I thought running would be something my husband and I could do together. He was a runner in high school, but hadn’t run in many, many years. About 10 years ago he became serious about it again. I really didn’t get with the program until maybe three years ago, totally out of shape and barely able to run a block. Little by little I kept chipping away at it. I would give myself little goals that seemed achievable at the time to not discourage myself. I’m just going to run to that mailbox. OK, made the mailbox. You can only walk to that tree and then you start running again. Or, if I was at my athletic club, which has an inside track, I’d walk one lap, run one lap, until I was eventually “slogging” (slow jogging) a mile at a time.
Another fun aspect of finishing the races is the physical reward that you get with your paid registration. Some races offer a nice tech t-shirt, others a less exciting cotton one. Oh, and by the way, the proper shirt etiquette is to NEVER wear the shirt that you received for a race for that race. Most races always offer some sort of liquid refreshment too. Most popular is beer, but we’ve even gotten mojitos before. It is a treat after the race to relax for a minute and compare notes with your running buddies. I am always thankful for my friends who are waiting for me at the finish line, cheering me on and taking pictures. Even though they’ve finished long before me, they make me feel as if I came in first place.
I have come so far. I am proud of my accomplishments. I save all of my race bibs and write my time down. I see improvements, albeit small most of the time, but improvements just the same. I am also proud of my friends whom I’ve dragged along into this crazy business. Most of them are walkers but at least they are taking the first step! Maybe eventually they’ll venture out of their comfort zone and try this running thing too. Knowing that I might be an encouragement to them is a great feeling and motivation for me to keep doing this. The thing about doing something together with my husband, well, that didn’t work out so well for me. I’ve found new connections and motivation through running, but even though it is a community, ultimately, each runner has to decide to do it for their self.
Check out Tracy's full profile and links to her other posts on our Contributors page.
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