Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the love of Running

People run for a variety of reasons and for some those reasons can change daily. We thought we would share with you why each of us love running in a way to help you get to know each of us better and to explore what made you fall in love with running. We have found that sharing stories both motivates us and others by finding we can all relate.

Dana: Some days I run to loose myself, some days I run to find myself. Running is a way for me to feel like I'm in control. I can control how far and how fast. I have running to thank for finding my identity again. Runners are determined, powerful, strong, and when they set their mind to something... they see it to the finish line. All the things I am and strive to be on the road and off. The feeling I get when finishing a run is a high that is somewhat hard to describe, I am able to leave the days stress and emotional junk all out on the pavement all the while pushing my body further than I ever thought and accomplishing more than I ever thought I could. Being a part of the running community and the bonds and friendships made all because of the same shared passion is priceless! 

Dawn: The reason I love to run has changed. I began running to get in shape and all in all for my general health. I began slowly with the couch to 5k, and when I say slowly I mean slowly. I would do days and weeks over and over again. Then as I got more confident with my running and some nudging from my sister I wanted to go further. I trained for a hald marathon then a full marathon. Now, my love has changed again. It's not about my health and it's not about the next goal it's about ME! I don't mean that in a selfish way I mean it as if I get my run in my spirits are higher, my energy levels are higher and physically feel better. All of this helps me be a better wife, mother, friend or whatever hat I need to wear. I can be there for the people who need me the most! You have to take care of "Me" to be able to take care of "We"!

Debi: Running has taught me to push myself beyond my comfort zone and to stop letting things that intimidate me control my actions. It has helped me learn to believe in myself, and realize that all things are possible if you put your mind to it and do the work. I didn't realize ow much love running until I got injured which allowed me to see how much it meant to me. I started running because I was inspired to do something so much bigger than me. I continued because that's also where I found my self, my strength, and my perseverance! I love to run after I get off work at night, it helps take away the stress from the day, but my favorite runs are with friends. There is nothing better than going out for a long run with a friend and talking and laughing the miles away.

Janell: Why I love to run has evolved for me over the years. In the very beginning it was a means to an end. I needed to get back in shape and I enjoy the discipline of training programs so it worked. It then became something I loved and felt passionate about making my schedule work to fit it in. The relationships kindled and grown from my favorite running buddies to showing me I could accomplish distances I simply never thought possible. Running is empowering and humbling and let's face it; we can all use a little more of both of those things in our lives.

Jennifer: Running is a 5-step process of love for me. It humbles me when I run through the woods at sunrise and glimpse the world and it's beauty. I love that it pushes me to know that each mile offers more satisfaction and achievement than the last. I love that it's empowering, as I tackle challenges in one area of life, discipline and strength show up in other areas too. I love the high after a run that not only feels good in the moment but attributes to my overall health. And the last stage of my love of running, is the community and camaraderie of it all, that even if you're running by yourself, you're never running alone.

Stacey: Why do I love to run? It's simple really: I love to eat! :) Pizza, pasta, steak, cakes, cookies and donuts. Haven't met many foods I don't like. I really started running almost 25 years ago after I put on my freshman 15. I was walking but then I realized I could cover more miles in less time if I just ran instead. Now, I do it because I love it. Like the others, I love to run because it makes me feel better both physically and mentally. I love a quiet run alone as well as a run with a friend or with my sister. I love an early morning run at sunrise or an evening run after dark. I love a warm summer run and even a crisp, cold run in the winter. I love a familiar route as well as discovering new territory. It's that simple, I love to run!

One of the many reasons that running continues to unite our group and so many others it that no matter what your story is, how fast you are, where you come from or how athletic you are, you can run and we love that. Running doesn't discriminate. Join us!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lost My Focus

Seven weeks ago, a race was cancelled, the St. Jude Marathon. This was a race that I was so excited to complete just like so many others! This race is so special to me because it becomes so much bigger than just a marathon, it's about the kids of St. Jude Hospital. The race course even exemplifies that as we run through St. Jude campus and past Target house (where many families with children being treated at St. Jude reside).

We trained for 18 weeks, now what? As the weeks progressed following the cancellation, we all had to decide if we were going to give up our race entries or defer to another race. We were given a choice of three races to choose from. All of the GRT901 girls chose to defer to Country Music Marathon in Nashville, with the exception of myself. I chose to defer my entry to the soonest marathon that worked for Cecilia's and my schedules. We decided to do the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon.

Once that decision was made, we had to get back to training, and it has been hard. My body does not feel as strong as it did in the weeks leading up to St. Jude. The holidays took it's toll on my running schedule, and it's been difficult to get back to a routine. We have been trying to make a training schedule that won't over train us to avoid injury, but also get us across that finish line.

But since that day when we ran our makeshift St. Jude race anyway, I have lost focus on why we are running.

The other day Cecilia asked me if I was planning to wear my St. Jude singlet on Race Day and I said no, and spent the next few miles wondering why she asked. In my mind I kept thinking, we aren't running St. Jude so why would we. It didn't even occur that she never got to run her race and wear it, looking back, I feel awful about that!  Later that day Janell sent me a message asking if I had seen a post on Facebook by Fellow Flowers. You see, Tori from Fellow Flowers has trained hard and planned to run St. Jude. From talking with her at the expo, we found out she had raised money and felt the same sense of the race being bigger than a finish line as well. Tori deferred her entry to R'n'R Phoenix and raced this past weekend in her heroes singlet!

Reading her posts from before and after the race was a wake up call for me! Even though we won't be covering those miles in Memphis, we are still running as St. Jude Heroes! We raised money to benefit those families suffering, we trained for 18 weeks because we were "Running for a Reason" and that reason has not changed!

So in less than 2 weeks we will run for the kids of St. Jude, every single mile! This race is bigger than a finish line, and worth all those extra weeks of training.

The next time you're plans change due to race cancellation, injury, or something else, don't loose focus on why you decided to challenge yourself. That reason doesn't have to change. It may be delayed, but sometimes that makes the journey all that more worth it! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

We want to be your running partner

Girls Run the 901 is excited to announce a weekly run partnering with Breakaway Running. Starting Tuesday, January 28th at 6pm, Girls Run the 901 will be heading out weekly from the Wolf River/Germantown store for a run. These group runs are open to all types and levels of runners. Group runs are a great way to help with consistency in your running schedule as well as always having running partners to get you through.

These weekly runs will start at 6 from the store with a mapped out 3.5 mile route on the Greenway Trail. Runners are encouraged to do more or less mileage, by all means, whatever you are comfortable with. As it will still be dark, please wear bright or reflective clothing, so as to be seen, even if only by other runners on the trail. Headlamps or bike blinkers or glow sticks could come in handy as well.

Here is a view of the route of the 3.5 mile run.

While all 6 of us would love to attend every week, with our schedules with family, work, etc at least one if not more of us will be there. We want to make this a priority for us and are looking forward to running with you.
Bring yourself, bring your friends, but just be sure to join us starting at the end of the month for a weekly fun run!