Those three words together mean so much to me, they’re meaning going so far beyond the trails or the track or the most difficult to reach finish line.
Finding my strong is something I do on a daily basis. It’s how I get through the most chaotic moments of my life as a working mom of three young children. My strong is always inside of me, though it’s not always so easy for me to connect to. I reel myself in with these three words often, when I’m feeling myself slipping into negative thought patterns or having moments when I feel weak or when I doubt myself or my abilities to do hard things … or in some cases, to just keep it together.
I connect with my inner strength in many ways, but over the years I’ve learned that for me, the best place to do that is while I am running. Sometimes fast, sometimes up hills, sometimes coasting for long stretches of time.
Me on the run is me finding my strong.
A few years ago when I started working towards getting my first ever Boston qualifying time, I felt ready to try a “faster” shoe for track workouts and tempo runs. I went to the running store and tested many pairs of shoes and decided that the Saucony Kinvara 2 was the perfect solution for me at the time.
I will never forget the shoe’s bright blue color, or how light and fast and strong and brave I felt in them.
Buying those blue shoes symbolized courage and strength for me. I was stepping into them as I stepped up to work towards a dream that for many years I never even dared to consider as a possibility in my life. That training cycle I wore my Saucony Kinvaras every week for speed work and gradually spent more and more time in them. I wound up wearing the them for my marathon – my first ever Boston qualifying time and a 8 minute PR.
Over the last few years my feet have found themselves happiest running in Saucony shoes. I wear the Rides and Cortanas for my longer runs and when my legs need some recovery. The Kinvaras are still my favorite shoe for longer intervals and tempo runs and I’ve raced in them for every distance from the 5k to the marathon. I enjoy the Mirages for easy runs and long runs sometimes too. The Type A6 made its way onto my feet last summer for the first time – they are a true “fast shoe” in my eyes as they are a racing flat – and I have worn them for fast track workouts and 5ks. I recently ordered my first pair of Fastwitch and will be working my way into those for track workouts and some racing distances like the 10 miler and half marathon this training cycle.
Needless to say, I really love my Saucony shoes and they have been a huge part of my journey as a runner.
|Finding my strong in the Saucony Cortana 3|
My love for my shoes is about more than the shoes though. I’ve learned that the company is really, really amazing – the brand and the message, the history and the products, the support for the running community and for everyone who runs whether they are a “newbie” or an elite or somewhere in between, the passion and the dedication to our sport – it’s a big package of awesomeness that I am really proud and thankful to represent with the shoes I choose to put on my feet.
So a few months ago when Saucony reached out to me about participating in an amazing program they created called 26Strong, I could not have been more excited. It is truly incredible and to say I am honored and grateful to be a part of it is such a gigantic understatement.
Saucony has chosen 13 experienced female marathoners (including me!) to coach and mentor 13 women as they prepare for their first ever 26.2 mile journey. I gave a lot of thought to who I would pick to be my partner and how we would go about making this the best possible experience for her and also hopefully inspire others along the way.
My “cadet” is my friend Kathryn. She came into my life recently, just this past winter, at a time when I was really in need of some help with my own life’s path and purpose. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to help her do something amazing.
Just as she has helped me find my strong, I am going to help her find hers.
And we are going to have a ton of fun along the way.
|Kathryn & me|
I have a lot of stories to tell you guys, and this is just the beginning. The 26Strong program will officially launch on May 30th, in just 10 days. I hope you will enjoy following along with us as we embark on this amazing adventure!
You can read about us here and also visit the 26Strong pages and search the hashtag #26strong:
To top it off and kick it off with extra excitement, Saucony has offered to give a pair of shoes away to one of my readers!
The giveaway ends at 11:59PM on Thursday, May 22nd.
Winner will be announced some time on Friday, May 23rd.
One winner will receive any Saucony shoe they choose.
Winner has one week to claim the prize – I will contact you via email or social media.
All entries will be verified.
Winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter.
Open to US residents only.
Thanks so much and please let me know if you have any questions! Good luck!