I headed out for a run Saturday afternoon, and I realized immediately that it was much colder, and much windier than anticipated. I debated for the entire first mile about just turning around and trying again another day. Bracing myself against the wind, wishing that I had worn another layer, I struggled to overcome the mental block that comes with running in January in Michigan. I kept telling myself that instead of 8, I’ll just do 3, and get my longer run in later. Then I hit 3 miles, and decided I could at least do 5. By 5 miles, I was plenty warm and I had turned directions so that the wind was at my back. 40 minutes into my run and I had finally turned the corner, mentally, so that the miles in front of me didn’t seem so overwhelming.

I’ve been a runner for years, and the mental game that comes with the sport, is still there. Mentally preparing to head out for a run in the volatile Michigan weather has never gotten any easier. However, what I have come to realize, is just how much HAPPIER I am when I can overcome that mental block. Running is, of course, beneficial for me physically, but the biggest perk of running is where it puts me psychologically. Whether its squeezing in a quick run between work and dinner prep, or a grueling long run, I am always in a better place afterwards.

Over the years I’ve realized that my sweet spot is the half marathon. When I moved back to Michigan (after a few years in Ohio), I decided to really put the effort into training for another half, and heard about Gazelle Girl. I’ll never forget my first Gazelle Girl race: perfect temperatures, gorgeous sunshine, and friendly faces all around. I PRed that year, and came back the following year to PR again. I know I couldn’t have done it without the pacer groups I aligned myself with, and without the constant encouragement of those around me. Because of this, I decided I wanted to serve in that role for someone else. I had met my goals, and now it was time to help someone else meet theirs. I was lucky enough to be chosen last year as a pacer, and the experience was so amazing, I came back for more. I can’t wait to pace again for 2020, and help other women overcome the mental block that may be stopping them from reaching their goals.