Tuesday, July 15, 2014

If I were to look up the definition of the term “Run Happy” in urban dictionary, I would probably find a photo of my sister, 9 months pregnant, fresh off a treadmill run, drenched in sweat, with the biggest smile on her face.

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I’ve never seen a pregnant woman more excited – or thankful! – to run each day. If that’s not inspiration, then I don’t know what it is. Running is her happy place and she’s been lucky enough to escape to it throughout her pregnancy. Sitting at a chair all day kills her back, but running? It’s the most comfortable thing in the world.

But, of course, I would expect nothing less from my sister. She has been inspiring me since my first 5K, when she didn’t hesitate waking up at the crack of dawn (slightly hung over, I might add) so she could push me to the finish line. She didn’t even let me walk the first mile – which was huge for me back then. If I was going to run this race, she was going to make sure I did it to the best of my ability.

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That first 5K was just the beginning. It wasn’t just our first race together, it was our first run. Ever. We’ve always been close, but running brought us closer.

A week before our first triathlon, my sister was hit by a car on her bicycle. She was rushed to the nearest trauma center via helicopter, which scared the crap out of our entire family. Thankfully she was okay. She left the hospital a couple of hours later with some pretty heavy duty cuts and bruises, but that was it.

Unfortunately Kelly was unable to compete in the triathlon the following weekend, but that didn’t stop her from running completely. As soon as she got the all clear to run again, she was back out there, proving to everyone that one accident was not going to hold her down. About a month later we ran our first trail race together. At 15 miles, it was Kelly’s longest run to date.

The following January my sister ran her first marathon – she hated it. It was not the amazing run she had hoped for and she finished claiming she would never do another one again. Lies! All lies. Just a few months later I got an email from Kelly letting me know she had just registered for the Chicago Marathon and asking if I wanted to run it too. 2010 was the year of the marathon for me – she didn’t have to ask twice.

The Chicago Marathon was a tough race. Kelly and I started together with a sub-4:00 goal, but ended up separating about halfway through the race. Around mile 20 I started to really ache and had to walk. A couple of miles from the finish line, my sister came blazing up from behind me full of attitude and spunk. She was rapping (yes, rapping) and grabbed my arm and pushed me forward. “We are finishing this!” Yes, ma’am. She ended up dragging me all the way to the finish line – where we finished hand-in-hand.

I could go on and on about how much my sister inspires me. She is a one-of-a-kind and I’m truly thankful to have her in my life. She’s the kind of person who will never give up. You tell her no, she’ll tell you yes – and then proceed to explain just how she accomplished what you told her she couldn’t do. She’s also the person that will make you laugh during a tough run and never let you give up on your dreams.

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She is, without a doubt, the definition of “Run Happy.”

Brooks was gracious enough to fully deck out my “Run Happy” inspiration this month with Brooks gear.

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Kelly actually ordered the Women’s PureProject Seamless Tank II and Women’s PureProject 3.5″ Short, thinking it would be a great outfit she could wear after the baby comes. However, as soon as I handed everything to her, she couldn’t wait to try it on. Turns out, Brooks’ PureProject line doubles as awesome maternity running wear.

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The PureProject Tank is super long and stretchy, which is perfect for a growing baby. Just to compare, I’m wearing the same size tank below.

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And the shorts have a wide, soft waist band that easily molds and stretches to a growing belly.

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Kelly also received a paired of Glycerin 12s in her favorite color, purple.

 

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This mom-to-be is officially ready to run!

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And she didn’t wait long. She was already instagramming sweaty post-run photos with her new gear the following day.

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Adorbs.

Who inspires you to “Run Happy”?

Leave a comment below letting me know who inspires you to “Run Happy” and why for a chance to win a complete Brooks Running outfit (top, bottom, shoe) for your inspiration! You have until Friday, July 19th at 11:59PM EST to enter. I’ll draw a random winner on Saturday and contact the winner via email. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

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