Boston Strong

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Sending lots of love, wishes for fast feet and a safe race to Boston today!

Running can be a solitary endeavor but I think it’s safe to say that not a single person running the Boston Marathon today will be doing it alone- the entire country has each and every participant in their hearts today.

Today, just like last year, we’re all Boston Strong. Go get ’em, runners!

Marathon Sunday

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Marathon Sunday. Nothing makes me want to be great more than watching cheering on runners who have spent months preparing for this morning, this run and freaking doing it. It’s just a beautiful and inspiring reminder that pretty much anything is available to us if we decide we want it and do what it takes to get there.

Related: while I had a blast dancing and cheering my heart out this morning, I had serious “I wish I was running!” envy. I had a great experience on 10-10-10 so maybe another Chicago marathon is the best way to close out my 20s next year…

Congratulations, runners! You rocked every one of those 26.2 miles and now you’re marathoners! High fives and ice baths, all around!


Rise & Shine

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I’ve been a runner for a long time but it’s only been recently where lacing up my shoes early in the morning and getting a few miles in before the day begins has become a thing. I look forward to the quiet and I look forward to going into my day having already accomplished something. And last week in Vancouver, where I had a 2 hour time difference on my side, I really looked forward to running as the sun came up. The sun was up, I was up and everything that comes after that was just going to be that much better after a little sweating on the lake path.

Every Step

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I went on my first run when I was 15 years old. My Aunt Violet had just died; she was old, it was expected but I had these feelings I didn’t know what to do with. I couldn’t cry, I didn’t really need to talk to anyone but I felt like I needed to do something so I did what I had seen my Dad do every night when he got home from work- I laced up my shoes and started running.

In the years since that first stride down the block, running has become an essential tool for me. It’s how I explore new cities, learning the landscape with every step. It’s how I work through ideas for my job; a spin to the lake and back has garnered “the big breakthrough” more than once. Running is what I do when I don’t know what to do, where I turn when life is weighing heavy and the only thing light is my feet. I run races when I want to be even more a part of a community that has never met a high five they didn’t love. Running is my “everything is going to be alright”.

What happened in Boston today feels like a punch in the stomach. The thing about marathon finish lines is that they are the absolute best of humanity. The volunteers are selfless and kind, the spectators breathtakingly supportive and the runners…well, the runners are chasing down the final moments of a race that has meant far more to them than 26.2 miles. You have a moment that means so much to everyone there, regardless of what their participation is. It’s the very best we have to offer as human beings- sheer, uninhibited love and celebration for each other. And for someone to mar that with violence is beyond horrific.

But I’ll tell you something else about marathon finish lines- these are people who don’t quit. And I have news for whoever who wanted to take away this sacred ritual- it didn’t work. The support, love, care for each other- it still happened and will keep happening. Shoes will be laced up, people will take to the streets and this community will now run for another reason…because they can.

It was starting to rain when I headed out tonight. It didn’t matter. As I ran north to the park and east to the lake, nodding in understanding to those I passed along the path, I realized that the best thing I can do in this time of not knowing what to do is to run. I ran every step with Boston in my heart and it is my fervent prayer that everything really will, in the end, be alright.

(Image of the 2010 Chicago marathon- my 1st)

2 months, 14 Days

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It had been 2 months and 14 days since my last run on the lake. My limit for outdoor running is 25 degrees; I detest being cold but I have warm layers that can make anything above that tolerable. But with the winds that come off the lake, it has to be a pretty special day to get me on that lake front path. Today was that (50 degree) day.

Setting out for Navy Pier, then Ohio Street beach, north to Castaways. Taking off a layer. Deep breath. Stopping to stretch on the beach just because I needed to feel sand under my shoes. To remember that it’s not always so cold and that summer really will happen again. Marveling that its February and I am running in a long-sleeve. Realizing that the cold front is coming in rightnow and putting that layer back on. Knowing that the fresh air off the lake and my favorite view in the world was exactly what I needed on this Monday.

2 months and 14 days since my last run on the lake and while I have been aching to hit that path during these frigid months, it’s reassuring to know that it will always be there, waiting for me to turn my running shoes east and take big, deep breaths.


Chicago Marathon 2011- The Dance Party Edition

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My voice is hoarse, I have a sunburn, my skin is salty sweaty and my legs are sore.

No, I did not run the Chicago Marathon today.

But I did cheer my heart out at Mile 23.5 with 120 of my favorite movers and shakers, a 5 hour dance party that was more fun than any club I’ve ever been to.

The runners were inspiring beyond belief and there were lots of mutual fist pumps being thrown around.

There’s nothing like the Chicago Marathon and now 45,000 more people know it.  Congrats to all the runners- YOU ARE AMAZING!

What I’m Not Doing This Weekend

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1) Watching Spartan football (it’s a bye week)

2) Running the Chicago Marathon

Running the marathon last year was one of the best experiences of  my life.  I’ve always been a runner so setting the goal of completing a marathon, putting in all of the miles, early mornings and losing of toenails to finally crossing the finish line…well, there’s just really nothing like it.

Still fresh from the finish line high, I signed up for it again this year.  I logged the miles, did the training.  But life also happened.  Other things needed to be attended to, needed my energy, and my training runs became just something else on my list that I had to cross off.  It stopped being something that I was hungry for and became a task.  And that’s not the point.  I’m not going to win the marathon (the people who actually do win are probably having mimosas by the time I hit Mile 13), running is something I do to feel good and if it’s not making me feel good anymore, then let’s bag it.

Making the decision to not run happened 2 weeks ago.  And it felt really bad.

And then it felt better.  Good, even.  Like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I was better able to take on the other things in my life that were happening and shooting out for a run at the end of a long day became fun again.

This was the right decision for me.  It doesn’t mean I won’t tackle 26.2 again but for this year, I will be cheering my heart out for everyone who is pounding the pavement tomorrow morning.

And when I say “cheering my heart out”, I mean it: my heart is with every single runner who has been chasing down this goal for the better part of a year, with their eyes fixed on the 26.2 prize.  Good luck, Godspeed and great job!