Grateful for Miles – Gratitude Challenge

Today I had a totally badass run.

I know, not the most eloquent way to put it.

This weekend was scheduled to be my 19-miler to prepare for the Quad Cities Marathon next month. Being your typical Type-A runner, with lofty goals, I decided why would I wimp out at 19 – might as well go for the big 20. (That was a little dumb, given that I had just done a 17-miler on Tuesday, but who needs recovery anyway?!)

Now let me tell you about this run.

I started out strong, clocking an 8:54 mile, which I initially thought was foolishly fast. As miles two and three passed and I continued to keep the pace I thought, OK – let’s get to mile five and reevaluate then. If anything, it will help lower my overall pace as I slack off toward the end, I thought. At mile five I focused on keeping sub 9:10 miles, setting the next benchmark of the 10 mile point.

Well, lucky for me, the first 10 miles were all uphill. No seriously, the whole first half was a gradual uphill slope. OK, so what’s my excuse to not keep the pace, or exceed it, during the second half?

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 4.46.50 PM

Now I can be criminal of zoning out on these long runs, but today I was totally in-tune with every movement and every breath. (Ok – I hate it when people say that. However, I was definitely in a zen state.)

But what I noticed more than anything was how grateful I was to even be out there on this 20 mile run. Each passing mile, attaining one more micro-goal, I felt so blessed. I was running, my body is strong, my surroundings are beautiful, and I am on the doorstep of an amazing new opportunity with grad school.

So as each mile ticked away, my pace still holding strong, I thought of something new to be grateful for.

I never eased off and I finished my run as strong as I started. 3:00:53 at a 9:02 pace. SO close to breaking 3:00. SO close to breaking the 9:00 pace. (But hey – I did average a sub 4:00 marathon pace for 20 miles, and that is pretty damn impressive if I say so myself.)

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 4.54.37 PM

Maybe I’m especially effected by endorphins, but I always get a serious runner’s high. Always. ALWAYS. Like literally every time I run.

Afterwards, while resting in bed (for four hours) I kept thinking about all that gratitude. I just finished the book “The Year of Living Biblically” where the author A.J. Jacobs tries to follow all the rules in the bible, literally.


I’m not religious and I honestly didn’t think the book was actually that good. But, he did talk about being thankful and how he became quite a bit more thankful the more he was actively praying about it. I think that consciousness is a pretty good thing.

So I’ve decided to start my own challenge that I’m going to call being Grateful for Miles. I’ll only post once a week, probably Mondays, but each day I plan on writing down what I’m grateful for – one entry for each mile I run that day. Some days there will be just a few, other days more or even a lot, and some days there will be none. I think challenges are good things, but breaks are even better, so rest days from running will serve as rest days for this challenge as well.

I put a lot of stock in being cognizant of all the good fortune and positivity in my life. I’m looking forward to this personal goal, and sharing it with you all as well.

I invite you to join me on Monday with your own Grateful for Miles Monday post!


2 thoughts on “Grateful for Miles – Gratitude Challenge

  1. Pingback: Grateful for Miles – 20 Miles, 20 Things to be Grateful For | Race for all 50 States

  2. I did this one November, writing down something I was thankful for each day as it lead up to Thanksgiving. You’d be surprised how once you start doing it, the list just gets bigger and bigger. You notice all sorts of things to be grateful for and it becomes really fun just contemplating all that goodness. I am grateful for you as my daughter, Kelly. It is so fun to follow your adventures and goal-setting.

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