Fall is quickly approaching, and for runners everywhere this means it will soon be the height of race season. Here in Atlanta, it’s the time of year when the scorching heat and mind-numbing humidity finally crack under the pressure of Mother Nature, leaving days in the mid-70s with bright sunshine yet a hint of crispness. Or in short, GORGEOUSNESS.
Over the past few weeks I’ve decided to reverse the proportion of my CrossFit workouts to running, in preparation for a bunch of upcoming races. Instead of 4-5 days of CrossFit with a short run here and there, I’m running 4-5 days with CrossFit/yoga 1-2 days. For the past two weeks Sundays have been my challenging day – a distance run.
The reason I’ve made this switch is that fun things lie in my racing calendar the next two months: a team relay race, a 5-miler, a 5K and then a 10-miler. And running is no exception to the logical rule that, the more you do something the better you get at it. But along with the now almost-daily runs that I do, whether a neighborhood hill challenge or a flat trail distance effort, I also need some RunSpiration. Motivators to keep me going.
I look to certain peoples out there on teh interwebs for inspiration. And as I know many of you are in the same boat with your personal goals, I thought I’d share my RunSpirations with you.
Tina of CarrotsNCake – Much like me, Tina started CrossFit about a year ago and was hooked immediately. Yet she still manages to find a balance of CrossFit + running that works for her. And not only has she become CrossFit Level 1 certified, she continues to wow me with her crazy-fast running speeds and splits. She just finished a 5-miler with an average of 8:35 a mile. Good lawd… I can only dream!
Sam of This Heart of Mine – I met this lovely gal through YeahWrite and share with her a love of running (and Peanut Butter Cheerios). What inspires me about Sam is how she treats running. Running to Sam is privacy, comfort, and a time for just herself. She is never boastful or prideful about her accomplishments – that is not what running means to her. Sure, I bet she strives to improve, but she’s not loud about it. I found it awesome that we each posted about a particularly poignant run experience within days of each other. (Hers + Mine)
Nicole of Life Less Bullshit – You think I turned my life around? This girl takes it to a whole other level with life transformations. This post explains her battles, her struggles and her motivations for running much better than I ever could. Despite all that she’s fought against, she’s come out on the other side even stronger. She recently took her site full-time. She’s a multiple half-marathoner, did a Ragnar Relay (200 miles as a team), and next year she and a girlfriend are going to start in Santa Monica, CA and run … TO NEW YORK. Yes. Cross-country. Talk about fearless. Each and every one of her blog posts smack me upside the head with truth-bombs and I admire her as much for that as for her accomplishments as a runner.
Sugarleg – I am so happy to have met Sugarleg at Camp Mighty last year. Since then, we’ve kept up with one another’s blogs and little did she know that she’s become a running buddy/inspiration to me, too! Poor girl is battling a nasty bout of Runner’s Knee and it’s sidelined her this entire summer. While it’s been extremely difficult on her and I don’t blame her for breaking up with Summer 2013, I hope she knows that her determination and fighting spirit is an inspiration to other runners out here. Hang in there, Sugarleg. You’re going to kick some serious ass in your half this December.
Bertie – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bertie. She was the one who talked me into running a race in a neon green tutu, which got this “I’m not a runner.” completely hooked on running. Without her help, support and encouragement I’d have never been able to go from a 38-minute 5K to running a half marathon in under a year. Bertie, you’re amazing. Thank you for being such a positive influence on my running life and on my life as a whole.
Those that are struggling through the frustrations and setbacks as beginners – you know who you are. But I want you to know that you inspire ME. Every time you get out there and start your journey, be it 1/2 a mile of walking or 3 miles of a slow jog/walk, I’m proud of you. Because I’ve been there and I know it sucks. It’s hard. But you’re doing it. I’m not calling anyone out by name here, but I hope they understand fully how much I support them, encourage them and I’m cheering them on.
In closing, I think it’s important for everyone to have someone(s) to look up to. They are what help you strive to improve and find the version of yourself where you feel best. I look up to these ladies and read their stories as motivation for myself, toward my own goals. But don’t forget…
None of us will ever be perfect runners, at least not to the lofty standards we all hold ourselves to. For example, I have a LONG way to go before I’m running consistent 9 minute splits. I know I’ll likely never be an ultra-runner, because bluntly put – That is not something that I want! But at the end of the day, we all have our goals and having people act as our run-spiration is invaluable.
So just remember: Take inspiration from those you admire, but you be you. You do you. Get out there and just run, at your pace, in your stride, and celebrate your accomplishments.