One of the things you’ll learn if you join me on any of my social media platforms is that I’m a runner.

Okay, I’m not a runner, per se, but I run. I give absolutely zero damns that I’m not fast, that I will never set any records, and that I’m pretty unlikely to place in my age bracket. I was a collegiate track athlete, but only in short sprints and field events. But I run. I deliberately choose to get up at ridiculously early hours of the morning, put on my shoes, and drag myself across long distance courses, predominantly 10 and 13.1 miles.

You might ask why I would do such a thing.

I run for a lot of reasons, but mostly because running clears my brain and jogs loose my best ideas. I always manage to think better after a long run. An ideal run for me means I go out my front door, enjoy trotting around in the fresh air long enough to shake some ideas loose, and come back home to throw all those ideas out on butcher block paper or a white board so I can come back to them after I’ve gone to clean up.

That’s why I run. I sign up for races both to ensure that I actually stick to my running program {I can share with you a ton of articles that show you’re much more likely to stick to a fitness program if you’ve paid money into it} and to play tourist {running is a great way to explore places}.

This past weekend, I signed up for and ran the 2019 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. It’s my third time running this race, and both the first time I ran it since I had my son and the longest distance I’ve run since I had my son.

In the process, I learned that running 4-5 miles regularly doesn’t scale up to 10, especially after you had a fairly inactive pregnancy {I couldn’t work out while pregnant due to complications}. I learned that my calves, knees, and lungs were ready but my hip flexors most definitely were not. I learned that there are levels of pain that even a long soak in hot water and Epsom salts and wine won’t take care of, and that if you take those in combination, you’re going to have a whole different set of problems.

However, I learned that the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler course is still fast, flat, and beautiful, especially when we have something actually approaching spring instead of the teaser springs we’ve had the past couple years. I learned that runners are almost universally supportive of one another regardless of how fast you’re going – as long as you don’t stop and walk right in front of anyone. And I learned that if you do run a race where you only run until mile 7 but mile 7-9 are lined with gorgeous cherry blossom trees and you’re not in an elite group, there’s a lot of stopping and walking for photo ops. Which I’m perfectly okay with.

On top of that, the race got me up and out early enough to load up on caffeine {yes, even before a ten mile run I will drink a triple-shot nonfat caramel macchiato}, and out and thinking much earlier than I normally might have been up and out on a weekend. And I found myself mentally churning through some topics I’ve been stuck on during the work week. And I figured out a couple great solutions!


What happens when you have a great idea while you’re running and need to save it? You’d better believe I have some tech for that.

  • Dragon Dictation: Dragon speech recognition tech is great. I first discovered it when I was working at West Point and living in Tarrytown and had a 45 minute commute that allowed me to complete a lot of memos, white papers, email drafts, and anything else I could dictate aloud to the app!
  • Todoist: Todoist is a to-do list app. It’s a way of collecting and organizing all your tasks within a single app, and it even allows you to track your progress. You can even use it to share projects with your team – or as a digital honey-do list {I don’t nag my husband, I get into his iPhone notifications}.
  • Evernote: Evernote is a note taking app that helps you keep your information organized. You can input either typed notes or scan hand-written notes, add pictures, add deadlines, and also do team collaboration.

I started in the last wave this time. I passed a few people. I got passed by a lot of people. But I was able to push it in across the finish line for an actual running finish picture, so that’s something.


For you other fitness nerds out there, why do you get out and run? What motivates you? And how do you capture the ideas it jogs loose?

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