If you’ve followed me on social media at all, you’ll know that I have one over-riding long term goal with my running:

Run until I’m 80.

That may seem like a tall order to many, but I have a great example of a woman who continued her sport, tennis, until she was 80. Today, I ran for her.

The Original Plan

With a 50 mile week behind me and one more on deck next week, this week was all about cutback. That meant less miles each day, including my Saturday long-run. Each of these runs accumulated on top of each other to get to my goal of running the Chicago marathon.

However, I didn’t do today’s 12-mile long run for me.

This run was for Grandmother, aka Babs, who would have been 98 years old today.

The Long-Term Goal Inspiration

runner holding up fingers for 32A formidable woman in her own right, Grandmother played tennis until she was 80 years old and championed my running like no one else.

When I first moved to Washington in 2010, she would introduce me to her friends and say, “Channing runs marathons!” With that prideful little toss of her hair and smile a grandmother serves up best.

At the time I had only ever run as far as a 10k, but to her I ran marathons. I tried numerous times to clarify the distance I actually ran vs what she thought I ran to no avail.

Maybe she knew this marathon life was in the cards for me years before I did 🤔

Fast forward 9 years, I crossed the finish line of my first HALF marathon thinking, “Well Babs, I finally proved you at least *half* right.”

So today on her birthday, I ran 13.1 miles. For her.

And I’ll continue to train so I can run until I’m 80. For me.

Week 14: 32 miles down ✔️ Next week: back up to 50!


Channing Muller is an award winning marketing & public relations consultant and the principal of DCM Communications, based out of Chicago. She works with event professionals and business owners to grow and scale their businesses with refined marketing strategies developed through one-on-one and group consulting, customized marketing programs and public relations. She has been named a "25 Young Event Pro to Watch" by Special Events magazine and "40 Under 40" by Connect Meetings. Channing is an avid runner, lover of Labrador Retrievers, good food, delicious drinks, and an advocate for the American Heart Association.

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