Celebrating strength (in running)

I think we should celebrate our strengths. 
…a helluva a lot more often than we’re accustomed to.

So today? I’m celebrating the strength I found in running this past weekend. 

I ended up running three days in a row, something I’m not known to do often or at all, really. I like to give my legs time to rest, coming back stronger the next go-round. However, after a few days off from running last week and the way my plans ended up rolling out this past week/weekend, I ended up running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I will say that I had every intention of nixing the Sunday run, pushing it to sometime later this week if I needed to. But I woke up bright and early on Sunday, sun was shining, and I was ready to run.

Ready to runafter two really good, really strong runs the previous two days. 
I celebrated that strong moment. It was a brief celebration, but I made sure to stop and note it in my mind before Scott and I took off for our run. (note: we saw the cutest little bunny on this run, he was a little guy, so soft and furry…it took every ounce of self-control not to run after the bunny in an attempt to befriend him).

Backing up a bit. Saturday’s run. Our first “long run” of our official Chicago marathon training plan.
We ran 8 miles. I was wicked PMS-y (sorry, TMI for the male readers). I legit thought I might puke near the last mile and a half.
…and then, it happened.

I started to let go just a little bit more. A little bit more than I have in a long time as a runner. My mind freed itself from all the crazy thoughts that typically run around up there. And I focused. On the strength I was finding in my legs. As I rounded the final turn and we made our way the final half mile, I felt my legs pushing off the ground, gripping the surface, drawing energy from the pavement and plowing along. I have never felt that before. The sensation of the muscles in my legs working — stabilizing me, centering me, propelling me forward.

I felt strong. It felt so awesome.
(but, I won’t lie — I was really glad to see these 8 miles done, I was hurting by the end. Nothing a bowl of oatmeal and a picnic in the park later that day wouldn’t fix!)

Backing up again. To Friday’s rundate with my fit bestie, Steph. We ran a familiar route to us — one we used to run every single week the first time we trained together for our first half marathon. It was our ‘long run route’ at the time. On Friday, we went with a 7.5 mile route. And made sure to ‘save up’ a few topics to discuss on the run to make sure the time would go by quickly. And lemme tell ya — that trick totally worked. What also worked? That I was feeling so rested from those few days off, and despite my best attempts at jinxing myself with Friday’s post, it was a killer good run.

Again, I walked away from that run feeling strong.

Strong is beautiful. Strong ought to be celebrated.

So today, I’m celebrating my strength and urging each of you to dig deep today to find your strength — and when you do, please own it, please share it, please embrace it.  

Source: tumblr.com via Lauren on Pinterest

31 thoughts on “Celebrating strength (in running)

  1. Ran 8 miles yesterday, too (12.8 kilometers, that is :)) Half of it uphill, half of it downhill. Mainly through the forest. Sometimes I had to stop and take a deep breath as it was raining the night before and the earth, trees and plants smelled like heaven. It was absolutely lovely. BTW: I like the picture!

    • Oh I just love the idea of you stopping to take a deep breath, truly BREATHING in those moments along your run vs. just letting them whiz past you along with the miles.

    • Strong is drop-dead gorgeous if you ask me. 🙂
      And yes, the three-in-a-row is not something I usually do so it 1) made me feel wicked strong and 2) reminded me that I CAN go back to back without killing myself…and even though I won’t do that often, it is nice to know that the body can handle it!

  2. Great post! I ran 4 days in a row last week and felt exactly the same way! It’s so empowering isn’t? I also love that photo at the end!

  3. RUN STRONG!! You did, like whoa, and I love that, because it ‘rubs off’ on me the next time I run and try not to let the mental game get to me. It is amazing what a few days rest on the legs running-wise does for the next run. Almost ALWAYS strong and good! I felt that way on Sunday’s run in Maine!

    • GOOD! I want to rub off on you as much as I can running-wise — I sometimes wonder if you don’t know/recognize your own strength. I mean, you just knocked out some pretty awesome runs the past few times out, yet you still have that mental block that you fear and/or pops up on you now and then. I want you to nix it for good in the worst way!! Maybe this is the way to do it – celebrate your own strength every day, either with positive affirmations, a blog post ‘note to self’ or something in between, even.

  4. Love this, sounds like you’re right on track for the Chicago marathon. I remember seeing a little of it after the Cathe road trip in Texas and on the route home. I think there was nearly a plane full of Irish people who completed the marathon. Come next year and do the Dublin marathon if you like and you can stay with me.

  5. Jess, I don’t know what else to say other than I need you to send those vibes my way. LOL You’ve got this training in the bag. You’re on the right track, and your mentality is spot-on. I’m jealous, really. I wish my 8-miler on Sunday was this good…but it wasn’t. My mind was NOT in it…but I’ll move past it, and yes…it was PMS, heat, sun, humidity, hydration, stomach problems, you name it…it was working against me. I needed to hear this. Desperately.

    • Hey you know what? We ALL have those runs where mentally you are not “there” but physically you push through. That’s far more important in my mind — the pushing through it, aspect. You’ll need that “dig deep” push during the race, so think of it that way when you look back at that super-tough 8-miler. You dug deep. It’s practice for the race, that’s all. You know what I’m saying?

  6. Isn’t the last bit of a long run the best when you can push it and give it all you’ve got? That’s my favorite way to end a long run!!
    You kicked butt this weekend – three days in a row PLUS 7.5 and then 8 the following day is super impressive. Your legs will thank you for this work come October =)

    • YES it’s absolutely such a killer feeling when you find that you have that teeny tiny kick left to get through to the end. Love when it happens (and it doesn’t happen ALL the time so I embrace it when my body responds like I want it to).

      And thank you for the pep talk about my running this weekend – you are good for my run-confidence!!

  7. Yes, strong over skinny- so true! Good for you, Jess- that’s an awesome weekend! So nice to have those confidence-building runs.

    • You’re right, I sometimes impose too many “rules” on myself so I’m glad that this weekend I went with it and made sure to just go by how I felt vs. my “rules” and things. Totally worth it this time!

      • I know what you mean about the rules. I definitely do it too. Usually it’s to protect me from myself!!! But sometimes you end up using them as a crutch I think. Oh I can’t run b/c I’ve already run….or I can’t run 10 miles b/c it’s not in the plan that says to stop at 9. Sometimes good. Sometimes we hold back.

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  9. Awesome awesome Jess! Last week must’ve been an “on” week for running or something – I ran my best ever quarter mile (6:44 pace), then the NEXT day ran an average 8:30 for 3 miles with my final mile being the fastest.

    Perhaps it’s all of my “un-training”?! 🙂

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