{Motivation Monday-100 Happy Days}

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Life always seems to fly by at such a crazy pace. The days pass by in a blur, moments go unnoticed, and often it feels like I didn’t take time to enjoy what the day had to offer. Moments of happiness, joy, contentment, and laughter can be found in each day, but we have to make time for them-something I fail to do too often.

Starting today I’m making a point to set aside a few moments each day to celebrate something to be happy about for the next 100 days. The 100 Happy Days Challenge will not always be easy. Some days are filled with happy moments while others can be overlooked. Some days it is easy to forget all the good things we have in our lives. Β The advantages to taking on this challenge are numerous, and we could all use a little slowing down and smelling the roses.

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Running also has many mental facets and challenges. Training the mind to see things in a more positive way can benefit you on your next difficult run, speed session, or bonked race. Join me in my 100 day happy challenge! You can follow my 100 days of happy on Instagram (#100happydays), too. Β What do you have to lose?

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And a little something to get your Monday started in a happy direction…

Happy Monday!

{Motivation Monday-It feels like the first time…}

Two weekends ago when running the Glow in the Deke 5k with my best friend I got to experience the race from a perspective I haven’t been in a while…for the first time. My friend ran her first 5k without stopping to walk or take a break. She was someone who had been a non-runner just months before. I’m talking someone who always said she HATED running. I was sooo proud of her!

While running with her I reminisced over what it felt like to run two miles and three miles for the first time. It reminded me of what it felt like to run when a couple miles was the most I’d ever ran, and when I finished my first half marathon, and 16 miler, and 20 miler, and marathon. And guess what? The feeling is the same no matter how many miles you run. Anytime you run a distance you haven’t before, the pride you feel when you hit stop or cross that finish line are the same. You feel so accomplished, prideful, emotional, excited, and tired.
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“At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.”

My friend shared how she felt emotional as she came around that last corner of the track thinking about how she was finishing a distance she had worked hard to complete. I didn’t tell her, but those emotions are not just something she experienced. Stand at the finish line of most races and you see it in people’s faces and body language-emotions. I once read somewhere that a marathon finish line is a melting pot of emotions, and I couldn’t agree more.

Some people are running for others who can’t, in memory of a significant person in their life, to overcome, to succeed, to move on, to start new, to test their limits, and for reasons we can’t begin to understand. Running races and finishing new distances makes you feel real and raw in a different way hence the wide range of emotions. Take two minutes of your day and check out the raw emotions this amazing photographer caught at the finish of this year’s Twin Cities Marathon earlier in October. I promise it is worth it; I teared up and couldn’t stop smiling at the same time!

Many a times I’ve fought back tears when crossing the finish line whether it is a new distance, an especially challenging race, or being so overcome with joy and pride at something I worked so hard for. Many times these emotions are strongest the first time and we forget the feeling of being a new runner. It was great to be reminded of those challenging days when you never knew how a run would feel or if you would survive it.
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I loved being around other runners who seemed to be new to running, too. I was overcome with pride for them. Seeing others do something I love and watching them experience it in a positive way makes me so excited. While most of us wouldn’t want to go back to the very first time we ran (or a first time at a distance), this week run for the first time. Run a new distance, a new route, with a new friend, or at a new time. Take a run around a route where you first began to run and reminisce of over those first miles where you became a runner one step at a time. Take those first steps or celebrate how far you’ve come!
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“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.”

Happy Monday!

{Friday Fab 5}

This week was one of those weird weeks where it feels like I can’t believe today is Friday and TGIF.
{#1-I heart pumpkin anything…especially pumpkin dip}

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I ate mine with apples and it was the perfect fall snack! Warning: this recipe makes a lot. I’d recommend cutting it in half if you don’t want a huge bowl!

{#2-Wine & Memories}

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Ryan and I cracked a bottle of wine last weekend and added our cork to our vase with corks inside. Per a Pinterest idea I found a while back, we’ve started dating and writing what we were doing when drinking the wine on the cork. It is a fun way to look back at all the little celebrations we’ve had. The wine was purchased while in Texas Hill Country while on vacation this past summer. Another tradition we’ve started is buying local wines while visiting places and saving them for future dates to reminisce and enjoy the places we visited.

{#3-Getting back in the groove…the running groove}

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They say it takes 21 days to make a habit and I’d agree most of the time. Lately I’ve only been running with the cross country kids and not so much on my own. While it saves time, I don’t get that I’m a runner and I loved that run feeling, so this week I started my mission of getting in some quality runs solo after practice. I managed a blissful, geeked out smile 8 miler and a recovery 4 miler in addition to practice runs. This week was about falling in love with running all over again runs. More on those later!

{#4-Chicken Quinoa Chili}

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This was one of my freezer meals I wrote about in August and let’s just say…AMAZING!

{#5-Fall Runs}

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I’ve made it a goal to really enjoy fall outdoors (and not just by running) since it is my favorite way to experience the season. What are your fall goals?

Oh, and it’s not too late to sign up for the Glow in the Deke 5k this Saturday. It is a great family event and you can read more about it here.
Happy Weekend! πŸ˜‰