By Meagan Nichols

Run Forecaster co-founder

A few mornings ago I was sitting at the counter, eating a bowl of cereal, the glass front door in the distance, when suddenly I saw a blur go by the house. Followed by another and then another. As I paused and focused on the stream of images I thought to myself “this is why I love running.” Cotton Pickin 5kI struggle to think of another sport as inclusive. Here I watched as people of all shapes, sizes and running abilities came together in the pre-workday hours to train. We all have different reasons for lacing up the sneakers. Some run to stay in shape, others for a new PR , everyone has their own motivation, and this is what makes running so special – the people. The running community is vast, both in size and ability, and is always looking for more recruits. So go ahead, lace up those sneakers because the running community wants YOU!

By Meagan Nichols

Run Forecaster co-founder

Most people are familiar with the term “work/life balance” but for avid runners that expression is slightly different: work/run/life balance. If the work/life part wasn’t challenging enough the crazy runner voice in our head urges us to add those three little demanding letters, R-U-N! Any one of those words can be all consuming, and each week it seems like a different one vies for the bulk of our attention, setting off a chain reaction of imbalance. Late night at work equals less sleep, equals morning run comes too early or gets skipped, exhausted at work the next day, workout suffers and so on and so forth. Truthfully, I think the word balance should maybe be omitted from the expression, because let’s be honest…are those two, or in the runner’s case, three things ever really balanced? I think just saying work/life or work/run/life is much more factual. Or maybe better still – the work/run/life juggle. Finding balance seems a bit like trying to locate a unicorn, so instead I am going to try to master the art of juggling. It might not be pretty, and every once in a while one of those things will go crashing to the floor, but you simply pick it up and throw it back into the rotation.

by Meagan Nichols

Run Forecaster co-founder

In a digital age I still prefer pen and paper when it comes to recording my training. There is just something about writing down my workouts in a physical journal that seems to solidify the miles. Whether it is a regular run, long run or track Tuesday, which means a 4:15 a.m. wakeup call followed by a half-asleep speed workout, it is as though none of it happened if I don’t put my efforts in ink. Whether the numbers are something I want to remember or something I really wish I could erase, there is a sense of accomplishment in logging both the good and the bad in an actual book. It is a personal running diary of sorts that reminds me of where I have been and keeps me on track for where I want to go.

by Meagan Nichols

Run Forecaster co-founder

It’s 5:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. The sun is still sleeping, but a group of admittedly half-crazy individuals slowly emerge from their cars, water bottles in-hand and head for the track.Screen shot 2015-08-01 at 1.31.51 PM On these mornings that quarter-mile oval serves as the great equalizer. It’s an eclectic mix of people from lawyers to educators to reporters and everything in between, but when the shoes are laced and the stopwatches are ready, everyone is simply a runner. Conversations are centered on workouts, past races and future. The intervals commence as do the words of encouragement that help fuel a little extra effort. In no time the work is finished and the sun has finally made its debut. A few cool-down laps later and everyone disperses with a goodbye wave and a “see ya next week.” Off the track and its back to reality.

by Christine Nicholsflag

Run Forecaster co-founder

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and it seems that everyone has plans, whether it’s a backyard barbeque, a parade, a family reunion, a trip out of town, shopping one of the many sales, or maybe even running in a road race. As we approach this unofficial opening weekend of summer, let’s take a look at Memorial Day and its evolution. What began in 1868 as Decoration Day was a call to place flowers on the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers. May 30 was chosen for the annual observation because it wasn’t the anniversary of any specific battle, but rather a day to honor all soldiers. On the first Decoration Day over 20,000 graves of Union and Confederate veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery were decorated. As the United States became embroiled in other wars, what began as a day to honor Civil War veterans grew into a day to honor all soldiers and eventually became known as Memorial Day. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, taking effect in 1971, the three day weekend was born and Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday. Today it means something different to everyone. It remains a day of national pride, there are still countless services honoring our fallen heroes, but it has evolved to be much more. Not all of the changes involve the original concept but many activities still embrace and honor our veterans, just in new ways. One of these new Memorial Day traditions can be seen in the plethora of road races devoted to fund raising, often to benefit veterans’ organizations or other charitable causes. In almost every city or town from coast to coast shoes will be hitting the pavement or trail. So while you’re planning your barbeque menu, think back to the original meaning of the day and insert a patriotic element into your weekend. Maybe even run a 5k for a good cause, then go ahead and enjoy those extra holiday treats guilt free!