There is meaning in even the smallest things. You make what meaning is in your own life.
For me running is a way to enhance all the other aspects of my life. You feel more alive due to the fact that you are using more of yourself. This included the heart, lungs, legs but most importantly the brain. Without the right mindset it would be impossible to enjoy running.
Putting one foot in front of the other is a simple yet complex thing. The complex thing is further enhanced when you are running with others as I choose to do every year. One of these traditional foot races I sign up for every year is the hamptons marathon.
So it all began when the angry alarm went off at 4:30 AM. My poor cat didn’t know what hit him given the fact that the race alarm I have is some loud, hard rock music to get me going before the race. Not that I need it. The night before I was rushing around getting everything ready so sleep didn’t come easy. I was excited of what the day would bring. I left the meeting early so I could try and get myself in order for tomorrow. I made my traditional brown rice pasta and tried to get all my racing stuff together. Basically I ate everything in sight, was anxious and wondered around my apartment like a chicken with its head cut off.
My mom was up even before I went to go get her. She was my ride which was very nice to have a company. The ride went smoothly…well not the actual ride. The xterra is a tank after all. Everything else went smoothly and we arrived early enough to park on the side street by the little Corner park, just like the year before.
After we got my race bib and shwag, my mom volunteered while I went back to the car to get ready physically and mentally. I always like to read a little before my races. Seems to help with the pre-race anxiety/excitement.
Before the real excitement actually started I wandered around and took in my surroundings. Best thing was that the crickets were chirping, I love the fall. This fall the crickets have been so loud and numerous which is a real pleasure the year.
So September 27, 2014 at 8 AM the race started. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened on the 13.1 miles. Too short for anything substantial to happen😉. I did the frequent marking of my territory like I always do. Blame it on too much coffee and water. The only real nutrition I took in was a vanilla gu around mile 7.5. Toward the end of the race the sun was out and it was getting hot. That was around mile 10 in which I also decided to kick it up little by little to the finish. I really wish I would have worn my heart rate monitor cause it has been a while since I ran with that much effort. Racing forces you to do that. It feels so good putting some effort into running. Hopefully I’ll get back into intervals on the track this winter without getting hurt. I have discovered I really love structure in my training. Track work and swimming laps are two types of workouts/play I really love cause there is structure to them. By structure I mean consistent and measurable. I’m a numbers guy so having set measurements is something I live by.
Speaking of numbers here are the stats from the race
Div Total: 42/110
Sex Total: 202/534
Net time: 1:53:37 (8:40 pace)
Gun time: 1:54:39 (8:45 pace)
All in all it was a very great day. I did get a little dehydrated after my post race latte, but besides that all was good. Still got the post race depression which is a common thing with runners. Once it’s over the thing you looked forward too is no more. Guess this is why women have more than one kid. I forgot all the good chemicals running produces when you give it some effort.
One important thing that came to mind as the endorphins were flowing during the race was to shut up on being negative on yourself and ALLOW yourself to just be who you are. Everyone worries about what others think of them. Whereas the truth is that people are not looking at you as much as you think. They are more concerned and worried about how they look. So always be kind and compliment others (especially on their running shoes) and don’t forget to kick it up at the end.
“Peace and happiness is found near the ocean”