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<span style="font-family:Arial;">I am single. I live alone. I am not a good sleeper.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">In those moments of silence, when I’ve just put my head down on the pillow, or when I find myself awake in the middle of the night, I <i>think</i>.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I think about my 91-year-old grandmother, and the long life she’s lived.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I think about my young nieces and nephews and the life that is still ahead of them.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I think about my brother and sister and parents. I think about friendships. I think about deaths. I think about work, about house projects, about the crazy lady that lives below me.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I think about lost loves.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">And I think about me.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I try to figure out what’s ok and what’s not ok with me. What I like and what I don’t like. I try to figure out how to <i>better</i> me.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I should do more volunteering. I should have more patience. I should stop my bad habit of needing something sweet after each meal. I should, I should, I <i>should</i>….</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">What do I <i>do</i>? I run. Not necessarily in the middle of the night, but I decide then, <i>that’s</i> what I will do. Running makes me better.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Running, really, came into my life about a year and a half ago. The truth is, it has <i>always</i> been in my life – my dad was a marathon runner and the race director of a local 18 mile race for 15 years while I was growing up. I was a recreational runner – just something to do for fitness – for a while. Then, after witnessing everyday-looking people completing an Ironman Triathlon, I decided I could do more than my three miles a day.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">So I got fitted for shoes and started increasing my distance. Suddenly, I felt like I had a goal. A focus. This was something I couldn’t remember ever having before.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I remember running 5 miles without stopping for the first time. Then 6, then 7, then more. Each new milestone made me feel better. Each new distance was a new goal achieved. I ran my first distance race – a half marathon – and loved it. Then, after all the years of volunteering at the race my dad directed, I ran it for the very first time. I loved every step of those 18 miles. Another milestone, a little bit better…</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I ran through the cold winter months, freezing my pigtails that poked out from under my hat, and listened to friends who didn’t understand what I was doing tell me to stop running so much. I listened, but I didn’t <i>listen.</i> They didn’t, and still don’t, understand that I <i>have</i> to run.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">It makes me better.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">People ask me all the time what I think about for all those hours I’m running. Too much, I tell them. Most of the time, I’m thinking about my body. What feels strong, what doesn’t. When I need to drink, or when I need to fuel. What that twinge is in my knee, or how low my heart rate feels.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Sometimes, though, I think about those things that swirl in my mind in the middle of the night from the pillow. I find my thoughts straying to the recent hospital visit for my grandmother, the fight I had with my sister, the most recent love lost...</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">And then, as if by magic, it’s time to make a turn, or take a sip. Or I catch a glimpse of the sun sparkling on the ocean, or a lone, puffy cloud against the rich, blue sky. And suddenly, I’m better.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I’ve found focus with running. I’ve set goals, and I’ve accomplished them. I’ve run two marathons and a triathlon. I've made new friends. I’ve inspired my twin sister to run, and we’ve run milestones together.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Running makes me better.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">In those quiet moments, when I’m awake in the middle of the night, I think about all sorts of things. And I look forward to my run the next day.</span>
 

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Good for you. Happy new year.<br><br>
ps - your dad should talk to the new people about making sure they have enough water <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Lora,<br><br>
I love what you wrote. So much of what you say reminds me of me, except mine would start:<br><br><i>I am married. I live with my husband and two kids. I am not a good sleeper.</i><br><br>
I think about all the things I <i>could/should</i> be doing with my life, to improve it for my kids, my husband, etc. But ultimately I think about the next run. Because, as I wrote in my blog which I recently started, I think running makes me a better person, wife, mom, lawyer - it's my "me time". Sounds like it does the same for you. Happy New Year!
 

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Beautiful piece of writing, <b>Lora</b>. This hits home for me in a lot of ways...well, save for parts like pigtails poking out from underneath my hat <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
I think the overall theme reflects your signature. Running makes us better - that's simplicity in itself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us
 

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nice, girlie.<br>
longest post from you was totally worth my time.<br>
i don't sleep either. with a partner and a hank dog.... i should do more thinking like this. clearly its more productive than, 'dude. if i go to sleep now....'<br>
thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, everyone. When I was running the other day, I was thinking about my "year in review" wrap-up that everyone was talking about writing. This was born from that reflection.<br><br><b>PTom</b> - I believe he already did!<br><b>Mandy</b> - Yeah, I was convinced no one would read this because it is so long. <img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif"> Thank you for reading it anyway!<br><b>Moon</b> - Thank you for making that connection with my signature. I hadn't, really, but it is true.
 

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Lora, your thoughts are pretty close to the ones I've been having recently as well.<br><br>
I usually sleep pretty well. For me, running is my time for reflection on my life. That's why I rarely run with music, and why I don't mind running alone even though I'm social enough to also love running with a partner. At times I've been high on life during a run, and other times I've been barely able to stop the tears. I've solved problems, rehearsed conversations that I expect to be difficult, and made decisions small and large.<br><br>
It's a big part of the reason I keep running. I love how it makes me feel, physically and mentally.<br><br>
Happy New Year!
 

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This just reaffirms why I like you so much, you put something into words so many of us feel! Thank you for giving u sa peek into your thoughts...and our own!
 

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That was a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">beautiful</span> piece of writing, thank you for sharing those thoughts. You're my inspiration today. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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That was great, Lora. I know those thoughts too, from waking up at night or when I'm running. I haven't figured out how to express the experience of collecting and cataloguing those thoughts the way you have. Thanks so very much!
 
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