A couple of times this week I’ve been reminded just how time-consuming marathon training can be — and, it seems for some of us, so taxing that it can sap the fun right out of running. I’m not exactly there, and I hope not to get to that point, but I can appreciate this sentiment. After all, logging miles day after day after day can take a toll on your motivation. This morning, for example, I did not want to get out of bed — even with the normally-encouraging smells of freshly-brewed coffee wafting into our bedroom. I just didn’t wanna.

Welcome sight in my mailbox today

But I did get up, I did squeeze in my scheduled six miles AND I am happy to report that my can’t-I-take-this-day-off? feeling subsided early on in my run. I’m thinking a lot of it had to do with me switching up my in-town running route. There are only so many streets, so many neighborhoods I can explore in the morning given my schedule of dropping off and picking up kids and fitting in work time, but even just a slight change in the typical loops and out-and-backs I take can make a big difference for me mentally.

So I am thankful for that today, that I kept going instead of turning left like I usually do on this one street, and even though it meant tackling a hill, it was a hill I hadn’t ran in awhile. Also, because it’s Friday and I’m feeling oh so ready for the weekend, I decided what this blog needed right now was a healthy dose of FUN. And of GRATEFULNESS. It’s the little things in life that keep all of us going, don’t  you think?

Happy stuff I’m thankful for today:

Steaming cup of coffee brought to me in bed by my wonderful husband. Honey, I can’t recall exactly when or why you started this morning ritual, but please keep it going. xo

Much-needed haircut. Not that my hair is getting a ton of non-ponytail time lately thanks to all this running business, but I don’t even want to say how long it’s been since I got a haircut. Sliding into that salon chair post-run, having the most amazing scalp massage during the shampoo, reading magazines…well, that was heavenly. Just a trim, my hair still is long, but it’s shiny and soft. I feel like a new woman.

Runner’s World in my mailbox. RW posted the new issue cover today on its FB page and as I trodded out to the mailbox, I said a silent prayer that my issue would be there. It was. Yippee! Also, the PriorLife t-shirt I won recently by posting to this fantastic “green” company’s FB page arrived today. Double yippee!

Friends who make me laugh (and encourage me). I have this super clever and witty friend who just cracks me up. Not long ago, she called me up to ask about running stuff — like what kind of gloves do you wear in the winter, where can you get a good armband for your iPhone and what do you do with your car keys anyway when you park and run? I promised her I wouldn’t share details of our conversation about where, um, car keys maybe shouldn’t go, but needless to say I think about her often as I get ready to head out for a run. She’s also among the friends I so cherish right now who encourage me as I train for this marathon. Not all are runners, either, which makes it even cooler. They may not totally understand my dedication to running so much — heck, it is pretty nuts sometimes when I really think about it — but they know it means something to me and support me. They also help keep things light and in perspective, like when Kelle posted a “Captured on a Hobble” picture on my FB wall following my slightly more serious “Captured on a Run” pic I’d put up earlier in the day. Great picture she posted, though, isn’t it?

Love what Kelle has to say as much as I love the photo: "Love your pictures on the run so this is my version of 'captured on a hobble'. All doped up on albuterol with the help of yaktrax I ran a little faster than a tortoise. Might be my last effort in January so I thought I'd share it ;)"

Satisfying work. I’m straying some from running here, I realize, but I have to add that I am extremely grateful for my job as a journalist. It allows me to meet interesting people and share their stories with others. I had an especially cool encounter  this week with a man who lost nearly everything but today is living an enriching life. I love these kinds of stories.

3-mile recovery run tomorrow, 10-miler on Sunday. Happy weekend running, all!

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