I truly think this is one of those questions commonly found within the grey matter of every runner on the planet. I even wrote an entire post about it for the Team #runDisney blog (http://www.teamrundisney.com/2013/10/ever-have-one-of-those-moments.html). What makes us runners do the things to our bodies that we do? In my case, it’s definitely not for any kind of award, other than the gorgeous race bling given to all finishers at Disney races. Is it for the excuse to pig out on something like this?
Or is it simply to be able to say you’ve accomplished something that not many others can say they have? (Contrary to what you may see at any given Disney event). After a less than stellar result at this past weekend’s WDW Half (at least to me), this ever-present question surfaced a multitude of times throughout the 13.1 mile journey, thanks in no small part, to a lot, and I mean A LOT of this.
I did finish in what I think to many could be considered a semi-respectable time. Not respectable in my little corner of the world, but this is a demon I fight with at the end of every race. How many of us go through a mental self-beatdown during our 10 minute post-race pity party? What could I have done differently? Should I have stopped to stretch more often? Should I have done more cross-training prior to race day? Should I have eaten something different, more, earlier/later, than I did? I’m sure we can all agree that even though the questions may be different, the point is still the same. What could we have done to finish faster?
As I drain my brain of a few of the dollars that have been whipping around my noggin since this weekend, let me try to put some perspective out there into the universe. Painful or not, I was able to walk, run, and limp my way though 13.1 miles – something that how many of our military, police, and firefighters can no longer do? How many physically challenged people wish they could take even one step, let alone run just one of those miles? What would someone give, just to have the opportunity to say they ran in honor or in memory of someone they love? As these thoughts circle my brain, I can feel only thankful that my body hasn’t quit on me yet.
So until the day comes that I can no longer put one foot in front of the other, I will lace up my shoes, step out my door, and be grateful for this amazing gift of health. As you head out for your run, walk, yoga class, or whatever avenue you travel to challenge your body, take just a moment and think of those who cannot. I guarantee you, perspective will take on a whole new meaning.
Enjoy the ride.
What random thoughts pop into your head before/during/after a race?