I think today is the absolute perfect day to celebrate running, don’t you agree? I’m excited to share what running means to me along with the biggest reasons why I run. I’d love to hear what running means to you today too! This post is sponsored by CLIF! Thank you for supporting us and our sponsors, it means a lot to us!
Want to know one of the biggest reasons I’ve wanted to become a running coach for so many years now? Because I really love running (I bet you could have answered that for me;).
Running has changed me. It has brought me some of my best friends, it has taught me some of life’s most important lessons and it is the activity that starts off my day in the best way possible. Helping other people to have these same amazing rewards from running is the best payback that I can think of. I can’t wait to help people to reach their goals, to feel that accomplishment and to realize their strength. I think that coaching will be the perfect way for me to continue celebrating running with as many people as possible each day.
Running is hard though. Really hard. Whether it be that dead leg feeling we get in the last few miles of our race, the disappointment that comes with injury or the whole waking up early on a weekend to go out in crazy temperatures to run, it can be really hard. One of my favorite quotes from Kara Goucher is, “Nothing in my life has ever broken my heart the way running has. And yet I cannot breathe without it.”
While her ups and downs in running have been beyond more intense than mine have been, I do relate with what she said. There have been so many times that I have trained as hard as I possibly could and still did not hit my goals or even make it to the starting line. To dream of a goal and work as hard as you know how and then end up with an injury is hard. I think the St. George Marathon 1.5 years ago probably broke my heart the most. I spent four months working with a coach and doing the hardest workouts I have ever done, knowing that my sub 3 marathon was just days away, only to not make it to the starting line.
With all of the hard things that I’ve experienced with running over the last 19 (NINETEEN) years of running, how does it continue to be something that I love so much? What is it about running that makes us forget all of the hard patches along the way?
I think that for me personally there have been thousands of different answers to this question over the years too. Different seasons of life most definitely brought about different answers to this question. When I first started running it was a way to spend time with my sister and for her to think I was cool:) In my 20’s it ranged from my competitiveness to having my ‘me time’ as a new mom to coping with some really hard things. I remember there was one time while I was going through my divorce that I found out probably the worst news of it all. All I could do in that moment was go up to the mountains. My mom watched Brookie and I did what I do best to sort through a problem… cry, run and cope.
Sometimes I don’t have a specific reason to, it’s just part of my lifestyle and it makes me feel happy.
But I think the biggest reason running has stolen my heart is it teaches me about my potential.
Self-confidence has been something that I’ve worked on for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that I grew up with four older siblings that excelled in everything (I’m talking doctor, physicist, valedictorian, concert-pianist, engineers, being fluent in different languages kind of stuff) and feeling less than (by choice, not because of anything they ever did) or if that is just how I was born and it is something I’m supposed to learn here. It has just been a lesson for me to learn.
Running has definitely helped me with this. It has helped me to realize my own personal importance. Running has been a way for me to peak into who I really am. How I can do hard things. How I can dig deep. How I am strong. Whether that be finishing up a run in the wind and rain, a track workout with Josse or a new distance record for the year, it has been one of those things that has really helped me to see who I really am and what I’m made of.
The feeling of progression keeps me hooked on running. The feeling of tapping into my potential and working towards the best version of me.
That’s what has made me truly fall in love with running over the years.
It’s the stuff like shocking ourselves by running faster or further than we thought (or have been told) possible for us that helps us to see our strength. Crossing the finish line of a race that we thought about quitting every quarter of a mile along the way helps us to see a bit of what we are made of. Hitting a new personal distance or time record brings me a boost of confidence that I love. We see how tough we are after going through something emotionally or physically draining and continuing to run or running post-injury or post-baby and starting fresh all over again. Making it to the top of a hill you used to only go up if you had an engine getting you there helps us to see ourselves on a whole new level.
It just all makes you feel really alive. Because we get to do this all while being in fresh air and seeing the world around us, running is the best.
Being at a finish line (or watching one on TV etc) is one of the most goosebump producing things I can do. Knowing the emotions that I feel from running, doing hard things and seeing others making their personal journey towards their potential is quite emotional. Seeing someone else realize who they are and their own strength and abilities… yeah, that is something else.
So how do we keep tapping into our potential? Growing, changing, improving, getting closer to the best versions of ourselves? There are so many different things that help us to keep running and loving the run but I want to focus on fueling today.
We sure can’t keep doing what we love to do without filling up our gas tanks properly!
CLIF BLOKS were with me for my marathon personal record many years ago and they are still as delicious as ever! They are amazing for race day or for your long training runs. We need to be taking in energy for any of our runs over 90 minutes. With each cube coming in at 33 calories they make it super easy to keep track of your caloric and electrolyte intake throughout your run.
I used them during my last half marathon and took three cubes at mile 5, three cubes at miles 9 and felt awesome. They deliver a quick energy and they are easy to bring along with you for your adventures. I just slide them right into my hipster belt. They are so easy to get in and out to eat while chasing down our goals!
When talking with the Brooks Beasts (the Brooks professional runners) nutritionist, he told me that whey protein is the best type of protein to have after a workout. Whey protein is the fastest absorbed protein which is EXCELLENT for runners after a hard workout. We want to get recovering as soon as possible after a workout and whey protein is an awesome way to start the recovery.
These CLIF Whey Protein Bars have 14 grams of protein and only 5 grams of sugar (with ZERO sugar alcohols). I’m extremely picky with protein bars (taste is huge to me) and these are excellent. I think they taste so good. The peanut butter + chocolate combo is amazing. Finding carbohydrates after a hard workout or race is always easy for me but having an awesome whey protein source that tastes good and is easy to grab, that’s finding a treasure in my opinion;)
Have you tried the Nut Butter Filled Energy Bars from CLIF? I first tried these Nut Butter Filled Energy Bars at Outdoor Retailers last year when they were handing them out for samples. I tried the sample and went back and asked for another one. They are amazing. They combine creamy nut butter and an awesome organic energy bar together for the perfect tasting and fuel packed combination. Perfect for pre-run, part of your breakfast, a snack, road trip fuel, biking, hiking fuel, post run fueling… you name it. Try these. ENJOY:)
The Boston Marathon is just four days away. I cannot tell you how excited I am to watch this year with Andrew (our first time watching the Boston Marathon together… this is a very romantic date in my opinion). Brooke is even looking forward to it, I started her young watching (parts) with me and getting excited about it.
Marathon Monday is one of my absolute favorite days of the year and I will be reliving my beautiful 26.2 mile memories of my time in Boston from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. Like everyone running this marathon (or any race!) it took me a lot of work and a lot of years to finally get there. I think that is why the day was so incredibly sweet to me. Between injuries and life having all sorts of curve balls, it meant the world to me to finally be at my Dream Race in 2015. I am pretty sure that the goosebumps I had for those 3 hours and 12 minutes was from the chance of being on this beautiful course, not from the rain;)
If you are going to be at Boston (running or cheering) this year, go and have the best time of your life. The entire weekend before the marathon in Boston feels like a huge holiday. It is the best time to celebrate running, all of your hard work and this amazing running community we are all a part of!
If you aren’t going to be there, you can watch it online here. I’ll probably make our household dress in blue and yellow on Monday! Sometimes I even run on my treadmill while watching so that I feel like I am there with everyone running. I always feel more motivated than ever the day after watching Boston to go out and rock my run!
I would seriously LOVE it if you shared with me today your running story. What got you running in the beginning and why are you running now? Also, PLEASE let me know if you are headed to the Boston Marathon—> I’d love to send you my favorite motivational quotes and give you a pep talk:)
You can learn more about CLIF HERE!!!!