Here I am at day 366, the last day of this leap year. It seems only fitting that my last run was with Gretchen and Cathie doing the Bayridge loop, our well-traveled 6 mile path to finish off the year. My goal of running 366 days this year may not have been achieved, but I achieved so much more. Having the courage to set a goal whether I reached it or not was so fulfilling. One of my favorite quotes sums up my quest pretty well: “Its impossible – said pride. Its risky – said experience. give it a try -said the heart.”
To have a goal to keep me motivated to keep me focused to keep me excited was such a positive feeling. I knew the odds were against me, but that only made me want to try even more. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” And challenge me it did.
I learned many things. Firstly that running every single day is not good for my body and that running 145 days in row was my breaking point…literally. That is when I broke my pelvis in 2 places and was benched for 3 months. I felt like a failure at the time, but now I am much more respectful of my body. A day of rest no longer equates to laziness, but rather the intelligent act of recovery.
I learned that running with a group of women is more therapeutic than any other remedy around. We think it has something to do with the fact that there’s no eye contact, everyone is facing forward. Whatever the reason my Saturday morning runs with the girls have become so sacred I schedule my life around it.
I’ve learned that I am a fighter. Even after my injury I tried to bike, swim, do yoga, whatever. And I waited albeit not very patiently to get back to running. And when I started back I was slow and couldn’t go very far, but I got back to where I was. And just yesterday I did 10 miles and today we did 6, because I wanted to succeed. Running is my thing and I’m so glad I have it. I hope everyone finds their thing.
In closing, I want to share the words of the Gym Class Heros in my “power song”, The Fighter:
“Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya’ll?
Give ‘em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter
Here comes a fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
This one’s a fighter.”
My one year total: 754.5 miles
I set out for a run this afternoon with no particular goal in mind. It was cold, about 30 degrees, with wind blowing 30 knots making it feel like the 20′s. But after the 1st mile the cold didn’t bother me. And after the 2nd mile I was feeling good. And by the 3rd mile I stopped to pet a very friendly golden retriever and then I felt great! I was having such an awesome run I just kept on going. I thought about all sorts of things I hadn’t had time to think about. I cleared my head to the point I had no worries. I love it when I get that feeling. I ended up running an impromptu 10 miles and I felt amazing. I knew I had run hard because when I went to sprint the last 50 yards I could go no faster. I had already given all I had and I was blissfully exhausted
“Running trains me to be a stronger person. Running trains me to refuse to let my environment determine my actions. I have never breathed so hard, felt so strong, or faced such challenge as when I am running. Running trains me to keep going – always.”
Total: 748.5 miles
We had a great Saturday run yesterday. Cathie, Sally, Mary, Nicole and I all set out at our usual 6:30am before the big snow/rainstorm hit wearing our various reflective gear…blinking arm and ankle bands, reflective gloves, hats and jackets and even a hat with lights. We talked about everything from politics to puppies. We ran fast at times and slow at others. And as we always seem to do, sprinted at the end. It’s always such a great way to start the weekend knowing you woke up before most, pushed yourself and feel all the better for it.
“That’s what running does to lives. It’s not just exercise. It’s not just achievement. It’s a daily discipline that has nothing to do with speed, weight, social status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, where you live, what car you drive, or whether anyone anywhere loves you. It’s about the slow and painful process of being the best you can be. That’s why the first step out the door is always so hard. That’s when we decide between settling for average and being a superhero version of ourselves.” -Martin Dugard, To Be A Runner
Total: 738.5 miles
Yesterday was Christmas. This morning there were presents all over the house and dishes left from last night as I snuck out of the house to run with the tribe at 6:30am. I got to wear my new running pants and hat and was all set for the 34 degree run. Today is Wednesday and I usually can’t make these runs because I have to be at work, so it was really nice to be able to do it today while I’m off. Cathie, Sally, Mary, Sandy, Stephanie, Melanie and I met downtown and ran around the Naval Academy. It’s a great run. It’s mostly along the water. No traffic. And peaceful despite the impending sleet/rain/snowstorm. When we were done we headed into Starbucks for coffee where I got to use my new Starbucks gift card that Andrew put in my phone. It was so cool to pay for my coffee with my phone.
It was a perfect day filled with food, drink, playing with new toys, hanging with the family and, of course, a run.
“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.” – Kara Goucher
Total: 732.5 miles
I haven’t been writing much lately, but I have been running. My favorite run was last weekend in Las Vegas. The morning after we arrived we woke up at 5am because we were still on east coast time and decided to run. It was drizzling and about 45 degrees…and, yes, we were in Vegas….the desert. We ran down the strip and saw all the hotels and a few straggling drunks stumbling home. One even ran with us for awhile. And running down the strip is quite a workout because you have to go up and down stairs to take the bridges to cross the street. We only went about 3.5 miles, but my legs were burning from the step workout.
I’ve also had 2 great runs with my girls this weekend. We did our typical 6 mile Bayridge loop in 30 mph winds on Saturday. And yesterday we did a loop around Quiet Waters in 27 degree weather. It was coooold.
And on Friday we had a wonderful running “tribe” Christmas party. It is so wonderful to be part of this group. I may not have met my goal of running 365 (actually 366) days this year, but I think I succeeded anyway in getting the chance to become friends with all these amazing women.
“It’s always nice to have people in your life who can make you smile even when they’re not around.”
Total: 728 miles
It’s December 5th and I woke up at 5:40 this morning and went for a run in SHORTS! It was like 60 degrees with a light drizzle…my favorite kind of run. I did a 3 mile loop in the unseasonably warm weather. Tomorrow it will be back in the 30′s.
My other runs this week were a speedy 2.5 miles on Thursday, my Saturday 6 miler with my girls, and a solo 5 miles on Sunday. I’m so thrilled that I’m able to keep up running 4 days a week without any hip pain. I may not have been able to continue the running every single day this year, but deciding to keep going anyway still gives me pride.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Total: 699.5 miles
In the past week I’ve had several great runs. The most exciting was the Turkey Chase we did on Thanksgiving. They offer a 5K and a 10K and usually I do the 10 and Andrew does the 5, but this year Andrew did the 10K with me…the longest he’s ever run! It was awesome to run a race with my hubby. My buddy Gretchen, came and ran with us too. I loved starting together and crossing the finish line together. It was a great start to Thanksgiving Day!
I also had my Saturday run with just Gretchen and Cathie this week. I can’t remember what we talked about the whole 6 miles, but I remember feeling very happy when we were done…as I usually do
And yesterday I did a quick 3 miles at 5:45am. It was a cloudy, drizzly day and of course at that hour it was very dark. But sometimes it’s nice to run in the quiet, darkness. It makes the run seem very calm and private. Just me and my iPod.
“The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one.”
Total: 683 miles
Yesterday I ran the same run I did 5 days ago with my neighbor. I felt slow on that run, so I wanted to see how fast I could do it if I kept focused. At first I felt like my legs wouldn’t go as fast as I was instructing them to go, but then they decided to follow directions after I was warmed up and I got going pretty good. At the end I felt like my stride was opening up farther than it had in months. I had muscles in the backs of my thighs working that I never even felt before. It was wonderful!
I clocked my run at 4 miles in just under 33 minutes, so about 8’15″ pace. I was so excited!! There’s a glimmer of possibility that my goal of hitting a 7’30″ mile this year is within reach.
“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”
Total: 668 miles
I had 2 more great runs this weekend. My Saturday run was beautiful with Gretchen and Sally (and her pooch, Piper). It was chilly but the sun was shining, we were chatting away about everything and nothing, and got in our 6 mile loop.
Today I ran with Andrew. My mom and dad watched the girls this morning while we did a nice 5 mile loop from the house at 7am. We’re doing our annual 10K Turkey Chase next week on Thanksgiving Day and Andrew wanted to make sure he got his mileage close to that. He’s been spending so much time at the new construction he hasn’t had much time to run. But we did it and he had no problem at all with a 9’00″ pace.
When we got home we found the girls and my dad sitting around the kid table having a tea party. All pinkies were raised. The girls were wearing fancy, princess nightgowns, while my dad was wearing jeans, dress shoes without socks, a button down shirt not tucked in or fully buttoned and a tie. I was promptly informed Addison dressed him and there was going to be a wedding after the tea party. Ahhh, to be 5 years old again. I just love my family
“Our grass is the greenest.”
Total: 664 miles
Yesterday morning I met one of my parents’ neighbors and a family friend, Dave, for a run at 6am. He claims that I am his inspiration for his running endeavors, which include an upcoming half marathon. Once we commenced our first run together, it was very apparent that he was the one who’s been training and I the one coming off an injury. He set the pace and I tried to keep up. I felt like I should have been the one to be pushing him; however the roles were quite reversed. And anyone who knows me knows I cannot accept this and will now be forced to train harder. It was a great run though and it felt good to be pushed after so many months of taking it easy.
“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” -Herschel Walker
Total: 653 miles