Name Your Word for 2016

I met a friend for drinks last night and the conversation turned (as it is apt to when women and wine are involved) to where we are in life, where we’ve been and where we aim to go.

My friend mentioned a trend that had gone around Facebook where you were asked to choose a word that would define you for the New Year—the idea being to select a word that you can use as a touch point or beacon to guide future acts and decisions.

I went home and thought about what my word might be. A few months ago I asked a number of friends and colleagues to use one word to describe me and the word that came up over and over again was “driven.” I like driven. It speaks to who I am. However, it doesn’t resonate with me as a word I want to use to guide my actions.

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My First DNF

It was ten years in the making and today it happened. I took my first DNF (Did Not Finish) in a race--the Greensboro Half Marathon.

Before I get into all the reasons and excuses behind the DNF, let’s call it like it is: I dropped out because I wanted to, not because I had to. Ego took hold and rather than face a two-hour-plus half marathon time, I chose to quit.

So then. What happened? I think it was the combination of the perfect storm of bad elements all coming together:

  1. I was coming off a week of strenuous exercise (even for me) where I was working out twice a day and doing triple the number of miles on the bike that I usually do.
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Decide What You Want To Do & Then Find People Who Are Better At It Than You

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Fleet Feet Pickle, an 18.2-mile store-to-store charity run for Backpack Beginnings. Later that night, I attended a “Post-Pickle Party.” Someone at the party asked how long I’d been running and if I’d always been as fast as I am now.

My answer was no, nowhere close. I was a 10-minute miler at best when I started running. I remember thinking that if I could ever only hold a 9-minute pace for a 5K, I’d never ask for anything ever again.

“So how did you get faster?” was the follow-up question.

My answer is that I run with runners who are faster than me.

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Reset Your Life

I was running with a friend today and as we were cranking out the last mile of a 15-mile run, we came to a traffic light and had to stop for about 10 seconds before we could continue running. 

"Reset!" called out my friend. 

She explained that any time she has to take a pause in running, she considers it a reset and adopts the mindset that with the first step taken after the reset, it's a new run. 

This makes a lot of sense to me. It's amazing what a 10-second break can give you in a run. You get your lungs back, your legs quit shaking and it really is like starting over. I love that she takes it one step further and considers the continuation of the run a new run entirely. 

I'm going to apply this idea of "reset" to life.

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