Friday, October 2, 2015

Running Pittsburgh's Great Race, Writing my Novel, and Being Fearless

A really cool, supportive literary agent sent me this!

This has been a big month for me when it comes to trying new things and going out of my comfort zone.

Sunday, September 27 was the Great Race in Pittsburgh, which just so happens to be one of my favorite road races. My husband and I have run that race almost every year since we moved to Pittsburgh. We even ran the Great Replacement Race the year the city didn't have the budget to host the real one.

The Great Race is really familiar territory, so running it doesn't exactly push me out of my comfort zone. But running a race as a working mom means I don't have the luxuries of quiet nights and early morning focus like I used to enjoy. The night before the race the kids asked me if we could cook pizelles in the morning. WTH? We don't even have a pizelle maker. And then the morning of the race, the babysitter didn't show up. At all. So we had to beg a friend to watch all three boys.

I was also wondering if I had done all I could to prepare for a good performance. I had some doubts. But I ran anyway and finished within my goal range.


It's definitely not my fastest Great Race, and it's slower than last year. But it's faster than I thought I could do this year and if you look at my race pace for all races in 2015, I'm trending faster. I think a lot of that has to do with adding more strength work back into my schedule and being more consistent with my training.

My running consistency has a big impact on other aspects of my life, including my writing goals. Basically at the same time that I recommitted to running regularly I recommitted to finishing the third major revision of my middle grade novel that is currently titled Dare Club. And the two efforts really tied together nicely. Finishing up the manuscript involved me tackling some things that really scared me. But facing them was good for me. And after daily work on my novel manuscript I got it polished and submitted to agents a week before the Great Race.

That's two big "performances" I tackled already this month. Was I nervous and worried going into each event? Yep. Did I do them anyway? Yep.

I know that failure happens and that life goes on after failing. But I also know success can't happen if I don't try. That's why I also submitted my name this month for the 261 Fearless Ambassador program. And I was selected!


The program is part of Kathrine Switzer's global efforts to empower women through running. Here's a description of a 261 Fearless Ambassador:
...a role model, a communicator, a supporter and a friend. She has the ability to stand strong for herself and has the aspiration to bring the love of movement to others. She understands that women can benefit enormously from running to overcome personal limitation and adversity, and so she encourages those around her to run and walk. She understands the need for women to connect through running and the importance of a community of empowered women. Through her personal interactions and social media, she has the ability and desire to welcome women into this 261 Fearless community and a determination to spread 261 Fearless mission.
I really believe that running has empowered all the different aspects of my life. I also believe that different aspects of my life empower my running. It's a positive cycle that means so much to me and I'd love to share it with other women. I also wanted to say thanks to the running women in my life, from my past and my present (and to all you future running friends) for being there at every step and through many, many miles.

So now you're done reading this. What fearless thing way outside of your comfort zone are you going to try?