“I Should Do That” – and she did

This blog has told the stories of several women who put their physical training to good use. These ladies, of all ages, have shared how they used their passion for fitness to benefit others. Let me introduce you to one more, Diane Lindquist.

Diane just completed the Marine Corps Marathon. This is an iconic race, held in D.C. every October. It is known as the “people’s marathon” because 30,000 runners from age 14 to the 90-year-old veteran, Jonathan Mendes, who became the race’s oldest finisher in 2011, compete simply for the purity of the race. There is no monetary prize.

“I chose to do a marathon because when I finished the half marathon I had no injuries and I felt I still had some left in me. I heard so much about the Marine Corps marathon, I wanted to experience it myself,” Diane said.

The Marine Corps Marathon is famous in the race world. As soon as registration opens, the race is usually full within hours. Suddenly, at the end of a very busy day, Diane realized she had missed her chance to register.

“Why don’t you try running for a charity?” her husband asked. At first she was concerned about raising money, but she boldly decided to stretch outside her comfort zone. Diane chose to use her marathon to support Jill’s House. By race day, she had surprised herself, raising $1252!

Diane tackled training systematically. She selected a popular plan called, “Run Less, Run Faster,” by the F.I.R.S.T. institute.  Training isn’t supposed to be easy, but Diane found ways to make the most of every moment. “Running is my therapy,” she said. “It’s cheaper than therapy! But the hardest part is when I have to run alone, with no one to help pass the time. I’ve learned to use that time to have conversations with God.”

In fact, Diane credits God with getting her into running. She was inspired by her sister and friends who had begun running 10 mile races and half-marathons. “Then, God just opened my mouth and I said, ‘I should do that!’”

Diane says that running is teaching her to rely more on God. “I want to learn to be more positive and not become my worst enemy when the running becomes a challenge or there is pain.”

Post Marine Corps, Diane is staring undaunted into her next challenge. “I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” she says.

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Worth the Effort

Just before her 40th birthday, if you had asked Tiffany to go for a jog, she would have laughed at you. She looked great, wasn’t significantly overweight, was active with her children and busy with “life”. But she will tell you that she wasn’t really happy with herself.

Enter, Kristen Hench – friend of a friend and a personal trainer. Kristen, founder of Moms Who TRI, started Tiffany with regular strength and cardio workouts in her basement. But competition is in Kristen’s blood and she knows what a victory can do for a person’s sense of success, accomplishment and future motivation. So before too long, she began encouraging Tiffany to tackle a half marathon.

“I flat out said NO….a few weeks went by and I talked myself into it. Kristin volunteered to be my running partner and that is how it all started,” Tiffany said.

As you might expect, Tiffany admits that simply making herself train was the hardest part. “It was really hard to keep pushing myself to run farther than the last time.” But Kristen met her every Saturday for the long run and they did it together.

“Running on Saturday mornings with Kristin has become my therapy. She has motivated me and guided me this last year to achieve two things I never in my wildest dreams thought I could achieve. I set a goal and with the help and support of my family and friends I was able to achieve the goal that I set.”

The half marathon was simply a rung in the ladder. Last Saturday, Tiffany and Kristen conquered the  Baltimore Marathon.

Tiffany said this marathon was so much fun, in part, because it was her first. However, once she’s past the soreness, she’s pretty sure she’ll have to try and run another one – faster this time.

Post race, Tiffany said the best advice she can give anyone is simply not to be afraid to try. Besides improved health and a great sense of accomplishment, you might finish with new and deeper friendships.

“Running a marathon gave a much needed boost to my self-esteem….I needed to prove to myself and my family that you can reach any goal you set your mind to and accomplish it. This training has given me back myself. I had to prove to myself that I still had it in me to do something great.
I was able to run across that finish line with my trainer and friend with a smile on my face and ask her, ‘Whats next?’.”

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Fighting Cancer One Race at a Time

Introducing Erin
Erin is a Mom who regularly attends Moms Who TRI bootcamp and is participating in the Taylor Love Triathlon. This past Monday she organized and hosted a kids triathlon (1oo swim, 1 1/2 mile bike, 1/2 mile run).  Ages 4-15 participated and it was a wonderful event. Erin and her family have quite a story which can be read and followed on The following is an entry Erin recently wrote regarding the upcoming triathlon. I invite you all to read it and be inspired like I was.
I know you haven’t heard from us in a while, but as long as we have this CaringBridge site, you can count on a journal entry or two in September because it’s CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. We’ve shared this fact many times, but it bears repeating: 36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. Please take a second to really think about that. That’s 252 new diagnoses this week; 1,080 new diagnoses this month. Those numbers are staggering; they’re absolutely sickening when you start assigning names to them and realize that each of these precious children have a unique life and story.
You know Sadie Mae and what she has had to endure in her short lifetime because of cancer. Every year, 13,140 children, just like Sadie, embark on their own cancer journeys. Each of those children has loving parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, neighbors, etc. And although the overall survival rate for children’s cancer has increased from 10% to 78% in the last 40 years, approximately 2,890 of those dear children who are diagnosed with cancer each year do not survive. I can’t even fathom what the depth of our grief would be if Sadie was one of those 2,890 children. It’s terrible, it’s unthinkable. It’s the truth: children are diagnosed with cancer and are dying from it. It’s got to change. Only research cures cancer and childhood cancer, in particular, is severely underfunded. That’s why we try to do our little part to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer.
This year our family is celebrating Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the actual month of September by participating in the Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon on the 16th. Anna is going to swim while friends Mike and Althea handle the biking and running. Ethan and I have been training for months, so it sounds silly to ask you to consider signing up now, just a couple of weeks before, but how about creating a relay team like Anna’s? If you think running 3.1 miles is no problem, find a friend who feels the same way about biking 15.4 miles and another friend who can easily swim 400 meters. There is no age limit for the swim as long as the participant can safely swim 16 laps and follow directions; the minimum age for bikers and runners is 14. Think about it. Seriously! It’s going to be a lot of fun. Sadie will be there to cheer us on.
We are also gearing up for our one and only major childhood cancer fundraiser this year – the Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk on October 14. We help to coordinate it, but Team Sadie’s Stars is all Anna’s. She will host her annual lemonade stand this weekend during the Burke Centre Festival, so please stop by on your way to or fro. As always, all donations will be sent to CureSearch in the name of Sadie’s Stars. The greatest satisfaction that Anna derives from the Walk every year is having all of her friends together in one place, supporting this cause about which she is so passionate. I can’t tell you how meaningful your participation is to all of us. Please mark your calendar and join us, if at all possible. We totally understand that it is difficult to attend on a Sunday morning and is nearly impossible for all of you out-of-towners. If that’s the case, would you consider being a “virtual walker” or simply make a donation to Anna’s team? We’ll do the walking for you! Search for “Sadie’s Stars” under Team Rank.
Finally, a medical update. I’d love to tell you that it has been smooth sailing since Sadie earned her remission status in the spring. Ethan and I were so thankful and wondered out loud to each other if we could really put the fear of cancer out of our minds. We tried. We made all sorts of fun plans for the summer and swatted down the nagging questions about possible late effects of treatment. The girls had been passing a stomach bug back and forth that presented with a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. At one point, Sadie had a high fever, but none of the GI issues; she would, however, whimper, “My chest hurts,” while clutching it. Who takes complaints like that from a new 3-year-old seriously? Our pediatrician does and ordered a chest x-ray. She thought that Sadie was developing pneumonia so she ordered an antibiotic and a follow-up x-ray a week later. That x-ray showed absolutely no improvement. What now? We rushed, carrying yet another suspicious x-ray, to the pulmonologist who originally found Sadie’s tumor sitting on the top of her right lung. Long story short, he does not suspect cancer. It appears as though Sadie has significant scarring in both lungs; one of the chemo agents she had likely is to blame. We were so relieved it wasn’t cancer. Then we were so sad that she was permanently damaged in this way. We will just have to watch her closely when respiratory illnesses pop up and make sure that they don’t get out of control. As Dr. Chester said (I’m paraphrasing): It stinks, but Sadie is here today. We will always feel terrible about the choices we had to make for Sadie when there really weren’t any good choices at all. Honestly, we hope and pray that the worst is behind us, but it feels as though we will never really be able to say that Sadie’s cancer journey is over.
We appreciate your continued prayers. Love Love, Erin
p.s. The first time I read about the triathlon on Taylor’s CarePage, I totally dismissed it. The next day, I actually had to find the message in my trash folder. So if you’re at all entertaining the thought of doing it with us, think about Sadie. When I’m swimming my laps, I like to picture Sadie frolicking in the pool. She truly is a spectacle. Sometimes we would hear audible gasps as she flung herself off the diving board and swam to the side of the pool. She seems to be part fish and absolutely loves the water. SWIM LIKE SADIE! When I’m biking, I like to picture Sadie seated on her tricycle. She zooms all around on that thing, but has not yet mastered the pedals. Although I think the “correct” way to ride it is to pedal, all she cares about is that she’s moving from point A to point B and is having a great time. BIKE LIKE SADIE! When I’m running (and usually bemoaning how much I dislike running), I like to picture Sadie running, arms flailing about. Like me, she’s not fast, but unlike me, she seems to delight in the mere fact that she is able to run. RUN LIKE SADIE! Don’t delete this message – you may want to access it tomorrow so you can sign up for the triathlon on September 16. 🙂
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Musical Motivation

House cleaning is not exactly on the top of my list of favorite things to do. But, given the proper solitude and a pair of quality speakers, I can not only get the job done, I can make if fun! Crank up some great praise music, or if I’m feeling emotional, classic country music. I mean crank it up loud! Last time, my poor dog was more shy of the radio than he was of the vacuum cleaner.

Music changes the mood, the pace, the atmosphere. Studies have shown that when athletes listen to music their speed increases.

Research suggests that music really can boost athletic performance. For example, a 2009 study by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in England looked at the effects of music of different tempos on stationary cycling performance. Twelve subjects rode bikes for 25 minutes at a self-selected intensity level on three separate occasions while listening to popular music. Without the subjects’ knowledge, the tempo of the music was manipulated so that it was normal in one workout, 10 percent faster than normal in another workout, and 10 percent slower than normal in the remaining workout.

The subjects’ average power output over the full 25 minutes was found to be 3.5 percent greater when the music tempo was increased. Their power dropped by 9.8 percent when the music was slowed down. (

I haven’t taken a stopwatch with me on a run in a long time, but I can verify experientially that not only does listening to music make me feel more energized during the run, but afterwards it certainly feels as if I’ve pushed harder than usual.

Some people have strange playlists. I knew a guy in my GA running club who listened to classical music. Not my cup of tea. But not many people enjoy listening to talk radio or books on tape while they run. (I can’t say that listening to talk made me run faster, but on long runs, getting lost in the story certainly made the time go faster.) I once trained for a marathon while listening to C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. 

My husband listens to loud, jarring music when he lifts weights. He believes he lifts heavier when he’s on the power trip inspired by the music. I know what he means.

So what about you? Does a certain music ramp up your pace and almost guarantee a PR? Does something you listen to make you feel like you can run forever? And what if you train with music but the race course doesn’t allow headphones? Too many questions to answer here, and mostly subjective answers. So we’ll start with this one…


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A Worthy Workout

Why do you workout? Who do you workout for? How many times has someone told you, “Do something good for yourself! You deserve it!” Or perhaps you’ve thought, “I want my kids to have a mom for all their growing up years. I want to set a good example for them.” So you lace up your Asics, or dive into the pool or heft another set of 15 lb. dumbbells over your head. All good reasons. Good enough.

Frankly, I only ever worked out for myself. There were plenty of times that I should have skipped a workout in someone else’s best interest, but usually I didn’t. God has slowly been bringing me around to see the rightful place of exercise in my life – in the life of a Christian.

“For bodily discipline is of some profit, but Godliness is profitable in all things because it hold promise for this life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

Don’t mistake him, Paul is admitting that bodily discipline is valuable. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and created in our Father’s image. It is right that we feed them well, work them hard and rest them completely. But what are we doing to exercise our spirit and deepen our relationship with God?

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

Romans 12:13

At Moms Who TRI, one of our girls brought our attention to a way that we can combine our two worthy goals – physical fitness and pursing godliness. We have decided to train for the Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon.

I’ve registered for races before because they looked fun, I thought I could win, everyone else was doing it, the t-shirt was cool and a myriad of other worthless reasons. But what could be more worthy than encouraging and helping to support financially, a little girl and a hurting family?

As your plan your summer fitness, while you’re running around the lake or finishing your laps at the pool, consider your fitness priorities. And considering, as Kristen mentioned last week, that you are setting an example for your children, how you can teach them what really matters.

Learn more about Taylor Love. 


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TRI With Us!

Since the Moms Who TRI mission is to train, race, and inspire, a group of women, who regularly attend boot camp, will be competing in the Tri for Love Sprint Triathlon. The triathlon is hosted by Tri Performance and will be held at the Herndon Community Center on September 16, 2012.

This race is being held to raise funds to support Taylor Love and to raise awareness and funds to help fight Neuroblastoma. Taylor is a local resident who in her short life of seven years, has battled 2 cancers, Neuroblastoma and chemo-induced leukemia, she has received a bone marrow transplant, fought through kidney failure and has undergone countless surgeries, procedures, pokes, tests and scans. Taylor continues to fight and persevere.

For many in Moms Who TRI this will be their first triathlon. They will follow the training plan below and will encourage one another, train together, and endure in order to reach the finish line and their goal. If you have any questions about this training plan, would like coaching for a triathlon, or are interested in joining us please feel free to contact me at


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 OFF Swim- 500 yards 20 min bike Run 2 miles 500 yards 20 min bike 2 mi run
2 OFF Swim- 700 yards 30 min bike Run 2 miles Swim- 700 yards 30 min bike followed by 10 min run 2 mi run
3 OFF Swim- 850 yards 20 min bike Run 3 miles Swim- 850 yards 30 min bike 3 mi run
4 OFF Swim- 700 yards 30 min bike Run 2 mi Swim 900 yards 30 min bike followed by 10 min run Run 20 minutes
5 OFF Swim- 1000 yards 45 min bike Run 3 mi Swim 900 yards 30 min bike 3 mi run
6 OFF Swim- 1100 yards 50 min bike Run 3 mi Swim 900 45 min bike followed by 10 min run 3 mi run
7 OFF Swim- 1200 yards 50 min bike Run 3 mi Swim- 1100 yards 30 min bike 3 mi run
8 OFF Swim- 1000 yards 45 min bike Run 2 mi Swim- 800 yards 30 min bike followed by 10 min run 2 mi run
9 OFF Swim- 1200 yards 50 min bike Run 2 mi Swim- 875 yards 1 hour bike 3 mi run
10 OFF Swim- 1300 yards 50 min bike Run 3 mi Swim- 875 yards 30 min bike followed by 10 min run 3 mi run
11 OFF Swim- 1400 yards 1 hour bike Run 3 mi Swim- 875 yards 45 min bike 3 mi run
12 OFF Swim- 1300 yards 20 min bike 2 mi run Swim 800 yards 20 min bike Race


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