100 Miles Later

I’ve been in the trenches of marathon training for a month now. I’ve ran 103.78 miles. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m hungry. All. The. Damn. Time.

I don’t know if I mentally blocked what training for a half marathon was like but this seems different. I am not even up to the super long distances. Next week I will be hitting 12 miles. Of course, 13 is the longest Sarah and I have ran so we are getting close to new territory. The level of hunger at 25 miles a week is literally ravishing. I can’t imagine what it will be like in another month. I want to eat all the foods!

Other than the never ending need to consume something delicious, the training is going pretty well. I have only skipped one run and one cross training session. I think it was from the sheer fact that training is exhausting. I don’t remember being this tired last time I trained. It may have to do with the fact I get up at 4:30 in the morning. But it comes with some beautiful sunrises, so it works out.

If you are ever thinking about running a marathon, just know, you will be tired and hungry. Very hungry. And sore. I have come to realize how important stretching is. If I do not stretch after a run, I will pay for it by the end of the week. I get horrible lower back pain. So I have been making sure to take the 15 minutes after a run to stretch it all out.

So far, this training has been a good way for me to focus on a goal. It’s been a good way to let my mind wander. I have been able to center my thoughts and focus on a path moving forward. A positive path that will allow me to move on. Training is hard and so is life. But I’ll get through it. And after I cross the finish line, I’ll eat and eat. And eat and eat and eat.

 

Don’t forget, all this training is for a great cause! The children of St. Jude! Donate today!

 

With love,

Kayla

The Marathon Training Officially Begins

Today is the day that our marathon training officially officially starts. I say officially twice because we kind of started last month in order to give ourselves room to miss a run or get in longer runs if we needed to. But today, July 17, is the day that our plan lines up with the date of the full marathon, December 2.

We wanted to share our plan with everyone. I, Kayla, simply Googled a first time full marathon training plan and found this one on Women’s Running. The plan explains what some of the terms mean like XT=Cross Train, H=Hilly Run aka DEATH!, EZ=EASY Effort and so on. Hopefully by sharing this plan with everyone we will hold ourselves more accountable. I know that when I have a structured plan I do much better than just running freely. Something about being able to cross the run off my calendar gives me a sense of accomplishment. Or I just like highlighting things!

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So there it is! So many miles! During this training, we are going to share with your our successes, our struggles, our funny stories, what we do to prepare, what we eat, how we fuel and more. As some of you may know, we are registered for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon which raises money for the Children’s Research Hospital here in Memphis. We are really proud to be raising money for this great cause. If you didn’t know, patients and families that visit St. Jude never receive a bill for the care they receive. This means that the hospital functions on donations. How amazing is that. At the end of this post, you can find both of our fundraising pages. We hope that you will donate to each of us. Any amount is helpful!

So, we may be crazy. And we may regret having to run more than 13 miles! But I know it is going to be worth it. I also know that it is going to be hard. A lot of people ask us what our goal is for the marathon. My goal is to finish it. I am not a fast runner. This is going to be an all day thing. Someone will need to carry me to food and beer! But I know that I want to say that I have run a full marathon. This may be my only one. I am glad I chose a local one that is for such a great cause. So don’t forget to donate!

Love,

Kayla

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So today may be the official first day of the training plan but I, Sarah Burns, am already on week 4. Now to be honest with you I have not followed the training plan exactly and I will not follow it exactly. And that it totally ok. Find a training plan you like then tweak it to fit you and your schedule. So on this training plan, I’m trying to focus on the miles. I’m not too focused the type of run (Ex: hills, easy, etc.). For my shorter runs throughout the week I run on trails at Shelby Farms Park (my favorite place) which contains several hills. Then on my long runs I usually run on The Green line (also at Shelby Farms) which is flat. I also TRY to include going to the gym at least twice a week.

My goal for this marathon is the same as Kayla’s which is to finish. We want to try to stay within an 11 minute to 12 minute pace but if that doesn’t happen we aren’t stressing about it. We want to say we ran a marathon and survived!

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I am just so excited to be able to participate in this awesome race. I absolutely love St. Jude and all that they do. I have a close friend with a daughter that regularly goes to St. Jude. So this hospital is very close to my heart. Not only do they not have to pay a cent, the staff at St. Jude is amazing. Always so nice, helpful, and truly cares for the patients. I am so glad that I am able to help support this amazing hospital. stjude marathon kid cheer

I was told that some of the patients come to cheer on the runners during the race! Wow that will be a site to see. I’m not sure if I should include bawling my eyes out during a run into my training plan in order to be more prepared! lol Please help us raise money for this amazing cause by using the links below! Every little bit helps and is appreciated! Thank you so much! Continue to follow our blog for updates on our marathon training mishaps and successes, life, and everything in between.

Love,

Sarah

Donate for Sarah

Donate for Kayla

Kayla Runs Washington

Another work trip, another place to run.

I traveled to Whidbey Island, Washington for another work trip. I visited Bangor, Washington last year and immediately fell in love with Washington. If you’re lucky, when you fly in to Seattle, the first thing you see is Mount Rainier from the plane. On this trip, I did not get to see the magnificent mountain in all its glory. That still does not take away from the beauty of this state.

IMG_1231.JPGWhen this is your view while flying in, you know the state will have even more to offer. The first chance I got to hit the road running, I did. I woke up with the sun on Tuesday morning and started heading toward the water. It fuels my soul. I was surprised that the Navy base had running trails with a view.

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Coming from the Memphis area where the heat is feeling like 105 degrees, it was a bit of a climate-shock having to run in 55 degree weather! I definitely did not pack appropriate running clothes for the chilly morning but thankfully I had my “plane hoodie” which of course was too heavy for running, but better than nothing.

Speaking of the Memphis area, if you are familiar with the community you might know about the 901 Rocks. It’s a movement taking over the 901 community to spread joy.  People paint rocks and hide them around Memphis so that other people can find them and smile. Talk about a surprise when I was running and came across a Whidbey Island Rock! It really was a sweet coincidence and made me smile so many miles away from the 901.

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As I was running along the water, I see a bird chilling on a post ahead of me. In my head, I think, “That looks like an eagle. But there is no way that’s an eagle cause when do you ever see one in the wild?” So as I get closer I come to realize, it is an eagle. And it stuck around for a picture! It actually stayed there the whole time I ran. It was like he was spending his morning just listening to the ocean. It encouraged me to turn off my music and take in the beauty around me.

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So my first running experience on the island was a success. My plan was to hit the bay again Thursday morning but some work issues arose and I had to skip it. Thankfully this wasn’t Memphis and I could run in the afternoon. Can you even imagine running in the afternoon in July?!

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is an aviation base. Which is why I was sent here! I came here to interview sailors that work on the Navy’s newest aircraft. So, running in the afternoon was a bit different than early morning because all the jets were flying around doing training. As I was running, I got the chance to see several aircraft in action. It’s always a nice reminder to see what our military is doing and know that this country is taken care of. I love my job and I am so glad I get to talk to sailors about their service. Pictured below is an old P-3C Orion plane, which probably means nothing if you aren’t in the service. Still cool to see while running.

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My Thursday afternoon run was a nice way to wrap up my running on the island. I listened to My Favorite Murder Podcast which actually made me cringe this time! I thought about how lucky I am to be able to travel for my job. I love getting the opportunity to run in new places. My family always worries about me but I cannot be afraid to go on adventures when I travel. I want to see the world. I want to experience all I can. I am so glad that running has given me that chance.

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I am glad that I get to share these experiences with you all. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my travels in Washington. Until next time!

With wanderlust,

Kayla

Badass Unicorns join the #SportsBraSquad

Today is Global #SportsBraSquad Day! A movement that was started by one of our favorite bloggers Kelly Roberts who writes Run, Selfie, Repeat. It started as a way for women to shed their shirts while running to show they are stronger than their insecurities. And it has been amazing watching it take off. Check out the hashtag on Instagram and just see how many strong women ran sans shirts today!

For some reason, as women, we find it hard to take off our shirt when we are pouring sweat. We would rather have the soaking wet shirt stick to us, mess around with trying to adjust it, and still make our bodies 10 degrees hotter rather than just taking it off. Why? Probably because we think people will judge us. I don’t look like the women in running ads. Before this movement started, I really did think that someone would pay attention to me enough to be like, “Ew, that girl should not be running without a shirt.” Guess what? People don’t care!

Even today, running with Sarah, no one gave us weird looks or did a double take. We live in Memphis. It’s hot here. Girl, just be free! Or run with your shirt on. Either way, we want women to look beyond their body image and look at what their bodies can do. That is what this movement is all about.

So when, Kelly Roberts told the world that there would be a Global Day for this kickass movement, I immediately text Sarah to save the date. Technically, we had run together in our sports bras while training for a trail half marathon, but no one else saw us. We were struggling in the woods, melting from the heat. I had ran by myself in a sports bra on the beach. (You can read all about that experience on Women’s Running Magazine. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to share my story thanks to Kelly Roberts. Scroll down and you can see that I am the last woman to share my experience.)

Anyways, Sarah had never technically ran in such a public place in just her sports bra. For some reason, we both find this intimidating. Sarah even mentioned that when running alone she didn’t want people to think she was promiscuous. Which is another crazy point in why we are afraid to run in a sports bra. As women, we have to worry that someone may take our skin as an invitation to approach us. We have to worry that someone might think we are asking for something or trying to show off. People! It’s hot! Running is hard! I may look fine but that doesn’t mean I want you to come get handsy!

As we were finishing up our last mile, Sarah said, “You know this actually feels good. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.” My heart was so happy to hear that! We both have our insecurities about our bodies. Today we chose to set those aside and show the world that we are strong!

I think that society, especially the running community, is doing a better job to showcase all body types. Just pick up the June issue of Women’s Running Magazine. They have done such a great job in showing people that not all runners look the same. Women have been speaking up about the fact that beauty is not what a magazine tells us it needs to be. And guess what? We have been heard. You have so many companies now making sure that they show their clothes on all body types. That’s the great thing about being human. We aren’t all the same. We need to start embracing ourselves and our fellow humans. Don’t judge. Lift people up. Show people that you can live an active lifestyle and not have to strive to look a certain, perfect way. We want people to be and feel healthy. Not beat themselves up over a number on the scale. I love my body. I am proud that it can run and run and run and run. Instead of thinking about the number, I think about what m body is capable of.

This movement isn’t trying to tell people you MUST run in a sports bra. For me, it’s a way to show that I am stronger than society’s perceptions of what women should look like and what women should wear. I hope this movement can give more women courage. I hope that it can allow them to see the strong sides of themselves, whether they’re running with or without a shirt.

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With bravery,

Kayla

 

 

Kayla Runs Hawaii

Okay, I only ran once. But that counts! I even took a picture of dew dropped flowers to prove it. I was in Hawaii for work and our schedule didn’t give me too much time to fit in morning runs but I got a 3 mile one in. Now I can say I’ve ran in Hawaii.

Fun fact: Hawaii is HOT! For some reason, I guess I thought it was like San Diego. Pleasant at all times. No. It’s f’n hot! So if you don’t get a morning run in, you’ll melt!

Besides running though, I was able to enjoy some hiking while on the island.

19264336_1328730170513728_7020450656172743406_oPhoto by Amanda Moreno with Three Chickadees Photography & Design

For our first hike we rose early (to beat that heat!) to hike Diamond Head, a crater formed by a volcanic eruption 300,000 years ago. This trail starts with some uneven rock with a gradual incline which leads to 74 steps, a tunnel and 99 more stairs! Oh and then a spiral staircase with 43 steps that comes out into a coastal artillery observation platform.

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Once you crawl out from the observation deck, the views are spectacular. You can see the  city of Waikiki and the vast, beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. You get a chance to take a breather and enjoy the views. Definitely worth the 216 stairs and 560 foot elevation gain.

 

 

Later in the week we hiked Manoa Valley. This hike was much more shaded than Diamond Head. The lush vegetation provided a nice canopy of gorgeous island plant life. There was so much to look at! Also, the internet makes it seem like parts of Jurassic Park were filmed here but I can’t find anything definite. Either way, the valley really has the dinosaur vibe and I was waiting for a raptor to stalk us.

 

The hiking trail leads to a waterfall after a short 1.5 miles. Be prepared to get a little muddy. Wear good shoes. And walk slow on the slippery rocks. I was very surprised to see people in flip flops and heels…no joke! HEELS! Like this was Jurassic World or something. (Let’s be real, Laura Dern in the original JP has the more sensible shoes!) Anyways, the waterfall! There were also stairs involved in this hike. But they’re the last thing standing in your way to the fall!

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Peaceful end to an easy hike. Little excursions like these allow us to treat ourselves in the evenings! Food and fruity drinks!

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I am so grateful that I have a job that allows me to travel. I don’t know how else I would have made it to Hawaii. Last year, I ran in seven different states. I am hoping to add more to the list this year. Now I can include Hawaii. It’s a different way of life on the island. I don’t think it is somewhere I could live but I could run in the morning and lay on the beach any day!

Aloha,

Kayla

Navy 10 Nautical Mile Recap

What is a nautical mile, you ask? According to Wikipedia, it is exactly 1,852 meters or approximately 1.15 miles. When I looked up the equivalent miles for the race, Google said 11.5. My phone said 11.7 after the race. People online who used the hashtag #10NM said it was 11.8. So…let’s just say it was almost 12 miles aka 10 nautical miles.

Okay, so why is this the only foot race measured in nautical miles? According to NSA Mid-South, the Navy base in Millington, Tennessee, the unique distance represents the distance from a ship to the horizon line, a distance in which the United States military battled when they stormed Normandy in June of 1945. So part of this runs allows us to show support for the work of our Armed Forces. This race also gives back to the Sailors and their families in the Millington area. So, yeah, Go America!

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Like any good military related race, the start was bright and early, 0600. Meaning I had a wake up call of 0345. while Sarah had the benefit of sleeping till 0400. Thankfully, due to a threat of storms, the entire race was overcast. The biggest complaint I have heard about this race is how hot it is. It was muggy but thankfully no sunshine to fry us or rain to annoy us. The popsicles we were treated with at Nautical Mile 6 were still a blessing!

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We were drenched with sweat. There wasn’t a part of our clothing that was dry. I couldn’t even dry my phone off after a water station mishap! After this mishap, I got a false short burst of determination and started running faster. I thank T. Swift for motivating me through the haters (Lady in the red shirt, I’m talking about you!) Sarah began to get delusional as I began to get tired and over it.

Sarah was Miss Peppy, trying to motivate me to keep pushing, not only keep pushing, but push harder. I just didn’t think my legs could push any harder. We only had one nautical mile left. My personal cheerleader, who thought I was mad at her, actually helped me make it to the finish line. Without Sarah, I would have walked way more in that last mile. Thanks to her peppy cheering and pushing, I kept moving! She wouldn’t leave me behind and that is what I love about this friendship that grew around running. We have each other’s back. Even if that means yelling at the other, “We’re almost done! There’s beer at the end! And food. Keep pushing!” While in my head, I am like, “Bitch, shut up, I am dying.” (I say bitch in the most loving way). See below for the picture that pretty much sums up the interaction between us on that last mile.

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I think it is safe to say, that we both highly recommend this race. You might not luck out with an overcast day, but you will luck out with free beer and food. The volunteers throughout the course were so supportive. They did great with making sure the runners had liquids. They also made sure to cheer us on. Even the military personnel that allowed us to come on base, were a great support! Sometimes you get a race where the volunteers don’t say anything. Don’t be that volunteer! We need a “WooHoo Keep it up!” There was also a great expo after the race that included vendors with lots of unique goodies for runners. They had different free food options, not just one lame-o choice. Overall, one of the best races we’ve done in awhile. Keep an eye out for next year’s registration and take the challenge!

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Above, you can see this is what people mean by Runner’s Amnesia. I already had forgotten how much the last mile killed me. I was running on fumes and just glad to have a beer. We were proud of ourselves. Running isn’t easy. I think that might be the best part. You get to conquer a challenge and if you’re lucky, you get a free beer at the end!

Speaking of Runner’s Amnesia, Sarah and I have both registered as St. Jude Heroes for the full marathon in December. If you would like to donate to helping us raise money for the children of St. Jude, please follow the links below.

Sarah

Kayla

With love,

Kayla

10NM sunrise

Sarah’s 10 Nautical Mile Recap

Overall I feel this was a great race! I remember when Kayla first told me she wanted to do this race. I totally did not want to do it. I’ve always been told how hot and tough this race is. Well, we lucked out this year. It was cloudy the entire race. It was a bit humid and still hot but at least there was no sun! And even though the race started at 6am, I am so happy that I was able to catch the sunrise before the race.

I do not know what was up with this race but I was hype the entire time! I was super energetic and positive. I did not feel much pain throughout the race either. My feet and knees were hurting near the end but nothing more than usual. I was dancing and singing all the way to the end!

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Photo Courtesy of Blair Ball Photography

We finished the 10 Nautical Miles, almost 12 actual miles in 2:22. A bit slower paced than in our half marathon, but I feel we are on a good start. We have just started our marathon training and I know our pace will increase.


The race ended with free food and beer. Also a great expo with awesome running gear and gadgets! Great race! I would highly recommend this race and I’m sure Kayla and I will run it again next year. The absolute best part about this race and every race we run though was that I was with my bestie Kayla. Near the end of the race I wanted to go faster, but Kayla did not. She told me to just leave her. I wasn’t going to do that. No unicorn left behind!! Yes, races are competitive to me but it’s not all about winning or getting a better time than my running partner. It’s about the journey. The journey in which we push ourselves past our limits and push each other to be better. I know I would not have been in such a great mood this race if it wasn’t for my badass unicorn running partner with me! Even though during the last Nautical mile Kayla called me delusional and was annoyed with me, I’m so proud of her for pushing it even though she wanted to walk. Kayla even went along with her delusional running partner when I told her we were going to sprint to the finish line. As soon as we were past the finish line we quickly forgot about all the painful, tiring, almost 12 actual miles we just ran!

-Sarah-

Why I Run?

I think it is very important to know why you started something. The reason you start something and continue to do it is usually very powerful. And when you are struggling or have lack of motivation, your Why will keep you going. So as Kayla and I are training for a full freaking marathon, I think it’s time we were reminded of our Why.

Why does Sarah run?

I run because it’s FREE.  When I first started running I didn’t have much money at all and I needed to get into shape.  Running is probably one of the cheapest and best full body exercise. Later I learned that it does cost a little bit. You have to pay for shoes, clothes, gear, supplements, etc. But not all of that is really needed. Shoes are a definite must though. Please spend some money and get you some good running shoes.

I run because of the feeling after I run. The runner’s high. Yes sometimes I’m exhausted but I feel amazing. I pushed myself, I accomplished my goal, I’m fit and strong. I also run because I feel like crap when I don’t run. Seriously. After you have been running for a while, it’s like your body craves it. Not only your body, but your mind too. I just feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally because of running.

I run because I love food! For the most part I eat healthy but because of running, I don’t feel as bad when I eat some not so healthy foods. I also love running because it keeps me strong and in shape. I have a hard time controlling, maintaining, and losing weight. I know I would be miserable and not happy with my body if I didn’t run. Running helps balance everything out or so I tell myself.

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I run to run away. Run away from life, stress, hurt, chaos and I run into my own world. A world full of nature, beauty, and music. When you run you see things from another perspective. You get to notice all the natural beauty around you. I also love music. So to be able to be outside and listen to my music for an hour or longer is just heaven to me. It is definitely a stress reliever. I get to spend time with myself and my thoughts.

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I run because others can’t. One of the main responses I get when I tell people I am a runner is, “That’s awesome! I wish I could run.” I run because I still have the ability to run. Some can’t run because of major impairments: missing limbs, paralyzed, or wheelchair bound. While others can’t run because of what could be seen as minor impairments to others but major impairments to themselves: weight, age, painful joints, feet, ankles, shins, hips, health reasons, etc. Whatever the reason, some people can not physically run. I run for them. I run because God has blessed me with the ability to run so I am going to keep running till I can no longer!

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I run because I love to challenge myself. I love to push myself to the limit and then surpass it. I never knew how strong I was till I started running. Now I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I can crush every obstacle in my way and accomplish any goal. My main goal in life is to inspire, motivate others, and to change lives. I run because I see how running can do all of that and more. I see how my running inspires others. I know running can change lives because it has changed mine. I have truly learned who I am because of running. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Because of running I know that I am a badass unicorn and I am unstoppable. Watch out world!

–Sarah B.

So why does Kayla run?

Some of these may end up being the same as Sarah’s or similar, but maybe that will just make someone want to start running!

I run to be in control. I get told a lot that I am a controlling person. In all honesty, though, I feel like I don’t control that much in my life. I can control running. Only I can make the choice to actually put my shoes on and get on the road. I can control how far I am going to go. I can control my breathing. I can control which direction I go in. I get to choose everything when it comes to running. And it’s pure bliss.

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I run to be closer to Mother Nature. The photo above was taken by my aunt while I was running in Cocoa Beach. All I want to do is be outside. Running gives me a chance to reconnect with the world, even if it is a solo endeavor. I am able to get in touch with nature. I see a lot of neat things while running. Sunrises, raccoons, deer, puppies, armadillos, even snakes. I travel frequently for work and running has given me the ability to fearlessly explore these new places. There is a great sense of peace and serenity in running. It really is the best form of therapy.

I run for food. And beer. As any inner fat kid turned runner knows, after spending two hours on a long run the best thing about the end is the chance to eat. When I am struggling, I like to think of what I get to eat. And I don’t feel so guilty when I want another beer! It is all about balance though. It is easy for new runners to overeat and find themselves gaining weight. I don’t think losing weight needs to be the focus, you’ll most likely shed some pounds and can brag to your friends about how strong you are. As long as you find balance in your food choices. It’s about being healthy, not skinny.

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I run to inspire people. Now, I did not start running to inspire people. I started for weight loss. I did a 5k and was hooked! Along the way, I began sharing my journey through social media and with my family. All of sudden, I had people telling me that I was the reason they started running. They were asking me for advice and wanting to hear when I ran so they would to. When you have people looking up to you in that way, it actually inspires you to be better. I was able to encourage one of my best friends to run her first 5k (Emmy and me pictured below for the Wicked Wine Run 5k). I’m seeing a pattern, there was booze at the end! The community that comes with running has been such a welcoming experience. I always thought runners were stuck up…NOPE! Most runners want everyone to be great, at any pace.

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I run to challenge myself. So my last reason is the same as Sarah’s. I think everyone can benefit from doing something that isn’t easy. Running hasn’t become easier in the last two years. I have found ways to keep it challenging *cough*marathon*cough* I love how I feel when I get done with a really hard run, hell, any run for that matter. There has never been a run I’ve regretted. There have been runs that didn’t go my way but I still come out proud of myself. I haven’t given up on myself. Being able to fail and still conquer the challenge is satisfying. I never thought I would be a runner, but here I am. Being all badass working my way to a new goal.

With love,

K