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21 Guest posts

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Today is a very special day. Today I did not run with my furry babies or by myself. Today I had a running buddy for two amazing miles. Today I had my dad back.

Daddy ran two miles, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been so excited to run EVER except for the day he had surgery and Operation KAM kicked off. I was itching all day to run. Of course, Murphy’s Law kicked in and work was crazy followed by a team event in the evening. Even in a Hilton Garden Inn fitness center on an aging treadmill with a burger in my stomach, I was sailing. All the miles (35 to be exact), six weeks of running his miles, had finally culminated in Daddy joining me. When I ran on Tuesday, September 25, I didn’t know if I would be running all the rest of his miles alone. I didn’t know how soon or if at all he would return to running. My dad is a living, breathing, running miracle. I am proud to train alongside him and to have carried that torch (mostly successfully) for the past six weeks.

Welcome back to the road, Daddy. I’ll see you out there.

Operation KAM Final Total: 35.09 miles

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Today’s run was a hot one! It got up to 77 here, which is the toastiest it’s been in awhile. I haven’t been as consistent this week, but I’m going on a business trip and wanted to do a big run with the fur babies before I left! We all got it done and we’re pretty worn out now. Till CLE!

Operation KAM total: 33.08 miles!

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Do you know the number one enemy of a run? You’d think based on my previous posts it would be lack of motivation. Good guess, but wrong. It’s injury. Injury is the one thing that truly derails a run. My fabulous five-km Friday (Fcubed?) had a hidden price. Running that long on a treadmill in the downhill setting (cuz I’m scared of falling off) brings on shin splints. I felt them Saturday and decided to rest.

Even though my natural inclination is not to run, it is also not to rest. I learned the importance of rest from Daddy. Injury is the only thing that can stop him from his run schedule, but he doesn’t walk around defeated. He sees the necessity of the rest and gets back to it as soon as possible.

I may have let the shin splints just stop my run train, but I am running beyond myself. I have a training buddy I refuse to let down. I did spin class at work, legs felt great, so I came home and laced up my shoes for an easy mile. The pups were happy to be back at it, and honestly so was I.

Operation KAM total: 29.96 (darn it, will grab those .04miles on Wednesday!)

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Yesterday felt like a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. Nothing bad actually happened, but by the time I got home I just wanted to collapse. So I moved my run to today. And today I did something I wasn’t sure I’d do in Operation KAM...I ran inside. I would prefer to do my runs outside at home, so the furry runners can come too. However, after delaying yesterday’s run, I needed to guarantee I’d get the run in today, so I hit the treadmill at work during lunch. I’ll make it up to Anna and Dozer with a long run tomorrow.

I had a great run. I was tired by the end, but I felt steady throughout. I didn’t try to sprint, I just tried to be consistent. Consistency is something I associate with Daddy. I’ve seen him run throughout many periods of my life. Whether I’m remembering him run when I was 7, 17, or 27, he looks the exact same. He runs leaning forward, heel to toe, head slightly down, arms relaxed, hands not in a fist but instead forefinger touching thumb as if he’s holding a fragile egg. He runs with a steady stride and neither sprints nor shuffles. Twenty years of running. I don’t see gray hair or changes in weight or any other signs of aging. I just see Daddy, moving forward steadily, in heat or rain or cold, intent on accomplishing the goal he has set for himself. That image is very very clear, and it spurs me on when I begin to falter or think about cutting a run short. Steady stride, one foot in front of the other, left right left right...until I am finished.

Operation KAM total: 28.96 miles

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

When you don’t have the energy to run long, run fast. Today was the CRRC’s fastest mile time yet! We broke the 10min/mile barrier. It was a chilly, dark evening run but totally worth it. I got home and just didn’t give myself a choice - I changed my clothes and hit the trail. I may be coughing for the next few days, but it’s totally worth it.

Operation KAM total: 25.85 miles!

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

So if you’re keeping track of our runs at all, you’d know yesterday was our run day. However, we decided to push it out not due to lack of motivation but instead anticipation of today’s weather. By 2pm, it was still cold and dry...but 4pm brought the magic. The CRRC did a frosty, fabulously snowy 2.09 miles. It was the first snow run of the season, and it did not disappoint. Quiet, pure, and glorious. It was truly the definition of running for the joy of it. Daddy would have loved it. 💕

Operation KAM total: 24.84 miles

Vince Vaccaro Vince Vaccaro

Hey Kelly..Just realized it's already October 12! Hope everything is coming together as it should and you are convalescing well...

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Today was a run day, but I didn’t want to run. And I mean really didn’t. I had all the reasons why not to - long commute, exhausting day, raining. Honestly, if I had been running for me, I wouldn’t have run. However, this is not about me. My dad can make it through the aftermath of brain surgery on just Advil, so I can run at least a mile. So we did - me, Anna, and Dozer. You can do more than you think. Dig deep. Find your why.

Operation KAM total: 22.75 miles

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

What’s that on my head, you ask? Well that is the number one reason to not run today.

It’s a headlamp. CRRC ran 1.79 miles today on rocky trails in pitch black. Why would we ever want to do that? Well, the CRRC runs together, so my only option is before or after work. I have an appointment this evening that knocked out that avenue. So, 4:45am it was.

I woke up and just did not want to move. When I first started running, I felt slow. And then the magic happened! I woke up, I sped up, and I felt alive.

Today’s run was an audio run guided by Bill Nye (nerd excitement alert!), and he re-emphasized the benefit of running even 10 minutes. Moving keeps you on the right side of the dirt.

Excuses are built out of mountains of nothingness. Those who use them seldom succeed. You know who doesn’t give excuses? Daddy. I have seen him run in rain, burning noon sun, hurricane force winds, thick smoke from a fire...if it’s a run day and it’s possible, Daddy runs. Therefore, so do I.

Operation KAM total: 21.74 miles

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

Today was a long one...a long run that is. We ran 4.33 (more like 4.75 but more on that in a minute) mindful, steady miles. Anna decided about 3/8 of the way through that she was going to run back home. Dozer and I did not know this until we got home, so we kept pausing our run and running other places while calling for her to come. Stressful to say the least. Dozer is my buddy. He reminds me a lot of Dad when he runs. He just puts his head down and pushes through. It doesn’t matter if it’s an incline or decline, difficult terrain or a paved road...he just runs. Good lesson for all of us really. If it seems tough, just don’t quit. You’ll surprise yourself how far you get.

Operation KAM total: 19.95 (!! So close !!)

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

There are days where you can conquer the world, and then there are days where conquering means getting out of bed. Today was the latter. But I proved to myself that on those days, my legs still can run. Got in 2.06 miles with my furry teammates. Showed life that circumstances aren’t the boss of me. In the words of Daddy, you just go till they kick you out. Didn’t get kicked out today and I’m on the right side of the dirt. Life is good.

Operation KAM total: 15.62 miles

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

CRRC did a 5K for our FIFTH run for Operation KAM. 5 is my favorite number because it is Daddy’s number. I remember when I was going through a sporty phase that I got this soccer jersey (they were in style in 2005!) with the number 5 really big on it. Daddy told me 5 had been his number when he played sports, and from then on it has had a special significance. So we ran far today, not fast, but in celebration of our number 5. We love you, Daddy!

Operation KAM total: 13.56 miles

Tristan Ruark Tristan Ruark

Dad, you should shave the left side as well so by the summer hits you will have an epic mullet. I know your German counterparts would agree with business in the front and party in the back. I also see the beard starting to come back and I think that would round out the chic naturalist look. I think you should strongly consider the mullet, although being shaved on the side of your head will expose your scar I would challenge you to consider it advertising space for your favorite sports teams during game day. Miss you, love you, wishing you the least amount of pain for the least amount of time, a full recovery and looking forward to the mullet.

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

CRRC got out there today and hit 2.56 miles. The big win? We were under 11min/mile. We are pushing hard for Operation KAM. There are moments where I just don’t want to run. However, in those moments, it is beautiful because everything is a victory.

Today’s run victories:
- Crossing the start line
- Experiencing a gorgeous sunrise from start to finish
- Exercising with my furbabies
- 2 min of positive self talk (try it!!)
- Crossing the finish line 🏁

Now going to work is a victory, fueling my body with healthy food is a victory, owning every moment is a victory.

Dad can see his new pain as a victory because it is the next phase. What is the garbage or negative thoughts that you can spin around into a victory?

For me, I have said I am not a runner. In actuality, I am a runner simply because I run. And today, I ran for Daddy.

Operation KAM total: 10.06 miles (over 10...OMG!)

Christa Ruark Christa Ruark

The CRRC got an early start today. Dozer was ready at 5:20...but I didn’t get up till about 6:30. Any hesitation I had in getting out there melted when I saw Dad posted this morning at 4am!! We got out there, took in a beautiful sunrise, and said good morning to all the bunnies and birds. Life is good. Make time for you and don’t short yourself...after all, if you’re reading this, you’re on the right side of the dirt.

Operation KAM total: 7.46mi