It’s G.O. H.A.R.D! (November has the Best Holidays!)

GO HARD! I’m back from my run—who’s ready to share the sweat?
GO HARD! I’m back from my run—who’s ready to share the sweat?

Thanksgiving is around the corner, but before we share our gratitude over a table full of food it’s time to celebrate Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day (G.O. H.A.R.D.) with a little swapping of sweat!

I’m doling out hugs all day, starting with a couple of virtual ones to the guys over at Run The Edge, Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher, for masterminding this incredible holiday. Without their vision, G.O. H.A.R.D. simply would not exist. (They’ve put together a great list of ways to celebrate over on their blog—check it out!)

Runners come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds, and no matter how far we’ve come or how many more miles we’ve got left, it’s awesome to take a moment to give thanks for each other and the thing that brings us together—running!

Michael K. Farrell slogged it out on a treadmill last night in preparation for next week’s Turkey Trot (which I lovingly signed him up for without telling him), so he gets the first real-life hug of the day from me. Who else wants one? I’ll be hanging out in the Mission in San Francisco today with my arms wide open!

Are you celebrating G.O. H.A.R.D.? (Of course you are!) Who will you be hugging today? 

Caroline from I Heart Running Thinks I’m Pretty Great (The Feeling is Mutual!)

Yesterday my phone tweeted me an alert that I am the recipient of an award. My first thought: “Yes! I  won!” My second: “Wait, I don’t remember entering any contests.” Turns out, it’s a little pat on the back from Caroline of I Heart Running, a fellow blogger who happened upon Some Kind Of Runderful a few months ago.

I would like to thank all the roads, sneaker, races, and running buddies that have contributed to my success along the way.
I would like to thank all the roads, sneakers, races, and running buddies that have contributed to my success along the way.

One of the amazing things about being a runner is the amount of support the community doles out to one another. You feel it in a smile of commiseration at the track, a nod of acknowledgement on the trail, and in all those finish line cheers. That sense of support and community is one of the reasons why I’m hooked on running, and it’s a big part of why I started this blog. We all need positive feedback in life, and it’s so easy to give.

Thanks for the shout out, Caroline! I’m thrilled that we’re in this together!

The rules for these awards are:
1. Add The Versatile Blogger Award photo on a blog post
2. Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post.
3. Share seven things about yourself.
4. Pass the award along to 10 of your favorite bloggers.
5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Seven Things About Me:
I haven’t used anti-perspirant in months and I smell fine (I think).
I always over do it during strength workouts—DOMS gets me every single time!
I’m allergic to pineapple.
I’m 33 years old and my favorite place on earth is still my Gramma’s lap.
I think hummingbirds are incredible.
I loathe washing silverware by hand.
I believe being active and noshing on healthy foods can help YOU find your Some Kind of Runderful life, too.

My 10 Favorite Bloggers (some non-runners included):
Tim and Adam @ Run The Edge
Dorothy Beal @ Mile Posts
Lauren Fleshman @ Ask Lauren Fleshman
Maggie @ Fat Bottom Slim
Paulette @ Just Keep Running
Vera @ Super Generic Girl
The deep thinker @ Cult Fit
Baze @ Beautycism
Christy @ Allure Weddings
John and Sherry @ Young House Love

What do you love about the running community? Who are your favorite bloggers?

Everest Base Camp, Baby!

Giving out hugs at Everest Base Camp.

Standing at the bottom of the world’s highest peak, 5364 meters above sea level, makes you feel pretty small. But it also makes you realize how significant you are in this world.

Last Sunday I made it to Everest Base Camp in one piece with a big smile, and not even a blister to complain about! (Photo to come ASAP.) It’s taken me a while to process the experience and internet connections in Nepal’s Khumbu region are spotty and expensive—which explains why this post is a week late.

Climbing up hills that on any other part of the globe would be considered mountains was physically tough (duh), but it was mentally challenging too—something I really wasn’t expecting. I found myself relying on running mantras to get me through hours of grueling ascents. I repeated the simple-yet-effective, “I feel good,” when I thought I couldn’t go any further.  (Thanks, Tim Catalano!) And at one point the words “I run marathons. I don’t quit!” floated through my head. That’s when I remembered how truly loved I am.

In all three of the 26.2’s I’ve completed, I’ve had the endless support of my family and friends. I couldn’t have crossed those finish lines without them. So up there, just a few meters away from the base of a mountain half a world away from the people who mean the most to me, I tapped into those connections and felt a sense of warmth and love. It was exactly what I needed to pull me out of the oxygen-deprived stupor and convince me to keep moving my feet.

Today, I’m heading to the Annapurna Circuit where I will encounter 18 more days of hiking at elevations up to 5400 meters. And you can bet I’ll be soaking in all of the good vibes you send my way. Love and Namaste to all!

Book Report: Running The Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano

I’ve been excited about the debut of Running The Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano ever since I stumbled upon their blog. These guys regularly post fun, personal comments on the world of running and share their love of the sport with humor and thoughtfulness. When the book landed in my mailbox, I figured I’d zip through it in one night, and  I was a bit surprised when I didn’t.

This is not the type of read you’d expect from elite runners. Adam doesn’t lay out, lap-by-lap the workouts that helped him qualify for the Olympics in 2000, and Tim doesn’t wax poetic about his speedy days at the University of Colorado. Instead, the message is bigger than that, deeper—it forces you to slow down and think.

Adam and Tim ask you to look at your running and consider whether or not you are being honest (with yourself and the world) about your training and goals. And once you’ve evaluated where you can improve, you’re prodded into considering how that translates to the rest of your life. Are you doing all that you can to be the best runner you can be? Are you doing all that you can to live your best life?

Imagine if we went to the same lengths to improve our life stories as we do going after a new PR, goal time, or qualifying standard. Imagine how much better our lives could become if we applied the same level of commitment, determination, tenacity, and creativity to improving our lives as we do in improving our running. (pg. 188)

Adam and Tim want you to recognize that by improving your sense of initiative, responsibility, determination, adaptability, integrity, and person-ability [sic], you can become your ideal self.

… We run the risk of living passive lives waiting for things to happen. We wait for love, for our big break, for a problem to disappear. We are waiting for our lives to live us, instead of going out and living our lives with purpose and action.  (pg. 84)

You are in charge of creating your best life. You have the ability to be a positive force in the world. These messages are universally appealing, ones that everyone should hear, not only runners. Which is why I think this book could be one in a series: Mothering On The Edge, Accounting On the Edge, Dry Walling On The Edge… (I can only imagine how different the world economy would be now if Investment Banking On the Edge had come out in the late 1980’s.)

Adam and Tim never ask where personal integrity and accountability have gone in today’s society or why we all feel so entitled. Instead, they show us through personal anecdotes how they failed on occasion in their own lives, where they have succeeded, and what they’ve done to improve themselves. And they implore the reader to live their lives—as runners, and as sons, daughters, friends, and neighbors—as close to the edge of greatness as possible.

Their stories lend a personable feel to this call to action, making the book feel more like a conversation with friends than a self-help workbook. The writing itself is clear, ideas aren’t complicated, and the text isn’t sprinkled with psychobabble words that require a dictionary, making it an easy read, though not a quick one. By asking you to reflect on your life and your running, the message begs to be savored.

Well done, Tim and Adam—I’m impressed! And I’m recommending it to all of my running buddies. (Get your copy here.)