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Found–My Love of The Run–Thanks Nuun!

Posted Apr 05 2013 3:05pm

I have talked a little bit recently about how I kind of lost my motivation .  And while I do think potential adrenal fatigue was the ultimate culprit, I think more of the real issue was I lost my love of the run.  It just left me after Marine Corps.  I had built MCM up so much in my head that at the end I was let down.

I was let down for a lot of reasons–I had trained hard for it and my training runs (despite having just run another full marathon 6-weeks earlier) seemed to indicate that I could at least break 3:50.  When I didn’t even come close to breaking 3:50 I was upset with myself.  I, in essence, shut down.  Instead of being thrilled that I not only successfully ran 2 marathons back to back 10-months after having a new baby; instead of being thrilled that

Dani at the finish of the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon

Dani at the finish of the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon

I ran it at a 3-minute PR for a 3:54 finish; and instead of being thrilled that I was able to raise awareness for the Semper Fi Fund and raise close to $1,600.00 for them–sure I put on a happy face, however internally I was beating myself up.  I’m 6-months removed from it now and I can say that other than seeing my friends on the course I hated every moment. Sure the conditions, for me and what I know my body runs well in, were not ideal, but ultimately I felt the pressures I was putting on myself to Race (with a capital R and not a small r if you know what I mean).  Somewhere along the line I lost sight of my reasons for running.

When January came around I decided I needed some new goals–hoping that the new goals would rekindle my passion and help me find my love of the run again.  I decided that I would set three:

1) PR in the 10-mile distance.  My current PR is old (2010) and I could do this without really trying, but I’m aiming for around 1:25-1:20.  It will be at the end of July, near the beach so lots of open roads with no cover–I’ve done this race before.  It will be challenging as the course gets congested easily.  But I want to try for it.  Focusing on a new distance might give me the oomph I need and have been searching for….

2)  I decided to forgo a spring marathon in favor of going for a Boston Qualifying time.  I know, I know….I’m talking about Racing again.  But I picked a course that I think will give me a good opportunity to be fast ( The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon ); and I’m focusing only on this and not trying to do two back to back marathons.

Boston Qualifying is something that I dream of at night.  I work in Boston and I see the

Fit Moms & Full Plates:  Goal #2--Run Boston

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Goal #2–Run Boston

signs everyday at this time of year.  I’ve run part of the course numerous times–including my first half marathon on it (The Katie Lynch Heartbreak Hill 1/2 Marathon).  I’ve helped train Pam on the course for her long runs when she ran with the Dana Farber Team.  Our other buddy Karen is running it this year–she qualified twice within 6-weeks last year.  It has meaning to me other than just a bucket list.  It means I’m good enough.  It means that I worked hard to get there.  It reminds me of my friends and all the wonderful times I’ve spent with them running–hours and hours of bonding and laughing and complaining about life.  It’s a fire I feel burning within me; a flame that gets larger with each race that passes, with each mile I run, with every footfall.  It’s not going to be easy.  My training is just ramping up and my cardio is a bit rusty.  The good news is that in my recent training runs my legs remember what to do and are not really rebelling yet; my coach assures me that the cardio will get there soon.  But going out and trying my best and instead of focusing on the number I need (3:40–a big jump from my current PR) I will focus on remembering WHY I want to run Boston.  In a little over one week, I will be standing along the Boston course waiting for Karen and my friend Katie and I know that flame will turn into a bonfire.  I will run Boston.  I will.  I feel it.

3) My third and final goal is potentially as difficult as getting a BQ time.  Yesterday I submitted my application for nunn’s Hood to Coast relay team –and it’s going to be hard getting selected because of all the great applications I have already seen since yesterday.

Nuun 2013 Flavor 3pack Sampler

Nuun 2013 Flavor 3pack Sampler

You all know my love of nuun.   I talked about it during our Favorite Things series at the end of last year .  There are only a few products and brands that I will use over and over again and never question–lululemon,, and nuun.  Since trying it back in 2010 when I was training for my first full marathon I have never looked back.  It is the perfect electrolyte replacement for me.  Other sports drinks give me sloshy belly–nuun doesn’t change the water’s texture.  It’s still the thickness of water…not a syrupy thick liquid.  It comes in various flavors that are all fantastic ( how excited am I that the summer pack is out?!  Guess who is ordering one?! ), and it’s something that I will recommend to anyone and everyone (and have)–I introduced it to a bunch of my running buddies.  My kids drink it.   We make freeze pops out of it when we are sick .  I have a tube on my desk at work for just drinking throughout the day.  It’s a product I just believe in 100%.  I will be a nuun user for life.

Having followed nuun and a few other bloggers for almost 3-years, I was familiar with the fact that nuun sponsors two teams of female bloggers to run the epic, mother of all relays, Hood to Coast.  If you are not familiar with Hood to Coast , it is a 200-mi relay over 24-hours from the top of Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon shoreline.  Each person on the team is responsible for running three legs of the race and when you are not running you are traveling in a van to the next handoff spot.  Running HTC is an experience that is a dream of mine, much like running Boston; being able to run HTC with a company like nuun that I truly respect and believe in, while running with other women bloggers who share similar interests would be the ultimate of experiences.

In order to apply for the nuun HTC team you needed to submit a creative application which shows nuun why you should be on the team and who you are.  Being on video is one area that is out of my comfort zone but I embraced it.  I had a great time producing my application.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use two songs that just make me happy–and as I added my photos and videos to the music it all hit me. There it was on the screen in front of me–my love of the run.  It was there all along.  It is in every single smile from races and training runs.  It’s in every memory of crossing the finish lines of the races I have run.  It’s in the medals hanging in my bedroom.  It’s on the course maps that hang on my wall in my office at work.  I love to run because it makes me happy.  It keeps me sane.  It grounds me.  It makes me feel as though I am good at something.  It shows my kids that running and fitness are something to be loved–not feared or dreaded.  It’s infectious.  I can put on my shoes and just go and run and come home and feel refreshed and renewed.  I had been so caught up in trying to do the potentially impossible last year given what I was coming back from, that I just lost sight of the simple fact that I enjoy running–it brings me joy.

Fit Moms & Full Plates:  Dani after her first half marathon

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Dani after her first half marathon

I was the girl who quit high school track because they wanted to make me a hurdler.  I thought that meant I wasn’t good enough to run.  I was the girl who didn’t think I was an athlete.  I can remember when I decided to run my first half marathon, the longest that I had previously run was 3.1 miles…that first run for training was 5-miles.  I can still remember the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.  I was proud of what I had accomplished.  I remember racing across the finish line at the HBH1/2 under 2-hours.  It was a secret goal I had and I had done it…on a course that included Heartbreak Hill!  I was the girl who cried when out alone on my long runs while 26-weeks pregnant saddened because I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all but realized I was 26-weeks pregnant and still running 10-miles!!  I was the girl whose daughter thinks that I win every.single.race I enter because I come home with a medal.  And you know what? Lil’ One is right–I do win those races.  I win those races because I get up and get out there and run.  I win those races because I love to run.  Because it renews me.  Because it gives me confidence.  Because it nourishes my soul as much as it does my body.  I run because I love it.

So, even if I don’t make it on to the nuun HTC team I have still accomplished Goal #3 for this year.  nuun has helped me find my love of the run again.  So, thank you nuun for helping me find what has been inside all along–my love of the run.  So, with that very long-winded and emotional post for me to write (again, I know–I’m the touchy feely half on here ha ha) I am sharing with you my 2013 nuun HTC video application.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I hope that you get a sense of who I am and why I love to run…and why I love nuun.


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