Happy New Year’s Day all! I’m thrilled to be writing this post, on this, my last day off from work, my last official Run Streak Day and my first official day of Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon training. I’ve enjoyed a week of celebration and laughter with family and friends and have truly relished my time away from work.
Christmas was a joy this year and Mother Nature came through for Cleveland with beautiful snow on December 26th. I spent the last week of my running streak lifting my knees high to trudge through sidewalk snow, sliding on ice and slush on the street and finally heading to the trails of North Chagrin Reservation for what was the best run I enjoyed all year. Beautiful, untouched snow, majestic views and the quiet that only a winter forest can give you. Today, I hit day 41 of daily running and I can honestly say that the streak has changed me and changed my running. Giving myself the gift of time each day to focus on something I love has made a huge difference in my life. I’m happier. I’m less likely to find excuses to avoid getting out the door. I skipped music and once again got used to listening to the sound of my own breathing while I ran. I ran alone, with my husband, with my kids, with my brother-in-law and with my dog. I found a way to get through 41 days of doing something that was challenging and required a reserve of dedication. And I am better for it.
Today, I began my 20 week training plan to get ready for the Cleveland Marathon. I’m following a beginner’s plan for the marathon that I found in my copy of “Marathoning for Mortals” by John “The Penguin” Bingham. John is a former Runner’s World columnist and one of my favorite running authors. He refers to himself as an “adult-onset athlete” and I’ve always found his writing and reflection on running to be the most parallel to my own feelings. His plan is conservative, builds gradually and includes 5-6 workouts (running+cross training) a week. If you’re a new runner, or are thinking of trying a new distance this year, I highly recommend this book. If you’re a seasoned runner, I still recommend checking it out, especially for his inspirational writings in Chapter 15. It’s in those pages that John’s words become especially meaningful for me and are featured on the poster below.
Here’s to happy running in 2013 and for having the “courage to start!”