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Quotes by Kristin Armstrong

 

In the midst of a regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul.


- Kristin Armstrong -

I think I get addicted to the feeling associated with the end of a long run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud.


- Kristin Armstrong -

In the midst of regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul. I can feel the trail under my feet, the press of the hill, the gallop of the track, the burn of my lungs, the stir of wonder and possibility. Running reminds me that there is more to me than what is readily apparent much of the time. I don't always need to see it, but oh how I need to know it’s there.


- Kristin Armstrong -

I do, after all, love a challenge. Not just the result at the end, but the drudgery in the middle, the hard work, the sweat, the mess of transformation. I love the process of getting there, especially when 'there' isn't a fixed point, but the constant renaming as each finish line morphs into another start line.


- Kristin Armstrong -

Can you celebrate where you are in your training? In the course of many miles (aka, life) we can become lazy or cynical about mile markers. We become numb to small victories. Maybe we brush them aside, our eyes and hearts fixated on the bigger goal. Or maybe we are afraid to celebrate, thinking that we don't deserve it until we reach the prize, or we will jinx ourselves by counting our chickens before they hatch. This thinking is not only misguided, it steals our joy! If we reach the big victory our joy will not be diminished by having celebrated steps taken in the right direction along the way. And if we don't reach the goal, we may be disappointed, but we will have fully embraced the journey—and perhaps that is the real prize all along.


- Kristin Armstrong -

It's an odd thing, when your body says no and your mind and your spirit say yes. It's frightening and empowering and clarifying and beautiful all at once. It was the past year of my life, shortened into a span of 26.2 arduous miles. It was the culmination of experiences, the knowledge that my body can be pushed pas its breaking point, just like my heart.


- Kristin Armstrong -

It feels good sometimes—old fashioned, wholesome and gratifying—to do work that isn't on a computer. I need some kind of distraction, some kind of release. Running has been helpful, making myself ache in a physical way to release the emotional—kind of like an acupuncture needle. My running group here is in a phase our coach calls 'threshold training,' which is basically his foundation for strength and endurance. Threshold pace differs for everyone, depending on your fitness and experience. So we hold steady right at the spot where it hurts, but without crossing over into real pain. Kind of like a physical therapist or masseuse who finds the exact spot that is killing you and jabs her finger right there and holds it while you pant, sweat and squirm. If she pokes there long enough, eventually the discomfort becomes tolerable. I guess that's the point of threshold training—find your point of discomfort and work right there until you eventually acquire a vague sense of comfort. I'm glad to be here right now, poking at my threshold. I need to do this. I need the hurt, the understanding, the work and the metaphor. I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don't want to shrink back just because something isn't easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can't and I can. Maybe that spot is called I will.


- Kristin Armstrong -

Loving a runner means that there is no need to explain certain things. Like sweat being a prerequisite for a shower or why I want to go to bed at a decent hour on Friday night. Or why at certain times during the year I. Can't. Stop. Eating. Or why I keep a towel in my car at all times. Or why a vacation is even better when it involves a half marathon. Or why I care so much about running with my kids, or my dog. Or why the Turkey Trot is the only way to start Thanksgiving. Or why a sweaty, tangled ponytail is a sign of happiness, not bad hygiene. Or why I'm so close with my girlfriends. Or why I sometimes walk like a limping zombie and go downstairs sideways. Or why donning a Santa Hat and running the Jingle Bell run with the kids and me is the best time ever. Or why mud spattered calves are an aphrodisiac. Or why a black toenail is a sign of passion. Or why a road trip mandates a pair of running shoes at the ready, in case a trail appears out of nowhere and beckons my name. Or why I save paper bibs with numbers. Or why, when I'm mad, sometimes all I need to do is move. Or how you can resolve anything over enough miles together, even if you simply resolve to get a burger and a beer and call a truce.

Just like the only way to really know a place is to run through it, maybe the only way to really know someone is to run beside them...long enough to sweat off the pretense, long enough to get past small talk, long enough to get comfortable with silence, long enough to stink, long enough to know that the person running beside you is the someone you cannot run without.


- Kristin Armstrong -
Mile Markers blog

As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don't need and ignite what I do.


- Kristin Armstrong -

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