What makes a run “Successful?”

Hey hey everyone! Happy Tuesday πŸ™‚

Yesterday’s Workouts

My run yesterday evening was tough! And not on purpose either! I made the mistake of doing too many squats/lunges yesterday morning because I had not done them in forever– I have to keep up with squats and lunges at least once a week (ideally more) or else I run the risk of being super duper sore and not being able to walk for days!! So I really try to keep up with them.– IΒ  had gone about 8 days without any squats/lunges, so yesterday IΒ knewΒ I had to do them!!!

*I used a 35# kb for my squats and lunges, then ended with a few rounds of kb swings. It was super fast and fun!

I love everything about a good Kettlebell workout!!

But that translated into a oh-so-tough run yesterday evening! I was planning a slow relaxed one, and that is what I got! I ran with my dad and our friends– 8 miles at who know what pace! All I know is it was very hot, very humid, and I was shuffling! I thought I was running with sandbags tied around my ankles! Haha but it was fine because everyone just felt horrible and didn’t want to run so it was actually very fun… I have never heard all of us complain so much! Misery loves company, right?

It occurred to me while dying running yesterday that my criteria for what I label a “successful run” has changed throughout the years.

The title of a “successful run” used to be only given to those runs in which I hit a PR, achieved a new distance, or placed high in a race. I was concerned and focused only on the results as an indicator of how the run went. It would ‘t matter how I felt during the run or if I over came a particular obstacle that day to get where I was… I only cared about the #’s at the end. What was my time? What was my pace? What number girl was I? How did I place in my age group? How far was that run?

Needless to say, I didn’t often have a “successful run” if it meant meeting the above criteria. I would push myself every single run, chasing this title and my skewed definition of “success”. As such, my runs were stressful, less enjoyable, all work and no play. I was tired all the time and would feel down on myself after “unsuccessful runs”.

This has changed in the last few months (for a variety of wonderful, positive reasons!) and I want to share with you all what I now consider “success” in my runs:

1.) I got out there and I ran. Plain and simple! Success is lacing up your shoes and hitting the road.

2.) I listened to my body. I pushed if my body felt strong… I relaxed when my body said it was tired… I stopped when my body said no more.

3.) I finished with a smile. This could be due to the fast past I kept, or the ease at which my stride came, or the distance I hit. But mostly… this is always due to the happiness and gratefulness I experience at the conclusion of any run.

Perfect run

Webster says: Successaccomplishment of an aim or purpose.

I love that! It says nothing about how you stack up against other runners, whether you hit a certain pace, if you beat your previous PR, or if you ran X number of miles. It is simply defined as whether you accomplished what YOU set out to achieve.

My run’s lately are with the aim and purpose of ENJOYMENT and LOVE of running! Nothing else (for right now!)


So did I have a “Successful run” yesterday- despite the slow, crawling pace and the heavy heavy legs?

You bet I did πŸ™‚

What do you consider a “successful run?” Has that definition changed over the years?

Where is your dream destination race!?!?!?! ((THIS IS A HARD ONE!!))

-Everywhere? is that an answer? I really really want to do the Barcelona Marathon, London marathon, and Berlin Marathon. I just had a friend to Cape Town (in South Africa!!!) and she said it was incredible!!


  1. Caroline · · Reply

    Barcelona Marathon is my favourite race! I ran it a few years ago and I’m going back in 2014, it’s a fantastic marathon to do! I highly recommend both London and Berlin too…
    A successful run for me is one where I get home and think “I love running!” which is most of them πŸ™‚

    1. Oh my gosh really!!! that is sooo cool!! I love Barcelona and always thought it would be a beautiful race!!
      Wow you have done some AWESOME RACES!!! I am insanely jealous and now want nothing more than to go do a big destination race!!
      That is a PERFECT way to deem a run “successful” πŸ™‚

  2. pickyrunner · · Reply

    Boston is my dream destination race. And the destination is home! But that’s my favorite place in the world so naturally I want to run there. Someday. I love that you’re running for enjoyment and the love of the sport. It’s so much more…enjoyable πŸ˜‰

    1. Boston would be epic, that is for sure! I love that you love it so much there– I have never been but it is definitely on my list πŸ™‚

  3. Runner Girl Eats · · Reply

    I consider a run successful if I finished strong. I realyyyyyyyy want to run the Athens marathon.

    1. I love finishing a run strong!! Thats awesome πŸ™‚
      WOW Athens would be incredible!! I have never been there at all but obviously I have heard it is gorgeous– not to mention a dream race!! I hope you get there to do it soon!

  4. I totally agree with your idea of a successful run. And the perspective of it can change over time too. Not being able to run right now means my idea of a successful run would be a quick jog to cross the street!

    1. Yes! Exactly! Injuries definitely give us a new perspective on our “sports” and activity. I hope your back/hip is healing wonderuflly so that you CAN run across the street, or down the river, or wherever you want! Even for just a short job πŸ™‚

  5. A successful run for me is where I feel great during the run and after the run! As long as I’m still loving running at the end of it, I’m happy!

    I want to run the Chicago Marathon, because that’s where I grew up, but any run in a picturesque location would work for me πŸ˜€

    1. I totally agree!! If i come out smiling and happy, then that is successful!!
      chicago is a must do for me! I know I will someday soon! Maybe even next year! Fun flat course!!! I love chicago too!

  6. Amen to every word here, girl! I used to be the same in that i wanted to get faster or go farther with every run. When that didn’t happen, i would get so down on myself and consider it a failure, which took all the fun out of running. Now, I’m much more laid back and as long as i make it out and back in one piece, i’m usually happy (unless i’m in pain for some reason…then i might be cranky). As for dream races, they include london, boston, ireland (rock and roll now has a race there i would love to run), mcm, vegas, and the one during food fest in disney…to name a few πŸ˜‰

    1. Yes defnitely!! it took ALL the fun out of the beautiful act of running!
      I have heard of the ireland rock and roll marathon!!! oh my gosh i can’t imagine how gorgeous it would be to run through there… WOW.
      MCM was my one and only marathon so far and it was AMAZING!!!!!
      I hope you get to all of those! they sound great!! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve definitely had to go back to feeling like a successful run is just getting out there and doing it. Doesn’t matter if I’m running slowly or only running a mile for now.

    I’m actually really excited for my 10K at Niagara Falls! It’ll be my first destination race (and only my second race in general).

    1. Niagra falls!!! Oh my gosh how COOL!! I went there when I was about 12 and thought it was just incredible… a race there would be amazing! 10k is a great distance πŸ™‚ I find those very fun!! I can’t wait to hear/read about it!

  8. Christa · · Reply

    This is just what I needed to read today! I’m a beginner runner and I’m still “trying” to run. I get frustrated with myself and feel discouraged on days that I walk more than I run and today was one of those days!

    1. We all have those days!! it is hard to NOT get frustrated… but if we step back and think about why we run (bc we love it!) then it seems to help brush off those discouraging runs and look at it as great alone time to get out of the house and give your body moving– no matter how awful!!
      Hopefully you have a better one soon!! πŸ™‚
      ((usually after an awful run my next run is pretty awesome!))

  9. #1 is so important to me! Just getting out there and running when I don’t want to is a win in my book! I know that I will feel so much better afterwards, but when I’m tired and don’t want to wake up in the morning, it is so easy to forget that! I would love to run Boston one day! And I would love to do an international race too! I saw Spirit of the Marathon II and loved the idea of traveling out of the country to run a marathon – it would give a whole new meaning to visiting that city!

    1. Ya girl! I have for sure learned to just appreciate the simple act of getting myself out there! I would love to run Boston some day too!! That is epic πŸ™‚ and really I think you could propose any international race and I would be down to run it haha and I love the idea of planning a vacation around running!
      Have a good night!

  10. I love your new criteria for a good run! Mine is similar: did I feel strong, happy, and fulfilled on the run? Then it was good, even if it was slow or short! And yes, running after lunges is tough! I learned that the hard way!

    1. I like your list there– strong and fulfilled!! Great words to use right there! Glad I am not the only one to be sore and have heavy legs after lunges ha ahhhh
      Have a great night!

  11. The other day I was running 800 meter intervals on the high school track. In the middle of one of my intervals I came up on a mother walking her son…he was 4 or 5. As they heard me approach they turned around to look. When I got even with them the little boy began to run. I immediately slowed down so we could run together. We only ran together briefly but when he stopped running we both had a smile on our faces. That was a successful run.

    1. Oh my gosh I just got so happy reading that!! Seriously amazing and motivational… It is amazing how kids impact us and they don’t even know it. To see a happy kid running carefree is a beautiful thing. I would DEFINITELY consider that a successful run as well. I am so glad you ran with him for a bit– I am sure it was the. Highlight of his day πŸ™‚ awesome and inspiring Paul! Have a great night πŸ™‚

  12. Love that your idea of “success” is changing. Most days, I feel successful just getting out there. I love your #2 & 3 as well… finishing with a smile will now be added to my list πŸ™‚ I would love to run a marathon ANYWHERE outside the US. Also Boston qualifying is a secret goal of mine! (well, not so secret anymore ha!)

    1. Yep!! just getting out there is great for me now, where as when I was younger I would dread it and expect miracles out there haha
      Boston is DEFINITELY a goal of mine too!! And I totally agree– destination race anywhere would be incredible!! What better way to enjoy a vacation then throwing a race in there?!?!
      Have a great day girl πŸ™‚

  13. […] hear all of your thoughts the last few days regarding pre-run nutrition and how you define a “Successful Run“. You guys are all amazing in your approach to running and working out. It was really […]

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