Monday, October 04, 2010
On Sunday, October 3, 2010, I ran my first half marathon, the Brooksie Way. I ran it in 2:25:57 and placed 1842 overall. Although my time is solidly middle of the pack and nothing spectacular, my road to getting to this point has been slow, steady, and rewarding. I followed a 12-week training plan, but this race has been the culmination of three years of getting off the couch and getting into shape. My race numbers may not get me to the Olympics, but they show that running (or any activity) and a healthy lifestyle improve quality of life. Racing against yourself is a reward of its own. Over the years, I have watched my time in races decrease and my mileage increase. For the non-Olympic among us, the numbers that really count are medical numbers. Since dropping from the obese BMI range to an healthy weight, eating healthy, and running and weight training regularly, my medical numbers have gone from borderline diabetes to extremely healthy. For example, my resting heart rate dropped so much that my doctor had asked outright if I was a runner.
Itís intimidating to join a race with top athletes, but a funny thing happens during the race. The majority of the participants are middle and back of the pack runners/walker and they are incredibly supportive of each other. Not to mention that some of the top athletes cheer for the rest of us at the finish line. Competition is fun and challenging yourself to your limits is rewarding, but the comaraderie and support are the best part of any race. This is what the Brooksie Way is about--getting active and supporting your family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers. The race proceeds go to mini grants that support active lifestyle for all ages and abilities. In years past grants have been awarded to children with learning impairments, senior centers, non-profit groups constructing community trails, etc. For a list of recipients, visit http://www.thebrooksieway.com/