Life is a marathon...

...but you don't have to run that marathon.

Being a coach for Fleet Feet has really taught me a lot about people who embark on a goal. I have 3 groups: newbies (No Boundaries) who walk and run a bit, half marathon group who are runners with some speed goals and fitness aspirations, and the full marathon group who are embarking on a serious trek of 26.2 miles. I have found that this very diverse group of people are really mirroring our own lives.

  1. Have a goal. Your goal is individual to you. A half marathon is not half of anything, it is 13.1 freaking miles! An opportunity to learn to run when you have never done so is as inspiring as someone who is logging 30 plus miles a week.
  2. Life is love and hate-sometimes the same day! I love to run. But I have days where I think tennis or golf may be a better hobby. Don’t we all have these feelings? Work is necessary, and passionate for many of us. But we can become resentful when it gets in the way of time with our loved ones.
  3. Appearances are deceptive! In life, it seems that people want to categorize-thin equals healthy, money equals happiness. Running has the same traps. Runners look a certain way-long and lean. Not true! If you lace up your shoes, and head out for a run, you are a runner, period.
  4. People may think you are crazy. Embrace your crazy and don’t worry about anyone! I am frequently spotted doing hill repeats and I am sure that passing cars think I have lost my mind! But when I see a hill on a race course map, I have confidence that I can make it up there.
  5. Life is better with a friend. I do a fair share of my running with my dog and by myself. But I have to say, my group on Saturdays make me smile. I have run with a YMCA group on Saturday mornings (rain or shine, they run every Saturday!) until I started my half group at Fleet Feet. I was sad that I wouldn’t see Jim, Denise, Tom, Steve, Gerry, Ann, and Tim. But my half marathon group is a relentlessly loyal and cheerful bunch. Thanks guys for following me on some crazy routes all over our city.
  6. It is never too late to start your life. Our No Boundaries group includes some ladies and gentlemen who have embraced the idea that retirement or middle age doesn’t mean sitting in a recliner. They joined a running group to learn to run and race, maybe for the first time! Life is like that. It is easy to let ourselves off the hook-I am too old to learn a new language or too old to learn to ski. It is never too late!
  7. Remember that you are an inspiration to someone. When we feel down, it is easy to see ourselves as invisible. Your story is inspiring to others. Share your struggles, enjoy your success. Share your story. Last Saturday, my sister and I were heading up the last long hill of our 8 mile run with one of our Half Marathon group members. She asked me how I stayed so cheerful and how lucky I was to never have a bad day running. I had to stop in my tracks and assure her that the day before I was talking myself (see embrace the crazy) into running past my parked car to get my Garmin to say “20 miles.” And I have many days where it is only the thought of a big Diet Coke with lots of ice or Blueberry pancakes, that gets me to my mile goal.

I apologize for my very run-centric articles. Unfortunately, I have been in running mode for months now. I am running the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee in October. I am looking forward to a well-deserved week or so off of running after that race. I miss Peak and the smiling faces I see in the weight room. Thank you to so many of you who have visited us at Fleet Feet. I can’t thank my Beefaroo managers/staff enough for holding down the fort at our restaurants, while we launched our new venture. Thank you also to so many people who have wished my daughter luck in her new life as a working adult in St. Petersburg/Tampa. Ty and I are welcoming a new puppy into our lives in the Fall. So, I must apologize in advance for the number of photos coming your way. Happy September.

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