“Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.” – Jesse Owens

When the race is over, it’s what you truly have after all is said and done.  And I’m not just talking about all the goodies like Gatorade, donuts, Powerbars, and bagels.  Or the t-shirts.  Or the medals.

The food is gone by the end of the day.  Whether the race is short or lengthy, I refuel like I haven’t eaten in days.

The t-shirt goes in a pile in my closet along with t-shirts past.  But are friends, our supporters, are always around.  Always there.  Always fresh.  Gathering no dust.

When I think about it my awards, they  are out of sight.  I have a finisher medal, third place in age division medals, and a Santa bobble head trophy.  The finisher medal is in my daughter’s toy box (I think, well at least that is the last place I saw it).  The age division medals are most likely in the bureau in my bedroom.  And the Santa bobble head is packed away with out Christmas lights and ornaments.

My husband’s are in similar places.  His trophies are in our closet.  And his medals are buried with mine.  Some of those trophies are for first place and some of those medals are for second or third.

During these races, we’ve had friends and family on the sidelines.  Or someone literally by our side.

My husband’s first, and only marathon, was with his college friends in Rhode Island.  26.2 miles of dust free friendship.

I’ve begun many a race with my friends at the start and waited for them at the finish.  There’s no dust there.

Food is eaten, t-shirts are lost in a pile, and medals and trophies are forgotten.

“Different strokes for different folks.” – said by many

I know this may come as a shocker, but not ever one loves to run.  At the gym, there is a girl I see every now and then that sports a shirt that says “I hate running.”  I’ve never seen her on the treadmill.  I’m guessing the shirt is probably not ironic.

Have you ever seen or heard these words?

If you see me running, you should run too.  Something is probably chasing me.

“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
– Erma Bombeck

“I go running when I have to. When the ice cream truck is doing sixty.”
– Wendy Liebman

Running is not for everyone, and that’s OK.  A majority of my friends, in fact, don’t run.  I have a small circle of friends that do.  The ones that don’t either don’t work out at all, walk, ride the bike, or find another way to stay fit.    My parents are incredibly active.  They hit at least 10,000 steps a day.  But no running for them.

Running is a way, but it’s not the only way.  It’s my way.  It might be yours.  It might not be.

“Slow and steady wins the race.” – Robert Lloyd

June 1, 2014

The girls have pinned their numbers to their shirts.  Their numbers, like all the other kids, say 1.  In a just a few minutes the Fun Run will begin.  This course is non-competitive event for the kids. The proceeds will go to a charity (a Foundation to tribute a child who loved to run) and all the children will receive finisher medals. The children ages 5 and under will go first.  And my two daughters are 5 and 3.

My husband and I get them settled at the start and then head to the sidelines.

And they’re off.  Our oldest becomes a blur in the crowd.  But our youngest.  Our youngest stands out in the crowd.  She is in last place.  Running as fast as her little body can go, like the tortoise.  Standing out even more like a tortoise  in her bring green sweatshirt.

We watch as she is yards behind the rest.

We watch.

We watch.

The next thing I know, my husband is sprinting towards her.  He starts to run by her side.  Although she is far from my by now, I can see her face glow.  They are at the half way mark.

By now, my oldest has crossed the finish line.  She doesn’t even see me.  She and one of her best buddies have completed the feat together and are staring at their medals.  They are on cloud 9.

Finally, my husband and other daughter finish.  They finish together.  I couldn’t ask for a better finish.  Even though there were no winners, they really did win the race.

“Keep it Simple.” Words of wisdom often heard

Today my Internet is down.  I am writing this entire post on my iPhone with the help of Siri.   The screen has already quit out on me once. I always find it easier to type my words.  Saying them out loud like I’m doing right now always makes me feel tongue-tied.  So I’m keeping it simple.

When I run,  I need very little.  Shoes. Pants. Undergarments. Shirt.  I keep it simple.

Each move is so fluid back and forth back and forth.  And of course those moves are faster depending on the pace.  It’s kept simple.

Easy-to-follow routes. Routes that I know. Trails that I run. Repetetive circles and figure eights and other shapes to get me back to point A.  Simple.

I run. And it’s that simple.

“Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. And all the things you do.” – Coldplay

Making running mixes is hard.  I have started running out of ideas.  Some of my favorite songs have now been overplayed on my ipod. I have my oldies but goodies, but I am open to suggestions. And there is nothing like a song suggested by a fellow runner.

Yesterday, TBird commented on one of my posts.  She suggested the song Yellow by Coldplay for my uphill runs (and as I’ve mentioned before there are a lot of them).  This song is slow and steady.  Just what I need for an uphill.

I love the lines: “Look at the stars.  Look how they shine for you.  And all the things you do.”  When we think of the stars, for most of us, the first thing that comes to mind is evening.  The first star.  Shooting stars.  Constellations.  Now I’m not a night runner.  I lack coordination during the day.  I doubt I would look good in a headlamp.  There’s overall safety issues if you ask me.

But, what about the sun.

When I run, I need to think of the sun shining for me.  Rooting me on.  My own personal cheerleader.  Telling me… you can do it!  When I’m not running and I can’t see that amazing star, she’s still there – even though I can’t see her rooting for me.  Cheering me on in all the things I do.

But, what about our fellow runners.  Our fellow runners are stars.  Super stars.  Shining in their sport.

When I run, I need to think of my fellow runners and how they shine.  Like the sun, they too are rooting me on, supporting me.  My fellow bloggers commenting on my posts, texts back and forth with my running friends, conversations about our runs…all saying you can do it.  When I’m not running and I can’t see those amazing stars, they still there – even though I can’t see them rooting for me.  Cheering me on in all the things I do.

“Look at the stars.  Look how they shine for you.  And all the things you do.”

“Like a bolt out of the blue. Suddenly, it comes to you. When you wish upon a star.” – Disney

My friend wasn’t always a runner.  I remember her telling me the story of how she decided to run.  I believe it may have been her teacher appreciation week a few years ago.  At her school, teachers came in to surprises during that week.  One morning, her room parents had decorated her door… with running shoes.  They had gotten the idea that she was a runner.  She wasn’t.  Not at the time.  She thought to herself, maybe I should be.  It seems everyone thought she was.  Bam… she became one.

She ran in her neighborhood.  She had become a runner.

She ran a bunch of 5Ks including one that ended in pizza and beer.  Mmmmm pizza.  She had become a runner.

She ran after Cross Fit workouts. How she still had the strength, I have no idea.   She had become a runner.

She ran the Hartford half marathon.  This is long before I could even fathom such a challenge.  She had become a runner.

Then, she tried to convince me to run a half marathon.  I was completely opposed.  Just because I had become a runner too, I didn’t mean I was crazy.  (I guess I’m crazy now).  One beautiful spring day, with our husbands and kids at her house, my friend and I ran one of the challenging parts of the half marathon route, which also happened to be in er neighborhood.  It took us up hill and down by the marina.  We felt like we were on vacation rather than being tortured.  It was just so breathtaking.  Our pace was great.  She had become a runner.  And I was catching up to her.

It still took her some time, but eventually I caved.  I signed up for the half marathon.  It was her that convinced me to run that half marathon.  She had become a runner.  I had too.  And she made me a better one and that at.

When we ran that practice route, we had felt like we were on vacation.  Not too long after the half marathon, we met up on vacation.  It was a good thing we had become runners… it takes a runners energy to make it through Disney World – but that’s a whole other story…

She had become a runner.  I had become a runner.  We had become runners.

“I’m walking on sunshine. And it’s starting to feel good, hey.” – Kimberly Rew

Today I discovered speed walking is a general term that people use when describing walking fast.  Who knew?  Additionally, I learned that there are three (that’s right, three) different types of styles and techniques*:

1.  Olympic Style Race-Walking

2.  Power Walking

2.  Fast Walking

First, I’m no Olympian… so number one does not apply to me at all.  Sad face.  Power walking involves a lot of arm motion.  That’s not me.  Oh well.  So… apparently, I am basically a fast walker walker (when I walk), which is what I did today.  No running this morning, just a speedy walk.  2.5 miles at a 13 minute pace.

I tried my hardest to keep good posture and move my arms (but not as much as a power walker – see above).

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

“I’m walking on sunshine. And it’s starting to feel good, hey.”

* to find out more, go to http://walking.about.com/od/powerwalking/a/speedwalking.htm