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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Race for....

There is a 10-mile running race in St. John's, NL, called the Tely 10.  It started in 1922.  It's one of the oldest races in North America and has grown from around a dozen participants to nearly 3000 last year.  I've run the race three times and am training for my fourth.

Training.  Ha!  So I've dabbled in running since I was 18, never quite making it to an official 'runner'.  In my 20s, I could run fast.  Now, I'm very slow, but manage longer distances.... sometimes.  I haven't run over 10k in over two years.  Yesterday, I ran 11k.  It felt great, and I still have 5k left to go.  I started my 'training' a little over a week ago, running a mere 7.5k and wondering how on earth I was going to ramp it up to 16k in 4 weeks.

Well, I found the answer.

Yes, you have to get the miles in.  Yes, you have to be consistent.  Yes, you need to push yourself. You need to commit.  But underneath all of this is motivation.  Some people are motivated by getting more fit.  Some are motivated by competition - getting faster, winning the race, beating their spouse.  For me, these are short-term motivators.  I have a marathon on my vision board, but I need that underlying motivation.

Yesterday, as I ran, I passed a little girl who was walking with a lady that was likely her mom.  She was around 7 years old.  She wore a pretty floral baseball cap over her bald head.  When I passed, I glanced at her (which I rarely do when I'm running) and her eyes were sunken with dark circles... but a light shone from them because she was obviously happy to be outside in the sun walking with her mom and enjoying the simplicity and beauty of life.  She looked like a chemo patient.  And I thought about how lucky I am to have my health and the ability to run.  So many people around me have the dreaded C disease or other ailments.  I felt a surge of power and inspiration from this little girl who probably hardly noticed me pass.  And I somehow ran past the 60 minute mark... past the 10k mark.... making it home feeling good.

I'm not saying my heart didn't pound at times, my muscles didn't burn, and it wasn't hard.  It will be tough for me to run 16k in a couple of weeks.  But I have my motivation.  My health.  My ability.  My life.  My family.  That little girl.