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I wanted to share this dailymile post from last week with folks outside the DM community. It was a bad, day, a great run, and getting a little reminder of what’s important in my life. Running does that for me. It gives me the outlet to process information and work things out in my head. It’s also where some of my best thinking (in general) and creative ideas come from. The following was one of those nights that reminded me why I run in the first place.

From dailymile.com (4.7.10):

I needed this run. By the time I got out there, it was late, cold, rainy and WINDY. I set out run off a pretty awful day. It was one of those days when you have to deal with really difficult people, make difficult and maybe frustrating choices, do what you think is right, and stand your ground. I just had a lot going on in my head. I just couldn’t let go of the frustration. And then something happened.

The following track came up on my iPod:
“Building All Is Love” by Karen O and The Kids (From the Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack)

On the last mile of this run, tears started streaming down my face. I’m talking a real UGLY cry. Because this song instantly makes me think of my daughters. I could hear them singing and dancing around the house sing-yelling this song, as we are prone to do. It all became really, really clear.

They love me and are proud of me today, but that’s easy. They are four and six. But everyday I have to live my life to earn that same love, pride, and respect when they are 24 and 26. I think I do that. I think that if sticking to my personal and professional ethics makes for a hard day, or a disappointment in the short term, that I’m okay with that for the long haul.

Because I can come home and look at my daughters and know that I am someone they can be proud of.

So that’s what I needed. I needed to get out and RUN, and think, and put it all back into perspective.

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Until just a couple years ago, I didn’t need outside motivation to run. It fit neatly into my daily routine, and I was accustomed to just getting a certain mileage in each week. Having generally been a solo runner, I never had an interest in running clubs, or even a running partner. Other than the occasional run with my sister, I’d just hammer out some miles and get on with my day.

In the last few years, that began to change. Life got a hell of a lot busier. The kids, getting older, have schedules, my husband has a schedule, and my schedule has, of course, gotten insane. Why? Because I’m the mom, that’s why. In juggling family, business, random life crises, etc. I stopped paying attention. Missed days turned to missed weeks, turned into “run? what’s that?” My trainer recently said, “You didn’t lose who you are, you just stopped paying attention.” I like that. Makes me feel a little more confident as I reflect on when and how I started to lose focus on fitness, and begin to find myself again. Life changes, we change too. We need to find new ways of reaching goals. We need to grow.

One of the things absolutely vital to this process has been an online community called dailymile. I was turned onto it by my friends Anne (@bananza) and Tracey (@tmgessner). Here I am, the “lone runner” turning to a community of runners, cyclists and athletes for motivation and support. Never thought that this kind of community would be a good fit for me, but times change. I love my dailymile friends. Some days they ARE the difference between a pity party on the couch or a solid (even if its slow) run to keep me on track.

There are athletes of every fitness level in this community, from marathoners to nightly walkers. Our common ground is a desire to be healthy and to achieve our best level of fitness, as different as our actual goals may be. I love to watch the younger, child-free crowd train. It brings back memories of a Sara-that-once-was. It motivates me. And I couldn’t train the way I do without the parents on dailymile that are juggling all the same things I do, and still get out there and train. I have found a good balance of “push harder Sara” and “keep your priorities (kids) in focus too”. I owe them so much for that level of support and camaraderie.

I am so fortunate to have found this amazing group of athletes. I am glad that I have graduated from “solo runner” to “dailymiler”. Turns out, it’s the perfect place for a #beerrunner like me, who needs a lot more running and a little less beer.  🙂

dailymile

Later Gators.

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