It's About Time...No, It's Not.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
I am a runner. I love being able to say that. I have now run five half-marathons and I continue to be surprised by the fact that I can run at all. I was told in college that I should never do anything more strenuous than walking due to a heart issue. After years of doing everything I could to deal with the problem, I was finally given clearance to start leading a more active life. I started with a three mile fitness walk in 2009, then progressed to doing 5K races (running a little more of each race until I could finally run the entire distance). A friend talked me into trying a 10K race and then finally doing a half-marathon in 2010.
I love all of the people I have met through the running community. They are, as a whole, a very supportive group. I have met a few people who focus on their finish times for races but for the most part, it is about getting some exercise and spending time with friends. I do have one friend who will get very disappointed if she doesn’t finish a race in under an eight minute per mile pace (I couldn’t go that fast, even if I was falling down!) but most runners won’t even ask about my finish time. You may have noticed that I didn't say I was a fast runner. My running buddies are always very encouraging and so helpful when I’ve had to deal with a running injury. I love being able to travel to a race and meet some of the people I have chatted with in online running groups.
Each half-marathon I have done has had some good parts and some bad parts (that story may be my next blog), but I have enjoyed every one I have done. I love big races and small races, timed races and fun runs, and runs (or walks) with friends. Everyone cheers for the person who wins the race but I find myself cheering more for the people in the middle of the pack who are trying so hard to do their very best or for the people at the end of the pack who are trying to prove something only to themselves. They are the people who impress me so much more than the person who can run a five minute mile. One of my favorite expressions is that a ten (or fifteen) minute mile is just as far as a six minute mile.
I hope to be able to run for the rest of my life. I feel so much better when I run. It’s my favorite form of therapy!