Running with My Heart

Bench outside Fleet Feet store in Coeur d'Alene

Bench outside Fleet Feet store in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Happy National Running Day! And Happy Anniversary to the Funatical Runner blog.  I started writing this blog in 2014 on National Running Day. When I started writing, my goal was to run a marathon on all 7 continents. The blog was going to be a way for my friends and colleagues to track my running adventures. Things have morphed since then. A year into my blog I realized traveling to Africa and probably South America was going to be risky because of my Transverse Myelitis, an autoimmune condition. I am not certain how my body would react to any immunizations I might have to get to visit those places. I don’t want to get immunizations that would cause a flare up of my Transverse Myelitis symptoms. I ended up scrapping my 7 Continent goal.

I still planned to run a marathon in Antarctica. I continued to read everything that I could find about other runners’ experiences in the “Last Marathon” (as Marathon Tours calls it). Some of the stories mentioned runners falling on the icy surface and having other challenges during the race. Then I broke my arm during a training run. The long rehabilitation process to regain my range of motion made me reconsider whether traveling to a remote part of the world on a ship in heavy seas would be a good idea. If something bad would happen to me down there, I would be very far from an emergency room. I recently made the difficult decision to cancel my reservation to run in Antarctica next year.

My new goals are to run 1) a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 States and 2) run each of the 6 Major Marathons. When I started writing this blog, I had only run races in 12 states plus the District of Columbia and none of the Major Marathons. If I was going to reach my goals, I had a lot of running to do. I joined the 50 State Half Marathon Club and started plugging away at my 50 State goal. I started running half marathons all over the country while I was training for marathons (much to the frustration of my running coach). As of today, I have run half or full marathons in 32 states and have completed 3 of the 6 Major Marathons. (“My Endurance Races” page shows my progress towards my goals.) In total I have run 12 marathons and 41 half marathons since I started running in 2007. It is hard for me to believe. I had only planned to run one marathon when I laced up my first pair of running shoes back in 2006.  I started running but just couldn’t stop at that first finish line.

View from the Coeur d'Alene race course

View from the Coeur d’Alene race course

IMG_5116This past weekend I ran the Coeur d’Alene Half Marathon in Idaho (state #32).  [Coeur means “heart” in French.] Coeur d’Alene is on a beautiful lake surrounded by pine-covered mountains. I couldn’t have picked a more beautiful place to run. Plenty of eye-candy to keep me going. Those nice big mountains meant the race course had some serious climbs. There was a hill with a 2% grade at Mile 4 and Mile 7. I had expected to be moving pretty slow because of those hills.  At the end of the race, I was surprised to still be running fast.  I felt great.  It was a small race (just what I like).  There wasn’t any course entertainment but the residents made up for it, standing with signs and cheering us on.   The Coeur d’Alene Half Marathon is one of my top 10 favorite races to date.

Super Hero corner along the Coeur d'Alene race course

Super Hero corner along the Coeur d’Alene race course

I have more races scheduled. By the end of the year, I will have completed half marathons in Vermont, Maine, Nebraska, Washington, and New Hampshire while I train for my next Major Marathon, the Chicago Marathon. I enjoy my running adventures now as much as I did 2 years ago when the Funatical Runner was born. I know that running is helping to keep me healthy plus my travels take me to interesting parts of the country and world. While Scott Adams may say that goals are for losers, I think I’m winning with mine.  🙂