Monday, November 9, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Yesterday was one of those days I'll remember for a long time. I ran my second 10k race.

And it felt really good!

And it was

I started the race near the end of the large pack of runners and I struggled to find a nice, clear spot where I wasn't constantly on people's heels. The urge to pass anyone and everyone was strong.

Run your own race, I repeated over and over again. It will clear out. Don't wear yourself out.

I turned back to look for Karen and Heidi and Anita and Vanda and Martha, but all I saw were faceless people charging behind me.

So I pushed ahead. I saw Dennis and Mark about 20 yards in front of me. I kept my eye on them. I imagined myself catching up to them and I did and but never did I dream of eventually passing and ultimately finishing several minutes ahead of them.

I loved the little kids at the water stops. They'd lean way out.. their arms stretched out as far as they could extend them holding up small paper cups of water. I worried for a really quick second who's little hands would I accept the water from! I didn't want any of them to feel left out. But it happened so quickly and in one swoosh, I grabbed the cup, said
Thaaank Yooou! and gulped it down .. mostly missing my mouth and drenching my shirt instead... as I continued on.

"You can do it!!" someone would shout. "You're looking strong!!" someone else would call out. Others stood clapping or slapping high-fives. I especially loved seeing my running coaches standing there calling out our names and cheering us on and really meaning it.

I found myself pushing harder and running faster.

Before I knew it and seemingly quite suddenly I was at the 5th mile post and I knew then, that nothing was going to stop me now. By now I was working on a breathing rhythm so I wouldn't become too breathless and I picked up my pace. Within a few minutes, I started hearing the cheers from the crowds at the finish line which
really got my adrenaline going.

As I got close to the finish.... I instantly recognized my mom and Lloyd and
Kelly and Matt in the sea of faces cheering me on. My mom carrying a small bouquet of sunflowers to hand me at the finish line. It was such an incredibly emotional experience seeing them standing there waiting for me to turn the corner and run for the finish line.

Six months ago, I never dreamed I would be running 6.2 miles in a race. And paying money to do it! ha!

I am still not in a place to tell you I enjoy running because I do not. But I certainly love the feeling afterward.

I am overall happy with my run. I ran it in 61 minutes though I made a mental note and goal to run it in under an hour.

And now I know I could have. If ONLY I watched the clock and kept track of my time! And next time I will do that. I still have a lot to learn.

So what was the other lesson learned this time out? I learned that whether in running or in life, it doesn't matter how fast I go out or how careful I am to save some for the end .... what it all boils down to ... is that I simply get out there and give it my best shot and run to the finish and never give up until I reach my goal.

We're all running in this life. We all feel the push at various times.

What run are you learning to run?

Maybe it's not long distance, but maybe, instead, you're putting off cleaning out your garage and getting rid of clutter you've held on to for a long time. Or maybe you've slowed down in your search for a job thinking you'll just wait to look when the economy picks up.

Whatever that is that keeps you from reaching your goal because it's uncomfortable or tiresome or doesn't feel good... my hope for you is that you keep running.

Focus on the goal and don't give up until you reach it. It'll stretch you and it'll hurt sometime and other times you just won't feel like doing it... but you can accomplish anything if you want it badly enough.

I so believe that.

And. I so believe in you.

Me, Karen and Heidi after the race


erin said...

congrats on a great race! keep it up!

Dan Guerra said...

What a great blog Shawn! It's so well written I feel like I just ran it! whew! I'm pooped! Congratulations on running a great race, and a great message too, just keep runnin'!

doodlegirl said...

Thanks Erin!!! I just visited your blog and see you're a runner, too!!! That's great!

Sorry I pooped you out, Dan! ha! I missed seeing you there at the finish line!

Bren said...

Im so proud of you! I remember when you set this goal and here you are attaining it. WAY TO GO SHAWN.

doodlegirl said...

Thank YOU Bren! Now for me to attain my creative goals. "i can do it. i can do it. i can do it. i can do it." I keep whispering those words to myself.