On “found” time

So this past weekend didn’t go as originally planned. You see, I was all set to spend a good 8 hours at barre n9ne in training for Pound – Rockout Workout, a training that was *supposed* to happen this winter but a certain blizzard kinda interfered. But after last week’s events, it proved not to be the safest of times to be traveling into Boston for our friends at Pound, so alas, training didn’t happen afterall.

…which lead to a whole bunch of  “found” time on Saturday. 

Both of my usual Saturday morning classes at barre n9ne were already subbed out. I was supposed to be training for Pound, afterall. So just like that — my Saturday was a clean slate, with absolutely no schedule, no agenda, no plans whatsoever.

The ‘old’ me would’ve whipped out my to-do list…or started an entirely fresh to-do list, and gone to town. You see, I think I’ve done a good bit of changing the past 8 months or so — I suddenly remembered this post: the one where I told myself to chill the eff out. And I remembered how anxious and upset I felt, how all up in my head with mind crazies galore I felt, how utterly strained and unhappy I felt. And I remembered how much I did *not* want to return to that ‘self’ again.

So lo and behold — Saturday became a free-for-all, a day where suddenly ‘found’ time became fun time versus productive time. 

It started with an awesome, but very challenging, run with the hubs. #TeamSutera reunited once again to tackle one of our favorite ‘long’ running routes from our very first half marathon training almost 4 years ago. The route is about 20 mins from our house so we drove to the starting point and parked our car — this after sleeping in, awaking to *no* alarm clock, something that happens very rarely at the Sutera Manor these days — and off we went.

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We chugged along and man, it felt a lot more challenging…but in a very good, very ‘worked’ way, a way my body needed to feel. I admit that I battled my head a little bit at first, getting super frustrated that the run wasn’t one of those easy-breezy-could-run-forever runs. But then I remembered that sometimes you gotta work extra hard for the miles and let your body work. And after I gave myself that gut check reminder pep talk, I felt much better and chugged side-by-side with Scott.

It turned out to be an incredible run.

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I think our smiles say it all — it was one of those cleansing, refreshing, replenishing runs. I think all of the emotion of the week needed to escape and the miles were our escape route. We ran along freshly-rained-on pavement and all around us it just felt clean, fresh and new. All of us in Boston needed that ‘fresh and new’ feeling, I do believe. And we got it on Friday night and into Saturday morning in more ways than one. (SO glad both bombers are no longer roaming the streets of Boston…so, so glad. 

Other than that run? Scott and I spent some time pitter-pattering (this is SO a “Scott” word haha) around the house before we stopped to watch the opener of the Bruins and then the Red Sox games…and watching both ceremonies where the city paid tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy but also the heroes, I cried. And cried. I couldn’t be more proud of this city, of Boston, our home. <3

After wiping away those tears, we decided it was time to get out of the house for a bit. We wound up at one of our newfound favorite spots for an afternoon drink. They have ample seating at the bar and lots of TVs to watch the various Boston sporting events — and the pours there? They are generous to say the least, ha. ;-)

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It was an awesome break from reality — we chit chatted with our fellow bar-mates, and I even saw my boss there which was kinda funny. But mostly, we just took the time to get away from normalcy, using the ‘found’ time we had on our hands for fun, carefree time together.

So what’s my point here? (other than to blab on and on about how fabulous our Saturday wound up being??)

“Found” time is a gift. Use it wisely.

As recent events have shown us, life is so short, so fleeting and such a blessing. Live every single second of it. My vote? Let’s live a little more like the sentiment behind this Dove Promise message, hmm?

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Sometimes…you just have to look in the mirror

Sometimes…you just have to look in the mirror. 
…and tell yourself: yes, you are beautiful. 

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…even when those mind crazies try to tell you otherwise.

…even when you feel the urge to look in the mirror and critique every last inch of your body.

…even when there is literally no reason to feel down and out, that rat hole just looms and looms and looms.

…until it becomes too much to bear and you stumble head-first right into it.

It’s that moment, that stumble-head-first-into-the-rat-hole-with-no-hope-of-escape. That’s the defining moment when *you* need to be the one to pull yourself out of it.

Because nobody else can, or should, pull you out of it for you. You have to learn to stand on your own two feet, shush those mind crazies all by yourself, pull on those big girl pants and take a flying leap over the rat hole instead.

Yep, that was exactly the talk I had to give myself tonight on the way to the studio. I had one of those moments where I just felt…bad. I wanted to critique myself to death. I wanted to just be my own worst enemy instead of my best friend.

But I knew I had to get OUT of that rat hole and get out of it fast. Thanks to some tough love from the sis and a bestie, I took a step back and looked in the mirror. Thought to myself: ‘shake it off already.’

And said, yes — I am beautiful. 
…in my own way. 
…on my own terms.
…because I’m perfectly imperfect. 

And that’s ok.

Goodbye rat hole. Get the eff outta here mind crazies.
I will *not* let you win tonight. 

#loveletterstoself
#operationbeautiful
#beyourownbestfriend
#insertyourownhashtaghere

When you can’t get out of your own way…

…there *may* be a reason why.

Backing up to Monday…

I teach a 6am and 7am class at barre n9ne. (whee!)
I then rush my butt home to shower, dry my hair and get dressed for work. Grab my work bag plus my gym bag (since I teach a 7pm class too!) and my lunch bag and out the door I go, if I’m lucky I can get out the door by 8:40. This Monday? I wasn’t out the door until closer to 8:50.
<ugh>
I wasted precious minutes on the ride home from the studio (it’s a 5 min ride at MOST) stuck behind a dump truck.
Then the outfit I had in mind wasn’t working so I had to think quick and grab something else. (preferably something *not* wrinkled).
Finally out the door and damn did I need coffee in the worst way. So I spent the extra minutes hitting Starbucks to grab some coffee, all while kicking myself for not setting the percolator up while I was getting ready.
<ugh>
Scramble back into the car and zip towards the highway. And once again, find myself stuck behind some guy who thought it was a good idea to take the on-ramp to the highway at a cool 15 mph.
Swearing under my breath, sweating, and growing more frazzled by the second, I was so annoyed. <—I’m sure you can imagine these scene…
And thought: I just can’t get out of my own way today.

…and that’s when it hit me: this is a test. His test.

You see, just this past Sunday, I listened to one of Joel Osteen’s devotionals (by now you know we love listening to his sermons that we DVR to listen to while we eat breakfast on Sunday mornings…) and the message was around the ‘tests’ God routinely puts in front of us. And by ‘tests’ I don’t necessarily mean giant tests like job loss, a death in the family, serious illness or financial woes, but those little tests that push us to get out of our own way, recognize the test and use it as a means of shaking off a bad habit or personality ‘flaw.’

In Monday’s case? This was a test of my patience. Y’know that trait I don’t happen to possess a heck of a lot of.? Yeah. That.

And in that moment, when I pulled back and recognized that all those little ‘can’t get out of my own way’ moments were mini-tests to force me to dig deep to find patience, I suddenly felt relieved. It was almost like God saying “see?? I told you, so.” (in a very nice way, of course) And  before I knew it, started to look at my commute as less of that mad dash to get to work ‘on time’ but instead, I started to look at it as my ‘me’ time to reset my mind, to switch gears from fitness instructor to PR/Marketing pro, and to get ready to rock Monday like nobody’s business.

It was that message — a message that seemed relatively minor when I first heard it on Sunday morning — that made all the difference for me on Monday. It reminded me that patience, while scarce most of the time, is something I need to find a way to harness, no matter how frustrated I can get, particularly when things are not in my control.

****

And you know what? I’ve already put that learning to the test tonight, in fact. The hubs is battling a cold (dear God, please not the flu!) that hit him like a ton of bricks last night. So after taking care of him last night, making him his favorite dinner and putting him to bed nice and early, I had a feeling tonight would require much of the same. I left work with the intent to hit the grocery store for all the ingredients for chicken soup…plus ice cream for dessert (his favorite). As soon as I hit the highway — bam: gridlock. Argh. For a moment I was seriously annoyed. Of ALL nights, I thought to myself (and b*tchily texted to my sis). But as we rolled along, and I remembered that test from earlier in the week, I took a deep breath and shifted my focus. I turned off the radio and opened the window a bit for some fresh air and just let my mind wander. My ‘me’ time…right?

So now I’m sitting here, belly full of chicken soup, the hubs next to me in his jammies and appearing much perkier now that he’s had chicken soup and some extra cuddles from the wifey and you know what? The scramble to the store, the mad dash to get the soup cooking, our lunches made for tomorrow and my gym bag packed again and none of that matters now.

It was worth it — for this moment, where Scott so lovingly looked at me after dinner, his eyes all watery from sneezing and blowing his nose, and said “I have the best wifey in the world.” 

…and suddenly, nothing else mattered. <3

Source: weheartit.com via Jess on Pinterest

Community: (re)defined

The concept of community has been all around me the last couple of days in particular, but really — community has been on my mind for weeks now. I started to think about how I defined community the last time I wrote about it here:

So now when I think about “community” — my definition is quite different.  It’s about finding common ground. Above all else. Kind of like this amazing fitness and healthy living community that I am damn proud to be a part of. A beautiful phenomenon…another community where I’ve made friendships that I cherish, with awesome women (and even a few guys!) who I’d never ever have met if not for this blogging thang.

As I read and re-read my words from that post, it dawned on me: I was writing about it from a very different perspective — the perspective of the student surrounded by a loving, warm and supportive set of mini communities. But today, I sit here thinking about community from the perspective of instructor or teacher.And while I still define community in a similar way to how I wrote about it over a year ago, I’m coming at the concept of community from a (re)defined perspective today.

…as a barre n9ne instructor.
…as a forever student of this fit lifestyle I’ve grown to love.
…and as a quasi-’teacher’ of what fit can mean if you apply it to all areas of your life.

Community means…support without strings attached, just lifting up your fellow friends, clients, family, etc., because you want to. Period.

Community means...learning from eachother. Whether it be at the studio and figuring out how to connect with your core better, or through fit friends who show you how to run with heart and soul (yep, that’s you Meaghan).

Community means…putting yourself out there and knowing that those in your personal community will be there to catch you if needed. This happens all the time with fit besties Steph and my sis Jo. Anytime I’m having a moment of personal struggle, no matter how big or small it is, they are there to remind me to think bigger, to pull back and look at the situation with a new perspective, and usually it’s a fit perspective at that.

Community means…leading by example as an instructor, in the hopes that at least one client will be inspired to reach for a higher goal, push a little harder in class, or simply smile at themselves in the mirror when I tell them to focus on the work they’re putting into that plie or bicep curl.

Community means…beautiful friendships, connections and memories built on that common ground, and with a foundation of trust and support above all else.

Community is beautiful.

And, as we near the end of 2012, I am damn thankful for the various communities that make up such a big part of my life today.

Source: toms.com via Jess on Pinterest

#Runsherpas: the #teamsutera way

By far one of the best aspects of marathon training for Scott and I (aka #teamsutera) was the amazing outpouring of love and support from loved ones — not just family but ‘IRL’ friends and bloggy friends alike. It was nothing short of incredible.

Between that and all that Scott and I learned during our 18-week marathon training journey together and we’re both *still* feeling very grateful for the entire experience.

One of the coolest phenomenon’s ever was the forming of the #runsherpa support group that sort of started small and snowballed before we knew it. In case you aren’t sure how this all came together, refer to this post please. :-)

So when #teamsutera (and fellow #runsherpas, my sis and M!) had the opportunity to pay it forward by becoming #runsherpas ourselves, we jumped at the chance. And who better to #runsherpa for than for Meaghan — who is staring down her first ULTRA marathon tomorrow: the Stone Cat 50 miler. For those of you who do not know Meaghan — you are sorely missing out. Not only is she freakin’ hysterical and an awesome, awesome, AWESOME friend ‘IRL’, but she is ridiculously inspiring.

Just SIX MONTHS ago this girl was recovering from compartment syndrome surgery. A surgery that had her basically starting from scratch. From ground zero. From the very beginning all over again. No matter how long Meaghan had been running, none of it mattered post-surgery. She was starting fresh. As in one foot in front of the other, slowly but surely.

And today? She’s prepping for an incredible challenge — 50 miles. And oh yeah, it’s a trail race too.
(see?? I told you she was pretty amazing, did I not?)

To this day, I count Meaghan as THE most passionate runner I have ever met. She absolutely glows anytime we talk about running. Her words are dotted with joy whenever she’d share training advice and tips (something she does very sensitively I might add — she is *not* a know-it-all kind of runner AT ALL…and she’d have every right to be one given how experienced she is). It was her words that stuck with me on that epic 22 mile training run that Scott and I absolutely crushed this summer. (and it was her post that made me bawl like a little baby when she wrote about seeing my marathon journey from the outside looking in…)

Her words? So simple yet incredibly powerful: Let the run come to you.

That phrase still gives me goosebumps.

ANYWAY. Now that I’ve gushed for this entire post about the awesomeness that is Meaghan, it’s clear that I seriously cannot wait to #runsherpa for her tomorrow. Scott is getting in on the action too, naturally. He’s taking his post-race pizza making duties *very* seriously. And I can guarantee that he’ll be the loudest #runsherpa of all time…and probably the loudest spectator at the race tomorrow overall. Just a hunch. ;-)

So tomorrow? I am honored, proud and SO excited to #runsherpa the hell outta Stone Cat while Meaghan crushes her first ultra. No matter what, she’s going to cross that finish line with pride. She may be hurting. She may be utterly exhausted. And she’ll definitely be emotional. But what I hope she never forgets is where she was just six months ago — and a smile of joy and gratitude crosses her face as she finishes all 50 miles.

Run proud, run happy, run strong Meaghan. You GOT this.
Love,
#runsherpa Jess (and Scott ala #teamsutera fame)

The anatomy of an early-morning run

Yesterday was one of those mornings where I found myself truly grateful to be able to run. And to be able to run early in the morning before the rest of the world wakes up. It was one of those serene, calming, centering and joyful runs. Runs where you remember just why you get your butt out of bed at ungodly hours of the day to log some miles. Yup, *that* kind of run.

So today — I bring you: the anatomy of an early-morning run:

Alarm blares at 5:00 (an ‘even’ time, I usually set it for 5:02 or 5:05 or something…odd that I didn’t this time)
I take one look at the clock and promptly hit ‘snooze’ (another oddity, I never hit snooze, ever ever ever)
Of course, the one time I hit ‘snooze’ and I drift into a deep sleep for 8 minutes only to be rudely awoken again by the second alarm (this is why I never hit snooze…who wants to wake up *twice* by the sound of that thing??)
I roll out of bed, quite certain I’ll be rolling back into bed in about 3 minutes. I didn’t think I wanted to run yesterday. I was tired. Or so I thought. (I got plenty of sleep the night before so this was totally an instance of my mind tricking me into thinking my body was overtired…nope, just the ‘devil’ on my shoulder trying to lure me back to sleep, damn that creeper!)
I threw on my running shorts, sports bra, tank, knee straps and sneakers. And then look at Scott longingly — “are you suuuuure you don’t want to go back to bed?” To which his response was all I needed to hear: “nope, I’m ready to run, let’s go.”

Off we went. Still dark out. But the second I set foot out the door I knew it was exactly where I needed to be. By Scott’s side, in the quiet, cool, peaceful air. Crickets chirping, the sky slowly brightening around us.
The first few miles are pretty dark and quiet – not much chatter between Scott and I. Instead, I found myself simply soaking in the moment.
We were together, enjoying the miles, enjoying the quiet time before the crazy day ahead, enjoying what I know I’ll be missing in a few months when I’m relegated to the treadmill (wah) or to running in the dark, cold, dreary winter mornings/nights.
Instead, I’m running in my favorite tank and shorts, it’s a gorgeous late-summer morning and we’re running. Strong, able, solid.
Love. <3

And then I see it: the most glorious, fiery red sunrise as we head across our favorite bridge over the ocean. The sky was incredible. So bright, so warm, so welcoming, so amazing. I wish I had a camera…or a photographic memory. It was so beautiful.
Up and over the bridge, over that rolling hill that nearly killed me a few days ago (during that lovely fartlek-crazed 10-miler). But this time, I didn’t mind the hill. It was so so so quiet in that neighborhood — a very different scene just a couple of days back.
On the turnaround we were greeted with another beautiful sight — a faint, but very present, rainbow. Rainbows mean promises. Of good things to come. Even if those ‘good things’ take their time coming…they are coming, around the bend. I’m trusting my path.

It was that rainbow, that moment where the run really took shape for me. We were only about 3 miles from home but I seriously could’ve run forever. I felt so centered, calm, focused, strong, free.
Even when the rain started to fall on the last two turns of our run — I didn’t whine over it, I welcomed it. So cleansing. Refreshing. Cooling.
Our final turn towards home and that goofy, runners high-inducing grin was plastered all over my face.

We just ran the best 9 miles of our lives.
Together. Strong and able. Welcoming the day with a fresh perspective. 

The anatomy of an early-morning run.
….and a reminder to never take for granted the ability to run, and the ability to run during such a magical time of day. Noted.

What change means.

This year has revolved around a whole heck of a lot of change for me — and most of that change was by design. After proclaiming 2012 as my ‘year of no limits’, I’ve intentionally looked for change. Seeking out opportunities to try new things, get out of comfort zones, break down boundaries. Get uncomfortable, stay there, even if I was afraid of it.

And it’s that mentality that has paid off in spades for me this year. Worth. It.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about what change means…and after recent reading got my wheels turning even more on the change front, I thought it was time to blog about it here.

What change means…perception. What tends to be the hardest part about change? Not the physical act of the change on your day-to-day life, but the perception change that often takes far longer to happen.

I’ll give you two examples.

Example #1: It’s no secret that I’ve shed a few pounds and inches this past year thanks to my focus on barre n9ne, and it’s changed my body in some pretty awesome ways. I’m very proud to say that today (and no, I don’t believe it’s vain to feel proud of hard work like that). Yet, I still sometimes find myself struggling with self-perception. I sometimes look in the mirror and “see” imperfections that truly aren’t there. I sometimes sit and fear that I’ll suddenly revert to the “old” me from a year ago who was unhappy, frustrated, sad. To me, that’s a sign that my brain hasn’t fully caught up to who I am, what I’ve become, and where I’m going…yet. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just one of those “things” that comes with change — the need to accept and embrace new perceptions as a result of whatever change is going on in your life.

Example #2: At work, I used to find myself happily set in my ways, head down, working away, not often making time to socialize around the office or whatever. Now, in this (sorta new) job of mine? I recognize that the ‘heads-down’ mentality isn’t always the right approach. I’ve always been a work-horse on the job, proud of myself for being able to juggle a lot, and plow through to-do items like a fiend. But sometimes? It’s not about ticking items off a list, spending your days like you’ve always spent them.  Sometimes, it’s about the communications and socialization aspect of my job that matters more. Sometimes its about doing things, seeing things, approaching things…differently. It’s something I’m constantly pushing myself towards — it’s an uncomfortable area for me, for sure, but it’s good, needed change. But again, it’s a perception thing (and a habit thing for sure) for me…it’s time to shift it.

What change means…facing fears.  Fear is a hard emotion to face, and even harder to overcome. Fear of the unknown. Fear of heading into un-charted waters that you maybe have yet to face at all in your 20-30-40+ years on this earth. But what I’ve learned this past year? The more you face fears, the more you seek change, the more you LIKE change and want more of it. I’ve found it to be crazy liberating to finally be at a point where I can enjoy change vs. run from it.

Heather’s post that I linked to above struck such a chord with me yesterday when I first read it. Her words from the Lululemon retreat she just went on:

When you stand in nothing*, you open doors to possibility.

Let those words settle in for a sec.
…unreal, right??

When you let nothing get in your way (preconceived notions, perceptions, fears),the sky is truly the limit. Change becomes the gateway to those “doors of possibility.”

…the more I think about it, the more I’m digging these “doors of possibility.” Where’s the doorknob? ;-)

 

Self-reflection.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately.
Observations, really. And making tweaks (in training, in perspective, in paths), along the way.

A comment from my dear friend (and super-insightful blogger!) Lisa got me thinking:

What a great reflection. It does make sense that the reasons for (and meaning of) running will change over time. Many people don’t take the time to even consider it—but doing so probably makes the good effects and meaning even better and more!!

I guess I hadn’t really thought about it but she’s right — how many of us don’t ever truly take the time to reflect on what we’re doing and decide 1) if it’s worth continuing, 2) if we’re doing “it” for the right reasons and 3) if it’s making us a better version of ourselves (because really, don’t we all want to be our best selves?).

So it’s not just reflecting — but applying those reflections

 

This year has been all about testing boundaries and removing the barriers, walls, limits from my life — whether I’ve put them there or someone/something else has, as the case may be. And as part of that? 2012 has been an incredibly rewarding and very full year for me.

I dig that.
…and I owe it in large part to the reflecting, applying those reflections and becoming much more intention-filled than ever before.

What I have noticed lately, though? That some of my loved ones – IRL and of the bloggy variety – either don’t often take that time to step back, or haven’t done so in a very long time. And not that I’m the poster child for self-reflection by any means (for reals!), nor am I one to judge others based on how they lead their lives. I promise you that. That is definitely not the intent behind my post today. 

But honestly? Regular self-reflection has become this little “thing” of mine that has proven to be one of the most valuable and rewarding (and simplest) things I’ve ever done for myself.

…and I guess I just want to see my loved ones doing the same.

Not just following their path, but embracing it.

Not just checking off the boxes in life, but doing so with purpose, intention.

…and definitely not just “existing” but truly living.

I’m not suggesting you all should go out and make crazy major life decisions or anything, per se. I’m just saying — self-reflection is an amazing gift to yourself. And it’s free.

So that’s my message for today — do yourself a favor: look in that mirror and reflect. And smile as you do it. Even if the person who stares back at you tells you that some (good) change needs to be made, at least seeing your own smile will remind you that you’re doing this for YOU. And nobody else.

In.

In.

…run the mile you’re in.

…run the run you’re in.

…love this life you’re in.

…embrace every opportunity you’re in.

…be in the moment. Every moment.

…Be In.

So you all know my favorite running mantra is “run the mile you’re in” right? Well, my blog bestie Heather so thoughtfully reminded me the other day to always remember to also run the run you’re in, not just the mile you’re in, but the run you’re in. Not the one coming up next weekend, next month, or this fall (ahem, Chicago…).

It was a reminder I needed leading into this weekend’s half marathon. It’s no secret that my mind has often skipped ahead to Chicago this fall everytime I’m in “long run” mode. I start to freak out about it, worried as hell that I will never make it all 26.2 miles. So the “run the mile you’re in” mantra comes in really handy for me during those times…but now this “run the run you’re in” concept is another goodie I plan to tuck into the back of my mind for the next training cycle. (thank you, Heather, what would I do without you? Seriously.)

But once I got to thinking about the whole concept of being “in” whatever it is you’re doing, running or otherwise, it all started to come together for me. Being “in” is something we could all use a really good dose of. I know I talk a lot about being present, and taking disconnected or unplugged weekends from time-to-time, but I honestly think we all need to do more in the way of being “in” this life we’ve been blessed with.

…it could mean being more “in” the moment during your next workout. Focusing on the mind/body connection. The way your body moves and changes and transforms with every step, every drop of sweat, every punch, kick, jab or plie.

…it could mean being more “in” it to win it — going for that dream that always seemed so out of reach. Saying “effit” and just going for it.

…and sure, it could also relate to running. But I think we already covered that one. ;-)

Bottom line: “In” is a really great place to be.
(This post courtesy of the “Chronicles of things I’ve learned through Running.”)

 

Running on ‘happy’

Now that I’ve been blogging for awhile, one of the things I’ve been noticing more lately among *some* runners out there is that it seems as though there is no joy in running for them anymore. They’re so caught up in getting their miles in, sticking to their training plan, beating their pace time after time after time, and racking up as many race medals as possible. Which *may* be fun for some — please don’t get me wrong there, I’m not here to bash my fellow blog friends at ALL — but I sometimes wonder if, amidst all of that planning and scheduling if the joy in running gets lost in all that clutter, so to speak.

…at the end of the day, shouldn’t running make you feel joyful and happy and ‘high’ on life?

Or is that just me whose ultimate goal is to walk away from as many runs as I can feeling as though I ran happy and strong and proud (*most* of the time, anyway)?

I guess I should preface this all by saying that every runner is different, I totally get that. Every runner runs for different reasons. No two runners are alike. And really, who am I to say that “my” approach to running is any better or worse than the next runner’s approach. Right??

(Wow. This is a very, very long preamble to the entire point of my post today – sorry!!)

Anyway…

My point today? That it feels great to “run on happy.” Casting aside training plans, distance goals, pacing, etc. And just running, and running happy.

That’s exactly what Scott and I did on Sunday. We had no real plan in mind – just to run. Once we got out there we knew it would be on the shorter side because it was kind of gross out and well, to be honest — neither of us were in the mood to go all that far (we were still really feeling the 11 miles we ran two days prior).

So we set out to run…something. Maybe 3 or so miles. Who knows how far we actually went. All I do know is that it ended up involving lots of hills and speed. What started as a “few miles to shake the legs out” became a really, really fun hilly rundate on a dreary Sunday morning.

About halfway through, I found myself chugging up a hill and actually enjoying it. Like legit enjoying the hill work. Huffing and puffing alongside Scott and just letting my body work. No mind games. No worry over how I’d feel aftewards. No real thinking at all. Just working those hills.

And it was just the reminder that I needed — that not every run needs to be pre-planned, nor does every run need to be focused on distance and endurance. A switch in my running focus was exactly what I needed on Sunday. The past few weeks I’ve talked a lot about how my mind has been far too chatty when I run. And truly? It was causing me to miss out on the joy that running brings me. I wasn’t having fun out there anymore.

Now that I’ve realized that that was the reason my running was feeling fairly lackluster the past few weeks, my mind has calmed way down. I feel confident and strong and ready to run on May 6 (note that I didn’t say ‘race’).

I’m going into this half marathon with one goal in mind now — to Run (13.1) Happy.

That is all.