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jkahler1024 jkahler1024

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JenK 

I tell my runners all the time that they should never be ashamed of an 'ugly' finish photo. I figured if I am posting theirs, I should be equally as willing to post mine. This was at Sioux Falls, exhausted and in tears as I realized I had run a PR. It was a proud moment, and I am thankful to have the record of it.

The end.
Today, I did not run. For the first time in over three months, I did not run. It was a rather ordinary day, home with my boy, and me a bit under the weather. Rest.
It was neither wonderful or difficult. Hezekiah and I went with the cross country team to practice at the park, and we watched.
105 days of running. 421.6 miles covered. 71 hours, 50 minutes spent pounding pavement. 124 runners accompanied me. It was an amazing, wonderful, time consuming, enlightening, inspiring, difficult, and unique journey.
Yesterday, it was a story that led me to a personal best half marathon time. I ran with pacer Calix because I wanted to hear (and tell) his story. I ran with a group that I knew would push me beyond anything I had accomplished before. Because of that push, I was able to then push myself. It was all because of a story.
I don't know why I chose this journey - it just sounded fun. I know why I finished it though - because it was about so much more than just me. In fact, it really wasn't about me at all. Contrary to the comments of many I ran with, it was I that was 'along for the ride.'
Today, I did not run. My legs were a bit sore and tired from yesterday's effort. Tomorrow, as long as my body allows it, I will. Running has given me so much. Thank you, God, for letting me give back to running. πŸ’—πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“

First ride on the big boat.

Day 105.
Calix.
Part of the reason I kept going with my streak was because I wanted to feature this guy. I had looked up the pacers for the Sioux Falls half marathon a week ago, and the bio showed what looked like a young kid for the two hour goal group. I guessed he was about 13 or 14 in the photo, and his bio said he had run 30 marathons. Today, I lined up for the run and got to meet him in person.
It turns out the bio was a little old. As if having done 30 marathons wasn't enough - Calix is now 16, and is a sophomore in high school in Arkansas. He has run 62 full marathons and a bunch of half marathons as well. When the photo was taken, he was in 7th grade. He has been pacing for about three years. This was his third time pacing the Sioux Falls half.
Calix started doing half marathons when he was 10, and full marathons when he was 12. His dad is a runner too - he was pacing the five hour finish group in the marathon.
Calix has run marathons in I believe 29 states, and it is his goal to someday run one in every state. As we started, we went out a little fast - he remarked that his recovery runs in cross country were usually around an eight minute mile - we were shooting for 9:10 minute miles.
Calix was my 'carrot' of sorts today. My training has been lacking in distance the last month and a half because of an ankle issue. I hadn't run anything over about 5-6 miles at a time in over a month. I anticipated this being a slow half for me. Even so, I decided to go out with Calix's group, just to see what I could do. It was all because I wanted to know his story. Finishing in two hours would have been a seven minute personal best - and like I said, my training was lacking.
I hung on to the group until somewhere between miles six and seven, and then I just started slipping off. I kept going though, as well as I could.
Somewhere around mile 8 or 9, I accidentally looked at my watch. Despite slowing down, I was still on track for a PB. So, I went.
I finished in 2:04:25, a three minute PB. Thank you Calix, for being the motivation I needed to try. Thank you for being the perfect bookend to my running streak. I couldn't have asked for anything better. πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€πŸ₯•βœ”οΈπŸ…

Oh my goodness!! Justin Olson painted this for me - it is AMAZING!! Pretty sure I need this on a shirt now...

Day 104.
Cyndi.
Today's run took place during the 3rd annual Freedom Run in Fairmont, a 5k (and 10K) that raises awareness about the dangers of sex trafficking. I arrived hoping to find someone to share the run with. I found Cyndi there and after chatting for a bit, we decided to run together.
Cyndi and I don't know each other well, but we have known each other for a while through the Community Bible Study community in Fairmont. They meet at Grace each week during the school year and when I worked there, I got to see them every Wednesday.
Cyndi says she 'dabbles' in running. She ran her first mile on May 31, and ran her first 3.1 miles last week, both as part of cross fit. Today was her first ever race.
Cyndi has been doing cross fit since January of this year. It is part of the many different exercise regimens she has given a shot over the years. She's tried just about everything, citing the aerobics boom that took place in the 80's.
Cyndi and I ran together during the first mile of the race, and when she finished, she told me she probably wouldn't have started as fast as we did if I hadn't been there. That happens so often - it isn't always easy to tell who is pushing who. I apologized, but she didn't mind - it had still gone well.
I am constantly in awe of all the intricacies of running - things like I mentioned earlier about not knowing who is pushing who. They aren't required knowledge for beginners, just things you start noticing when you have been running for a while.
Thanks for the run Cyndi - keep on dabbling! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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