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Hump Day Giveaway: Shine Your Light

November 3, 2010

What I wish I could carry so cars would always steer wide.

As multitasking mommas, focus is as hard to track down as your kid’s other shoe when you’re already 10 minutes late.

Here, I’ll help you with your math facts while I roll play-doh pancakes for your sister.

Or I’ll fill out this fund-raising slip, check voice-mail and quiz you on your spelling words.

Or I’ll watch Glee, cherry pick from Halloween baskets and fold laundry at the same time. (Um, might be doing that right after this.)

The only time I really concentrate on one thing is either when I’m at the computer (and don’t have the Facebook and Yahoo tabs up to constantly check…so really, close to never) or when I’m exercising. Check that even: most of the time when I am in motion, I’m not truly tuned in. My body is, but my mind plays a slide show: schedule a babysitter, call my college roommate, daydream about going to Costa Rica alone with my husband…you know the drill.

There are two exceptions when my sweaty body and mind are completely in sync: the first is when I’m doing intervals, and am focused on exactly The second is when I run in the dark, with just a headlamp to guide me. Safety issues notwithstanding, there’s something so appealing about a circle of light in front of you: it shows you where to go, and you go. It illuminates the cracks and curbs and puddles, and you proceed accordingly. Because you can only see that divot of light and you have to concentrate, you don’t obsess about how many miles you have to go. You simply just have to follow the light.

Time to make a metaphorical, RLAM’ish leap with me here. A headlamp illuminates your path in the dark, but what does the light of your running illuminate in you? Does it shine on your stubborn side, the one that won’t let you quit until you reach your driveway? Or does it put the brights on your insecurities that formed in 6th grade, when you hated running? Or does it showcase your solid quads–legs that might not be the optimal for jeggings, but make you feel pretty badass? Or does it highlight the snippet of pride you feel when you log every run?

The Tikka 2: turning darkness into (more than one kind of) light.

Let us know, and on the eve of our clocks falling back, three of you will have a light of your own to shine: a Petzl Tikka 2. Perfect for road runners, the lightweight, four-bulb light has three light modes (maximum, economic and flashing) so you can either use it to see far (up to 95 feet/29 meters in maximum mode), for miles and miles (up to 120 hours in economic mode) or, in flashing mode, so that oncoming cars are on high alert. An adjustable band that fits easily over a baseball cap or beanie, it shines its light without bobbing or giving you a headache.

So light it up, RLAM’ers: what part of your mental or physical self does running illuminate?

p.s. Remember that free pair of Keens from last week? Thought so. Look for random winner today on our Facebook page.

158 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie A permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:20 am

    Running shines a light on what my body CAN do. I am 43 and one of those people who hated running in all forms as a child (ok who am I kidding, until last year). I just thought I was not cut out for it. But with the help of all of you and my local running community (one special girlfriend most of all), I am realizing my potential and that the only limits on what my body can do are in my head.

  2. Sherry permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:27 am

    Running illuminates the physical part of me that’s never been active before because I didn’t enjoy it. It illuminates the mental part of me that now believes possibilities are endless!

  3. KarenM permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:47 am

    Running shines a light on my toughness. I hate getting out of my warm bed for a cold, dark morning run, but I’m proud of myself for getting out there!

  4. Dena permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:48 am

    Running highlights my need to finish what I’ve started. If a run or race isn’t going well, I don’t quit. I readjust my expectations and finish.

  5. Ellen permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:01 am

    When I run in the dark, I am mentally aware of myself and everything around me. It’s the only time that I am able to focus solely on myself and my surroundings. Normally when I run, I’m pushing a stroller, listening to headphones, watching the clock, etc, etc. I find that running in the dark gives me a sense of peace and freedom. My mind is clear and I don’t have a care in the world. There’s something about getting in 6-8 miles before the rest of the world is awake.

  6. Susan permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:44 am

    For me running shines a light on me – Susan! For the time I’m out there I’m not just “mom” or the person who does all driving πŸ™‚ I love being a mom but it’s also nice to take some time to focus on who I am.

  7. November 3, 2010 5:57 am

    sometimes it seems like running illuminates everything- i think so clearly while out there by myself (with Ron, my dog). i often spend some time thinking through my Bible study lesson & gain new clarity about my role in God’s story. He made me to run & He reveals Himself to me out on the road! (whoa- that sounds so crazy… i don’t mean in a ‘grilled cheezus’ kind of way. more in a real sense, less mystical!)

  8. Mary permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:04 am

    Running reminds me of just how strong I can be in mind and body. Finishing my first marathon ranks up there with graduating from college. I had to put my head down and plow through.

  9. November 3, 2010 6:09 am

    Running shines the light on my strengths (in all their iterations). Because of my desire to sleep past 5 for awhile and myriad of other events and obligations in my world, I’m in a bit of running hibernation right now – only a couple of runs a week – but they are very powerful. Boston marathon training starts at Christmas so there’ll be ALL kinds of light shining then!

  10. November 3, 2010 6:12 am

    Running shines a light on what becoming a mother has given me. I never ran before I had kids, but after my first son was born, all of a sudden anything became possible, including running far and long. My oldest is 7 now and on Saturday I’m running my first 50K trail run. Being a mother gave me the courage to run, and running reminds me of that!

  11. November 3, 2010 6:16 am

    Running, for me, illuminates my selective discipline. I get up at 4:30am each morning to workout. Even at 32 degrees (as it was this morning), I didn’t think twice about crawling out of bed and getting my cold-weather gear on and heading out the door. The reason I say “selective” discipline is this: I got up yesterday morning, with the intention of doing XT, since my half-marathon is this Saturday. I got up, changed my clothes, dreading the workout the entire time. After 10 minutes of internal conversation (more like argument), I threw in the towel and went back to bed for another 30 minutes. This has happened on several mornings of scheduled XT. Not once has it happened on a running day.

    Physically… my legs. Growing up, I always seemed to have the Thunder Thighs… muscular from playing soccer, but still “thick”. Running has slimmed my thighs, as well as accentuated all the muscles in my quads and hamstrings. I love that! Its such a boost in confidence for me to see me, Thunder Thighs, with sculpted & strong thighs now. I’m anxious to see how they will change as I start adding in more weight training after I’m done with my race training.

    (BTW, as I mentioned above, I am up at 4:30am for my workouts, so its ALWAYS dark, and the streetlights aren’t always on… A light like this would be AWESOME to have!! So, thanks for sponsoring another awesome giveaway!)

  12. Martha permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:18 am

    Running illuminates ALL the good in my life….physical, spiritual and mental. I feel like I could take on the world (or at least my 4kids) after even a “shortie” run πŸ™‚

  13. November 3, 2010 6:19 am

    Running illuminates in me… definitely a sense of pride with each long run completed, and a sense of pride because with strength and determination I have moved from couch potato to runner.

  14. November 3, 2010 6:24 am

    Running illuminates that I am still young, that I am still strong, that I can still do whatever I set my mind to (even if there are a few extra creaks and groans along the way).

  15. November 3, 2010 6:32 am

    Running illuminates how hard it is to start something new. It also challenges me to conquer my fear. Fear of exactly what, I’m not sure, but I’ve always been afraid of running too far. Now, finally, I’m starting to face it and realize that it’s not that bad and even enjoyable. Like most other things I fear!

  16. Stephanie permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:48 am

    Running illuminates my strenths, accomplishments & direction for me. I feel strong mentally and physically when I run and I can reflect on all that I’ve done. It makes me realize that even with my faulty moments I am still a fantastic mother of two beautiful children. it helps me sort out all the chaos in my head and focus on wht to do next. When I don’t run for a few days I feel like I’m in a fog…running lifts the fog and help me to see my path.

  17. Iliana Zuniga permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:49 am

    Running makes light shine in my soul. It makes me feel like I radiate light within my inside. When I feel the teardrops falling down my cheek because I am just too happy, or I accomplished another goal in my running, or I am sad and relive vivid memories with each stride. I glow with every drop of sweat that reflects the sunlight, or the sunbeam. I am aware of my existence and fragility when I run in pain, and I become thankful when I run without it.
    My soul shines when I show myself one more time that I conquered that scary hill, and it is nothing more than a bunch of earth piled up together… nothing I cannot conquer.
    I emanate light when I tie up my running shoes and I head out the door, after I feel I have no light left. After a sleepless night with sick kids, a job that never ends, and a husband that needs me. I beam light because I still give myself that 45 minutes to myself, when my soul and my mind need it the most, even if my body disagrees.
    I glow when I am almost done with my run, and I know that the smiling faces and warm hands of my children are expecting me back home, and that every time I come in the house after I run, all sweaty and smelly, I am still glowing from within and shedding a light of example to them on having a healthy lifestyle.
    I glimmer within because I was not born a runner. I became a runner. I made myself a runner.

    because I can.

  18. Laurie Allin permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:57 am

    Mentally running illuminates my self-confidence: I really am an amazingly strong and worthwhile person who can accomplish anything when I put my mind to it. And physically it illuminates that I do really like my legs: I seee them in a whole new light when I’m running regularly, they look sexy, strong and so incredibly capable. I don’t see the stretch marks, and the cellulite dimples, although I do still tend to notice that it’s time to shave again.

  19. November 3, 2010 6:58 am

    i have a head lamp similiar to that and I love it so good luck to everyone else!!

  20. November 3, 2010 7:03 am

    As someone who has PERFECTED the art of procrastination, running illuminates that I really AM capable of finishing a training program, that I DO own a discipline gene somewhere in there.

  21. katie permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:10 am

    Running illuminates my life–mental, physical, and emotional. When I am able to run, I see clearer on all levels, and feel better about myself and life situation. Running helps me see myself as a capable person, helps me sort through difficult situations, and helps me to see that some situations aren’t as bad as I had thought.

  22. November 3, 2010 7:18 am

    Running illuminates the spirit within me – it reminds me of how much I am loved by the totally awesome creator of the world who has equipped me with a vessel that is far more capable of doing things than I would ever give myself the opportunity to do.

  23. Priscilla permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:19 am

    My running helps to light my way out of a gloomy mood. My mood brightens as my steps accumulate.

  24. Karen permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:24 am

    Running illuminates my competitive side! I had forgotten that about me until running rekindled it. I forgot how much I love to win, be in the lead and to meet my goals. Now I have not “won” anything, but I have finished, I have improved and I have beat boys!!! I am so glad that my sister introduced me to this wonderful sport. I am proud of myself and my fellow running tribe.

  25. November 3, 2010 7:24 am

    Oh running brings so many things to the surface for me. Most are my insecurities and I hate that. This is something that is supposed to make me feel strong and powerful, but when I run I often get lost in the “oh I hope my butt is not jiggling to much when that car passes me” and “now I know why I was not athletic growing up”. I always stick it out due to stubborness and determination and after I feel pretty good. I do wish I could get the negativity out of my head though!

  26. November 3, 2010 7:29 am

    I think that running illuminates my strength, both inner and the growing physical strength I’m developing. It does, however, also bring up tiny shreds of jealousy as I see other runners (some newer than me to running) waxing me in time and/or distance (or both!).

  27. Sarah permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:30 am

    Running illuminates so many sides of me – the calm, the way too stubborn, the totally in touch with myself – but my favorite is when it showcases my badass side. This happens spontaneously when I have to dig deep (really deep) to keep going. Suddenly my mind goes into this diva-esque monologue – “I am running. I am doing something most people don’t do. In fact, most people are probably still sleeping. Not me. I am running. I am strong. My body is strong. My body is awesome. My body grows babies. My body breastfeeds babies. My body runs marathons. My body is tough. My mind is tough. I can do anything. I am woman. I am badass. I am running.”

  28. November 3, 2010 7:34 am

    Read the post before I ran, and so I had time to think about it. I just started running (for the second time) this August in preparation for a sprint triathlon. I finished the triathlon (which was my goal) and surprisingly ran an average run (after my swim and bike); I was thrilled. This Saturday, I’m running a 5k and honestly, in training it’s been hard to run the entire three miles. About mile 1.5, I just start walking. I needed to get past that, so, my headlight has been on mastering my mind. I’m 55, my body is sore at times, but really, it’s my brain that doesn’t believe. Today, and (earlier this week on Monday) I ran the distance without stopping. Today I did my best time ever… don’t laugh, but I broke the 11 minute mile. So, I feel ready for Saturday. Thanks for giving me a chance to put this all in writing.

    • Beth permalink
      November 4, 2010 5:55 pm

      Way to go!!!!!! You are awesome!!! I am 34 and 4 months post-partum. Never have been a runner. Never. But something keeps calling me to it. Whether it’s my two running sisters or the birth of my first child or the recent passing of my mother…something says run, Beth, run. And so I started. November 1st I became a Mother who is training for her first race ever. I plan on showing up at that starting line next to my unknowing sisters and I will run next to them for the first time in my life.
      You inspire me.

  29. November 3, 2010 7:52 am

    Running illuminates my confident self. It made me realize I’d been subconsciously convincing myself I wasn’t good enough to do so many things. I’ve since learned to keep an open mind, take more risks and never say never.

  30. Terri permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:03 am

    Running illuminates not only that I can do regular physical exercise but that I *want* to do it. My day isn’t complete any more without it.

  31. November 3, 2010 8:03 am

    running illuminates in me of what I can do that I never thought possible. I can run more than a mile, more than two, more than 13. and that after my run, I am a better mom,wife,friend. After my run I’m ready for anything that comes my way.

  32. Jennifer permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:06 am

    Running is something I have always wanted to do, especially coming from a family of runners…my Dad and my Sister are both runners and I have always wanted to have the runner’s physique that they have. I have finally decided to take the plunge and start running a regular training program. I have been running on an off for over a year now…mostly on since about May of this year, and I am becoming addicted! Running illuminates the athlete in me that has been hibernating for way too long! I was a swimmer and a softball player in high school…almost 20 years ago (where did the time go) and I am finding I am still a competitor, except at this point in my life with myself, pushing myself to go farther and faster and celebrating those small achievements. The best feeling is when my 4 year old gives me a high 5 as I am going out the door for a run in the evenings and when I come home from an early morning run while it is still dark out and one of my boys is on the couch just waking up and asking how my run was. Running has made me a better and calmer Mom. The competitor in me loves to send a text to my sister, my mentor and long distance training partner, about how far and how long it took me to run, and to see how many seconds I have shaved off my time from run to run!

  33. stacy permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:06 am

    Running makes me feel so clean- even being sweaty, I feel the best after a 3-4 mile run. (i’m a new runner- before I found this website, I didn’t know women ran 8 miles a day just for fun). My neighborhood has no streetlights. Every morning on my way to gym at 430am, I think- I would love to walk out the door and just run, but then I think of all the reflective gear and lights I need to make that work, sigh, and keep driving.

  34. kim permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:16 am

    that i am capable of FINISHING
    anything ahead of me
    i have
    i will

  35. perkynihilist permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:24 am

    Running illuminates the things I can do and makes me forget the things I can’t.

    There’s nothing else in my life like that.

  36. Kathy G permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:26 am

    Running illuminates an athlete in me which I never knew was there (didn’t start running until I was 45!). It also shines on a competitive me which I did know was there πŸ™‚ While I’ll never be competitive in terms of winning races I like to push myself to do more. It also shines a spotlight on the aches and pains and injuries that come with the sport and with age. Finally, it illuminates a role model for my daughters – to be healthy, strong, and not to give up.

  37. Susan Riley permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:28 am

    Running illuminates my determination to keep myself physically fit and mentally strong. I have had numerous setbacks over the years; most dramatically, I had a brain bleed about 17 years ago! But I have overcome all the injuries, the drama, the pain of divorce, the feeling that I’m just “too old” (at almost 53) to keep trying so hard, and the self-doubt, to keep pushing to be the best that I can realistically be.

    I would love to win this headlamp because my condo development has few lights and people are always driving too fast, rushing to work, very early in the morning when I’m out slogging away. Safety is really important!

  38. Sarah AJ permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:29 am

    Running illuminates determination I never knew I had. As a child and teenager, I tended to quit things that weren’t going as well as I thought they should — drove my mom crazy! I’m a slow runner, but I can count on one hand the number of runs I’ve cut short in the 2.5 years I’ve been running consistently.

  39. Leslie permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:29 am

    Running has made a strength shine that I wasnt sure that I had. But guess what? I DO! “I am stong. I am fast. I will do this.” (repeated over and over and over whenever I want to stop and walk) I’m strong and tougher than I ever thought possible, bc of running.

  40. Jessica permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:34 am

    Running illuminates ME… it helps me remember who, what and whos I am. I can do anything… because I run!

  41. Alecia permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:45 am

    My running shines a spotlight on my ridiculously awesome body! As one of the first in my circle to reproduce, I am a lumpy mom amongst childless hotties. While my beer chugging abilities have taken a major hit, my rock’n bod has excelled in numerous other ways. This body has sustained two lives for a grand total of 38 months (carrying and nursing). This body has also completed two marathons (10-10-10!) and one half marathon! And would you believe that NONE of my hot bodied singlets have ever done anything comparable those achievements?! So everyday I shine the light on this smooth running powerhouse, and I wouldn’t trade these artistic stretch marks for all the tight asses in the world.

    • Iliana Zuniga permalink
      November 3, 2010 9:03 am

      WOW! I loved your post! Very powerful!
      keep running!

    • Csaf permalink
      November 3, 2010 10:22 am

      AMEN to that!

    • Angie permalink
      November 3, 2010 5:29 pm

      I happen to know this badass mother runner and she does have a ridiculously awesome body She is actually the one who inspired me to run my first half marathon and then after following her on 10/10/10 I am now planning to run Chicago 2011! Thanks for shining your light on me Alecia!

    • November 3, 2010 9:12 pm

      I hope you win so that can quote can go up on the fb page!

    • Alecia permalink
      November 4, 2010 7:52 am

      Thanks Ladies! You’re all ridiculously awesome!

  42. Val permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:51 am

    When I first started running again after I had my son… I felt selfish, it was purely a “me” thing, I had guilt every time I walked out the door, and my husband wasn’t too helpful with dispelling this since he didn’t understand the need. After a time, and after reading RLAM I realized its not selfish to need time for myself away from my family though I love them. Now instead of “illuminating” my own selfishness… it shows me that I appreciate myself in a way that noone can… it gives me strength, confidence and the ability to persevere; qualities all mothers really need. I know that though my family does miss me when I’m gone, they will love me more for who I’ve become because I run.

  43. Kat permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:52 am

    Running illuminates that my body is a strong tool made to DO things, not just look good. The looking good will always fade. The looking good will never be good enough. But man, I can run 13.1 miles? No one and nothing external can take that away. I appreciate my body so much more since having kids and running, much more than when I was young and it was easy to not gain weight! But I was never satisfied then…now I am.

  44. jessica permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:59 am

    Running shines a light on all the little (and big) things that are weighing me down. The impossible and very heavy things that I carry and build up and lug around. Running lightens the load. I can put things in perspective, realize I am capable, or that it isn’t really that important. I ran to run when I was young, and I still do, but as I get older I realize its great for my brain too.

  45. November 3, 2010 8:59 am

    For me, running continues to shine a light on the limitless potential of a woman’s body and a woman’s LIFE! This potential is in each of us. Having had 4 children in 8 years and nursing each child well into the subsequent pregnancy, I have a strong sense of empowerment and self-determination and a deep awareness of our collective resilience. I find myself honoring and celebrating this resilience with each run/walk/ride/breath.

  46. November 3, 2010 9:00 am

    For me, running illuminates the part of me that can get. shit. done. Normally, I have a tendency to focus on what I can’t do, what I’m not doing “right” as a mom, wife, friend, employee, etc….Running reminds me that YES- I am a badass who CAN do things- how many other women are out at 5:15am in the dark and cold putting in 7 miles? NOT MANY.

  47. girlsworld permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:02 am

    My running illuminates my discipline, which in other aspects of my life may be lacking, but give me a training plan and a goal, and I will stick to it in order to push myself to become stronger and faster.

  48. Suzanne permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:07 am

    I think running illuminates me as an individual. Sometimes I feel like my whole day is for everyone else–my kids, my husband, the Home & School Board, my Girl Scout troop, etc etc. Running is something that I love, time I carve out for myself, and makes me still feel like me–that I haven’t completely surrendered myself to mommyland.

  49. Sarah B. permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:09 am

    Running illuminates my sense of individualism. I get to figure out what works best for me, from shoes to race pace . And while I get lots of advice and support from the stupendously wise and wonderful community of fellow runners, ultimately I’m the one to make the decisions, gauge if they’re working for me, re-tool if necessary, and do what it takes to keep me running. I’d long been someone who’s easily swayed by what I think others want me to do. I own my running.

  50. November 3, 2010 9:20 am

    running shines a light on my life in so many ways and it kind of depends what is going on inmy life. Right now running shows me that I can do hard things. If I can get up before the sun and run in the dark then I can handle all the hard things that are going to come that day.

  51. Erin DeGroff permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:23 am

    Running illuminates the friendships I have made. I have met some really wonderful people who will be friends for life just because of all the secrets we share as we pound the pavement!

  52. November 3, 2010 9:42 am

    running is for me!! Running has helped me become a better me because when I run I am alone with my thoughts and I really can work through the problems and see things clearly when I run.

  53. Celeste permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:55 am

    Running illuminates the physical side of myself. I am an introvert, a deep thinker, an over thinker, a worrier. When I’m running, I do a lot of thinking, especially since I run solo (even on the 20 milers!). But on the other hand, when I’m running, I think a lot about my body–moving, working, rocking hills, gritting through pain. I like that super self-consciousness about the physicality of my self, the immediacy of doing something hard at that moment and being fully aware of the physical challenges I’m overcoming with each stride. I love getting faster, pushing harder. It is such a balm to my in-my-head-all-the-time psyche.

  54. realrellim permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:02 am

    It illuminates strength and persistence. Even though I might not always feel strong enough or awake enough to be out there, I am nevertheless.

  55. Ashley H permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:05 am

    Well, I’d say it illuminates my pride, if that makes sense? I don’t know a lot of people who are into running, so what I accomplish during a run or race makes me feel really proud. Especially as an exhausted mom who can’t always find the time. πŸ™‚

  56. Kristen permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:13 am

    Running for the first time in my life illuminates self love. After 2 kids, post partum depression and a 92 pound weight loss, my body has some “damage”. But in my swimsuit, take a look at me from behind, those strong, badass legs I’ve got, they look better than some of those 20 somethings in bikinis. I LOVE BY LEGS! They are huge and strong and mine!!!

  57. November 3, 2010 10:16 am

    Running lights up my confidence. I’ve always had it, but didn’t know how deep down it was buried. Since I started running it shines. my family and friend can see it and feel it. I LOVE what running has done for me

  58. Csaf permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:21 am

    Running illuminates for me who I truly am, deep down inside, underneath all the other layers that continually squeeze “Me” to the bottom of the priority list. ME before I was a girlfriend, ME before I was a wife, ME before I was a professional, ME before I had twins, and ME before my 3rd came along and really turned everything on its head. It takes me back to the basics of who I am, what I am capable of and it helps me to rediscover ME.

    PS. I hope I win! I’m a member of the 5am holy-crap-what-do-you-mean-the-sun-isn’t-supposed-to-rise-until-7:15 club! And man, it IS dark out there!

  59. Shay permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:39 am

    Running reminds me how strong/stubborn I am or can be. I am not built like a runner nor am I a “natural” athelete, but when I am running, I feel confident about getting out there and finishing what I set out to do.

  60. November 3, 2010 10:42 am

    Running really illuminates what my body can do and makes me feel empowered! I am 8 weeks pregnant right now and training for a half-marathon that I will be running when I am 6 months pregnant. I have had 2 miscarriages this year and running scared me at the beginning of this pregnancy. I didn’t want to lose this baby too. But I know if I just take it easy and not worry about time, I can keep running and make myself feel better and stay sane during this pregnancy! Running now makes me clear my mind and not worry every second that I could lose this baby too. It helps me stay positive! πŸ™‚ And like I said at first, it shows me what my body really is capable of! Carrying another life and carrying it down the road on my own 2 feet! πŸ™‚

  61. Terzah permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:49 am

    I woke up this morning with probable strep throat instead of waking up to my planned tempo run. I thought I had escaped what the husband and kids did not. Oh well! Give me antibiotics, and I’ll be right back out there! Bring on 5 a.m.

    Running reveals that I am not who I was as a teenager. I can choose what to believe about myself, identify what needs changing and how to change it. I can set goals and keep trying, at my own pace, until I achieve them. I know aging doesn’t have to mean losing all my advantages. I have–slowly but surely, with setbacks here and there–gotten better over time, in running and other things. And, thank God, I have a lot of time left.

  62. November 3, 2010 10:58 am

    running shines a light on my strength and determination!

  63. Cynthia permalink
    November 3, 2010 11:35 am

    Running illuminates how far I have come in such a short time. I was always a casual runner off and on but just this year I took running more seriously and decided I wanted run to complete a half marathon. That started my addiction to running. After completing 3 half marathons I knew I had to run a full marathon (this past October). I now love running and hope to continue running for many many years as long as my body lets me. On those dark, now cold, mornings I reflect on how far I have come and always plan new goals. I have 3 marathons I want to complete next year and one of them will be with my husband. I can’t wait!

  64. Holly S. permalink
    November 3, 2010 11:48 am

    Running shines a light on my potential. It’s almost confounding to me when I get a new PR. I am 41, and have been running for almost 10 years, but I have a brand new marathon PR and got a half-marathon PR last year. What does it mean that I am still getting faster as I age? That I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough? That I have always doubted my ability? That I should get a coach? What else in my life could I be better at if I thought it possible? I’m still sorting it out.

  65. Jules permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:15 pm

    For me, running shines a big old light on the limitless possibilities life offers. It gives me clarity (even in the dark!) In the midst of a difficult training run when all I want to do is quit, I remind myself of this:
    “The only limitations we have are the ones we place upon ourselves.”
    Anything is possible.

  66. November 3, 2010 12:23 pm

    This post for some reason brought a lump to my throat & tears to my eyes. Running is the one thing I’ve done for myself and has brought me a tremendous of self worth. As a woman that does struggle with depression, is on the go 24/7 with little sleep and a lot of pressure, running is the one place I feel truly good about what I’m doing and it fuels my mental creativity (I’ve developed alot of things out on the road, created movies, written books, blogged, solved life’s problems). My best friend told me today she is in awe of me and I do not know why. Because it’s a life of pure survival. Either get up & go or sit down and lose with those around me paying the price. So I get up, I go – I get up and run. And often, the light of my soul is found there.

    There is where I feel “I CAN”.

  67. Erin permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:26 pm

    Running has illuminated my ability to handle stress. I can take care of my daughter, my husband, myself, and work responsibilities. By carving time to run, I have become better at handling everyday issues. I am no longer a victim of my perceived “vida loca”. I am in a better frame of mind when I exercise.

  68. Katy permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:27 pm

    Running illuminates my crappy asthmatic lungs and makes me susceptible to snide “You? A Half?” comments. The flip side is that it shines a light on and my determination to keep going in spite of them.

  69. Lauren permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:27 pm

    Running shines a light on everything I can do that I thought I couldn’t…not just running. Having just run a half-marathon a few weeks ago, I figure I can also fly across the country alone with my toddler, right?!?!

    • Jill permalink
      November 3, 2010 1:08 pm

      yes, you can fly.. Just let me know what flight and what seat.. : ) ha… I recently did the same, it isn’t nearly as bad as you expect.. Our worse part was leaving the play area at the gate to board.. Believe me the folks were checking their tickets wondering if they were next to the ‘screamer’… Enjoy it and HAVE FUN….

      • Lauren permalink
        November 3, 2010 10:07 pm

        Thanks for your advice, Jill! It is greatly appreciated!

        • Alecia permalink
          November 4, 2010 7:31 am

          I flew with my toddler and newborn twice. I purposely booked seats by the engine. The noise canceled out anything my kids may have been doing and it actually lulled them to sleep as soon as we started to taxi.

  70. Tracy permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:50 pm

    running has illuminated a confidence in me that i never quite realized before. It has illuminated a strength to help me realize that I can get through pretty much anything – no matter how hard or challenging.

  71. Jill permalink
    November 3, 2010 1:06 pm

    Running illuminates my life… Gives me the time to look at my life from the outside and appreciate all that I have and all that I am working towards…

  72. Erica permalink
    November 3, 2010 1:55 pm

    Running illuminates all the strength, determination, and confidence that I didn’t know ever existed in me. I am a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend because of it.

  73. Adrienne permalink
    November 3, 2010 1:58 pm

    For me, running shines a light on hidden athleticism that I never knew was there. I was never athletic, unless I count optimist softball in elementary school, and being able to run and achieve in the sport (in my own eyes at least!) has been eye-opening. Being a runner makes me feel like there are so many other goals and dreams out there that I can pursue succesfully as well.

  74. Lyndsay S. permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:05 pm

    My running helps illuminate my motivated self. Sometimes I think I lack motivation and the ability to complete things. But then I remember that training and completing a marathon takes a plan, dedication, and lots of motivations. So I don’t lack it, just need to find the right things to direct my energies towards.

  75. Nancy M permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:32 pm

    Running illuminates me mentally, that physically I CAN do this {even though I am 50 and was never athletic or phyically fit} and I WILL do this!

  76. Aimee permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:33 pm

    Running illuminates the incredible power I have inside and have wanted to let loose upon the world. There are no limits to what I can accomplish. Running illuminates to my daughters that they are invincible spiritually and in many ways physically.

  77. Kathy permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:37 pm

    Running gives me clarity. I am able to focus on the big stuff, without getting lost in the small stuff. I have a very good friend who was seriously injured after being hit by a car last year running near my house. She had run in several marathons and had just qualified for Boston at the Marine Corps 2009. She can’t run long distances anymore and it has had significant impact on her life. She has lost her light and continues to struggle. When I run I think of her and how far she has come and it keeps me going. I hope to inspire her with my determination and will try to domy first marathon in her honor in 2011!

  78. Annette M permalink
    November 3, 2010 3:02 pm

    running illuminates that I’m not in as poor shape as I’ve thought I was…. (also, I just heard that a study showed that, moms listen up, multi-tasking isn’t good for our brains! help!)

  79. November 3, 2010 4:26 pm

    Running illuminates my strength…and that I can do anything I put my mind to.

  80. Nancy Mize permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:28 pm

    Running spotlighted a facet of my personality I had never paid much attention to, even though it might be 90% of me: I am ridiculously competitive, some internal & a lot external. I suspect it comes from being the 8th of ten children–it took a LOT to get noticed–and a chubby smart kid who was picked last on the playground. Decades later, I run at the head of my little running posse, forever running away from being too slow to even to try.
    Since the light’s been pretty thoroughly shed on that discovery in almost a decade of running, I’m curious to see what will be illuminated next. A self discovery slide show of sorts, I expect.

  81. November 3, 2010 5:00 pm

    Running illuminates all the possibilities, whether it be fore that day, or 10 years into the future. Everything is brought to a new level of clarity in those pre-dawn runs. There is something so incredible about how still the world is at 5am. Very few cars, fewer people, and no distractions. Just me and what I can do.

  82. Kelly permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:17 pm

    running illuminates my potential…

  83. Melissa permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:33 pm

    I am 44yo and just started running a few months ago. I find that running clears my thoughts during the day; so much so that I can tell the difference if I have NOT run. ‘Love that and I wonder why it took me so many years to figure it out. πŸ™‚

  84. November 3, 2010 5:36 pm

    Running illuminates the part of me that doubts myself, until I see that I can do whatever I set my mind to if I believe in myself and never give up or give in.

  85. otherjulie permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:36 pm

    Running reinforces that I always have a little more…a little tougher than I thought

  86. November 3, 2010 5:38 pm

    Running illuminates the competitve person in me. I really am not a competitive person. If put into a fight, I find it easier to just back down. Yeah, I’m a wimp. I don’t care. But with running, I’m in constant competition with myself. I love being motivated by friends with their running and race results, but when I’m out there, all I want to do is beat myself. It makes me happy.

  87. Susan permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    Running lights up my life with the friendships I’ve made with fellow runners. In fact, just about every close friend I’ve ever had has run with me at some point. Right now I reconnected with an old running partner and friend. She needs someone to help her train for her next half this coming March. We’re both looking forward to long runs together where we can improve our physical health and give our mommy minds a much needed adult conversation. We will be hitting the roads early in the morning and just today we were talking about how scared we are of snakes! Yikes!

  88. November 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    Running shines a light on my family~My boys are proud that their mom is a runner, they tell their friends when I do a race. Runnig shines a light on my daughters future~at the age of 2 she already knows I go run after I take her to preschool, I have laid the path of caring for yourself and your body for her and my boys. Running shines a light on the other women that I encounter who say they can’t run 1 mile, 2 miles or 6 and when I tell them my story and show them my path they see that they can, it just takes putting one foot in front of the other and the miles will come but what it lights inside them and me cannot be measured in miles.

  89. syndie permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    Running allows me to feel. From the time I was just a kid I learned to protect myself with emotional walls…I kept myself from being hurt, but at the same time, I also missed out on so much friendships & love because I never let myself get close to people. I started running just a couple of years ago, and now have a regular running group. What I have found is that when I run & am free. Free to be me & just be able to “feel”. Because of that it has also illuminated a part of my heart that at 42 years old I didn’t really know exsisted. I used to be jealous of all the runners that cried happy tears at the end of a race because I never allowed myself to do that…now after letting those tears over-flow at the Nike Womens Marathon I can truly say that I am free!

  90. Kristin Wright permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:48 pm

    Running illuminates all the things that I’ve told myself for years that I can’t do! One by one, those mental blocks are falling down. Now, running illuminates all the things I can do!

  91. Wendy permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:50 pm

    Running takes any light shining over that little demon on the one shoulder and redirects it to the angel on the other shoulder. Running helps me shake my demons, whatever they are at the time, and clears my mind, body and soul. After almost 25 years of running in this life, running is what makes me me and I celebrate that with the light, natural or man-made, of every run!!

  92. November 3, 2010 5:54 pm

    Running illuminates a strength in myself I never knew I had; physically and mentally. I have never done a single athletic thing in my life. When I had my son at the age of 26 I was left with extra weight and randomly starting running. It is amazing what I have accomplished in the past one and a half years! When I am running I reflect on all the great things I have done (3 half marathons, 1 under 2 hours and a half marathon under 4:30) and fantasize about all the things I WILL accomplish (more marathons, Boston Qualify etc…) Running is my saving grace!

  93. Tara Peplowski permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:56 pm

    Running shines a light on the power of “girl time” and friendship! I started running two years ago to prove that I could do something I didn’t think I could do. Here I am still at it, but not just because I can and it is good for me….nope…I am now part of a group of ladies (we have grown to 7 strong) that meet daily, in the wee dark hours of morning, to talk, laugh, vent, gossip,Oh..and RUN while we do it! Most people around town call us the “crazy runner girls”. We have to run in town now because it is too dark to run out in the country so early in the morning. We actually got scolded for being too loud while running by a lady’s house at 5:30am when her window was open…we talk too much! So,light up our run; light up our friendships and please give the “crazy runner girls” of Williamston, MI a beacon to run with….and let that poor lady get some sleep when we take our lamp(and our chatty ways) out to the dark countryside for our runs!

  94. November 3, 2010 5:59 pm

    running illuminates my renewed desire to feel, to hope & to believe. to feel proud of ME, to hope that things do work out for good and to believe that with God all things are possible.

  95. Christina permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:01 pm

    Running illuminates the fact that I CAN do things that are hard, that coaches and other people have told me all my life that I can’t do! It is such a great self-esteem booster for me!

  96. November 3, 2010 6:04 pm

    Mine is similar to Meleea (who happens to be my real life friend!)

    Running illuminates belief in myself…things I never thought I could/would want to. Makes me feel more fearless when it comes to taking on something new in my life.

  97. Rachel permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:05 pm

    For me, running illuminates my strength and my determination. I love how strong I feel when I run (most days) and I must admit I love knowing that I have accomplished more before 6:30 am than most people do in a whole day, exercise-wise that is!

  98. Chris permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:13 pm

    Right now, running is highlighting my sore foot. Doc says no running till it heals, not a fun post – but may bemi will win anyway…..

    • November 3, 2010 6:51 pm

      it illuminates my inner self. shows me how strong i really am and is really starting to help me with self doubt. as a beginner runner in the midwest this light would be super helpful to keep me lit up πŸ™‚

  99. Bonnie Alcaro permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:29 pm

    Running is the spotlight that shines on me. Those who know me now and those who know me from my past can’t believe the things I have accomplished running and they are always throwing compliments at me even if it starts with “You are crazy…” Running makes me special in so many ways. 26.2 to be exact!

  100. Tara permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:46 pm

    Running illuminate my usually otherwise-located pride. It’s the reason I continued past those initial two minutes of running interspersed with walking when I first began.

  101. Joanmarie permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:53 pm

    Having always been small boned and fairly to very thin, I always felt a little vulnerable and weak, as though a victim waiting to happen. Running and training has not only made me feel strong and powerful, I actually AM! Yes, there are definitely the physical benefits but, as many a woman will point out to the yet to be converted, running does wonders for your mental strength as well. Pass it on!

  102. Alison H. permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:02 pm

    Running illuminates and makes me more ME: an independent, nature-loving, quiet thinker who is more at ease running alone for an hour listening to some great tunes than schmoozing with a bunch of strangers. It makes me more comfortable and accepting of who I am, instead of trying to fit into a mold that I’m just not cut out for.

  103. Steph permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:05 pm

    Running illuminates the fact that the kid in junior high that told me I must be joining track to lose weight should see me now….I’ve done 3 1/2’s and multiple other races. I hope I never do see him though, because my quiet introverted self, is not always so quiet anymore. Just to note, I only did discus in junior high track, no running, but I was damn good at it! I didn’t start running until I was 34 years old…it’s never too late!

  104. Brandy permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:14 pm

    running illuminates my window of freedom from life. just like the post man code of “rain, snow, sleet or hail…” I will run despite the dark, wind, rain and crazy hour of the day so I can get that run in.

    currently sitting on the sidelines with an injury and no run in two weeks, had really illuminated how much I miss my running and how cranky I am without it.

  105. maggie permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:16 pm

    Oh lordy, I just posted a rant on my FB page about my fellow local runners who run in the dark, wearing black, and headphones, on the wrong side of the road. As for me, I live in an area with no streetlights so its really freaking dark and I had to steal my 74 year old mother’s “hi-vis yellow” vest to wear on early morning training runs because I had nothing suitable. On the psychological side, running illuminates my willingness to try and fail… which I think is so much better than not trying at all. Sometimes I suprise myself and can go 6 miles and other times, I am achy and done by 3. Regardless, I still go… because there is no excuse not to. All I need are shoes and a couple of sports bras and 20-30 minutes.

  106. Stephanie permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:21 pm

    Running illuminates primal simplicity. There is nothing complicated or confusing about puting one foot in front of the other and just breathing. In a world that seems out of control at times, it is the one simple thing I can control that I was made to do.

  107. megan permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:25 pm

    Running illuminates the fact that nothing is impossible. I had a knee injury 5 years ago and was told by my ortho, “well, you’ll never be a runner but you should walk just fine. That injury and subsequent surgeries led to a 30 lb weight gain and some serious depression. Today I’m 10 lbs lighter than pre-injury and planning my first half.

    Running also illuminates my thoughts and gives me clarity. My runs are my get out of my head and just focus on each step, each breath. I can’t get that anyplace else and I crave it when everything is swirling out of control in my brain

  108. alma permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:29 pm

    I run to find the light! I always feel like I can solve problems or get better insight on things that are weighing heavy on my mind. So running lights the way to mental clarity for me

  109. Annie Powell permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:42 pm

    Running shines a light on those mommy-spots on my body (flabbier tummy, larger buns) that won’t ever be the same… no matter how much I run. And I’m ok with that, and actually appreciate running reminding me of them.

  110. Gigi permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:51 pm

    Running illuminates the fact that even though I think my a$$ may look better and love my strong calves, there is also nothing wrong with rocking those tummy stretch marks due to being a mommy.

  111. November 3, 2010 8:22 pm

    Running illuminates the spirit inside of me. I have dealt with so much in my life and running is my release, my therapy, my chance to feel alive and enjoy the fact that I can run. I’m not fast but I love it. Running at night is a special treat. For some reason anytime I run in the dark I am faster. I’d love a light to not only be faster but safer as well. I’m so thankful that I discovered running and all the wonderful people I have met along the way.

  112. November 3, 2010 8:29 pm

    Sadly, running shines a harsh spotlight on the fact that while it has helped me delay the inevitable onslaught of the passing years, I have not escaped them. I look at times run in training two decades ago that I couldn’t even begin to approach in training runs half the distance now. And yet, in spite of that, I find myself looking forward to the sheer act of running each day, sometimes to reach a goal that is becoming increasingly hard to reach, other times merely to revel in the joy of moving and sweating, and the mental clarity that remains long after. It’s as if the light of the run has been refracted, then refocused to provide a clarity throughout the rest of the day that no other activity can match in intensity or satisfaction.

  113. Solducky permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:38 pm

    It illuminates that ability to dig deeper and find something there when I think everything – will, strength, etc – is used up.

  114. elaine permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:42 pm

    Running…Makes me think of just me. For that time I am out there I have learned to let go of everything and just be with myself. I feel like I have to get to know myself all over again everyday. It makes me be a better person when I am in tune with myself.

  115. November 3, 2010 8:44 pm

    Running makes me feel I can do anything!

  116. Jenny permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:55 pm

    Running keeps me in touch with every aspect of myself. It is my me time….I get to focus on my physical self and spiritual self. It allows me time to think, daydream, pray, enjoy the quiet, enjoy the music (most not suitable for the little people in my life), awe at the outdoor scenery, and mainly just enjoy being alone….something that happens at no other point in the day. πŸ™‚

  117. November 3, 2010 9:08 pm

    Running brightens up the dark corners of my mind that tend to be second guessing and worrisome. When I am running I allow myself to be in the moment… that one place where I have no worries and I feel like I can do anything.

  118. November 3, 2010 9:21 pm

    I find it so very hard to live in the present. I often dwell on past mistakes, rewinding them like a VHS tape that’s stuck in a player that won’t fast forward or eject. Or worse, I worry about the future dreaming up what if scenarios that are creative yet, highly improbable. Even though I work on this all the time, centering myself, being optimistic, trying to be truly present, I still have to really work at it.

    Except when I run.

    When I run, I am in the present moment. Running illuminates the now in me. Easily.

  119. Linda Williams permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:15 pm

    Running illuminates a sense of accomplishment. When I started running two years ago, I would have never imagined I’d finish five half marathons and one marathon. But I set goals, worked hard, and here I am now calling myself a marathoner.

  120. November 3, 2010 10:29 pm

    What running illuminates in most people is the parallel it has to life: runners are persistent, determined, and don’t b.s. or make flimsy excuses why they can’t get something done. That has been true for me in all the years I’ve run. But personally, running illuminates in me what is still possible. After having 2 kids, I felt like my body was permanently bulldozed and damaged. I started running again in March, and I can tell you that those first runs were not pretty. I couldn’t even run for more than 2 minutes at a time. This past August, and just recently in October, I ran my first 2 half marathons. I set a goal for myself to surpass any distance I did pre-kids. By working toward and completing both HMs, running illuminated for me that it’s still possible for me to be strong and that I could overcome my physical and mental weaknesses that motherhood brought upon me. It helped shine a light on me again, separate from “just being a mom.”

  121. Janelle permalink
    November 3, 2010 11:44 pm

    Running illuminate my soul! My friends and family know when I have been running, I am happy and smiling. The fresh air and quiet time do me more good than any chocolate bar or cheeseburger ever can!

    Running truly is my soulfood!

  122. November 4, 2010 4:56 am

    Running makes me feel strong, powerful, and in control. Something a lousy past has never allowed me to feel before. At one point in my life I ran because I had to (military), but now I run because I want to. That alone has made a huge difference.

  123. tamara permalink
    November 4, 2010 6:30 am

    Running ignites a fire in me that gets me through the day. I feel more energized and find that I just want to get things done. While running I can process and organize my thoughts then when I get home begin to put plan into action.

  124. November 4, 2010 6:58 am

    I liked the metaphor:) In elementary school, I dreaded the “mile run” for physical fitness day. I went into the run thinking “I CAN’T do this, there is no way, why even try”…. During PE in high school, our youth pastor and avid runner would take us cross-country running. I then realized that my negative attitude was the only thing holding me back from reaching a goal. Before I got pregnant years later, I took up running again. I loved the feel of accomplishment, empowerment, and good ole’-fashioned pride in being a woman. Since then, I’ve run my first 5k, and I have another this weekend in Wilmington. I feel that running makes me a better mom, because as I run at 6am in the dark, I know that as long as I take one step at a time, I’m going forward. Same as being a mom…when you are in the dark, dont know what the heck you are doing, just keep taking those steps….even if it means your pace is 14 minutes or something…because you are going forward:)

  125. Kathy S permalink
    November 4, 2010 7:51 am

    Running illuminates my power. I am reminded that I am capable of anything if I just try. If I can run more miles a week than I drive my car, run a marathon, run through pregnancies, and truly enjoy it every step of the way – I am one unstoppable mom!

    Running is something that has never let me down πŸ™‚

  126. Vickie permalink
    November 4, 2010 8:55 am

    Every run, long or short, demonstrates that we can accomplish anything that we set our mind to. It is not easy and I will never have skinny legs but these legs are powerful.

  127. Kathy permalink
    November 4, 2010 10:18 am

    My running shows me that what I never thought possible, IS possible.

    Last night my group ran a tempo run. 3 km (just over a mile).

    My plan was for about a 9 minute/mile pace…..

    we ran it at 8:03/mile.

    I didn’t think I would EVER run that fast, and I did it. and I liked it.

    ’nuff said!

  128. November 4, 2010 10:27 am

    Running illuminates the voice in me that tells me that I cannot to it, but brings out in me the woman that is proving that voice wrong. I can be pretty hard on myself, and it is illuminated in my running. I ran a 10K this past weekend, and 90% of it was a mental battle. The cool thing is is that because of my running, I am learning to combat that voice. And every step I take I am eradicating that voice and becoming stronger.

    That is why, I am running my first marathon in March . . . to finally silence that voice once and for all!

  129. Becky permalink
    November 4, 2010 10:31 am

    Running, for me, illuminates health and a new body to embrace! When I graduated from college (2001), I weighed in at a whopping 260 lbs! YIKES!!! I didn’t gain the “freshman 15.” I apparently gained the “college 65.” Not something I was proud of. I got married in 2003 (at 230 lbs and a size 22 wedding dress). Something had to be done! We wnated to have children and being obese was not the way to do it. I started doing Weight Watchers and going to the Y every night after work. I started running (5 miles a night on the treadmill) and in 8 months was down to 158 lbs! I had lost 102 lbs! Shortly after reaching my goal (like a month later), I found out I was pregnant (we only tried one time). Shortly after that, I found out it was twins and I was pretty much banned from exercise and on bedrest by 27 weeks. I gained 65 lbs in the short 34 weeks I was preganant. By the time they were a year old, I had lost 62 of those lbs nad feeling great again. I bought a treadmill for home and didn’t get to use it too much. Twin toddlers are a handful! Ha! Over a bit of time, I quit running/exercising and gained about 25 lbs back. I them got pregnant with my 3rd daughter…and gained 40 more lbs. Fast forward and I’m back down to 168 lbs (I don’t think the other 10 is coming back off). But, I’m proud that running and exercising (I’ve been running again for the past almost 2 years) has allowed me to remain healthy, be a positive role model for my 3 daughters and it’s completely changed my life! I’ve run 5 half marathons in the past year, I’ve PR’d in all of my distances, I’m training for a 25K trail run and have never felt better!!! I look back at that size 22 wedding dress (and the fact that my kids don’t recognize me in my own wedding picture) and cringe! I wish I could do it all over again (same hubby, of course) and look like a smokin’ hot bride!!! So, running has “illuminated” all the things in my life that I never thought were possible about 9 years ago!

  130. Amy permalink
    November 4, 2010 11:12 am

    Running illuminates my desire to push my body to it’s full potential. I started running a couple years ago after having 2 kids. I just wanted to see if I could do it and what I was capable of. 2 miles in 25 minutes was a challenge and I was okay with that. I just had my 3rd child and was forced into a c-section due to his size. The c-section jacked up my hips and back. I’ve always struggled with IT band problems and had knee surgery 8 years ago. I finally got to a point where I told myself that I HAD to take the time and find someone to fix my body. Thanks to my chiropractor (who specializes in extremities) and massage therapist I am seeing huge improvements. 2 miles used to be my limit. Last year I limped through my first 5K in 33 minutes. Yesterday I did 4 miles in under 40 minutes PAIN FREE! Running illuminates my ability to do things I once thought impossible!

  131. Bretta permalink
    November 4, 2010 11:31 am

    for me … running illuminates the fact that I CAN actually do it …. never considered myself a runner …. NEVER … until after my 3rd baby and I trained for a 1/2 marathon …. I then completed two more (one while pregnant) and now after my 4th child, I’ve signed up for the LA marathon …. really nervous, but now know that I’ll be able to do it. It has been such a powerful thing for me …. (and side-note, I’d LOVE that light … as I live in the country and there are no streetlights nor sidewalks out here …. it would be a game changer) thanks!!!

  132. Michelle Burwell permalink
    November 4, 2010 12:16 pm

    Running illuminates everything that I can do, will do and want to do. When I’m running I can stop and think and focus, the rest of the day is so much more manageable when I have that time to myself.

  133. Jennifer H permalink
    November 4, 2010 12:29 pm

    Wow. Running illuminates my priorities. It is the one thing I refuse to give up, along with kissing my children after bedtime each night, eating milkshakes once (sometimes twice) a week, Bible study, time with girl friends and date nights at least once a month. Somehow on that long list work got left out. My boss frequently tells me in our meetings about how he was figuring out a problem on his run that morning. Not me, I was enjoying my time with my partner chatting away about what really matters in life or I was getting lost in some tunes and allowing myself to be free from other obligations, even if it’s just for 40 minutes. Running shines the light on what really matters to me in the moment, not what should matter just because society says so.

  134. Kim permalink
    November 4, 2010 12:59 pm

    Running illuminates me physically, emotionally/mentally, and spiritually. Physically, I can run a half marathon distance without any problems and don’t have to take daily meds like a lot of my younger friends do! Emotionally/mentally, running illuminates my happy organized self and my kids will tell you “mom is happier when she runs!” Spiritually, this is my time to thank God, that through His Grace, I can run long distances in beautiful weather (rain or shine, light or dark) and be amazed at the sights and sounds along the way that He has given us.

  135. JillC permalink
    November 4, 2010 1:35 pm

    Running illuminates my mental and physical strength.

    Running for gym class in high school and college use to make me cry and whine. I might have had a rockin’ bod then, but it was nowhere as strong and fit as my body is now. Medical school and residency was a fair mental and physical challenge, but…

    it was MOTHERHOOD that made me strong enough to get out there and go the distance on my two legs.

  136. Judy permalink
    November 4, 2010 4:20 pm

    I am grateful everyday for the opportunity to run. I never want to take it for granted. Because it is truly a gift that allows me to shine and be the best that I can be.

  137. kristi permalink
    November 4, 2010 5:33 pm

    Running illuminates what really matters. I can get all wrapped up in work deadlines and housework and commitments. Running clears my head and helps me put things back into perspective. Running also illuminates my ability to reach out to other moms in a supportive and motivating ways as we challenge eachother to reach mile goals or just to take a little time to focus on ourselves. And what great role model behavior for our children!

  138. November 4, 2010 6:03 pm

    Running illuminates both what I am and what I can be.

  139. Jenny-Wren permalink
    November 4, 2010 7:35 pm

    Running illuminates cohesive thoughts that generally evade me as I race through my days. I find answers, decisions, and permission that I can’t seem to connect with in the midst of the frenzy. On a different note, it also illuminates the mind games I play with myself (I can’t possibly go another step, oh – I guess I went 5 more miles!) and it provides me an awesome arena in which to challenge those mind games! Last night was our last “evening run” until some light returns…I could really use that headlamp!

  140. November 4, 2010 8:08 pm

    in those moments when i feel like i can’t go on, running illuminates the gritty determination of my ancestors — namely my maternal grandfather (“lolo”). he was a soldier in the phillippine army during world war 2 and was taken prisoner by the occupying japanese. he escaped the bataan death march by running and swimming his way back to my grandmother and mother. when i start whining to myself about the last few miles of a long run, i remind myself that lolo’s blood runs in my veins. if he can run beaten and half-starved for his life, then i can finish this damn run, safe on a sunny trail in sacramento.

  141. Becky permalink
    November 4, 2010 8:42 pm

    Running illuminates my confidence – in my day to day life as a grad student I experience a lot of self-doubt, but running has taught me that I am able, capable and can depend on myself. And it makes me feel tough!

    • Anne permalink
      November 6, 2010 7:57 pm

      I was thinking about this as I ran the other day, and what I realized is that running illuminates ME. It shines through all the muddled mess of self-doubt, impatience, anxiety, insecurity and weakness, the things that the core of who I am gets buried beneath. A good run lets the essence of who I am come out and shine brightly.

  142. Carolyn permalink
    November 6, 2010 5:51 pm

    Running makes me happy. No matter if its 3 miles or 10 or more it just makes my day. I am a busy mom of 2 young boys (3 and 1) and another on the way in May, the only time I can really enjoy running by myself is before work at 4:30 am. I have a small headlight but i have a feeling it will pale in comparison to this one. Either way you will still see me out there running.

  143. Patty permalink
    November 8, 2010 10:41 am

    Running illuminates ME! After a run I feel the accomplishment of getting out there and doing it, even if I didn’t want to when I set out.

  144. Lori permalink
    November 9, 2010 5:00 pm

    Running shines a light on my self confidence! I feel like I tackle anything after a long run!!

  145. Catrina permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:01 am

    Running lights up my mental side. I am such a grump when days go bye without a run. But when I get out there and shake off all the stress, and get some time just for me,I come back to my family feeling so much better!

  146. November 11, 2010 12:27 pm

    Running shines a light on something that I can call my OWN. Just me and the road.
    I so would love one of these – my friend and I run at 4:45am!

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