Happy Friday friends! I was visiting my friend Angela’s blog Happy Fit Mama and read all about her top five running moments. Feeling inspired and a bit nostalgic she had me thinking about some of my best running moments. It’s definitely hard to pin down my favorite 5 as I pretty much love all running that I do no matter how hard or easy and no matter whether I am alone or with friends.
1. VT 100 on 100 Relay Run with my best girls!
This picture encapsulates where it all began. My true love for running began with these two strong women, Joanna and Bridget who showed me the love of trails and how to push far to reach my goals. One summer on a whim (before my days of running in Skirt Sports) we decided to sign up for the Vermont 100 on 100 Relay as an Ultra Team which meant we would be splitting our share of 100 miles 4 ways (we also had amazing runner Jessie, joining us). This was the craziest run we had ever done and we have never laughed more. The race was incredibly challenging but together we conquered it and discovered our true super human strength. I learned that I can go farther and achieve what I want with true perseverance Lately due to life being busy with kids, jobs, house building, and my back injury the three of us have not been able to get together to run. We need to get back to that place to the place where we find laughter and the strength of friendship on the trails!
2. The Boston Marathon 2013
This race has shaped my life now more than I ever would have known as I stood on this finish line the day before the race. The race was one of my all time highs with the aftermath being one of the lowest moments. While I do not bear any physical scars from that day I carry emotional scars that continue to heal. That day truly showed me how fragile life can be and rocked me to my core. In those moments I learned to love more deeply and never a waste a moment to tell someone how much I truly care. I came to understand true pain, grief and loss. What happened will always be with me. I will never understand it but all I can do is to continue to move forward.
3. I won a marathon.
I never in my life thought that I would be able to say that I won a marathon but now I can. Last fall I was the Women’s winner at the tiny Kingdom Marathon. It was definitely not my strongest run but it was my proudest. I ran my best. It was a hard 26.2 miles of slogging along on some of Vermont’s hilliest dirt roads. I spent the last 7-8 miles of the race running in complete solitude. When the running got hard there was no one there to push me along or cheer me on except for myself. Crossing that finish line was a great moment and the maple syrup and beef jerky prizes weren’t too bad either!
4. Running the Soda Creek Trail in Bend Oregon
If you know me I am a creature of habit. I like to do things that are familiar and comfortable. In the past couple of years I have been working on pushing these boundaries within myself. 2 summers ago we traveled to Bend, Oregon (my idea of heaven) for a trail running and mountain biking adventure. Organic Runner Dad suffered an unfortunate fall from his mountain bike leaving him with a broken hand which meant that some of his adventures were limited and I was to be on my own for some trail adventures. At first this scared me. I often don’t go for long runs by myself in unfamiliar territory but on this blue sky day adventure presented itself and I had to go for it. The Soda Creek Trail was recommended to me at the local Bend running shop as one of Bend’s best. So I suited up in my Skirt Sports of course and headed for the trail. At first I wished I had someone with me but as the trail continued on I felt more at ease and could not get over the beauty of my surroundings. Heavenly single track led over water crossings, past wildflower filled fields and to the base of the Three Sisters. I was in heaven and it was wonderful. Pushing through my own fear and getting out there has given me a push to challenge my comfort zones more often.
5. Boston Marathon 2014. I can and I will.
It was a long road to get back to the starting line of the Boston Marathon last year but I did it. I faced it. I ran it. And I am strong. I am happy that I was able to be there and to run again last year. I did not let fear get the best of me. This was an important moment for me.
When you think about running and the runs that you have taken in your life which ones have defined you or have helped to shape who you are. Life carries lessons for us that you can see if you slow down and take a look.
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