Let’s Keep Running the Miles for Mark

Imagine something in your life that is the essence of who you are and root of many of your proudest moments. Now, think about a person who had the most significant impact on that something. Regardless of your “something”, the person is probably a parent, maybe a grandparent, or, if you were lucky, a really great teacher.

For me, that “something” is running and that person is Mark Knutson. He wasn’t a family member or a teacher, but he was a friend and someone I respected as a leader.

In one of his more well-known capacities, Mark was the founder and director of the Fargo Marathon. He was incredibly hands-on with Fargo Marathon and every other race that he put on.

I was shocked and saddened on Sunday afternoon when I found out he had passed away after being hit by a truck while biking earlier that morning. Both because of the tragic, unfair nature of what happened but also because of how much I was personally affected by his passion and hard work in bringing the Fargo Marathon to life nearly 20 years ago.


My first full marathon circa 2009. Oh, that photo quality…

Run Fargo
Now I know the Fargo Marathon certainly was not the first race to exist in the community. But for me, it was the beginning of my running journey. It was the reason I gave running a shot and dove in headfirst, signing up for a half marathon as my first race when I was 23 years old.

And while I have other people to thank for helping me get into running itself, I’m not sure I would’ve been inspired enough to get immersed and stick to it had the Fargo Marathon not been there to help me fall in love with everything about running, the full process.

The Fargo Marathon introduced me to this bizarre concept of training for months and paying to run 3.1, 13.1, or even 26.2 miles. It gave me a lofty goal to put on my calendar and achieve – year after year. It is where I’ve had the privilege many times to help others achieve their goals as a pacer.

It was because of Mark all that happened.

The Power of Running…and Gratitude
Anytime I saw him out on the course or around the expo, he’d always smile and say hello, and I’d be sure to offer him a sincere thank you for putting on the race. I had an enormous amount of gratitude and appreciation for him, not only because I know how much hard work it takes to put on events, but also because of everything the Fargo Marathon has given me.

Would I have run my first race, qualified for the Boston Marathon, and experienced so many proud moments had it not been for the Fargo Marathon? I honestly don’t know. All I can say for sure is that I was and am grateful to Mark for making racing accessible. For creating community and bringing together so many people in Fargo. For giving us the reason to get up early, power through those tough long runs, and get to do something healthy and fun.


Today’s run, the first of many #milesformark

It hurts to know I won’t see Mark at packet pick-up, at the start line, or out biking the course ever again. It’s bringing me to tears right now, actually typing those words and coming to terms with the reality. It’s amazing the significant impact someone can have on your life and they never knew it – honestly, I never really acknowledged it or even realized it until now.

So, everyone reading this, I hope you will pause to acknowledge the impact Mark and the Fargo Marathon made on your life. If you’re outside the Fargo-Moorhead or Detroit Lakes communities, consider getting inspired to run a local race or at least get out there and do something that makes you proud.

Looking ahead, let’s all keep running, walking, or biking the miles for Mark. I think that would be a great way to honor him and keep his legacy strong.

That’s enough for now. Until next time,

How to Meditate? 3 Ways to Try Meditation

There’s only so much you can avoid something that you know is good for you. Enter meditation.

As much as I love being mindful and taking moments to breathe, meditation, as a practice in itself, has never stuck with me.

But, not long ago, I realized it was something I needed.

How to Meditate

Shhh…it’s meditation time.

I recently wrote a blog for Fargo Mom about my experience of trying to get into a meditation habit. Read that full article or check out my summary of three ways to meditate that might work for you.

1. Morning Meditation
Upside: How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Beginning each day purposefully and starting it off with calm and clarity is a great reason to meditate first thing in the morning.

Downside: If you’re already a morning person with a solid morning routine, morning may not be the most beneficial time to meditate.

2. Mid-Day Meditation
Upside: Everyone is busy and everyone encounters chaos every day. The mid-day meditation offers a chance to take an intentional – and, likely, much needed – break to reset and realign.

Downside: It’s incredibly difficult to step away from work, parenting, or whatever it is that fills the day, even just for a few minutes. The mid-day meditation is likely the one that gets neglected in favor of other, pressing tasks during the day.

3. Sleep Meditation
Upside: I can’t guarantee meditation right before bed will lead to better sleep. However, when I do a meditation right before bed, my mind is way more likely to calm down or shut off, and allow for falling asleep easier and feeling more rested the next morning.

Downside: After a full day, meditation may unfairly feel like one more thing to do instead of the calming, wind-down experience it is meant to be.

If you’ve ever wondered how to meditate, consider first starting with finding the best time to meditate for you. Meditation requires no fancy equipment, it is totally customizable to your needs, and it truly is for anyone looking for calm, focus, mindfulness, or other positivity in life.

That’s enough for now. Until next time,

Unpopular Opinion: I Am Proud of My Age and Embrace Getting Older

Today is my birthday. I am forty!


Pro-aging NOT anti-aging.

While many people who reach this milestone like to say they’re turning 39 one more time or, worse, wishing to be 29 again, I am proud to be another year older and another year wiser. Better yet, I am excited for a new decade with new experiences.

With the big 4-0 on the docket this year, I recently wrote an article for Fargo Mom sharing one of my biggest unpopular opinions: positivity around getting older.

Check out the full article on Fargo Mom or, if nothing else, consider this thought that really sums up what it’s all about:

Aging is something to embrace, not curse. Getting older should be celebrated, not dreaded. And taking another trip around the sun deserves to be met with feelings of gratitude, not fear.

That’s enough for now. Until next time,

How to Manage FOMO? Live In Your Season

You’ve heard of FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. Social media essentially created FOMO, this feeling of anxiety or jealousy about what others are doing that you’re not.

I rarely get FOMO. In fact, I embrace JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out.

I love when I don’t have plans. If I have plans and they get canceled, I’m not sad. I’d rather hang out with my kids and go to bed early than go to a party and hang out with drunk people.

Maybe it’s the introvert in me; maybe it’s the tired working mom side. I’m not sure but all I can say is I take pleasure in doing my own simple life and feeling no need to participate in what the masses are doing at any given moment.

Except when it comes to running full marathons.


I miss this season. I miss everything about it. But it’s not mine right now and that’s okay.

Having Marathon FOMO
I get serious FOMO whenever I see someone else running or training for a full marathon. Between the recent Boston and London marathons, plus the excitement of my upcoming hometown favorite, the Fargo Marathon, I’m feeling it big time.

See, I LOVE a full marathon. But not just the reward of running the race itself on the day. I LOVE the process of training for a full marathon.

I love planning all my runs then feeling the satisfaction of hitting my weekly mileage goals. I love the feeling of being sore and spending time foam rolling, icing, and taping up my body. I love nourishing my body even more excessively than my usual excess (code: I love to eat). I love extra weekend rest after those 16, 18, and 20 mile long runs.

Just as much as I enjoy the elation of running on marathon day, I love the routine, discipline, and the hard work that goes into it.

Odd, I know.

Be In Your Season
This all made me think about a piece I recently wrote for another blog about seasons of life. I’ve decided that life is less about your age and more about the season of life you’re in at any given time.

Think about it. We are all in different seasons, at any given time in our lives. Many people embarked on marriage and parenthood in their 20s, both of which I did not experience until my 30s. Others were career-focused early on in life, while some find their calling two or more decades after high school.

After changing priorities and lifestyle in my mid-20s, I found running. Those mid-20s to mid-30s, I was in that marathon season of my life. I ran at least one marathon every year, not to mention numerous other races. Oh, so many races.


This is my season now and I’m here for it.

Now, I have two young boys. My job is challenging and demanding. Sure, I could “make time” to train for a marathon, strictly speaking getting in the miles. It’s the rest of the process I cannot make time for right now. There are so many things that take my mental and physical energy, I simply do not have enough left over to put in all the work needed.

How to Manage FOMO
When I start feeling that FOMO for my marathon running friends, I remind myself that this isn’t my season to run full marathons. It’s just not. I am making that choice and I am very much okay with it.

I share this story to remind you to live in your season. If you find yourself feeling jealous or having FOMO, it may be because you’re not in the season to be there.

Everything in life requires time, energy, and focus, all of which are finite. Where we choose to put our time, energy and focus is one of the most powerful choices we get to make. And I know where I’m putting mine, the season I am in, is exactly where I want to be…even with those little twinges of FOMO!

I’ll end with a great quote I once heard from a CEO who shared her advice for working mothers: “You can have it all…just not all at once.”

That’s enough for now. Until next time,

The Gear You Need and How to Layer to Run Outside in the Winter

Special post: Winter running tips: What you need to run outside

“There is no bad weather, just bad layering.”


Layer up & get out there!

I am sure someone said this long before me but I’m not here to take credit for the quote. Rather, it’s my way to introduce something I can’t get enough of: winter running.

Yes, it can be enjoyable to run outside all winter long. All you need is the right gear and a good layering strategy.

In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I break down all the winter temps – including below zero – and share my top gear must-haves, as well as a layering strategy for every occasion. Click and read the full post to learn what gear to get and how to layer to run outside in the winter.

What are your running tips and must-haves for getting outside in the winter? Is there anything you especially love about winter running? Please share a comment here or on the Fargo Mom blog.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

Is Your New Year’s Resolution Doomed to Fail?

Special post: New Year’s Resolutions: Are You Setting Up for Failure?

Not one, but TWO posts dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions? And both positive ones to boot? Who is this writer and what has she done with NYR-hater, Lindsay??

Lins and her oldest son doing stretches together

Make a resolution because of something you want to do that will improve your life – not something you “need” to fix.

Still me, folks. This holiday season, I wrote two blogs about achieving New Year’s Resolutions – one for wellirl.com about a New Year’s Resolution you can achieve, and one for Fargo Mom. You can check out the one for Fargo Mom, a different way to approach New Year’s Resolutions, which looks at one, key factor that is often missing from them: positivity.

Whether you’re still thinking about making a New Year’s Resolution or you’re already guns blazin on yours, take a pause. Step back. Consider the change you’re making and look at it thru a positive lens.

Read the full post on Fargo Mom and please let me know what you think! Also, if you made a positive New Year’s Resolution, please share it.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

How About This: Make a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Something

“Instead of starting, try stopping.”

New Year’s Resolutions are the worst. People make a New Year’s Resolution, get so amped up, maybe even spend money, put in an enthusiastic effort…and then quit.

The stats are mixed on exactly how many people quit their resolutions vs. actually adopt them as a new way of life but, overall, the research does not tell an uplifting story of success.

Why is it hard to keep New Year’s Resolutions? I have a multi-fold theory. If you are interested in more on this, specific to health and fitness New Year’s Resolutions, please read my previous blog.


Something to start? Journaling is a great resolution – just remember it adds one more thing to do.

The other part is what I want to talk about today. At its most basic level, the root of a resolution is about making a change. And change is hard.

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
My resolution is to work out more. My resolution is to be more organized. My resolution is to start a morning routine. My resolution is to meal prep.

All of those are popular New Year’s Resolutions and all require a change in behavior to achieve. Depending on where you’re at, that change may be small or it may be huge.

More than the difficult act of making a change, these popular resolutions have one more commonality that makes them tricky to achieve. All are about proactively doing something that wasn’t being done before, adding one more thing to your day, your life.

We already know change is hard. Guess what else is hard? Doing more is hard. We live in a world where most people are already over-committed and stretched too thin with all the things.

Yet every year, people still make New Year’s Resolutions with the hope that, this year, this time, things will be different.

What Kind of New Year’s Resolution Should I Make?
I have an idea. We know doing more is hard. How about New Year’s Resolution that is all about doing less?


Something to stop? STOP spending time with tech & get out to make memories.

Resolving to stop doing something, that should be the new trend in New Year’s Resolutions. And it’s a trend that could catch on because it could work.

Resolve to stop negative self-talk. Resolve to stop spending so much time on your phone. Resolve to stop saying yes to every committee, event, and work assignment. Resolve to stop worrying about things you cannot control.

Is that still hard? Of course. In a way, we are kind of right back to where we started and not really that different than a typical resolution. It is all about making a change. And change is hard.

However, I believe it is easier to stop doing something that to add more. And stopping something that is causing distress in life is the absolute best kind of change to be made. So if you’re going to go all-in on a resolution, and you really want to succeed at your New Year’s Resolution, consider the idea of stopping something vs. trying to start.

What do you think about this idea for a New Year’s Resolutions? What could you stop doing that might not be too hard, yet could bring major positivity into your life?

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

5 Tips to Stay Mentally and Physically Well During the Holidays

Special post: Simple Tips to Take Care of Yourself During the Busy Holidays

Ah, the holiday season. It often evokes thoughts of sitting around a warm fire, putting up decorations, spending time with loved ones, and general feelings of joy.


Stay merry and bright, friends.

That is the fantasy. The reality is that the holiday season often brings stress, overwhelm, exhaustion, and feelings that are anything but joyful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Surviving the holiday season, even thriving during it, is possible. How? By prioritizing mental and physical wellness.

In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I give you my 5 easy tips for staying well during the holidays. Highlights are below, click the link above to read the entire post on Fargo Mom. And it’s not just the tips; I share advice for how to achieve each wellness goal.

1. Just say no – to all the things
2. Drink water – lots of water
3. Exercise – all movement matters
4. Eat intentionally – emphasis on EAT
5. Practice gratitude – every day

How do you prioritize yourself and your wellness during the hectic holiday season? Please share a comment here or on the Fargo Mom blog.

Connect with me at lindsayinreallife on Instagram or LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

The Work and the Rewards of Running

“What you put in, you get back.”

Another Fargo Marathon has come and gone. It feels strange writing about the Fargo Marathon with fall feels and scenes all around. This race, my favorite race, typically takes place in May.

While hopefully temporary, this changing of seasons was wonderful. Adding another race to the fall calendar certainly was welcome by me. But it appeared to be a good thing in several ways. And I walked away with a few reminders about what running and race days are all about.

First, I have to give a few shoutouts to some friends who tackled some major goals. A close friend has been working hard on speed and strength. Her goal was a 10k in around 47 minutes. She ran it under 45 minutes. And she placed in the top 10 for women. Amazing.

Another friend took up running a couple years ago. Last year, his goal was a sub 2-hour half marathon. This year, he went even bigger, setting the goal to run his first full marathon. He put in the work, ran lots of miles, and did it – and in an impressive 4:30 and change. Awesome.

A third has been training for her first half marathon for months. She has weathered setbacks and been completely honest about how much it can suck sometimes having a goal so big. But she never gave up and she crossed the finish line well under her goal time – and, best of all, with a huge smile on her face.


Those finish line feels.

These stories reminded me about what race day really is. They reminded me about the work and rewards of running.

Race day, while hard work, isn’t the really hard work. Race day, while an achievement, isn’t the real achievement. Stay with me.

The Work Behind Running
The most common thing people say when they find out I run marathons is, “I could never run 26 miles.” The most common thing people realize when training for a marathon (at least in my experience) is just how much work and time and sacrifice goes into it.

The hard part about running a marathon isn’t that 26.2 on race day. The hard part about running a 7:15 pace for 6.2 miles isn’t actually doing it that one time. The hard part is everything that goes in leading up to that day, that moment.

Performing on race day isn’t the hard part. Performing on race day is the reward.

I think people forget what’s behind all the running. People see you cross the finish line and achieve your goal. They don’t see all the blisters, the awful runs, the early mornings, the foam rolling, the exhaustion, and all the grit and work, the discipline and dedication that got you there.

To all you runners who put in the time and hard work to achieve your goal, high fives to you. I see you. I know you are already proud of yourself. I know you don’t need me, a total stranger, to be proud of you. But I am.

The Reward Behind Running
Running is easy and it is not easy. Running can be something you love one day and loathe the next. So why do we run? Why do we embrace the black toenails, skip out on happy hours, wake up earlier on weekends than we do on weekdays, and put our bodies and minds through it all?

Whether you are training for a race or just doing it for health, running is about giving what you have and getting back so much more in return. And that return is different for everyone. But I can say that I get as much back from running as I put into it.

As for my first (and hopefully last) September Fargo Marathon experience, it was great. The weather was perfection. Upper 40s, cloudy, minimal wind. I could not have chosen more ideal conditions for a race day. I got to co-pace the 2:00 half marathon group alongside a great runner and great friend. There were so many great people running alongside us and cheering from the sidelines. The miles flew by and as soon as I crossed the finish line, I wanted to do it all over again.

For me, running is about health, stress relief, and being the best version of myself. And, of course, a perfect race day is always a great reward.

What’s why I run – how about you? What do you get back from it? Did you run a Fargo Marathon race or have a recent race day victory? The comments are all yours so please share.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

A Guide to the Best Running Paths in Fargo, North Dakota

Special post: Top 5 Running Paths in Fargo

When it comes to having the best run, I am all about finding the best route. Some days that mean I can just head out my front door, other times that means taking the extra time to hit one of my favorite paths.


One of the best – Lindenwood Park

Throughout my years of running in Fargo, I have found myself on various running paths, some better than others. Scenery, adequate snow removal in the winter, quick access to a bathroom, all of these add to the enjoyment of a path. In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I take you on trek of my top five running paths in Fargo.

Grab some water, lace up your sneaks, and join me to run Fargo! As an added bonus, we are going to hop over to Moorhead and West Fargo for a few extra miles.

Do you have more great places to run in Fargo? Are you in need of motivation or help to get out and hit any of these paths? Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more on running, health, and wellness.


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