Family That Runs Together Earns BLING Together

I haven’t always been a runner. I don’t come from a family of runners. Even when I decided to celebrate my breast cancer victory by doing a triathlon, I had no idea how I was going to make it through the run. The thought of running even a mile didn’t appeal to me, yet I had signed up for two triathlons where I would have to run.

The first few months I completely ignored my running training. To say I had a mental block when it came to running is a HUGE understatement. So that summer, I joined our local running club. I won’t say I was excited to go to practices. I was the slowest runner in the group often far behind the next runner in front of me. At that time, the best I could do was a run/walk switching between running and walking every minute or two. After the first season, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back. That’s when The Hubby decided to join Flying Feet.  He became my first level of accountability. The Hubby never does anything half-hearted. Once he commits to something, he’s all in 100%. So, even on those nights when I just wanted to sit on the couch, he would remind me we needed to leave soon for running. That would prompt me to begrudgingly go upstairs and change my clothes. Once I got to practice, I could feel the energy from everyone else. No one cared that I ran in the back. No one cared that I was slow. Even when the elite runners passed me, they all gave me encouragement. On weekends when we ran races, The Hubby would finish in the front of the pack, then run back to wherever I was and finish the race again with me.

Family running-main-street-mile 

Not long after that first season, we started doing local races together as a family. Mini Me was running with the local youth track team and running, crazy as it seems now, had become a family bonding activity. As the seasons came and went, we started looking for races that we could do while we were on vacation, an activity known now to most people as a racecation. For the last several years, we’ve taken many racecations and we each have our own homemade BLING rack showcasing all our medals.

In the last couple years, I’ve gone from a run/walker doing 16 minute miles to now running 12-14 minute miles. My goal for 2017 is to get that down to at least one 5K at an 11 minute mile.

Last month, we traveled to Paris for the Inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon weekend. The Hubby ran the half. Mini Me and I ran the 5K. At the time we signed up for the race, I wasn’t sure I’d be ready to run a half after a disappointing DNF in 2015.  I also knew Mini Me would be on the trip with us and I wasn’t prepared to let her out of my sight in a foreign country.  The race weekend was amazing. I ran my best 5K ever! I was so excited when we finished. I couldn’t wait to tell The Hubby how well I had run. I’ll be recapping our race weekend and the rest of our European adventures in future blog posts. For now, I’ll just say that The Hubby and I are planning to go back to Paris for race weekend next year just so I can run the Half Marathon!

Family running-dlp-2016

In November, I’ll be running the 10K Across the Bay. In April, The Hubby and I are both registered for the Star Wars Half. In between, we’ll be running local 5K’s together as a family as well as goal races with our running club. We’ll also be cheering for each other as one of us runs certain races and the other becomes the cheering squad.

If you’d have told me six year ago that running would become such an important part of not just my life, but my family life, I’d have thought you were crazy. But, running has changed me. It’s changed my life. It’s changed our family life. Being a family that runs together has enriched our life in so many ways and it continues to be the inspiration for some of the amazing travel we intend to do as a family. If we’re going to travel the world, we might as well bring home some BLING while we’re at it, right?

How does running fit into your family’s life?

What races or triathlons do you have coming up that are pushing you to live by the Powered By BLING motto to Challenge Yourself to Cross Your Own Personal Finish Lines?

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Cassandra Burke is a Forensic Scientist by day, and a Group Fitness Instructor, Swim Team Coordinator and Travel Agent by night. A Breast Cancer Survivor since 2010, she writes about her journey as well as her struggles – training for triathlons and races, struggling to get back her health, and balancing family life all while building her brand and finding her purpose after cancer. Subscribe to Cassandra’s newsletter for updates and follow @poweredbybling on social media! For endurance sport race travel and custom family vacation travel, visit her at pbbtravel.com.

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