Hump Day Giveaway: Marking the Miles

Sweaty, happy, colorful sisters...the best kind.

Special guest post by Kristin Armstrong*
*Dimity went to high school with Kristin, and blackmailed her into doing this post by threatening to release bad prom pictures Dimity had from her stint as yearbook editor.

One of my favorite quotes is by Isak Dinesen: “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”  Is that true or what?  A beach vacation, a good cry, or a hard run could cure just about anything, could salvage even the sourest of my moods.

Maybe that’s why I call my posse of runner girlfriends my “sweat sisters.”  We have logged miles together and covered literal ground, as well as the fertile emotional ground that becomes the foundation of deep and lasting relationships.  As we all know, the kind of conversations we have on a long run are unlike the kind we have anywhere else.  Maybe it’s the lack of pretense in the simplicity of our attire, or the lack of makeup covering our sweaty faces.  Maybe it’s the walls that come down when we are simply too tired to hold them up anymore.  As the miles tick away, we become beautifully vulnerable.  And that is where true conversation, the kind that leads to connection, begins.

It is precisely that conversation that is the framework for my latest book, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run.  I have used some content from my blog of the same name on, some articles and essays I have written for the magazine, along with new material, and grouped them thematically into 26 chapters (with titles like Friendship, Endurance, Kids,  Freedom, Passion, Confidence, The Wall…) and an epilogue called “.2”.  The stories are personal, but the themes are broad and inclusive.  It could be the history of my sweat sisters-- or you and yours--because we all share miles on the same journey.  As I say in one of my chapters on friendship, “…we were all just girls and we are all getting old.”

Some of the entries are fun, some are frustrating, some will make you weep and want to hug your child or your best friend, and some will make you want to lace up your shoes right now, and take off running.  I talk about my triumphs and defeats as a runner, as a woman, as a mom, and as a friend with hopefully some honesty, humility and humor.  After all, if we can’t laugh, what’s the point?

A book that celebrates all the different victories running brings into our lives.

[Dimity chimes in] We are fortunate to have 10 copies of Mile Markers to give away today. In order to enter to win, all you have to do is respond to this question with your usual wit and wisdom: What significant mile marker celebrates your running? Could be a real sign you see on the road; an emotional hurdle you cleared because of running; a run that made you feel whole again; the place you meet your sweat sisters to run; a finish line you have seen--or are planning to see in the future; or any other marker that celebrates your running-hood.

[Back to Kristin] Whether or not you win, I hope you have a chance to read Mile Markers. When you do, I also hope the chapters bless you, make you feel connected and inspired, and, just like a good run with amazing women, make you a better woman than before you began.


p.s.  Celebrating yet another mother runner, we offered new mom Deena Kastor's favorite outfit from Asics last week.  And you guys offered up some great responses to how mothering and running are alike...creative, smart tribe, we are.

The random winner is Terzah, who writes:
Running and motherhood are alike in that the most unpleasant moments you live through make the very best stories later. Like the time I had to do number two in a ditch during a 14-miler. Or the time my mom and I, feeding the twins at 3:30 a.m. and giddy from the cumulative lack of sleep, exhorted my hungry tiny son to “Sleep! Please!” and then burst into peals of manic laughter in what was supposed to be the quiet nursery.

BTW, I don’t think wearing Deena’s clothes will be enough to make me look like her, but I’d love to try it! :^)

Congrats, Terzah! E-mail us at runmother at gmail dot com and we'll get you Deena-ized asap.

350 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: Marking the Miles

  1. At first I didn’t think I had a memorable mile marker…. then I was reading my journal from when I trained for my first marathon. Three weeks into training and my long run was 7 miles. I had never run that far, or for that long, in my 32 years of life. I felt invincible when I finished. I knew that I had accomplished a feat that really meant something. It really framed my attitude as I moved forward with my training, and it was just overall an awesome feeling. A mile marker!!

  2. I agree that for me it was that first mile. I love thinking back to when 1 mile was huge for me. I get so caught up in day to day things, that I lose track pf the little things. But I have to add that every new(longer) distance I do, I get super excited also. I just did my first half in Nov., and every long run was amazing, as was finishing that race.

  3. My most significant mile marker happened back in 1997 when I was diagnosed with thyroid disease (my TSH was 15x normal!). Finally getting back to the normal range two years later….I finally had energy for the first time in a long time and running helped me both physically and emotionally recover from being so sick for a very long time. Running makes me feel like I can overcome anything!

  4. My mile marker is one mile left in a run. No matter if I am running a quickie 3 miles in the morning or a long slow 10 miles on a weekend, when I get to the last mile I always feel a rush of energy and push the pace. I love the feeling of finishing on a strong note.

  5. My mile marker is 26.2 – the miles I will run when I complete my very first Chicago Marathon in October!

  6. My mile marker is the 26.2- and it re-sets every so often. I have the goal of running a marathon after each child (before I can be pregnant again!) Once I run a marathon I feel like I’m “me” again- strong, athletic, and comfortable in my own skin.

  7. Last week I was running, and I wasn’t feeling it. I looked down at my Garmin and said to myself “Keep going, it’s just one more mile.” I had to laugh outloud when I realized I said that! One more mile! Thinking back to the days when I couldn’t even run 1 mile, and now it’s just “one more mile!” So awesome.:)

  8. My running days help mark the passage of each week. So many of my days are pretty much the same that it can be hard to remember what day it is. Running helps some days stand out.

  9. My SIL convinced me that I could run the Danskin Triathlon, something I would NEVER have considered for myself. The feeling of accomplishment I had after that race was amazing! Knowing that my body was capable of that level of endurance was amazing too! Over the next couple of years, I ran another sprint tri and some sprint duathlons. I lost 20 pounds through all that training, and was in great shape when I got pregnant with my son. Now that he’s 3.5, I’ve got sprint distance races in my sights again, to relive that amazing feeling.

  10. My mile marker is the great rush of excitement I get when I meet my other “mother runners” out for a run. It starts as soon as I tie my shoe laces, find my watch, fill water bottles and actually finish the run. Each time we encourage each other to go further (either in actual road/trail distance or in life).

    really just knowing I can get up tomorrow and tie those laces again makes me the most happy
    from a breast cancer survivor that has turned to running as a coping skill, Carolyn in NC

  11. For me it is a bit different in that running is often times the mile marker for my life rather than other things or events marking my running. Running (okay, walking fast) as I was 9 months pregnant, waiting for my son (now 3) to be born, and dreaming of having my body back to myself again. I remember the first months of finding my footing as a new mom and trying to (literally) get on my feet again and how awesome it felt emotionally to sweat and be doing something simply for me…then there was training for a half-marathon in Phoenix a year later, only to have to cancel the plans weeks before the race because 8 weeks into the adoption process my husband and I were stunned to find out “a little girl was born today and she is yours…” making our family of 3 a family of 4. In place of this race I ran the Eugene 1/2 marathon 4 months later and when I think of that run I can instantly remember the feeling of determination to do it, but sheer exhaustion from now being a mother of two under two. More recently I have very distinct memories of my runs marking step-by-step my recovery (and all the emotions that come with that) from a car accident and then the 7.5 mile run where I finally felt “normal” again, making me aware that my recovery was finally coming to a close. All of these different phases of my life are marked with my running…fast (for me anyway), slow, and in between. It is almost like I can relive the emotions of these significant life events and how they felt by recalling the runs I had around them…or perhaps more appropriately…through them. Anyway, great question…

  12. Probably the most significant mile marker for me was my first marathon last October. Sounds cliche but that event marked the highest high and lowest low in my life as a runner thus far. The highs included dedicating the race to my high school best friend who was diagnosed with cancer, and proudly raising $500o to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in her honor (which I did by choice and not to gain entry into the race)…having the company of one of my running buddies who normally runs faster than me for 24 out of the 26.2 miles, all because she refused to let me run alone… and seeing friends and family all over the course cheering me on and high-fiving me like I was a rock star. The lows… well, the race totally beat me into submission. It was rainy and cold and I bonked badly after mile 16. I had never been so delirious with fatigue in my life. But as soon as I crossed the finish line and had a bagel in me, I resolved to run this event again, and conquer it next time.

  13. My mile marker would have to be when I ran 10 miles for the first (and only) time. One week later, we adopted a little boy and my running came to a halt for over a year. I started up again a few months ago and knowing that I was once able to run 10 miles has helped me to have so much more confidence that I’ll be able to do it again!

  14. My mile marker was during marathon training. My nine year old daughter told me that she was proud of me and one day she was going to run a marathon with me. I realized at that point that not only am I doing this for me but I am doing this for them too. To be a strong, healthy woman and show my daughters that you can do anything if you work hard and want it bad enough.

  15. Right now my mile marker(s) are the changing seasons and the views in our new neighborhood. I am in love with the landscapes and continually impressed with the terrain. I can run on dirt or pavement, up hills or down hills, mile after mile enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Every glance at the hills makes me dream up another running adventure and marks my desire for yet another handful of miles!

  16. My mile marker was a beautiful 5 mile run last summer. It was so hot and suddenly clouds rolled in and the temp dropped. It began raining! It was my first run in the rain and I felt like a rock star! I imagined the people in the cars passing me thinking, “she’s freaking nuts!” The song “Wish You Were Here” by Incubus came on and I was on such a high. I wished everyone was there with me, experiencing the awesome feeling I was. I even cried at how just perfectly great it all was. I kept thinking of how I never thought I’d be a runner or enjoy it. And here it was moving me to tears! I’ll never forget that day. It was perfect.

  17. well, they are two different types of mile markers, but #1 would be reaching mile 4 on any given run. If I cant keep my head and body on target till mile 4, I can go forever. I still struggle with believing in myself and my own strength. I HOPE my other mile marker will be in May when I run a 25k, the longest distance I will have ever run.

  18. running got me off prozac for good. I took anti depressants on and off for almost 20 years, then I found running and I have never been more at peace in my mind. If that isn’t a mile marker, I don’t know what is.

  19. My latest mile marker after baby #2 will be when I can complete 6 mi pushing the double stroller in less than an hour. It will happen this Spring.

  20. My significant mile marker is the fact that I’m doing it! Four miles at a time.From a girl who dreaded the one miler in high school to be doing FOUR TIMES that- on purpose 6 days a week- still is kinda astonishing for me. Also the fact that I am doing this at this point of the miles of my life- the dreaded 3-0 birthday is coming Monday feels like a significant mkaer into the next, best phase of my life!

  21. I, like so many of us, have a few significant mile markers. Last year, I went from being unable to run a mile to completing my first marathon. Each time I pushed farther was amazing. Now, my most common significant mile marker is about 4 – the time that my body stops protesting and finds a groove. That usually lasts until about mile 10. 🙂

  22. 15 miles. I have my first marathon in my sights, but I won’t let myself begin training until I can do 15 miles at one go and feel good about it. 26.2 isn’t much more than 15, right?! haha!

  23. My mile marker will be the first time I will be running the same race in an attempt to PR. I am a new runner and the fact that the first year of running is behind me and I’m out there running is a big deal to me.

  24. Mile Marker? That makes me think of that first mile that I can run solid, and ENJOY, after a break from running, be it post-baby, -vacation, -laziness, -life, …And it tells me I’m BACK!
    The book looks awesome, can’t wait to read it!!

  25. What mile marker is significant to me? Mile 32, aid station #3 of the Collegiate Peaks 50-miler. This is where I had to be taken off the course – tearful and completely engorged – leaving my first ultra goal and race at 11 months postpartum a big DNF. I was crushed. After an hour of fumbling with not one – but two – broken breast pumps at the race’s halfway point, I had missed the aid station check-in time requirements to continue the race. Days later after the DNF sting wore off, I realized that the race had been a monumental accomplishment for me ….. I was actually RUNNING after years of being sidelined due to infertility issues, I was a running Mommy!!, I had run farther than I ever had in my life, and the best part is that it only motivates me to get back out there again and RUN past mile 32, aid station #3!

  26. My first 5k post kids was my first mile marker moment. I had finished Couch to 5k and was on my way! I’v had several others along the way, including a practice 5k that was a good 30 seconds under 30 minutes. It told me I might still have some speed left in these old legs. 🙂
    I think my biggest mile marker is yet to come. I’m training for my first half. EEK! I’m very excited and I cannot wait to cross that finish line! That will be my biggest mile marker of 2010 I think.

  27. The day I ran my third 5K race, The Race for Breath in Virginia Beach, was my mile marker. The race was for lung cancer research and awareness. I was running for my mom whom I lost to lung cancer. My mom never smoked a cigarette in her life. At the start line, I couldn’t help but think how just 10 months ago, I hated running. I could barely run 1/4 of a mile without tiring so quickly. And there I was about to run my 3rd race. For my mom. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I thought of my mom. I ran with all my heart that day and thought about how the pain I was feeling from running was only a fraction of the pain my mom endured fighting that horrible disease. That day gave me more reason to go out the door and run. So now I run races to help raise money for cancer (especially lung cancer) research. I run for my mom, for others living with cancer, and for me.

  28. Even if I don’t win, after this post I cannot WAIT to read this book AND buy a copy for my best friend (also a mom, also a runner) for her spring birthday.

    It’s been a tough few years in my personal/family life recently, and in the summer and fall when I can run my favorite trail through the woods on the outskirts of my town at sunset, I feel like I can breathe again and will be okay. Every time I cross the highway and bound onto the trail, which begins in wild prairie dotted with wildflowers on either side, and see the sun sinking against the giant purple sky ahead of me, and just run run run, it’s like medicine that goes straight to my soul. I wouldn’t survive without it.

  29. My favorite racing moment was at the end of my first half marathon (Country Music Half Marathon) where I crossed the finish line to find my now husband standing with a sign that said “Jacs Will You Marry Me” which he made my best friend (then a high school math teacher) create while I was running. I’m looking forward to crossing the same finish line in April for the FULL Country Music Marathon with that same best friend by my side (she’s my sweat sister) on my daughters first birthday.

  30. Running my 3rd half marathon and seeing the finish line…. and knowing I was breaking 2 hours! My body felt like it was flying and my legs were doing thing, while my mind just enjoyed the ride.

  31. My mile marker has to be my first marathon. After running that, I felt like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to! All it takes is hard work and determination!

  32. I am training to do a 5K at some point. That is my mile marker I am shooting for. I broke my foot so I have some down time and I am going nuts not being able to run. This gas pushed back my 5K training. I’d love to win a copy of this book to read in my down time. Thanks for the opportunity!

  33. My favorite mile marker would have to be the 5:30AM summer sun. I started training for my first half in July and those early morning runs made me believe that I could actually do hard things. I felt accomplished for the first time in a long time. Now when I’m running at daybreak and the sun peeks over the horizon to greet me I feel very proud that I’m out doing something I now LOVE to do. And I’m reminded that I CAN accomplish great things.

  34. I know this may sound cheesy but my ‘mile marker’ is every time I lace up my shoes to go out for a run. I started running two years ago after I delivered my 3rd daughter stillborn. So every run is a reminder of how far I have come. My daughter is with me every run.

  35. My mile marker is 17.11! I am doing my very first trail run in April and it’s a 25k…but really the course is 17.11 miles! To date, I haven’t run over 16.5 miles and not on trails. So, this will be quite the accomplishment for me in my running “career!”

  36. My favorite mile marker would have to be the 6 mile run/walk my husband and I planned on the morning of our wedding day. We got married in the location of my favorite run in the world, and many of our family members and friends joined us for a run or a walk to kick off our special day. It was a picture-perfect day; a laughter-filled run with old friends, family, and my future husband; and a wonderful way to get rid of our pre-wedding day jitters…a beautiful memory for both of us.

  37. 13.1 with Mickey Mouse at the finish line. I have accomplished some great things, but never tried a physical challenge and when my best friend asked me to run a half marathon I think most of us (except me) thought I would give up along the way. But running has transformed my life, my friendships, my body and my mind. I am a better mother, doctor, wife and friend because I do something for myself. 9 halfs later, I am hooked and have branched out into biking and tri’s but my heart is with the Disney Half Marathons and I am forever grateful for the one question “Will you run a half marathon with me?” thanks Karen!

  38. Mine is the finish line of my first 5k race, coming this Saturday. I hope to run the whole thing without walking. And that same finish line next year where I plan to run the half marathon. My most memorable mile marker in the past was a couple of weeks ago–the first 3.1 I ran on the treadmill after hip surgery in October that didn’t hurt! What a great feeling of relief and joy, in the space that was used to feeling pain. It was at that moment I let myself believe/hope I can be a runner.

  39. Running 13.1 with my husband back in Novemeber – our first half. It was just great to cross that finish line together. Although I am sure he could have run it a little faster, he stuck by me. We ran every mile side by side. Nothing like crossing that finish line hand in hand, a mile marker I will never forget.

  40. My mile marker would be an emotional one. I HATED running when I started. I didn’t think I could ‘do it’. But I had committed to running a 5K with my friend and needed to not let her show me up too much. One day I was doing my run/walk/run thing. I went around my normal route and was back at my own driveway. I was shocked when I suddenly realized I wasn’t ready to end my run just yet — I WANTED to run further/more/longer!

  41. My divorce was final last year, after 2 long years in court. AND I turned 40. So I decided to mark it by running my first full marathon. I’d run 5k, 10k, and half before. Crossing that finish line was one of the top defining moments of my life. Now I know I have wings…and I can soar.

  42. Since I am still early in this journey of running (19 weeks to be exact since I started), it is hard to define my mile marker. I guess some time in the last 19 weeks I realized I needed the running and what it did for me and I could do it. I. AM. A. RUNNER.

    I also realized that I could always go one more mile..4 that turned into 5 (best run yet), 5 that turned into 6.2 and a 7 mile run that turned into 8 (my longest run yet). Somewhere after mile 3, I often hit my run happy place and its amazing to me that I can just keep going.

  43. My mile marker is with my real sweat sister! Our annual 10K run on the 4th of July is one of our favorite races, and the only race we get to do together now that she lives overseas. We talk running and races and times and frustrations all year long, but this is the one day that we get be side by side to share them.

  44. I was able to quit smoking because I became a runner, now 12 years ago (when I was 27). I kept smoking for a while after I started running. But I realized one Saturday morning–after a 5k race in Central Park, as I stood wearing sweaty shorts and a tank top while I waited for the bus home on Madsion Avenue near 90th Street and lit up a cigarette–that I had to stop smoking because THIS looked ridiculous. And I did.

    Now, though smoking and quitting smoking are fading memories, I know I can do anything, keep going, no matter how crappy things get, because I can always go running.

  45. #2 Exactly one year after starting running, I was at the gym on the dreadmill. I decided to mark the anniversary of getting off my couch with attempting to run a mile in under 10 minutes. I thought I would be sick in the process, but I did it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a sweat sister handy and thought I would pop with the pleasure of accomplishment. I wanted to go high five everyone in the gym and tell the big girls starting their January New Year resolutions to not give up!! You can do it!!! Whooooooo! …..but it was quiet, and I was quiet and I sauntered out of there with fulfillment galore.

  46. I turned 40 and had never, ever run before. A year and a half later, I said if I couldn’t run the entire Mini (in Indy) then I didn’t want to do it at all. I ran behind my 23 year old niece the entire way and at mile 11 I started welling up. I couldn’t cry because I had lost my last piece of tissue just outside the track 3 miles back and because I didn’t want my non-emotional niece to see me. (Why don’t they have boxes of tissue along the way?!!) She was my rock through all of training. She slowed down and got a slower time just to stay with me. Luckily she was also ahead of me and couldn’t watch me cry from the realization that I was about to do the hardest, most challenging thing of my life. This year, she is pregnant and I have a new sweat sister that may not run the whole thing and I may have to walk some of it with her… but she will cry with me the last 2 miles 🙂

  47. Mile Marker…running a 10k with my oldest daughter…then my son….then my youngest daughter…now working on Hubby! My marker is 10k’s with my family!

  48. My most memorable personal mile marker came at about mile 16 of my first marathon. I still get teary when I think about it.

    I was hurting. Badly. All I could think about was how I still had 10 miles to go. Then, amongst the cheering, I hear my name being called. The whole crowd on one side of the road is saying my name. Confused, I see them all pointing to my “sweat sister” in the crowd. She’d been trying to get my attention, but I was so focused that I didn’t hear her. No matter what, I can always find a smile for my dearest and best friend — a bond forged directly through running together. She was jumping up and down galvanzing the crowd for ME. That moment, and the other 2 or 3 times she found me along the rest of the course — those compelled me to finish. Without her, I would’ve been in a sag wagon or just crying on the side of the road.

  49. When I was 22 and living with my bf, there was a sign on my route that said speed limit 20 mph. I always imagined myself running much faster and breaking the speed limit. Now, 24 years later, I still think of that and still feel young and swift when I run.

  50. 13.1 is it for me. I’m going to run my first half marathon in autumn this year and I hope to go for a full marathon next spring. I know the main struggle is in my head, not in my legs and I am so looking forward to the “I can do this” feeling.

  51. My first mile marker was my first run with new running friends. I stayed motivated all week on my solo night runs just so that I could keep up with them and actually be able to chat and get to know them on our weekend run. Of course they soon convinced me to sign up for my first 5k which turned out to be my 2nd mile marker. I switched to the 15k the morning of the race so that I could run with one of them and when I reached the top of the first gigantic hill (that I didn’t know was going to be there) without walking I was so proud of myself. That high made the rest of the race a breeze and thus hooked me on racing. I was so thrilled after the 15k that I decided to jump into our local half just 2 weeks later, what’s 4 more miles right 😉 Finishing the half was my 3rd mile marker and the day I finally felt like a real runner. Now I am looking forward to my 26.2 marker in 8 weeks and am amazed at the changes just one year of running has made on my life and am truly thankful for the new friendships I have gained along the way.

  52. My mile marker will be in 27 days when I finally complete my first month of running after reading Run Like a Mother.

  53. Which Mile Marker….It’s a tough one but I have to say the 6.5 mile run I did on the morning my daughter had a big surgery for pancreatitis in November 2010. She had been in the hospital all Fall with doctors unsure if she would make it. She had an unexpected myriad of health issues including multiorgan failure, blood transfusions, seizures and eventually pancreatitis. Running was(and always has been) my sanity, and how I connected with my strength, nerves, inner peace and courage. But this morning, I got up early from her bedside, left my sleeping daughter and husband at UCSF and took off through Cole Valley to Yerba Buena Park in San Francisco. I did laps throughout the park, saw the sunrise the East Bay and broke down crying. My nerves got the best of me, but after a huge amount of sobbing when knowing runners smiled, gave a common “you ok” to which I nodded, I was able to shake it off.

    I ran hill repeats to get lactic acid building, and make my body feel the depletion but gain the inner strength it needed for the unexpected day ahead. By the time I got back to the hospital, I knew that whatever happened we were all blessed and would be ok. And we were…that surgery didn’t take because of a few infections. But another one, one month later, did. And now 2.5 months after the last surgery, she is now running on the playground at school again. I think of that run and how it got me over a huge hump.

    You don’t realize how much strength and guts you have until everything in your core that you love is on the table. I am so very grateful for my legs and the many miles they pound weekly. Cool part- both my daughters are too!

  54. My milestone is coming around the corner and seeing my house…..whether it be from a quick run or a LOOOOOONG run. I pick up the pace, and sprint home feeling the waves of “I can do anything” wash over me.

  55. my sweat sister is my good friend Tasha, we talk about anything and everything on our runs. she helped me train for my first marathon, joining me for some of my miles this past summer. since i ran and completed the Nike Women’s Marathon this past fall my next mile marker for the future is to train and complete a half ironman…….gotta dream big!

  56. Mile 8 is my nemesis! While training for my first 1/2 marathon, I couldn’t mentally get past that mile. After having completed both a 1/2 and full, I like to call out that mile in my training..”dearest mile 8, we meet again..this time I raise you one mile in 19 degree weather with light snow..what else you got?” Silly, sure, but it gets me past it and I feel great kicking its butt!

  57. Right now, I’m gunning for 75 more miles on my Nike Plus account to get from the blue level to purple!

    But, in all seriousness, any time I can get outside and get in a good run of 6+ miles is a great day!

  58. For me, every race is a mile marker. Each 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, marathon moves me one more day away from that time, 6 years ago, when I didn’t run at all. When I was overweight, inactive and unhealthy. Now, to be able to say I’ve run 2 marathons, and more 1/2 marathons than I can count, is an amazing mile marker. I count my blessings every day that I fell in love with running.

  59. My significant mile marker came on Sunday, three days ago.
    It was my first ever double digit run! I ran 10 Miles, and if felt fantastic!
    Four months ago, two friends and I decided to start running and train for a half marathon. I have fallen in love with running and am so excited for my first half marathon in May!
    Running has also helped me to reach another mile marker of losing 50 pounds (in 11 months). Running helped me to get off of a plateau and kick start the weight loss. I have 10 more to go and know it’s a very reachable goal!

  60. Mile Marker 0.5 is where we meet on the Lakefront Path to start our runs, so we’re always 1/2 mile off on our math. Recently, Nike changed all the mile markers (and ‘sponsered’ the Lakefront Path), and haven’t replaced the 0.5 mile marker on the running path, just on the bike path on the other side of the Foster Avenue soccer fields (the paths converge at mile 1.5), so we are currently without a sign, but the pole is still there. Odd.

  61. The most significant Mile marker of my running so far has come quite recently. I have major changes in store, a little over a year after really beginning to run I find myself moving two states away from the best running buddy a girl could ask for, while also expecting my second child. I had so many plans for this year, and for my running that did not include either of those things and while I’m beside myself with joy I’m also terrified about what will become of my beloved new lifestyle. I didn’t expect to hit a dogleg this early on the course, so to speak.

  62. I KNOW I can. That phrase really hits home in relation to my running. A year ago, I wasn’t sure I could. A few months into it I thought I could. After nearly making it through training for my first half (only to have it derailed by knee tendonitis) I knew I could if I got the knee thing under control. Now a year later and 4 weeks away from my first Half…I KNOW I can. That’s a huge mile marker. I was NOT an athelete and my fitness level was nothing more than a spin class or aerobics class at the gym. My whole mentality has changed since I’ve become a runner. And I KNOW I can do most anything.

  63. I remember the first time I ran 16 minutes in a row without stopping. I was scarred to look at my watch for fear that I’d freak out and stop. My husband, who was running with me, was trying to hold his shock and pride in and just keep the conversation going naturally. That was the day I started my journey to letting myself think of myself as a “real” runner. As I gear up to start training for my first 26.2 (this October in Portland), I keep reminding myself how impossible those 16 minutes once felt and how do-able they are (and more are) now. And I know I can do it with the right training and perseverance. And I know I can do just about anything.

  64. My mile marker is the lifelong friends I made when I started running with Team in Training. I joined to run and support a cause and I met SO many wonderful people that after the season was over I can still run with, text and enjoy life!

  65. The mile marker the celebrates my running was when I finally took my doctors advice and sought help for my back problems that started after the c-section delivery of my 3rd child. I found (God lead me) to a fabulous Chiropractor / deep tissue massage team that worked out all my kinks, from hips to feet. A month after my first adjustment I realized that I was running over 2 miles without pain. I am now up to 5 miles and I feel like a real runner. I realize that my body is not “made” to run these distances, but with the help of my “team”, I can be set right and I am good to go. It is an awesome, liberating feeling.

  66. My current mile marker is 3! I haven’t been able to run 3 whole miles without stopping since having my son in Nov. My running now consists of pushing a double jogger with two kids while trying to answer a question every 2 seconds that my two yr old asks. Hills being out of shape and pushing an extra 70 pounds make it a bit more difficult to log my miles.

  67. I had a hard time deciding this…4 is what I came to. 4 children, so 4th mile marker. It took 4 children for me to become a better runner — I have come out a faster and stronger runner after running all through this last pregnancy. 4 is also the number of pregnancies it took to get that 4th little love and running helped me get through that tough time.

  68. My impending mile marker is 13.1. I’m running my first half on March 27th and I’m terriffied. I’ve done great on all of my speedwork runs, it’s the tempos, and long runs that get to me. I think I just get beat down by the distrance that I need to go and let it psyche ne out. I going to work really hard the rest of the week to do my long run so that I can prove to myself that I can do this.

  69. I have two mile markers. One I’ve passed and one which is yet to come. The first is my midnight run with my husband. After a year where we lost his father to cancer and marked the first anniversary of losing our daughter, just finishing a half marathon doesn’t quite seem like enough. To keep running after that. To keep running with no goal on the horizon. To end the old and begin the new out on the road with my husband running at midnight was wonderful. My next mile marker is April 2nd. That day I will run with all of my husband’s sisters (and sister-in-law) my second half. Did I mention that its 3 days after the anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing? I cannot wait to run that day. To run with these beautiful women that I love so dearly and to mark that week with another beginning. To show that we have made it and will continue to make it. Not just passing the days but actually LIVING!

  70. What significant mile marker celebrates your running?

    My mile-marker is that running helped me lose 75 accumulated lbs put on during the hardest post-partum years I never saw coming.

    And that I just realized this last week that I have been running now (with a few significant breaks) for over 16 years. I couldn’t even believe it when I realized that. So many times I don’t feel like a hard core runner – but I think there are different kinds of hard-core, and maybe just maybe perseverance is one kind.

    I can’t wait to read this book. Kristin’s words have been a gift and helped me many times.

  71. All through growing up I was active, playing soccer for the good majority of my life and then track in Jr. High and High School . . . back in 2007, I was injured during a soccer game, after having surgery to repair the damage to my ankle, I decided to hang up my cleats. In 2008, a friend of mine asked me to train and run a marathon with her. Like I said I ran track in high school, long distance even, but that was only a 2-miles . . . me tackling the 20-weeks of training for the BIG race was pretty frightening, 26.2-miles was HUGE! Race day came . . . my BIGGEST fan was there to push me, encourage me and root for me the entire way . . . my Dad! What I didn’t know at the time was that just a year and a half later he was going to be diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 Brain Cancer. I never had any intentions of running another full . . . but the more I think about it now the more I realize that I want to do another and run it for him. Here’ s a link to the blog post I wrote about my marathon experience.

  72. Congrats Kristin on your new book!
    My confidence and spirit are my mile markers to celebrate.
    Infertility destroyed my confidence and my spirit over a period of 4 years. When we were blessed with our miracle babies in 2006, Motherhood lifted my spirit. A few years later, I started running to lose weight. I remember my Mom commenting how I was holding myself differently, standing up straighter and with confidence. Running had finally restored my confidence. My miracle babies have cheered for me at every race. They enjoy running “marathons” around the house…. this is the ultimate boost to my mile markers.

  73. What significant mile marker celebrates your running?
    The most significant mile marker that celebrates my running would have been 13.1 but just having my second child, I would have to say any mile after one (1). The hardest thing was to get back to running and getting past that first mile is always the toughest. If I can make it past the first mile, it’s a celebration!

  74. My mile marker would be my first 5k last April at the age of 44. It marked the first time I ran outside and the first time I ran 3 miles. From that moment on I was hooked. Despite dealing with minor injuries, I’m doing my first 10k next month.

  75. What significant mile marker celebrates your running?

    I have a 2.5 mile loop in my neighborhood that I run most days. One day I was coming down the lane back to my house and I was really kicking it like I do at the end of each run and I saw my 4 year old son standing in the driveway holding out a bottle of water for me. So of course I ran even faster! And when I reached him he said, ” mommy, you are awesome, drink the water and go do it again”. And you know what, I did! And now I routinely do that loop 2 times to get in 5 miles and I don’t think I would have pushed myself if he hadn’t suggested it that day. I run for ME but I gotta tell you he was and is my inspiration. Robbie is my MILE MARKER.

  76. Every mile is a significant marker to me! I started running in 2009 after years of surgeries and treatments for thyroid cancer and following a miscarriage in ’08. I wanted to feel in control of my body. During my training for a tri later that year I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was able to complete the tri and was then ready to face the cancer. Every mile I complete, every step I take is a celebration of what I conquerred to get there.

  77. I’ve only been running just over a year, so my cliche answer is the finish line at my first half marathon Sept 2010. But, I think it was telling my docs I did it- my doc who handles my asthma that is. I still take meds…this is Oregon after all. But, I head out each run and pass my inhaler by with a smirk. After the baby is born this summer I will head into marathon training for the Eugene 2012 and that will be my greatest moment in running!

  78. My first 5K. A friend dragged me into it after I had started running just to lose weight for my wedding, and I could not BELIEVE I could run 3 miles! After I did it (all women race for the cure), I was so hooked.

  79. The first thing that came to mind was NEEDING to run regularly, even while on vacation. I had been a casual runner for years, but when I started to run more seriously/regularly I found that I would do all kinds of crazy things to get my run in! For example, while visiting my parents over the holidays a 2 years ago, there was a huge snowstorm. No way to run outside on the snow coverd country roads, so I drove 20 miles on terrible roads to the nearest gym. And I did this (in bad weather) three times! Totally worth it to have my sanity.

  80. For me, it was the 6 mile marker at my first race – the Army 10-Miler – which I attempted only after some goading from co-workers. That was the point when I realized “it’s true – I’m really going to finish this race! I can *do* this!” and I’ve been at it ever since!

  81. My most significant mile marker was 26.2 this past November in Philadelphia. I had run 3 other marathons before I had my kids and then I took a long hiatus from the racing world. I still ran but I didn’t do any races. About a year ago, one of my sons told me he never wanted to be a mom. He said it was too hard and that I am constantly cooking, cleaning and getting things ready for them. That was a turning point in my life, I knew at that moment, for myself and for my children I had to do something important for me. I decided I wanted to race again – for my own self-esteem and so that my children can see that I have my own dreams and passions. I really wanted them to know that yes I am a Mom and there is nothing in the world I love more than being their mom, but I also can do other things. During my training, my 3 kids saw how much hard work goes into working towards and achieving a goal – an other important life lesson. I ended up setting a PR of 3:32 but more importantly the pride and love in my children’s eyes and their cheers and exclamations of how they can’t wait to run with me when they grow up will forever mark that 26.2 mile mark in my heart.

  82. I am trying to battle back from a year long bout with ITBS. I have done chiropractors, PTs, injections, etc, but nothing helped until I got serious with my glut and ab strength training. I am half-way through with 10K training (will run 4 on Saturday), and I haven’t felt this strong in years. I held some awesome planks tonight, and I realized how far I have come. Very happy with this mile marker.

  83. My mile marker was last year I was posting on an exercise web site that my goal was to run 3, 10 minute miles “one day”. One day came and went and now my goal (which is totally within reach) is to run 13.1, 10 minute miles. Yipee!!!!

  84. Love Kristen’s blog!
    My mile marker is that first mile I run every morning when I get up at 4:30 to run, in the dark, by myself. There’s 100 reasons not to go but I lace up my shoes and head out. That first mile is so hard, even after running nearly 10 years – it’s dark, it’s cold, my hip hurts, but magically after that first mile, I am healed. Running is my time to get my head together, to stop being mommy, wife and employee and figure out who I want to be. It is the balm to an always chaotic life and one that running reminds me to be grateful for.

  85. I meet friends on a trail along the Chattahoochee River. Those runs feel like coming home. Everything is right with the world or at least “doable” while I run next to the river rushing by. I know each mile by heart and feel lucky to get to run them over and over again. The trail is my Mile Marker.

  86. My mile marker is the start of every half marathon I’ve run. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of sharing the same goal and excitement with so many others as we each pound the same 13.1 miles out under our feet. Goose bumps every time!

  87. Last June I started couch to 5k. I could barely run 2 minutes, but I had signed up for a late august 5k and was committed to making sure I finished. I didn’t love running, but I kept doing it because I had a goal. The day I ran that 5k, I was so proud of my accomplishment that I signed up for another taking place 1 month later, knowing that the registration would prompt me to keep up with running 3x per week. In that month, something clicked. I have no idea what. Running went from being something that I had to do to being something that I couldn’t do without. Since then I have done a 10k and have signed up for my first half marathon in May, which will mean I went from couch to 1/2 in 10.5 months. My life is incredibly different since that day last June when I downloaded an iPhone app and ran for a minute; I wouldn’t give back a single mile.

  88. Mine Personal Mile Marker has to an ad I saw for the DuWop Du. I’d tried in my 30’s becoming a runner several times each leading to either surgery or physical therapy due to knee problems. Finally I decided running wasn’t for me. I discovered the joy of cycling, started doing yoga, hit the weight room, and so on. Who needed running? Fast forward a few years and I see an ad for something called a duathlon: ride 18 miles and run 3, and immediately think – “Well I can do that.” To which I immediately think – “Who said that?” I thought about this event throughout the morning and couldn’t shake it. I made a decision – I went home and signed up before I could talk myself out of it. And then I thought – “You don’t run!” I immediately started training – doing spin class and jumping on the treadmill slowly increasing my distance. And then I moved my training outside and something amazing happened. I had no knee pain whatsoever! I finished that duathlon and I was hooked. I’ve done several more over the past 3 years, I’ve entered several shorter races and last year completed my first half marathon – all with no knee pain! I’m planning on doing another half marathon again this year. And it all started with that little ad.

  89. AFter reading some of these posts, I agree with the posts about realizing how many years we have been running, this year marks 20!! Started running at age 12, haven’t ever wanted to stop even through breaks induced by pregnancy and injuries. One of the most significant mile markers for me though…the first run postpartum…Done for the fourth time last summer(not really close to a mile, but 5 minutes straight, crazy tired after, but feels SO GOOD!!)

  90. Yikes…not sure where to go with this one. I loved running as a child & did so with my stepdad. So for him, I say many thank you’s. I’m going to be 39 this year with 5 kids. ( one who passed away) & good lord I would of never thought I would be a running momma! I love what it does for my soul & my family. Our kids are all running now. So far I have not entered any races. My race….is my life with my family. I want to see them do great things. Marker…would be our 5, 6 & 8 year olds all getting dressed in their running clothes saying mom come on we are ready for our run. Man, running daily for me is a must or I feel like I can’t take it all on. But, to see that without any pushing it has just rubbed off on our kids. Yes, that has to be it. I hope they each contiune running as they grow older. Marker for myself. The 1st time I ran 11 miles this year without stopping. YES! I can do it. I only take one day off on sat. Sunday’s are my long runs 10 -11 miles. Never thought I would be doing all of this & loving it So much. Thank you all!

  91. My mile marker?
    13. For some it’s an unlucky number, but for me it’s a symbol of pushing past ‘I can’t. 13 miles into my first 1/2 marathon I realized I’d never run that far before. My body was tired and my brain told me to just sit down for a sec. Point one from the finish I had an argument with myself, and my brain dragged my body across the line. 13 is lucky, and shows me anything is possible.

  92. Every step. Every step I run I think back on years of coming in last in races in school, being chosen last for teams, hearing that I was not athletic, flunking the Presidential Fitness Tests, knowing that I would never be an athlete. And every step I run, I realize I left it all behind when I decided to change my image of myself, stop feeling jealous of friends who ran, and “just do it” (it is a fitting slogan, after all). I’ve now done a couple 5Ks and a triathlon. I’m not just an athlete now, I’m a TRIathlete.

  93. My “mile marker” is when I qualified for Boston. I still remember almost everything from the whole day (falling down the stairs the morning of the race, the weather, how I felt during the race and when crossing the finish line and even what I ate that afternoon). I got injured a month before Boston and later got pregnant and could never run Boston. I am now pregnant again but am determined to requalify after this baby is born!
    I look forward to many more mile markers in my running and mommy career!!

  94. My first 5K was the hardest race and 3 miles that I have ever run. Now when I’m on a long run or simply not feeling great, all I have to do is think back to that first race to realize how far I have come, how much easier it is, and how much I truly love running.

  95. My mile marker came during my 2nd half marathon last year. I ran it to first and foremost celebrate my mom who passed away very unexpectedly in 2008. I couldn’t have done that without the encouragement and incredibly loving support of my running besties. They have seen me cry, push through and ultimately succeed…and I gave it my all in crossing mile 13.1.

  96. The half-marathon I completed in 2003 just before I was pregnant with my first child – it celebrated my running then. And now, three children and many miles later, it is my next goal for this fall.

  97. It’s when my Border hound and running partner, Tsuga, finally gives up pulling and settles into my pace and stride–that’s my mile marker for a better run ahead.

  98. I just turned 40 yesterday and have a date with a girlfriend to run our first marathon in June. I want my mid-life crisis to be a healthy one!

  99. On Sunday I ran and completed my second half marathon. I am new to running and only started two years ago at age 38. At the end of my first race, a 5k at Disney, I heard the announcer welcome the athletes across the finish line. I had never been called an athlete before. I shared this new title proudly with my Dad and he proudly displayed my race picture on the refrigerator and called me an athlete every time I mentioned going for a run. Strange how words from our parents still mean so much or maybe even more as adults.

    Well, the half marathon this past weekend was at Disney and the finish line is in the same location that I crossed over two years ago. As I crossed it this time, I felt stronger and much more like an athlete. This time my Dad got to see it from the best possible place, his mansion in heaven. The tears flowed as I remembered how proud he was of his daughter, the athlete. I wish I could have called his to tell him about this new milestone, not one, but TWO half marathons. Alas, no phone calls to heaven, but I know he knows and that is enough.

  100. My mile marker should actually be plural and read mile markerS – miles 18 to 20 of my 1st 20 miler- were the toughest miles I ever ran. I felt like quitting at mile 15, but I kept going. I had 5 miles to go before celebrating my first 20 mile run. I tried every thing I could think of to get through the next few miles…music, praying, inspirational quotes, counting mail boxes, etc. At mile 18 (18.2 to be exact) I was done. But with my first marathon just weeks away cutting the run short was not an option. I was nearing home, and I knew that just three loops around my neighborhood would get me to that precious number 20. So, I called my husband at home and said, “I am dying out here…my legs hurt so bad…I don’t want to quit…you have to do something.” lol Thank God my husband is not only a runner, but he is a super supportive husband too! Within no time he was next to me on his bike. He talked about the weather, told me I looked strong, made jokes, and said anything else that helped me put one foot in front of the other. He even commented that my calves looked like they were about to explode, but I don’ think that one helped as much! With one loop to go I passed my house to find my 9 year old on our front steps cheering me on. Okay, this had now become a family affair…I had to do it! And I did! What a memorable, life changing run! I am now a marathoner and looking forward to my next one. I’ve ran a lot of tough miles, but fighting so hard to break past mile 18 and cross 20 were the hardest and sweetest miles ever!

  101. I am a beginner runner who only started running in October but, watching my kids play “mama runners” was such a sweet marker that it brought to tears one day really realizing the great example I am setting for my 4 and 6 year old daughter.

  102. finally, after 40 years of living and just 1 year of running, I have a group of ladies I consider “girlfriends.” I always considered that word to suggest a level a closeness I didn’t feel with other females until, as you say, running together caused walls to crumble and hearts to open. Thank you, Kristin, for speaking our thoughts!

  103. I’ve had so many mile markers, but perhaps my biggest was deciding to run my lifetime goal race — Leadville Trail 100. The race itself was monumental, but even bigger was making the choice to train and to do the work to get me there.

  104. My most significant mile marker is when I see my 5 year old son at the finish line. In a recent race, I came around a corner just before the finish, and he was standing right there with his hand out. It was the most exciting and best moment of race.

  105. I used to wonder why people ran. Hell, I could walk faster than most of them, and speed walking didn’t hurt. Then, one day, I decided that I’d give it a go. My competitive nature told me… “if they could do it, so could I!” My first “run” took me to the telephone pole at the end of the block. The next run took me to the next block. Every day, it was a little bit farther, and each day I picked a new mile marker, realizing that I could go as far as I allowed my mind to believe. These days, ten years later, I find myself waking up at 4:00 AM, an hour before my alarm would go off, anxiously thinking about the possibilities of the morning’s run, plotting each mile marker, each hill and bend in the road in my mind. Although I enjoy running with others, I am happiest running alone, ticking off the miles in my mind as I solve problems, plan adventures, and plot the future. How in the world did I ever NOT run?

  106. My “mile marker” is when I come up the hill in Forest Park and see the T-Rex and Triceratops statues by the science center – it gives me such energy since I immediately think of my dino-obsessed kids and by getting out there to run is making me the best mommy I can be!

  107. My mile marker is seeing the kids I have coached or taught in the past running. I have always had the philosophy as a distance coach that in 10 years from now I want the kids to still love running as adults so much that I see them running along side of the road. And believe it or not I do see some of them out there in the sun, in the wind, the rain, or the snow just because they love to run. It is so exciting when they sign up and train for a marathon or a half marathon. Even cooler is running in a community race and seeing one of them racing by me, because most of them are faster than me, and I hear a good job Mrs. Gardner on the course, and I chuckle because they are now an adult and won’t call me by my first name. My absolute joy comes when I watch them cross the finish line. Then when I talk to them they say I inspire them to keep running, because I have always ran 5ks to marathons no matter how slow that showed them that winning was never important, but the love of running is. That is why I will keep on running.

  108. My biggest mile marker was training for and qualifying for Boston. My Mom and I then got to take a weekend trip to Boston together and celebrated crossing that sweet finish line with my Mom cheering me every step of the way.

  109. Every time my six year old asks to run a mile with me I do a herkie in my heart. That running could be part of the good things I pass along to my kids is the brightest, shiniest mile marker ever.

  110. My mile marker was competing my first road race. It was a 5K and I was so proud that I was finally taking my love of running and making it seem more real by being competitive. Since I have a fondness for the 5K and hope to be running my first 10K very soon~

  111. My mile markers stand for every individual that I have seen change their lives through running. I have only been running for a year but have completed 4 1/2 marathons. Over the course of the last year, friends and collegues have taken an interest in my new found energy, focus and zest for life that can only come from miles on the pavement. Seeing this, I have focused on putting that energy towards supporting those individuals on their own journey to change their lives. We as a collective group have seen folks lose weight, find strength and confidence, quit bad habits and emerge as true inspirations. Whenever a run seems hard or even impossible – I think of the accomplishments of those around me and they give me the inner strength and resolve to go the distance!

  112. My mile marker, is when I make it out of bed early enough to run and meet my other Hot Mama Runners! Cheering each other on, and slapping high five as we pass on the road, especially under the stars, or the rising morning sun (kid free!)- the best!!!

  113. My mile marker that comes to mind (how’s that for alliteration?) is the second pair of running shoes I bought. They were the exact same brand, size and color as my first pair, but they were my SECOND pair. I bought them shortly after I finished my first half. (Training for that race is how I started running.) To me, it was that purchase that symbolized my personal commitment to continue to run.
    PS – I still have my first pair. I wear them sometimes when I’m just “running” around doing errands. I love knowing that they’re kind of beat up looking and carry the sweat that I worked up training for and completing that first long race.

  114. What mile marker? Let’s see it has to be my first and right now only half-marathon. My friend “talked” me into do it with her and her husband and my husband as well. The training was long and hard as I saw myself as a sprinter and never ran more than four miles as I do sprint triathlons. I was scared but realized that I could truly do it as I added mileage each week. I worked myself up to ten miles about three weeks before the race when I ended up getting an injury. I saw my doctor and we thought it may be a stress fracture but ended up being a nerve thing where the pressure of my shoe made the top of my foot have a shearing pain every time I stepped down or put a shoe on top of it. The race was questionable and to that I was so upset. I had worked so hard to get myself to a place I never thought I could be and here I may never be able to prove to myself I could do it.
    The next three weeks were painful as my body was used to the endorphine rush that I didn’t know what to do without it. So about five days before I change my shoelaces and inserts in my shoe and tried to run a mile on the treadmill and it seemed okay. So I visited my doctor four days before the race and I told him about the treadmill run and he gave me the okay to do the race. He said I wouldn’t do any permanent damage but could get a compensation injury.
    So race day, one of my great friends helped push me through the first six miles as I felt they were the toughest miles of my life–I hadn’t run in three weeks–once the rain started and brought down the humidity and my GU kicked in I felt strong and felt like I could conquer the world. I ended up finishing strong at 2:10 which I felt happy with an injury. I was so glad that I did it and was able to prove to myself how hard I could push my body. In the end I did end up getting a compensation injury and it knocked me out of some of tennis matches for the following two weeks but I finished my marathon and it made me proud. This year I am tackling my first Olympic Triathlon and I think my running a half helped me propel myself to where I am today!

  115. Just being able to run again after a 2 year (non running related) injury is a huge mile marker. Love this blog and Kristen’s and would love the book!

  116. For me it’s always the first mile that means the most, it signifies the fact that I made time for myself on that day! That I made my mental/physical health as important as anyone else in my family!

  117. I have to say my mile marker is mile 10. My very first road race was a 1/2 marathon last year. I ran it with my brother’s girlfriend who was a veteran of races and triathlons. She was having a bad running day and at mile 10 she needed to walk to settle her breathing. Even though she had been my motivating partner, the tables turned at that mile marker. I have to laugh thinking about how it never occurred to me during that race that I could be the one to have a bad race day. It was too exciting and overwhelming that I was finally doing something for myself after putting my kids and husband first for too long.

  118. My first marathon (National) at the end of this month. Every step I’ve taken towards this marathon has been a mile marker….longest distance, running-est week/month, training harder than I’ve trained. Lots and lots of mile markers on this journey!

  119. I love the mile marker 26.2. I’ve done it twice and hope to have 8 more under my belt in my lifetime. Something about running a marathon…Nothing like it.

  120. I started running less than a year ago. It started out as being a last case scenario for the exercise I craved. Up to that point, the only running I had done was 15 minutes before my strength training. I have two kids, one 2 years old and one 4 years old, and getting to the gym or waking up early enough to make it to the gym on a regular basis wasn’t realistic anymore. But I could run, so I started logging the miles. I run at night, after my kids are in bed. It started out being for purely fitness reasons, but it has turned into the time I have to myself. No one needs me for anything, I can just go. I started doing races to give myself a goal, and I did a half marathon last year after running for only 4 months. This year my goal is to run a marathon. It represents two milestones for me: 1) it will be one year that I have been running and I have come to enjoy it like I never thought I would and 2) I turn 30 this year. I never thought I would enjoy running so much, and look forward to many more years of lacing up (and the milestones that will come with).

  121. The most significant mile marker for me is eachmile of each passing year. For over 20 years, running has been my constant go-to .. through all the stages of my life .. when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, when I’m overjoyed … a run just helps me process each emotion and somehow calms me and keeps me in the moment like nothing else can. Now, as the mother of 2 (and soon to be 3), running is the one part of each day that is totally, selfishly “mine” .. I cherish each workout and I think it helps to make me a better person/wife/mother/friend/employee .. in addition to a better runner. I look forward to each of Kristin’s blog posts .. as a runner/mother/friend .. she never fails to inspire me!

  122. My significant mile marker would have to be the finish line of this year’s Komen Race for the Cure. The whole reason I started running was to run last years race in honor of my mom, a breast cancer survivor. I completed that race, but was dissatisfied with myself because I had to stop and walk several times. So last spring I started running again with the express goal to finish this year’s race without having to stop to walk. The night before the run, I found out that my cousin who is my age was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I called her and we talked and cried together. I told her about the race I was running the next day and told her that every step would be for her. I finished the race with no walk breaks and beat the previous year’s time by three minutes. I still think of her every time I run and want to give up.

  123. My mile marker is the new friendship I recently formed with another runner. Sometimes it feels difficult to make friends. But when I’m running, it seems so easy. We talk to pass the time and forge a friendship in the meantime. So I guess running has granted me some freedom from the anxiety that comes from meeting new people.

  124. I will say that I have 2 –

    One that is the most significant is during my first race – 10-miles – I hit the wall and I thought I wouldn’t finish. My rockstar girlfriend Jennie hung back with me and encouraged me to finish (PAIN IS JUST WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY!) instead of leaving me in the dust to make a good time.

    My everyday happy mile marker is standing at our Running Mama’s meeting place and watch “my girls” pull up one by one to begin our running therapy a couple times a week. Building friendships while the miles go under our feet <3

  125. A little over a year ago, I’d reached a low point, personally and in my running. Plagued by unexplainable pains and lost in limbo, I signed up for a Polar Bear Dip 5k to start the New Year off. The race went better than expected, and the sensation of that full dunk in the 45 degree water just before the finish line was a “baptism” of sorts and I again became a believer – in myself.

  126. My mile marker hasn’t happened quite yet but it’s almost there. My best friend from childhood and I will be running our first 5k together. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been running and I am so happy to achieve my ‘mile marker’ with the friend who has known me since age 7. (I’m 33!)

  127. Definitely my one and only marathon. A true testament to the fact that the only limitations we have are the ones we place upon ourselves…anything is possible!

  128. I think for me it’s going to be my first full in June: Seattle Rock N Roll. It’s been a long road (haha – no pun intended), but I think I will feel “accomplished” once I complete 26.2. 🙂

  129. A mile marker for me, I suppose would be thinking about when I go home to the home of my childhood. My favorite thing to do is get home late in the evening, and walk in the door to the sounds of being greeted by all our friends and family that always seem to be gathered around the table. Then in the morning, I get up and run. I run by ‘my hills’ (the back of our ranch) and up and down the rows of trees in our orchards…It’s like running with an old, old friend, and are some of the best runs I have ever had, because they are less about exercise and more about connecting back to myself at a visceral level.

  130. The corner of 52nd and 67th, where I finish all my runs that start from home. Of course, I’m then faced with a half mile STEEP hill to climb to get back home. Just like life, you are never really done.

  131. My mile marker is just getting back to running after 15 years of running I suffered my first injury after a half marathon. I’ve had to rehab my IT. band, ice, wear a support, and ease into running. I’ve been sooo use to heading out on weekends for longs runs so I must remind myself that I must be patient.

  132. Start….I am just trying to start my journey! I had an unsuccessful time today as I had gone 12 minutes on the treadmill and had someone come get me because my 18 month old would not stop crying. Going to try again tomorrow! Hoping that eventually I can get more time and miles in….I have 2 and don’t have a double jogger or I would have just gone outside.

  133. Mile Marker 10… I ran the Jersey Shore 10-Miler with Team in Training in memory of my soon-to-be husband’s father. I ran it with my soon-to-be husband–before kids, when he actually ran with me and we actually had the time (pre-kids) to enjoy a Saturday morning 10-miler. That experience will always stick with me because it was my first race of that distance and the last I would ever run with my husband (he hates running!) Every time I pass mile marker 10, I think, “Into the double digits… I can do this!!”

  134. My best mile marker was taking 20 minutes off my best marathon a year postpartum with my son. I was absolutely amazed at what my body had done on so many levels–grow a little person, and then do this pretty awesome thing. Running mothers rock.

  135. My personal mile marker is always mile 1. The hardest mile is always lacing up your shoes and running the first mile. After that, it’s all a piece of cake!

  136. After months of running the same loop in my neighborhood, I finally stopped struggling with my gate, catching my breath and my foot placement, I got into the zone. On my first “zone” run, I ran past a neighbors house, and the number sign I have seen 100 plus times. I laughed when I realized my neighbors were 99 BEERS! Now I laugh and have lots of “zone” moments, thankfully!

  137. The 22 mile marker is key – it means there’s only 4.2 left and you can run that in your sleep, right? 10 is key too – my running crew and i gauge our long runs by where we’re at by the 10 mile mark.

  138. I’m missing my Mile Markers pretty badly at the moment, and for a few more. I’m pregnant with my 3rd baby, and there was concern early on about cramping and abdominal pain, so I was told no more running with this one. He’s due in May so I’m hoping to be back out and at least walking at the end of June and easing back into running in July when we try to go on vacation.
    I miss my walks/runs with my neighbor and the wonderful feeling I get when my feet are really gliding and everything feels just right.
    My runs before I was pregnant this time my runs were getting pretty great, but I have to do what’s best for the babe, so it will be worth it in the end!

  139. Rounding the corner to finish my 1st half marathon, I saw my friends, kids and husband cheering me on. I had thought of that moment many times during my training and it got me through the difficult runs knowing that at the end of my race I would see the people I loved. I can’t wait to see them cheering me on as I finish my 1st marathon!

  140. Every time I complete a new distance is a mile marker. Completing my first 5/10ks and half marathons were significant mile markers. A huge one was receiving a t-shirt from One More Mile and a MAMA RNR license plate from my husband for my birthday last year. Being a life long competitive runner, it was a major deal for him welcome me to the club. My next big one is in October when I run the Chicago marathon, my first, with my youngest daughter, another life long runner. I look forward to many more mile markers along the way.

  141. My mile marker is when people tell me something about running because they know that I love it. A friend just told me yesterday on my birthday that I inspired her to do a marathon. Very, very cool.

  142. Mile marker: crossing the finish line of 1st half marathon after 10 mos of running!

    Also getting a Garmin from my husband for Christmas it showed me “he got it” how important this is to me.

  143. My mile marker is simply starting my running career at the age of 40. Without a doubt, running is the most difficult thing I’ve ever required of my body, but absolutely, unequivocally, the most rewarding.

  144. My first mile marker was completing my first marathon, it had been a lifelong goal and I haven’t stopped since (I’m at 8 and counting). I hope my next significant mile marker will be my first marathon after becoming a mom!

  145. My mile marker is mile 6.5 on my first 10 mile run. I had been training for weeks for my first half marathon, and at that moment, on that run, for the first time I felt my breath line up with my heart, and felt as though my strong heart was powering my machine, my body, and I could feel myself pushing harder because I knew I could. It was the very first time I felt like a runner.

  146. The children at play sign at the beginning of our street that signifies the end of my run. My favorite mile marker! Ends my run and reminds me what I am heading home to.

  147. My first mile after giving birth to my first born. It was as excruciating as well as exhilarating at the same time! I think my time was 13 minutes. Through all the pain and pee I still did it and I knew it would only get better from there! 🙂

  148. Mine would have to be the last half marathon I ran. I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time with my3rd child, after finishing it I knew I would continue to run throughout the pregnancy and that has kept me motivated and excited to get back to marathon training when this baby is born in May!

  149. My mile marker would have to be 3.1. It still tickles me that what was once a seemingly insurmountable goal has become my easy short run of the week!

  150. Last month was my mile marker- one year of running 4+ days per week. Never thought I’d keep running when I started to knock off a few pounds. Turns out it was one of the best things I could have done for myself! Knocked off those pounds and more, and feel so much better!!

  151. My memorable mile marker: I finally spent a summer seriously running and then finding at the end of that summer that the jeans I bought and were snug at the beginning of the summer… were falling off of me by the end… I had to get rid of them for a smaller size!

  152. Mine was the 1 mile fun run that I ran with my 6 year old last year. It was the first “race” I had done since high school gym class and it inspired me to run two half marathons last year and sign up for my first full in October. I found something I loved in that mile!

  153. My favorite “mile marker” is where my life as a Mom, and therefore a runner, started. St. Charles Hospital on the north shore of Long Island. It is there that both of my sons came into this world. I have spent the better part of the past 3 years running after both of my boys. It is also there that I come to the turnaround point on my longest, and most grueling, weekend run. My boys are my greatest honor and accomplishment to date. That run is my favorite and most emotionally and mentally rewarding one as it reminds me, in more ways than one, how lucky I am.

  154. This is my favorite RLAM question ever. I love all the answers here. And I’m not just saying that because I won the Deena outfit (thank you thank you thank you–I was almost knocked out of my chair when I saw my name up there–and a little embarrassed about the poop thing being in there–ha!).

    Obviously I don’t need to win again (I will buy Kristin’s book!), but my mile marker was starting my blog. I realized last summer that my hope to someday qualify for Boston wasn’t just going to happen on its own. So I started writing a blog to keep myself motivated, and while I’m still a ways from my goal, I have time and now, thanks to the frequent focus on that goal that writing brings and the new friends I’m starting to make, I have constant inspiration.

  155. Running has always been a part of my life. As a result I came in contact with 6 amazing women at my childs school when he was a 2nd grader. Our boys are now all seniors in high school and we are still running together! We have been through so many changes, good and bad, in our lives. My marker is those Saturday when we are al together and our troubles are left on the pavement behind us! I look forward to it!!

  156. Mile marker 10! I’m training for my first half marathon (3/27) and last week was my first double digit run. Today I did 11. There’s just something magical about being able to take my mileage in a single run to 2 digits!!!

  157. the first run in shorts on the trail with my 3 “crazy ladies”. The connection with the trail to celebrate spring, splash in the mud, and reconnect with my friends. I always prefer to run the trails, and after a long winter the soft ground under my feet and laughing with my friends always centres me! And sometimes, when laughing hard, it grounds me, literally. Dam roots :o)

  158. My mile marker has to be when I start reaching 30+ miles a week. It means that I’m actually in training for something, not just running for the love of it. My mind responds in the positive to the increase in miles (mental achievement, more miles = more of of the love!) but my body sometimes responds in the negative (mid-day exhaustion, aches and pains in every joint). Either way, I know there’s a finish line out there waiting for me, and I love the feeling of achieving a “win” on each of my training plan days.

    I love Kristin’s Mile Marker column, and love how she could be any one of my running friends! She fits into our RLAM community seamlessly – thanks for spotlighting her!

  159. My mile marker… given my mood or goal for the day, there can be many. But I suppose the one that sticks out is the beginning (or is it the end?) of the street that my neighborhood attatches to. For that is where my warmup ends, and the running journey begins. Every time, almost every day…. crossing that street means “lap” gets hit on the Garmin and the feet pick up pace! Which route they take that day, really doesnt matter. All that matters is I am running NOW, and I will (at least for the next hour) live in the NOW; no house to clean, no kids, no husband and no work- just ME, ME ME! (And my two best friends, aka runnin’ shoes.)

  160. Mile One.

    After baby #2, I’m working on mile one.

    After baby #1, it was the first mile with a running group of moms.

    Throughout my adult life, running comes and goes – it’s always mile one that gets me back in.

  161. In March, I’m running the Atlanta marathon with my best friend, my sister-in-law Joy. It’s her first, in celebration of her 40th birthday. It’s my second.

    I’m running it for her, training with her, making sure she’s got a partner at all times for long runs. Another running partner said “This is a great idea. At mile 20 when you’re wondering why you’re doing this, you can look right beside you and have your answer.”

    So there it is, my mile marker…being able to log the miles for someone else’s sake, so she can run her first marathon with a friend by her side. I can’t wait.

  162. Mile marker 13.1 is a significant number for me. It symbolizes my return to running after a 20+ year hiatus. Signing up for a half marathon was how I got myself back into running. It seemed like such a daunting distance at first. But through my training, slowly adding up the miles each week, I gained confidence that I could go the distance. When race day came, I was ready. Finishing the half was such a huge accomplishment! It taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to.

    I’ve since gone on to run five more halfs and a full marathon, but that first half was what jump-started my running habit.

  163. Just received my pre-ordered Amazon copy of Kristin’s book today and I can’t wait to dive in.

    You know that feeling–that feeling when you know you are in the groove–your legs are moving and there is nothing you can do about it—when you say to yourself, “I got this”–that is my mile marker where I truly feel like a real runner. It does not come every run–but when it does—oh, what a feeling.

  164. My significant mile marker is the Bolder Boulder 10K. It was the race that got me started running (“hey, I wonder if I can run 6.2 miles? Let’s find out”) and kept me running (“That. Was. Awesome!”). It’s a race I’ve done every year except last May, just after I’d given birth to my second child. It’s a race I’ve run with a friend and one that I’ve also walked with my husband and daughter — once while pregnant and twice while carrying her in a pack. It’s a race I hope to eventually run with her and with my youngest as well. And it’s a race that I’m really hope to PR in this year. There’s nothing like a scoring a PR ten years after I started running and had two kids–unless it’s running it with my oldest this year. (She’s 6, so she’s finally old enough to register though I don’t think she will quite yet.)

  165. Some days I run for training purposes; some days I run for sanity. On the “chasing sanity” days, my mile marker is the view of my patio doors. I leave my 1 and 3 year olds behind with Dad a run around our quarter. Usually I get back via the gate in front of our house then jump up on the front deck to the patio doors. Always there is at least one little face pressing against the window. Most days I return feeling energized and ready for those snotty little faces again. There have been however a couple days when I have looked at the patio doors …. and kept on running.

  166. My mile marker is the calm energy I feel about 30 minutes into each run. It’s at about that time that the heavy legs, gasping breath and self-doubt that plagued me during the first half hour is pushed aside by the runner’s high that reminds me I CAN do this — that I AM a runner!

  167. My mile marker is the finish. Fun run, training run or race – it doesn’t matter, finishing a run is the best feeling. Whether it is a beautiful day or I have to drag myself out of bed on a cold, dark, winter morning, I never, ever regret a run and I am always happy that I went. That feeling of finishing a run is something that you could never describe if you hadn’t experienced it yourself.

  168. My next mile marker will be this coming October, exactly 10 years since I ran my first marathon. I say first, because come this December, I am going to do a second. This 10 year anniversary is really meaningful for me. After gaining a lot of weight with two pregnancies, I had really stopped running. I’ve lost just under 50lbs, and with that loss, have gained back my running self. Once I realized that I did a marathon 10 years ago, I quickly decided to do one this year. Honolulu Marathon, here I come!

  169. My mile markers are many firsts as this is my second year of running. Each weekend, I go just a bit farther while training for my first marathon. I’m so amazed at how good I feel and getting the confidence that I can go 26.2 miles!

  170. My mile marker for me is my house or my mom’s house. It always is the end in sight after a short 3 mile run or a longer run (right now that is 5 miles). It makes me feel great when I see either because I know i have finished and put my best effort forward and I feel so strong and good about myself!

  171. My mile marker is the finish…fun run, training or a race. It doesn’t matter if I go out in beautiful weather or have to drag myself out of bed on a cold, dark, winter morning, every single time I go for a run, I never, ever regret it and I am always so happy that I went. That feeling cannot be described by anyone who hasn’t experienced it.

  172. My mile marker was when I finally started to like running, after years of saying it wasn’t for me, and trying for a month or two before giving up. Now I LOVE it (although the marathon training not so much), and I hope I will never quit!!

  173. The best mile marker is when you set out on an easy 3-4 miler and you come back after 14. Passing each mile with more confidence than when you started. So empowering!

  174. My biggest mile marker is in the near future as we welcome our second child and I begin to run people off the sidewalks with our soon-to-be-purchased double stroller. That stroller is mammoth! Watch out, we are on the move!

  175. My significant mile marker is 3 – it took weeks of trying before I could run longer than 2 miles and then I finally hit 3. This past weekend I ran my first 10 mile training run in preparation for my first half marathon at the end of March – just about a year after hitting that 3!

  176. When I trained for and ran my first marathon, it was much more than just fitness and a race. I really wanted to hit that 26.2 mark to show myself that I am capable of amazing things.

  177. My mile marker? My first mile! A few months ago, I could barely run a minute without huffing and puffing, let alone a mile. I’m now up to running two at a time, almost to three, and training for my first 10K! (I’ve done a few 5Ks and love racing!)

  178. My mile markers continue to be each running ‘first’ along the way. I’ve just started my 2nd round of 5K training – the first was as an interval runner, and now as a ‘full-time’ runner. Since we do our longest runs on Mondays, and the mileage increases each week, I get a new mile marker each Monday! My latest is 1.75 non-stop miles – woohoo! Each Monday I run a little further increases my desire to run and my confidence that I really CAN do it! Six months from my first interval run, I am already pondering which training will be next for me – 10K or Tri?

  179. Just starting. Keeping at it even though I’m slow. Realizing that I am a runner even though I’m not the fastest.

  180. It’s gotta be mile 1 – if I’ve made it that far, it means I’m at least “out there” and didn’t quit right after I started!

  181. Each and every step we take is a marker in progress. I’ve battled back from multiple sprained ankles, a torn MCL, and gaining a TON of weight while rehabbing said MCL. Each step, movement, stride is a maker of progress towards my goal – I’ve finished two tri’s. I’m gonna win one soon!

  182. So many, too many to count but my friends definately are a big marker… also my sanity. Those miles hold the anxiety and depression at bay like nothing else I’ve ever tried. Conquering a hill or speed workout that I’ve struggled with is a great mile marker for me too. I could probably list 26.2… but far less elequently than SBS, Dimity or Kristen.

  183. My most recent/favorite mile marker was a 5k that I ran with my sisters – it was a celebration of us being together and of my running again after yrs not. Now I look forward to tackling Signal Peak – a popular trail run – 9mi.

  184. My mile marker was getting up the courage to run after I had my first kiddo. I had the physical energy but my blatter was not so forgiving. Running for 10 minutes was like running for 10 miles once I was done. It got better but it was a reminder of where I had been and where I was and that I could get back, it would just take some work.

  185. Right now, my mile marker is the 1 mile marker. Over the last year I’ve gotten pretty out of shape. After a recent run test had me running 10-minute miles, I realized that I want to improve my average speed — so I have a new goal of doing more interval training. My hope is that w/o thinking about overall distance or overall time, I can work on speed and eventually run a much faster mile.

  186. Gosh, I am running my first marathon in less than a month and I have to say that the journey of training for it has been a huge miler marker for me. It has taught me resilience. When to listen to my body and when not to listen to the negative talk in my head. It has made me a better homeschooling mom. I have learned to expect more from my kids and I have shown them that I expect more from myself.

  187. My mile marker is my fence. I leave it, start the garmen, start the ipod, begin my run. When I have left the miles behind me, crest the huge hill and see my fence I feel complete. I did it. If I do nothing else that day I can say I claimed those 10 miles. When I enter back through the fence gate and hear it lock behind me I can log it and I can feel it and I know it- Im a runner.

  188. Crossing the finish line of the full marathon last year. By completing something unique in my family that took a lot of hard work and was uniquely mine. That gave me a tremendous boost in my confidence. I could do it and I did it! Thank you Running!

  189. The most significant mile marker for me is the finish line… whether it is a 5K fun run or a marathon, the finish line is confirmation that I accomplished what I set out to do. Finishing is something that I have tried to stress the value of to my kids in anything they do. Whether the best finish, or just barely finishing, there is accomplishment to be celebrated and motivation to start again.

  190. My milemarker is always the street sign that signals I am home. I run to clear my head, keep myself healthy and strong, to improve my times, to build my miles, to get ready for that next race, to compete with myself. But running back to my family, to my ultimate support group, to my home is the most significant mile marker for me. It makes me feel stronger, warmer and more complete as a person, as a mother, as a wife and as a runner!

  191. When I finish a run, come in the door and my two year old says “mommy! You ran! Did you run fast?” His joy is contagious and makes me want to do my best…my boys are my “mile markers” for everything!

  192. What significant mile marker celebrates your running?
    I would have to say the 10th mile of my very first 10 mile run. It was the furthest I’d ever run at the time, and since, without stopping to walk. I did it alone, too, and not only did I finish, but I finished feeling like I could have gone farther. It made me feel truly strong for probably the first time in my life. I’ve never felt healthier, stronger, or more beautiful in my life. I know I can achieve that feeling again if I just put my best foot forward and keep persevering like I did then. I’m up to 6 miles, only 4 more miles to go until I reach that point of awe.

  193. Emotional mess here! Tears in my eyes (shocking, I know!) My mile markers are many – An angel to run me across the finish line at the Eugene Women’s 1/2, my 1:56:30 1/2 finish at the Girlfriend’s 1/2, being able to run 10 miles easily now when that used to be my hardest distance, training for my very 1st full in June… And my guess is that there are going to be SO many more!

  194. A significant mile marker would have to be the sign I sometimes pass on my long runs that is on a tiny bridge over a creek – the sign says “Rattlesnake Creek (no rattlesnakes)” It cracks me up every time I pass it. How it relates to my running? Sometimes the fears I have that are based on preconceived notions are imaginary!

  195. Probably finishing my first race – a 10K. I went from never running to becoming a runner; from never being an athlete to feeling more confident in my ability to start and finish something.

  196. Mine was turning 30 a couple of years ago. To avoid the “end of my twenties” freak out, I decided I’d start running when I hit 30– something I’d always wanted to do but never had the guts to start. My first race was a 10K a few months after my birthday, and that accomplishment felt so big. I felt the same swell of pride this past fall, when I hit mile five of a ten-mile race and realized I’d been running fast enough to beat the time limit– something I couldn’t have imagined doing in my twenties. This fall I’m doing my first marathon, at the same venue where I did that first 10K. Every training run now reminds me of where I started and where I’m heading. Personal growth feels pretty darn good.

  197. Each mile is a mile marker for me. I feel blessed with each mile I finish…and help others to finish. I feel blessed with each finish line I cross and with each finish line I help others to cross.
    I am a Girls on the Run coach and am privledged to watch my girls go from one mile to 3 in a few short weeks. With each mile they gain confidence, accomplishment, fitness and so much more. I am also coaching 2 new runners…goodness knows why these 2 ladies thought I was accomplished enough to coach them but….with each week they gain milage and that feeling of accomplishment. I am proud to watch transformation Of these ladies and my GOTR girls.
    With each mile I run…either a quick tough 3 or an relaxed 10 or a training 20…I feel blessed. Blessed that I found this gift called running…because every mile…every finish line gives me something I didn’t have before.

  198. Sitting outside of Starbucks in downtown Fort Worth early on Saturday morning. This is where my running friends and I reward ourselves after a long run. We call it our happy hour and it does truly make me happy! To have a great workout and then a great gossip session is truly the best! No RUN = No COFFEE & FRIENDS. And I need my coffee & friends!

  199. Hi, found you via twitter.

    Just heard about this book the other day and would love to read it.

    Today I run … because I can!
    I almost lost my life … and my leg in an accident. I was told I might never walk again. I threw myself into my physical recovery and four months later I walked unassisted. Over the following year, I plunged into the deep, dark hole of depression as I tried to process the pain, limitations and deformed leg that I now live with. Step by step, I overcame and four years later, I returned to running, which had been a vital part of my life pre-accident. Because I can!

  200. I’m a new runner and just yesterday I had a mile marker I won’t soon forget. I was at my local high school track for run that was supposed to be just over 2 miles. I was dragging myself through the cold and rain, giving myself pep talks, counting the laps, and willing one foot in front of the other. When I counted the 8th lap just as I crossed the lane 8 marker, I was so proud that I was going to finish my run. Hours later, I developed a fever and realized my sniffles were heralding a massive head cold. I am proud that I managed to get it done with the odds against me, and now I know that in a month’s time, I’m going to be just fine at my first 5k. When I finished yesterday’s run, I thought it was my second worst run to date. Since realizing just how ill I am, I’m counting it as my best run yet. The image of number 8 on the track is going to loom large in my mind as a symbol of what I can do.

  201. After running 8 miles with the best running partner a girl can ask for, it occurred to me that less than a year ago I was unable to run for 1 minute straight and never imagined having the will power and endurance to run 8 MILES!!!!
    Today, I am training for a half marathon in May, the Warrior Dash in September and much to my amazement, I am able to run much longer than 1 minute without stopping!!!!
    Cheers to Running and believing in yourself!

  202. I started running January 2010. My mile marker happened this past Saturday when I ran the same 5K race 8 minutes faster than the year before.

  203. My mile marker is 13111. On this day at age 39 I had a minor stroke while running at the gym. Luckily it was caught in time to make sure things did not spin out of control and leave me crippled, without total function, or worse: dead. Years of abusing my body, ignoring the limits it was placing on me, and acres upon acres of stress had finally caught up with me doing what gave me the most pleasure and sanity: running. As an avid runner who uses the time to purge all on my brain I thought I was on top of my game making every mile count and getting me closer to where I wanted to be. Now as I rebuild my body with a kevlar brace and limited function for my left side I realize just how important it all is. Even though I was doing something for me I was actually taking away from everything I hold precious and dear: my beautiful children and family. I am slowly coming back but not without a struggle. Now every day is actually a mile marker for me. At physical and occupational therapy I feel every little thing I do is an accomplishment. Not able to run at the present moment, I think my accomplishments are more about being able to walk up and down stairs without falling or looking like an idiot, peddling a bike, buttoning a shirt, or finally able to work an elliptical (while it isn’t running it is pretty darn close). While I know I have miles to go before I sleep, I know every moment is a new beginning and finish line for me.

  204. It’s hard to pick just one significant mile marker for me because there are so many, but I have to say that it’s most significant for me when I push start on my Garmin. I like to train, but I’m very good at finding excuses to skip a workout. So when I’m out the door, have my dog, and I’ve started running, that is significant for me because I know I’ve accomplished something…I’ve started. The rest is easy.

  205. The big 4-0 last year. I’ve been an on-again, off-again runner since college, but 40 felt like the big milepost for me to take a look at where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I very much felt like I want to go into my golden years fit and healthy. The changes I’ve made since September in my eating and fitness routines are showing up in other areas of my life. Running each day inspires me to eat healthier, be more organized and find joy. I was dreading my birthday, but it turned out to be the beginning of vitality like I’ve never known it before.

    1. I particularly loved the quote by Isak Dinesen in this post “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.” Run it out, cry it out, or go to the beach. That should be a RLAM t-shirt.

  206. My mile marker is when I actually sign up for the race I have started training for. Right now that consists of my very first adventure race March 25th followed by a half marathon June 4th. Signed up, paid the money, no backing down now!

  207. My last big hurdle was finishing my first 26.2. It was of the most emotional experience of my life. So much blood, sweat, and tears went into training for it. It was bittersweet though, because I couldn’t believe that I had finally accomplished my goal.

  208. Almost all my runs are mile markers for me these days. When I cross the threshold back into my house I can refocus on my family and appreciate everysecond we have together. My mother is dying of breast cancer and it has made me appreciate every minute and every breath and every run. I am running for me but also for her becuase she cant. I can run and clear my head and come back a better wife and mother and make lots of memories with everyone.

  209. i think my mile marker has been time off for injury and thus realizing how much i really need to run to feel healthy and normal.

  210. Mile 8!
    In 2009, I was a recent college graduate, unemployed, depressed, overweight, and broke. I couldn’t afford a gym, but I was determined to lose weight and come out of my funk. A friend suggested running, so every other day, I’d put on running shoes and a borrowed Garmin watch and see how far I could go. I remember the day I ran 8 miles for the first time without stopping. I cried all the way home that day. I’ve never looked back.
    Today, I’ve run multiple 10Ks and half marathons and 1 full marathon. Every time I pass a Mile 8 marker, I get emotional because it reminds me of the day I went just a little bit farther than I’ve ever gone before. My mantra now is “Just a little bit farther, just a little bit farther.”

  211. What a great question! My mile marker is my mantra that runs through my head, “i’ll regret it more if i don’t, than if i do”. this mantra helps me pass up many opportunities to stop, and to reward myself with the luxury of knowing i can set high goals and achieve them! that’s the best self-confidence boost ever 🙂

  212. My ‘Mile Marker’ Was When I Realized I NEEDED to Run for Me!
    To Be the Best Me I Can Be…Wife/Mother/Friend…
    Need the Release Running Gives Me…And Not Feeling Guilty for Doing Something for ME…
    Knowing & Understanding that My Husband & Family Fully Supported Me!

  213. Mile marker 10 is significant to me. I think it’s because that’s the distance that I was up to when I was training for my first race (a half marathon) when I fell snow skiing and completely tore two ligaments and my miniscus. I was crushed because I was scared that I’d never be able to participate in my newly discovered love of distance running. After reconstructive surgery and a year, when I made it back up to 10 miles, I knew my knee would be okay after all. Now I’m happy to call myself a marathon runner with my bionic knee!

  214. A guy friend once asked me whether I got totally OCD with running, and I bruskly said “No”. Then he asked me: What’s your favourite place? And I said, well to be honest, there is this spot on an interval session we are doing, it’s at the top of a hill that slopes down and nips back up. On the other side is this beautiful white mansion, which we call the “White House” (it’s actually the Royal School of Ballet) – He just looked at me and cracked up. But whenever I get to this marker on my run, I always get taken aback by the beauty of the view and although I know it’s a tough run to the other side, it always brings a smile on my lips and I run happily towards the big white mansion growing and glowing on the other side.

  215. What significant mile marker celebrates your running?
    I signed up for my first 13.1 that should have been on 3/27. On 2/26 I realized I could tackle that 13.1 the next day if I put my mind to it – so I signed up for the Cowtown half marathon on 2/27. Crossing that finish line and running 13.1 miles for the first time in my life made me feel more powerful and accomplished than I ever have. I can accomplish anything I put my mind (and body) to!

  216. That first 5 minutes after I got over the I can’t! 5 min turned into 10, into a mile, mile and a half, now up to 5! I was holding myself back. Now it is easy to crawl out of bed, put on running attire, and go, no excuses (except ice). I want it, for me!

  217. My most significant mile marker was my very first race, a 5k, which I ran with my daughter, also her first. We continue to run races together even though she’s now away at college. We let each other know how we’re doing on our training, the accomplishments, the aches. It helps us stay connected as we learn to navigate the Mom/Adult Child relationship.

  218. I feel like I have two mile markers- the first is actually minutes. 20 minutes to be precise I spent months convinced that I COULD NOT possibly run 20 minutes without stopping- too unathletic- former fat girl etc. The feeling of finally busting thru my self-imposed limit was exhilarating. The second would have to be the grange hall at the end of the rural road I started running on. I told my husband that someday I would be able to run to that and back home ( 7 miles) it took a year to build up the mileage to do it but I finally accomplished it.

  219. What significant mile marker celebrates your running? For me, it was crossing the finish line at the 2009 ING NYC Marathon. It took me longer than I had hoped that day, but just being there, less than a year after having brain surgery, was a HUGE accomplishment for me that I will never forget. Still makes me emotional!!

    This sounds like a fantastic book!

  220. When I read the question about significant mile markers I thought of the last full marathon I did – Scotiabank in Toronto. I had decided that when things got tough – kms 16 and beyond, that I would spend the time it took me to get to the next marker thinking about my life at that particular age. I was 42 at the time of the run so it was perfect! I was doing well and then came across my husband who was struggling at the 38 km marker. That was the age I was when I met him! I stopped to walk with him and told him the story of my kms = years of my life and we had a little laugh and a sweet reflective moment and then picked it up and ran the last few together to the finish line where two of our kids were waiting. The kids jumped over the barrier and ran across with us! It was my favourite race memory because each km was special!

  221. This book is definitely on my to-read list; I’d love to win a copy!

    My biggest mile marker was the first time I trained for a goal time (for a 10K) and met it with about a minute to spare. All the hard work, sweat, and sore muscles of the previous weeks were so worth it at that moment. I felt like I was a “real” runner at last. Plus, I also knew then that I could do anything I wanted to with my running, if I were willing to work hard enough for it. Turns out that translates to life, too.

  222. My “mile-marker” is home. After moving across the country to run for a Division I school, I quickly realized running, for me, wasn’t about a strict diet, cutting weight and making sacrifices.

    Running, was and always will be, about looking at ‘sacrifices’ as opportunities. I needed to change “I have to run today” to “I GET to run today!”

    I transferred to a small Division III school near my home town and rediscovered running as a passion instead of a job. My college career was successful, but the greatest success was making running a lifestyle that I still commit to, now that the ‘glory’ of college is over.

  223. My significant mile marker would be the Cleveland half marathon I’m training for. I took a year off running after competing for 10 years. It will be the farthest I have raced and thought it would be a great way to get back in the game.

  224. One significant mile marker for me was running the Nike Womens Marathon this past October. I honestly can say I had a blast for the entire 26.2 miles. It wasn’t my first marathon but it was the first time people were cheering for me like I was a rock star and yelling,”You are a runner.” Plus, I ran with Team in Training which made the entire experience even more meaningful. My running had an entirely different meaning as I trained with TNT for that event.

  225. Mile 1. As someone with endometriosis who always erred to safely and talked herself out of pushing herself just a little further, the thrill of the first mile made all the others that much easier.

  226. My milemarker is my dog Lilly. She started running long distance with me when I got her from the pound 11 years ago. She’s the reason for the title of my blog, “Happy Spirit, Running Spirit”. I got her when I was at a pretty low point in my life and whenever we are running together and she gets that silly grin on her face, ears perked up, prancing to keep going, I know why I’m here and what “it’s” all about. She’s my marker for how far I’ve come and she reminds me what’s important.

  227. Every one of my miles is significant. I am grateful for the fact that I can even get one mile in. Whenever I can strap my shoes on and walk out the door – regardless of the intended distance – is significant. My most memorable miles would be the rainy one when I met an amazing running partner while training for my first marathon (10 years later, although she has moved on to cycling, we are still friends). The double digit run when I realized that I would be able to finish my first marathon. All 26.2 miles of my first marathon (painful as they were). Finishing my second marathon 2 hours and 6 minutes faster than my first. And training for my 3rd marathon with my BFF when she decided to try it – and then training for the 4th when yet another of our friends decided that she wanted to do one too :O) And this Sunday – when I strap on my shoes for yet another 26.2 – this time on my own, for my 40th birthday (2 weeks early). No worries Napa Valley, I’ll bring in the rear!!

  228. My mile marker came in November 2010 when it was a year since I ran my first 1/2 Marathon (November 2009). I proved to myself that I was going to stick with this new “hobby” (running) and had made it through the first year still going strong. Next up: Mile Marker at November 2011 -> 2 years!

  229. I was really excited to see the clock at the finish line of my 2nd ever 5K this past saturday. it read 29:21 as I crossed the line! I was ECSTATIC to say the least. I hadn’t had a good run all week and was worried if I would even beat my time from my first race (31:45). So when I came around the last turn and saw that the clock had just turned 29:01, I hauled ass because there was no way I was going to watch it roll 30:00 before I finished!!
    Now, the focus is on the 6.2 mile marker that I will cross for the first time in April 🙂

  230. Running has restored a bit of my self confidence. After having 5 kids, my body looked all wrong. It was stretched out, had extra padding and just felt different. I needed a little bit of me back, and running helped bring a bit of that back. I still have the marks (and some extra padding) of motherhood, but I look and feel better because of running.

  231. My mile marker is still ahead. I know it is out there but I know that the road between there and here is going to be hard. I love taking my dog, Clem, for runs almost as much as she loves going on them. As soon as she sees the running gear come out she is bouncing around the house waiting for me to grab her lead. But, about a month and a half ago we found out that my beautiful, 5 yr old black has a cancerous tumor on a hind leg and it will need to be removed. We’ve scheduled the surgery for the end of this month and have heard over and over again that dogs recover quickly from these procedures but it is hard not to be anxious. My mile marker will be the day I’m able to take my three-legged pup for a run again, even if it is just around the block.

  232. My mile marker was my first half marathon that I ran. I walked a half marathon and decided the next year, I was going to run the whole thing. I never ran more than a mile before that. I started a 10 week program of walking/running and at the end I could run 30 minutes without stopping. I just continued from there. I’m proud that I didn’t start running until after I had my first child and I was almost 30. It’s never too late to start something!

  233. My significant mile marker was when I realized that my new found love of running was affecting my 6 year old daughter in a positive way. I did not start running to influence her, but influence her I did! We ran our first 5K race together back in October and she finished in under 11 minute miles. The best part of that run was how proud she was of herself at the finish line. I love the runs we get to share together (when she feels like it). They are obviously my slowest runs, but they are the best!

  234. Even though I just ran my first marathon, I still think of my first 2-mile run as my “mile marker”. I started running when my career was in the toilet, and I was feeling so defeated & helpless that I just had to get out and accomplish something. When I got to that first 2-mile run in the Couch to 5K plan, I bragged to anyone and everyone about it. It made me feel capable again.

    1. Hey Melodie: I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking they look very Lululemon, so that’s where I’d start looking. I agree: very cute.

      1. Perfect! I’m on a quest for running skirts without SHORTS that don’t ride up. Really, seriously hope they exist out there! It’s HOT down here already in March!

  235. The biggest mile marker I’ve had since starting to run is 2009 Steamboat Spring’s marathon. My entire training was a distraction for the intense waiting process for our daughter’s international adoption from Ethiopia. The race itself was a celebration of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into our 26 month wait for her. It was the hardest (stomach issues, weather, etc) marathon I’ve ever run. And also the most rewarding!

  236. My favorite running “milemarker” is that moment in (almost) every run where I reach what I call “cruising altitude”- that moment where I go on autopilot, the run feels effortless and my mind is free to wander.

  237. The finish line of my 1st 5K last July! I ran across it with my sister, and loved that it gave us just one more thing in common!

  238. I have two mile markers. The first mile marker was the 2009 Northface Endurance Challenge 10K in Bellingham. It was only my 2nd 10K ever. After completing that race, I knew I could “endure” whatever distance I set my mind to. My 2nd mile markers are my 15K’s I’ve run. I ran my first 15K in September 2009. I did well for not really know what to expect and not really knowing how to train. This set the course for running two 1/2 marathons, a Ragnar Relay, and a friendly competition amongst friends on most miles run in a month (I was the only girl in the group and I won). After these races, that initial 15K race was coming up again. I wanted to see what I could do since I had some “real miles” under my belt now. My previous 15K I had to take walk breaks, energy beans, etc and was just happy to finish. This time I ran the whole thing without stopping, no energy beans needed, and even encouraged a few runners along the way to keep on moving. I felt euphoric when I crossed the finish and saw that I had shaved off 15 MINUTES from my previous race time the year before. That race and how I felt and how much I LOVED RUNNING that day are what keeps me going…even on the most horrendous of runs some days. That race is what helped me get a PR at the Inaugural Portland 1/2 Marathon while running in the rain for the whole race in what felt like 3 lb socks/shoes. I guess I have 3 mile markers because nothing makes me smile more than seeing my husband and two daughters at the finish “giving me cowbell” and cheering. It makes my heart swell with pride when my girls (ages 5 and 3) want to put on their running gear and go for a run with me or when my 3 yo asks if she’s gonna ride in the running stroller today after dropping off her sister at school. Wow, thanks for asking this question because answering it has helped show just how lucky I really am.

  239. My mile markers were losing 90 lbs , my teen daughter telling me I am a beautiful mom, my son telling me to “Run like a mother” and wearing a bikini on my honeymoon at 39 and feeling great. Running. Mile after mile.

  240. This week my most important mile will be the one I run outside. Last Saturday I was out for a run and tripped and fell and smashed my face and severely chipped both of my top front teeth. I got on the treadmill yesterday and today, but I’m terrified to go back outside. I will do it, but that’s going to be a tough emotional battle. Thanks for a chance to win!

  241. This will sound vague…but, my mile marker is when I can say, “I need to do an easy 6.”

    When a 6-mile run is a short run, I know I have accomplished a level of fitness. And then…I love just going out for an hour and seeing the world.

  242. My mile marker: first post-baby run while battling postpartum depression. It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty, but it made me feel a bit more like me as opposed to this weepy, unrecognizable person who wondered how the heck she’d figure out the mom thing. That run marked me coming out of my fog of sadness and back to myself. Now I’m a happy runner mom of a 2 year old, but those early struggling days and runs will always hold a special place for me.

  243. The running milestone for me is the moment on the long run when my running pals and I have chatted ourselves quiet, and even my head is happily free of constant commentary from the internal critic and the rest of the brain’s cast of characters. It’s the time when the healthy human animal takes over, and the social constraints fall away. It’s breathing, and footfalls, and not much else. Very peaceful.

  244. Four is the number for me. I’ll never forget the first time I hit four miles in forty minutes. I felt like a real runner. Now four is still my favorite distance to go out and run…and I can now easily do it in less than forty minutes, although I often don’t….Four is the number I’m hoping my next marathon finish time will start with, but after this one – I’m going for THREE!

  245. My most significant mile marker? ONE. The first time, as an adult runner, that I ran a mile without stopping. When they made us run the mile in gym class, I always dreaded it because I just knew that I was either going to not finish or be last in my class. Even running that distance was such a struggle for me. So when I ran my first mile without stopping, while doing the Couch to 5K program almost two years ago, I celebrated a BIG victory!!

  246. A significant mile marker for me was running across the finish line at the Women’s Half Marathon in Phoenix. It was advertised as a flat, fast course. Yet, there were so many inclines including going up and down a few exit/entrance ramps on the freeway. After mile 9, I didn’t have the strength to run up any more hills; I decided to walk them. Plus almost all of mile 12 was UPHILL!! I have never been so happy to see the finish line. Even with all the walking I finished in 2:18:57.

  247. Crossing the finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon last October was a celebration of my running. I had gone from a non-runner to a runner, learning all about myself in the process. I now know there is no challenge too big. I simple need to take it one mile at a time!

  248. Having the courage to train for my first marathon, something that I thought was WAY out of my league. The furthest I had run up until then was 6 miles. Each additional mile during that 18 week training period was nervously anticipated. Could I do it? How would it feel? Each time, I accomplished my goal, I became not only a stronger runner but a more confident person. I still marvel at how my running carries over into all walks of my life. Turned out I ran my 1st marathon. Knowing that I could run a marathon helped me realize that if I wanted it bad enough and worked hard enough, I could do anything!

  249. My Motto Is “fitness is my witness” and I carry that with me every day, my biggest mile marker came this past fall when I had a PR in NYC. Another mile marker was seeing 2 friends who had never run, complete their first ever half marathon in Disney, knowing that with all the sweat, blood and tears we had smiles at the end meant so much at the end!!

  250. I’m looking forward to a “mile marker”–I finished my first full in June and was kind of burned out. I got pregnant in August and ran until I was 29 weeks. I’ve actually gotten excited about running again and can’t wait to do my “comeback” race after this baby is born, a half marathon at Camp Pendleton in September. That will be my “I’m back!” mile marker 🙂

  251. My mile marker is a future mile marker, my goal this year is to run my first half marathon in November. I’ve set my mind to it and I will do it.

  252. I have two mile markers – on my 31st birthday I ran 12 miles, the furthest I had ever run in my life in preparation for my first half marathon. In May I will reach another mile marker – five years of being a runner.

  253. The first time I ran 6 miles was also the first time I experienced runner’s high. I felt invincible. When I shared the news with my good friend, Theresa (not a runner), she was so excited for me and, wide-eyed, she said, “Wow, I can’t believe you ran for an entire hour!” Her enthusiasm made me feel so proud of myself. She continues to be one of my biggest fans, always asking me how races and runs went.

    AND, Sarah & Dimity… we’re reading this book on our Run Momma Run online book club! I’ve made a few FB posts about it and folks are pre-ordering at Amazon. Can’t wait to read this one.

  254. I have so many mile markers to choose from but perhaps my most significant was finishing my first 5 k after losing 60 lbs. My husband and son were cheering me on at the finish line. It was a very proud moment for me. That was 14 years ago and I’ve had so many other wonderful mile markers since then, thanks to running.

  255. For me the battle is taking time for myself. My miler marker is making the time for me! Running forces me to take time for myself, which as a mother and wife is often so hard to do. I have a good friend that always says, “When Mommy is happy, everyone is happy!” Running makes me happy!

  256. My most significant mile marker was finishing my first half-marathon. I decided to sign up for it to force myself to get back into shape after I had surgery. I had never been a runner before and was extremely scared about my ability (or lack-thereof). One month after my surgery, I started training. Two months later I ran my first 5k, a couple of weeks after that, my first 10K and then….my first half-marathon. It uncovered a love for running that I never even knew existed. I will never forget that race.

  257. My significant RUNNING mile marker is knowing that my FAMILY knows that I NEED to run to be the best MOMMY/WIFE for them. My husband often urges me to go for a run (when I most need it). My children are my biggest cheerleaders with my running, “Go faster Mommy!” or “Did you have a nice run?” or “Did you win!?” Knowing that my family is on board with my running and knows that is a part of me and our family (it is just what *I* / we do) is a big mile marker for me. 🙂

  258. My mile marker comes this year on May 29 two days after my daughter celebrates her first birthday; I will be running my first ever half-marathon hoping for a sub 2 hour time. Returning to running has been a wonderful challenge and I can’t wait to reach this goal and set more.

  259. My most recent mile marker was my finishing an 18 mile run on February 20 (en route to my first 26.2 this May 15). That run is my current longest ever, capped off my first ever 40-mile week and put me over 100 miles for the month of February, also a first.

  260. My mile marker is a song that comes on when I’m close to 2 miles – I usually run 3, and I know I can get through another mile.

  261. My mile marker would be my “3 miles at 30” I did about a year and a half ago. I started running the May before my July birthday because my husband and I couldn’t complete the whole distance in a charity 5K run/walk. In July, I did two 5K’s, including one on my birthday. Granted, I had to walk some and pushed a little too hard, but I haven’t stopped since. Now, 3 miles is my “easy” and I can’t believe how far I’ve come…a half marathon in 26 days!

  262. It was the consistency that I’d go out for 3-4 miles after my second son was born, for a little ‘me’ time away from the baby. This built up to a half, and then a full. Eleven years later, I’m still going!

    Oh, I remember questioning myself when I passed60 minutes, wondering if I we’re crazy to want to run longer?

  263. I remember the finish line of my first 5K – only a little over a year ago in Dec 2009. It was beautiful and really emotional. Better yet was the finish line I recently crossed which was in Myrtle Beach as I finished my first marathon. There were tears, my 20 year old there at the finish line.

  264. The first mile marker for me was a 10k with my twin sister. We ran it slow, but we ran it, and I felt great the whole time! Just 3 months prior, I never would have believed that I could do something like that.

    The next mile marker for me – my first half marathon on May 1st. The OKC Memorial Marathon.

  265. My most significant mile marker recently was completing my first 1 mile run post-major hamstring injury without pain. Being able to run again without being in constant pain was like being set free from a cage. I’m building back up slowly, but I will never forget the tears of sheer joy I had from being able to run again. I will never, ever, ever take for granted such a small thing as running without pain.

  266. Probably 5k. I started running at age 51 (August ’10). I’m participating in 5ks, using intervals. My goal is to complete a 5k in less than 45 minutes.

  267. The significant milemarker that celebrates my running is mile 3.45- the top- of a mountain run I do weekly (mostly with men, alas. There are not many sweat sisters in my group- but I have lots of brothers). this 1500 foot climb has made me stronger and more capable than I ever thought possible, and it is there that I was able to finally say goodbye to the chubby bookworm who was stood up for the homecoming dance and embrace the woman I have become. It was there that I finally earned love from the one person who matters- me.

  268. I started running at 38. My mother did not get why I started running and continued to do so. She never said anything bad ; she was just not impressed. She kept thinking I would “get over it” it I think. Then I forced her to come with me for my first (and only thus far) marathon so she could see me finish. She did, but because it was at Disney World her favorite place. When I saw her just after I finished she burst into tears. She said “I am unbelievably proud of you. When I saw you coming toward the finish line and realized you had just run 26 miles I started to cry”. This moment has deeply affected me, my relationship with my Mom and my relationship with running. It is truly my Mile Marker.

  269. My mile marker was running an entire year injury free (going on 16 months now). In the first 2 years of running, I made a lot of mistakes. Trained too hard. Pushed too fast. Then I got educated. Learned the hows, whens, and whys of running. And it’s paid off, I’m running faster, stronger and healthier than ever before.

  270. My mile marker is a future goal. Next spring, my sister, mother, and I all plan on running a marathon together. I never thought that would happen! I started running a few years ago to lose weight (I ended up losing 40 pounds and running a half marathon). My sister started running in the past year or so in order to get in shape (she’s running her first half in less than a month). And my mom started running last January (she runs her first half this spring). I can’t wait to cross the finish line with my girls!

  271. My big one was when I recently passed 1,000 accumulated miles on my Garmin site. I am new to running and so it was really motivating to see my total miles inch slowly toward that magic number. With several 13.1s under my soles my next big marker is 26.2 in Eugene this year. Scared and excited all at the same time!

  272. My first postpartum run is always a mile marker for me. Getting back on the road after having my body go through a birth…it’s never all that pretty, but it’s always important to get that first run out of the way, to remind myself that yes, my body can do this.

  273. My mile marker was most definitely finishing my first half marathon last fall. Considering I couldn’t even meet the presidential fitness standards for the 1-mile run throughout my youth, completing a half marathon as a 36 year old mom of two was a tremendous accomplishment for me! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be a runner, or a long distance runner at that, and I feel a great deal of pride that I was able to turn something that I used to dread into one of my greatest sources of happiness.

  274. Unlike Phoebe, I did have the metaphorical angel choir at the end of my first 26.2 this year. It was an amazing moment. I started out running with a group when I was going through some big transitions, and ran through some mucky patches and over a few hills on the way to the marathon finish.

  275. I have been running for 4 years now and I have suffered 3 stress fractures on top of many little injuries. I’ve run 3 marathons, first one undertrained and injured, second with pneumonia and third on a fractured tibia. I took time for 9 months to barefoot run in order to learn how not to land on my heels. I now am training for my 4th marathon and it’s been one 1 yr since my last injury. So far so good although I’m terrified of not making it to the start. My number is 26.2 because I have yet to have a marathon that hasn’t broken me mentally or physically. This is my nemesis.

  276. My milestone is age. I will be 50 next year. That year I want to run the Flying Pig marathon here in Cincinnati. I did my first 5K last summer and I am now training to do 10K and 1/2 marathons this year. Next year, look out! This 50 year old will be doing the full thing!

  277. So one significant mile marker for me in running was when I truly felt like a runner. In 2009, I walked a 5 mile run/race (while carrying my July-2009-born son in a Bjorn like carrier). I hurt so so so so so badly that night/following day, it wasn’t even funny. In 2010, I ran that race (sans baby…although my husband pushed our sons in a jogger with 2 flat tires…). I didn’t walk. I ran it, the whole thing. Even though we had our first half marathon the following week, it was this run that made me feel like I’d done it, I was a runner. I can’t wait to go back every year and run it more!

  278. I started running about one year ago and like my love of books and reading I discovered a new wonderful love of running. It makes me feel whole and allows me to always strive for more and for better. It is something that is 100% mine and as a mother of 3 I find that very satisfying indeed! My daughter and I just ran our first official 5 k at Disney and now have decided to train for a half. I love sharing my newfound love of running with my daughter! I look forward to many more miles with her and the special moments they provide!

  279. My current Mile Marker is getting Back into running. Last year my Dad had a sever stroke, instead of looking to my sweat sisters, or the sweat from running alone, I closed up, holed up. Running has always been my church, my freedom, my self help. I ran away from running when I needed it most. So now I am back running-trying to figure life out so far away from Mom and Dad and I am aiming to qualify for the Boston Marathon (again) on my 2nd Marathon and run in it to honor my Dad whom I love dearly.

  280. My mile marker is any mile where my body takes over and my brain stops telling me I can’t do it. I can, I just have not convinced my brain yet!

  281. My first mile marker was turning 30 last March and never thinking I could go more than 1 or 2 miles. This past Saturday I had another mile marker running the longest I’ve ever done–10 miles. I have my first half marathon at the end of the month and finishing that run was really the first time I realized that I can make 13.1:)

  282. I love every single finish line. Whether it is after my daily run, or the finish line for a 5K, 10K, half, or marathon. That is my mile marker. I am better, I am happier, and I can deal with what ever gets thrown at me after that. I know I can do hard things because of my running.

    When I finished my first marathon with my husband, we were facing our first long separation for the Army. I drew from my experience from the marathon to make it through that time without him. I truly believe after physically crossing that finish line, the experience wasn’t over. I could mentally picture myself at mile 18 when he had been gone 5 months. I mentally pictured myself at mile 23.5 when we were just weeks away from being reunited. It gave me perspective, it gave me hope that I knew I could finish even months after the marathon. That is the beauty of running. That is what makes me lace up day after day and week after week.

  283. I love reading these comments. My mile marker? My first run with running buddies. I was training for a half and had 12 miles on the schedule. It was to be my longest run at the time. Just a couple of weeks before I had been talking with another mom. Running came up. She was just getting back into it and was going to run a 10 mile race soon. She was running with 2 other women I knew. Long story, short, they joined me on my 12 mile training run. Without much notice they just jumped in. Another woman met us a few miles in. We laughed and talked the whole way. I kept up a pace I didn’t think possible on a long run and the time and miles flew by. At the 10 mile mark we went our separate ways and I ran the last 2 solo. When my Garmin rolled over to 12 miles, I looked down and couldn’t believe I had run that far. Or that it felt that easy. It was almost surreal. I think I said out loud, “Wow.”
    From that run on we now run together every weekend and are will be training for a marathon this fall. A first for two of us. I run alone during the week, but there is nothing quite like my weekend run with the ladies.

  284. My mile marker was 13.1. I’ve always dabbled with running, but never had any goals higher than a 5K. Last year I set my goals higher and ran my first half marathon. I’m on track to do another one in May and then shooting for a Full later in the year.

  285. My mile marker is just to be able to say “I ran today; I am a runner.” It took me more than a year of running before I began to tell people that I was a runner because it took me a year to realize that I am a runner. For whatever reason, the definition of running for me had more to do with speed, and I am by no means fast. I have come to realize that running does not have to be defined by speed.

  286. my significant mile marker would be 3.2 (5k) When training for a triathlon, I picked up running after 12 year hiatus since high school, and I thought of quitting so many times, especially since my first 3.2 run took me over 45 min. I kept at it, and everytime I am able to finish this 3.2 loop, I am reminded of the reasons that made me put my runing shoes on again: my health, my family and the peace I feel after a good run

  287. Mile 7 during half mary training last year. It was such a mental block before and the greatest joy once that run was completed. I ran with my namesake and we talked the entire time which is why I think it felt so easy afterwards.

  288. I have to do this with wit AND wisdom? The pressure! 🙂

    My first marathon was a big mile marker for me. I went into it with not a lot of expectations, just hoping to finish and since I knew so many people who had completed one, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal to do one. But the signficance of what I was doing hit me as I started running. All the reasons I run ran though my head (my dad, who when alive, was in a wheelchair at my age could not have dreamed of running something like this, my kids, my family, all those who thought this was an impossible feat) and helped carry me through (granted, there was some walking!). Towards the end, I kept thinking “I’m going to finish a marathon, this is a VERY big deal.” I had tears as I ran that last half mile and when I crossed the line. I was so proud of myself. For weeks after when I wore my marathon shirt, I wanted to tell everyone I passed, “yes, look at me, I ran a marathon!”

    Finishing any race IS a big deal!!! Soak it up!!!

    I will be getting that book one way or another, love your blog on RW, Kristin!

  289. My mile marker has to be my first triathlon and first 10k (They were about a month apart last summer). I’ve done lots of 5ks, but since I’ve done those races I have done a HM and now I am all signed up for my first full. And I have wonderful ‘sweat sisters’ to thank for all of it! 🙂

  290. My mile marker….hmmmm….well, I have been “trying” to be able to run a 5k for YEARS, ever since my first baby was born 6 years ago. But being horribly overweight, I would try and try and always injure myself, give up, start again, injure myself…rinse and repeat. This year I have manages to lose almost all of my excess weight (almost 70 lbs so far!) and I CAN run 5k! In fact, I am delusional enough that I am going to be signing up for my first half marathon this Fall! The 5k will always be my mile marker of something that I tried so hard for, for such a long time and have finally achieved and more!

  291. My mile marker would have to be my first 13.1. I never believed I could actually do it until I crossed the finish line. I now have crossed many finish lines and hit many memorable mile markers. I c an never wait till the next.

  292. My mile marker is literal. I always run to a set of railway tracks about 5Kms from my house and back. Last week I went to the ‘other side of the tracks’ and back. Extending my long run by just a km, but its just the beginning of something bigger. Hitting that mark and stepping over and beyond it is a very significant point for me.

  293. My mile marker? After all I’ve done I will never forget my first 5K. I actually had to walk during it. At mile 2 I got goosebumps and cried. I was so happy, proud, and in total disbelief that I was doing this. I caught the bug and haven’t stopped yet!

  294. Right now, my mile marker is 1.5. It is the spot where I used to meet my running partner for our long runs. She has moved away with her family and every time I reach that spot, I think of her and how even though we can’t run together anymore, we are still determined and motivated to get out there and keep on running!

  295. This is silly on a running site but my Mile Marker was buying a bike yesterday. After fracturing my pelvis 2 yrs ago my ITB, hip capsule, knees on the right have never been the same. Started training for marathon #2 and now its peroneal tendonitis so the bike represents my admission that sometimes I am not invincible (still a BAMR!) and neither is my body so I need to listen to it so I can still run when I am 80!

  296. My mile marker is always my daughter who was born with a rare genetic syndrome. When I feel I can’t go anymore or get through that extra mile I think about her and how hard she has to work every day—that gets me through the next mile. Nevertheless, don’t feel sorry for her because she was placed on this earth to love and inspire, and het daddy will get her in a pair of running shoes before to long because that is the best therapy of all.

  297. OMG – I just added “Mile Markers” to my aStore wish list on amazon yesterday!! Looks like a great book!

    My mile marker is really any finish line. I’m just so proud to be getting myself into shape again. I’m doing things I never thought were possible… and running gives me a newborn confidence. Training for a race keeps me committed to the entire process.

  298. I have two. The first was a couple of years ago, mile marker 1/4. I had been walking with a friend at our local track and would run little bits of it before she got there (the straights or the curves). One morning I ran a whole lap! I called my mom later that morning and told her. I was so proud of myself!

    My other would be this past Sunday, mile marker 10 with my girlfriends. My friend Beth keeps telling me I can do more than I think I can,because I will always stop and walk in a run. Well during the Disney half, I had pretty much run the entire first 10 miles (except water stations), which was significant because I had run an entire 5k only once. The others had walking breaks. Basically this past weekend I had a mental breakthrough. I CAN run and more than I THOUGHT i could.

  299. My mile marker will be here in 10 days. I am running my first ever 15K. I am doing the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL. The longest distance run I have done is a 5 miler so this will be a great accomplishment for me especially to run this far in the largest Boston qualifier run in my own hometown. I can’t wait to run over the bridge and get closer to the finish line. That will be an accomplishment in itself. I just took up the sport of running this past September so I still have that run fever in me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share.

  300. The marker I thought of right away is the finish line to the first half marathon I ran (I was 31). I had “tried” to be a runner several times throughout my life, mostely lasting a month or two. When my son was born, I simply startes walking with him in a stroller. Walking turned to walk-jog; then jog-walk, then jog. Until it was actually race day, I never believed I could make the distance. I Look forward to Kristin’s blog and many times her insight has motivated me to keep running, or better – make personal commitments to be better. Thank You.

  301. My mile markers are never where I think they will be. I assumed finishing my first 26.2 would be life changing. I was disappointed when there was no metaphorical angel choir at the end. I assumed finishing my NEXT 26.2 (after kids) would be it. And then another. And then another in which I BQ’d…. What I’ve found in running (and in all of life) is that the significant moments are NEVER the ones you expect or have the camera ready for. They are fleeting, unexpected, and all-the-more special because they sneak up on you.

    My most recent mile marker was when I decided, weather be damned, I was going to get out there every day for 2 weeks. And I did. And I am Super Bad Ass. : )

  302. My running partner started running one year ago and has not looked back. She had just finished chemotherapy and radiation for her second round of breast cancer and was determined to get healthy and strong. She decided she wantednto run with me. The first time was rough, but over time she has become an amazing runner, completing her first triathlon 4 months after starting running and her first 10K one month later. She is my most awesome friend ever and I know our time sweating together talking about life’s deepest or just most embarrassing issues is what built the foundation.

  303. I’m a “bandwagon leader” (or so my friends say), so getting started and finishing strong are quite exhilarating for me. What’s not so exciting is pushing through the long miles past the middle mark. Mile 17 marks exhaustion, perseverance, the search for mental and emotional strength, the reminder of the all of the miles of training – that I CAN do this, and taps into my deep passion (and sometimes love-hate relationship) for running and my passion for life. My very first 26.2, I was hitting a wall at mile 17 until I rounded the corner and there were my husband and two sweet little boys (3 and 5) holding signs that read “You’re a rock star Mom!” and “Way to go Mom!”. Mile marker 17 now says to me that all I have left to run can be counted by single digits, not double ones (9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, .2, finish!).

  304. The significant mile marker for me will be 26.2 of my first marathon this July. I’m so looking forward to it because I’ll be running this marathon with my dad who has completed 4 so far. I think it will be really special to experience such a big run with my dad and to accomplish running so far.

  305. The 3 mile marker would have to be where I celebrate. I was stuck at doing 3 miles for so long, and once I broke away from the three and ran more than that, I felt free. It gives me sense of accomplishment that I could get out of my comfort zone and run farther.

  306. My mile marker would have to be 13.1. I came out of my first half marathon a different person. The feeling from accomplishing a huge goal that nobody really thought I could do has been amazing. Makes me realize I CAN do anything I set my mind to!

  307. My first mile marker was the first time I ran 6 miles. It was Thanksgiving day in 2007– my parents were in town staying with us, so they were there for the celebration when I ran the farthest I had ever run to that point. I think I cried the whole last mile as I reflected on how amazingly awesome the human body is that we can push past the limits our mind creates.

    My second mile marker was the completion of my first marathon in January of 2009. I ran to raise money for my first mission trip, which is a trip my students take each year as part of their experience in eighth grade at school. I ran for my students who would be eager to hear about my marathon. I ran for the sick and broken people we were going to be working with. I ran for me because I had always laughed and said, “I could never do a marathon!”

  308. I have 2 mile markers this year. October 9th, I am running my 1st marathon in Chicago. I am doing this because of another mile marker on December 30th, my 50th birthday! This birthday will represent much more than just a number on top of my cake. It represents a real peace and contentment with my life. In other “new decade” birthdays, I’ve been restless, unsettled, and feeling unfulfilled in life. At 40, life was great. However, I had a 4 week old at the time, and really don’t remember that birthday. This is going to be a great year, I just know it. My children are older, and life has just settled into a nice pattern. Not predictable, but there is still a flow about it. My running has also settled into a nice flow. My body is slowing with age, but the slowing of my pace is bringing a serenity to my running. My running mile marker on October 9th is the perfect way to usher in the mile marker I will come upon on December 30th. 🙂

  309. My mile marker is finishing my first 1/2 with my running girls. We trained together for months and crossed the line together. It was such a bonding experience like never before! More recently, it’s being able to run 2 miles straight (no walking) after an injury. I’m starting to feel strong again!

  310. These days? My “mile marker” is the jogging stroller. Without it, it is quite unlikely that I would have been able to take most of my runs and walks in the past year since I gave birth to my first child. It is my lifeline to my lifelong passion for running AND in the first few months, it was the only way I could get my son to nap!

  311. It’s the mile marker that I can see a year in the distance… #50 for me. I am excited to see what I can accomplish by then.

  312. Mile marker 5 is significant for me because that is when my endorphins kick in. I get an extra burst of energy and feel I’m capable to doing anything.

  313. My dream is to run the Kauai Marathon. My major milestones in life have taken place on that magical island. I fell in love there, got married, gave birth to my first son. If I were able to run the marathon there it would be the ultimate celebration for how far I have come in life through my running. That 26.2 mile marker would bring me to tears.

  314. My own personal mile marker is the finish line of my first marathon in Philadelphia back in 2007. This very moment when I ran the last .2 mile and crossed the finish line changed my life completely. It made me stronger as a woman and a future mother. It made everything I wished and worked for possible. I will forever be grateful for myself to have crossed that finish line.

  315. The last marathon I ran (and first as a mother) it was Mile 25 when I realized I would qualify for Boston. I was so emotional thinking about my daughter who was 8 months at the time and how important she was to me and it made this marathon somuch better then any in the past.

  316. What significant mile marker celebrates my running? Right now it would be the marathon I have coming up in 18 days. Like I told my mother-in-law – why do something anyone can do? I want to push myself and do something only a few people can.

  317. I remember the day I could finally run a whole mile, but the mile marker that stands out is the day I could run 4 and I felt like running more. It was the first time since I had started running that I felt like a runner.

  318. 13.15… my longest run to date. It was the first time in my marathon training that someone accompanied me on the whole distance. My sister drove from Indiana to North Carolina to be with me. It turned out to be one of my best runs. Ever.

  319. I would have to say I came across my mile marker last Saturday. 9 weeks ago, I made the decision to start running and do the things I’ve talked about for years (run 5ks and do triathlons). When I started, I could barely make it jogging for 2 minutes at a time. My first 5k is coming up this Saturday and my goal is to be able to jog the entire thing and not have to walk at all. Last Saturday, I went with a running group to try out the course. After a little while, I could no longer see the people in front of me and when I turned around, I couldn’t see anyone behind me, but I kept going by myself and jogged the entire course. Even though it was just a trial run, the faster runners were waiting at the place where the finish line will be set up in 3 days and cheered me on when I rounded that last corner. It makes me feel like I’m at the beginning of a whole new part of my life filled with new adventures and new friends.

  320. My recent mile marker was at age 36 having the realization I have been running half of my life – I started at age 18. Kind of frightening how fast those years flew by. I love Kristin’s column – she is a truly great writer. Would love to win a copy.

  321. Which mile marker is significant to me?
    I gotta go with 1 mile!
    I recall the very first time I ran one mile without stopping and it really was such a big deal to me-a huge accomplishment. If I had not been able to run that ONE MILE, I would not have been able to do 3.1, 6.2, 13.1. 20+ any of the other distances that followed. When I started running, I was 100+lbs overweight and I could not run more than 20 seconds at a time. Hitting that one mile was the beginning for me 🙂 The beginning of a mad love affair with running

  322. congrats to Terzah on a fabulous win!! enjoy your goodies

    What significant mile marker celebrates your running? It would have to be 26.2 and having the courage and determination to get there.

  323. I believe if I hadn’t started running I wouldn’t have had the strength/courage/endurance/determination I needed to go back to college at 47. To start all over again. It’s my “sweat sisters” that have listened to me and encouraged me and guided me when I needed it. When things feel like they’re swirling out of control, as now since it midterm time, I keep telling myself, “Baby steps”. My mantra for running a long hill or completing endurance event. Also I have learned not looking to focus on the big picture, “OMG I have how many miles left to go.”, but breaking it up into pieces. Like just getting to the next mile maker, or for now just making it to spring break, which is in two weeks!

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