stoked.

I am not the kind of person to use the word ‘stoked’. Whenever I hear it, I imagine very attractive yet highly appearance-driven people discussing their new fave salad place (“I AM SO STOKED ABOUT THESE TOPPINGS, DUDE!”) , or Crossfit abbreviated jargon (“I was stoked to do my WOD in the BOX today! GO MURPH”).

But I can’t think of a better word to describe how I am feeling about two things related to my running.

1) DUDE I AM STOKED TO BE RUNNING FARTLEKS IN MY GHOST 7’S.

The Brooks Ghost 7’s have completely revived my excitement about running. With my crap Mizuno 17’s, if I even ran on 2 consecutive days, I would have shin splints and calf pain. With my Brooks, I am back to running with pleasure, aiming for my goal of 20 miles a week. I am sad that I won’t be ready to run my favorite half marathon in my favorite part of the world this year – the Sleeping Bear Marathon and Half Marathon. I’ve done it for the past two years, but with everything going on this summer, personally, I just couldn’t get consistent about my training until recently, and it’s just too late. However, I am hoping to be a volunteer at the race so I will still get to be a part of it and give back to one of my favorite events. You can see by my expression in the picture below how excited and proud I was after last year’s Sleeping Bear when I PR’d.

sleeping bear 1

2) MY TOTALLY AWESOME RUNNING PARTNER IS BACK AND I AM STOOOOKED.

At some point along the way, I gained a great friend who despite his youth (he was in preschool while I was listening to Milli Vanilli in my purple AMC Concord outside of Owosso High School) finds some enjoyment in my company while we run. He’s been out of commission for basically 2 years due to knee injuries, but has recently been given the “all clear” to get back to running. This is a huge motivator for me as I’ve never had someone to run with who was able to inspire and motivate me, pace me, and exchange great conversation with in the way that he does. I remember one of our first lunchtime runs we both brought our iPods and didn’t even plug them in because we talked about Game of Thrones during the whole run. In spite of his superior athletic ability – he can easily turn in 7-minute miles for extended periods and barely be winded – he is very patient about my slower speeds and matches his pace to mine at just the right level so that I am pushing myself,  but not wearing myself out. He is my favorite person to run with and I can’t wait for us to get back to lunchtime runs and planning for a spring half-marathon together.

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