108. 2016. 

There are some things in life that are always celebrated. They mark a period of time. They measure growth. The new year, holidays, and our birthdays provide us moments of reflection and allow us to set new intentions. Then there are moments in life that grow to be important parts of who we are. 

Shamrock Marathon weekend has become one of the dates that “time stamps” my life. Shamrock is special. 

Today one of my friends and fellow pacers posted a countdown to Shamrock. 

108 days. 

108 days until Shamrock. 

One year ago with 108 days until Shamrock I wrote about my intentions. This magical number that reveals intentions and opens the heart is a number I cherish. It’s part of my being. With 108 days of training between today and a weekend of new beginnings, growth and celebration, it’s amazing to see how much has changed in one year. 

Shamrock 2016

108 days until Shamrock. 

108 days. 

Last year this training cycle opened my heart. My confidence grew. I found my voice. 

Last night as I sat in my coach’s living room with the 13 other leaders on the team, a new vibration filled my heart that echoed words I already know. This time it was different. This time I believed it. This time I wasn’t trying to convince myself. I don’t need to grown in to it. This time, I belong. 

I belong not only to my training team. I belong not only to my running. I belong to me. 

This year I am at the beginning of a new training cycle. There are 108 days until Shamrock Weekend. Last night I sat with our team pacers, and I belong. Tomorrow night I will meet the new faces on our team, and I belong. On Sunday our entire team will be reunited, and I belong. 

Norfolk Harbor. Shamrock Pacers.
I belong in my running shoes. 

I belong on this team. 

I belong as a pacer. 

I belong as just me. 

I believe that this is what I’m meant to be doing, and I have the priveldge of sharing 108 days running beside my pace group. I have 108 days to help my pace group find their belonging too. 

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” ~Brene Brown

I know how I got here. I know how I waded through hot summer days of being stuck. I know how I quit looking backwards and start chasing my dreams forward. I know the panic, the tears, the insecurities and the doubts. But I pushed through, and today, with 108 days until Shamrock, my heart, my head and my running shoes belong. 

“Nothing to Prove. Everything to Share.” ~Eoin Finn

I have no idea what lessons will be hidden over the course of the next 108 days, but I do know my one intention is to share the road with my team. 

#team9ja

#iamstrong – one year later

One year ago, I made the best decision I could possibly make as a runner and as a human. I walked into the doors of EVOFIT for the first time to fix my broke body and my broken confidence. I was on a quest for physical strength, but little did I know, it would be my spirit that was strengthened.

One that day I shared the following quote:

“To reach only for that which pleasantly enchants you is the least of imagination, if even imagination at all, by the obvious reality of remaining within your means. The greater of imagination is parallel to risk. It extends beyond your comfort zone or haven, or sense of beauty, or what you personally believe suits you in exploration of what may not.” – Criss Jami

Sunrise. One year ago.
Sunrise. One year ago.

It was time to move beyond my comfort zone. I knew nothing about going to the gym. I knew nothing about lifting weights or doing burpees or pull-ups or rowing. I only knew how to run. I am a runner. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. After the Chicago Marathon, my body felt weak. Running wasn’t sustaining me anymore, and I wasn’t sustaining my body for running. My well had run dry. I had asked too much of my body without giving it anything in return.

My running coach Jerry practically pushed me in the door, but today you’d have to drag me out. My gym, Evofit, has changed my perception of myself, my body, and my life. It’s given me more than I ever imagined.

Today my body is strong.

I am strong.

My husband has followed me down this path. It’s transformed his life and our marriage. My parents have joined, and I am watching it transform their lives too.

Physically lifting weights has emotionally lifted my spirit, my confidence, and my approach to life. It’s given me focus. It’s given me a family.

Tuesday after work I walked through the doors of Evofit ready to tackle the day’s workout. The nervous and self-doubt that followed me in that same door a year ago feel like a lifetime ago. I was ready to tackle whatever workout was listed on the board.

The workout of the day:

5×5 power cleans

Then 4 rounds of 200m run, 5 hanging cleans, 10 wallballs, 12 pushups, 15 hallow rocks.

Power cleans have become one of my favorite workouts. It was one of the first workouts where I surprised myself. Back in April the workout was powercleans 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 increasing weight with each round. I ended with one rep of 68 pounds. It took several attempts, but I finally did it. My confidence grew. This week I did 5×5 with 63 pounds for the whole workout.

As much as I love knowing that I can lift heavier weight with each visit to Evofit, it’s my approach to the workout that I appreciate the most. I used to be scared. I used to look at the workout and doubt myself. I was timid. I used the lowest weight afraid anything more would be too much. Today I like a challenge. I’m okay with getting to the point where I have nothing left to give. I enjoy finding my edge because I know nothing bad will happen when I get to the spot.

I’m finally confident with being uncomfortable. This weekends Wicked 10k was proof that I can do hard things and finish with a smile.

The ego says, ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer,’ and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Over the past year, I’ve found my version of strong. I have defined #iamstrong for myself, and today I believe those words. One year ago, I wanted to feel strong. Today I not only feel it, but I know that my strength is so much more than muscle, pounds lifted, and pace per mile. My strength comes from my core, and nothing can take that away.

My evofit family

 

 

Once upon a Wicked….

In every fairytale there is a moral of the story. Tucked between “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” is a life lesson waiting to be learned. This weekend was no exception. Tucked between the Wicked 10k and the Monster Mile was a moral to race day that led to happily ever after. Perhaps life really is a fairytale.

The anticipation leading into race weekend was intense at times, but I had a race plan. I was feeling confident. My family was ready. All four of us would be competing again. Christian and I ran the Wicked 10k. The boys ran the Monster Mile.

Once upon a time, it was the night before race day…

As bedtime neared on Friday night, I took a mental stumble. A few clicks on Facebook, and I found myself facing details from my past that shook me once again. It happened fast, and I felt my body fill with panic. I knew it was time to go to bed before my emotions got the best of me. My sleep was broken at best. Dreams kept me awake. Anticipation of racing left me tossing and turning.

It’s felt like forever since I’ve toed the light hoping to fight.

Morning preparations and the drive to the race also left me tripping over myself mentally. My race felt doomed.

A few deep inhales and intentional exhales cleared my mind. I was ready. Christian and I went our separate ways. It was time to race. It was time to run forward.


The race details…

I lined up in Corral 1 surround by friends. Our pack of wolves was ready to run. I was lucky enough to have two Steves promise to get me to the finish line fighting. They stuck by my side the entire race, and they made sure I fought. Before the race started, Steve #1 stole my garmin. I was running blind. All I had to do was follow Steve #1 and Steve #2.

Mile 1 felt fast. My legs felt heavy.

Mile 2 I found my sweet spot: working hard but feeling confident.

Mile 3 I focused on being entertained by the costumes in the crowd. (Steve #1 may have yelled QUIT THINKING just as I was getting lost in my own brain.)

Mile 4 lasted forever.

Mile 5 hurt incredibly bad.

Mile 6 took every ounce I had to keep going.

The final .2 I opened up and finally trusted Steve #2 that I had more to give. I should have listened sooner. I had maybe another ounce to give.

Steve #1 and Steve #2

I crossed the finish line exhausted, aching, and so so proud. I’ve never run a race that hurt from step one to the finish line the way this race hurt (in a really really good way). I’ve never sat on my edge for an entire race. I’ve never trusted my body so much. I’ve never allowed myself to rely on people to show me my strength. I’ve never fought for my potential as much as Saturday.

 

Terrible photo but I kind of love it

Moral of the story: If you want to be strong, surround yourself with strong people. Life is a mental game, and if you surround yourself with people who believe in your strength as much as you, everything is possible if you’re willing to fight for it.

 

Shortly after I crossed the finish line, my husband crossed the line far faster than I had expected. He soared through his first ever 10k (the longest distance he’s ever run) in a time I only dreamed of running just a few years ago. We I first met Christian, he told me he couldn’t run because it hurt his knees. A few years later, he started running. He told me he wasn’t a runner because he only ran for beer. This weekend he not only ran, he raced and crossed the finish line 56:39 (9:07 pace). Sounds like he’s a runner to me!

After our 10k, we were joined by our boys who individually ran their own amazing race in the Monster Mile. Cole was the second runner to cross the finish line, and Chet ran nearly the entire mile. Both boys soared.

wickedcollage
#mauteornice

 

The rest of the day was a celebration of this new running family that seems to be thriving more and more each day as we tackle races together. Our happily ever after may have a pair of running shoes attached to it.

Three more weeks until we get to do it again at the Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon Race Weekend.

(And for you folks that like numbers, my Splits: 8:29, 8:42, 8:36, 8:41, 8:36, 8:37, 8:04 final push. Official finish time: 53:45, 8:39 pace)

#trainjanda

Overcoming Darkness

“…the morning with the whole day waiting, full of promise, the night of quiet, of no expectations, of rest. And the certainty of home, the one I live in, and the one that lives in me.”

~Karen Hesse

I have been afraid to run since the early morning hours have become filled with darkness. I’ve felt unsettle, unsure, and scared. Running in the dark isn’t new to me. I’ve spent many seasons logging most of my miles before sunrise or after sunset, but this season has felt different.

I am certain my new found fear has nothing to do with the dark. I am certain it’s a reflection of my uncertainty in my ability to race. It’s a lack of confidence to take ownership of my goals.

Last weekend I turned a corner. When my heart finally committed to racing, to going for it, my head followed. It was time to silence my fears, and the obvious place to start was running before sunrise.

Last Wednesday I was determined to run my tempo run before work. I woke up. I got ready. I stood at the door paralyzed. I didn’t feel confident in my route or the darkness. Mind over matter wasn’t working. I was scared. I abandoned my running plans.

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave.”

~Cheryl Strayed

I had to rewrite my story.

Rewriting isn’t always an easy process. I had to start with the basics. I found two team members and neighbors who run routes near me in the early morning hours. I asked where they ran. I asked if they feel safe. They both reassured me that the main roads are well-lit and safe.

Obstacle #1 conquered. A new-to-me route was found.

This morning I was ready to test out the new route, but I had to commit. I had to not hit snooze. I had to get out of bed. I told anyone who would listen. I was getting up, and I was conquering speedwork. My cousin became my sounding board. He was also waking up early to tackle his day. We raced to see who could be the first one to text when we woke up.

Obstacle #2 conquered. I was out of bed ready to run.

As I left my neighborhood, I was focused. I had a mission. Fear was still there, but it wasn’t driving my morning. It took a backseat to all the other narratives I had created for the morning.

This morning I conquered my workout. I took a while to relax. It took a while to wake up my body.  It took a while to find ease in my running, but I got there. I beat the voice that said the dark was scary. I beat the voice that told me it was impossible to run six more intervals when the first two felt nearly impossible.  Half way through the workout, I turned off the voice that was tired, hungry and thirsty. I focused on what felt good. I found beauty in the stars and the moon. The streets came to life with people starting their day, and I let it fuel me. I finished my run with my fastest split wishing there was more time before work to keep going. I finished the workout finding beauty in the darkness.

“I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And I gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.”

~Mary Oliver

I’ve been chasing the finish line and the race clock for so long that I forgot. I forgot about all the beauty that happens when you conquer something. There are no more “new distances” for me to achieve. I’ve run as far as I want to run, but there are still so many successes along the path to race day. I forgot. I forgot that it’s very rarely the finish line that brings the satisfaction. It’s the successes leading up to race day that fuel the race.

If I’m not committed to racing, if I’m not actively making fear ride in the backseat, I’m cheating myself out of the fulfillment I get from running (and life). I need to risk failing in order to succeed. I needed to be all in before I could whole heartedly love this journey.

img_4784
Enjoy the Ride

 

Exposed. 

Thursday afternoon I had coffee with my friend from Roc Solid Foundation. It was the first time sitting down with him since I turned down his job offer earlier this year. I was nervous and excited, but I knew it was long over due.

After we talked and caught up, he asked me a question in the way that only he can. He asked me if I needed anything. He asked me my goals for moving forward. He asked me what if – what if my life could look like anything.

Long story short, I walked out of the coffee shop inspired and little sad. Had I lost some of my passion along the way over the past few months?

I found myself asking myself the same question I keep asking myself about my running but this time in the context of my life. Do I play it safe or do I fight for myself? (I still don’t know if I should thank him or kick him.)

getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

This morning I woke up with one thought. I miss being stirred and inspired. Now this sounds crazy coming off the best race weekend of my life that left me with an emotional hangover for days. I thought on my way to work. I thought some more. When I strip away all the layers, the thing that I miss the most is being inspired by myself.

I love giving myself to others. I love sharing. Maybe too much. I love thinking and analyzing. So how does this fit into this new life I’ve just created? I’ve created a life that provides the perfect foundation for living. But what do I want this life to look like?

I think it’s time to see what I’m made of. And there is only one place I always find my best self. Racing.

I’ve gone back and forth. Do I want to race? Do I want to race shorter distance? Do I want to stick with carefree?

Processed with Snapseed.
getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

 

The truth is I’m afraid to race because for three years I’ve come up short. It’s easy to hide in pacing and carefeee running. I have nothing to lose.

As I’m writing this I’m laughing. All last season my biggest struggle was that I couldn’t hide in pacing. Every run was on display for the entire team. Every thought. Every emotion. Every struggle. Belonged to the team. Now this season, pacing has become my hiding spot.

Do you know what this tells me? It tells me I’ve grown. It tells me I’ve found new strength. It also tells me it is time to build.

I NEED to race this fall. I need to risk it. I need to keep myself exposed. That is what inspires me. That is what drives me. That is what fulfills me.

I’m terrified I’ll fail again. So scared that I’m willing to use pacing as an excuse not to race.

But if the thing I love most in life is to give, is to help people see their potential, is to catch people when they fall, then don’t I have an obligation to them and to ME to stay exposed.

As my other great friend said to me, it’s time to Jump! I took one leap of faith earlier this year. I caught myself. I found my wings. I flew and landed exactly where I belong.

46 days until the Norfolk harbor half marathon. It’s time to leap again. It’s time to strengthen my wings.

Processed with Snapseed.
getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

 

(Blog Post originally appeared as an email to my running coach!)

Slow Down

“Life itself is the best (and the only) timekeeper.” ~Rasheed Ogunlaru

The fall equinox is not only a welcome sign that cooler temperatures are ahead of us along the coast of Virginia, but it also marks an astronomical turning point of the seasons. Fall is here. Scientifically speaking, on the equinox, the orbital plane of the equator is geometrically aligned with the center of the sun. Neither the north or south hemisphere is tilted away from or towards the sun. On the equinox our world is perfectly balanced. 

As we move forward, we will experience more darkness than daylight. Our days will get cooler. While our days are rapidly losing light, my body is begging for a slow down. I’ve resisted it, I’ve ignored it, but it keeps finding me. My heart is whispering slow down.

Fall Equinox Sunset
By nature I am someone who tends to trip over my own feet. I have an idea or a thought, and I plow forwarded before I can complete my own sentence. I’m half way out the door before plans are ever finalized. I have a goal, and I’ve created a plan of attack before I can digest what it means. I figure things out as I go.

When I started my new job at Eastern Virginia Medical School, everyone asked how it was going. The only response I could give was Good. It’s really making me slow down. And that is exactly what this job has done. It has slowed down my brain. It’s made me more intentional. It has made me find satisfaction in small details. It has provided a perfect balance for my natural tendencies to move fast. It has provided me a natural equinox

As my brain has started to slow down, it has also started to unwind. I’ve felt myself become more relax, less stressed, and less overwhelmed.

While my heart has been whispering slow down, my desire to run faster has been fueling me. I’ve kept running a priority as work and school began. I’ve run sub 7 pace on speed workouts, tempo runs are getting faster, but I haven’t been satisfied. I’ve wanted more. My long runs have suffered, and they haven’t been as fulfilling. I’ve analyzed it from every perspective. Is it summer? Is it ego? Is it the running plateau I’ve been on for months (maybe years)? Is it not running PRs? Why don’t my speeds workouts translate to race day or distance?

For all the time I’ve spent thinking about and analyzing my long runs, my heart keeps whispering slow down. Maybe this isn’t my season to race. Maybe this isn’t my season for distance. I don’t know the answer to why I’m not satisfied, but I do know I won’t find the answer until I listen.

I don’t run to set personal bests. I don’t run to be fast. I don’t run to win. I run to be my personal best and that has nothing to do with pace or speed. I run to win at life and that has nothing to do with distance.

Yesterday, on the day our world was geometrically aligned with sun, I headed to a group tempo run, and I took a detour. I headed to the gym first because in that moment that is where I wanted to be. I rowed and threw slam balls and did pull ups instead of starting a tempo run with my team. When I finished my work out, I chased the team down the boardwalk. I ran some easy solo miles while the sunset. I stopped half way to stand along the shoreline. After days of rain and flooding, the sun peaked out before it set as a reminder that nothing ever remains the same.

Hitting Pause
There is a season for everything in life. Right now my season is about slowing down, unwinding, and enjoying the small details. I’m not sure how that translates to running, but I do know the only way to find out is to listen to the whispers of my heart that have never steered me wrong. I’m slowing down and that isn’t defined by pace or distance in the exact same way that personal satisfaction and personal bests are not defined by pace or distance. Life itself is the best timekeeper, and my bests are defined by living. Right now my living exists in the quiet, simple details that can only be enjoyed by slowing down.

“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” ~Sylvia Plath

 

Living the Layers: Stuck

I made a promise to myself. In this new chapter, I’d learn to Live the Layers. I’d remember what makes me feel alive. I’d embrace the change. I wouldn’t allow myself to shrink or hide. I wouldn’t strip myself of all the layers I love when life felt overwhelming or like it was too much.

I’ve held on to this philosophy. This is a huge win for me because if you ask my husband, he will quickly tell you I’m the first to “sink the ship”. When life gets tough, I have a habit of adding water to my sinking ship. If it’s going to sink, I might as well help it.

From day one at my new job, I fell into my new routine. I held on to my running. I held on to nutrition. I held on to family time. When asked How’s it going?, I struggled to respond. It has just felt easy. It’s felt right. My new job and my new team fit perfectly in my life.

But I’ve been stuck.

It’s not the new job or my running. It’s not what I eat or how I spend my free time. It’s me. I’m stuck.

I’ve got the details figured out, but I’m stuck in my own head and in my own emotions. It is me that has become too much. It’s my thoughts and my feelings that I want to desperately turn off. How many times this summer have I wanted to scream why do I feel everything so intensely? How many times this summer have I finished (or given up) a run wishing I’d find my mental game again. How many times this summer have I laid in bed feeling my ship sinking desperately trying to not add water to my downward spiral? I’ve lost count.

Last night was the kickoff of for Thursday night tempo runs for the fall training season. It was hot. I felt heavy. My head and heart were consumed by feelings. My run didn’t go as planned. My head didn’t win the mental battle.

IMG_2122

 

This is summer. Every single summer, this rings true for running and for my life. When it’s hot, I become heavy.

This is where I’m at – hot, heavy and stuck – desperately waiting for the season to change.

While I wait, I keep revisiting that promise I made to myself. I will keep living my layers. I will keep showing up. I will keep running. I will keep nourishing my body. I will not shrink. I will not hide. I can’t because the moment that I do, I’ve given up on myself, on my dreams, and on my potential.

I keep repeating my mantra: I am calm. I am cool. I am peaceful.

It is not easy. There I days it would be so easy to sink my own ship. There are days I want to quit fighting myself. There are days I want to just give in because not caring, not dreaming, and not striving seems so much easier than digging deep for my own internal strength.

But that isn’t who I am. For better or for worse, this is who I am. This is how I’m wired. I am a dreamer. I feel things sometimes too intensely. Right now I feel hot, heavy and stuck, but I know if I keeping striving the feeling that is waiting for me is flight. 

Some how I forgot how to use my wings this summer. I’ve been consumed by feeling hot, heavy and stuck. 

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Working on getting there

Challenging Why

When you surround yourself with the right people, conversations you need to have find you.

Last Wednesday morning, I dragged Chet out of bed to run an early morning 5k on the boardwalk. It was hot. He is getting heavy. As I made my way to the start line, I dragged my feet a little. As my friend walked beside me, she laughed. Why wouldn’t I go out there and have fun? Why wouldn’t I enjoy pushing Chet in the stroller knowing our days of running together may slowly disappear? Why wouldn’t I make the best of the day and the experience? 

It was the smack I needed to change mental gears for this 5k. Racing wasn’t invited. Running and smiling was encouraged. 

Official time: 33:22, 10:45 pace


Thursday night was a similar story. Our training team was hosting a happy hour run to build excitement for the fall training team. As a pacer, I’d be leading a group of runners. It was hot. The air was thick. A 9 minute mile felt nearly impossible for the summer. 

I gave myself the same peptalk I received the morning before. Why wouldn’t I make the best of the scenario? Why wouldn’t I embrace pacing? Why wouldn’t I enjoy the heat with so many new and familiar faces?

Four steamy miles later, we all celebrated with beers and fish tacos. 

Garmin run time: 36:36, 9:09 pace 


This slight shift in mentality is working for me. When the negative self talk kicks in, I’m no longer trying to silence it. I’m challenging it. 

I read an article recently by Devon Yanko (read it HERE). As she described her journey to be a better runner, I found myself nodding along. Then she wrote something, I can’t stop thinking about. 

“Slowly, gently and almost imperceptible over the month that I have been training in Tahoe, I challenged my habit of self-deprication, self-loathing, chronic self-doubt and hurt. Thoughts would come up and instead of indulging them, I would crush them with a sometime audible, WHY? There was never a good reason. And I found peace and maybe some love for myself, possible for the first time ever.”

During this period of transition in my life, I’ve thought a lot about my why. What motivates me. What inspires me. What makes me feel alive. Why does all of this matter. These thoughts have always brought me to the place I belong. 

While I know I’ve grown tremendously in so many aspects of my life, I’m still waiting for my breakthrough race. I know I’m still sitting on the edge of my potential. 

The only thing holding me back is me. WHY?

I have a few weeks before fall training begins (and I start a new job. More details soon!). These next few weeks will be a celebration. Running and smiling is welcomed. When those pesky moments of self doubt creep in, you may hear me ask why out loud. 

Everything I’ve learned about myself this year needs to shine through my running. I’ve said it so many times, it is time for me to embrace it. These legs have so much to give if I’d quit holding myself back! 

Finding Magic

Today I unrolled my yoga mat while Chet indulged in a nearly extinct nap. The moment of quiet was a rare treat after a freezing cold weekend kept us bundled up inside all weekend. My heart needed quiet, and my body needed a good stretch. My body is still recovering from the 100k relay. It was harder on my body then I ever anticipated. As I move through the opening sun salutations, my body felt heavy. In Warrior II my arms felt like they weighed a ton each. Everything was being pulled down by gravity. 

Saturday’s running was a mirror image of today’s yoga practice. My legs felt heavy. My body resisted. I forgot that it was well below freezing and that the north wind was whipping  in off the ocean and the bay. I forgot that the streets were frozen. Every step I took was a reminder that I have been working hard, and my body is feeling it. 

 

Every Saturday (and every day) i know i they are there for me
 
Physical my body’s is that space I’ve come to recognize and know so well. I’m in the middle

“The middle is messy, but it is also where the magic happens. ~Brene Brown

I used to fear this middle space. I used to see it and runaway in fear. It is hard. It is ugly. While my entire body feels weighted and like it sinking, every doubt and insecurity is floating to the surface. 

But I’ve been here before. I know this space well. Instead of collapsing on my yoga mat in defeat, I kept moving. My body loosened. My heart lightened. I returned to myself. On Saturday I kept running. Surrounded by my running family, my heart stayed engaged. A tough run was a badge of courage instead of sign of defeat. 

 

Conquering miles and fun
 
The middle isn’t winning anymore. I’m not giving in or giving up anymore. I’m plowing ahead. 

When you’ve done something so many times, you start to see the pattern. Now that my runs are hitting double digits again, I’ve felt depleted at mile 9 every single time. I’ve been tempted to give up. I’ve been tempted to quit. Instead I keep running, I let my running partners pull me, and a half mile later I find a new gear. My energy comes back. My strength is renewed. 

While I am grateful to have this awareness as part of my running, I am even more thankful to have this awareness as part of my life. There isn’t a lot of life to live in beginning and ending. Life is lived in the middle. 

Eight years ago today I started an amazing new beginning. I meet Christian for margaritas on a Friday night, and I fell in love with him before we even said hello. The beginning was amazing, but now we are in the middle. It can be tough. I run out of energy. Somedays I feel like I have nothing left to give. But I keep going because my love for him is always renewed. I’ve asked a lot of him the past few months. I needed him to be my anchor. 

Three weeks ago I closed a door on a dream. Another door is about to open, but I’m living in the middle of the transition. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve doubted myself. I’ve questioned my next steps. I’ve searched for answers and strength outside of myself. My entire body has felt heavy. The answers won’t be found anywhere but inside of me. The answers are mine to find. It’s for me to discover. 

The only way to find the magic in the middle is to keep returning to me. As I finished my yoga practice with my forehead placed on the mat, I made a simple promise to myself. I will trust my strength. I will trust my ambition. I will trust my ability to move forward gracefully and courageously. 

“The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.” ~Brene Brown

With every day that passes in this transition period, with every run I complete, with every gym workout that is accompished, and every time I unroll my yoga mat, I feel more alive. I feel more engaged. I feel my strength and my strengths rising to the surface. With an open heart, I’m moving (or running) forward. This next chapter is already a good one. 

Wednesday’s 8 miler: literally stuck in the middle of no where

Saturday’s run: 12 miles at a 9:30ish pace (my garmin turned off in the middle somewhere)