These past few weeks have just seemed like one big, long to-do list. Patrick is in third grade now and we can’t slack on homework any more, plus I’ve been on a project binge of sorts. I abruptly decided one day that I absolutely could NOT live without some sort of fall decoration on my door, so I spent my spare hours last week making this:

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Then I looked at the chair that I keep over in the corner near my desk – the one that I got for free from some lady who was just going to throw it out – and decided that I would reupholster it: (I don’t have a before. Trust me when I say it was horrid. Ripped, faded fabric, the whole nine yards)

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But my biggest and best achievement came on Saturday, when I finished an 11.4-mile run with my new partners from Life Time Run Club. Distance-wise, it’s not record-setting; after I ran my first half-marathon in 2012, I was determined to complete a full soon afterward, and I was putting in long runs of 14 miles or so. No, the biggest achievement about this run was the fact that I never stopped moving. No breaks to fix my music or drink from a water fountain or stare at the weird, stinky bird rookery on my route – all things that I am known to do when I run alone.

I don’t think I have ever been able to keep a consistent pace for this long a distance. The closest I came was back in 2012 at the Dallas half, and even then, I took a few breaks to fight for water at the overcrowded aid stations. This was definitely a milestone achievement for me – but it wasn’t hard. Having good, steady, talkative partners made it easy. For added motivation, there was also the fact that I was running an unfamiliar route. I had to keep up, otherwise I’d be picking through the trail alone, wondering which way to turn.

For a long time I’ve said that I’m best when I’m running alone. And I still do like running alone. But I may have discovered the value in (the occasional) run with a partner.

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