It’s week 8 of marathon training. I feel good even though I am hitting a long stretch of miles. Last week was 18 miles. This week is 20 miles. It’s all very exciting, but I can use a nap. And life is so busy, right now, that I had to squeeze in 18 miles on my own on Friday.

[For you local nerds, I started at Whole Foods in Chapel Hill and ran down Franklin Street, skimming the UNC campus. Then I went down Columbia to MLK to the Bolin Creek Trail. I did a dog-leg off the trail and ran onto Estes near the Walgreens. Then I ran back down Franklin Street back to Whole Foods.]

Six mile loop. Three times. I almost died of boredom.

Except I wasn’t running solo. I began my run thinking about Heather and Joe, who would be proud of me for trying to abstain from alcohol. (Trying and not always succeeding. Trying, nevertheless). I thought about the women in my run group who are awesome and strong. And I thought about my pal Ashley who ran 18 miles on her own, last year, and didn’t die.

As I ran down Franklin Street, I thought about Lindsey’s favorite Walgreens. What makes it so great? I’ve still never been in there. Then I ran past a small street called Howell, but it looked like Newell from a distance, and I thought about my friend Nancy Newell. She is awesome.

Further afield, I ran past a store called Sugarland and thought about John Jorgensen who has a love/hate relationship with his exercise bike (and sugar). I can’t lecture him about exercise if I’m not sticking to my plan. I also thought about some of the new parents in my life (Schmidt, Haun, Stollak) who find time to exercise despite disrupted schedules. If they can do it, I can do it.

And of course I thought about my friends in #teamfaulkner, family, travel, my husband, my life, my career, etc.

Even when you run solo, you don’t run alone. You bring it all with you. Thankfully, the stuff I bring with me is pretty great. I am a lucky woman.


  1. Whew. Timing is all. Your post is perfectly timed as it is well-written.

    I did the same routine, 15 then 18 then 20 mile runs, doing the 20-miler two weeks ago. This is my rest week before a marathon on Sunday.

    And on those long runs, I bring all my friends and yeah, some non-friends too, for the run. I let the dreams run loose and easy which helps solve the week’s challenges.

    I loved the way you gave shout-outs to your friends and why. Very nice. You made me smile at the ‘bored’ part. I live in a small town which is nice because I run in the country, not much traffic, but it’s a challenge to keep the routes fresh.

    Good luck on your marathon. Thanks for the post.

  2. I don’t run but I mall walk like a champ on the treadmill. If I cover the display and read on my ipad I can go forever. Your post the other day about yoga toes may be the single best thing I’ve learned this year. I bought a knock off at CVS and I’m in love.

  3. Marathon training is no joke. I’m honored to have run a 20 miler with you yesterday and for the insight to your career and personal life you shared. You. Are. A. Rockstar!!

    It’s fun to balance long runs with a running group with shorter solo mid week runs. I like to think about a different topic each mile because it helps with the boredom and the miles tick by. Sometimes I think I don’t really like running all that much and will skip a workout or two – but then when I go back out I think — wow, this is why I love this.

    I love your blog and the variety it has. Keep it up!

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