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Kayce: One Lung, Three Children,
First Half Marathon

Kayce lives in Tulsa and is a working single mother of three children, who has had three lung surgeries. Now with just one lung, she will be running the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon this April...

Why did you start running? Because I have a friend that is very persuasive.

Have you ever ran before? I tried once and lost a lung!

WHAT? Yep, I basically only have a piece of my right lung; after three collapsed lungs and two surgeries; it is pretty much done for. I’m fairly certain my doctor isn’t thrilled with my choice of hobby right now.

My favorite part of running is flopping down on my cold hardwood floor after a long run.

How do you find the time to run a household, juggle three kids, maintain a full-time career and train for a half marathon? I’m actually still trying to figure that out; according to my sleep cycle app, I’m getting about three hours of sleep per night. 

What’s the first thing you’re going to do after your race?  Hug my friends and find a cold hardwood floor to lay on.  Then, be really proud of myself.

So what makes you think you can run a half marathon?  I have a good support system which consists of an amazing coach, who is easy on the eyes I might add (and that persuasive friend I mentioned.)

What’s your favorite past time when you’re not running?  I love to eat and love to travel.  I once had a blog titled Skinny Girl Eats World.

What keeps you motivated to run?  Well, I paid for the registration… but no…really I committed to my friend to run the half with her.  We’ve both had a super challenging year and this is one way we’re overcoming. Also, I’m one of those people that will do something just to prove I can. I guess the motivational way to say it is, “I don’t quit”.

What’s the most challenging thing you've faced so far?  Unexpectedly becoming a single parent, almost overnight, and having my world as I knew it completely changed.

What goes through your mind while you’re running?  I’m looking for the next marker to take a quick breather and check my oxygen levels. I have to be careful not to stress my one good lung.

Any advice for first time half marathon runners?  Start with small goals and give yourself time to reach them.  My first run was only 1.25 miles…and I thought then that I was going to die!  Oh…and get fitted for some good running shoes!

Do you remember the first moment when you felt like a runner?  Still waiting for that one.  My first fitted shoe purchase helped a little, but I honestly don’t know if I will ever feel like a real runner.  

What was your first race?  OKC half will be my first!

What, if anything, does your job have in common with running?  There are times when I want to stop or slow down the pace, but I keep putting one foot in front of the other to reach the larger goal.  Even though I may make jokes about how difficult it is, there is a big part of me that actually loves the challenge.

Has running affected your work in unexpected ways?  It gave me a shared experienced with my CEO. We have something to chit chat about when kicking off our weekly meetings.

If you could deliver one message to runners reading this, what would it be?  Don’t eat a burrito before you run.


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