The day after Thanksgiving seems a good time to write about post about all of the running things that make me thankful. Not surprisingly – especially to my fellow runners – I have a lot for which I am thankful.
1. The act of running. One popular running t-shirt says, “My sport is your sport’s punishment.” And it’s true. As a gymnast, a soccer player, lacrosse player, etc. running laps was a punishment for poor performance, so when, and how, did I get to the point where running is what I do for recreation? Probably the key moment was starting my first race back to 2011 but there are frequent key moments. And running is now a reward.
2. The running community. There is no doubt that there are certain runners who feel that slower runners, especially “Gallo-walkers” like myself, somehow diminish the Marathon. Luckily most runners, fast or slow, are part of an incredibly welcoming a supportive group. I consider myself to be blessed to be included in this community.
3. The solitude. I am a social creature by nature but there is something positively spiritual about getting up at 4am on a cold, dark morning and starting a long run while the rest of the world sleeps.
4. The adrenaline rush. I remember standing in the starting corral before my Tower of Terror 10 miler in late September. It was hot and crowded even at 10pm. The DJ was pumping out tunes to get us psyched. I turned to the person next to me and said, “I always forget how much I love this!”. The excitement and anticipation of starting a distance race is just incredible. There’s so much energy ready to burst out.
5. The test. Each long run and each distance race is a test. It’s a test of mind over body. A test of how well you’ve trained. A test of what exactly you’re made of that day. And most of the time I have found that I more than pass the test.
6. The bling. I love my race medals. I’ve been known to wear them for days after finishing a race. But it’s what the medal symbolizes that really matters. Knowing you’ve giving what you have to give and conquered that course.
7. The gear. I love running clothes. And running shoes. And especially running costumes (thank you Sparkle Skirts – I’m now coveting the Wonder Woman one…). I love buying running gear and wearing it. And obsessing over race day temperatures so I can obsess over outfits. You get the picture…
8. The technology. I have 2 pieces of running technology that get me through almost every run. One cost about $20 and the other over $300. My Galloway run-walk-run interval timer was a bargain at $20. It’s lasted 2+ years and hundreds of miles. I can set whatever run-walk interval and easily change it mid-run. The other item is my Garmin 610. It’s a GPS watch that measures distance and pace and is completely awesome!
9. The coaching. Or, in my case, ecoaching. I love having a coach to talk to every week. Ecoaching has been an amazing investment with great results. I love it and will do it again!
10. The example. I’m very thankful for the example that running sets for my family. I hope that I inspire them to stay active and find their own way.