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Day 11 of 112-Tempo Run-#what’sreallyimportant

Today’s posting will be an exercise in balance for me.  The balance between getting across my message and getting it done quickly (the later of which I struggle with considerably).

Today’s run was a tempo run.  This is what is was supposed to look like:
1st mile-easy mile
2nd-6th mile-9:44 pace
7th mile-easy mile

Here’s what is actually looked like:
1st mile-10:09
2nd mile-9:19
3rd mile-9:51
4th mile-10:07
5th mile-10:02
6th mile-10:07
7th mile-9:43

No matter how you slice it, today’s run sucked….from a running perspective.  And you know what, I don’t even care.  And I didn’t care because it brought perspective.  Hold that thought…

Here’s the thing.  I know why I ran poorly: I was out until 10:00 p.m., I had a big dinner and a pint, I woke up in the middle of the night with a headache, I woke up with a food hangover, while it was 57 degrees out this a.m. there were winds of 26 mph, it was raining, I was tired, my legs were tired, and by the end of the run my butt was so tight it was a miracle I could lift my legs.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure why it didn’t go well.  And, as I said to Christy while we were running, “There are days we will run faster than we are supposed to, so I suspect it is fair to reason there will be days we will run slower than we are supposed to.”  And I know this.  Every day is not a perfect training day.  It is impossible…especially when there are 112 days of them.

But here is why today was a success….it was a reminder of the wonderful conversation that can take place between two runners while they are running.  It was an opportunity to get things off one’s chest, it was an opportunity to download about the day before, it was an opportunity to reflect on work, it was an opportunity to talk about things that make one anxious, it was an opportunity to say, “great job,” it was an opportunity to say thank you.  And, if nothing else, it was an opportunity to do something for yourself.  To spend 71 minutes doing something for you, what you wanted to do, with no expectations from anyone else.

And that is one of the greatest gifts that running has given me.  Time to me, for me.  It has also, as is evident, allowed me to hook up with some really incredible women in my life.  I’ve had some of my greatest conversations while out running that has allowed me to learn wonderful things both about myself and the women I am running with. There is an intimacy that develops when you start spending time with people and you learn about their family and kids and their dreams and what is important to them.  There’s no phones to check, there’s no texting, no emailing, just people out doing good things for themselves.

Today is International Women’s Day (I learned this on my ride home from the run on NPR; sadly, this is not a well-known or celebrated day, but due to my time constraints to get this posted, I don’t even have time to go off on that tangent). Celebrated annually on March 8, the focus ranges from celebrations of  respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. How did I not know about this?  You can bet it goes on the calendar as a reoccuring event starting NOW!

A tempo run at 5:45 a.m., in the rain, in the dark, in the wind, with a wonderful woman for whom I have so much respect and admiration on so many levels. A woman who allows herself to be vulnerable and reflective while we run together.  Well, I would say I had already started celebrating International Women’s Day and I didn’t even know it.

Here’s to what’s really important!  It’s not the “time” or the “pace” it’s how you spend it!

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