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August 2018

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yay you!!!!
that is awesome & i know you feel fantastic!
i just trained and finished my first half-marathon in 20 years. bummer, i think i gained a few vs loosing a few while training. ugh.
but great shot!


ps- do you have advice on lens choices anywhere on your site? i looked but couldn't find anything. i have a 50 1.4 & love it, just trying to decide what next.
big question, i know!

misty selak

great job, karen. you are an inspiration for sure. keep up the great work!!

Jennifer M.

Good for you! You should be very proud of yourself!

Ellen Patton

Way go go! You inspire me.

Brandi Talmadge

Awesome accomplishment Karen!!! I'm glad you stuck with it and are feeling really good about it! I just rejoined the gym - ultimately for continued good health but to also drop a few pounds (that's one of the rewards for all the working out right? LOL). I'm thinking I'd also like to work toward a 10 mile run and maybe contemplate the triathlon - I don't like swimming either. Many thanks for the inspiration :-). Have a great day Karen.


Ok, long time lurker of your blog... just wanted to say that you look fantastic and I'm totally inspired/jealous that you are stepping up and rocking it!! Good for you. Muffin top or not you look fabulous! :)


Go, Karen. That's awesome!! And you are FAST!


I think I am going to go out and buy some new running shoes. I could really use a new focus too.


Congratulations Karen - that is awesome!


You don't sound annoyingly anything. I love the way you summed that all up. So glad you can look back on working at it and see your accomplishments.


Way to go Karen! That is an awesome accomplishment!!


You GO GIRL!!! BTW to look at that picture I would have thought it was the beginning of the race, not an hour and a half+ and almost 10 miles into it! You look fantastic. You should be proud of yourself.

misha leigh

CONGRATULATIONS! I see nothing but beauty in that photo of you! And hear it in the glow of your words. I am so impressed!

gina f.

way to go Karen!!


You are a good Example of Perseverance! Your kids must be really Proud!


Yay Karen!!! This is an awesome accomplishment! I'm so impressed and inspired!

Sara Mangan

Way to go!! It is amazing how good running can make you feel.
BTW, you look great in the picture. I don't even look that good when I start running.


Yay for you Karen! You look great! Congrats!


Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone (in more ways the one!). Congratulations on your run!

Kathy C.

YAHOO..great job Karen!!! I just got my walking gait analyzed and I'm the proud owner of my new walking/running buddy Brooks (my new shoes)....I'm doing a 1/2 marathon in Vancouver, WA on Father's Day...thank you for your inspiration and keep going..YOU ROCK!!!! ;)


You look great in this photo Karen! Way to go - you should be VERY proud of yourself!!


YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!!! I've been running for almost a year & still struggle to run a complete 5k w/o stopping/walking. You have inspired me to push harder on my run tonight! thanks for the honest post


fantastic job! doesn't it feel good to make those strides toward actually doing something you once thought impossible and then crushing through it? and fitness is definitely something that doesn't have just one look - all shapes and sizes can be fit, that is for sure! but way to look great, and how wonderful to feel great too!


Congratulations Karen!! That is awesome!! For that pic being at the end of the look great!!! I'm so happy for you.

mandy friend

oh Karen, i could almost cry reading that post out of joy for you! So glad that you persevered and overcame, you should be gloating! I do believe the Lord is having His way with you Karen, what an awesome thing to wtach progress...


Wow! I have thought many times about running some kind of marathon, but just haven't done it! But the fact that my One Little Word (Ali Edwards project) is REALIZE, as in JUST DO IT, and you have just inspired me greatly, I will have to consider doing a marathon again! Thx.

laura j

congrats and way to go Karen!!!

Tanya A

CONGRATULATIONS KAREN!!! YAY! Go you! And the line at the end? So good for me to hear right now. Thank you! :)

Stacey H

You inspire me in so many ways! Thank you!

Diane W.

Way to go, Karen! That's awesome! Congrats on this accomplishment.

Judy Webb

Yea!!! So happy for you!!! I can't get pass 1.5 miles on the treadmill. You are the greatest.


Congratulations! Outstanding! Good luck in training for the next goal!

Karen H

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are inspiring me to get out and run today:).
Oh, and, my son the swimmer always tells me I am still choking on water because I don't get on my side enough when I am taking my breath...if that helps at all.

Amy Taylor

Go Karen! What a big accomplishment and so many reasons to be proud of yourself! Your an amazing role model to your kids!


Great job! That's an awesome pace! Way to go:)


Congrats on the run! You are such an inspiration!


Congratulations on your 10 miles! Even bigger kudos, however, for persevering through the tough stuff. Remember...if it was easy, everybody would do it! :)

PS - So with you on the running! Started last year at 45 and I LOVE it!


I already said it once but it bears saying again....SO SO SO proud of you!!

also, it hasnt been said yet but I dont like you very much for looking so damn perky AND happy after a ten mile time look exhausted and ragged and make me feel better please ;)




Just seeing your huge smile makes me want to cry! Yes, I cry easily too. Life seems full of struggles and it is inspiring to see you carry on....I need to get off my hind end and do the same! :)

Carrie P

Way to go, keep it up!
Stick with the Bible study also!


Last line....Awesome!!! If I was on Facebook, I would totally "like it" :) Hugs to you Girl!

Lori Craig

CONGRATULATIONS, Karen! I loved hearing your story. I started running last June, and my first run was also at the high school track. It was all I could do to run for one minute...I mean, all. i. could. do. After what was months of training, I don't break any speed records, but I've run several 5K races without stopping and do it on my own...out of happiness and joy to do it! LOL. Do you know how ridiculous I thought it sounded when people said things like that? I'm getting ready to step it up to a 10K sometime in 2011. All this from a girl who's turning 40 next month and needed to lose a LOT of weight. I loved your last sentence because it's so true. No one could have told me how this would feel, not physically...but how good I would feel about myself on the inside because I know I've done it. I'm inspired when women share, and I'm going to be praying for your triathlon every time you come up in my reader. :) You GO, GIRL!

Rachelle S

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you.... and I think you said you're doing the Danskin Tri in Seattle in August? I am and I am SO nervous. First Tri for me and it feels enormous!


Just LOVED reading this :).

amy jupin

wowee! congrats to you! and by the way, you look really, no REAL-ly happy in this picture.
and your comment about the muffin top and sausage legs made me spit my coffee out at my screen.
why doesn't it just evaporate from all the exercise??!! i know, really??!!

Hannah S

Great job Karen! You look fantastic and the happiest runner there! You are truly an inspiration! Keep it rock!


Absolutely FABULOUS! and extremely inspiring!! The most excercise I ever did was step aerobics in college until 4 years ago (at the age of 36) when I ran my first 5K with a good friend...the running bug finally has stuck for me. I ran a half marathon last year...don't know if I'll do another, but I enjoy the running time...and I still have my muffin top too :(


Congratulations!...and I was really hoping that picture was 50 feet into the race because you look too darn good! If I would have even made it that far my face would be beet red and I'd be swimming in sweat. So not only can you run 10 miles you look good doing it not fair!

Cindy Johnston

Congrats Karen! That is SO fantastic and you look great! I do not see any sausage legs or muffin top on you!

Wendy Molnar

You go girl! In the picture you have the glow of someone who has achieved a great accomplishment. Congratulations.


So very proud of you Karen for keeping with it. I have no desire to run at all and admire people who do. I think to achieve something on your own that you have to work hard for (ie outside photography and dental stuff) is definately a testiment to showing you "you can do it". Great job.


Congrats Karen! Very inspiring - keep pushing forward!


great job Karen, you are such an inspiration. Congrats on your first race!


GOOD FOR YOU...maybe there is hope for me.. and today I turned 53....


tara pollard pakosta

you go girl!!
I have never run more than 4.5 but my goal someday is 6.
I can't swim well at ALL so a triath. is so NOT happening!
but I will cheer you on!!!

Nina Diane

that is so should feel very proud of yourself


Congratulations!!! What an awesome accomplishment!


Way to go Karen!!! Very proud of you, I ran the Pear Blossom myself Saturday. Ran the 5K for the very first time ever, and what a great accomplishment. Great job! Rene'

Victoria Hassink

It is the best feeling...when it is over. I did my 1st sprint triathlon 4 years ago and I have done the same one every year and I am signed up again this October. I am a "quick crier" and I have to choke back tears when they raise the flag at the beginning and play the anthem and then again when I am finished. The 1st year I was a mess, so thrilled to have made it. I am not an athlete just a mom who once a year accomplishes something I never thought possible.

And if you want to lose the muffin top (that I didn't really notice in that awesome photo) try Clean Eating and it will melt away! It is 80% what you eat, 10% exercise and 10% genes.


WOW!!! What an accomplishment!!! Congratulations!!! Bask in the glory and then pound the pavement as you reach for your next completely attainable goal!!! So inspired by you :)


your smile in that photo says it all! so happy for you - can't wait to see pics of from your first tri!!! take care ;)


Fantastic picture. You are FAST! (and making me feel like a S-L-U-G)! I could only dream of running that pace...I'm just happy with my 11 - 12 minute mile.


You go girl! You are an inspiration in so many ways.


I love how happy you look in your picture. Way better than those two guys who look too serious. Way to go!!


Congratulations! You should be sooooooo proud!!!


Go! Nellie!!! :)

p.s. Are you doing Bible Study Fellowship?


Awesome! Congratulations!!! Glad to see your posting, and you look great in the photo :)


Only have one word to describe you...AWESOME!!!!!!! Way to go girl!




I am coming out of momentary lurkdom to let you know that you passed me in mile 2 of the Pear Blossom and I about had a heart attack. (But the best kind of heart attack, because I felt like I knew you but then I realized you had no idea who I was.) At first I thought I could keep up with you (partly because I wasn't sure if it was you and I needed to find out) but DANG, WOMAN! YOU CAN RUN! As a couch potato turned runner, and as someone who HAS run a few races (but never 10 miles, holy moly I wanted to die at mile 7) keeping an eye out for you as you lapped me in a major way was the only way I got up that first hill. I needed to *know* if it was you I saw (or just a hallucination) so watching for you for about 7/10 of a mile on one of the toughest parts of the course was what got me through. Do I sound crazy? Well, when you're running you'll do about anything to keep yourself sane and moving. :)

Congrats on the awesome finish!


Congrats to you Karen! I'd be happy if I could run a mile without dying, heck even walking after 5 feet into the run would make me happy!


Wow! You inspire me!!

kim S.

woo hoo!! you go, girl! congrats on your accomplishment!


You've got great motivation for doing this! Keep up the great work. Finishing a 1/2 marathon was one of the best feelings I ever had, "I can do all things through Christ , who strengthens me"

Corie in Indy

Karen, first of all, you look great! Second, I'm soooo impressed! I tried jogging down the street the other day to keep up with my daughter (who was on her bike with training wheels), and I was completely DONE by the end of the block! I admire you for putting everything you've got into this and coming out SUCCESSFUL! Of course, we never would have doubted that you would be. :o) So happy for you. Not sure what your big struggle (or struggles, it sounds like from several of your recent posts) has been the last 10 months, but whatever it is, I hope you're able to overcome it with flying colors. Thanks for being so honest on your blog. I feel like a close friend (by the way you share your life with us semi-anonymous readers), even though we have never met! :o)


Big congrats to you Karen!!! I am so excited for you!!!!!I am a long time follower of your blog and have been waiting for an update like this as I just knew that you would tackle a race someday!! And your time was awesome!!

I also happen to be a long time distance runner and cyclist and at almost age 50 have 17 half marathons (most recently February 2011), one full, dozens of shorter races, and a few tri's under my next full is coming up in 3 weeks...

And what I want to say to you is Bravo!!! the hardest thing is just to start and you have.....

There really is no way to communicate to someone who has never crossed the finish line of a long race the sense of euphoria and accomplishment and the feeling that all those training miles culminate in the one moment of incredible joy.......that is after you get over feeling like you might vomit!LOL

Now that you have started please please keep it up....dont let it be something you just did once...the mental, physical and emotional benefits from running and cycling are beyond measure...


Wow! Quite an inspiration... I had been waiting for this story ever since you mentioned it in the passing in one of your posts. I am training for some 5Ks too this summer, So far this year (2011)I haven't run outside but plan to do so very soon, I am awarm weather outside runner :)
I so agree with your muffin top unjustice, God made us too sweet :D

Tess S

what an incredible feeling. i attempted running over the winter and i was doing pretty great until the cold was just too much to handle. i've never been a runner but i'm hoping to tackle this this year. i'd love to be able to do it. you're an inspiration!

i hope you're finding peace in all the craziness surrounding you.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

Good for you! Congratulations! And that is a great photo - you look so happy!!

K de ron

Muffin top where? sausage legs no where to be found.
Wish I could say I WALKED 1 mile you should be very proud of yourself I am of you .
Maybe one day I can run 1 mile. great job.

K de ron

ps. can you tell me what kind of music you listen to while running????????????????


Congratulations Karen!
You are inspiring... just want I needed to hear... reaching your goal is tough but worth it!
You're a rock star!

Cindy Welch

Good for you, for all that you do, to continue on your path is FABULOUS. You go girl


You know, everyone can tell you what an amazing, talented, and successful person you are. But until you find that one personal struggle, work toward that one deep-rooted goal, and FINISH, you'll have a hard time realizing how amazing, talented and successful you really are. I applaud you for taking the leap of faith in yourself!


Look at how happy you look in that photo! I can't even imagine. I grew up around triathlons and it's not something I ever would do, but that's more from my fear of swimming in open water.
You are amazing!

Patty Hetrick

I think you look absolutely fabulous! I would love to run but my doctor, chiropractor, and massage therapist all advised me to not I'm in awe. How wonderful that you've taken on this challenge and you are persevering! And how fantastic that you finished and beat your goal time!! You go, Karen Russell:)


Congrats! You have re-energized me! I started "running" last fall and hit a snag in Februray that led me to give-up and go back to walking. Today I am restarting my attempt to run with my goal of a 5k still out there. At 41 (almost 42) I wish I would have started this goal 20 years ago! However, I guess it is never too late! Oh...and Go Beavs! :)


So glad that someone captured you running! Congrats and I know you will do amazing things it's just the way you are my friend :) I would be the one who loves the swimming and maybe the bike riding but the running just don't think I can LOL. Not that I wouldn't want to try but with my medical condition I can't take impact still on my leg so that is out of the question but some day maybe God will heal my leg and then who knows the sky is the limit right? Thanks for sharing.


I saw you at the Pear Blossom! After I did the 5k my mom and I had gotten separated and while I was looking for her I rounded a corner and there you were with Josh Downs and Annie. I would have stopped and said hi but 1. I'm not gonna lie, I was a little star struck and 2. I didnt want to seem like a total creeper because even though we've met once before (you came to my moms scrapbooking store in Redding) you guys have no idea who I am. Haha I'm socially awkward too :) Congrats on running the 10 mile and good luck with the triathalon! You're awesome Karen!!!


WTG! It's so awesome to set goals and achieve them. Which tri are you entering? My very goal oriented daughter is doing the Pacific Crest and, like you, swimming is her least favorite.

nancy in ks

You are one person who can and will do ANYthing that you determine worthwhile. You must be made of steel. Except for your heart which is soft. (Been teaching the kids at church about soft hearts and hard hearts.)


Yeah for you Karen. You do look ever so happy to be towards the end of the race.
Bring on the triathlon!


That's 10 sub-ten-minute miles! Amazing. And you apparently looked fabulous doing it. You should be so proud.


That´s REALLY COOL! And so well done!!!
I started running a couple of months ago, but i am no where near 10 miles. I am at that happy 3 mile point... As far as i keep on practicing 3 times a week am i proud of myself. So you imagine how proud i am of you!!!


I would say that if I finished right beside guys that look like that I was doing PRETTY darn good. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Karen P (kphike)

You inspire me Karen!! I'm struggling training for 5k's never mind a 10 miler!!! way to goooooooo! Thanks for the inspiration and reminder that growth comes from getting ourselves out of our comfort zones - you rock! (and I totally would have sobbed at the 4 mile thing too - he should have known better LOL )


Woo hoo!!! I love the big smile on your face at the end of the race. You go girl!


EXCELLENT KAREN WAY TO GO GIRL!! And look how long those guys legs are and you are smiling and they're not! You should feel great about this accomplishment. The sky is the limit for you now.

teresa b

so happy for you Karen!! Congrats!! You rock chika!! I love it!! your such an inspiration!! i wish i had the courage to even try...

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