Running Till I'm Done - featuring writing by Katie Stilp

by Jodi and Katie Stilp

frosty winter morning
Last week Carissa confessed to having overtraining tendencies.  This week I have a confession to make.  I seem to have lost my passion for training and choosing hard.  It's been replaced with a laid-back contentment to do the bare minimum.  

I don't do well with extended periods of intense training.  The details of the speed work, mileage requirements, and pacing do not invigorate me like they do Carissa.  The more attention I have to pay to pace or timing, the crankier I get.  When I stop enjoying running, I know it's time for a break. 

My last race was in mid-October.  My husband and I finished Insanity in early December.  It's now late January.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my two months of running slowly just to breathe in and breathe out.  And I've taken some really cool pictures while I'm out running - an added benefit of not being a slave to pace.  I've toyed around with yoga and suffered through a few more Insanity workouts. (And for the record, they never get easier.) I've talked about training for a winter half marathon and even printed out a couple of training schedules.  But both times, I didn't follow through.  I needed more rest.

running and yoga on the Mexican beach was definitely therapeutic
These months with no agenda have been therapeutic for me.  Curt and I have run together multiple times, including on the beach in Mexico.  But I'm getting jittery.  And that's a good thing.  It means I'm ready to tackle another training schedule and get back to choosing hard.

My oldest daughter Katie is in 5th grade.  She's a pretty incredible kid.  Smart and athletic, my wiry daughter has grit and endurance that still surprises me even after ten years of raising her.  Any athleticism she lacks she makes up for with sheer determination.  

Last week Katie had a homework assignment to write a letter to her PE teacher telling him three things she'd like to change about the class.  Her letter was just the reminder I needed to stop talking about finding a race to train for and just do it.  If my ten-year-old isn't content with the status quo, why should I be?  Here's her letter - with a quick note of explanation first.  In the letter Katie talks about "pacers."  Pacers are fit tests the kids do.  When they hit the max number for 100%, they have to stop.  This bugs Katie because she maxes out and wants to do more.
Katie Joy - 5th grade

Dear Mr. Wright,

You have given me the option to change anything in the gym.  Well I would like to take you up on that.  I would like to have more Lion of the Day awards.  I would also like it if you let us run as many pacers on the fit test as we would like.  My last request is that we have more PE time

If there were more Lion of the Day awards more people would feel special.  They would feel so proud. You would be able to recognize more people and their capabilities.  I know that I feel great when I get a Lion of the Day award.  You might have to polish a few more rocks, but is a few rocks a problem when you're making someone feel special?

If we had more pacers on the Fit Test, people would be able to do their very best, instead of having to stop when they don't feel they're done.  Well that's how I feel.  I always want to keep going.  I'm a runner and I like running till I'm done.  I'm guessing the other runners feel that way.  We could also make higher goals for the next Fit Test.

Mostly I would want more PE time.  I really like PE and never want it to end.  If we had more PE time we could get more fit and strong and still have time for games.  More PE time would make all of us happy.  We would make it through all the fitness stations and all the games.  All I'm asking for is 15-30 more minutes of PE.

I would be so happy if one or all of my requests come true.  Only you can make it happen!  It would be just what the gym needs - more happy kids, more kids with high goals, and more time.  Don't you agree with me?  I hope you are very convinced now.  


Katie Stilp

There is a time and a season for rest.  And there is a time and a season for running "until you're done." Where are you at Sole Sister?  Do you need to experience the rejuvenation that comes through a period of rest?  Or do you need step it up and start running "til you're done?"  Either way, we're in this together.

On a side note...  Yesterday I registered for the Newport Marathon on June 1st.  I have exactly eighteen weeks to whip myself into racing shape and try to break that ever elusive 3:30 marathon. Anyone want to run with me?

Running through life... together,

Jodi and Katie


  1. I loved Katie's letter to her PE teacher and the fact that her PE teacher wanted to know what the kids would like changed in class. He sounds like a great teacher.

    I have heard good things about Newport! My cousin ran it last year as his first marathon.

    1. Hi Tasha. Thanks for the encouragement about Newport. I actually heard about this race before we moved to Oregon and thought, "If we move to Oregon, I want to run that race." It will be five years later before I actually follow through, but I'm excited. I like to try different races instead of do the same thing over and over. What are you training for?