In early March, a company called Soleus Running asked me to test and review their new GPS Fit running watch. They graciously sent me this really badass, cute little watch pictured on the left.
Here's my review of the little pink number called the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0.
Disclaimer: I haven't tried every GPS Watch out there -- only the Garmin 10, the Garmin 310XT, and the non-GPS Polar FT heartrate watch.
Ease of Use:
This thing is super easy to figure out. Meaning, if I can figure it out without the detailed instruction manual, any human can. I pulled the Soleus out of the box, charged it up, messed around with it for about five minutes and then set off on my first run. The watch itself comes with a really simple start-guide that gets you on the road quickly. For more detailed instructions, a video, and support, the website has everything you need.
The watch allows you to create your user data and then set up your "Mode" which is auto lap, time, unit, user, night, contrast, chime, and alarm. In a nutshell, you're deciding whether the run with a backlit screen, which user is running, whether you want the watch to beep on laps or set distance, and whether you want to clock in kilometers or miles. After that, you lace up, walk outside, and get a signal. On your run, you can press the LAP/ENTER button to change your display to PACE, SPEED, CALORIE, CLOCK, OR DISTANCE info. The screen data is large and easy to read, even in brash sunshine, and has a backlight for the dark. Thumbs up.
When you get the watch, you need to charge via USB it for four hours before use (like most GPS devices.) After that, each time you plug in the watch (via USB) it displays the percentage of charge. This is helpful to me, because I'm notorious for setting out to run and realizing my watch is dead. The USB charger is simple and can be plugged into any standard phone charger or computer port. Even if you don't have the software downloaded, you can simply charge it on your laptop. For me, a watch with longer battery power is optimal, because sometimes I hit the road for more than 8 hours. But for most running purposes, this battery life is more than suitable. Thumbs up.
Getting a GPS Signal:
The watch takes anywhere from two to five minutes to find a GPS signal. The amount of wait time changed day to day, for me. But as a disclaimer, I live very close to the coast (2 miles) and sometimes location affects GPS signal waiting time. Your watch may contact outer-space faster than mine does. Still, this wasn't a terrible wait time at all. You can stretch on the driveway or even take a walk-lap around your street while the watch searches for a signal. I took this watch on five runs, and it never lost signal once I started, even while running on the beach. Thumbs up.
I really liked wearing the GPS Fit. The one Soleus sent me is pink (see above), and I usually run far away from pink and purple and ponies and rainbows, but this pink watch is Hear Me Roar Pink rather than I am a Disney Princess Let's Have Tea Pink. (See photo.) You can get a Soleus GPS Fit in six other colors too, and they're all pretty cute. This is one thing I'd rate over Garmin. I think this watch is most comparable to a Garmin10, which I tried out by borrowing from a friend when I started running, and I'd say the Soleus comes in more attractive designs and colors. This is a purely subjective judgement, and you know what you like. (Check out the other colors -- the purple and blue are also stylish.) The watch is a great size and very lightweight -- check out my wrist-to-watch comparison (below). Having used the much bulkier Garmin 310XT lately, the Soleus was a really welcome change in size and weight. I would rate the size of the watch as a 10/10. Major thumbs up.
Downloading your Data:
Even though I'm not big on keeping my run data stored online, I tried it out for this watch. Downloading your data is fairly simple. You'll need a STRAVA account, and then you'll download SoleusSync from the Soleus website, which is compatible with both Mac and PC. Next, you plug in your watch to the laptop. (By the way, if you also use other devices like Garmin, TomTom, SUUNTO, or Timex, you can upload to your STRAVA account.) Once everything is installed (which only takes a few minutes), you can open up SoleusSync and connect to your watch. Your data downloads and displays your runs, times, pace, and route. You can delete or save runs as you please, and this account also syncs with MyFitnessPal, JawBone, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It's like Minority Report - you can practically create your own fitness police state. (Just kidding.) Even though I'm not wild about storing all my run data online, thumbs up to this process for anyone who likes to look at their stats and keep it all online.
I think this is an awesome watch for anyone looking for easy use, fashionable design, and quick uploads of your data. The watch retails for $99 USD on the website and comes with a ton of support. When I was sent the Soleus, I'd already been using a Garmin 310XT for about six months, and I'm used to the multitude of features on that watch -- bike, swim, run, 20-hour battery life for ultramarathons, long training days, forgetfulness in charging, etc. But if I'd had the pleasure of a GPS watch when I started running, I think I'd pick this one easily. In purple.
Head to the Soleus website to check out the GPS FIT and other watches! And follow SOLEUS RUNNING on FACEBOOK to get updates, news, and specials on their gear.
Okay -- and now for the giveaway: Because I'm blessed to already have a GPS Watch and really love to pass on great gear to new runners, I'm going to pass along this adorable pink GPS watch to some lucky runner. A lot of people have passed on good information, gear, and help to me, so I'm paying this one forward. To enter your name in the hat, post a comment below and share one reason you love to run -- either on the blog or on the Miles Over Matter Facebook Page where this review will be posted. On Wednesday, March 25th, I'm going to ask an unbiased third party to pick the most awesome comment. If you're chosen, I'll contact you for your address to send you the watch and charger.
Happy running :)
-Miles Over Matter
We all know that the best thing about Christmas is stockings. (And family, goodwill, etc.) But stockings are amazing.
Inside your Christmas stocking should appear tiny things that you love. What's even better, it's for stuff that only the people close to you know you love. I have one friend whose stocking I will fill with Swedish Fish. Another friend – I would fill the stocking with Beanitos chips. Another one – CaptaiNn Crunch and Jagermeister. For my dad, Good & Plenties and smoked oysters. Personally, if I found nothing but Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate in my Christmas stocking, I'd be thrilled.
But this is a blog for runners, so I'm guessing you want to know the top tiny little joys a runner would love to find lurking in a Christmas stocking. I know just the things!
So many products sold in the health and fitness industry are bullshit. You know that, I know that, and we know we all know that. Tea can't detox your body in 48 hours. Magical powder can't make you gain ten pounds of muscle in ten days. But Quest bars can fill you up and make you happy and energized. They have a lot of fiber and a lot of protein and very little carbs or sugar, which for me means they're not going to make me hungrier than I already was before I opened the thing. (Funny how some foods do that.)
It's almost hard to narrow down my top flavors, but here are my top three:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough –super delicious, no fake-sweetener taste, good texture, very filling.
Peanut Butter Supreme – hands down, best flavor. Perfect salt/sweet balance. Perfect Perfect Perfect. It tastes just like the peanut butter cookie you wish you had.
Chocolate Brownie – chocolatey but not sawdusty. Not too sweet. Not too heavy. Perfect for a chocolate dessert after the gym without undoing all your squats.
If you like fruity things, you will probably love Apple Pie or Raspberry Cheesecake. The greatest thing about all of the flavors is that none of them taste like artificial flavoring. Banana Nut Bread tastes exactly like banana nut bread.
Quick facts: Every Quest Bar has less than five grams of net carbs, no gluten, and no added sugar. They're sweetened with Stevia, Sucralose, and Eurythretol. Packed with whey protein and healthy fats from almond and peanut butters, they also have added ISO fiber. Well + Good rates Quest Bars #2 in the top 5 best protein bars. And you know those folks know what they're talking about when it comes to health and fitness. Here's the Quest Website where you can order them directly or find more flavors. They also have protein chips (which are to die for!!!) and might be a good thing to stick at the top of the stocking or just dump directly in your mouth.
One quick note: Steer clear of Quest bars during your taper for a distance race. These bars are extremely high in fiber, and fiber and fats should be limited in the three to four days preceding a marathon or distance race.
2. NUUN HYDRATION
If you've read this blog since the beginning, you know that I've loved Nuun since day one. I'm not a sports drink drinker, so it's water or bust for me while I'm running. But if you spike your water with Nuun, you get magic flavor, electrolytes, and very low sugar all in one. Nuun has sent me free samples several times, because they are amazing, and just recently they sent me a sample of the new Nuun Energy to test out. Nuun Energy is a new creation by Nuun. Containing caffeine and magic electrolytes, these are great staples to use IN THE RACE for a quick pick-me-up. Nuun now makes disposable packets that fit in your pocket, sports bra, shoe, or race belt, so you don't have to carry the tube. These are EXCELLENT for spiking up your water and dosing electrolytes when you need them most – after several hours of sweating.
I used Nuun Energy during the Chicago Marathon, especially when the sun came out and heated things up about mid-way through the race.
I've never had a Nuun flavor I didn't like, and I've never met a runner who doesn't like Nuun. If you haven't tried it yet, you need to get onboard. The tubes are small enough to stash in your purse or gym bag, and definitely stocking-worthy. Don't tell anybody, but Nuun is also pretty awesome if you have a hangover. I've personally never ever had a hangover before, but I hear that if you happen to drink enough alcohol to incapacitate a small horse while dancing to Sir Mix-a-Lot one night in someone's backyard 48 hours before a half marathon, or if you drink a whole bottle of wine on a family trip right before you run a 50k trail race, Nuun tablets will amplify your re-hydration and de-stupification. I heard that once. From somebody.
If you're not yet a Nuun fan on Facebook, you should be because they give away free stuff all the time!
3. L.E.D. LIGHTS
These are the best little thing to have when you want the freedom to run at any time of day -- 4am and 11pm not excluded. You just clip these suckers on your shorts, top, sock, shoe, bra, face, whatever -- and then you run into the wee hours of the morning and late hours of the night. Perfect for law students who can't run during normal hours. Great for insomniacs. EXTREMELY NECESSARY for safety if you're running at night or on a dim trail -- even if you've got reflective gear. You can buy these at any running store, or Dick's or Sports Authority, and they last a while and shine bright like a diamond. Go thee to the store and snag some. I like the ones made by Nathan because I've been using them since April and they don't seem to ever run out of shine.
Ho Ho Ho – enjoy your holiday and be safe, stock the stockings, and run your ass off.
I haven't been the greatest blogger this fall. We could go as far as to say that I've failed at blogging. But I have done a pretty good job at being a law student, which means I've done relatively nothing but read thousands of pages, write hundreds of pages, and try to sleep in between. Sometimes, the overflow has spilled out in the form of breakdowns, outbursts, and accidentally long runs. Sometimes, I've escaped law school and run marathons on stress fractures and Nuun tablets. But all in all, I survived the fall, and now I want to talk about inspiration.
Inspiration: It's a noun. It's something we fuel on. It has no calories. It's free. Inspiration goes like this: You're walking around, minding your own business, and suddenly somebody puts you in a headlock and force-feeds you hyper-energizing, life-changing perspective. It could be in the form of a story. It could be watching somebody do incredible bike tricks. It could be witnessing the most powerful speech you've ever heard, or watching someone cross a finish line after running more than 140 miles in the span of a day. It could be as simple as a statement someone makes about life while they're cooking eggs, or a documentary film about criminal justice. It could be a poster of Abraham Lincoln winking at you. But whatever it is, it captivates you like a great wave gathering around a school of fish and rushing them forward into new space that looks like the same ocean but feels completely different now. You are the fish. Inspiration is the wave. The ocean is everything around you, and your swim has everything to do with your mindset.
In the last few weeks, I've witnessed some things that have fed me inspiration. Last weekend, I visited the sidelines of the Icarus Florida Ultrafest, organized by Claire and Andrei Nana. It doesn't matter what kind of runner you are, from 5k to ultramarathon – you know that any distance and any goal requires perseverance and dedication to the self. Even if you don't run, you know it takes a certain amount of resilience to do anything that involves a sustainable struggle.
Ultra-running is cool because it's all about mastery and journey. And because of that, you meet some of the most incredible spirits on earth at ultrarunning events. Some have long beards and crazy hair. Yet some look like certified accountants. Some look like human transformers with bulging calves and quads. Some look like little Elvin Fairies that run on air and Cool-Whip. But no matter what, the collective human spirit you feel at an ultra-running event is undeniably special, because nobody's really running 50+ miles for money or medals or weight loss. Most are running for a beautiful plethora of truly humanly-honest reasons: to push their own limits, to train the mind, to beat inner conflict, to improve the self. To journey. To wander. To do something incredible.
Last weekend, I watched Alyson Venti complete 140.8 miles in 24 hours – enough to qualify for the U.S. National team for the 24 hour run. Alyson Venti is the reason I wanted to enter the world of ultrarunning sports. I didn't even know what an ultramarathon was before 2013, when I saw an article about Aly winning the Keys 50. I had never even run a 5K. I still haven't ever run a 5K. But I was fascinated with Aly, in all of her beauty and grace and badassery, and I knew I had to try distance running.
I also met a man named Jesper Olsen this weekend, a runner from Denmark who ran around the world twice. Let me repeat: He ran around the world twice, once in a North/South direction, and once in an East/West direction. Clearly there were flights involved to span bodies of water that couldn't be traversed on foot, but after meeting Jesper, I'm convinced he may have run the aisle of the plane during transit as well.
Last Sunday morning, after running for six days straight, he drank some water and then whipped out a laptop and gave a casual presentation about his run around the world. He described the slow change of culture you get to witness when spanning a continent on foot – the slow evolution of the language from town to town, and the slow motion turn of the seasons, the landscape, and the architecture. Folks, I was mesmerized. This man is standing in front of me, in his glasses, joking about running through sandstorms and blizzards, crossing Russia and Japan on foot. All I could think about was the human fight you have to possess to complete a goal like that.
But inspiration doesn't have to come in the form of extreme distance running or world records. This past week, on Friday morning, I saw a man on the side of the interstate, during a traffic jam, changing his tire in a rainstorm. He was laughing.
Yall, I almost cried. You have to really understand the beauty of life to laugh to yourself while changing your tire alone in a rainstorm on the side of the interstate on your way to work. In a drenched shirt and tie. You have to be evolved or crazy. Let's go with evolved.
That guy became my new symbol of human resilience. He joins the ranks of countless friends and heroes who have taken their situation and accepted it, changed it, and celebrated the process. Man, it makes me tear up just thinking about the fight I see, sometimes, in the humans around me that don't let hardship, heartbreak, or adversity defeat them.
You can let stuff get you down, but you can't stay down. Took me a long time to figure that out, but I think it's finally sinking in. If you're fighting something, struggling to overcome, or just trying to accept the life with the best attitude you can – Folks can see you. And they appreciate your waves of positive influence.
Sometimes you're the wave. Sometimes you're the fish. But may you always be strong, resilient, and vulnerable all at the same time. May you flip on your back and float for a second to realize what a miracle it is we're even here on this ball of grass and saltwater, floating through gravity which doesn't exist. Holy shit.
Check out this great article on being mentally strong by my friend Claire Nana.
Check out this book on running around the world by Jesper Olsen.
Check out my friend Keith Rogers, who is taking the leap to build a professional photography practice.
Check out my friend Corey Martinez doing what he was born to do with a bike.
Who inspires you? Let the world know man, man!
A blogger named Bryan Vaughn wrote a post called "Why We All Hate Your 13.1 Stickers." At this point, Bryan's post has gone viral, spurring thousands of comments. I decided to write an open letter to Bryan Vaughn, because I think he raises some interesting points.
We thank you for your blog rant pointing out your reaction to 13.1 stickers. Indeed, numbers can be quite infuriating. In fact, compared to words, they are just insipid. And you're right – nothing should ever be quantified. PETA got it wrong: Meat isn't murder – counting things is murder.
Just the other day, I was looking at my beautiful, calloused feet and the thought crossed my mind that I have ten toes. Suddenly, I was outraged. Numbers are taking over everything – even my feet. Why can't I just have toes? Why do there have to be ten? For the love of God. It's enough to make me want to chop off my foot at the ankle, but then I'd still have five toes and one foot, and counting somehow manages to take over life like a monolithic force of serial destruction.
All joking aside, Bryan, I like that you point out that words and symbols are okay on oval stickers but that numbers are not. I'm inclined to surf on your argument for minute. You see, 13.1 isn't actually a number – it's a symbol. It means a lot more than thirteen miles and one-tenth. It's more than 30 songs on an iPod or 52.4 laps around a standard track. For many, it represents the destruction of a fear. For others, it's the greatest liberation they've ever felt. For me, it meant breaking a lot of negative cycles in my life and turning my power toward something progressive. Bryan, I know you feel me on that.
A marathon isn't a number either. 26.2 is a symbol of determination, of setting a goal and meeting it. For many, it's the greatest memory they'll ever have – fans cheering, sweat, pain, rain, step after step toward the understanding that they can get through anything. It's a lifetime in the span of morning. 26.2 means that you understand that your life is truly in your own hands. Bryan, it's incredible, really. The world is full of incredible, good people with the propensity to love and lift one another. When runners put stickers on their cars, they're not saying, "I'm better than you." They're saying, "I did this. It was amazing."
We're taught to show-and-tell as children. To be excited about something and project it. Then, we're shamed for it as adults. If humans could stop shaming each other, life could be a far less miserable experience. For everyone.
It's easy to hate cars when you're in traffic. It's hard to remember that there are people inside of those cars, and they deal with a lot of the same inner and outer struggles you do. I know, Bryan -- I get pissed off at cars too. We're all just trying to make it in this world. The joke's not really on anyone. The joke's on all of us, together.
But the biggest reason I personally love your post is that you've got a lot of frustration and anger to project, Bryan.
I think that means you'd make a great runner. It also means you've seen enough of these stickers to drive you to the edge of psychosis, which means you're teetering on neurosis, and it's the perfect time for you to get running shoes and get your ass out there. Some of the runners I run with are the most biting, sarcastic, sharp, critical people I've ever met. But I love the shit out of them, and having read your post, I bet you would too. Beneath all that marvelous snark are warm beating hearts and a desire to find something more than stoplights and coffee breaks in this short, sweet life we have.
By now, runners all over the world have read your blog post. I'll speak for everyone when I say this: Come run with us. You'll fit right in. You'll get high on dopamine and Nuun Energy and bananas. You'll surprise yourself. You'll see that 13.1 and 26.2 aren't just obnoxious numerals. They're invitations to an amazing journey.
Miles Over Matter
Before I left for Chicago, people told me, “Chicago is the greatest marathon. You'll never forget it.” People were right. Here are some things that can happen at the Chicago Marathon:
1. You Might Freeze at the Start Line, but Your Heart Will Soon Warm You Up.
When the corrals opened Sunday morning, the temp was a good 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The windy city was windy. The air was a blanket of cold. Runners were wrapping themselves in trash bags to deflect the wind. It was high fashion.
Outside the start corral, I jumped around trying to find pockets of sunlight to stand in. Luckily, I spotted some friends from Miami's iRun group, and we huddled in Corral G to start the race together. There's nothing like starting a marathon with people you know. You never forget it.
Even with the morning chill, Chicagoans were out with their signs and skullcaps and coffee, standing on sidewalks and raised medians and street corners, waiting for the runners to come by. I have never, in my life, seen so many people come out and support anything. I was stunned. In South Florida, when you run a marathon you pass by occasional clusters of people, and it's so exciting to see cheerful faces. But in Chicago, it was wall-to-wall spectators the whole 26.2 miles. The whole city was out. Signs, pretzels, painted faces, bananas, cowbells, pompoms. Bands, cheerleaders, acrobats, costumes. It makes the experience surreal and dream-like. Amazing work, Chicago. You guys know how to show spirit!
2. You May Realize that Running a City is Amazing
I grew up in Decatur, Alabama. We didn't have skyscrapers. Probably the tallest building is the hospital, and I think it may have seven floors. As a kid, I thought skyscrapers were the office buildings in Huntsville, Alabama, that had ten floors. Having visited lots of major cities now, I know this: Running a city is different than visiting it. Way different. As we wound through the streets like a big rush of water, I felt the energy of the city pumping through my legs. You become a city when you run it, inside of nothing but yourself and the force of life and motion around you. It's almost like you have to put in the work of moving forward to really appreciate what you're moving through. The race starts at Grant Park and winds through almost 30 different Chicago neighborhoods -- Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Greek Town, Little Italy....It's a giant block party in every stretch.
3. You May be Hungry, But You Won't Go Thirsty
When a marathon is on the schedule, I get really excited about a few things. Namely, bagels. God I love bagels. I even like the way they look – all shiny and round and full of personality. Bagels are the food form of laughter. Bagels are the Minions of the food world.
But if you're coming from a temperate climate, no matter whether you eat a bagel on the train, race morning, by the time the marathon starts, you will have jumped around so much to stay warm that you will be STARVING. Like, I could eat a steak on top of a pizza covered in buffalo wings starving.
When I started the Chicago Marathon, I had the dark_void feeling in my stomach. It didn't go away until 9 miles later. I drooled every time we passed a Dunkin Donuts or a pizza joint. Thank god it was too early for the ovens to be on. I might have lost my mind.
Good thing Chicagoans are amazing, because they hand out food during the marathon. I saw a man with a giant basket full of pretzels. Hoots of joy. There were cute girls handing out bacon at mile 20. Bacon.
The aid stations at the Chicago Marathon are phenomenal: An entire block of water, followed by an entire block of gatorade. I've been at races of 5,000 where they ran out of water. This race hosted 45,000 runners and hydrated us all like a boss. Incredible! To every volunteer -- thank you. What an incredible human machine you made.
4. You Might Roll your Ankle and Keep Running
I rolled my ankle on mile 6 of the marathon. Before that point, I was running strong with a smile on my face and great music pumping in one ear. Then, I felt a crunch as the right foot landed on someone's discarded water bottle on the ground. I wobbled, turned my ankle, and felt a pop. I screamed “Oh Shit.” The woman next to me stopped with me – another sign that runners are good people. I felt shock in my soul, because something was definitely wrong. But I started to walk, and then jog, and then decided to hell with it. I figured, if I could still run, it couldn't be that bad. I thanked her and kept running. Don't be a baby, I said. (I would not say this is a great idea, but I did it anyway.)
5. Your Mind May Get Weak (This will be honest.)
After the ankle roll, which I desperately wish could have been a cinnamon roll, I ran with my head down on the road for the next 8 miles. I was still glad to be there, but I was focused on not feeling pain. It was tough. Nothing else hurt yet, so the ankle was the only thing singing to me. This is when my mind got weak.
Those who run know about the points when the mind gets weak. It happens to all of us. Somehow, your ego becomes your enemy, and the little negative things you've heard start to creep into your mind. There is no statute of limitations – some of these negative things may come from decades passed. Somehow they pop back up.
Miles 6 through 14 were a mix of emotions. I thought about how slow I was running, and it made me upset. Then I scolded myself for being such a narcissistic baby. That made me feel even worse. I felt like a mean person. As if that wasn't bad enough, I suddenly remembered some things this professor told me, so long ago, when I was struggling in her freshman year class. She said, and I quote, “Everything about your body language tells me that you don't care. Maybe you're in the wrong place. You're not afraid of failing. You're afraid to succeed, because you don't want accountability.”
I haven't thought about this in over a decade, but for some reason, on mile 9 of the Chicago Marathon, her words crept back into my head. They made me angry. NO Dr. _____, I thought. You are so dead wrong. You are lazy in trying to understand humans. I do care. I do want to succeed. I'm just lost. I need help. From a real teacher. One who has more than a shallow understanding of humans.
Man, I chewed her out in my head. I laid it on thick. Oh guys, I got so angry at Professor X during that mile. Like seething angry.
And then, like an angel sent to tame me, a runner in his mid-20's with a lot of speed and cool blue shoes passed me. On his back, he had a sign pinned to his shirt. It said, “Running for my grandmother.”
I got a little watery. I followed him. This guy, running for his grandmother, was running for something positive. I needed to get in on that. I needed to stop running for some professor who probably doesn't even remember my name. Let the people who are wrong be wrong, and run for things that are right.
6. You Might Cry
A few miles later, I thought I had my spirits back together. My ankle had gone numb. My hunger was gone. M83 was playing. I was pretty proud of myself for keeping it together this far. I rounded a corner and saw a girl with a crocheted green beanie and a brown parka. She was holding up a sign with big letters. It said, “Mom, you are my strength.”
Guys. I lost it. I burst into tears. I didn't even care anymore who was watching or photographing. I just let the good tears roll. I cried for my mom, who isn't in my life anymore. I cried for that girl's mom. I cried for my dad, who has been my sole parent and number one fan for most of my life. I cried for people who don't know that they are understood. It was a solid three minutes of damn good crying.
I cried because the longer you're alive, the more you realize that everyone is just trying to make it in this world. You realize the invisible burden so many people have that you overlooked. I could write a manifesto of all the things I've realized while running. Running gives you resolve.
I don't always cry during marathons. But when I do, it's usually because of a profound feeling of human compassion. I usually want a Dos Equis afterward.
7. Your Mind Will Get Strong Again
If there's anything I've learned in my 30 wild years of life, it's that you can't bottle emotion. You have to learn how to use it.
As soon as I wiped the tears and snot from my face, I raised my head to the sun and shook out my hands, and picked up my pace. By this time, I wasn't sure if I even had an ankle anymore. But I knew I had a heart, and legs, and Excel Gel. I knew I had Nuun Energy in my pocket and a lot of determination in my aorta. So I ran and I thought about all the people in my life who have made me believe in myself.
Here's the number one thing: People will always remember how you make them feel. We all make mistakes, we all screw up, and we all say things we don't mean or don't realize are wrong. But we always have the power to make each other believe. Always. It's not a power you lose. Inside of you is an infinite well filled with this power. I promise you. I promise. So let go, apologize, forgive, move forward, and be a positive force, not a negative one. It's so worth it.
8. Your Body Might Be Injured, But Your Heart Will be Healed
I powered up on the belief of human awesomeness. I fueled on free gatorade and my personal truth that this world is full of positive belief and bagels. I finished the Chicago Marathon, hugged my friends, ate some delicious food, and flew back home.
I went to the doctor the next day and came home with an ankle sprain and two tibial hairline fractures. Things could be way worse. I ran 20 miles on a sprained ankle and came out with some really minor injuries. I have a thing with luck, and I don't suggest that anybody run on injuries, ever ever. It's not what the reasonable person would do, but I wasn't trying to be reasonable -- I was trying to finish a marathon. I'm so glad I did. I met so many cool people at the Chicago Marathon. I came home with new inspirations. It was a win.
Now, I stop running for a while and heal my body. I study. There are so many things I hadn't thought of doing until now -- Yoga poses on one foot. Swimming.The CrutchFit workout. Break dancing. (just kidding.) Studying for law school exams with my foot on a chair. It's not about not being able to run. It's about being able to do so much with this time for a bit.
Chicago, I'll be back for you again. You were so much more than I expected.
If you have the chance, run the Chicago Marathon. You'll never forget it. If you ran it, congratulations and solidarity, friend.
And as my trail-running homies say – On, On.
Where To Catch Me