) after my surgery. I knew I wasn’t as strong as I had been before, but I was so determined, and thrilled, to be out there running— putting one foot in front of the other. Then, I began to try and build speed. Early morning speedwork sessions brought serenity to my soul. I signed up to run a hometown favorite, the Run Like a Mother Race, hoping for a sign that my body could still produce and show me some sort of sign that I could improve. I achieved a personal best by over 3 minutes at that 5K {24:50} and took 2nd in my Age Group! It was the first time I had won any type of award at a race. An even sweeter victory, since it was Mother’s Day weekend.

A family 5K in July kept me moving, continuing to put one foot in front of the other. Then, a fun pub race in September gifted me a first place Age Group award. What an encouraging way to start the fall, and just the fuel I needed to #keepmovingforward !

LeanneBlingThe goal of running another marathon as “the best comeback ever,” at the urging of my sweet husband, ended up becoming a reality when I found myself hitting the registration button on the Houston Marathon web page, and training for the January 2018 race commenced!

In early December, I won the overall Female Masters division in a 5K race that my running group put on– and this race brought me another 5K personal best! {24:40} Not an earth-shattering time, but still not too shabby for an old lady on the mend.

New Year’s Eve & Day ended up being a test of grit for my amazing teenage son as we ran back-to-back races together in below freezing temps. It’s an awesome thing when your own child shows you firsthand what #indomitablespirit looks like. I can only hope he will continue to push himself this way, mentally AND physically, throughout the rest of his life. #proudparentmoment

Then, last Sunday, I completed my 3rd full marathon— and with a personal best time (so far) of {4:04}. What a day, what a year! One year ago, I was still in bed. I wasn’t even close to running again. I could barely leave the house, much less, put one foot in front of the other. If you’re down and out— Broken or hurt— Lost. Lacking a love of life, or trying to find yourself again— whatever the reason— All I have to say is this: The human body is amazing! It will heal itself. It will go wherever the heart and MIND take it. Don’t lose hope!! WILL yourself to a better place. BELIEVE in your heart that you can get where you want to go. Our capabilities are far beyond what we imagine them to be. So whatever you do, keep thinking YOU CAN and keep putting one foot in front of the other!!

#lifeisbeautiful #motherrunner #hystersister #survivor #MRCStrong #motherwarrior #humanrace #riseup #inspirationnation #dontcallitacomeback #gratefulheart “


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