You pull up to the race. All you see are swarms of people, runners, and you are reminded why you gave yourself 2 hours to find parking, use the restroom, warm up, and ultimately get as close to the starting line as possible. Now you just have to figure out how you will park, what restroom line you will attempt to shuffle through, and what strategy you will use to get yourself up to the front of the start line.
Wait, so why do we do this? Why do we spend months, weeks, hours and many many seconds preparing for these moments? The answer is simple, we do it for the finish. It’s one of those moments, wait let me try and come up with a similar experience that I believe some of you, no make that, many of you will be able to relate to. You know when you go out drinking and you have a great time, but perhaps you drink a bit too much. The next day you wake up and you say to yourself, “wow I am NEVER drinking like that again!” So Saturday rolls around and what happens? You do it ALL over again, and why? because the fun the night before is in the end worth the awful hangover.
Now in running there is a similar process. We show up to the run, we fight the crowds to park, pee and to be honest poop and poop again Runners you SOOOO know what I am talking about here. We then shimmy our way to as close to the start as we can get. We are stressed, we are nervous and we do it anyway, but why? Because we live for those oh so big life changing moments that running provides. Our first 5k, our first 10k, our first PR and any and all other firsts that we might have.
This past weekend I was able to witness many of these BIG running moments and I was quickly reminded why I run, why I coach running, and why I love and live for all things related to running. I looked around at the start of the race and I saw many stressed out faces, nervous ticks and deep breathing. During the race I saw many high fives, many encouraging signs and many runner’s nods :). Then the finish, oh how I love and live for the finish line. I saw tears of joy, embraces, smiles, leaps of joy, yes actually jumps off the the ground by those I don’t ususally see jump and wide eyed runners saying “oh my gawd, I cannot believe I just did that!” I stood there at the finish and I just looked around. I just watched the beauty. I took pictures with those who were so thankful and proud and I smiled bigger than I have ever smiled because I felt so unbelieveably happy for them. I felt so incredibly lucky to have the role that I have in my life, the role of coach. I will never ever do ANYTHING else and I owe it all to the runner’s that I have in my life.
This is my thank you letter to all of you. All of you that run, that get out there and enter these running events. All of you that have these big life changing moments because you did it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing these moments with me.
All the best in your running adventures until the next race,