Passion vs. Crazy Part 1- My Inner Thoughts of Why I Run

If you run long distances I’m sure you have heard at one time or another “you’re crazy”.  Ah yes, those magical two words that trash all of those hours of hard work and preparation for any event in a nanosecond.  Usually by someone who is holding a taco or a Snickers.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that I like Taco Hell every now and again and chocolate is my weakness)

On the other hand I’m sure you’ve heard the word passion equated with running.  Passion.  PASSION…it’s so easy to say.  If you say it enough, you start to feel it.  Don’t believe me, think about it.  What are you passionate about?  In other words, what makes you sing.  That single thing (or few things) that when those words leave your lips, you smile.  That is passion.  That thing, that action you do that continues to bring you joy even though the process is hard but the reward is great.  Passion.  Say passion.  See how easily it leaves your lips.  You’re doing it now – aren’t you:)

Passion in the positive: Desire, hunger, thirst, appetite, craving and ache.  Passion in the negative:  Rage, fury, fit, furor and anger.

Crazy in the positive:  Fond, keen, passionate, and devoted. Crazy in the negative:  Outrageous, ridiculous, bizarre and stupid.

Who’s to say what is crazy?  Was anything ever really achieved by the person who listened to the other who said “don’t do that, it’s crazy!”.  What if we stopped there.  We wanted to try something new or achieve a goal not so much for the guts and glory, but just to see if it could be done, but we stop in our tracks because someone said you’re crazy.  Can you imagine if you heard the words “you’re passionate, do it”.  What a different world this would be.

This is predominately a running blog.  It is a PASSIONATE running blog (don’t forget I’m walking and riding my bike too – lol).  It’s main objective is honoring my mother through running or mileage if you will, 11,315 long hard miles.  I also use this blog, that passion, to honor others as well.  I wouldn’t say running is my passion, but the process and results that running brings have intensified my passion in other goals I want to achieve.  The planning, the discipline and the joy of completion – on my own terms.  Passion can be crazy!  Crazy good!  The feeling that comes up from your gut that makes you want to achieve that special goal. It doesn’t have to be running, it can be anything really.

I was born with dislocated hips which required I wear a body cast.  My left tendon in my neck was so tight I couldn’t move my head from side to side.  The story goes the doctors wanted to cut out the tendon which would have left a large indentation in my neck for life.  My father refused to let them cut the tendon out and proceeded to stretch my neck back and forth until the tendon elongated and I could move my head from side to side, therefore, no need to have the tendon cut.  If you were to look at me you would never know I had any issues with my neck or hips.  It hasn’t slowed me down or kept me from doing anything.  What is the point of this vignette?  We all have issues, hurdles or hills to climb on the way to achieving your passion.  The beginning path may be rough but the ending glorious.

It’s crazy not to have passion.  Happy miles to you and a very happy Tuesday.

Run #4 – No iPod Challenge

7 August

Nice lunch time run today.  The Garmin said it was in the 70s with 88% humidity.  I can’t believe that at all.  When I left the desk temp said 88 – but who knows.  It was hot – very hot.  I love having that break during the day to go for a run or a workout.  The only problem in August – working out, outside you get drenched in sweat.  Hit the showers then try to cool down before going back to the office.  Whew!  Not always pristine situation.

It was quiet on the track today – not a lot of people out.  When I started running I didn’t really think about the music or lack thereof.  I concentrated on the pace and loosening up the shoulders.

Ran 3.11 miles with core work out in between.  Workout consisted of planks, reverse planks, some yoga pose I forgot the name of and crunches and burned 310 calories.


Run #2 – No iPod Challenge

3 August

I am in to my second day of the no iPod challenge – so far so good.  Saturday I set out for 6 miles down Mascoutah Ave no tunes in hand.  Got going around 8 am, it was slightly hazy, a little muggy, but the weather in this part of Illinois has been extremely pleasant as of late.

The road out of the neighborhood has just been oiled (graveled) so this means I have to pay extra attention to my footing.  It’s a two lane road that has a curved embankment.  When cars pass, moving to the side can cause a problem with footing on the heavy gravel.  I have this footing for about 3/4 of a mile until I come to Mascoutah Ave, also a two lane road.

I hit Mascoutah Ave and I feel good, but a little on edge.  Not really sure why.  I’m not missing the music but I do feel like something’s missing.

I find it’s very interesting to see who gives you “room” to run, while others just buzz by you.  A lot of drivers gave me that courtesy today, but there were a few that buzzed me.  Thank you.

I’m running along and then it hits me to check my Garmin Forerunner 10 to gauge my progress.  It’s a small battle going on inside my brain…”It’s too early to check”…”no it’s not”….”yes it is, we just started”…”but we’re only doing six, so we need to check”…”no, don’t do it”….”do it, do it, do it”…..awwwww I’m checking – only 1.66.

Running on…it appears that lite beer seems to be the beer of choice around these parts.  I counted three lite beer cans on the side of the road.  Let’s see, Lite beer, Miller Lite, and Bud Lite ~  and a camouflage koozi!  Whoa, it looks in great shape – who threw that out?  After living in Germany for two years, uh, I’m not drinking Lite Beer!

Garmin check – 2.01.

Hmmm there seems to be an excessive amount of road kill on the road.  Welcome to running in the cornfields of Illinois!  Awww, raccoons, eww what is that? Frogs ~ is that a lizard?

Garmin check – 3.02 – yay, turning around.

Ewww, more road kill…what if I saw a dead body in the ditch..corn looks good…tail pipe…something stinks!

Garmin check – 3.66…dang!

Oh look there’s the little white farm house…I’m getting closer…I’ve got to go grocery shopping and drop off the clothes at the cleaners.

Garmin check – “stop checking – you know you have to run home – that will be 6 miles, dummy”….”I can’t help it” – 4.66.

I see the neighborhood – getting close and there is the yellow turn sign!

Garmin check – 4.91 – Crackers!

“I can’t believe you checked it again”…”Waaaaaaaa”!

Garmin check – 5.25.

“Really, really”…”Shut it”.

Back on the adjoining road to the neighborhood, feeling good but so ready for this run to be done.

Garmin check -“NO”…”YES”!

Run, run, run….

GARMIN CHECK – 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mileage Recap 21 – 27 July

I decided to mix it up a bit this week.  I have incorporated yoga into my weekly runs/workout.  I’ve wanted to try it for some time now and I was super lucky a new yoga studio opened right down the street.  My legs are super tight and I thought this might help me with stretching and breathing.  I decided to give it a whirl.  All I can say is wow!  I’m hooked and after a couple of sessions I can tell a difference.  The instructor worked with me and I feel that I’m stretching parts of my body that haven’t been worked in a long time.  In my opinion running is a mental workout.  Yoga seems to incorporate the mental with the physical.  Give it a try I think you’ll agree.

Workout included:

Sun – Ran 3.43 miles

Mon – 3.05 miles on the elliptical

Tues – Yoga!

Wed – rest

Thur – Ran 2.05 miles and yoga

Fri – Kettle bell workout

Sat – Ran 4.66 miles

Total = 16.38 for the week – 10,735.14 miles remaining:)


Mileage Recap 14 – 20 July

A hot and humid week for running.  Feeling pretty good with the exception of the kidney stone issue and the top of my right foot still hurting a bit.  Work team softball seemed to exacerbate the issue again.

I worked in 3 miles of elliptical on Monday and did speed work on Tuesday.  100 yard bursts with abs workout and stretching.  Finished with 17.12 miles for the week…10,751.52 remaining.

Twete Bird Giveaway Winners


Contest Winner

Reaching that 500 mile mark is very rewarding.  Even more rewarding is sharing this milestone with our readers.  Thank you for hanging with me for the first 500 and here’s to the next 500.

The winner of the G.I. Jane camouflage headband goes to Andrea S.

The winner of the Girl Power headband goes to Anna D.

Again, thank you and keep on running……



Mileage Stats Recap 23 – 29 June


With every step I take….I’ve reached my first milestone!  I have officially made it to the 500 mile mark.  I feel good and feel like I’m making progress toward my goal.  I finished 16.34 miles of running this week.  The weather reached into the 90s and was humid, but I like running in the heat.  Soon the runs will be early morning or later in the evening.  Total miles completed = 501.30 with 10,813.70 remaining.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday.  Remember, Life’s hard, running is easy~Laurel

Mileage Recap 1 June – 8 June

The first week of June saw some heavy mileage completed.  Still basking in the afterglow of the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk I was able to complete 43.75 miles for the week.

I feel pretty good so far.  I was lucky I didn’t have any knee problems and the back is pinching a little.  One thing for sure, my legs are super tight.  Whew, I’m in need of some heavy stretching.  That is one of my main drawbacks in running.  I just don’t do enough stretching.  I’ll be honest, it bores me.  It’s like I need to be monitored – “Laurel, do that stretching”.  Oh well, I try:)  Then there’s….

The Hunger…..

I can tell I’m still in recovery mode because I’m tired…and hungry!  I laughed when I read a post from another enterprising blogger who called it “rungry“,  Well, let me tell you, I’m way rungry.  I’ve been eating my way through Belleville, IL for the last week.


Chick-Fil-A, and Cracker Barrel just to name a few.   It hasn’t been pretty.  I was so hungry on the last day of the MS walk that some of the nice people I met along the way were beginning to remind me of the old cartoon where the two guys are stranded on an island and hungry.  They start to look at each other like food, one looks like hotdog and the other a hamburger.  “Hey guys this is Laurel, she’ll be walking with us today.  She’s very nice, but keep your distance, she’s a little…hungry”.

Hotdog and Hamburger

This would be my “other” lack of discipline I have acquired.  I’m trying to tame my eating habits, but honestly I’m hungry, all the time.  This is an area I really want to try harder.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and peaceful Sunday.  I’ve completed 462.06 miles and have  10,852.94 to go.

Run on….

MS 50 Mile Walk Day One Recap

Day one is over. Fifteen miles down, 35 to go.

There are about 170 people participating in this event. People started arriving about 0630 and the route opened at about 0815. Here I am at the start of day one.

I started off feeling pretty good. I was sure to take an Aleve before I walked. The knee still hurts and the top of the right foot still isn’t healed. Otherwise I still felt ok.

The St. Louis staff were helpful and kind. Really a great bunch of folks. It was interesting to “people watch”. I didn’t speak with many people but I overheard a lot of their stories. Everyone is there for a different reason. Friends, family or for themselves. It’s always good to see people putting their best selves forward. And let me tell you 50 miles isn’t going to be easy. My hats off to a lot of these people.

The route took us through some of St. Louis’s old neighborhoods. St. Louis really is a lovely city. The walk was extremely pleasant. The weather cooperated in the morning up until lunch.

We had a great selection for lunch and honestly I don’t think I ever heard anyone complain. There was a lot of walking barefoot and foot rubbing but everyone was in good spirits. Here I am at lunch, not looking as rested – ha!

Again I was watching those participating and volunteering and saw some really amazing people. There were two ladies that caught my attention. Both were young and wheelchair bound and both were volunteering at the event. They were so cheerful and pleasant. I watched one of the ladies for a while. She was an extremely beautiful woman. Asian, with bobbed hair and a beautiful angelic face. Even though she was wheelchair bound, her confidence and grace were amazing. I saw her again later at the end of today’s walk and she was so cheerful. I later learned that she was diagnosed with MS while in college, but went on to graduate and become a doctor. Wonderful.

The bad weather kept us there for about an hour. Started back out but it began to rain. There is something so cleansing when you’re in the rain. I love it. I know it’s not good for your feet, but what a good excuse to feel the rain against my skin. One of the best experiences as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve got three roommates and my own room! That was a nice surprise.


When I finished the race there were massages, foot soaks and physical therapy offered. I took the massage and foot soak – worth it!

The perfect ending to a great day.


Ready for round two. Keep on keeping on…