At the beginning of the year I had this grand scheme to pay it forward as often as I can, but when my ideas to do something big and extravagant for other people fizzled out I kind of abandoned my quest.  This weekend I realized that random acts of kindness don't have to be big or flashy to matter.

When you do good things for good people, you automatically start to feel better about yourself.  Keke shared this list of 101 Easy Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness with us on Friday and it inspired some of the things I did on Sunday before, during and after the City of Trees Marathon.  It was truly a day of gratitude on my part.

1) Looked up the people that finished the City of Trees Marathon around me and thanked them for their encouragement

On Sunday, I ran my third full marathon.  It'd been over three years since my last one but my training had gone pretty well and I thought I could run a personal record.  Unfortunately, I started to have some back/booty pain after my 20 mile training run two weeks ago.  I thought I could run through it, but after running a really awesome 15 miles of the City of Trees Marathon it was apparent I'd hurt myself a lot worse than I thought I did.  My back really hurt and I was losing feeling in my right leg.  By mile 20 I wanted to quit, but my boyfriend was there with the camera and was absolutely not letting me quit after coming that far.  So I sucked it up and alternated between walking and running for the next six mile.  There was a group of four other runners struggling near me.  When one of us walked and another caught them running, we gave each other "Keep it up," "you got this," and "we're almost there."  I don't think I would've made it to the finish line without their encouragement.  I made it a point to find Jenny, the woman that finished ahead of me and shake her hand after the race.  I also remembered a guy in a blue top giving me some words of encouragement in the last mile before saying "see you at the finish line."  His name was Thom.  I found him on Facebook later that night to thank him and congratulate him on a new Personal Record.  I was shocked when he replied "Awesome! You were inspirational with your great attitude. I couldn't even tell you were struggling!"  The kindness of the running community in Boise is so inspirational and it felt really good to be part of the sportsmanship at this year's City of Trees Marathon and Half Marathon.

2) Liked or commented on every FB post I saw about running

This wasn't just about the people that competed at City of Trees.  One of our super star cyclists from Live for 175 just started running again after seeing her sister and brother in law finish the 10K at FitOne.  After a long hiatus, she ran the fastest mile she's ever recorded on her Nike App and realized she needs to switch to a size small in running pants.  There's also this amazing woman named Elizabeth that I've seen posting a lot of running posts over the last few weeks.  She's come a long way from where she started and has dropped minutes off her pace per mile while training with the Fleet Feet group at the Village.  You better be sure I like most of her posts! I love encouraging people as they take on whatever running goals they've set for themselves and shatter them.

3) Facetimed My Mom

My little sister pretty much called me out for sucking at the whole keeping in touch with my family thing.  It's tough with my work schedule and a two hour time difference. I'll text my fam back in Ohio now and then but I am truly awful about calling so I picked up my phone and Facetimed with my mom for about an hour.  I can't say that it did for sure, but I think it made her day.  She can hear my voice on RadioPup everyday but rarely gets to see my face.  It was fun and I should do it more often!

4) Tipped $5 At Starbucks

So what if my non-fat Pumpkin Chai only costs $4.82?  I rarely remember to tip my baristas when I got through the drive through.  Not being able to reach the jar on the ledge is a cop out excuse, especially when these people keep me from wanting to strangle someone at stupid o'clock in the morning.  I ended up paying more than double for my drink to show how grateful I was for their cheery faces and positive attitudes.

5) Took My Neighbor's Trash To The Dumpster

My neighbor had a full garbage bag sitting outside their apartment door on Sunday night when I was headed to get my Pumpkin Chai.  I ended up taking it to the trash for them, instead of letting it sit in the breezeway.