Patriotic facts and a sweet (and very sweaty) reminder.
Today’s post is short and sweet because the reminder I got this past weekend was just that. Short and sweet.
There’s a local 4th of July road race that my beloved little running group participates in. The crazy brain, competitive Kathleen signed up for this race a while back with hopes of crushing her time from last year. Then the realistic Kathleen remembered she was coming off an injury and accepted that it would be a “just happy to be there” kind of race.
The morning of 4th of July came and we all met up in our various patriotic outfits. It was hot and muggy, with the dark clouds of a looming storm slowly moving in. I planned on cranking a good playlist with a goal of just making it to the finish line with as little sweat as humanly possible. Much to my surprise and delight, two of my buddies offered to run alongside me and my turtle pace. I grinned as I tucked my headphones away.
We crossed the starting line and found our spot in the pack, at a pace where conversation was easy. As we chugged through the streets we laughed, we gossiped, we poked fun of each other and since it was America’s birthday after all, my friend made it a point to educate us with patriotic facts. The miles flowed into each other, almost seamlessly. After what seemed like barely minutes we were done. As we made our way to water I tried to remember the last time I had finished a race and had that much fun. I couldn’t.
It’s not that I ever want to stop pushing myself, or stop working to be a better runner, because I don’t. But this is supposed to be fun. Running IS fun. And somewhere between x-rays, dissapointing races and burn outs- I missed that memo. And these friends, these races, these are the incredible things I’ve gained in this new life. These are the take-aways. So what if I finished a minute slower than I did last year. Did I care? Not at all actually. Did I have a great time? You bet I did. And on that humid, sticky day… Well that was really all that mattered. Maybe there’s something to be said for the back of the pack, running alongside your buddies… patriotic facts and all. 🙂