To all of you who raced this weekend, all I can say is, “WOW.”
Based on my Twitter feed, Google Reader, and Facebook, this weekend was uber full of some super impressive races, PRs, and general love for running. For everyone who ran Eugene, there wasn’t a report I heard that wasn’t super inspiring and impressive, and although a big part of me wishes that I was running into Hayward yesterday morning, I know my time will come in (less than!) 6 days. All the race reports and running-love made me so so excited to race this weekend, and I just wish I didn’t have to spend 6 days in nerve-wracking anticipation.
Actually, 5 days, 20 hours, and 33 minutes, if we’re being precise which obviously I am not.
Through all the absorption and admiration going on with so many fellow lady runners out there, my race-week excitement is full speed ahead. All I’m thinking about is race strategy, time goals, Body Glide, carbs, proper bib pinning, and a dynamite playlist. All these thoughts go through my head, and then they just repeat themselves in a slightly more detailed, fleshed out version. (You know, as if I didn’t already think about running enough.) It’s a scary place to be, but all-in-all I am just feeling psyched.
I trust my training, no doubt, but at this point I’m really trying to fine-tune my mental game. I know that if there’s one thing in which I have an advantage, it’s my ability to push through the hard parts. I think it’s a combination of being super stubborn and super competitive, but whatever it is— it typically works toward my advantage when the miles get tough. It’s what gave me three sub-8 minute miles at the end of my first marathon, and it’s what I’m hoping will carry me along the hilly Tacoma course.
I can’t wait.
Well, I’m going to have to, but fortunately there are some fun things happening along the way!
For starters, my birthday is tomorrow, which is definitely fun to have on race week. Although I would like to celebrate with a long sweaty run, I’ll have to dial it back to a shorter one—but it’s all worth it in the name of proper tapering. Also, today I’ll be going to my first practice for the Girls on the Run organization, which I’m really excited for.
GOTR is a non-profit that gives elementary school girls the opportunity to train for a 5k with an older “running buddy.” Their mission states: “We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”
Good stuff, obviously something I am in full support of, and I can’t wait to meet my new 5th grade friend today 🙂
And in a completely appropriate yet unplanned transition, I want to share with you the Runner’s World quote of the day from Friday, which really spoke to me. I totally didn’t actually see that transition coming, it just worked out. Isn’t that nice? Good job coincidental blog structuring.
“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”
Now, I know that quote is dripping with Kumbaya cheesiness, but it really is true, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to join the world of running bloggers in the first place. I think it’s really easy to get consumed in our own training regimens, our own goals, and our own routines (weird I know…humans, self-consumed creatures?!). And although these levels of focus are fine, I’ve found that reaching beyond my own running schedule and learning about the lives of other runners has been one of the most enriching and inspiring aspects of this sport. It’s why I get so giddy and excited by reading race reports of bloggers that I follow: following their training schedules and their progress is so intriguing and inspiring, and it helps the rest of us step outside of our own routines.
I really love this “sharing” nature that most every runner seems to have. Almost all the runners I’ve come across, both in my real life and around the virtual-running world, are always willing to talk about running and exchange as much information as possible with other runners. It seems simplistic, of course runners love talking about running, but what I really love is just how interested and encouraging the running community can be. A lot of people in the blogging community have never even met each other in real life, and yet everyone is so excitedly amped about each other’s running reports.
And sure, strangers exchanging enthusiastic, “Kill it!”s and “So proud of you!”s throughout cyber space may seem a bit strange, but as a runner—I really think it stems from one root commonality we all share: a pure, unconditional love of this sport.
Running does something to us that cannot be matched in any other vacinity. It takes us to our happy place, the place where we can shed all the other skins and hats we wear in favor of being totally and completely ourselves. Once we discover this existential love for running, it cannot be broken, and we become completely enamored. The only outlet for this love, besides writing poetic/creepily obsessive blog posts and sending up love and praise to the run gods above, is to talk about it with other people who feel the same way.
A love for running is a tie that binds no matter who we are, and I love this about runners. I love that despite how super competitive and consumed with our own goals we become, we are almost equally willing to share enthusiasm, encouragement, and advice to all other runners out there—no matter what level they’re at.
So, with that said, all of you out there whom I have been able to share my trials and victories with surrounding this sport, I thank you so very much for your support. And those of you who have shared your journeys with me—thank you for inspiring me every single day. I have loved sharing all your miles right along with you. Blogging and reading other blogs, books, and articles by other runners has given me so much more love and respect for this sport. And the best part? I feel like it’s just the beginning.
And in case you didn’t think I woke up this morning thinking, “RACE WEEK, RACE WEEK, RACE WEEK,” let’s take a look at what I subconsciously put on to wear today:
PSYCHED. Tacoma, get ready.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go? Or, why is it you think runners perpetually geek-out over long runs, Nuun, and race numbers together?