The sun was setting and we weren’t halfway home so we turned down a steep single-track and leaned down the mountain. My feet danced with the terrain, waltzing with roots, rocks, and ruts. I flirted with gravity, pushing my torso forward and daring my feet to keep pace when it occurred to me that I was going somewhere.

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When Thomas Minton, running guru extraordinaire, agreed to help me with my technique, I jumped at the chance. I was fine with the prospect of all-over soreness, early morning alarms, and alcohol-free Friday nights. But when I read the “filming” dates listed on the training schedule I broke into a cold sweat.

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For those of you looking for a little motivation during the next family vacation or work trip, here are three tips that have helped me look forward to running on the road.

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After you’ve carefully mapped out your daily runs for the foreseeable future and taken pains to eat better and get eight hours of sleep, let go of the notion that your marathon training is going to go according to your plan. Perhaps the greatest fallacy of our times is the idea that we should aspire to live balanced lives – that we can control our days the way we do our checkbooks.

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When the Insanity instructor at the YMCA announced he was running the Charleston Marathon in January and asked if anyone wanted to join him, my hand shot up. No matter that I didn’t run regularly. Or that I didn’t know where I’d fit long runs into my already jam-packed days.

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When I told a friend who asked whether I’d used a video player that I hadn’t her gasp led me to question whether I’d unknowingly committed a mild form of child abuse.

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