Special to RunDivaRun
"Whether you are 16 or 67, the desire to hit the road is not easily explained to those who do not run. We understand the pull of the road. The joy of losing yourself in the solitude of a good long distance run, or the sisterhood you experience when you find that great running partner. Running is more than a feat of athleticism, it is therapeutic. There is an unexpected exhilaration that we experience having challenged our personal limitations...Finally proving to ourselves that we can indeed make it to the finish line!"
I purchased a tee shirt with this quote on it in Las Vegas (for the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half) while shopping with my running partners. For a lot of runners a race expo is a real treat. There you find everything you need to be your best and you are in the company of others who truly understand your passion. The day of the expo I was full of excitement and promise. Unfortunately, my marathon didn't turn out to be all I had expected. I've replayed a pivotal moment - mile 20 - seeing my split of 3 hours and knowing that I only had 50 minutes to run the last 6.2 miles. Knowing that on my best day I've only run a 10k in 47 minutes and thinking, it was impossible. So instead of pushing on, I just STOPPED. For no reason at all, I just STOPPED. It never occurred to me to just to keep running and adjust my goal for the day. I finished the marathon in 4:01, very disappointed in myself.
I've taken a few days to reevaluate my race and my attitude and I decided that I enjoyed running more when I did it for pure fun. On August 2, 2007, almost 2 1/2 years ago, I walked out my front door and jogged 3 miles (my legs itched the whole way). Two days later, I went to an area park and joined the local running club. I was so nervous, but the coach told me to run with two ladies and I was in love with running from that moment on. In fact, I was so in love that I ran my first 10K, half marathon and marathon all within my first 10 months as a runner. By my second year, I was placing and winning races in my age group. Every race was a PR and I was on top of the world. But then I started having injuries, minor and major setbacks with my feet, hamstrings and then calf muscles. And when I would have a bad race I would pout and over analyze the situation, which brings me to where I am now.
My coach always told us that you are novice until you've run for 3 years. "The body needs time to strengthen and grow the proper muscle," he said. He also told me that I only do things one way - "the hard way." Now I understand what he meant. As I enter my third year as a runner, I've learned a lot about myself. I've always had an all or nothing personality and after 42 years of living I realize I'm missed out on some things because when I focus on a goal I get tunnel vision. I now know it's not the destination, but the journey is what's more important. So in my running and in my life, I’m going to have more fun. Take myself less seriously and enjoy this crazy journey called life.
All About Ben
4 years ago