In honor of Kara Goucher‘s birthday, I wanted to honor her and write a little since she is so inspiring and a BIG reason why I have 3 racks full of running medals. I dedicate my blog post to you Kara.

Kara was born in Queens, NY but went to college at the University of Colorado. While attending, in 2000, she became the NCAA Outdoor Champion in 3000 m and 5000 m, the NCAA Cross Country Champion, and also a 5000 m Olympic Trials Finalist (eighth). She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2001. She marries Adam Goucher( who is another badass) and they have the cutest little boy, Colt, together and currently live in Oregon.

She then battled a few injuries but came back full force! In September 2007, she won the Great North Run in 1:06:57, the fastest woman’s half marathon time of the year, setting a new American best time at the distance and beating marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe. Great comeback from pregnancy and injury huh?

In 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan she won the bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 m event. But a decade later it was discovered that the 2nd place winner had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs!?!? Which meant Kara was then to receive the Silver medal.

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Kara Goucher in London receiving her Silver medal.

That is one thing about her….she is VERY passionate about athletes who use drug enhancement or cheat their way to get to the top. She is very against it and makes it known. She creates awareness and tries to make the IAAF understand that this is a serious matter and it must not go overlooked. Kara Goucher is a strong female with a strong voice.

Kara Goucher is my idol. Always has been. Now since a few days ago, weeks ago…ALWAYS. I have always been a runner and LOVED it since I was in Elementary school. But I had an issue with my legs going numb and we never knew why (until we figured out it was my Scoliosis) But little by little I started to struggle more and more. Having a twisted spine doesn’t make it easy. Competing in track events made it worse. I had to drop out. Heart breaking for me not being able to run.

Having to have 3 spinal fusions and doctors telling me I can’t run, even worse! Fast forward, I had one more surgery to remove all the pins, screws and hardware from my neck to my lumbar, and then I met my now wonderful husband of 10 years(who I knew from HS) and he is military so he is fit and also loves running and we tried running together but I couldn’t do it. All I did was cry from the pain and frustration. I had my son, and tried walking long distances and couldn’t do that either. I was ready to give up until I came across Kara Goucher’s first book.

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Everything I needed was in that book. It felt like Kara was talking directly to me. Because of this book, it gave me the courage, the knowledge, and direction I needed to go. Yes, it took months for me to run over 200 meters and no I wasn’t overweight, it’s just the utter pain that my twisted spine causes me. But as cheesy as this sounds, it felt like Kara was coaching me through this. And I was only running for me as I had before, but then local races were popping up and my husband said we should run one and I was petrified but it took years before I could reach a 5K distance because my spine twisted my ribs thus limiting my breathing ability.

 

Fast forward to today, I have countless 5Ks and 10Ks, 16 half marathons, the runDisney Goofy Challenge(half and full marathon combined) and 4 full marathons including my dream race the TCS NYC marathon.

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Just a snip of the races I’ve done. 

I am still running now but my battle isn’t over and my battle has gotten worse. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 6 years ago and I have 3 brain tumors. I have been dealing with seizures for about 3 and a half years now and had a small stroke about to be 3 years ago. I am trying to get this all under control but to say this has been tough is an understatement.

But one thing is for sure….Kara keeps inspiring me, and keeps me going. I will never give up on myself or give up fighting for myself. My battles are tough but I am tougher. My illnesses are not curable but I find ways to cope, and one of them is my rescue dog, Lyssa the Doberman. She started off as my husband’s dog but we later came to find out that she alerts me to my seizures and migraines. We took her to a service dog trainer friend to have her evaluated and during her evaluation she actually went to alert someone of a migraine!!! So she passed! We had her trained and she works perfectly. She brings me to the floor or lays across me so I don’t fall when I am having a seizure. She alerts me hours to minutes before a migraine. She is my life saver. She is all over my instagram LOL

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If it wasn’t for me finding Kara’s book, I wouldn’t have gotten the courage to keep pushing and keep fighting to run. She gave me what I needed and I look forward to reading more in her NEW book! So here’s to you Kara,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! May all your wishes come true, today, tomorrow and always!

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This is right next to the treadmill where I can see it. (My GREAT friend Sarah stood in line to get this autograph for me because she knows that Kara is my idol then mailed it to me)

-your biggest fan

gelcys

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