• The sky has been like a watercolor painting this week, big blue with fast-moving voluminous clouds, green and gold and thick soft air. Some days it is too hot to run outside and even when the cool front moved through, it was extremely humid and I had to walk a few paces at every half-mile of my lunchtime run. I reflected that a couple of years ago, taking any walking steps during my run was distressing to me – an indication of a failed training opportunity. I wondered if I should be pushing myself harder.  Then I remembered that I’m still setting personal bests in the short runs I’ve done this summer, and I’m enjoying running more than ever. I am not competing with myself or with anyone, I’m just enjoying being outside and the feeling that comes from regular activity.
  • I’m staying motivated by signing up for smaller events every 2-3 weeks. I found a 4-mile run for our local Founder’s Festival, and in August we have the annual Farmington Run for the Hills, which I will do as a 10k. I love these smaller runs in my hometown because they are usually community-oriented, for good causes, and have a very upbeat, grass-roots feel. (Plus, I can roll out of bed a half-hour before and ride my bike to the start.) Then in September I will do the Kensington Challenge 15k, and start ramping up training for October in Empire. I love the Sleeping Bear Half Marathon and although I don’t really expect to bust out a PR this year – last year the stars were totally in alignment – it’s such a nice event and the weather is terribly, excitingly unpredictable and it’s my favorite time of year to run.
  • I finally spent my birthday money on a couple new pairs of running shorts, tank tops, and some new socks. I’m slowly replacing my ragged old Athleta sports bras – which are like strapping on Viking breastplates – with a fabulous VS sports bra that I found – The Standout. It’s so comfortable and the racerback straps are cute, it’s been a great find and as someone who is slightly more top-heavy than the average runner girl, a good underpinning is almost as important as good shoes.
  • I like running and I like blogging so why is it that there are so few women’s running blogs that I enjoy reading? Most that I check out are too over the top for me. Instead of being motivational and inspiring, I find them to be a litany of accomplishments and selfies of their muscles and race photos. Don’t get me wrong – if you have the stones to be doing halfs and fulls and tris and Ironman events, you have put an inordinate amount of work into it and you deserve to feel very proud of yourself. I just don’t necessarily want to read about it, I guess. There are a few good running blogs that I like – but I feel as though I like them not because they’re running blogs, but rather they’re blogs by women who happen to run, and do a lot of other things too. They seem more balanced.

I know that nothing about this seems very well-structured, but it’s okay to me. When I started running a few years ago, I essentially stopped blogging. All the hobbies I’d enjoyed suddenly seemed sort of trivial compared with my split times, my aching muscles and minor injuries, my goals and gradual accomplishments. I felt as though I had nothing to say, and it was time to stop talking. Now, I’ve found my voice again, without losing my stride, and even if the things I want to say are trivial and unstructured, I like being able to say them.