Monday, September 30, 2013

In Gratitude...

I have a love/hate relationship with running. It is a mental struggle, and it is also a physical one. I always seem to "really" want to run on the days that I can't. Then roll around the days that I am completely able to run, and half the time I am slowly procrastinating my way out the door. My laundry-list of past/present injuries and injury-related aches and pains also keeps me sort of "hating" it all. That being said, I just can't HELP myself, for the love of God. The hardest part really is getting out the door and putting in that first mile. Once that happens, it all just seems to fall into place. Even on a bad day, a run still feels good. Sometimes during the run. Always at the end of the run.

I don't run with a partner. Or a group. I run by myself ALL.THE.TIME. My schedule isn't conducive to much else. I run when Finnley is in school. And, I run on the weekends when Matt is home from his workout or run, and he can be with Finnley. I don't own a treadmill, so all of my running takes place outside. The local streets, parks, and paths are my gym. 95 degrees and humid? Well, I run. 25 degrees and snow? Well, I still run. I like that I get out there no matter what. It is part of the "glory" of my running. It just makes me feel good. And proud. And accomplished.

Even though I run alone, I have found that running is a group sport. You are never "alone". Even on the coldest days, I still cross paths with my brethren. In addition, the running community is HUGE, and it is EVERYWHERE. So, even though I walk out the door by myself, I find motivation and inspiration all around me. I see it on the streets. I read about it on blogs. I connect with like-minds on Twitter and Facebook. Runners.are.EVERYWHERE. It is comforting, and it is propelling.

The other thing about runners? Their passion continually parlays itself into other venues. We are the ones that make up a large part of charitable events. An extraordinary amount of running races are ones that are used to raise money and awareness for a cause. You name the race, and it has backing...and the runners are there supporting in one way or another. So, once again...despite the fact that I lace up and hit the pavement with just myself and my iPhone...I am a part of something much larger than myself. And, I love that. I get a kick out of it. I am so pleased to be entwined with this mass of people who push themselves in all sorts of enviable ways.

So, it is no doubt pleasing to me that I was able to be a part of Team Scoot A Doot this past month as they/we logged miles and raised money and awareness for the Million Mile Run and Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. I had never run more than "49.someoddmiles" in one month, so I set a personal goal for myself of 50 miles. I didn't set a monetary goal, but I knew that I would keep pushing to raise as many donations as I possibly could. Through the beginning of September, I had completed training for and running my first half marathon...something that I never expected of myself. (For the record, I had never run more than a 10K in my life!) So, after putting that notch in my running belt...I felt empowered. I just kept running. And pushing. I was out racking up miles just 2 days after the half. (Which I thought was crazy, but I wanted to keep my promise to get as many miles as I could for this worthy cause.) Every time I went out, I had a mileage in my head that I was going to complete. And, every time...I just seemed to run an extra mile. Or two. As of today, the end of the Million Mile Run, I have logged 76.9 miles. I can't hardly believe it. And, my pace has continued to improve throughout the month as well. I capped all of it off with my final run today being 5.22 miles at a 9:20 pace...a PR! And, there is no way that I could have done any of this if I really were "alone" in my running. My teammates, and the running community as a whole, really drive me to push myself.

As this particular event comes to an end, I am proud to say that our team SURPASSED both its mileage goal and its donation goal. It really is awesome to see what happens when great people get together to embrace a great cause.

I am leaving you all with a personal "thank you" directed toward all of those who supported me in one way or another during this past month. I am so blessed to know you all and to have your backing.

This particular event might be coming to a close, but I guarantee we will all still be out there putting in miles pretty much at any time and in any way that we can. That is just what "we" do. That is what it is to be a runner. And, I am happy to say that that is what I am.

In gratitude -


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some Online Begging / A Little Online Love

It is HUMP DAY, HUMP DAY, HUMP DAY. And, that means we are yet another day into the month of September. And another day closer to the end of the Million Mile Run.

We are still trying to raise donations and bring awareness to the cause....The Million Mile Run and Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. There are 5 days left (six, if you are counting today. and, well...every day DOES count!) to help us reach our goal, so head on over to our team page and graciously donate on my behalf! Giving makes a person feel good. Go ahead, give it a try! I'm totally not lying!

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation / Team Scoot A Doot page / DONATE NOW!

Beyond all of that, today I am also getting a little love from some of my favorite (ok, totally my favorite) online friends! So, while you are still hanging out on your computer after making your much appreciated donations, head on over to Scoot A Doot to check out their blog and meet a few of the Million Mile Run team members (me, included!). The bloggers are all awesome (the ones I have met in person AND the ones I only know through cyber-world), and the Million Mile Team they inspired and helped put together is awesome, too! Check it out.

Scoot A Doot Blog

Happy Day! And, Happy Running!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Life.

Life is an adventure. It is crazy. It is up. It is down. It is the middle. It is every day. It is all day. It is worth making fun.

And, that is what we do, Matt and I. We make it fun. Not all day, every day. But, we skew the averages, and overall when you add it all up? ...FUN!

So, when our 5 year anniversary rolled around, what did we do? Well, we jumped out of an airplane and went skydiving over the beautiful landscape of Colorado. How do you top that when 10 years is creeping up? What did we decide we would do? Well, run a half marathon, of course! Why do these things? Well, why not???

Here is a look at our anniversary celebration, and a look at us at the half marathon, including a shot of an article written about us for the Philadelphia Inquirer (we are almost totally not quite famous). What a great month this has been so far. I can't wait to see what we decide to do next!

Whatever it is, we have a lifetime in which to do it! And, knowing us, we will do as much "fun" as we possibly can.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ten Years

This is Matt, the husband, and I rarely post on this blog but this occasion called for it. Today, September 12th, my wife Megan and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary. Ten. Years. How 'bout them apples?! It has been a terrific journey thus far that is built on love. Pure old fashioned love.

See, we met in an unconventional manner, and after dating just 9 months we were engaged. Then, just 30 days before our wedding day I moved my wife (who had never moved) from Chicago to Cleveland. And then it was on! We went on to live in Virginia, Colorado, and now in South Jersey. She stayed with me on every move. That takes love and a lot of trust.

Through all of these years and moves, we have both taught each other much. For example:

I taught her how to eat sushi on our very first date. Love.
She taught me what quinoa was. Love. (Well, like actually. Well, not really. I don't like it.)
I taught her to be a Buckeye (and college football) fan. Love.
She taught me to be half of a Chicago Bears fan. Love...but GO COWBOYS!
We both taught one another a little bit about determination, never giving up, and sacrificing whatever it took to have a child. Love. Sacrifice. Miracle. Thankful.
Yes, we (like many many couples) struggled with "unexplained infertility" for 6 years. We went through many unsuccessful tries. Then we would have success with IVF and get a heartbeat. Only to lose it later on. Twice. But we supported one another, and even though we came close a couple of times, we never gave up. And then it happened on our last IVF attempt. A miracle little girl! Love.

What does all of this have to do with our anniversary? Well, I hope our daughter reads this one day and understands that marriages are journeys where if you keep an open mind, never give up, and REALLY love one another, anything is possible. Everything is possible.

Everything is possible with a terrific partner, an open mind, a sense of adventure, compromise, and love. Happy 10th anniversary to the woman who possesses all of those traits and so very much more! I can't wait to see where this journey takes us next.