Week 17’s Generous Sponsors!

Week 17:  April 25th-May 1st

Total Sponsorship Amount: $100

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $300

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,900

Hope everyone had a good week!  I got four runs in this week, the last one being a quarter marathon race in West Bend.  My best friend and training partner Sam was signed up for the half and I do not feel like I am quite ready for that yet, so I decided to do the quarter then cheer her in when she finished the half.  I felt fresh since I don’t have a lot of miles on my legs these days, and my endurance was surprisingly good, and I was able to have a little fun and be competitive for the first time in quite awhile.  It was a lot of fun and gave me a little confidence boost that I needed right now. 🙂 I was able to put in almost 9 miles between warm up, race and cool down, which is my new longest distance this year since my injury issues have kept my from doing longer runs before this.

When it comes to MS Run the US, runner #3 is just starting.  Runner #2, Pat McKinney ran 200 miles in a little over a week from CA to Los Vegas.  Amazing!  That sounds like one of the toughest segments because it is desert, hills and heat.  And a LOT of miles!  Pat has a lot of motivation though, because he is running for his sister who has MS.  Next up is Carlee Schmitz!  She is running from Las Vegas NV to Milford UT.  She has raised $11,500 so far for MS.  She also has a super tough segment, 250 miles in 9 days!  WOW!!!

Remember you can follow the fun here!  http://www.msruntheus.com/follow/

Now that you  have the update, now on to our sponsors!  Both gave last year, and one is a returning sponsor- Zach.  Maggie is a good friend of mine from high school and she has made big donations both years.  This year she gave $200!  🙂

Sponsor#1: Maggie Clark

Maggie is a high school friend of mine, and one of the people in my life that I have been friends with the longest.  I mentioned last week when I introduced Paulette, that I only have a couple of high school friends that I am still in touch with and consider friends and they are two of them.  Maggie is a year under me and since she graduated high school I have not seen her more than a couple times a year (or less) because she has lived and gone to school in places pretty far away.  I met her from being on the track and cross country teams with her in high school.  She was a really good 800 runner in high school (and into college) and I did not quite have the speed to keep up with her.  But we did a lot of our training runs together and became fast friends.

When she graduated from Waukesha North, she went to school at West Point Academy.   Since then she has been going to school to be a Children’s surgeon through the Army and she has been several places for this.  Currently, and for the last several years, she has been doing residency in Hawaii!  So cool!  And several times I thought it would work out for me to go visit her, but so far life and work has kept me from being able to do so.  I hope I can before she is done, but I think I am running out of time. 😦

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I have been lucky enough to get to see Maggie fairly recently, which was the first time in quite awhile.  The picture below on the right is when she was here for a month working at Children’s Hospital in the area.  She came with Paulette and we did brunch after I ran the Lakefront marathon and I got to have dinner with her one more time after that before she headed back to Hawaii.  Not sure when I will get to see her again, sometimes it is a year or more between visits, but when we see each other it is so great to catch up and it is almost like we have never been apart.  I know we will always be friends.  I only have a handful of people in my life that I know I will be friends with forever, through life changes and distance, and she is one of them.  Thank you so much Maggie for your generosity and giving to my cause both of these years.  I couldn’t have reached my goal without so many great people who give! 🙂  Miss you and hope to see you again sooner rather than later! ❤ 🙂

 

Sponsor #2: Zach Kopplin

This is Zach’s second year as a sponsor of the week and giving a very generous donation.  This year he donated $100!  I have known Zach for about 3 years now, and we met at the gym when I trained him for awhile.  After I got done training him, he became a regular in my yoga classes at the gym.  Around that time he also started to get into running and two years ago this June (oh my gosh, or has it been 3??  I am losing track of time and I have no idea…I think two…) we did our first race together which was the Ragnar Relay Chicago with a group of running friends from the gym. Since then we have done several 5ks together (pictured below), a duathalon, a Ultra Ragnar and we took a trip to the Quad Cities with a group of us and I did the full and Zach did the half.

Zach currently lives in Chicago and so we do not see each other as much, but I follow all his running accomplishments on Facebook.  He has done several of the Ragnars around the country as well as many half marathons in fun places such as New Orleans.  I am so glad that I got to be a part of Zach starting to get into running and finding a love in it like I have over the past 15+ years.  I hope I some day get to do some of the fun races he has done in fun cities.  I am so thankful that even though I do not see Zach very often anymore because he does not live in the area, he still offered to make this awesome $100 donation to my segment of MS Run the US!  Thank you so much Zach and keep up the great work with your racing and training!  If I had to guess I would say you will be the first person I know to do every one of the Ragnar races. 🙂  Lucky!

 

 

Thank you again to Maggie and Zach for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!?  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/msruntheus2016relay

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Thank You Week 16’s Sponsors!

Week 16: April 18-24th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $80

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $180

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,900+

I can’t believe it is already the second half of April!  And the relay has now been going for a week!  Melissa is now done with segment #1 which was from Los Angeles, CA to Barstow, CA.  A total of 154 miles.  Woo hoo!  Next up is Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV which is almost 200 miles!! This segment is run by Pat McKinney.  His sister has MS so he has a great reason to want to run all those miles! I love following along as these amazing teammates of mine travel by foot a section of the country.  If you would like to follow along too here is the link!  http://www.msruntheus.com/follow/

Time goes so fast once the relay starts! My segment will be here before I know it (and before I am ready. eek!)  But despite all the set backs I have had, I am still excited to give and run for those with MS.  To the best my my current ability with my nagging injuries.  However, I have run more this past week than I have in a long time, 5 days out of 7! Tues, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!   I don’t feel much pain, just a little discomfort from time to time.  Nothing I can’t run through.  I am a bit sore though from really jumping back into it this week.  Mostly my hamstrings make it so I have to stop and stretch a few times because they feel pretty tight and sore.   My goal is to continue to run 4-5 days from here until the relay (I start May 31st) with one of those runs being a little longer each week.  This week I made 7 miles for my long run, I would like to add a mile to that next week.  So I am hopeful that I have enough time left before my segment to at least get my base back so the week of running isn’t such a shock to my body.

I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather weekend and I hope there are many more of those days coming up! 🙂  Now on to our sponsors, Paulette and Nick!

Sponsor #1:  Paulette Briggs

Paulette is one of my longest friends (along with Maggie who you will meet next week!!).  She is one of the couple people I can say I am still friends with from high school.  I do not have a lot of high school people I still stay in contact with, and to be honest I only had a handful of good friends all the way though high school.  This is why I cherish Paulette and I’s friendship so much, because she has been someone who has been a good friend through so many years and changes in my life.  High school, college and beyond.  She lives in the Madison area, so we do not see each other as often as we would like, but when either of us heads in that direction, we let each other know.  It is more often her heading here since she comes here for work sometimes and I hardly leave this area because I am always working.  I need to head to Madison one of these days!  For work Paulette is a Clinical Toxicology account manager for Thermo Fisher scientific.

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Paulette and I met my sophomore year of track in high school.   She was a sprinter (and jumper?) and I was a distance runner.   We had a lot of good times in both high school and college.  I went to LaCrosse and she went to Madison, but we visited each other both places several times a year.  We also went on a vacation together near the beginning of college (along with Maggie) and it is still one of my favorite trips of all time.  We went to Cozumel and it was a blast!  We always talk about how the three of us need to go back some day (first picture below is from our trip).

 

Paulette has  been very supportive of the two years of fundraising I have done for MS.  She also knows Ashley, the founder of MS Run the US, because we all went to high school together (which is how I knew about this relay run in the first place!)  Paulette has given several hundred dollars so far between 2015 and 2016, and for this week of her sponsorship she once again went above and beyond and gave $100 rather than the $80 that was needed for the week.  The last time I was in Madison was for a friend of mines (and fellow relay runner) AJ Bombers fundraiser.  Paulette was able to meet me there and have a drink and hang out, and that is what the picture below is from.  She also came all the way to Milwaukee to come to my version of this fundraiser back in December (a month after the one in Madison).  She helped me so much with set up and stayed for as long as she could before having to head back to Madison. She has told me many times she thinks what I am doing is (crazy) awesome and she has gone out of her way to show support.

I could go on and on because we have so many great memories over the past 16 or so years as friends, but really I just want to stress how thankful I am for both the encouragement and support Paulette has shown me in this journey. She has given hundreds of dollars to help me meet my fundraising goals and has been present during one of the biggest fundraisers I have held.  Thank you so much for your friendship and for giving to this important cause Paulette!

paulette

 

Sponsor #2:  Nick McCall

Nick is a returning sponsor from last year and has been a client of mine for over three years now!  Wow!  That is crazy.  Over the past three years we have become friends and even though I don’t see him outside of the gym often anymore because we are both crazy busy, there are occasions we still get together.  For example, Nick came out for my birthday this past January and he also came by AJ Bombers for a bit during my big fundraiser.  We have done at least one New Years together with a group of friends, several of my birthdays, we have hung out on Christmas several years ago, and we went out for a drink one St. Patty’s day.  We have each others back and even if we are busy, I know Nick is a friend I can always count on.

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Nick and I at my 31st Bday get together.

I see Nick about every other week when I train him at Anytime.  I always enjoy out sessions and getting the updates on how he is doing.  Mostly he just works a lot (he is in IT), but he gets to do some traveling as well.  Recently he has taken some trips down to Florida to visit the girl he is dating.  Nick enjoys lifting as well as running, although like myself, he has had some nagging injuries over the years which have kept him from doing some of the races he has hoped to do.  Thank you so much Nick for all the times you have donated to my MS Run, both from being a sponsor of the week as well as coming to my events.   I am lucky to have such a giving and nice friend in my life!

 

Thank you again to Paulette and Nick for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/msruntheus2016relay

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Week 15’s Amazing Sponsors!

Week 15:  April 11-17

Total Sponsorship Amount: $60

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $120

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,800+

Well, now that winter is back, I sure hope that this next week is better and spring decides to make an appearance!  Things are pretty much same old, same old here.  Not as much running as I would like due to crazy busy schedule, low energy and trying to ease into it.  I did make it 6 mile last Sunday, which is my longest consecutive miles so far.  Not even close to where I need to be.  But I can’t compare last years training to this year because they are nothing alike due to my currently injuries and ability levels.  I have seen a change in my body due to loss of muscle from not training like I did before.  My legs have lots a lot and all my pants are a lot loser around my quads.  And I can tell the difference when I run.  My legs get a lot more tired after only a few miles.  So it is a long road ahead of me to be ready for the relay.  I don’t think I will make it on my own.  Which is why the plan for my segment is to have help from some other runners to share some of the miles.  So I am trying to not worry about it, because unlike Boston, for this I will have the support I need.

But enough about me!  The relay kicked off this weekend in L.A. with Runner #1 Melissa Schmidt!  She reached her $10,000 goal a month or so ago and she is running 153 miles to kick off the relay.  Go Melissa!  Remember you can follow the relay and see all the most recent posts along the way at:  http://www.msruntheus.com/follow/

Have a great week! Now on to our sponsors of the week:  Jen, Matt and Dave!   Thank you all so much!

Sponsor #1:  Jen and Matt Lange

Jen, Matt and Kaylie are returning sponsors this year!  Thank you so much for helping me reach my goal for my second year.  Jen and Matt have been so much more than just sponsors!  They have supported me in almost every single fundraiser I have held in the last year and 8 months!  It has been quite the journey and one of the best parts is to learn how many great and supportive people I have behind me every step of the way!   I first met Jen when we were coworkers starting at the end of February of 2013.  We worked together for a year and a half until she had Kaylie and became a stay at home mom.   Her and Matt live in Port Washington in a beautiful home with cute Kaylie and their dog Ellie.   Even though I don’t see Jen daily anymore, we still try to all meet up for dinner every so often to catch up.  During my first fundraiser, which was the 60 mile run-a-thon, Jen was very pregnant, but they still showed up to help out and show support.  Matt ran with us and Jen held down the fort at the gym.  They have also been to Karma, AJ Bombers, a yoga class or two, and of course sponsored a week each year.  Matt’s company also does charity matching, so their donations have all been matched which helps SO much!

 

Sponsor #2:  Dave Melby

I originally met Dave because he is a good friend of my boyfriend Bryan.  Since then he has also joined the gym I work at and become a client.  I also know his wife Julie because we have done some dinner dates with them.  Dave and Bryan became friends years ago when they both worked at MMSD.  Since then they both have different jobs, but have stayed good friends who meet up for lunch every couple months when their schedules allow.  Dave and Julie have 4 kids and one granddaughter.  Dave is also a runner, and I am not sure how long he has been running, but I do know he has done the last two years of the Rock ‘n Sole half marathon because we have hung out with him and his family there for the post race party both years.  He is signed up to do it again this upcoming June.  Besides being a sponsor, Dave and Julie (and a friend of theirs) came to my karma fundraiser in 2015 to show their support.  Thank you so much for being a sponsor for the 2016 relay for MS!  I am so excited to be almost to $12,000!! 🙂

Thank you again to Jen, Matt and Dave for donating this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/msruntheus2016relay

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Thank you PAT! Week 14’s Sponsor!!

Week 14:  April 4-10

Total Sponsorship Amount: $70

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $70

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,700+

Happy April! (I wish the weather would act like it’s spring now!)  There was no blog last week because I didn’t have any sponsors signed up, so I just took a weekend off of writing this, which was kind of nice since it was a holiday weekend and I was busy dog sitting as well as visiting family both days over the weekend.  But now I am back at it and every weekend from here until the end is accounted for by at least one person.

Some good and not so good updates from over the past 2 weeks.  I got my second cortisone shot.  And the good news is that I almost feel like it made my back feel a little looser (even though the shot was not in the back) so maybe all my pain is connected to that one area and was making my whole body one big mess.  It is not perfect, but seems better than before.  The not good part is that I am randomly getting a shooting pain in my inner thigh that is bad enough to scare me out of doing the Boston marathon in two weeks.  So we canceled the trip. 😦  It still makes me want to cry every time I talk about it, so let’s not.  It’s not happening, I just want to forget about it, there is nothing that can change it.  Hotel is canceled, car is canceled, it is crossed off the calendar.  The end.

I am going to do what I can over the next couple months and hopefully this random and scary pain will go away.  I am still going out for my segment no matter what, and I will just do a lot of run/walking and hopefully have some other runners so help me get some of the miles done.  I am not going to think about it yet because it just makes me anxious.  Fundraising is going great, that is all that matters right now!!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sponsor #1 (the one and only this week!):  Patrick Garvin

Welcome back Pat!!!  You may recognize this guy, and you should!!  This is his 4th time sponsoring a week in the past year!!!  He sponsored two last year and this is his second time this year!!  He is the one and ONLY person to sponsor 4 difference weeks!  This year this is his second $70 week so he has given $140!  Last year I think it added up to $100.   As you can tell, Pat is a very giving and great person!

Just a recap on how I know Pat.  We met at the gym a couple years ago, when I started training him after Max left and Pat had a handful of sessions left.  I knew him a little from him being around before that, but this is when I got to know him better because I actually got to spend a half hour at a time talking to him.  He became a fast friend because let’s be honest, its hard not to like Pat because he is that type of person.  One you instantly consider a friend and like being around.   Even after I was no longer training him, he still always said hi and stopped to talk to me when I was not busy with other clients.   There have been several occasions over the years that he has met up with my friends and I to hang out, such as New Years and my birthday last year.  It is always so much fun when he is around!

Pat currently coaches Lacrosse for MSOE.  He is a huge Lacrosse fan and used to play it himself in college.  I am so glad he gets the opportunity to continue working with something he is so passionate about.  Makes me miss coaching myself when I hear him talking about it!   Thanks again to Pat for all his help and support!  It means so much to me!  🙂

 

 

 

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Goofy pic of Pat and I out for my birthday Jan 2015.

 

Thank you so much to Patrick for all you have done to help me reach my goals and make a difference to those with MS! Thanks to people like you I am crushing my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/msruntheus2016relay

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone! HAPPY April!!!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂