Sunday, March 18, 2012

Running With People

Since a late winter storm has blown in this weekend, I cancelled my ride today.  I'm so glad I didn't even attempt it.  The winds were INCREDIBLE, 35 miles an hour with gusts up to ....all while blowing hard rain, hail and snow.

The storm wasn't supposed to hit until around 11 am or so, meaning I could participate in a 5K this morning.

Tossing all night, I thought of how I could possibly break 20 minutes.  I settled on finding someone to follow for the first mile, as the course would be heading into the wind and be exposed, and then the course would dip down into some shelter.  If I could get 6:45 on mile one, I think I'd have a chance.  Regardless, I knew I'd have to be patient on the first mile, just because of my nature of going out too fast and burning up too soon.

But when the time came to pull some pain, I had a message prepared in my mind to deal with the pain and push through it.  I had thought to myself, while tossing last night, I will push through the pain, go right through it.  I will not flinch, will not slow.  My suffering will be temporary, but many suffer endlessly without the potential of a victory or accomplishment.  There are no PR's with MD or cancer.  I will suffer through for my friend Darren who died at 33, suddenly, leaving behind two young children...for my grandfather, my nephew who has MD, for my wife who is not well.  I will bottle my worries and frustration, focusing their energies and releasing them in the race.

I may not break 20 minutes, but it will not be due to lack of focus!

Registration started at 7 am, and was 80 miles north.  We left home at 5:45, and I was up at 4:30, excited and ready to go!  As we approached the race the weather turned from windy and ugly to wet.  The temperature was dropping too.  I soon was disappointed to find out that the race was canceled!

A friend, and her husband, were registered for the race, and invited me to run with them, race or not!  So, we ran in the blowing rain that soon turned to snow.  I joined them and we ran just under four miles.  I ran with the two for the first mile and a half, finishing the first in just over 8 minutes, the second in just over 7:30.  Ready to race, and wanting to try out my focus-plan, I pushed ahead as we turned to face the wind on the last mile and a half.  My clothes were soaked, the rain stung my face as I headed directly into the wind.  I finished the third mile in 6:54.  The last of the run wasn't a full mile, but I finished it just as strong.

I waited for the other two to finish, then we went and had breakfast where we talked for over an hour.  What great fellowship!

I'll have a shot, with more time to prepare, for many 5K's in the future.  In the meantime, I ran with people each of the past two days.  That's an unusual experience for me, and one that I greatly enjoyed.

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