celebrating one year of consistency and small wins

Sometimes just shaking things up can be enough to get progress in areas that might have been stagnant for a while. This weekend was just such an occasion.

Wonderful friends, great conversation, and some much needed relaxation in Steamboat Springs. Strawberry Park Hot Springs, anyone? A definite necessity whenever visiting this ski town.

In this case, it seems like taking a couple days off of training for my second 10K, chatting up a storm with these beauties, and letting loose for a couple days was just what my running needed

Wins when you least expect

I went for a chilly solo run on the foot path along the Yampah River this morning. It was crisp and sunny and bright. Perfect for a quick jaunt.

I kept looking down at my watch thinking something might be wrong with it. But I was easily running at a fast-for-me pace and clocked in on my fastest 5K time ever - 28:30! I love when the running stars align and effort melts away (or some effort, at least).

It still counts as a PR even though it's a training run and not a race, right?

In any case, this makes me confident that if I pushed hard in an actual 5K race, I could have a surprisingly fast time, probably faster than today's run.

One year

The pleasant surprise of my running performance was made all the better because afterward I realized that today is the one year anniversary of when I started running.

March 8, 2014, I ran a total of 0.8 miles, wheezing and out of breath as I shuffled along the Boulder Creek Path with Fenton (for the sake of trying to tire out my dog). Little did I know, an activity I had never really liked before would soon become one of my favorites. It turns out, Fenton is still not that keen on distance running (he's a sprinter...mostly for the purpose of chasing squirrels). But I started a love affair with the sport that day and I don't see my interest waning any time soon.

In the last 365 days, I have learned how to run without stopping, raced my first 5K, 4K (it was for the 4th of July), 10K and half marathon. I have collected an absurd number of athletic socks (some of them with toes), snapped the rubber on a pair of YakTrax, gone through several tubes of BodyGlide. Run for 50 days in a row. Felt like my toes and fingers froze off on early morning 5am runs. Felt like I would melt in a sweaty puddle during midday summer ones. Slowed down to a stop at the end of a good run with a giant grin on my face. Or at the end of a bad run felt a fierce and defiant pride for accomplishing what seemed impossible.

One year chock fun of good runs and crappy runs and still running anyway.

Each one of those lessons and experiences seems like a celebration in itself. For each run like today's that reminds me why I love what I do, and for each deep conversation or bout of laughter with friends, I am grateful. So here's to great weekends with the closest of friends, unexpectedly fast and easy runs, and passions first kindled and rekindled again!

Iris Rankin

Soulful questioner, exuberant organizer, here to find the balance between discipline and delicious relaxation. Iris Rankin is the founder of Project Intention, a values-based community focused on living day-to-day with purpose, planning, and heart. Iris encourages women to adopt the self care practices that make them feel divine, the planning tools to hone in on their essential wants and needs, and the emotional resilience to express their most authentic selves.

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