Guest Post: Ainsley's Angels and a Tot in a Triathalon!

Guest Post from one of my 2015 Miles in 2015 team members last year, Brandi Jones. Among many other exciting adventures, she has joined Ainsley's Angels, a wonderful organization that I can't wait for you to read more about. Below she shares what she has been up to these last 6 months, and it is truly inspiring!

Hi everyone! Have you missed me? J It’s been 6 months since my last post for 2015 Miles in 2015. WOW does time fly. I have to say I’ve been very busy.
My 2016 has been fabulous. I’ve been following an amazing organization called Ainsley's Angels for over a year. I knew it was something I wanted to join. My 9 year old nephew Hayden is blind and unable to walk and I wanted to be the legs for him. I wanted him to experience the joy I get from running and the running community.  In April we ran our first 8k race and it was a cold North Iowa morning. My nephew did great. He chatted up a storm with everyone we met. I can’t wait to run more races with him. He is MY inspiration! A special thanks to the Capital Striders on putting on a great run. They are a great group of runners to join if you’re in the Des Moines, Iowa area.

My other nephew Nicholas (twins with Hayden) is training for his first triathlon in July. Nicholas ran his first race also in April and took 3rd place.  I’m so excited to cheer him on next month. It’s amazing to watch his determination and drive. These boys make my heart happy. I’m blessed to have them in my life, plus they have some pretty amazing parents! 

Over the winter I heard so many of my friends talking about wanting to complete a half marathon. So, I decided give them a little boost. In May I started up a 17 week run/walk half marathon training program. I wanted have the training start at a point that anyone could do it, whether you were already running or have never ran before.  I was astounded on how many ladies showed up on Day 1 at 5am. We run 3 days a week with 2 short runs and 1 long run. Plus adding in 2 days of weight training while still getting in 2 days of rest. These women are inspiring. I am so proud of them making the commitment and challenging themselves. In August there will be 15 ladies completing a half marathon and for 10 of them it will be their first 13.1 mile distance. The other fantastic part is these ladies range in age from 21 to 65. This is proof to never let your age limit you. Believe in yourself. Challenge yourself. Most of all, find a great support system. Seeing all these ladies at 5am ready to run make it a lot easier to get out of bed.
Some of our Sole Crazy Half Marathoner’s. Surround yourself with amazing people and you can concur anything!
Also in May I started coaching 1st and 2nd grade girls softball again. I had such a great time last year. I have 16 girls on my team this year, so it has been non-stop excitement. Next year the girls I started coaching will move up to the next league, so I’m going to be torn on what to do.

I’ve also getting back on the course. Golfing was my first sports love! J I come from a family of good golfers and there is something about the serenity of fresh mowed greens that reels me in. I’m already signed up for a couple 2-person best shots this summer. If there was one other thing I still yearn to do…that’s to coach golf. Who knows maybe someday down the road the opportunity might come around.

Also last but not least, my bike! I have enjoyed so much getting back out on the road and trails. I’ve been able to help 2 friends out who are training for Grandma’s Marathon this month. It worked out great being bike support while they train. I can’t wait to see their training pay off next week. I’ve also signed up for a few novelty bike rides this summer.
Got to love Iowa weather. Two weeks apart and 45 degree difference between rides.
Well, that pretty much sums up the last 6 months. It’s unreal how fast time files the older you get.  It really put’s meaning to “Seize The Day”. I hope everyone is living life to the fullest, challenging themselves, and most of all having fun along the way.

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