The other day I briefly mentioned using other races (5k, 10k, 1/2s, etc.) to train for the big day (26.2!).
Today, I did just that! It was quite a gloomy, foggy morning… and it was hard getting up. This race is Ohio’s oldest marathon/half marathon but it is small and it is local. It’s nothing spectacular or grandiose. The packet pickup yesterday had no booths other than the booth to pickup your bib and shirt. The cookies at the end were homemade (and I may or may not have taken 6 or so…) and most of the runners are local.
So what makes this race unspectacular also makes it exciting and great! It’s just harder to wake up for that kind of race than say, the Chicago.
But I did. I drove through the fog and then waited in line for a bathroom which I never ended up using.
At the sound of the gun and the start of the race, I got a little emotional. I remembered my love for running. I know that sounds weird – that I remembered – but that’s how it felt. It was almost as if I had forgotten the joy that can be found in pounding the pavement with hundreds of others all striving towards the same goal.
Just like in life, there are times when people pass you and you may get discouraged. Why is she able to run faster (why is she getting to take that vacation, have that experience, do that thing, etc.)? Why does he look so relaxed running up this hill (why does he get that promotion, move up in the company so quickly, etc.). My biggest battle in keeping the joy in a race is, hands down, not letting the people pass me discourage me. I am reminding myself the entire race to do my personal best – not the best of that girl passing me.
This race was a perfect reminder of my love/dislike relationship with running. I always am thankful for a good run, but I think with how often (almost always) I run by myself, I forget the community that surrounds races like these.
Again – another metaphor for the race of life. Community is so, so very important. Just like when running alone, I get discouraged much quicker in life when I’m alone. It’s easier to give up. It’s easier to stop trying. But when you’re running life together with others, they pull you up. They keep you moving. It really is beautiful.
Life is one whole metaphor. My best friend Jess and I discuss the “life is a metaphor” theory all the time. They are everywhere. Jesus in the new testament used parables to teach his disciples and others lessons about life. Metaphors are like parables. Dictionary.com defines the two as such:
Metaphor: 1.a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance; or 2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.
Parable: 1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach sometruth, religious principle, or moral lesson; or 2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
Running is a metaphor for life. Don’t let yourself miss out on the lessons that are waiting to be learned as you run! They are invaluable and give running a deeper meaning than lookin’ dang good!
Anyway. Use smaller races to train for the big day and remember why you run.
Why do you run?
And, just as a side note – I beat my PR by about 6 minutes today!