NOVEMBER PROJECT by Leanne ‘Hughes’ Johnson @Nov_Project_MSN

Today is a giant day for our fellow racers in Madison, Wisconsin. They’ve hit the tribe size that has them ready to add a Friday to their week… and it’s going down THIS Friday! For those of you reading this from the East Coast, we urge you to go onto their FB page or Twitter handle and blow them up. They will need the support as they head to their first round of Friday alarm clocks that’ll seem far too early.

Many of you folks in Boston may not remember last Spring/Summer when we went from the Wednesday workout at Harvard Stadium to an additional Friday morning on Summit Ave to cap off the work week. This step is huge. We look forward to watching your week fill out with both days until #DestinationDecks begin making you look at maps of the isthmus in a whole new way. In honor of the big push this week in “MadTown” we asked one of the most consistant members of the group to write her take on NP. How is it being being a mom, and what it means to get slower, bigger, with her second child on the way, while training with November Project Madison. . Without another word… our good friend Leanne ‘Hughes’ Johnson!

I’ll be completely honest. I joined November Project because one of my best friends and running buddies started the Madison chapter, and I wanted to run with him. Also, after all the Boston hype, I wanted to see what this NP stuff was all about. That’s what got me started, but it isn’t what keeps me coming back.
Three years ago I entered a new chapter in my life that I’m still navigating. I grew, gave birth to, and have successfully kept alive (which I’m told is the goal), a happy and healthy two year old daughter. Before pregnancy and motherhood, I was committed, almost obsessed, with eating healthy, getting in my weekly workouts, and reaching my calorie burn. I also fell in love with running halfs, so I was always training for the next one, pushing for the next PR, which kept me pretty motivated. Pregnancy and motherhood forced me to relax and truly appreciate my body and all its potential, something I’m very grateful for.

During my first pregnancy, I had to stop running around 5 months due to pressure and discomfort, which was extremely hard, but at the same time was the best thing for the baby. When the November Project Madison chapter started, I was around 4 months pregnant with baby #2 and still successfully running, but it was the dead of winter…in Wisconsin. And while I totally respect a weather-proof workout, I was less then thrilled that first Wednesday when I showed up bundled in 4 layers of workout clothes, still freezing, and was met with a bunch of smiling, almost giddy faces (see video here – bottom of the page). “Why are you all so happy? It sucks out here?”

And then something happened. I did the workout and it clicked. Although I was back in a good fitness routine, November Project gave me what I didn’t even realize I’d been craving. NP helped me to push myself and challenge my body in ways that I just wasn’t able to do by myself. And the funny part is, to me, November Project isn’t all that focused on the workout, or your time, or how good your butt looks in 6 layers of spandex. It’s about the community and the energy. Everyone working together to push and encourage each other through brutal workouts that 99% of people would never do alone.

November Project helps gets you back to that childlike enthusiasm which is about just being active and not going through the motions simply to complete a workout. Every week, you meet before sunrise to hug and hang with your friends, and then run around and play. I guarantee there is no better start to your day, and I promise you won’t want the workout to end.

So here I sit, almost 7 months along in my 2nd pregnancy and I’m still running. I’m the only one at NP getting slower and bigger each week, and I couldn’t be happier. I treat every run as if it might be my last for a while, which forces me to appreciate each step. November Project reconnected me with my competitive, playful self, and has trained me in ways I just couldn’t have done on my own. I can confidently say I don’t think I’d still be running if it weren’t for NP. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that I’m smiling and hugging you all before 6:30 am.

See you at Lincoln.

BOSTON NOTES:
We had an amazing 35 minutes on the seats/steps at Harvard Stadium. Today’s group photo may be the best we’ve ever had. All great photos ever taken at NP BOS were shot by Bojan (real name). We are ALL shooting to PR for 37 sections on the last Wednesday of the month. We’ll see you Friday.

WISCONSIN NOTES: (Today’s Scores)

Name Time
Sam Keepman 7:14
Logan Funk 8:21
Steve Fons 8:37
Jeff Lowe 8:53
Pat Bauch 8:53
Dan Graham 9:09
Emily Keepman 9:17
Colin Harari 9:32
Gabby Waclawik 9:37
Jake Remington 9:50
Thomas Nettum 9:55
Kelly Winckler 10:15
Meggie Heitke 10:45
Andy Gill 10:54
Grace Miller 11:03
Kristi Johnson 11:03
Sophie Miller 11:03
Katie Kocher 11:06
Megan Finley 11:06
BVS 11:11
Leigh Vierstra 11:15
Rachel Puskala 11:26
Adam Mertz 11:37
Laura Kvlighan 11:53
Alex Lindenmeyer 12:00
Grant Edler 12:01
Leanne Johnson 12:25
Luke Landgraf 12:26
Sarah Lindstrom 12:27
Tina King 12:28
Chase Horned Frog 12:31
Kelly Nawrocki 12:31
Erin Fabrizy 13:45
Kailey Bender 13:50
Emily Campbell 14:14
Rachel landgrah 14:36
Trista Olson ?
EJ Finished
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