Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Running Has Taught Me

So this past week, I've been a bit bummed because I've had to take a short break from running because I overdid things and ended up with a foot injury (hence no training recap this week either, since there was no running going on!).  Good news...it's not a stress fracture, which I feared.  Yay!  Bad news...I had to miss the Times Colonist 10K race this past weekend.  I have to admit, I was dying to race and was pretty upset I had to miss it, but my foot only started to feel better on Saturday and the race was Sunday.  Oh le sigh.  Hubs still ran the race, so we headed down to a sea of over 12,000 people who were running or walking the race.  Admittedly I was bummed...OK, fine...I was mad at the world, but I decided that instead of being grumpy, I was going to take this opportunity to watch the race as a spectator. 

Well geez.  It was hard to be grumpy as I got caught up in all the excitement...it always, always amazes me how running brings people together.  As I watched everyone heading down to the start line, I could see how excited people were.  There were the elites, who I watched do their warm up routines and drills.  There were the first timers, with their nervous energy and excited faces.  People from all walks of life came down to do this race and everyone had their own reasons for doing it.  Even more interesting was watching everyone at the finish line...now I can attest that the last few hundred feet are the most painful and you feel like you're never going to get there, but it was pretty cool watching the faces of these people cross the finish line maybe for the first time or maybe the zillionth time.  It was awesome to be in the crowd and cheering on everyone who was crossing the finish line, and I thought you know...running really has taught me a lot of valuable lessons about life...

1.  Support Others
It really was an incredible thing to hoot and holler for all the people finishing the race.  The look on these people's faces was pretty cool to see, and with all the cheering I hope some of them felt like superstars.  I figure you get back what you give, so if you throw out a little support to the world, it'll come back to you manifold.

2.  Roll With the Punches
Yep, missing the run sucked.  But I had to just go with it rather than risk bigger injury, and in the end it was pretty cool to have spectated the race.  Sometimes things don't work out how you want, but it's not always a bad thing.

3.  A Little Adversity Isn't a Bad Thing
Sometimes life throws shit at you to test you.  Running has made me realize that I'm a lot tougher than I thought I ever was.  Seriously, your mind starts going crazy at the fortieth kilometre and your quads are screaming at you to stop, and it takes everything in your power to just keep going.  Sometimes a little adversity is just the impetus that pushes you to achieve what you never thought you could, and what goes in your head transcends all. 

4.  Nothing is Impossible
I've said it before...I was an athletic misfit as a child and teen.  Actually using the word athletic anywhere in a sentence to do with me is an insult to athletes...ha!  I was always the last one to come in on runs.  I was terrible in sports and always the last to get picked on teams.  Remember back in the day when they had the Canada Fitness Test?  And you got either an Award of Excellence or a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal?  Well, my results didn't even rate on the Canada Fitness scale and I got a participation pin.  A participation pin, people!  I sucked!   So fast forward thirty years and sometimes I can't believe I ran a marathon and I love to run now.  I exercise because I enjoy it and can't live without it!  All it means is that nothing in life is impossible.

5.  Be Grateful
It's times like this when I'm injured or sick and I can't run, that I'm thankful for the times when I can.  It's hard, but sometimes on the days when I don't feel like running, I remember those times when I would have given anything to run and I drag my lazy old ass out there.  This spills over into the rest of my life too, because I have so much more gratitude for my health, my family, and my friends...all the great, wonderful things in my life.  Sure, things could always be better and it doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to excel...but sometimes it's dangerous to be constantly looking for morebetterbigger and not appreciating what you have right in front of you.

6.  Discipline
Good things don't necessarily come easily, and sometimes it takes work...hard, hard work.  Running has taught me a lot about discipline because that's what marathon training is all about.  If you don't do the runs or the workouts, you're not going to finish the race.

7.   Don't Listen to Naysayers
As Racing with Babes says, be like the honey badger, cuz the honey badger don't care (here is the full honey badger series, seriously...this is brilliant and a must read!).  I've had my share of naysayers...people who tell me I'm crazy for running, that I'll blow out my knees, that I'll die of a heart attack (this one in particular pisses me off), that running is dumb and stupid.  Well, alls I got to say is haters are gonna hate, and this honey badger don't care.

8.  Try
Yup, I've thrown out some pretty audacious goals out there.  A 1:50 half marathon for this year's goals?  Crazzzzy.  A 50 minute 10K?  Insane-o.  But you know what?  I'd rather put it out there, try and fail than not try at all.  

9.  Health is a Gift
Running is the singular thing that's made me realize how important health is.

10.  Just Do It
Quit with the excuses.  As the billion pinterest motivational posters say, somewhere out there who is busier than you is running.  It's soooo easy to make excuses (and believe me, I make a million of 'em!)...too tired, too busy, too this, too that.  Just get your ass out there and do it, and I can almost guarantee that you won't be sorry that you did.

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