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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

With a Little Help From My Friends

This is where I'd normally write a wrap-up of the year, adding up all the miles I ran and posting pictures of all the t-shirts, medals, and other swag I collected.  But 2015 stopped being about all that for me on April 23.  It instead became about the sustaining love of God, and the amazing support of my family and friends.

I have always known how blessed I am to have such a great family.  I'm so close to my parents and sisters, I have a wonderful relationship with our kids, and I have many extended family members that I enjoy staying in touch with too.  But I have really been awed to discover just how many wonderful supportive friends I have.

There's no "I" in Indy, just US

Friends back in Canton, friends here in Indy, and friends all around the world.  Coworkers, former coworkers, church friends, runner friends, SMOMS, bootcampers, friends from grad school, neighbors.  Friends I've known almost as long as I've lived in Indy, and friends I just met this summer.  It's no exaggeration to say that for all the tears I've cried in sadness over losing Kevin, I have cried just as many in humble gratitude at the support I've received from so many friends.  It's also no coincidence that yesterday when I started working on this blog post, some friend or friends anonymously sent flowers to me at work.

We have other talents besides running

I find myself starting to say "I don't know what I've done to deserve all of you."  But then I think that's kind of the point.  When God pours out his love on us, whether through the people He puts in our lives or some other way, it isn't because we deserve it.  It's just because He loves us.  So we just accept it as a beautiful gift.  And then we go out and love each other in response.

Babes of Bootcamp

And so that's my goal for 2016: to be grateful and to give back.  I'm know I'm still going to have lots of bad days; days when all I can do is go home and put Kevin's clothes on and cry till my head hurts.  But on the okay days and the good days, I'm going to try to give back some fraction of the support you've given me, and love you and encourage you on your journey.

Closed eyes, warm heart?

Of course I can't resist posting one pic of race swag.  I call this the Cuss Word Trifecta.  I was joking with Laura the other night that we could make this our motto for 2016: Do Epic Shit Every Damn Day, Badass!  And with that in mind, here's some of the epic shit I have penciled in on my calendar:
Do Epic Shit Every Damn Day. Badass!

  • The Indy East Race Series - I hope all my Indy friends will join me at as many of these as you can.  Four 5Ks for only $60!  That price is good through January 15th, so sign up soon.
  • Pacing the 13-14 min/mile group with the Indy Runners Spring Training Program - I'm pretty excited about this!  I'll be helping other runners reach their goal of a spring half marathon.
  • My second full marathon and first destination race: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas!  Kevin & I always wanted to go to Vegas, but we never got to make that trip together.  So this one is for Kevin.  I'm going to run the strip, see all the sights, and take everything in that I can.  Several of the FBG are going too, so I know it will be a blast!
  • Lots more fun new things I hope to try: ReFit, Barre Fitness classes, possibly a triathlon in late summer, possibly a 50K in December (or January 2017), hopefully going to summer camp with the FBG in August....

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fresh. Local. Racing

For Indy runners and walkers planning out their 2016 race schedule, I highly recommend the Indy East Race Series, four great local 5K races that each benefit a different Near Eastside nonprofit and run through the very neighborhoods your race dollars are supporting.

Winner winner! Pogue's Run Dinner
First up: the Circle City Donut Dash on February 20th, benefiting Teachers' Treasures.  This race was previously known as the Hot Chocolate 5K, but now it's been added to the Indy East Race Series with some serious improvements: donuts on the course and at the end, and a special coffee-flavored beer created by Sun King Brewery just for the race!  Plus all teachers who participate receive a free trip to Teachers' Treasures.

Next: the Englewood Race for Roofs on April 2nd, benefiting a housing scholarship fund for neighbors who need temporary help with the cost of housing.  This will be my 5th year participating in this event.  It's one of my favorites every year.  Last year, I won my age group!  See my 2015 race recap here.  I'm always passionate about this race and the cause it supports, because I believe everyone has the right to a safe and affordable place to live.  The neighborhood really comes out to support this race and cheer the runners on.

Shh! Don't tell Momma her pic's here
Next up: the Brookside Bash Color Dash on May 14, benefiting the Paramount School of Excellence.   The kids at the school came up with the idea in 2013 to hold a color run in conjunction with the Brookside Bash neighborhood celebration.  The kids staff the color stations and enthusiastically douse runners with color powders as we run from the school grounds through Brookside Park and back.  I didn't do this race last year as it was so soon after Kevin's death that I wasn't up to it yet, but you can see my 2014 race recap here.  I also did it in 2013 with Josh and my parents. 

Finally, the Arsenal 5K on September 17, benefiting students on the Near Eastside through college scholarships (more than $30,000 since 2000!) and money to support school clubs and activities.  This race starts and ends on the track at Arsenal Tech High School, and the course winds around the beautiful school campus.  You can read my 2013 race recap here, and my 2014 race recap here.  Sadly no 2015 recap as I had a schedule conflict. 

Arsenal 5K After Party at Flat12 Bierwerks
I hope you will join me at the Indy East Race Series this year.  You can do all four of these great local races for only $60!  That's often the cost of just one race, especially from big national for-profit race promoters.  Here you know your money is staying local and helping residents of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.  If you're running for SWAG then I can tell you that while they don't do finishers' medals, all these races have great shirts every year.  They also have really good post-race refreshments donated by local vendors.

Disclaimer: I am receiving a free entry for the Race Series in exchange for promoting it this year.  However, all opinions are my own, and I would still be doing these races anyway even without the promotional consideration.  I have worked on the Near Eastside since 2009 and have really fallen in love with this neighborhood.  I love the people and organizations working to revitalize this area, and I'm proud to be part of it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Do You See What I See?

If you follow me on Instagram (@thazel411) or Twitter (@TeresaHazel411) you've probably seen me posting pictures with the hashtag #RunChatHunt.  This is for a fun holiday scavenger hunt contest hosted by The Run Chat.

The basics are: you look for the items on the list while you're running, take a picture and Instagram and/or Tweet it using #RunChatHunt.  Full rules are available at:

Bridge 12/1

View From A Trail 11/26
Runners in Holiday Garb 12/5
Salvation Army Bell Ringer 12/7
The contest started on Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's Day, so you still have plenty of time to get in on the fun.  There are some pretty sweet prizes, too, including an entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon or Half. 

Also, be sure and join in on the #RunChat each Sunday on Twitter.  It's a great way to connect with other runners online, get some great advice, and maybe even win prizes!

If you decide to join the #RunChatHunt, let me know your Twitter or Instagram handle.  I'd love to follow you & see what you see too!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hard Candy Christmas

I've always liked this song.  Who doesn't love Dolly Parton?  I didn't realize until I looked it up yesterday that it actually wasn't originally a Christmas song; it was a song from the movie Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  I've never seen the movie, so I don't know the original context, but I'm guessing it's a breakup song?  I realized when I heard it on the radio the other day though that like a lot of other things, it's taken on a new meaning for me now.

On my good days, when I can sort of see that a future exists for me beyond this foggy attempt at a normal routine, my thoughts are kind of like the verses of this song.  Maybe I'll move real far away, maybe I'll learn to knit, maybe I'll put all my stuff in storage and go on a mission trip, maybe I'll get a tiny house downtown, maybe I'll stay in this giant house and adopt more kids....