Running lifts woman from pain of losing fiance killed in Afghanistan

Running lifts woman from pain of losing fiance killed in Afghanistan

EUGENE, Ore. - For Lacy Cromwell, running her first marathon will be a bittersweet milestone in her life.

"I'm excited to be a marathoner," she said. "I'm extremely nervous, but I'm excited," she said.

Getting to this point hasn't always been easy. Cromwell was engaged to Navy SEAL Denis Miranda, who she met several years before while they were both at a Navy training camp in Illinois. When they got engaged, they were 24 years old and ready to spend the rest of their lives together.

But on September 21, 2010, Miranda was in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

"He ended up dying later at a local aid station, and they actually named it after him. It's now called the Miranda Trauma Center," Cromwell said. "He died for his country, so it's an honor to receive a flag from him. I'll keep it forever."
    
After Miranda's death, Cromwell was paralyzed by grief.

"Everything kind of just came to a stand still," she recalled. She spiraled into sadness and gained 75 pounds.

"In May 2012, I finally said 'enough is enough.'I wanted to take control of my emotions again, and also my body, and just be happy," she said.

Cromwell started running - and shedding weight. So far, she's lost 60 pounds.

She says running has been theraputic. "It keeps me going," she said. "It gives me hope."

The Eugene Marathon will be her first marathon, and she's running not only for herself but also Denis. Lacy's motivation comes from knowing she's not alone.

"He would want me to be happy and move on and have a good life."