A New Kind of PR

So, the last time we met, I gushed about the beauty and splendor of a day on the trails, a day that just happened to be sunny and gorgeous – short and short sleeves weather – at the very end of November. That was not the case for the Snug run a few Thursdays ago. Much to the contrary, in fact, that run represented a new kind of PR.

Nine forty-three in the morning. “You still going to run tonight?” “. . .Supposed to be below zero tonight as of 6:00.” Eleven thirteen. “Sounds like JD’s running so I’ll give it a shot.” Five fifty p.m. “I’m going to heard out to run. Be careful. See you soon.”

And, just like that, we were all running in a temperature that surely marked PRs for all of us – for our coldest run to date.

The air was still, and it actually felt great when I arrived at the Snug. This isn’t so bad. It’s a gorgeous night for a run! About forty minutes later, though, I chewed up and swallowed each letter of those words and washed them down with a cold beer.

Everyone else I knew to also be running were already on the course; I was the last one from the usual crew who had yet to start out. As I signed in and was just about to head up the back staircase toward Marion Street to start out, JD was just getting back.

He was all bundled up, from head to toe. The only bare skin you could see was the bit of his face around his eyes, just wider than what a pair of binoculars might hide if held up to his face. Not much, right? Even exposing so very little skin, the weather had still found him; and it left its mark. . .in the form of icicles on his eyelashes. Yep, you heard right! Actually looked pretty cool, like some fancy Hollywood movie makeup.

If I don’t go right now, I’m not going to!

The first mile wasn’t so bad, just a few frosty fingers and toes, nothing I hadn’t encountered before. Still, the trail through Cheeseman Park was empty; and the frigid night air felt a bit lonely. Almost there. Then, my watch beeped. Finally done! Mile two.

I was too concerned about the icy patches on the sidewalk eastbound on Eighth Avenue and then along northbound York to pay much attention; but by the time I reached the Denver Botanical Gardens entrance, I noticed. And by the time I was about to leave Eleventh Avenue to return to Cheeseman Park, I could no longer ignore it.

My fingers – all ten despite two pairs of gloves - were beyond chilly, beyond cold, beyond needing yet another pair of gloves. They were devoured in searing pain.

I still have a whole mile to go. I don’t think I can take much more. OOOWWW! So, I did the only thing I knew to do, you know, besides knock on a random door and ask the kind stranger who answered to allow me to stand inside the door until my hands stopped stinging. I unzipped the pockets in my coat and ran the rest of the way with my hands balled up in them, right hand holding onto the icy metal case of my camera.

Lucky you, my hands warmed enough to snap a quick photo to document my coldest run yet – a new kind of PR – with about a quarter mile to go:

ONLY eight? Are you sure, UMB Bank?

A whole eight? Are you sure it was that warm, UMB Bank?

Once back, I wasted no time getting through the wrought iron gate and side door leading to the Irish Snug basement, out of the frigid air, and into the cozy company of my fellow crazy running peeps – back to the great indoors where warmth, and, arguably most important – BEER – were waiting.

I think it took a good fifteen minutes before my fingers and toes thawed out enough to stop tingling, a feeling I certainly did not miss.

Wise? Absolutely not. Gutsy? Mmm, maybe. Would I do it again? Most definitely.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy and practice at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

Long way to run. . .

One of the oh sooo many things I love about my beloved Colorado is the wonderfully wacky weather, like Mother Nature momentarily loses her mind in a bipolar fit of rage.

Sometimes it means experiencing spring and winter on a single trail run as I did in Steamboat Springs in September, and sometimes it means a high of a beautiful, sunny fifty-seven degrees one day and a low of one negative degree and several inches of snow the next, as was the case very recently in Denver.

And sometimes, it means a freakishly beautiful day during winter, which was the case the weekend after Thanksgiving. Dakin’s text on Friday morning was like a breath of fresh mountain air: “Anyone interested in doing a trail run Saturday afternoon?” Um, YES, please!

We headed out around one o’clock to Apex, one of our typical locations with which we rotated Mt. Falcon Park on Tuesdays this past summer while training for Pikes Peak. Neither is easy, but Apex is the easier of the two, or at least I think it feels that way.

A nice five or six-mile jaunt through the Enchanted Forest, up to the top, then back down would be just enough of a challenge and still offer the serenity of the trail and a beautiful view without overwhelming my current running state – marked by an undeniable lack of physical prowess since Pikes Peak. . . Or so we thought.

Instead of the wide-open parking lot and row of trees hiding the trail entrance, we were greeted by chain link fence, brightly colored tape, and signs telling us that the trails were closed for maintenance. “Guess we’re running Falcon instead.” Ugh!

I love running the trails at Mt. Falcon Park, don’t get me wrong. It’s one of my absolute favorite places to run, no doubt. It is, though, like I said, hard. Most of the first mile alone treads up steep, technical terrain with a pristine view of neighboring Red Rocks Amphitheater and a distant downtown Denver. If you’re smart, though, you don’t see either because your eyes are locked on foot placement between sharp rocks.

Dakin and I are the best and the worst running duo out there because we are so much alike. “Ugh, I’m nervous now!” “Me too!” But, no matter how much we both dreaded the burning in our legs and possibly also our lungs and the mental strain that was to come with it, turning back was not an option. And so, we took off.

“Oh, I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. At least I’ll die in a place that I love.” OK, here goes.

The first mile hurt a little. The arches of my feet started to cramp - a feeling I hadn’t felt in quite some time while on a run – and I’m sure it was pretty slow compared to the last time I had met the trail. The beginning of mile two at the top of the first climb meant a little bit of a break. From climbing, at least. Made it! Thank God!

Snow covered trail forced me to slow a little bit when I wanted to really run, but I don’t think it was such a bad thing. I knew what was waiting once the short break was over: more fancy footwork while climbing over lots more rocks, every step bringing with it the possibility of further burning in my legs and cramping of the arches of my feet.

And, where the Turkey Trot and Castle Trails meet, the climbing continued. And continued. . .and continued. . . You’ve come this far. Just a little more. . .

And, after a little longer, I finally saw the picnic table where the trail leveled out a bit just shy of the three-mile mark. A quick right-hand turn to head toward the Summer White House Site, I made it; and, much to my surprise, it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

My work for the day was done. Going downhill - in my opinion, at least - is the fun part. Don’t believe a word from Dakin and JT when they say it’s not. It wasn’t as fast a downhill trek as I would have liked, but it reunited me with the undeniable, unconditional, true blue love I have found in trail running and left me looking forward to more next spring in preparation for a Pikes Peak Marathon PR.

Oh yes, it will be mine.

Look back, so many miles I’ve come, and yet, still have a long way to run.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy and practice at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

Sour Girl

Sunday was supposed to be a GREAT day of crossing an item off my running off season ‘to do’ list: volunteering with Girls on the Run of the Rockies (GOTR). I registered for the Great Candy Run 5K in Wash Park and was officially a ‘running buddy.’ I couldn’t wait to “share a girl’s exhilaration and excitement as she crosses the finish line of her first 5K,” according to my e-mail. Wuhoo!

I had it all mapped out in my head. . .a picture-perfect morning of new-found big sisterly bliss while warming up with my little gal – introducing her to my pre-race regimen combining high knees and butt kicks – yes, that’s what that particular plyometric is called – talking race strategy; and calming her nerves, you know, if she felt nervous. I was so excited to bestow some of my best winged-feet tips onto her eager and ready little ears.

And, to be honest, I was also kind of excited to run a race completely focused on someone else and not the clock when I crossed the finish line - NO pressure. In the fifteen years since my first-ever 5K, that would be a first.

I reached the parking lot and within a mere few minutes had checked in with registration to pick up my race packet, checked in with staff at the GOTR tent, found the cardboard sign on the side of South High School building donning the same name as my assigned elementary school, and was waiting to meet other volunteers and runners. Soon afterward, another ‘running buddy,’ two girls, and their parents joined me.

The girls – twin eight-year-old sisters – were so cute, matching ponytails and pink tutus. “Is this your first 5K?” “No, we’ve run them before. This is our third.” “Oh, cool!” They’ve raced, but maybe my girl hasn’t. I can’t wait to meet her!

And then, another girl and her dad joined us. . .and then, another pair. And together, they were a small army of pink tutus and running shoes jumping up and down in place and rubbing their hands along the opposite biceps to keep warm in the shade of the building on a chilly early November morning.

And then, their GOTR coach arrived with unexpected news to me. One little gals from the group was sick and wasn’t going to make it to the race. “There were two girls that needed a running buddy. We only need one of you for today.” “OK, I can let the other running buddy race.” “I think there was another school that needs a running buddy. Go check with the tent to find a girl.”

I did and was soon headed back in the direction of the swarms of girls in matching get ups, their parents, and coaches and looked for the Ashley Elementary group. “All of our girls have running buddies. We’re all set.” OK. Try, try. . .try again. My third trip to the GOTR tent lead me to West Jefferson Middle School, whose coach and girls were nowhere to be found.

No one I asked knew where they were, and no one from a seemingly astronomical number of people I polled needed a running buddy for a girl with their group. In some cases, as a matter of fact, it was quite the contrary. “Some of our girls already have two running buddies. But thanks for checking.”

What?! Really?! Now what?! I’m not ready to race! I could go home. Nah, I’m already here; and I’m a runner. Suck it up. I looked down at my watch, 9:45 a.m. The longer I try to find a girl, the less time I’ll have to warm up. Guess I’m racing a 5K.

And, just like that, ‘Girls on the Run’ turned into girl – one girl, one lonely, lost nerd in running shoes – on the run. Solo. The race dubbed the “sweetest finish ever” was turning out to be my least favorite kind of candy – those unimaginably disgusting, rancid  excuses for even a wannabe sweet treat - banana flavored ‘Runts.’ Gross.

Of all the ‘Runts’ flavors in all the candy in all the world, banana was the one I got.

I know what you’re thinking: “It’s just a 5K.” And, you are right. . .and disturbingly wrong at the same time. Sure, it was ‘just’ a 5K, three point one little miles that I could practically run half asleep with both hands tied behind my back at this point. Perhaps most anyone else would say, “OK, so I’ll run a 5K” without a problem. BUT. . .

I like to put forth a great deal of effort into any race, whether it be a marathon literally up and down a freakin’ mountain or a flat-course 5K in a local park. I like to step to the starting line revved up and ready to go, knowing that I did everything in my power to prepare myself for what would follow the ‘boom’ of that blank, that - happy or not with the numbers on the clock at the finish – I gave it my best shot and learned from it.

And, at the end of the day, I am a competitor and care about my race times and the long-standing internet record of them on websites like Athlinks.com. To quote Jeffrey Tambor’s character from ‘The Hangover,’ “That s%!*’ll come back with you.”

One might say that I take all of this running stuff just a little bit seriously. So, coming to the comprehension that I was to run a 5K - near completely unprepared in any way, shape, or form – fifteen minutes before the start did not sit well. Let’s take a moment to review the things I did that were uncharacteristic of my typical race preparation, shall we? I. . .

  • Went to bed late several nights prior
  • Drank beer several nights prior
  • Inhaled a grande venti chai latte and a piece of pumpkin bread for breakfast that morning
  • Only warmed up for about ten minutes.

‘Just a 5K?’ HA! Oh so many thoughts ran through my head. . . It’s just a 5K, just over three little miles. You’ve got this. . . Ugh, I don’t want to do this! I should be in the mountains snowboarding right now! . . This is SOOOO irritating! . . Calm down, breathe. Save it for the race. . . You know what to do. . .

The gun went off, and we were off. Most of the first mile was much faster than I thought was physically capable, which meant only one thing. You can’t keep this pace for three miles. You’re wasting energy you’ll need for miles two and three. Slow down.

I did slow down, but it wasn’t enough. Mile two was still faster than I had expected it would be, but it came at a cost. It hurt like a (insert expletive here). This is the longest 5K EVER!

Then, finally, came mile three. Come on, just one more mile. One more’s all you’ve got. I could hear the announcer a half loop away, could see the runners ahead nearing the finish. That’s all you’ve got left. Just get to where they are. A half mile to go. Come on! Almost there!

Footsteps. Heavy footsteps behind me. You’ve got this. Hold ‘em off. Finally, I turned a sharp corner and darted for the finish line, just about a hundred yards ahead, as fast as I could to the finish line. I got there and saw that my time was much faster than I expected it would be.

OK with my time considering the non-optimal laundry list of circumstances, I was. A GOTR running buddy slash pseudo running coach extraordinaire in the moment, I was NOT:


All in all, it wasn’t so bad. Sure, I wasn’t exactly in optimal racing shape. Sure, my pace wasn’t where it was about this time last year. Sure, I knew I was capable of a much better time. But, things could have been much worse. It was an absolutely beautiful day in Denver; and I did something I love: I challenged myself to push my limits, and I raced.

Still, I’ll make sure that my next race is much, much sweeter.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

Seeing Is Believing

So I’m working on my list. First up - running with the local chapters of Achilles International and Lending Sight. Check! This past Monday in Denver’s beautiful Wash Park marked my fourth run with the groups, practically local celebrities thanks to recent attention from features in 5280 Magazine and most recently on Channel 9 News.

I was greeted by a familiar group of smiling faces and tore myself away from conversation about racing with one of my newest ol’ buddies ol’ pals Randall to catch up with Jessica before our second run together. But first, we took a minute to say ‘Cheese!’

Quickly becoming some of my new favorite people!

Quickly becoming some of my new favorite people!

As it does this time of year, the sun sets quickly. By the time we got started, light was quickly fading, leaving us to lap the park in the dark. This was new to me. The last time I ran with the group, summer was still in full swing; it was lighter later into the evening.

The dark was one more thing – in addition to others on the dirt trail circling the park, their pets, their strollers – to get in the way of guiding Jessica tonight. It made me a bit nervous. I was happy that another guide, Scott, was going to run with us.

“How many laps are we running tonight, Jessica?” “Maybe just one.” She had recently hurt her foot and had been having pangs of pain periodically when she ran. “Maybe I’ll run one and walk one. We’ll see.”

The first lap went smoothly and seemed to go by quickly. “So that’s one lap. Want to walk one?” “I’m OK. I want to keep running. The pain’s not that bad.” And so, we continued on for a second lap, this time without Scott. OK, one more. Here goes.

“Just let me know if you need me to slow down or if you want to stop and walk for a bit, Jess. We can run/walk if your foot hurts.” “OK.”

As we ran, I found myself breaking up the trail into pieces – smaller stretches of trail rather than miles - in my head and trying to focus on reaching the endpoint of each piece, something I typically do during speed workouts or long runs. Just like in those cases, it was helping me to accomplish the feat of guiding through the dark park lit only by occasional lamp posts offering short-lived illuminated relief.

Like the other athletes, Jessica didn’t miss a beat. Every time I turned back to ask, “Are you feeling OK?” or “Your foot holding up?” she was close behind, didn’t need to stop, never missed a beat. In fact, I had to speed up more than once to keep just ahead of her as she preferred of her guides.

With only about a quarter mile to go, I was finally able to relax. “Just past this turn coming up on the left, we’ll be done!” And, finally, we were there. A “Nice job!”, friendly conversation, and short walk back to the rec center later, we were reunited with the group. I was happy to have been a part of the evening. It was a great feeling to start off a new week!

Running challenges me – one of the many reasons I love it so much – and guiding will be a new kind of challenge for me, one that I hope I can meet while helping others in the process, one that I feel will prove especially rewarding.

I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful relationship. And I don’t need to see it to believe it.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

Welcome to the club!

I love running, and I love sharing my passion for the sport with other people almost as much. Just in the past few months, I’ve had three people approach me with questions about training and running in general. I’d be a BIG FAT LIAR if I said it didn’t boost my running ego just a tad every time.

I almost always tell them, “You have to be careful. I can talk about running for days!” No matter how busy I am or how much is going on at the moment, I’ll always take the time to talk then and to later dig up what I think are some useful resources to share. I am happy to do what I can to help light their own running flames, no matter how simplistic or complex the task of addressing their questions.

The only thing I love above passing along these resources and any of my own experiences that I hope might prove some gem of winged foot wisdom is hearing back with training updates – “I ran three miles for the first time the other day!” “I’m up to six miles now!” “You’re awesome! How do you know so much about running?” OK, OK, so maybe I’ve never actually heard this last one. A girl can dream, right?

So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when my good friend Imee started joining us for Thursday night Snug runs this past summer. An awesome addition to my already stellar running crew slash best beer-guzzlin’ gal pal? Uh, yeah, I’m IN!

This past Thursday marked quite the momentous occasion for Imee and I alike, one that makes my little running heart go splish splash in a beer-filled ocean of love for the one and only Irish Snug Running Club: her. . .TENTH. . .Snug. . .run!

It’s official. Welcome to the club, Imee!

Imee's 10th Snug Run 4

If you’ve read this blog before even a handful of times, I’m sure you can guess what we did next. . .

Pinkies up - The only way to drink a good beer

Pinkies up – The only way to drink a good beer.
Photo courtesy of our pal Dave Thakurdin. Thanks, Dave!

Bet you were thinking car bomb – Gotcha! Well, not really. Of course we threw back a car bomb too. Think of that as dinner. . . This was our dessert, if you will. Just making sure you’ve been paying attention. Gotta keep you readers on your toes!

I’d like to think I had some part in inspiring Imee’s renewed running repertoire; but I didn’t, not this time. This one, along with some other very positive life changes, was all Imee and Imee alone.

Rest assured, though, that I’ve got big plans. BIG plans to hopefully help motivate others to come to love running as much as I do. In the mean time, I’m quite all right with being the one motivated instead.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

California Dreamin’

It’s funny how much even just a little time can heal what feels like the severest of wounds. This simple truth gave me the most comforting of feelings paired with the most ginormous of grins to myself during my extended weekend visiting friends in southern California.

I didn’t think twice about the six miles my old NC pal slash second ever personal trainer slash triathlete and marathoner du jour Kat - who, by the way, just had yet another article published on Active.com, the timing of which couldn’t have been more perfect for me lately - had planned for us to run with her beau Scott on Monday afternoon before dropping me off at the airport.

Even in NC, Kat was ALL California girl

Even in NC, Kat was ALL California girl

I was looking forward to running with Kat again, but I had no idea of how important those six miles in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park would prove to be.

Within our first mile, we took off from the car, across the park, and through the trees to quickly find ourselves on a narrow dirt trail, seeming to suddenly be headed to the middle of nowhere. Woah! This is awesome!

And then, we approached the first of several inclines we would run within the next hour or so. Funny thing is that I didn’t even fully grasp the fact that we were running up a short but fairly steep incline until we were half way up it. And then, it hit me. “This is the first time I’ve run up incline since that trail race after Pikes Peak.” Didn’t feel like giving up, never once thought to walk like I did at Devil’s Thumb Ranch exactly one month and one day previous, didn’t even flinch.

Much to the contrary of my mental state ever since the Pikes Peak Marathon, I loved it, pushed right to the top and looked forward to the next. Aaaaaahhhhhhh!

The rest of our run was equally amazing with a gorgeous, sunny California afternoon to guide us through single-track trail ebbs and flows, around the baseball fields and cheering of a little league game, and back to the trails, when Scott said shortly before we got there, “Push yourself up the switchbacks,” which we did. And you know what? It felt GREAT!

Once we left the trails, we zigged and zagged through the strolling crowds amidst the park’s collection of museums donning beautiful Spanish architecture, then ran back through the park to our starting spot. I felt so inspired. That. Was. AWESOME.

I can’t think of a better way to end a visit with Kat and to get a quick peek at only one of several reasons why I’ll definitely be back for a longer visit than a weekend.

Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that most significantly impact the grandest of victories. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get back to wanting to race again sooner than I thought. Gracias, San Diego, for unveiling my true running form and reminding me of one of the many reasons I love running most – No matter where on Earth you are, if you’re running, you’re home.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.


It’s been seh-ven weeks and two-ooooooh days

Since Pikes took his love away. . . Sing it, Sinead!

Oh yeah. Totally belting it out.

Oh yeah. Totally belting it out right now. You too, Sinead.

Absolutely NOTHING compares to Pikes, but I’m feeling a little bit of a need for a new muse lately. And, although you can’t go wrong with more Muse, I don’t mean the British-based band that totally rocked the Pepsi Center a few Wednesdays ago. What I do mean is a new running muse, but only temporarily, of course. Pikes knows my little running heart goes pitter-pat for him and him alone.

Easiest way to fix that is to pick an upcoming race, add it to the ol’ calendar, and start training. The hard part is that I don’t even want so much as a shadow of a thought about a race – not even a teeny tiny 5K - entering my brain for at least the next three months. What’s a nerd in running shoes to do?

Venture into uncharted running waters about which I’ve always been curious. That’s what. I’ve got a few things up on deck already:

  1. Running with the local chapter of Achilles International and Lending Sight. The two groups join forces to pair visually impaired and disabled runners and walkers with volunteer guides for a few laps around beautiful Wash Park on Monday nights.
  2. Volunteering with Girls on the Run of the Rockies, one of several Girls on the Run programs across the country that encourages positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development in girls ages eight to thirteen years through training for a 5K.
  3. Getting involved with City Running Tours, a company that pairs personalized and group running and tourism in several cities across the country. Mmm hmm. . . Could be fun!
  4. Try a new running group on for size. Tuesday nights at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos for one. Not to take the place of my beloved Irish Snug Running Club, mind you. The good ol’ ISRC, much like Pikes Peak, has my little running heart in the palm of its hand.

These oughtta do the trick to keep my lazy butt from planting itself on the living room couch all night, especially with the dark and cold nights of winter up ahead. Gotta keep moving! After all, my next Pikes Peak Marathon is only 311 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 50 seconds. . .49 seconds. . .away.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.


Sometimes, you’ve just gotta put your foot down.

During marathon training, I put so much of life on hold to be sure to get in my weekly mileage and to ensure adequate time on the trails. And, ever since Pikes Peak, I’ve told myself that it was time to get back to those other things on the back burner. So that’s what I did. I finally finished cleaning and unpacking in the new pad, finally got caught up with some friends.

And, as needed and wanted as putting running aside and getting back to life has been, life is now starting to get in the way of running.

I first started to feel it last week. Monday, dinner plans, then a few errands for work. Tuesday, worked late. Wednesday, Colorado Rockies versus the Boston Red Sox and Todd Helton’s last home game of his career. You will be missed, #17! I felt like exercising so much that I walked home from Coors Field - took about an hour – despite the fact that my sandal was rubbing the top of my right foot raw.

These were all good things, and I was excited for them. Still, they kept me from running. Three nights of beautiful weather - home a bit after dark at the earliest and past my bed time at the latest – zero miles.

'Nuff said.

‘Nuff said.

Then it really hit me on Thursday afternoon as I sang to myself while driving to and then home from a meeting to round out another day at the office. I was dancing in the driver’s seat and soon found myself antsy. I CAN’T WAIT to run at the Snug tonight! The weather was superb – not too hot, slightly cool, air still – and I felt good for the first time in a long time. So I ran an extra lap.

It was during that just over six mile jaunt that what I suspected had become undeniably clear: Averaging ten miles per week – as I have been since the race – was no longer cutting it. I’m ready to run again; and I have to start making it happen, no matter what. Chores and ‘to do list’ items will have to wait. They will still be there when I get back. Phone calls and e-mails to friends will still get made and sent, just a little later.

I have a date with my running shoes – and some mental ‘RnR’ while I’m at it. I’ll be a better person for it. Promise.

This week, I am bound and determined to run more than two days and ten miles per week. I am running straight for the open arms of one of my absolute truest of loves. And I CAN’T WAIT!

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.