The poetry of running

Fun runners taking part in the 2006 Bristol Ha...

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Well back in January, I started training for a marathon.  No I’m not one of those crazy runners who are just addicted and wear the skinny leggings… but I’m on my way.  I have tried several times over the past 2 years to train and run a distance run.  First a 5K, then a half marathon, then I spent a year with injuries.  Now I’m going whole hog and training for a full.  But I’m not alone in this.  I’ve signed up with Team In Training to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I watched my mother train for 2 marathons that she completed so I know it can be done.

The question now is will I be able to survive all of this.  Yesterday for a good part of my run, I thought I might have to give it up.  Muscles were hurting in places I didn’t know could hurt.  My body felt like absolute lead.  But then I got in the last 2 miles, back in a neighborhood, all by myself.  Now this is not because I’m an awesome runner.  Far from it, in fact.  I’m running in intervals of 3 and 3.  So I run for 3 minutes and walk for 3 minutes.  I keep an okay pace, but not great and Saturday it was way off.  I’m also usually the only one in my group training for the Full so in the next few weeks I’ll be running about 2 miles further than they will.
English: Mailboxes in Italy Italiano: Cassette...

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So here I was with only 2 people behind me and 2 miles to go, hating my body.  And then something happened… Yeah not a runners high so much as an odd epiphany.  I realized why I was so miserable.  I had stopped listening to my music it was now just noise in my ear.  I was looking at trees and mailboxes as goalposts to stop running at.  My muscles were aching but I hadn’t noticed how even my breathing had become or that my legs just kept pulling me along.  I was missing the point of running and more importantly the point of doing this with Team in Training.

So I changed my playlist, and found a salsa mix to give me a real rhythm to run to.  I focused on the beat of my feet hitting the pavement.  I looked at the yards and the houses and the gardens.  Most importantly, I thought about my grandfather and my grandmother who I am running for.  And then I thought about our mission moment and the family waiting at Duke to hear about their child.  And suddenly I didn’t hurt anymore, and I ran longer, and I breathed better.
See I think Team in Training is about more than getting in shape to run a marathon.  It’s about giving purpose to your endeavor.  There are lots of running groups out there, but here is one that inspires your soul.
To donate to the cause please visit my fundraising website at http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/rnr12/suebaby
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