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Dedicating His First Marathon Will Push Him to the Finish Line

This runner is dedicating his first marathon to his biggest supporter

Runners dedicate their training and running to others all the time. Their dedication can show loved ones how much their support means. They can also dedicate their running to supporting a charity of Austin Gives Miles presented by Moody Foundation, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program. Rene Arguello is dedicating his first marathon, the Austin Marathon, to his wife Veronica. She’s his biggest supporter. Read Rene’s edition of My Running Story to see how much he and his wife has been through recently and why he’s dedicating his first marathon to her. Are you dedicating your Austin Marathon to someone specific? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Time to sign up for the Austin Marathon

Image of Rene Arguello and Veronica, his wife, next to a Christmas tree. He's dedicating his first marathon to her!

Rene and Veronica.

I started running about 15 years ago when someone told me that I would never finish my first half marathon. Is that reason enough to prove someone wrong? The real reason I run is to be an example to my family. I want to show them that running has great health benefits. Every now and then my wife and daughters will join me on a run. Currently I’m training for my first marathon. I have completed ten half marathons and everyone says it is about time I sign up for a marathon. 

I usually like to dedicate my training and racing to someone. When you dedicate a race to someone it gives you the motivation to finish. I am dedicating my first marathon, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, to my wife. Veronica  is my biggest supporter. She always waves to me or blows a kiss when I am on a training run. My wife even goes to every running expo with me. She knows exactly where I am on any given racecourse and pops up to say “Hi!” on any given street corner. Veronica knows my running so much that she know what foods I need to eat during training and what gear I should wear based on the weather and the distance. 

My wife has been through a lot recently. Her favorite cousin recently passed away from a drowning accident in Port Aransas. Prior to that, her uncle passed away. My wife helped coordinate her uncle’s funeral and the music, no questions asked. 

Running with a heavy heart

This year I am running with a heavy heart, but still staying positive about my training. I like to keep loved ones on my mind and dedicate miles to them during the race. My overall training has been going well. I am following a racing plan and definitely have been enjoying my long runs. Running is contagious. I have several coworkers that have started running and have already signed up for races. They say that I turned them into runners. Maybe I have turned them into runners because I am always talking about it and I am always happy to answer any running-related questions. 

It’s funny, whenever I tell someone that I am running my first marathon I always get a crazy look. I know I will finish my first marathon. I have no doubt about it, especially since I’m dedicating my first 26.2 miles to my wife.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, and Brittany Drennan.

Thankful for Being Given the Opportunity to Run Again

After her injury, Brittany is grateful to have the opportunity to run again

Most of us don’t actually realize how much we love running until it’s gone. Sure we love getting outdoors, making new friends, de-stressing. But imagine for a minute that you can’t run again. Brittany Drennan lived in that world for 18 months. That’s how long her rehab from a terrible hip injury took. Read her edition of My Running Story to understand how grateful she is to have the opportunity to run again and how hard she’s worked to get to the 2020 Austin Half Marathon start line.

Intro to running

Brittany Drennan poses with a half marathon finisher medal. Read her edition of My Running Story to learn how she's been given the opportunity to run again.I have always been an emotional person. It’s just who I am. I cry at sappy movies and symphonies. And I can’t even play an instrument. In 2008, I registered for the Baylor Bearathon (half marathon) and I still don’t know what possessed me to do that. I had never run more than the occasional 5K.

The Bearathon is grueling, with about 5-6 miles of rolling hills. Having only run about 6 miles as my “long run” and never doing hill work, I thought my legs were going to detach from my body after Mile 7. I vividly remember thinking, “Where is the school? Waco is not that big…” But I don’t remember finishing. The next day I cried trying to get out of my bunk bed, my body hurt so badly.

I ran the Bearathon consistently for several years and as I was preparing for the 2015 race, I lunged to catch a patient at work and felt a pop in my left hip. While running the next day, I fell to the ground due to a subluxation of my left hip. As I crawled back to the house, I began to panic, tears streaming down my face. If I can’t walk, how can I run? I forfeited my Bearathon entry that year and was absolutely devastated.

It took about 18 months to rehab my hip. I worked from the ground up; crying tears of frustration when my hip couldn’t even tolerate the recumbent bike. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever endured. Near constant pain with no end in sight. I’d ask myself, “Why am I doing this? What am I trying to prove?”

The opportunity to run again

More than two years later, I lined up for the 2017 Bearathon. I was choking back tears of anxiety and fear. What if my hip goes out? Will everything I’ve done be for not? Two and a half hours later, I crossed the finish line in near hysterics. But finally, FINALLY, my tears were not from pain or frustration or fear. They were tears of joy and gratitude. I had been given the opportunity to run again.

I completed my tenth half this past October. Now when I cross the finish line of every half I weep. I used to be embarrassed. It’s not like I won or anything similar. Now I realize that it’s just my body’s way of saying “thank you.” I can’t wait to cross the Austin Half Marathon finish line!

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, and Blair Nagel.

Running Becomes New Routine for Volleyball Player

Broken back leads Blair on a journey and running becomes her new routine

There isn’t a correct way or right time to begin running. Everyone’s journey is different. Some start at a young age while others transition from a different sport. Some start later in life while others return after a lengthy injury. Unbeknownst to Blair Nagel, she broke her back in the seventh grade. But she didn’t realize it until eight years later (sounds like a runner already!). Read her edition of My Running Story, see how running became her new routine, and follow her journey back to full health!

Image of Blair Nagel backpacking through Colorado. Learn how running became her new routine when you ready her edition of My Running Story.

Blair enjoying the scenery while backpacking through Colorado! Credit – Blair Nagel.

Running was the only workout that didn’t aggravate back pain

February 2019 was marked by many things, most prominently inexplicable back pain. Here’s the thing, I’m a 21-year-old lifelong athlete and suddenly I couldn’t drive a car more than ten minutes down Lamar Blvd. How was I going to make it through the upcoming summer of backpack guiding in Colorado? Running became the only form of working out that seemed to make my body and back stronger, rather than ache. So, it became my new routine.

I grew up playing year-round volleyball. As long as I can remember, it was three or more hours of play a day. School ball in the fall, club in the winter and spring, beach in the summer. I’ve always loved the intensity of the game. I was in shape to sprint and jump – not to run long distances. So running and I have never quite been friends, barely even acquaintances on conditioning day. Then one day in the seventh grade, amidst all this training, I felt a sharp pain in my back for the first time ever. After a few months of physical therapy, I was back up and running, but things were never quite the same.

Eight years of my stubborn nature later, I had let my lower back pain persist to the point that some nights I’d end up laying on the floor. Sitting to finish an essay for class was too painful. I have friends in my life who decided it was time for me to overcome my strong will and see a spine doctor. All hopes and prayers begged for clarity because this didn’t add up. 

My back has been broken since seventh grade

Within seconds of looking at my x-ray, my doctor exclaimed, “Oh! Your back is broken! But don’t worry — it’s better than a fracture. No surgery needed. L5-S1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis.” Essentially, my lowest vertebrae and sacrum are no longer connected by bone, only resting on my disc. My strong muscles compensated for the break since it occurred in seventh grade, until 2019, when my focus turned more to school and extracurriculars rather than fitness.

Not only did running become the new routine, it became a form of medicine. A safe place of healing. Training for the 2020 Austin Half Marathon is a journey back to health and a journey out of pain and stubbornness and into one of joy and overcoming.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, and Axel Reissnecker.