Run 2,015 in 2015 Update

This year I set out to run 2,015 miles in 2015 with my friend Lisa at Early Morning Run and her husband Woody. That breaks down to about two miles per day per person. And so far, with this winter’s snow and slush, I am a bit behind in my mileage…about 40 miles behind. Yikes, I know. So Saturday I got up, saw what a beautiful day it was, and headed out for an unexpected ten miles run.

It definitely wasn’t my fastest 10 miler, but it sure was enjoyable. It was my longest run this year and it was my first long run in a while where I was not training for a marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I love running long distances. I love training for marathons (otherwise, I wouldn’t run them) but it was incredibly exhilarating setting out for a run and not knowing how long I was going to run. I told myself I would run until I wanted to stop, no matter how short or how long I had gone. So I ran. I ran and I ran, and I ran. And ten miles later, I found myself not once thinking about pace, hydration, chaffing, recovery, the course, or anything else. I honestly didn’t even think about how far behind I was in the 2,015 in 2015 challenge. Instead, I focused on the many things for which I was grateful. I started with being grateful for the beautiful day, and just continued to make the following list in my head:

I am grateful for the warmth of the sun. Without it, it would feel much colder than twenty-five degrees.

I am grateful for the cold – it numbed any insignificant pain burn that would normally distract me or slow me down. (This is different from pain – if you ever feel pain while working out, you should get it checked out!)

I am most grateful for legs that would cooperate and run with me. They hadn’t run further than six miles in the last four months, and they didn’t fight the long run. Thank you, legs, for being willing to go the distance without notice.

I am again grateful for the cold. The cold keeps casual strollers out of Central Park. Only the serious runners and bikers are out when it’s cold. I love it!

I am grateful to be able to call NYC and Central Park my playground. I have one of the best running routes in the world.

I am grateful to run past people who acknowledge what I am doing. We pass each other going opposite directions and give each other a nod. This is what I love most about the running community – we support each other because we know that what we are doing is hard work.

I am grateful that I can afford a $3 cup of coffee from Le Maison Kayser (my favorite) after my run. And the $2 chocolate citron cookie too, because after ten miles I’m allowed a cookie, dammit!

See, when you vocalize all the things you are grateful for, you neither have the time nor the option to focus on the bad stuff: the burn, the discomfort, or the voice in your head that you can’t do something. When we practice gratitude, we remind ourselves of all the blessings we have and find reason to keep going. And when you keep going, you find yourself living a life far better than you imagined.

This week, whether at work or the gym, I challenge you to find three things you are grateful for every day. And focus only on that. Use that to fuel your run, your next workout, or to help you get through Monday. I’d love if you’d share what you’re grateful for today in the comments below. I’d love to celebrate them with you.


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  • Sam Emrich

    Love the gratitude list to push you through. 2,015?! Go girl

    • Sam – 2,015 miles split amongst three people…comes to about 676 miles per person, which is about two miles per day. Didn’t think it would be challenging but with the snow it is!

  • This is so great Grace – what an amazing way to pass the miles! As I start building up from 4 to 13 over the next few months, I’d love to remember this little gratitude practice. Way better than spending our precious energy complaining. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • @dcfitcrasher:disqus – I’m so excited for you as you train. I know there will be many moments when you’ll thank your body for getting you through those tough training days. So inspired by your training!

  • Just going out for a run and seeing where it takes you is the best kind of run. One of the things I love most about NYC is that you can literally just run till you get tired then hop on the subway and get home in no time. I’m so grateful to be doing this challenge with you because you remind me every day to be thankful for what I have – including the fact that I have such an incredible friend and I’m able to run.