Running With No Distractions

Today was another absolutely beautiful, November day in Michigan. The blue skies and sunshine made me a little bummed that I would most likely be sneaking my run in on the treadmill after the kids went to bed, because my husband had plans to be fishing all day. 

So, when I got a text from him around 12:30 saying that he’d be home in an hour, I was super excited at the possibility of running outside. It was like a little gift had just been given to me. I immediately began having an inner debate as to where I should run and how many miles I should shoot for. I wanted to take as much advantage of the sunshine as possible, and have a lot of pretty things to look at without having to drive too far….

When he got home, we all hung out for a while, then I threw on my running clothes and headed out. I let Will know where I had decided to run and said I’d be home in a couple of hours. 

It was only a 10 minute drive to the outside of Stony Creek Metropark where I had decided to run. I still hadn’t really committed to a distance. The lollipop loop that I run from where I park my car is 10 miles, but I really wasn’t sure I had it in me to cover that distance. Having not planned on running until 8 pm, the only things I had had to drink so far were two cups of coffee and about 1/3 of a glass of wine. (**Side note to explain myself on this one…I went to a craft show and they were handing out FREE tickets for wine samples. I couldn’t say no to a free wine sample! So, I got a “sample” that was larger than a full glass of wine! WHAT?! I ended up taking two sips, remembering that all I’d drank so far today was coffee, and taking it into the bathroom and dumping it down the sink. HA!)

Okay…back to my run story…

So, I didn’t know how far I wanted to run. I’m not following any type of training plan right now, so all of my runs are for fun (and to try to beat my cousin to 100 miles this month on my Nike Plus app…). And I definitely wasn’t planning on running 10 miles on the treadmill after the kids went to bed. So, I figured I could start out on my loop and if I felt tired, I would just turn around and run back to my car. 

Fast forward 10 minutes. Car is parked. Grabbing my things…pepper spray? Check. Waste belt? Check. Car keys? Check. Granola bar (just in case)? Check. Phone? Phone? PHONE?! No.

I did not forget my phone. Dump out purse. Empty pockets. Search under the seats. Get out of car. Check pockets again…Nothing. No phone. Should I drive home and get it? No, I’m not going to turn my 10 minute drive into a 30 minute drive just because of my phone. DANG IT!!! How am I going to get an amazing picture of the awesomeness of this day without my phone?! Okay…CRAP! No phone. I better text Will and let him know I don’t have my phone with me. Ummmm….ya…I can’t text anyone. This stinks! (Please tell me that I’m not the only person that thinks they need to “text someone and let them know they don’t have their phone on them” when they don’t have their phone on them!!

So, I finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll be running without my phone today, when the realization hits me that I also didn’t wear my Garmin. Which means that I either run the entire 10 mile loop, or I won’t know how far I ran. Sure, I can make an educated guess, but I won’t know the exact distance. Dang it!!!… 10 miles it is.

The great thing about not having a phone or a watch on, is that I don’t know how fast I’m running. I can just go with the flow and run at a “comfortable pace.” And that’s exactly what I did…for a while. I passed a couple people and felt pretty great out there. Then, I could hear someone coming up behind me. It was a slow creep up, and I could tell that their pace wasn’t much faster than mine. So, of course, I picked it up a bit so that I wouldn’t be passed. (Yes, I am that person.)

This continued for close to a mile, and then my shoe came untied. DANG IT! I had to stop and tie it, and of course, was passed by the guy that I wasn’t letting pass me. I quickly got back on the path and stuck behind him, thinking he’d probably be done in a mile when we got back to the “start” where a lot of people park and start out on the loop. 

Nope. He wasn’t done. He kept running right past. Part of me was disappointed, and part of me was excited because he gave me a target and helped me hold a steady pace. And then…he slowed down. Or at least it felt like he slowed down. And I wasn’t sure what to do. I was already running a bit faster than I needed to, but I had gotten into a groove and didn’t want to slow down. I also didn’t want to pass him because then I’d be stuck maintaining that pace in fear of him passing me again! UGH! I tried to slow down and back off, but finally gave in and went to pass. When I got right next to him, I asked if he knew what his pace was. He said it was 8:35. Okay, fair enough. I kept on running by him and didn’t look back. And that was that. 

I finished up my 10 miles without stopping once (besides to tie my shoe). By the time I got back to my car, my legs were tired and I was in dire need of a bathroom break, so I hopped in my car and drove home. I was gone for less than 2 hours.

There’s about a 99.9% chance that if I would have had my beloved phone with me, I would have either A.) Not run 10 miles today, or B.) Been gone more than 2 hours (because I would have had to take some pictures and I got home to find about 8 texts that I might have responded to on my run).

So, as much as it pains me to admit it, it was okay that I forgot my phone today. I’m pretty sure I ran a lot faster than I normally do on a 10 mile run and I didn’t have any distractions. And it was an absolutely beautiful day! The perfect day to log 10 more miles for my Nike Plus app…oh, I mean, log 10 more miles for fun! 

And, of course, when I got home I had to take a post run picture.

Sparkle.Pounce.Run This Day.


Time To Press Play

Last week I watched a mini (11 minute) documentary on Joy Johnson. This amazing lady, passed away in her sleep at the age of 86 after running her 25th consecutive NYC marathon.

Hearing that story got me thinking that I really want to be someone with a story like that… So… I did what anyone would do and I came up with a plan. The following text ensued to my sister: 

Yeeeeessss! I have a sister who is crazy (and awesome) enough to jump on board with me for a 50 YEAR PLAN! (Technically it’s only a 48 year plan because we’ve already run them together in Michigan and Alaska…but I want a redo on Alaska…so we might as well start over…
The thing that really gets me about this whole plan is that if we really only run one marathon a year, we won’t be done until I am almost 90 years old. What?! WHAT?!?! And that’s not factoring in any type of injury or potential setbacks. This “run a marathon in every state” idea has led me to realize that time isn’t slowing down for anyone. The whole, “I want to do that someday” thing isn’t going to work anymore. Someday is now. Right. Now.

I know I can’t stop the hustle and bustle of my everyday full time teacher, full time mom, full time wife, crazy busy life. But, I can take the time to slow down and enjoy the beauty around me. And, when I’m out on a run, I see that beauty more clearly than ever. 

I took this picture during my 12 mile run Saturday morning. It was ah-mazing. And I had lots of time to think about my life and the things I want to accomplish. And what I realized is that I can’t always be waiting for the next awesome adventure. Every day I need to enjoy what’s in front of me, while at the same time, working towards my bigger goals.

Time isn’t waiting for anyone. So I’m laying out my plans and pressing “play” today.

Sparkle.Pounce.Press Play.

Nothing a Little Run Can’t Cure

In many ways, today was just a normal Monday. But, on the other hand, it was one of those Mondays that leaves you really dreading future Mondays more than you already dread them.

I had to go into work early for a meeting, which turned out to be a bit stressful and left me feeling a little uneasy.

Then, I was told that I needed to have all of my things packed up by the end of the day so that they could be moved to my new classroom (two buildings and one lifetime away) while I’m attending a Professional Development over the next three days. Granted, I knew this was coming, I just wasn’t aware of the exact day. So yes, it’s safe to say that I crammed 13 years worth of teaching materials into whatever boxes I could find, dumped my desk drawers into said boxes, and taped a note to the door explaining what needed to be moved and what needed to be left behind. And, I got out of there as fast as I could.

Because I had some ladies to meet for a run!

Having that run to look forward to all day was literally what kept me from having a mini meltdown. There was a lot of self talk that took place, and at the end of it, I just reminded myself that I got to meet friends for a run after work! I just needed to make it to the end of the day. 

And I did. Pulling into the trail parking lot and seeing these three stroller pushing mamas was enough to make me leap out of my car and explain, “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN!” 

There honestly wasn’t anywhere I would have rather been, or anything else I wanted to be doing at that moment. It was just perfect. Perfect weather, perfect company, and perfect timing.

That’s how it is with running. There are some days that you just really don’t want to do it. You have to consciously make an effort to do it, and you dread it all day. You even suffer through the whole run, and don’t feel better about any of it until it’s done and you can just be proud that you sucked it up and did it even though you didn’t want to.

And then there are the glorious runs that you look forward to all day. The runs that you know you need because they are your therapy. They are your happy. They are what makes you love running, even when you don’t love running. Those are the runs we live for.

Sparkle.Pounce.Let the Run Be Your Cure.