Happy Day to all you nuts out there who consider peeling off your sweaty clothes before a well-earned shower to be the indicator of a good day. To all those who get ‘twitchy’ if they don’t make it out for a trot. To all those who understand that one of the most powerful happiness cocktails is a combination of endorphins and some time to yourself to think, pray, listen to music, talk with a friend, etc while you’re moving.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow, young or old, big or little. Running is efficiency in its purest form.
I think my Runner Pup knew that she was missing out on National Running Day today. Normally my early run partner, she got left home because I went out extra early with a human friend. Apparently she woke the house with her crying well before 6am, and then she crawled under the bed and stayed there until I got home, well after 6am. Poor Runner Pup. (Guilty mom.)
Last Saturday, I raced a local 10K that’s known to be relatively flat (read: deceptively hilly) and that regularly attracts some of the most serious runners in town because it’s wide, shaded, and competitive. No prize money, a not-so-great cotton shirt that went right into my daughter’s drawer, but a small medal, a picture with someone dressed like a possum (why wouldn’t that be fun?), the knowledge that you supported a good local cause and a shot at a PR. I will admit – I wanted that time goal hit (and squeaked in 5 seconds under my target) but didn’t go in with any anticipation of a podium because I knew what the winners had done in years’ past. How freeing to race for fun! Just to enjoy the beautiful morning and the energy of the crowd. I will admit to checking my watch at the splits but focused on finding a content pace. When all was said and done, I’d missed a first place AG by 20 seconds, which chaps my hide a little, but good for the gal who made that happen!
I saw others who got worked up by the thought of the competition and the pressure of training put to the test. My wish on this greatest of runners’ holidays is that joy will overtake pressure. Remember, until some company is paying you and putting their stuff on your feet, you’re only running for you.
(That said, if you want to run for someone else, please check out Charity Miles – it’s the best way ever to do something extra good with your healthy hobby.)