Marie Ortiz of TeamAICR, winning races and running marathons to inspire others

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“You are running not just for yourself, you are running to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Marie Ortiz, who has run over 40 marathons since 2007 and in that time, she has battled breast cancer twice. This April, she will be running the London Marathon as part of TeamAICR. Here, Ortiz, a mother of four, shares her motivating story and why she has persistently strived over the years to run with TeamAICR.

What motivated you to start running marathons?

I ran in high school and college but after I had my first child in 1994, it was really hard for me to fit exercise in to my schedule. But, I resumed. Running was an activity where, at any given time, I could just put on my shoes and go for a run. My husband said, “you are always running and you are always doing these short little races and winning. Why don’t you challenge yourself a bit more and try doing a half or full marathon?” So, I signed up for a half marathon, and then a full marathon. I think my husband thought it was a one-and-done bucket list check off thing. But I thought to myself, wow, I really like this!

What led you to want to run with TeamAICR?

My diagnosis is the reason I signed up. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I thought it is very important for people to know to get their mammogram done and also to eat well and exercise. Cancer research is also very near and dear to my heart.

Did you keep running after the diagnosis?

Yes. All my doctors encouraged me to keep running to an extent while I was going through [treatment]. I was going through radiation when I was supposed to run the marathon with TeamAICR in 2013 but my doctors said I would be too worn out to train. There is a big difference between running 3-5 miles and 26.2 miles. Read more… “Marie Ortiz of TeamAICR, winning races and running marathons to inspire others”

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    Do salads make sense in winter?

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    Salads, although not essential for a healthy meal, do still make sense in winter! It’s an opportunity to try different ingredients than what you use in a summer salad.

    Winter Salads: Rethinking Ingredients
    Greens: Today’s grocery stores stock all types of lettuce year-round, so you don’t have to switch up your greens for winter. For more seasonal fun, however, try kale or the winter versions of spinach, which stand up well to hearty flavors. These greens are high in beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C, and spinach is a good source of the B vitamin folate that helps protect our DNA.

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      I love finding unusual fruits and vegetables to incorporate into my daily routine – changing up the types of vegetables provides your body with the right balance of nutrients and encourages you to get creative with cooking.

      The most recent unique vegetable I’ve incorporated into my meal planning is rutabaga. This lesser known round root vegetable originated as a cross between turnips and cabbage. It is nutty and mildly sweet tasting and can be roasted, sautéed, baked, boiled, mashed, or added to soups and stews. It is a popular dish around the world, with various native preparations. In the Netherlands, it is traditionally served boiled and mashed served with sausages. In Australia, rutabaga is known as swede, and is used in casseroles, stews and soups to enhance flavor.
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