Gotta be the Shoes.


So, every so often, I write about something other than baking, and it’s usually one of three things: travelling, music, or running. And this just so happens to be one of those posts (surprise!).

I’ve been running now for a while – but I started actually racing back in 2011, when I ran my first ever official race around this time that year. It was a 10k, I was nervous as heck, cried on the way there, ran the thing anyway, and felt like a different person when it was over. I had done it – and I had done it on my own.

A year later, around this time in 2012, I ran the same race – and remarked on what a difference a year can make. I again cried on the way there, but this time, it was tears of joy – of accomplishment. I was again going to the race by myself, however I no longer felt alone, I no longer had any fear. I felt awake and alive, and was grateful for everything that came and went in that past year.

This year, I was going to run the same race, as kind of an homage to my racing beginnings. However, due to a very exciting turn of events, I won’t be racing this year. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not still running, and more importantly, reflecting.

Had someone asked me where I thought I’d be this time next year at last year’s race, I would have never imagined it would be where I actually am. It’s been a truly AMAZING year – I couldn’t be more grateful for all the wonderful things and people that have come into my life (or been there along) and just keep making it more and more fabulous to be alive. And by the way, it’s true what they say – sometimes the very thing you’re looking for is right in front of you – you just might have to be a little patient until it’s right. You can’t run a marathon without the proper training, right? 😉

Anyway, this post was originally going to be solely about my new running shoes, and how I couldn’t tell if it was the shoes or my mind that was making me run faster. But in the end, I’ve realized, it’s both. You can have the fanciest gear in the world, but your head’s got to be in it. If you really want something, you’ll always find a way to make it happen, even with old beat up shoes. The right shoes just make it that much easier.

And so it is, with life. It’s not the shoes that matter – it’s how you use them.

I just felt like running.

I’d like to take a break from talking about baking for a post, and instead focus on my second favorite thing to do: running.

Today I ran my 4th “official” race. It was a 5 mile run, at the Philadelphia Art Museum. It was cold. But man, it was worth it. It’s always worth it. There’s nothing quite like the energy of a race, particularly a big one. Hundreds of people, just waiting to start running, all doing it for their own personal reasons – health, a cause, an escape – and all at their own pace. The air is electric at a race – regardless of your personal reasons, the goal is the same: to cross the finish line. We’re all connected by our desire to finish. Yes, it can be competitive – but it’s never angry or hostile. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Everyone wants to see everyone else finish. We’re all in this together – a large mass of continuous movement, floating through the atmosphere to our destination. Everyone is smiling at each other, everyone respects each other. It’s a beautiful thing, and if you haven’t ever participated in a race, I highly recommend it.

from a 5k last fall. I won my age group!!

But what I’ve really been thinking a lot about lately, is how I got here. Four years ago (the summer of 2008), I started to get more into running. I ran a couple miles a day, and realized I actually liked it. 10 years ago, I was very into fitness, but really only running a mile at the gym to warm up for the rest of my workout. 18 years ago, we had to run the mile in 11th grade gym class, and I cheated. I cheated running 1 mile. That’s right folks, I was a lazy teenager. Thanks to the good genes of my slender parents, I remained relatively so as well, but I was by no means in good shape. We had to run 4 times around the football field to complete the mile. I had this grand scheme that I shared with my friend: “hey, if I run slow enough, I can let the faster runners catch up to me on my third loop, and it will look like I ran all 4.” It worked. Shame on me.

a welcome sign at 17 years old.

Flash forward to last weekend. I went out for a Saturday afternoon run, and 1 hour and 38 minutes later, I had run 9 miles. Not only had I run 9 miles, but I felt GREAT. Honestly, I felt like I was walking. I  had to check about 5 miles in to make sure I was actually still running because it felt so…natural.

it all starts with a dream and a desire.

Now, I will never be the fastest runner; that’s OK. I may never run a full marathon; that’s OK too. (I am running my first half next month though – so stoked!). The point is that a person who cheated running 1 mile is fully capable of running 9. You can always change yourself, you just have to want to. A very wise man once said, “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”  So put on your sneakers, and do it. 🙂