Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finishing is Winning

I keep thinking about doing my best, being fast, and winning races. There is a distant image of perfection of who I could have been in my mind's eye (Which, probably needs to be poked out.) Ah - if I had only chosen this path to fitness long ago.

There are so many things I could have been. Well, maybe not a Kenyan, but a lot of things.

When we were a kids, we dreamed of being astronauts, doctors, fireman and cowboys. Later on it was rock musicians and sports greats. In first grade I wanted to be married to the girl next door, but she fell in love with Tomas up the street. 

My regular readers are probably well aware, I didn't become any of those things. Well. I did get married, but not to the girl next door. Actually by 4th grade I think she had cooties which made her yucky!

If I had to do it all over again, I would have started running way back then. My friend Tom says that you can achieve the same results in about 2 to 3 years as you would have with a lifetime of running. I don't know.

Sunday I did the pastor a favor and skipped church to run a 10K race. He hates when I stand on the pews any way.

It was in the region known as the Worcester Hills, about an hour from Boston. Guess what? They have HILLS there; lots of them. From 30,000 feet it looks like a topless beach in the French Riviera.

As I look back over the last 2 years, I have come a long way in my running performance. My first 5K, the graduation of C25K took me 31:42. My best 5K time was 7 months later and was 25:08. That's 2 minutes per mile faster. About 10 minutes per mile, down to a pace of 8. You can convert to miles or kilometers HERE. 

Runners use pace as a standard comparison - well, that and brightly colored shoes.

My 10K times have fallen from 1:05:37 last fall to 59:08 on Sunday. I have only done one half marathon and the next one is going to be under 2 hours! I have another one planned in August, and 2 more in September. 

Maybe my friend Tom is right, in another year I will reach my running destiny and achieve my top speed and performance.

Honestly, I don't really care. I love to run, not for the competition, but for the heart and for the head. In the fall I am shooting for my first marathon. I just want to finish - to say I did it. And then we'll see what I do next.

I have already applied for a spot in the Boston Marathon and I am waiting to hear back. Why? Because finishing, for me, is winning.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I appreciate the comments!

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