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Detroit Marathon 2012-#runninglifelessons

I played team sports all through junior high and high school; and even though I was above average,  I was never a stand out.

I worked hard, but the hind sight of an adult tells me I could have worked harder.  And if  I had known while I was in high school that once I was out of high school my chances for serious athletic competition would drop precipitously, I would have worked harder.

And that’s why at the age of 23 I started running.

I was a good runner in high school. Whether I was sprinting up and down the field hockey field as a left wing or the strength of my legs was powering my body around the bases to compensate for my lack of bat skills-I was fast.

But I’m a competitive person, so I couldn’t just run to run.  I needed a reason to run.

And that’s why I started racing.

I don’t know how many races I’ve run over the past 21 years, but I know I’ve run 55 races over the past 14 years.  I’ve worked hard as a runner-whether it’s sprint training to run a 5K or a 10K or endurance training to run a marathon-I’ve put in my fair share of time and miles.

And while I consider myself a strategic runner , I’m also an emotional runner.  Which is to say, that I have a lot of emotions wrapped up in how I perceive my success as a runner.  And after what I perceived as a less than successful June 17, 2012, marathon performance here in Ann Arbor, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking very emotionally about who I am as a runner.

So after two months of post-marathon musings, two weeks of Olympic competition, and two days of participating in the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail 200-mile Relay  I have come to realize one of life’s greatest lessons:  There is great strength to be gained when life doesn’t happen as you hope or plan.

  • Who would have imagined that the stress and disappointment of the Ann Arbor Marathon would eventually provide me with a calming clarity about who I am as a runner?
  • Who would have imagined that watching Olympic athletes deliver eloquent responses to questions about disappointing performances, for which they trained at least four years and would have to wait another four years to try it again, would help provide me with a perspective about who I am as a runner?
  • Who would have imagined that running 17.7 miles over the course of 2 days and 3 legs on 1.5 hours of sleep at an average pace of 8:36 per mile with a group of 11 other runners (9 of whom I had only met on the first day of the race) would help provide me with a sense of confidence about who I am as a runner?

I would not have imagined.

But I do now.

Carry on, friends. Carry on.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. #

    way to go runner girl for the fred and for all the many, many other miles you have run

    August 12, 2012
  2. great story. good luck with your training and upcoming races. if i’m not out of town for a race myself, i will be along the course to root you on in chicago.

    August 13, 2012

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