Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Every Step Counts

Just in case the surprise trip to Italy wasn't enough of a 40th birthday present, my husband took the additional step of throwing a party for me last weekend with close friends and family.  I am actually someone who shies away from being the center of attention and was nervous as the party approached.  (You know those girls who grow up dreaming about their wedding day?  Envisioning their walk down the aisle with all heads turned towards them??  I was not that girl.  I actually hyperventilated before walking down the aisle and broke out in hives.  I think it comes down to not feeling deserving of the attention...but I digress.)  

Anyway, as Saturday night rolled around and my family started to arrive at our house for a little pre-party get together, I finally started to relax.  The glass of champagne might have helped with the anxiety but holding my 8 day-old niece was definitely the highlight of the afternoon.

She really makes me want another baby!

Once we were at the actual party and I had a glass of wine (or two), I was having a great time.  It was so fun to see all my friends in one place, catch up with everyone and enjoy some good food.  My husband worked with a caterer to plan a Spanish theme and we had the most amazing paella.

This picture doesn't do it justice -- I think the pan was about 3 feet wide!

Towards the end of the evening, a group of my friends gave me a gift.  It is a silver necklace filled with charms.  There are charms for each of my kids, one for my husband and me, and one that says happy 40th and has all their initials.  In addition to the charms with our names on them, there is a circle and a running shoe charm.  And the simple slogan Every Step Counts.  The charms can be removed and rearranged to suit your mood and here is one of the many possibilities:

If I had received this charm a few months ago, I am pretty sure this blog would have a different name.  I love that slogan.  It describes so much in life.  

We all have goals in our lives.  Some might be related to sports -- qualifying for the Boston marathon or completing a triathlon.  Some might be related to our careers -- getting a college degree or publishing a book.  And others might be more personal -- being a good mother or overcoming a hardship. 

No matter what our goals are, most of them take work to get there.  And, at times, our goals may seem impossible.  But as long as we keep working towards them, making little steps even, then we will get there eventually.  

"Hard things take time to do.  Impossible things take a little longer."  - Percy Cerutty

I am just starting to build up my running base again in preparation for Boston training.  It is frustrating and somewhat depressing to realize how much fitness I have lost in the three months since I ran the Newport marathon and injured my foot.  My foot isn't really bothering me anymore, though, so I have no excuse to not get back out there and get in shape.

Monday morning I ran 8 miles on a typically gray, dreary, wet Portland day.  It was my longest run since the marathon and I couldn't have been happier to be out there running and pushing myself, despite the weather.  It was a sort of progressive run with 2 easy miles, 2 miles at 7:45, 2 miles at 7:30 and ending with 2 easy miles.  I averaged 7:58 for the 8 miles and it felt much harder than it should have.  I followed up yesterday's run with a 5 mile run today at an average pace of 8:03.  Again, it felt a little harder than I expected but the sun was shining on my face and in my heart.  

Perfect day for running
I am so motivated and excited to dream big and find out what I am truly capable of doing.  I expect there to be 

good runs, 
bad runs, 
fast runs, 
slow runs, 
hard-as-hell runs where I desperately want to quit and 
days when I feel like I could run forever.  

I look forward to each of those runs as I know I will learn and grow with each one.  And I can believe in myself knowing that as I head out the door for each and every run, that every step counts.  

What are your goals and what steps are you taking to achieve them?

- Kristen


  1. you had me at how sweet your husband is.
    and Im now off to live my goals.
    Im out :-)

    1. Aww, thanks! Yoga sounds heavenly right now -- doing more yoga is on my list of goals, too. :)

  2. What a beautiful charm and thoughtful husband :)
    I can imagine how excited you must be to get ready for Boston- and you mention Newport. That race is on my list!

    My goals are pretty short right now. I am not looking too far down the road, just working on what it takes to get after the best 5k I can and then enjoy some REST.
    Glad to find your bog here!

    1. I am getting pretty excited for Boston but am already considering following it up with Newport in June. From what I have heard, Boston isn't the best course for a PR so I may run it a little more for fun or for a conservative PR. And then really try to race Newport.

      Are you thinking of a spring or early summer marathon? I'd definitely recommend Newport! It is also fun because it is on a Saturday so then you can actually enjoy the rest of the weekend with your family. We lucked out this past year and had great weather on Saturday afternoon (not during the race, of course!) and were able to play on the beach.

      I'm still scared of 5k's!! So great that you are chasing that one down!

  3. Amazing friends and family for an amazing woman! Love your hair. My hair is similar when I grow it out, but too much work. I love the saying as well! Wish we could run together. Someday, maybe?! Love your perspective here. Love that the sun was shining on your face and your heart!!

    1. Aww, thanks, Tayarra! It is not often in life that we (moms) feel celebrated but I certainly felt that way the past month thanks to my family and friends.

      I'll have to look on your blog for a pic of you with long hair! I'm so lazy that mine is up in a messy bun 90% of the time. People don't recognize me when my hair is down and I'm not in running clothes. :)

      Yes, we will run together someday! I would love that! And I want to meet your sweet little boys. My "little" boy is 12 years-old and I have a soft spot in my heart for boys... You are one lucky mama!