A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Pondering a new running life goal

on October 15, 2013

On my Sunday morning this weekend, I was thinking back on how beautiful the views were on my run over the Golden Gate bridge a week ago and how I would never have seen that if I weren’t a runner. I also thought about how I’ll be running along the Atlantic coast this weekend on my work trip to Rhode Island, and  how much I was looking forward to that. I’m currently looking for some kind of turkey trot to do in Northwest Arkansas at Thanksgiving (let me know if you know of any!) and of course, I’ll be running in Florida in February for the Princess Half Marathon. Running has really changed how I spend my leisure time when I travel.

I’m lucky enough to get to travel a lot personally and professionally and have seen some beautiful places. On my run this weekend, I found myself mentally recounting all of the states I’ve run in so far and pondering a new running goal. (I’m always looking for long term goals to keep my activity level and weight maintenance on track, being a very goal oriented type A person. I think this drives my husband a little bonkers!) What if I could run in every state?

I wouldn’t aim for racing in every state, of course, because that would get expensive and might be difficult with Hawaii and Alaska in the mix, but I could plan to run in every state in my lifetime. That could be fun. Of course, my husband, ever the practical one, wanted to know what would count as a run. Is it time? Distance? Intent? Location? I wouldn’t count running through the airport to catch a flight as a run, but I wouldn’t necessarily discount a treadmill run. I’m thinking maybe a mental bronze, silver and gold medal (treadmill run, outdoor run, race) for each state? Just little virtual prize for myself along this silly little self-imposed challenge.

So far I’ve tackled:

Arkansas (May 2013 outdoors – and on a mountain! – with a race maybe in November)

California (October 2013 outdoors – the Golden Gate Bridge! – as a virtual 10K for the Women’s Health Run10Feed10)


Colorado (July 2013 treadmill only, because I only got to run at night)

Florida (April 2013 treadmill only, but race coming in February)

Hawaii (October 2012 treadmill only, but a Halloween virtual 5K for SparkPeople – my 1st 5K!)

I walked along this beach, but was too self conscious to run and only ran in the gym. :(

I walked along this beach, but was too self conscious to run and only ran in the gym. 😦

Louisiana (March 2013, treadmill only, horrible humidity!)

Mississippi (March 2013, Color Me Radd 5K)


Nebraska (all the time!)

Rhode Island (coming up this weekend!)

9 states out of 50 seems like a nice start in a little over a year of running, doesn’t it? 41 over the course of the rest of my life seems like an interesting but attainable goal (especially since we’re planning a trip to Alaska in a few  years when O is older and that is usually one of the harder states to hit travel-wise),

The amount of running that would count comes into play when we think about the large number of states I live near here in Nebraska and the fact that we drive through 4 states to get down to my parents’ house in Arkansas. Theoretically, the next time we drive down there, I could mark off Iowa, Kansas and Missouri fairly readily. My husband argues that at this point it needs to be a mile to be a real challenge, but I think half a mile is enough to demonstrate that I had the intent to run. Half a mile wouldn’t disrupt a road trip significantly, in that I could run for a bit while my husband pumped the gas or something, and would not require any particular gear like a longer run might. It would certainly make road trips more entertaining! Something to ponder – I think we’ll stick with a half mile being enough of a run to count for now. I look forward to marking off several more states in the next year!

Do you have any mental records you keep about running to keep yourself motivated, other than the usual times and PRs?

6 responses to “Pondering a new running life goal

  1. What a great idea!! Go for it!

  2. […] mile run – On deck for Sunday morning in Providence, marking a new state off of my list. Hopefully I’ll have some nice coastal, fall foliage, New England-y pictures for you […]

  3. […] while running today that I’ve run in North Carolina, which wasn’t on my original list! I’m up to ten states […]

  4. […] Wednesday: I tossed in a short extra run first thing in the morning (1.25 miles in 12 minutes – speedy!), just to balance the fact that I would spending all day in the car. I also thought it would make up for shorting tomorrow’s run, in case I didn’t get to do any running other than the Turkey Trot. It was so cold (11 F) but clear and gorgeous. I really wish my phone could take pictures at that time of the morning but I never get anything other than a black screen. I am so grateful to running for getting me out to see the sky when it is so quiet, calm and clear (and not hating be out in the cold that early!). I also ran down a little road and through a shopping center somewhere in Missouri for half a mile, so that I could cross Missouri off of my running list. […]

  5. […] out for a run (of course!), I thought I would look back at my running goals for the year and my 50 state challenge to see how things are […]

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