Houskeeping: We will be meeting at 8 a.m. this morning (Saturday) in Barberton, and don't forget we'll have a guest speaker on the topic of nutrition and hydration specific to runners and walkers.

With her permission, I wanted to share with you an email from Linda Weyrick, 64, of Barberton. She joined Blue Line Beginners back in May, though a flareup of gout kept her off her feet till just a couple of weeks before the National Interstate race. Still, she read the blog and wrote me ocassionally to stay motivated until she could come join us during our meetups in Copley. And when she finally crossed the 1 mile finish line in just over 27 minutes, she checked a goal off her bucket list for a special reason...

"I was so happy to cross the finish line (and in the required time!) that it made the excruciating foot pain all the worthwhile. I asked my daughter-in-law who is a RN if anyone ever had to have surgery for the pain after a one-mile marathon. She pretty much just laughed and handed me a Tylenol. By Monday, my feet were fine.

People like me who have never been in a race but have always wanted to participate should have taken this as a golden opportunity to scratch off another goal on their bucket list. This was something I never thought I'd accomplish, especially after the four-month gout attack and all the other health obstacles that seemed to pop up all at once. Putting on shoes for the first time just 10 days before the event was discouraging but I promised myself I would cross that finish line even if it took all day. I was so happy I did it under the time requirement and the only lingering discomfort was the thigh burning from going up that last hill.

I won't be able to join the Saturday morning walks for awhile. I'm finally having my cancer surgery in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the recovery time will be short and I can get back on track. Doing a 10K is such a far off dream for me that I don't know if I could even train for it. Finishing the 1 mile marathon was such a wonderful thing for me and doing it before this new chapter of fighting the cancer means more to me than you'll ever know.

So good luck to all the Beginners! I'll be watching and praying for good results for you all! - Linda Weyrick"

If you have anyone in your life who needs some inspiration, I hope you'll share Linda's story. There are plenty of foot races in our area with small and moderate distances, and anyone is welcome to come train with us and share in the camaraderie as we all work toward our personal goals, whatever they may be.

- Paula