Sunday, October 14, 2012


A year ago my identity as a "runner" began. I can't believe I have been running for a whole year. I always say I don't even like running that much. Runners - yep, sure do love them. Events - can't miss out on those! Medals, post race beers, even toe blisters and compression sock tan lines - can't live without them. But every morning, when I stand in the race corrals, I ask myself why the heck I'm there. Why am I going to torture myself? Don't I know that I don't like running?! 

The thing is I secretly love running. 

I love the opportunity it gives me to quiet my mind. I can lace up and leave the world behind as I log miles. On really long runs I am always astounded that my legs got me to my destination. Very few things give me the sense of power, fulfillment and accomplishment as using my body to physically traverse long distances. The thing is, on those long runs I often don't push myself very fast. I'll fly for 5k, but 10 miles - nope, those miles are for me. I savor them. It's the part of my week where there are no judges and no challengers. For some reason it is the one time I'm really not competitive. And I need that time so badly. But inevitably, some race day, I am beating myself up for not training harder or faster. On race day I want to win and racing when you haven't trained to properly race isn't fun. It is not true that I don't like running. I live to run. I love to run. I don't train to win and I hate to lose. 

I'm getting a bit off topic. Really what I want to share is that a year ago this weekend I ran in my first ever half marathon! I flew down to San Francisco by myself, stayed in a hostel and had the most terrifying and rewarding weekend of my life. 

Here are the before and after shots: 

13.1 miles of sweat, hills, exhaustion and accomplishment. 

Getting this guy at the finish line didn't hurt too bad... 

A year later and I still rock this baby every chance I get. It reminds me that there are no limits on what I can do, as long as I put in the work and show up. 

And now, a year later, I am so grateful that I showed up on that foggy Bay Area morning. There were so many reasons not to show up. I didn't have a friend to do it with. I only trained for seven weeks. I was scared. I wasn't sure I could do it. In the last twelve months I have completed two more half marathons and a full marathon. I've run countless midweek 5k's at my various run clubs. I gained the confidence to join CrossFit and the determination to succeed in the box. Most importantly I've met so many amazing people {including myself}. 

Does that sound too weirdly third person? 
Sorry, maybe its corny, maybe its weird, but either way it is true. 

Now that I have a year under my belt I'm not letting anything take that away from me. I can have other goals for upcoming years; specific goals, distance goals, speed goals, etc. But I never want to go back to the girl I was before this year. I've spent the last year (as they say in crossfit) "training for life." I'm not the best athlete, I'm not the fastest or the most aggressive. But I am fit enough to sign up for activities, complete them and have fun doing it. I can sign up for my first triathlon two weeks before the event and do more than just survive. I can take two months off CrossFit and PR my consecutive pull-ups on my first day.

I love having this year of experience behind me. I love having a foundation behind me, a bank of miles and experience to draw on. I'm always amazed when I meet women who have been competing for a decade or olympic-lifting for six years. Those numbers sound so big to me. One year might not be the biggest number, but it is a start -- and now that I have started there is no stopping me. 

So now that the year is past and another year of fitness commences, I want to narrow my focus. 

Another question is "What am I doing now that will matter a year from now?" 

Obviously I knew running the half marathon was an accomplishment and an identity I could retain for the rest of my life, but I'm not sure I was intentionally choosing the event because of who I would become during the next year. This year I want to be more intentional.

  Let's stop sweating the small stuff and start sweating to sparkle. 

Don't worry about the things you won't remember or care about a week, a month or a year from now. Be intentional. Discover your passions and nurture them. Be excited about who you will be a year from now. I know I am. Can't wait to see what fitness adventures and challenges await me. 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle 


  1. So when are you starting your career as a motivational speaker? No joke, you have a real knack for it! Thanks for reminding me to sparkle!
    - Jamie

  2. Thanks girl! Maybe if this whole graduate school thing doesn't work out... : )