Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finishing the NYC Marathon 2011 for SBA

This is the final update of the NYC marathon and fundraising for the national Spina Bifida Association. Again, words really do not express how much all of your kind donations and heartfelt words and deeds meant to us. Reflecting back on this past year of fundraising makes me realize just how many good, kind people I am blessed to know. My heart is full of gratitude to each of you and all of your encouragement. This journey has brought so much joy even through the pain of training and illness and injury. Every mile has been worth it.

Melyssa and I are happy to announce that we raised a combined total of around $7,500. That far exceeded our goal. This motivated us to run being supported with $143 for every mile.

For many of you who wish to know how it went, this is the best way I could tell you from my perspective. Emotions over the 4+hr experience ranged from humor, elation, praise, exhaustion, gratitude and on and on...

Made it to NYC with all our most wonderful family (L/R Mom, Julia, Gma & Gpa Williams, Hanna, Austin, Anna, Scott, Mely, Cate, Me & Hayden) had dinner & headed to sleep @ 10.
Woke up at 3am. Darn noisy Time Square. Caught bus @5:30. Made it to Staten Island. Bussed us in early enough with plenty of time for nerves and shivering cold before the start @10:10.
Small talk at the porta-potties. Short lines and still a little less disgusting early on. Mely met the youngest racer turning 18 on the race also from Montana. Trying to stay warm and eat a bagel. Met some of our team Scott, Liz, Kathleen and Sherrie, and even found fellow Austin Fit running friend Jennifer.  Feeling happy and excited.
Mile 0:  9:45, shed the clothes in dumpsters for Goodwill. Getting pumped. Still cold. Watched the wheelchair racers start.
Shot gun start and the elites were off with helicopter coverage.
We were the group on the left to the underdeck.
I'm...going to KILL... It!

Mile 1:  Mely and I run the bridge together. Beautiful view of the city from far off. Warmed up. Crammed with people. Garmin not working. Darn under deck. Running hard but not too fast. Gotta save it.
Mile 2:  Finally off the bridge.  Blasting my tunes. I think Mely is still next to me. No slowing down in this sea of people.
Mile 3:  No water stop. Don't want to get trampled. So glad I brought my own.  So much nicer than running in Texas heat and throwing up.

Mile 4:  Brooklyn... merge both running groups.  Have to get in a passing lane.  There's a Dunkin Donuts. I haven't been there in years. When this is over I want a donut.

Mile 5:  Finally a down hill.  Who is this famous person I am passing with the matching blond Lululemon entourage? Don't know.

Mile 6:  Where are my cheering family and how will I ever spot them? Where am I? What's a Borough? Can't believe all the people cheering?  Blasting my music.

Mile 7:  Move out of my way. Is that a runner taking pictures? Must get Gatorade. Keeping PR pace @ 9:30.

Mile 8:  Seriously when will this hill end?  Where are the porta-potties? No time for that line.

Mile 9:  1/3 way there. No I'm not going too fast. Feeling great.

Mile 10:  Is that smell sulfur or sewage? Is it just the smell of the city? Maybe that is me or is it all these people around me?

Mile 11:  Look at all these people.  I feel the love!

Mile 12:  Must not miss my family or the puff of the inhaler.

There is my family!!! I see their signs! I love you and needed to see you. Half way there.. One kiss and I'm off.  Sorry I can't wait for the pick mom.
Garmin said 9:30 average at over 12 miles just what I wanted

Mile 13:  Queens:  Where was my inhaler puff? Missed it but still feeling good.  Short bridge at half into Queens.  How many bridges do we cross anyway?(5)
Do you see my arms pumping?  Note I started over 40 minutes different from the elite runners official time.
Mile 14:  I see another big bridge coming.

Mile 15:  Bridge into Manhattan.  Garmin says 15.3 and OUCH! Left calf muscle tears, snaps and curls. Holy calf pain, Batman.  Keep going.  It's ok. I still have my right leg. Snap. There goes my right calf muscle and my PR time. Only a mere 11 miles to go.  I can do it.  Don’t walk. Keep running. 

Mile 16:  There are amputees and blind running out here.  The Achilles running group is so cool!
Mile 16:  I’ll walk through this water stop. Then no more walking. Yes, I know I’m “almost there,” lady who has never done this before. 

Mile 17:  Who are all these runners wearing determiNATION shirts? I am doing this for SBA and all those who donated their hard earned $ and are tracking me.
Mile 18:  Sponge!! Can I drink this? Fill up bottles.  Where is my family?  Must have missed them.  Its OK I get a down hill.

Mile 19:  Another bridge?!  Someone should have warned me about this course.  Best sign said "worst parade ever."

Mile 20:  Bronx...Stretch...walk it out. Come on! Yes I am shouting at myself.  Was that a 70 year old man that keeps passing me? I will catch him.  Only 6.2 more to go.

Mile 21:  Another bridge...why are so many people walking?  OK, pull over.  Stretch.  Just for a little bit.

Mile 22:  Mandy from team SBA passes me.  Go speedy Mandy!  My PR is shot with the minute I added to my overall pace.  I have determiNATION to finish this as strong as possible.

Mile 23:  Oh, made it to Central Park.  It should be so pretty now. I broke 4 hours!...for 23 miles.  Looking for my family again.  Just missed them, but they saw Mely.
Mile 24: Central park hill climb.  Yes there is a reason most people are walking.  Head down and hobble forward.

Mile 25:  Stop looking at the Garmin.

Mile 26:  Earphones out.  I hear Cate, G'ma & G'pa Williams!  Yes hi 5s and giving it all I've got!
Melyssa crossing
Adrienne crossing
 Mile 26.2:  Garmin says 26.5.  It's over.  I did it!

While team Hayden raised at total of more than $7,500, all 10 Spina Bifida runners totalled more than $48,500!!  While we did not raise the most $, we did have the largest number of donations and to me that means the most.  Advocacy and Spina Bifida education were my ultimate goal.  Remember FOLIC ACID & PRENATALS before you get pregnant!  That little pill may change a persons life.

While I didn't break my PR for time (the Kenyan winner did the whole race in the time I did half), I did make the New York Times.

My gratitude is great for my "Take That Team".  Thank you for paving the way and allowing me to run and train with you for the 2nd SBA marathon.  For your children who inspired you.  For all of those who suffer from the challenges of Spina Bifida who make us want to do more and better.
To my friends, thank you for letting me know the depth of your friendship.  I have never known I was cared for or felt such love and support from people other than family.  You can count on me any time.  Thank you for letting me count on you.  I know who my true friends are.

To my family, thank you for truly stepping up when we asked and we needed you.  Thank you for those who made the trip and for those of you who cheered us on from home.

Thank you to many of you who have never met us or Hayden but gave out of the goodness of your heart and circumstances.  You are the most surprising bunch.  My heart is truly touched and you make me want to be a better person.

Flamingos have flocked for many months from July to September.  From Austin to Billings.  It was an incredible uniting and bonding experience for our whole family united in doing good and charity for others in Hayden's behalf.

You may also view our NYC slide show by clicking below.
November 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Our Way

Many of you may want to know just how much money we have raised.  Hang tight.  With donations still being mailed in, totals will be tallied shortly after the race in a later post.  We are more than pleased with the generous donations well exceeding what we had set as our goal.

However, if numbers are your thing, you can track either Melyssa Ostler (BIB #40,083) or Adrienne Trigg (BIB #39,215 with an estimated 10 minute pace and goal to be my PR of 4:27) on our route via the following link:
My iphone will update via GPS once per minute on the NY Marathon Spectator App.
Destination, New York City.  

It feels like forever ago that I started training for this race.  I became inspired by a mother I have never met in NY, Liz Keicher, who started running for her daughter with Spina Bifida and helped to partner the Spina Bifida Association as a official charity partner of the New York City Marathon.  I asked her if I could join her in running and advocating the NYC marathon in 2011.  I was ecstatic when I learned that not only would I be part of the team, but that my sister, Melyssa, could join us too.
One of the things I think about while running for hours is, that I have learned that running this marathon is like a metaphor for my life.  I do not get to run a sprint to the finish line where everyone is cheering and everything is OK.  Instead I am learning to push myself to endure a pace through exhaustion and at times adrenaline and then acceptance for the long road ahead.  I have learned a whole new running language and met a new group of people I never would have met.  I have trained in the hottest TX summer on record.  Sweat and threw up from heat exhaustion many times.  But I kept on.  Woke at 5am leaving my family behind every Saturday morning for the past 27 weeks for a total just over 614 miles.  I could have run from Austin to Albuquerque (619 miles) to visit my sweet in-laws or Denver to Billings (555 miles) to visit the Montana family.
I really don't know why I started running.  Running a marathon was not what I had planned.  I know it was good exercise and I wanted to loose the baby weight.   I could clear my thoughts and relieve stress.  I remember thinking I would be a good example for my kids and all that they struggle with and work towards.  Wow, was I wrong.  As it turns out, my family has been my greatest example and is what keept pushing me to run.  The thoughts of my lil brother, Austin, and sisters, Cate and Julia, flocking in the late summer nights, my sister Melyssa tirelessly training, fundraising while working and going to school. Hanna & Hayden flocking in their pjs and welcoming me home after every run.  And mostly, Scott putting up with my early Friday evenings and exhausted sweaty Saturdays while he wielded the kiddos for most of the day.  They are my inspiration and gave me determination to see it through.

While my little Hayden may not have the strongest body, he is my super hero in Spirit.  He makes all those around him want to help him do better.  Everyone he greets with a smile, hug or kiss.  His personality is quiet and magnetic.  He is patient and joyful.  At times he does get frustrated with his body not keeping up with everything he wants to do.  We don't know if Hayden will be able to walk, but that will not define him or his quality of life.  He will have every opportunity to DO whatever he wants.  My purpose as his mother is to help develop all of his abilities and strengths.
All of us have weaknesses, let's develop and discover our talents.
So we are off...and in Hayden's words...."Lets GO PLAY!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Holiday Shopping & FUNdraising

You may DONATE directly for the NYC marathon by clicking on donate.

Only 26 more days until the NYC 26.2 mile marathon! This is your last chance to make a donation in Hayden's honor.  
Every amount no matter how small is precious and will help advocate about the importance of Folic Acid and giving these wonderful children a chance for their right to life and a good quality of life.
Thank you for every dollar you sponsor me or my sister, Melyssa on the run of our lives!  We are SOOOO EXCITED!
If you are not in Austin to attend our Spina Bifida open house, you may also like a little Holiday Shopping Preview with a percent of proceeds going to the SBA:
The Pampered Chef:
Spina Bifida Jewelry:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Hayden has never stood for this long by himself.  He has to wear knee immobilizers for support, but he is getting stronger!  Please see the posts below by clicking the banner above.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flamingos migrate from Austin, TX to Billings, MT?

To DONATE click here.  To read the whole story, click on the banner picture above.

With some mixed emotions of gratitude, sadness and relief, after 30 days of moving 2 migrating flocks in 100 degree heat, our Austin, Texas flamingo flocking has come to an end.  Due to the heat, our flamingos have flown the coup.  Many of them lost libs or broke wings in sustaining their efforts.  They have moved to a cooler climate, Billings, Montana where my running partner & marathon sister, Melyssa, will debut her fundraising efforts.
We are sincerely thankful for our wonderful neighbors and friends generous donations to the Spina Bifida Association and motivating support that made our fundraising so fun and heart felt.  Our Texas donations were much more than we anticipated. To date, we have raised more than $4,000!  
Over the course of the 26.2 mile race I will be motivated knowing I have over $150 riding on each mile I endure running.  It really helps give me something to think about while I have been training in this terrible Texas heat. 

Why have we done this?  We want you to know that Spina Bifida CAN largely be prevented by taking prenatal vitamins or daily FOLIC ACID PRIOR to getting pregnant. Spina Bifida occurs at ~20 days gestation, just before the 1st missed period.  Although prenatal vitamins were taken in Hayden’s case, not all diagnosis are known why.  
We have been blessed with abundant medical resources and state support while many families throughout the country are not.  Upon learning the diagnosis at the 20 week ultrasound, MOST mothers are pressured into delivering the baby prematurely to terminate the pregnancy.  Spina Bifida is not a death sentence.  EDUCATION = POWER & HOPE
Where Does The Money Go?  100% of your donation goes directly to the national Spina Bifida Association.  
  • $52.40 will provide 10 diagnosed mothers-to-be and six families living with Spina Bifida with tools, resources, information, and guidance from our National Resource Center for one day.
  • $78.60 will provide a full-day of education and supportive services to a family of three living below the poverty line.  This includes treatment information, access to health-care facilities, and psycho-social programming assistance, among others.  A meal is also included.
  • A $131 contribution provides 550 women with information about preventing Spina Bifida with daily folic acid.
  • $183.40 will support at least two children attending the three-day Kids!Camp – the only such camp in the country that promotes self-confidence, esteem and independence all in a fun atmosphere.
  • $262.20 enhances our college scholarship fund to further a young person with Spina Bifida’s education.
  • $1,000 furthers research in Spina Bifida to develop better treatment for, more understanding about, and new ways to prevent this life threatening birth defect.

Monday, July 18, 2011

NYC SBA marathon fundraising fun

Just finished the graphic that includes all the children of the parents who will be running the NYC marathon for SBA.  They represent just a few of the wonderful people with Spina Bifida that I am honored to represent.

Thank you to all of you who continue to contribute and support our fundraising efforts.  The 3 dozen flamingos that are flocking our neighborhood has started off really well, thanks to the full support of our HOA and our generous neighbors.

I am humbled and more grateful than words can express to all our generous donors!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Runners for SBA in NYC

The New York City Marathon recently announced that it was going to allow for double the number of runners invited on behalf of the Spina Bifida Association as a charity partner.  Originally we had been allotted 5 runners and then recently they gave us 5 more for 10 total.  Each additional spot was quickly filled.

The newest member of Team Montana sister, Melyssa Ostler!!!!  I am honored by her support and love of my little boy Hayden.
Cate, Melyssa & Hayden.  My sister Cate would have been a great running addition had she be 18.  We still love you Cate.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Help Hayden. Give Hope.

26.2 Miles
5 Boroughs
1 Very Special Kid 
Dear Family and Friends,
As you know, my son Hayden was born with Spina Bifida.  You may have read much about him on our blog at
Because of Hayden, it is my honor along with my awesome sister, Melyssa Oster, to be among the 10 invited to run on behalf of the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) as their 2nd Annual New York City Marathon charity partner.  If you don’t know what Spina Bifida is, it is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect.  Every day about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

The first year that Hayden was born he underwent 7 surgeries (brain shunt, spine closure, hernia repairs and eye surgeries).  He continues to be a champion in the way of working with as many as 6 therapists per week.  We feel blessed that all his surgeries have proven successful and that he has needed no more and we hope to keep it that way.
Approximately 166,000 people in the United States are living with the challenges of Spina Bifida. Find out more information on this challenging and complex birth defect by visiting
SBA is the only national voluntary health agency solely dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with Spina Bifida and those who are touched by this challenging birth defect.  
Now I would like you to join the cause. I will be running the New York City Marathon on November 6, 2011 in honor of Hayden and to benefit SBA.  
Please help make this a memorable run and support an organization that will support my family for a lifetime.  
Would you please consider making a donation of $1 per mile ($26), $2 per mile ($52), $5 per mile ($130), $10 per mile ($260), $20 per mile ($520)?  
Thank you so very much.  I do hope you’ll support this very worthwhile organization.  Please make and on-line donation by clicking the link to  donate now.  
You may read below to know where this money will be put into use.
With much gratitude,
Adrienne Trigg
Where Does The Money Go?
  • $52.40 will provide 10 diagnosed mothers-to-be and six families living with Spina Bifida with tools, resources, information, and guidance from our National Resource Center for one day.
  • $78.60 will provide a full-day of education and supportive services to a family of three living below the poverty line.  This includes treatment information, access to health-care facilities, and psycho-social programming assistance, among others.  A meal is also included.
  • A $131 contribution provides 550 women with information about preventing Spina Bifida with daily folic acid.
  • $183.40 will support at least two children attending the three-day Kids!Camp – the only such camp in the country that promotes self-confidence, esteem and independence all in a fun atmosphere.
  • $262.20 enhances our college scholarship fund to further a young person with Spina Bifida’s education.
  • $1,000 furthers research in Spina Bifida to develop better treatment for, more understanding about, and new ways to prevent this life threatening birth defect.

A Mother's Story of the Spina Bifida diagnosis

I have been fortunate to count many experiences as blessings in my life.  The one that I am going to share with you is my sacred blessing of raising my son, Hayden, with Spina Bifida.  My story begins many years ago prayerfully struggling to become a mother.  I tried various fertility treatments and adoption when I miraculously became pregnant with a little girl five long years later.  After giving birth it felt like I was seeing the world in a way I never had before.  She was all I had wanted for so long, I couldn’t wait to immediately start trying to have another.  After a year passed and I was unable to became pregnant, I underwent invetro fertilization (IVF) and was overjoyed when I became pregnant with twins. I felt God’s love for me in this process and knew that I had made the right decision.  It was this prayerful confirmation of my decision that helped me to carry on with some of the hardest trials I have ever had to endure.
Early on in the pregnancy, I miscarried one of the twins known as, Vanishing Twin Syndrome.  I mourned this loss and felt love and comfort from many close family and friends who had also lost pregnancies.  It was reassuring to know that I was not alone in my grief.  Shortly thereafter, at my 20 week ultrasound I had been sent to a Perinatologist for an in-depth ultrasound.  I had been to her for my first pregnancy, so I felt that I had nothing to fear.  What happened in that office that day turned my life upside down.  My husband and I were told that our child had brain and spine abnormalities and was diagnosed with Spina Bifida.  
The doctor said that we could abort the pregnancy, do an experimental inutero surgery study, or wait and see.  When we came home from the doctor that day full of grief, we began to pray.  The Lord testified to me that day that we were not alone and that he was mindful of our hearts.  Minutes later, our friend unexpectedly paid us a visit.  He felt prompted to stop by and see how we were.  We will never forget that moment.
That day, I began researching as much as I could about this condition.  Our church ward held a fast for our family so that we could participate in the experimental study.  We were selected to participate in the study, but after three days of many test, we received yet more news.  Hayden’s brain had what appeared to be another abnormality that excluded us from the inutero surgery.  Again, without a doubt, we knew that it was the Lord’s will.
When we returned home, I continued to pray and rely on the Lord to guide me.  I read in  our gospel literature that when someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed as the result of a blessing, their faith is being strengthened.  But for those who aren’t healed but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected.  The first is a faith-promoting experience.  The second is faith-perfecting.
As I reflect upon the past 2 years of work with my happy Hayden, my faith is strengthened from the many things that he has been blessed to overcome.  Seven surgeries within the first year of his life and crawling at 22 months.  While we continue to attend sometimes 6+ therapies per week, my hope is that my faith is perfecting.
Details of our families past two years can be read at

Monday, February 21, 2011