Saturday, March 24, 2012

What I’ve learned over 12 years running…

What I’ve learned over 12 years running…

12 years ago, I never would have guessed that I would still be running.  I never would have guessed that running would be a major part of my life.  And after 9K miles, I never would have  guessed that right prior to going out on a run; I would still get psyched up.  But what has running taught me?

Running Community: Although not an outgoing person by rule, I have found the running community to be every open and welcoming. For most of the races I normally run alone, yet I've always found a smile or help if I needed to find the location of packet pick up or the port-a-potty lines.  Runners are a fun bunch, each runner aware of the struggles of running great distances.  And with the growth of Facebook and Twitter, the running community is wide open.  I have found great fellowship and support from runners all over the world.  And I’ve even been able to meet up with few of my on line friends at the races.

The First Mile:  Even thou I’ve run races at various lengths, including the marathon and a few Ultras…I’ve found that the first mile of any run is a challenge.  I’ve asked myself a number of times “I’ve run 26.2 miles…why is this first mile so hard.”  But as Newton’s (Isaac) first law of motion states, “a body at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by another force.”  Even thou I truly love to run, by body wants and tends to stay at rest until acted upon and it takes that first mile to get the bugs worked out. 

The Races:  The training, the open roads and the long hours banging away at the asphalt are only there to prepare me for the race.  Now I use the term race loosely, I’ve only placed in the top 3 once and I’ve never been a threat to win the race. If truth be told I’m only racing myself.  But the excitement of the race is what running is all about for me.  I love the energy, I love the vibe, and I love the starting line; a community develops as a pack of runners all challenge the course, the distance, the environment and themselves.

And the time to reflect:  Running is also a time where my mind and body can decompress from the world.  Lost in the foot strike I can refocus my thoughts, my energy and my spirit.  Myself, I find this is a great time of prayer and worship to my God, Jesus.  When I miss a run, my body missed the workout but my mind/soul misses the reflection and time with our creator.

Whatever the run is to you…you will find that if you stick with it long enough, YOU will learn something about yourself. 

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