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20130704 Lutz 5K cropped 5x7This journey to 2000 miles didn’t just begin in January 2015, but 4+ years ago when I laced up my shoes again after a long hiatus and car accident. I started out slow and steady and never thought I would run more than 3-6 miles. But once you hit 6 miles, at least from my experience, you just want to see how far you can go. So my 6 turned into half marathons to 15 milers. And somewhere along the way, huge yearly mileage goals that lead to the 2000 mile journey in 2015. But to get to this point, I needed a lot of help. Songs, people, races, etc. to keep me going.

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See me there??? Where’s Waldo Disney Princess style…LOL

One of the best things in my running history is the people I have met along the way. There is nothing like running with 24,000 other runners, all with the same attitude and love of running. Disney is what really set me up for long time running. My fellow yogi, Nikki, turned me on to half marathons and in 2013 I ran my first half with her along with 24,000 others at the Disney Princess Half. And I didn’t stop there.

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Lisa is the awesome one right behind me in the kick ass running skirt!!! See, perfect form!

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Jennifer and I at another half together!

Later that year, I went to a race by myself as my husband wasn’t in town and met a fantastic running partner, Jennifer. As soon as I met her, we hit it off and ran the challenge (both) days together. She is a great running partner. She is great right after the gun goes off. I am slow to start and can end well, but need help at the beginning and Jennifer is a strong start. She needs more help towards the end and that is what makes us a great team. We both get each other through the race! I have gotten to know her quite well since that race and am truly blessed to call her friend.
Shortly after that race, I was doing a Santa nighttime race, once again on my own, and met up with a gal I’ve “known” for a while through a chat board, yet had never met. Jenni was great! She is so energetic, happy and a great running partner. I wasn’t happy with how dark the course was, little to no light, and was sure I was gonna break an ankle. Jenni kept my spirits up and we finished quite strong in that 5k! I still keep in contact with her on the boards and always look forward to seeing her at races!
Recently, I decided to do the leprechaun challenge. My husband took me, but it was up to me on the course to get it done. So like most races, I try to fall in line with someone near my pace. And that is how I met the so very nice and generous and supportive Lisa ( the girl behind me in the cute running skirt!). Lisa and I fell into line with each other in our 10k right away only to realize we were both using each other as pacers!! LOL! She has great pace and I was able to keep up with her, while she chatted me and kept me going throughout the race, so I could PR it!! Recently, she followed my blog again to let me know that because of my 2000 miles it motivated her to run her first marathon this fall!!! GO LISA!!!
When you meet such amazing people like I have, there is a level of motivation you find that you thought you never could have. All three of these amazing women have pushed me to my limit and PR races and achieve goals I never thought I could!

IMG_4850Besides running buddies, I have found motivation and encouragement from my yogis and neighbors. About a year ago, an older neighbor started walking and I’d often see him while out on my runs. We’d chat as we passed, he’d cheer me on, and one day I noticed he was jogging and walking. When I was at my turn and took a break, he asked me about miles in the neighborhood and such. He then went on to tell me he had seen me run for a few years now and it inspired him to start walking. Well, walking turned to jog/walk intervals and now he is up to a couple of miles running! He often thanks me when we pass, gives me a kind word or two and gets excited to tell me how much he did that day! To me, hearing I inspired someone is one of the best compliments and motivation a person could give me! Here I struggle day in and day out on the roads but it was because I got out there no matter the weather or day and ran, I helped someone else. If that doesn’t get me out there I don’t know what will.
I am also always inspired and in awe of my yoga students. The flows I throw at them every day aren’t always easy and yet they tackle those routines like a boss! THey are some of the strongest, happiest, most inspiring yoga students I’ve ever had and they keep coming back for more. Plus, their excitement, interest and enthusiasm for my 2000 mile goal is 2nd to none. They have donated, encouraged me, asked me about it, gotten out there, shared my blog, etc. I am truly, truly blessed with my yoga classes! They are AMAZING people!

But the times I just cannot get pumped for a run or race and no one is with me, I have to dig deep to find motivation to get out there. So, often you can hear Roar, Fight Song, Girl on Fire, etc. type songs blasting from my workout room or car helping me get up for a run. There is something about a girl power song that makes me run like Rocky up the Philly stairs (and if anyone comments on “Who is Rocky” I’ll block you 🙂 ) Songs can definitely fire me up like no other.

So, the journey to my 2000 miles isn’t just me out there. It’s the amazing friends I have made, the students who make me smile every single day or the songs that ignite my running passion in me each and every day. And, I cannot thank you all enough for you continuous support to this blog, my running efforts and the SOWF. I am not sure I would have made it this far without my motivation!

THANK YOU! ❤

So, what motivates, inspires or encourages you?

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