Soul Sister Ronda continues her journey to Gazelle Girl Half Marathon

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – The fifth annual Gazelle Girl Run is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. Rhonda Brinks is on the road to run the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon. After being awarded the Sole Sisters scholarship, which helps with training and support, Rhonda has been training week by week in order to cross the finish line! Here is her latest update:

Taking on the wild West Michigan winter

Feb. 28 was a cold and snowy day, but I finished my 8 mile run with my Sole Sister Sarah. I joined this group because once it was cold outside I would only run on a treadmill. Well, Thanks to Sarah’s encouragement I ran the 8 miles in the cold weather.

Rhonda takes on training for the Gazelle Girl.

Juggling family, life and training…

Well, this last week was a very stressful week.  I did not get my running in at all before we ran 9 miles on Saturday March 4th.  My mom was scheduled for a total reverse shoulder replacement on Tuesday Feb. 28th. My father has Primary Progressive Aphasia, which is a form of Dementia where he has lost his ability to talk clearly. He tries to form the words in his brain, but they come out all wrong. It’s very sad to see your dad go through this.

Because of my mom’s surgery, I spent 3 days and 2 nights with him. He needs constant supervision. Once my mom was released from the hospital, I put both of them in a nursing home to recover.  My mom needs therapy, and my dad for respite care.  I didn’t feel he should be taking care of her, because then who would be taking care of him….That is where my stress came from this week.

When I heard it was going to be around 17 degrees out on Saturday morning, I tried to think of every reason not to go. But, I went, and I ran the 9 miles in that cold…..I just kept thanking God for a beautiful morning to run with my Sole Sisters… I am thankful to have them as my accountability sisters. I ran the last 3 miles by myself. But, that was ok. I needed that time to clear my head and just feel my body moving. To realize that I can run in the cold…

I will survive the curve balls that life throws at me. One step at a time, one day at a time..All you have to do is believe in yourself enough to want to change yourself. Your mind is a powerful thing.

I will survive the curve balls that life throws at me. One step at a time, one day at a time..All you have to do is believe in yourself enough to want to change yourself. Your mind is a powerful thing.

Saturday March: 11.7 mile run

I was so looking forward to running with my sole sisters this Saturday morning. I had a lot of stress that I had to run off.  I was not looking forward to the very cold and windy conditions though.  I believe I was dressed warm enough for the run, but my lungs did not like the cold.

The first 2 miles were such a struggle for me. I would run a little and then walk a few steps,. The whole time I had this internal conversation with myself. About what a quitter I was for having to walk. I felt like I was letting myself down with my training. I could not push the negative self talk out of my head.  But, then I remembered that everyone has good days and bad days during training. I can not expect to always have a great run.  I need to pay attention to what my body was telling me, and learn from my run.

As long as I keep moving forward in my miles, I will be able to finish my first Half marathon.  I am scared and nervous for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon.  Thank to my awesome Sole Sisters for all their support.

I took this picture of Heather Koetsier and myself after we both accomplished our mileage on Saturday morning.

Sole Sisters: Heather and Rhonda

Sign up for race day:

gazelle girl run

Grand Gazelle Girl 5k/10k/Half Marathon
Sunday April 23rd in Downtown Grand Rapids
Register here. 
Register by Friday, March 31 to get your name on your bib

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of WOTV 4 Women, its staff and/or contributors to this site.

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