Survived in spite of. Thrived because of. This blog was initially started to chronicle 11 half marathons in the year 2011. 11 is my lucky number and running is my passion. And it’s continued to evolve to share my stories and more races, inspire others to find joy through running and help motivate people to make the mind-body connection for the powerful benefits in their life. For me, making stories in this life is the ultimate to reach for, and create, and it’s your experiences that inform who you are, set your values and really the only thing you can take with you.  With that in mind, this is a good story.

And while tough to admit, the reality is my body and I don’t always get along – since a young age I’ve battle multiple auto immune diseases, including but not limited to Hashimotos and Sarcoidosis – I was diagnosed with Hashis when I was still in junior high and Sarcoid struck me down fiercely in the Fall of 2006. I’m a proud Ambassador of Operation Shooting Star, a non profit that raises awareness and money for all autoimmune diseases.

And now – I finished my 50th half marathon in the Fall of 2016 – exactly 10 years to the week I was laying in a hospital bed in UCSF on a morphine drip. In September 2017, I will be running my 60th but my 50th RocknRoll event – the running company with whom I enjoy racing and know without a doubt I wouldn’t have this many under my belt already if it weren’t for their program.

Who’d have thought one race could turn into this incredible and generous journey?

The Big 5-0 for Gretchen Schoenstein

This Woman Will Be Running Her 50th Half Marathon in Brooklyn

Take 2: A woman’s incredible journey to the Seattle Rock ’n’ Roll Half-Marathon

Life Throws Curves, But ‘When You Cross That Finish Line, It’s Yours’

Road Runner Sports October 2015 Runner of the Month

Rock n Roll Marathon Series #RocknBlog Team 2016 & 2017