Monday, October 8, 2007

TC 10 Mile

It is finished. A part of me is sad because I don’t want it to be over. The other part is very glad it is over! We shall see over the winter which side wins out by what my race plans hold for next season. :)

Running for me is not about the challenge of speed. It isn’t about beating other people and not often about beating my previous time. For me it’s about the feeling of accomplishment and teeth grinding drive it sometimes takes during training. It’s about the sense of accomplishment from pushing through something and working hard enough to see a goal through to the end. I did have a pace goal for this race; I wanted to run 11:00 min/mile. But when the results showed an average pace of 11:30 min/mile I didn’t care. I found a new love for running. I logged some good conversations with a good friend, six hilly miles with a great aunt, 8 miles of quiet solitude; all adding up to 200 miles in 13 weeks.

If there were an awards banquet, when I stood to get my T-Shirt this is what I would say:
“This was a great race and the 13 weeks leading up to it were no less than amazing. The support of others is critical to my success. Anyone who asks how I did it would only have to look at my network to know. By the grace of God, one foot in front of the other turned into mile after mile behind me. Thanks to my parents for always being my biggest fans. Thanks to my family who came out to watch the race. Thanks to the family and friends who listened to me talk about running, who wished me well, and were thinking about me and waiting to hear how I did afterwards. For all of this support I cannot thank you enough. You were on my mind for many miles.”

The other notable event for the day was watching the marathon runners finish. If you’ve never been to a race I would suggest going to the finish line of any marathon. It’s inspiring on so many levels. You can see the runners who have labored through every step and those that are seasoned and finishing strong; you see couples and mothers and daughters finishing together and proud. The look of determination on those runner’s faces is intoxicating. The inspiration you receive can translate to any challenge you choose to accept in life. It inspires me to want to work harder than I thought possible to get something that I thought was so out of reach because the victory looks so sweet. Of course the best look of all was the look on my boyfriends face when he saw us cheering at the finish line; smiling big, he kept bounding forward to cross the finish line. He looked great. I was worried the whole time watching other runners crippled with calf muscles so stiff they looked like bricks and seeing them wincing in pain and limping across the finish line. There was one lady who threw up next to me as soon as we crossed. This was some serious business and I knew I would lose it for sure if I saw him in that much pain. There was no way I could be strong in that situation. Luckily, I didn’t have too. He did it. He made it. I had seen what that run did to others and he did it. He was stronger than the hills, braver than the heat, and louder than the pain. And he says I inspired him.

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