GOOD MORNING!!! I thought it would be fun to talk about some of my absolute favorite runs ever. I put them in order by their date! Most of them have to do with races because I just have some really good memories associated with those days! I’d love to hear any of your top running memories too!
1. My very first marathon—> 4/21/10. This race was incredibly special to me for a few reasons. Your first marathon is just something you’ll never forget. I went into it just hoping to finish and I completely surprised myself by finishing in 3:20:40 and finding out I could go to Boston the next year. I remember feeling so strongly at around mile 20 that my grandpa (he was an incredible runner and coach pretty much his entire life) was up in Heaven watching me and cheering me on. I remember this sweet hug from my dad at the finish line area and him telling me “Atta Girl” (that phrase is actually the highest level of praise/accomplishment used by my dad in our home growing up… I knew he was proud:). I think I signed up for my next marathon the next day.
2. The NYC Marathon in 2011. Earlier in that year I was training my guts out for Boston. I lived and breathed running. A few weeks before Boston I found out I had femoral stress fracture(S) and my doctor said there was no way I could run Boston… I was completely devastated (I’m sure you remember if you read that long ago) and in a lot of pain. I felt like there was NO way I was going to be able to not run for 3 months. But I did. And I learned so many incredible lessons through that injury that I am beyond grateful it all happened the way it was supposed to… one of the biggest reasons being because it woke me up to get out of my amenorrhea situation and take charge of my health to get my period back. I remember running through the streets of New York with the biggest smile on my face. I was there. Running again. Healthy and strong. I might have missed Boston but it taught me that there is always another race and to be grateful for each mile that we do get.
3. This one has two-parts. I remember a run I had when I was about 7 months pregnant with Brooke. It was on my favorite road at the time (it was about 1.25 miles long and completely shaded the entire time from all of the trees which felt heavenly in June so I just would run up and down that street). I felt so much love for her and all of the sudden it just stopped me dead in my tracks and I started sobbing. I also remember the below picture a lot. Her and I went out one day for a 15 miler. She thought she was so funny to continually throw her toys out of the stroller and would giggle like crazy. She napped for a while and then when she woke up I sang to her and talked to her. I miss our stroller runs together.
4. This picture was from a trail run that I did with two friends of mine back when I was living at my parent’s house after my divorce. I was in a really sad point in my life. During this run I had my two friends run up ahead of me because I just wanted to think.
I had the most perfect (for me) realization during this run. It was so dark out, I couldn’t even look up because I was doing everything I could to avoid falling, it was cold and I felt so alone. But I realized that no matter what, the sun was going to come up soon and that I was going to love the way the run felt after that. The warmth on my face, the scenery all around me, the beauty, I could look up again and feel God’s love.
That realization during this run (I even stopped to take a picture because I felt like I had my biggest ah-ha moment) gave me all of the hope in the world. It brought me strength that I was just running in the dark for a bit in my life and that no matter what it was going to get bright again and it would all work out.
And it did, more than I could have ever imagined. I’m so thankful for that dark spot because it brought me the most beautiful new-start.
5. A few months after that I started running with Josse and Rebecca pretty much daily (and love every run that I got to go on with Rachelle too). I sure had to chase after these girls but they gave me that social hour each morning that I so desperately needed as a single mama. They helped me to get faster and stronger emotionally. We could talk about anything and everything. This memory was from a time we were sitting in the river after running the fastest 20 miler of my life and just looking around at them thinking we were 1. CRAZY and 2. so lucky to have them to train with each morning.
6. I’ve shared this picture a few times but this is one of my favorite running memories but also one of my most painful running memories. I got injured about 7 weeks before the Utah Valley Marathon in 2014 and all I could do was pool run for those 7 weeks before the marathon. The headwind was outrageous, the hills ate up my non-runned (not a word) legs and I said goodbye to Brooke for the weekend for her to go to her dad’s and I was struggling with that. I got to about mile 20 and I saw my sister and told her I was done. I was out and I couldn’t possibly keep going. So what did she do? She told me that she was going to run with me and started going.
She ran with me those last 6ish miles. She kept me distracted with stories, motivated by her pep talks and loved by the fact she was doing something so crazy to help me out. I tear up every single time I see this picture.
7. This picture is a random one but it was a big day for me out there on the road. It was from the canal dirt roads in Arizona at my brother’s house. I was hitting splits that I didn’t think I had in me anymore after a few injuries. It was this run that I realized I had a lot to give and do in terms of running and I just felt a lot of hope. It was also during this run that I remember realizing I was fine again. I was normal again. I loved my life and it was the road that made me realize how far I’d come over the last few years and it was a sweet run for me that morning (even if it was already 80 something degrees).
8. BOSTON! BOSTON. BOSTON. My dream race. And I was finally there. We will talk more about this one later this week:)
9. I started working with my coach again and ran a half-marathon. It was a fast course but I completely shocked myself by finishing 6 minutes faster than I was guessing and the hard work was paying off. My sweet mom was at the finish line and so was Brooke. It gave me so much motivation to keep going with marathon training and it brought me a lot of love for racing. Here is the post to my PR half-marathon post.
10. Our SECOND DATE. It was a trail run. I found a guy that asked me out to go for a RUN!?! I hit the lottery.
Andrew and I set out for 12 miles and had the most amazing conversation along those miles. I remember thinking throughout the run that I could 10000% see a future with this guy (which wasn’t a thought I had had yet in dating because I was so guarded) and then we got married 4 days later;) I kid but I knew pretty quickly. This run was such a fun way to get to know him some more, we laughed and talked non-stop and planned a future date up ahead (aka that evening ha).
As you can tell from the picture, I was on cloud 9.
****And now I will put one in order as NUMBER ONE running memory. The St. George Marathon this last year. I raced it smarter than I think I have ever raced a marathon. I held back in the first half and then let it go in the second half (for the fitness level I was at). Andrew raced around the course with the kids and signs to cheer me on and seeing them at the finish line was the ultimate race goal finish line.
Day #2 was a huge success! Now it is time to study and get ready for the test!
Andrew and Brooke went to church and sent me selfies all day.
Andrew was pretty thrilled with his top knot skills!
We made it home (it feels so good to sleep in your own bed!!!) and Beretta and Brooke and a wonderful reunion.
What about you? I’d love to hear some of your favorite running memories!
Highlight of your weekend?
What run are you starting your week off with? I want the details!