We'd also like remind everyone about Noelle's Run (Saturday, October 4th) and Mo' Run Sarnia (Sunday, Movember 23rd). Run....volunteer....contribute....whatever works for you....but be a part of these great events!
One of the biggest challenges in writing this blog is to come up with something new each time, so I thought I'd try something different this week.....with the hope that it will give each one of YOU something to think about as you prepare for your races.....or work on becoming better runners.
I asked myself a very simple question: What do I like about running?
Without wanting to sound anti-social, I'd like to say that camaraderie is first and foremost, but to be honest, that isn't my #1. It may sound very boring, but I like running because it gets me outdoors. There is nothing quite like being out on a morning run, on a cool clear day, with the sun shining. I've run through Canatara a few times like that, and seeing the sun coming up over a light fog on Lake Chipican as you head toward the entrance to the park, is nothing short of magical. On the flip side, going out on days like in this photo - yes that's a blizzard (taken many years ago in my RR days) is NOT fun. The rewarding part about going out on a run like this is the satisfaction of facing the challenge of what Mother Nature throws at you, and succeeding. And the second part of what's rewarding about doing this leads to #2.
And that's camaraderie. Although it was several years ago, I can still remember finishing the run in that photo and high fiving the other runners on a job well done, sharing our accomplishment.....we beat Mother Nature that day! Over the years I've run with many different groups, and gotten to know many great people.....we've shared runs on beautiful days.....runs on awful days.....hard speedwork sessions.....and the list goes on and on. The memories of many of those times are still vivid, and will always be pretty special.
I like watching gifted runners. On more than one occasion, I've been running through Canatara Park at Christmas, and seen runners in the distance.....the first thing that struck me was their form.....their running was light, and effortless, and they seemed to float over the ground. Not surprisingly, as we approached, those runners turned out to be the likes of Hilary Stellingwerf, or perhaps Amy or Alison Kohlmeir, home for the Christmas holidays (for those who don't know those names, they're top runners from Sarnia who've competed at the national or world level). Seeing their form and effortless running always inspired me to work harder to improve.
Now # 4: Seeing, reading about and racing against determined runners, always inspires me. The photo below is from the recent Philadelphia Half Marathon, where Deena Kastor set a new master's women's record. Look at her face......the look in her eyes.....you can feel that focus and determination.....
That's clearly the approach that champions use, and something that all of us, in our own way, can emulate.
This list could go on and on but I'd like to throw one more in. This may sound a bit hokey but running makes me a better person ... in lots of different ways. It definitely keeps me healthy....I truly feel that anyone who embarks on a running program will see spin off effects in other areas of their lives: their diet, sleeping habits.etc.. Overcoming challenges in running helps to deal with the inevitable challenges that we face in other areas of our lives.....it's the old 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' argument. A bit masochistic for some people perhaps, but like many of these sayings, there's definitely some truth to it.
So these are a few things I like about running. How about you? Think about it.....make a mental list of those things...and then USE that list when you need it.....when it seems that you're too busy, or too tired to go out for a run.....or perhaps at the end of a long run when it seems like walking is the only thing to do.....or like Deena, when you're in the later stage of a race, and you just refuse to give up!
Enjoy running in YOUR way.....and enjoy your week!