Meet the OA Team, 2017 River Run Ambassadors

river-run-640x322Orthopaedic Associates is a proud title sponsor of the 2017 River Run, and we’re even prouder of our three River Run Ambassadors.  These three ladies have committed to training and crossing the finish line together in May.  Each ambassador will share their weekly story and provide  insight to training as they build mileage and inspire each other.  Check in each week to learn more about Katie, Ruth and Lori and cheer them along to the finish line.

Katie’s Story

Front Desk, Orthopaedic Associates KatieAmbassador

Growing up, I was the butt of the jokes in my school years. I still remember the things people said about me, and to me, regarding my weight and full figure shape. “You’re just like an apple; big, round, and fat” (a joke not only making fun of my weight, but as well as my last name: Applegate). “You bring the meaning to ‘obese.’” “Boys don’t hug you because they can’t fit their arms around you.” The words still have a bit of a sting as I type them out. Although I know that kids will be kids, and bullying is a part of adolescent years, this does not excuse these harsh words, and in no way justifies this behavior. I spent most of my childhood hating myself, and I’ve spent most of my young adult life learning how to love myself. I am so blessed to have found a caring and passionate man who I can now call my fiancé, and I cannot wait to say “I do” and become his wife. Each day is a fight to love myself as much as he loves me.

I have done every crash diet you can think of; I’ve been “dieting” since I was nine years old. One issue with my choice of weight loss programs is that I’ve done them on my own. I have never had an accountability partner, or group of people to help push me to my goals, and I believe that joining The River Run ambassador team is the best decision I can make towards my goals of becoming a healthier me, and also to my goals of growing stronger both physically, and emotionally. This is definitely not an easy decision, I know training will be hard, and I will shed plenty of sweat and tears, but I am ready to challenge myself. I am ready to become the best version of myself, and I am ready to work hard so I can look super fly on my wedding day.

Read Katie’s blog here: Coming Soon

Ruth’s Story

RuthAmbassadorFront Desk, Orthopaedic Associates

Let me start by saying … running is not my forte. I always thought I could/maybe be a runner, but have made excuses as to why I can’t or won’t; I am too old, my feet are a lot wonky (pigeon-toed), there is no time in my schedule…this list could go on and on. So here I am at 42 years old and ready to make a change, to go from a completely non-experienced distance runner to a trained runner. To have a healthier me, a more energetic me, & setting a better example for my son are just a few things I will gain from being a part of the River Run. Maybe by sharing this, another 42 year old will decide they are ready to make that change as well.

While I have never been a great athlete, I am active (with an 8year old who moves at the speed of run, ya kinda have to be). I have played sports as a competitive team mate and recreational. Running, however, was some thing to be shied away from, definitely not in my comfort zone. The River Run, quite frankly makes me nervous. What if I can’t work in the training, what if I am the one person who doesn’t make it across the bridge in time…what if, what if, what if? Even though this makes me nervous I want to challenge myself, I want to achieve this goal

My goals for The River Run: To challenge myself, to get healthier, and to have fun.  Over the weekend, we traveled to Cincinnati for my son’s Taewkondo tournament.  I had hoped to run on the treadmill, but when that wasn’t an option, my son encouraged me to run up and down the hotel stairs to still keep my training.  He said, “”cuz you got that run coming up mom.”  At the end of the day, I wasn’t as winded as I thought I would be.  This run will also help me with Taewkondo, I am on my home stretch to my 1st Degree Black Belt!

Lori’s Story

LoriAmbassadorCoder, Orthopaedic Associates

I just celebrated my 60th birthday and want to encourage people of all ages it’s not too late to be active.  Why not run into your 90s?  I hope to show people they can do something wonderful for themselves at any age.  I’m going to get out there are run for myself, for my health and for the pure joy of it.  Nothing better than being healthy, in shape and active.  On Saturday I went out for the first official River Run training run.  Success!  I made it through the 1st step in the 10 mile run!  While I did not do the full 3 miles I did manage approx. 1.5 (mad at myself for not taking my iPhone with my mileage app) and while I was very sore I felt great.  AND it was cold!  Did I mention it was cold? 16 degrees to be exact!  But the sun was out, lots of people there and it was a great experience.  I walked back to our starting point, not wanting to over stress muscles that had not seen a gym since before Thanksgiving, and was encouraged by the people who were heading out for the second time (say what?!) who gave me words of praise for making it through the course.  Lots of energy from this group.  Tonight I hit the gym for a 2 mile run, I’m following the novice training by Hal Higdon.  I’m excited to be getting back in shape, gearing up for the many long soaks in the tub for sore legs and ready to make running a part of my daily life again.


Nikki’s Story

NikkiAmbassadorScribe, Orthopaedic Associates

I was born in a family where my father was still running marathons when I was a newborn. As family priorities and jobs came first, my father lost the motivation to continue what he loved to do, and that was to run.  Being active throughout my life, I loved the feeling of being around fellow players/runners that had the same aspirations. Now as I grow older, I understand why my father faded away from running. Between having a career, helping to take care of five children, and remodeling our home, I feel I do not have enough time in the day or energy to put on my running shoes and train.  Over the past couple of years my family, to include my father, have participated a couple 5k obstacle course races. The best feeling was running alongside my dad, sisters, brothers, and nieces through the mud, swinging on rings, climbing up hills, and crossing the finish line together. I want to get back in shape and be a role model my future stepchildren to be active and healthy, like my father did for me.


Between a sick dog and kids, my training plans did not go to plan. However, knowing I have an upcoming date where I needed to be able to run 10 miles my fear won over and so my training started on 02/05/17. My lungs aren’t used to the cold air so I figured I would start off with 2 miles and see how I felt after. I started by walking my dogs as a warm up and after I gave them their treats and stretched, I was ready to go. Although it was warm, I still had the familiar burning in my lungs as they got used to the chilly air. My run went well, but the next day I paid the price. Between my groin strain and right plantar fasciitis, my Monday run was put on hold. I am recovered now and plan to continue my training full force.