Elena Sonnio, a.k.a. C. Mom, is a 36-year-old ("for 3 more weeks!") in Fairfax, Virginia who describes herself as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an ex-wife, a teacher, a runner, a cancer survivor. How can you not love--and learn something from--a woman as multifaceted as that?
Best recent run: A 4.86-mile loop around Burke Lake, after dropping my daughter off at camp a few weeks ago. It was the first time in what seemed like forever that I had run it. It was also the first time I had attempted an outside run after getting a cortisone shot in my IT band/hip, so it felt liberating to be back out on the trail.
Living strong: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease a little over 13 years ago, and had an autologus bone marrow transplant. When I was sick, I never wanted to be thought of as the patient. Now, all these years later, I realize my being sick is so much a part of who I am, and why I do the things I do. I think it gave me a very unique perspective on life, and on living each day.
High five, friend: Running was the one thing my doctors had said would be difficult for me due to lung damage from chemo. So when a runner friend who I was visiting in Boston during the 2001 Boston Marathon weekend, said, “Why not run the Marine Corps Marathon?” I giggled. But she planted a seed I could not get rid of. Within two weeks of returning home, I found a training group and signed up for my first Marine Corps Marathon. Which was pretty funny, considering I could barely run three miles.
Not on the chain gang: I am doing the Irongirl triathlon in Columbia, Maryland, in a few weeks, and I am freaked out about something happening to my bike on the course. I have participated in maintenance clinics so technically I “know” how to change a tire or do the basics…but I would be much happier if I didn’t have to.
Reclaiming me: I started a column on my blog in January because I needed to get out of a cycle of self sabotage and unhappiness with where I was physically and emotionally. I ran the Wilson Bridge Half in October, but by January, had found myself struggling again with my running. I was also battling depression at a time in my life when I should have been my happiest; I was getting remarried. I knew it was time to reclaim the “me” that I knew I could be.
I started with me: writing about my training progress, my ups and downs, my reflections on myself. I realized there were so many other people out there that are going through their own personal journey. So in April I had a full week of guest posts while I was away on vacation, and then I made the guest posts part of the weekly series. (I'm going to have a few running-related ones this summer, and I would love to share more stories of women reclaiming themselves.)
Ideal running date: my husband, on a trail, each with our own headphones on.
Fave post-run snack: immediately, coconut water or Muscle Milk Light. At home, scrambled eggs with Morning Star bacon strips.
Garmin or no? Garmin. I am slow, but I like to track my slowness.
Fave flavor of nuun: lemon+lime.
Skirt or shorts? Skirt, especially when I am a few pounds thinner.
Morning or noon or evening runner? Morning all the way.
If I weren’t running, I’d be: an emotional mess. I need it to keep me feeling strong and balanced. When I couldn't run for almost two months because of my IT band, I averted disaster only because I started swimming more.
One thing on my running bucket list: run one more marathon in under 4:30. It is a very far off bucket list dream.
Follow this mother at: www.ciaomom.com