Saturday, February 20, 2016


Do you set New Year goals? I didn't use to, but over the past four years of reclaiming my mobility, I like to set fitness challenges for myself, I am my biggest competitor, and it gives me something to work towards during the year.

In recent years I had set and crushed my goals (flipping a 300lb tractor tire, surviving the survive the farm OCR, etc.) and as the new year approached I didn't have a goal in mind.

One of the first New Year goals I had after reclaiming my mobility, was to complete a 5K. It happened first when I accompanied my husband and daughter to her first 5K to support a cause dear to her and her school, the Ryan's Run 5K (named after Ryan Westen, who lived for only 6 months after being diagnosed with Malignant Infantile Osteopetrosis). I initially went to the race to support my family, but when I got there I did not cherish the idea of sitting around waiting for them, so I asked my husband (who is my coach) when he thought I would be ready to do a 5K. I didn't like the answer he gave me, he said if we kept training like we had been (had only been about three months) I could do it next year. 

NEXT YEAR? So I replied that I would like to see how far I could get, it would be a way to see how far I could go. It was in our local park and it had benches along the way, and if I got to a point I couldn't go on, he could come pick me up after he finished the race.

Needless to say I finished that race in May 2013 even though I was not signed up for it, and my goal was set - to do another 5K in September that year (for the Walk to FightLymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases), to be officially registered, and timed, and to see if I could improve my time over the Ryan's Run.

Best Motivator!

I chose that later 5K because I have secondary Lymphedema to my primary Lipedema, and I could not find a 5K for Lipedema. It was an amazing experience, as it was my first introduction into a virtual 5K (meaning I could do the race here in my home town, while the actual 5K event was taking place in NYC).

I had been thinking about this 5K and loved the exposure Lymphedema was getting (even Kathy Bates is a new spokesperson - woo hoo, have always loved her), and I wanted the same for Lipedema.

I decided I would create a 5K in an effort to spread awareness for Lipedema, and I would organize and take part in the race.

It would be virtual (do anywhere), incremental (can start building up your distances June 1st for the entire month if need be), and even a relay option (get a friend or two, or 30 to help you complete the race). I wanted all levels of fitness to be able to take part if they wanted to, and I wanted it to be fun.

While I was talking about this race on the Lipedema Fitness facebook group, another lipedema friend was talking about the Crystal Lake open swim, that she was taking part in. Given that the pool is an excellent way for those with Lipedema to stay active, I got to thinking... all we need now is a bike component and we would have a Triathlon.

From that moment on it did not take long for the Lipedema 5K to turn into the Lipedema Triathlon, and a new goal was set. Not just a physical challenge for me, but the challenge of turning the event into a way to spread awareness for Lipedema, maybe even come up with a donation towards research; and the perfect month to do such a race is June, national Lipedema Awareness Month...