Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Did you think this post was about this?

It's actually more about this.

As you may or may not know someone very important to me had a birthday this week.  It was a major milestone birthday. 50 years is a lot of years to be alive.  50 years is more than438,291 hours. That is A LOT of hours.

One day while I was out running, I got to thinking about our friend and Bishop Loren Dickson.  A couple years back he ran 44 miles the week of his 44th birthday. I thought I might do that for my 50th birthday. Then I realized I couldn't count on that -- for me 50 is still 5 years away.  Who knows what my physical or mental state would be by then. But then I realized that someone very close to me was, indeed turning 50 this very year.  I thought about running 50 miles the week Brad turned 50, in honor of him.  Let me tell you, facing running 50 miles in a week, right now, is a lot more scary than thinking about running 50 miles in 5 more years. It's all about the procrastinator in me... I mulled it over and wondered if I could do it. That would mean 10 miles a day for 5 days. At that point the furthest I had been running was 5 miles per day. I decided to test the waters a bit. The next week I increased to 7 and the following week to eight. I did it but still didn't know if I could commit.  Then I got the dreaded jury summons for that exact week.  I didn't know if I was relieved or disappointed. There would be no way I could run 10 miles and still make it to the courthouse by 9am. Something in the back of my head told me to pray and have faith that I wouldn't have to serve (my odds weren't good though, the other two times I've been summoned I've been picked).  Long story short, I prayed, I had faith and I wasn't picked. The other things that I had that week also disappeared.  Brady's Graduation = over. Brad's Birthday = over. Helping with the Youth Activity = delegated. Family Reunion = postponed.

I still hadn't told Brad about my intended plan -- still a little unable to commit, but decided to at least try a 10 miler and see how I felt.  Hmmm, I actually did it. It just so happened that this day was also Brad's actual birthday.  So diving head first in, I told him what I was planning to do. I didn't know how he would receive the news. I thought maybe he would think I was crazy, or that I should do it for myself instead of for him. But he seemed pretty excited. I guess I was committed...

I DID IT! I actually did it!

Monday - 2 miles (the day I had Jury Duty)
Tuesday - 10 miles
Wednesday - 10 miles
Thursday - 10 miles
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - 8 miles.

One of the highlights was seeing "Da Machine". Mind you I wasn't running in my/our neighborhood. I drove to a place and ran out there.  He was riding his bike this time. He still cracks me up.

Whew! Here's what I learned
- 50 is a lot.
- Enduring to the End is a good thing.
- My feet usually started hurting around mile 9.
- "Your legs are not giving out, your head is giving up. Keep going." is quite an inspirational phrase.
- The neighbors watched out for me. (it was actually usually the farm laborers and the tractor drivers, but on Saturday - when I had only 3 miles to go until the very end - I stopped at a yard sale and the lady, Annie, said she had been seeing me all week. I felt touched she noticed).
- Positive self talk is very important out there ("I've got this." "It's all downhill from here." "2 more miles? I can totally do this." "My legs aren't tired." "I'm not out of breath." "This is easy.")
- If I can let my mind go - I can solve all sorts of problems
- If you keep going your body will finally submit
- I have good running music
- Making your legs run to the beat of the music while your mind is thinking about something else is a good way to get through it.
- I think it was good to run for Brad, instead of myself. It was a big deal and I did it for him.
- Housework suffers when you spend a lot of time exercising
- Planning blog posts or Facebook statuses are a good way to pass the time (even though I rarely follow through).
- It was ALWAYS hard to get out there. I was ALWAYS glad I did it.
- It was hard not to get too relieved after each run, knowing I had to do it all again tomorrow.
- It is good to think of my running role models and people who inspire me.
- The roads out where I run are pretty much broken up into 1/2 mile, mile and 2 mile segments. It was nice to know exactly how far I'd be when I got to the corner (even though my iPod would tell me too)
- There is lots of beautiful scenery out on those seemingly deserted farm roads.

This last picture is one of my favorite's of all time. Not only is it just cool looking but it is very apropos signaling the end of a 10 mile run.


Janet said...

LOVE! I don't know if I love that you did it more or that you did it for brad more or if I love all the stuff you learned/observed while running! I've said many of those catch phrases myself during runs! Proud of you!! :)

Annette said...

That last sign pic is my favorite too. You are very inspiring girlfriend. I am proud of you!

Lindseys said...

Way to go, Stef! That is a long way to run in a week. Happy b-day to Brad too.

Kristen said...

Wow, Wow, wow! I am speechless! What an accomplishment!

Shannon B said...

I don't think I have ran 50 miles since middle school. Did you get those shirts at Union that said I am a 50 miler? (but it really looked like it said "I am a SO MILLER" lol) Congrats lady! You always amaze me!!!

karensumpter said...

My hat is off to you! I need you here to be my coach/cheerleader!

Jennifer Miller said...

You should write for shape magazine very inspiring. Well done!

Jonathon and Sarah said...

You always inspire me. What a cool idea and a HUGE accomplishment! You almost ran 2 full marathons that week :)

Joe and Julie said...

Stef, I love your running and photo skills. And I especially like your writing skills. Very well done. Hope you can save this off in a journal for your posterity to read about your commitment.

Jeanette said...

Oh my gosh woman! You are amazing! A.MAZ.ING.

Lindseys said...

You are cool. Really cool.

Camille said...

Awesome job, Stef! Way to set and accomplish goals! Very inspiring, too! Maybe I need to pray next time I have jury duty... :)