Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


If you know me at all, you know I love running.

What you might not realize is that I didn't start running until 7 years ago (2008).

Ask me about how running changed me as an entrepreneur and I'll tell you that a year after running, while I was training for my first Half, I started my business. I don't know what would have happened had I not started the habit of running while working more hours than any human should, but it changed the way I would run my business. It got me out of bed at 5am to keep me active. It forced me to keep my focus during those hard years because I worked through business problems on my runs.

Ask me about my silly looking shoes and I'll talk forever about how Vibram FiveFingers have changed my life. I'll tell you about the lack of joint pain, how my hips and knees stopped hurting after I learned to run correctly. I'll explain the Hundred Up and even show you.

Ask me about how my workout laundry and I'll tell you that 7 years ago my "workout" drawer mostly consisted of pajamas, t-shirts and a pair of cotton shorts along with pink sweatpants I would walk Bailey in. The sweatpants would go on right before I walked my dog. Now, I do an entire load of running/yoga clothes every two weeks. 

Running changed my life. I don't run for the physical fitness as much as the mental stability. It helps me set goals, push limits, and be an inspiration to others. As I said before, it also helps me work through problems. I am not a lifelong runner. I started and never stopped. I hated running for years. Until I found that moment that many runners talk about - the runner high. The space where runners find quiet peace and look forward to a long run.

Well, running is changing my world again. Because this girl is...

Training for a Marathon.

When my parents would tell people I ran races, they would say "Melanie runs marathons." Marathons are 26.2 miles of grueling one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. I've never run a marathon. The most I have ever run is a Half. And I didn't even like it. Every time someone would say "oh, you should run a marathon" I would vehemently say, "No way. I've never wanted to do that. No desire whatsoever."

Then I met Ben. 

My dear friend and athlete, Diana Dibble Kurcfeld, started a company called Nu'U Vitality. Ben Bartlett (@BartlettTri) is an elite athlete trainer and heads up a triathlon (run, swim, bike) training company. Ben tested my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate - minimum amout of energy used at rest) and VO2 Max (volume of oxygen an athlete can use). He looked my lack of sleep and high stress levels and said something I didn't want to hear.

"You should run marathons (26.2) and ultramarathons (50-100mi). Your body burns fat and you're genetically built for long distances. Even triathlons. People train to do what your body does naturally."

My first reaction: No. 

Then he said, "Training for long distances will help your stress levels and give you the ability to sleep."

<sigh> He's right. I need that.

Now I'm in training. Training to run my first marathon. I don't even have one in mind but training is pushing me to do things I never thought I would do. I'm a month in and won't look back. 5-7 days a week I'm on a spin bike at the gym, running long distances slowly, weight training, or doing Fartleks (silly Swedish name for speed play).

Did I mention that I'm on a spin bike too? Cross-training is causing me to think about doing a duathlon (running, biking - no swimming). That girl who started running in 2008 would laugh hysterically at me now. She'd probably even pee her pants from laughing so hard.

I still feel like a newbie at most of this. It's been a month and I've already seen a drastic difference in my stress levels and sleeping habits. I'm more worn out by the end of the day, I'm focusing on the positive, and my endorphins are keeping me happy. I even ran 6 miles in the snow in NYC because it was on my schedule. I'm starting to really understand this runner's high - way more than ever before.

My calling in life is to inspire people to dream bigger. This fits into both my personal and business lives. I am encouraged when I can inspire someone to do something that has been on their bucket list or push them to make bigger goals. If this post and my training can be an inspiration to even one person, I win. 

Ben inspired me to do something crazy. It wasn't even a dream of mine, but it's big.

Who has inspired you to reach for your big dream?

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