Category Archives: Running

10 Reasons I’m Thankful for Running

trail running | happyfitmama.com

10 Reasons I’m Thankful for Running

1. It makes my legs strong and muscular. I may not squat heavy weights like I used to, but my legs still look like I do. My stems can carry me up mountains and through many miles without complaining one bit. Except for the occasional injury, but we won’t think about that right now.

2. It gets me outside. The more time I’m outside being active, the more sane I am. I love to see the world around me on a run. Whether it’s a sunrise, the fall leaves, the ocean, or cute little neighborhoods, it’s all better while seen on my run.

3. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. To hear a non-runner exclaim, “You ran how many miles???” always makes me stand up a little taller. Yeah I did that. And I’ll probably run farther tomorrow.

4. It keeps me focused. When I don’t run, I’m distracted. I forget to pick up my kids from school. With it, I can sort, plan and just think out any problem. I may not always have the solution, but at least I can quiet the other noise in my head and focus.

5. New shoes, clothes and gear. No explanation needed, right?

Saucony shoe love | happyfitmama.com

6. It’s always there. I can run anywhere, anytime. It’s never closed. I don’t need a membership card.

7. It’s opened up new opportunities. Did I ever think that I would be running the Honolulu Marathon? Or running the Boston Marathon with Team Stonyfield in 2015? A far fetched dream that is now becoming a reality.

8. It makes me feel alive. The moment in a 5k when every muscle in your body is burning, pleading for you to stop. The moment when your lungs are screaming as you run up, what seems like, the 10,000 hill repeat. The moment when you are so drenched in sweat from a run that it looks like you went swimming. My body is functioning and healthy. That’s when I feel the most alive.

9. It’s taught me life lessons. Set goals, work hard, dedication, persistence, patience – you get what you put in. It’s that simple.

10. It’s brought new friends to my life. In the past year or so, I’ve been blessed to have found some really great running friends. Our runs have been a time to get together, chat nonstop, laugh and just sweat it out. There really is nothing better than bonding over a run.

Team #islagiatt group 1 | happyfitmama.com

I’m also thankful for each and every one of you! I can not thank you enough for being a part of my little section of the internet. I appreciate it!

I’m planning on taking the rest of the week off to spend some time with the family. Next week I’ve got the ultimate gift guide for runner’s that includes some pretty sweet prizes. You won’t want to miss that!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

Distracted

Fall leaves and sunshine | happyfitmama.com

Lately I’ve been feeling very distracted.

It started about 5 weeks ago.

My mom, who is a 17 year survivor of breast cancer, was having some health issues. More testing needed to be done to be determine what was going on. The big C word was thrown out into the universe by her doctor.

For anyone who has gone through cancer treatment (yourself or as a family member), you could have been told you won a million dollars in the next breath. But all you would have heard was CANCER. Your worst fear coming back to haunt you.

When my mom told me, it just so happened that it was the same week that my Achilles and SI/L5 injuries occurred. Normally, running is one of my coping mechanisms. The feelings of ‘What ifs’ towards my mom’s health swirled in my brain like fall leaves in a wind storm.

Without being able to run, the thoughts stewed in my brain, growing, distracting me. My focus? What focus?

One Monday, I forgot to pick my kids up from school. I drove right past the exit to their school. The only thing I remember thinking was “Cool. No traffic back ups today!” It finally dawned on me that it was really, really quiet in the car about two miles from home. And did I mention that it was 5:50 p.m. and school closes at 6 p.m.? Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic back to school so I made it on time. BUT they were the last kids in their classroom. There goes my Mother of the Year award!

Another day, I received a text from Ron while I was at work.

“Are we leaving the doors wide open and unlocked now when we go to work?”

Yup. I forgot to close and lock the door when leaving for work that morning. Our house was wide open for 9 hours. Thankfully no one discovered my big whoops.

Find your strong | happyfitmama.com

Running for at least 20 minutes produces a natural chemical called Serotonin, which allows us to feel calm, centered, focused and happy.  How cool is it that we have this  built into our system to allow us to focus better? Sure I was still working out and getting the sweaty, feel good endorphins. But those endorphins have nothing on the running variety. They are seriously the best around.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about running as a therapy. I definitely don’t think it’s the cure all for every problem. But it definitely is my therapy.

I can sort through my problems while I’m out by myself on a run. The road is a good listener even if no words are spoken. Or I can sweat it out with my best running friends on a long run, leaving every thought, concern and what if on the pavement with each passing mile. I can come home from a run focused and ready for the day. I feel like my memory is enhanced. I’m not so distracted.

Late last week, my Mom got the pathology results back from all her testing.

NO CANCER!

Best two words ever. And I’m on my way back to running. I can tell a difference in my mood and focus even with a short, 3 miler. There may be chaos and stress all around me, but I’ve got my running shoes to help me out.

Running truly is so much more than running.