“Don’t stop believin'” – by Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Nea Schon

The month has come to an end.  But the “journey” has not.  If you are a runner, running is a journey, and not a destination.  There are start lines, and there will always be a new beginning. At times there may be finish lines, but there really is no finish.

Any one can run… almost.*  Believe you can.  Start off slow.  Think you can.  Lace up you sneakers.  Get out there.

* unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so.

“Three is a magic number. Ya it is, it’s a magic number.” – Schoolhouse Rock

11:30 AM.  T minus 4 hours until party number three of the weekend.  That’s right!  Party number three.  Each party hosted by my husband and I in honor of our girls.

But a girl’s gotta run.  There’s been too much running around and not enough running.  Moving three mattresses back in place.  Picking up new toys and wrapping paper.  Wiping counters.  Vacuuming crumbs.  Discovery of three items left behind by guests.

Surprisingly after a day of snow, it is remarkable warm.  Just a long sleeve shirt, pants, sneakers, iphone, earbuds, and I’m off.

I need a challenge.  I push myself.  More side streets… here I come.  I conquer three!  (A few blend into each other but I’m calling them three for the sake of my next paragraph and the title of this post).

Three!  The magic number of the weekend!.  Three parties.  Three side roads.  Just about three miles of up hill.  Just about three miles of down hill.  (A little short of 3… final mileage 5.64). Three.

And today… Today will be our third day of partying.  My youngest will actually be four today!  Cupcakes at school, more presents, and a special dinner.

Three is a magic number.  I wish I could have gotten three more hours of sleep…

“Pump up the jam. Pump it up. While your feet are stompin’.” – Technotronic

This morning, I read an article entitled:

Should You Listen to Music While Running?*

This is a true debate I have gotten into with my husband, brother-in-laws and various friends.

I enjoy listening to music. Fast paced tunes ( 150+ beats per minute – the more the merrier), distraction (specially from looooooong distances), and the spark of memories.  Good reasons, right?  I remember recently a 42 minute mix helped me conquer a miserable 5 miles on the treadmill.  In fact, a treadmill run without music or a tv show is pure torture.  Torture I tell you!

As a youth, I never ran with music.  Those were the days of walkmans.  Big and bulky.  What were earbuds?  In college… it was pretty music the same thing.  I didn’t have such luxury items.  And I had still had some mix tapes in my possession but CDs were my purchase of choice.

So now?  I’ve been told real runners don’t use music.  They run with maybe a GPS watch and a dream.  That’s it.  I’ve tried this.  I think the longest run I did this with was an 8 miler.  And it was fine.  Of course this was outside on the trails on a beautiful day.  Leaving the iphone at home also took away from the stress of my buds falling out and the irritation of dings from texts.

So should I listen to music?  Pump up the jam on the treadmill I say.

Should I enjoy the sounds of silence? On those happy trails.

* full article available at http://www.runnersworld.com/workout-music/should-you-listen-to-music-while-running

“Get this party started on a Saturday night.” – Pink

I have these friends that run no matter what.  I mean really, no matter what!  They can always fill in it in no matter how busy… excuse me full… their day happens to be.  My friend may have run all or some combination of the following busy days of his life: the night before his wedding, the day of his wedding, and the day after his wedding.  Wow!  Now I’m always telling you can fit in time here or there.  But … secret time… I don’t often do as I say.  Today might be that day.  Shhhhh.

One full day coming right up.

Dentist appointment.  Seriously… I need to leave pretty much after this post.

Grocery store.

Balloons.  Mylar and latex.

Cupcakes. 48 mini.

Snacks.  Chips, crackers, cheese… for adults for children.

Drinks.  Soda. More bottled water.

Party Number One: 1 PM – 2:30 PM Easter Egg Hunt – average party goer age: 4

Party Number Two: 4 PM – ? Luau Sleepover – average party goer age: 7

A full day.  Yes.  Yes it is!  How lucky am I?  Is it OK that I didn’t fit in running?  It makes me only that more motivated for the next run!

“We go together, Like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.” – Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs (from Grease)

It was about a year ago and there, right there, on the front page of the local newspaper was a photo of my girlfriend and her husband finishing the town’s annual 5K hand in hand.  The two, together since high school, had a true photo finish.

I remember her telling me the story behind the photo, behind that day.

I’ve know the two of them for almost two years when our daughters became fast friends in kindergarten.  The two cherish their time together as my friend’s spouse has a job that requires a great deal of travel.  On this particular Sunday morning, their girls were waiting at the finish with their aunt while the two of them leisurely jogged the route.

During their journey, my friend told me how they slowed down to catch up with old friends they hadn’t seen in awhile.  To chat with friends and neighbors.  And simply to be together before work separated them again.

Just before the finish line, her husband reached over and took her hand.  This moment was captured.  The rest is history.

To me, it had been a race.  To her at had been quality time with her husband and a community building opportunity.

“I’m Bored…Hey, A Potato.” – Michael Ian Black

A comedian on the Sail Across the Sun cruise.

An actor on Ed.

Commentary provider on VH1’s I Love the 90’s and more.

Author of I’m Bored and other rereadable books.

Blogger and runner as evident in his post: I Do Run Run Run, I Do Run Run.

Who is this Jack of all trades?  None other than Michael Ian Black.

He is one of the coolest guys I don’t know (personally).

Unfortunately, I can no longer access the complete post. 😦  However, if you go to http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/4920088-i-do-run-run-run-i-do-run-run, you can access these words:

The fact that I run is a source of mild embarrassment to me. It’s not the kind of thing I go around telling people because there’s something a little showoffy about distance running, even if you are as unaccomplished and…

I want to tell him… don’t be embarrassed.  Distance running can be perceived as a bit showoffy, as you say.  You are spot on!  I mean that’s why they give out finisher medals for long races and sell merchandise for many popular marathons, right? Jimmy Fallon even said, “How do you know if someone ran a marathon?  Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”   And, of course, I have my half marathon magnet still affixed to my car, and it’s been close to a year since I’ve run that far. Plus, any time I finish a run, typically greater than five miles (longest 15), I’ve posted the details on Facebooks – time and distance.  Is that showoffy?  Maybe.  OK.  It is.

Michael Ian Black.  And to every reader of this blog.  Every runner is accomplished.  If you do run, run, run.  If you do run, run.  Then I say you’ve done it!  Feel free to show it off.  I do!  I mean… I’m writing about it for 31+ days, aren’t I.

“I missed a million miles of fun.” – Marc Francis Costanzo and Gregg Diamond from the song “Steal My Sunshine”

Confession.  I haven’t run in days.  I think of all the miles I’ve missed.  All those miles of fun.  All those of hours of getting lost in my thoughts.  All those miles of pounding the pavement.  All those loads of laundry.

But today.  I have to run.  I must run.  There is no way I can say no to running.  It’s 40 degrees.  I’d be a fool not to lace up and hit the road.

One daughter at is after school at Daisy’s and the other is still at preschool.  I have exactly 39 minutes to run.  I find my ear buds, turn on both Run Keeper and Rock My Run and I’m off.  You.  It’s the perfect amount of time to run four miles.

And I’m off.  Down to the bottom of my street and on the main road.  It’s clear… I’ll be facing some puddles on the main road on my return.  Grrr.  I’m going to have to find a way to avoid them.  I hate wet shoes.  It doesn’t matter the temperature.  It doesn’t matter the day.  Wet shoes… not for me.

I turn the corner on to a side street.  I’m already out of breath.  That’s what I get for taking a few days off. The street is sparkling with sand.  A run along side it.  I hate getting sand in my shoes as much as I hate wet feet.  A car has yet to pass me by.  I haven’t had to wave or nod yet.  Oh.  I spoke to soon.  There’s a truck.  Quick wave.  And…. there it is.  Half a mile… done.

Yippee.  Time to go uphill.  Here I go… Run Keeper informs me my pace is around 9:30.  Yup, I’m pretty slow.  Will I make it home in time?  Thank goodness some fast pace songs are kicking in.  I definitely picked the right mix today.  Jackson Five and other classics.

I think I can.  I think I can.  I know I can.  I know I can.  I’m still going up hill.  Have I hit a mile yet?

And I’m there.  One mile.  So close to a 10 minute pace.  Yuck.  All I can think is another mile and I can turn around.  Gosh.  Am I really this lazy today?  Think positive.  The sun is on my face.  It feels so good.  Even though I’m sweaty, I’m warm.  This sure beats the winter runs.  Go.  Go.  Go.

I’m still going uphill.  It’s an uphill battle.  I really miss my flat trail runs.  But I don’t miss the treadmill.  Not for a second. And a mile and a half.  Done.

OK. It’s about another half mile uphill.  Oh forget about it.  I’m turning around.  I know I shouldn’t give up.  OK I’m not really giving up.   I’ll just wait and run up the hill on the side street off my road.

Down and down and down I go.  Well this is a lot easier.

And finally… it is the last mile.  Thank goodness.  I’m jumped by a dog.  Really?  The owner finally catches him.  Uh oh.  Time to face those puddles.

Up and down my street I go.  Time’s running out.  I’ve got to get to Daisy’s.  I hit the driveway.  I still have a tenth of a mile left.  Up and down the driveway.

Done!  And with 3 minutes to spare.

Time to get the girls.