Last night on my way home from work I ran into a friend from college and we got to talking about running. Having done several races herself, she was contemplating registering for a marathon. As we chatted about training, shoes and of course eating, I mentioned Bayshore in May and my 5 mile run I had scheduled for later that night. Shocked that I planned on heading out for a run at 8:30 pm in the cold, she asked me how I keep motivated.
Most days running comes easy to me and let’s be real, I run because I love to eat. It’s also become a way for me to clear my head and I’m a much calmer, happier and more tolerable person after I’ve logged some miles. But having trained for my first two marathons in the sweltering hot Chicago summer, winter training can be seriously rough. Having a schedule to stick to has always worked for me but there are days, like yesterday, that I work late and I’m tired and it’s cold out and the last thing I want to do is put on 7 layers and run.
On days like these I think about my dad. Growing up my dad raised four of us pretty much on his own. He worked two jobs and still managed to help us with homework and cheer us on at every activity we were involved in (even if that activity was just 4 somersaults). When I was a freshman in college my biochemistry professor said something that I will never ever forget. In an attempt to get us to come to class, he calculated how much money we were wasting each time we skipped one of his labs. For those of us who were out of state (sorry dad) it was $120 down the drain. That moment seriously impacted my life and on the days that I thought about blowing off class to sleep in or go out, I thought about how hard my dad worked to get me there. Yes I’m an adult now and I support myself but when things get tough or I feel like taking the lazy way out, especially when it comes to marathon training, I think of that day and all of the work that my dad put in (and all of the sleep he didn’t get) to give me the amazing life I have now. Suddenly 50 minutes of running doesn’t seem that hard.
Team LUNGevity is another thing that keeps me motivated. Over the past few months we have lost some amazing people including Mark Beban, Lisa Strada, and Chip Kennett and while I love my job, that part of it, for lack of better words, totally sucks. I work with outstanding people everyday including our most recent Team LUNGevity members Brandi and Dawn, who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and it just reminds me how important it is to keep fighting, running and raising money and awareness.
Saturday morning my running life got a lot easier when Fleet Feet Lakeview opened! I love fun runs and chicks nights during the week but having to schlep home from the South Loop or even Old Town after a long day and running sometimes stinks. As of Saturday morning, there is a Fleet Feet open 5 blocks from my apartment making Monday night runs and Thursday chicks nights way more enticing. Meghan, Deanne and I braved the cold and went out for a 3 mile run and grabbed a couple #runchi shirts while we were at it.
Thankfully we got a workout in because Saturday afternoon 20 or so of our friends got together for a chili cookoff and while I didn’t come in first place, I’d consider myself a winner for getting to watch football, drink beer and eat chili all day.
I am officially signed up for the Bayshore Marathon and training starts next week! In the meantime I plan on spending the next week working out ‘for fun’ before stuff gets real again.
Considering my block looked like this on my walk to the train this morning I think spring marathon training is going to be quite the adventure!
P.S. Happy 5th birthday to my favorite little yogi and hoodrat: Barksdale!
Somehow Samantha is always conning me into trying new workouts (coughrunningTWOmarathons) and this week was no different. She had found a new pilates studio and knowing how much I despise a slow burn, she thought I’d like to join her. Since I hate saying no to a challenge I signed up for 3 classes, thankfully in the description they noted that no dance experience was required because I’d look like a fool:
And for good measure (yes, I’m sweating):
I’ll let you read her recap on the experience, mainly because I was in too much pain to remember what even happened. I will tell you this: I won’t be quitting my day job to become a ballerina anytime soon.
Samantha’s blog post HERE
2014 has been an adventure to say the least. I went through my first full event season, trained for my second marathon, attended roughly a billion weddings, joined the #runchi cheer team and tried out the whole dating thing. Here’s what I’ve learned from this past year: my life is pretty crazy and really great.
I used to be nuts (seriously, ask my friends and family). . . well maybe uptight is a better way to describe it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect, I spent too much time planning and caring what people thought. Somewhere along the line though I learned to relax a little, to just be myself and stop caring about what other people think so much (spoiler alert: it’s a lot more fun). The last year of event planning, marathon training and even dating has taught me that life is messy and shit happens. . a lot. Sometimes you just have to calm down, be yourself and take things as they come.
As crazy as it was, 2014 made me realize how grateful I am. I have a job that I love with co-workers and volunteers that I genuinely like seeing and talking to everyday. My friends and family are supportive, fun and always have my back. I’ve learned to go with the flow a little more and I even shaved 20 minutes off of my marathon time. I’d consider myself Charlie Sheen winning.
So my goal for 2015 is to just keep being myself, well the best version of myself and just see what happens.