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Wooo! A few weeks back I was contacted by the president of our local running club, and asked to write something for the September newsletter. Of course I wouldn’t turn that down, I certainly always have plenty to say and write about!
Anyway, the newsletter came out today, and I was tickled pink that I was referred to as a “good” runner in the bio under my piece. Good! Huh! The truth is, I feel like such a beginner. I’m still making classic rookie mistakes left and right (like sacrificing the nuun for a camera). I still have to walk during my longer runs. Sure, sometimes I go home with age group awards, but I feel like that is always luck. Luck that faster girls didn’t toe the start line that morning. I’m very fortunate to have friends and mentors that are EXCELLENT runners, and can’t even imagine ever being able to keep pace with them. I honestly don’t feel worthy of the title “good” yet. But I am flattered by the compliment, and plan to keep up the hard work to one day, maybe, accept that status.
(18 miler in the morning! Good luck to everyone racing or to those braving solo-long runs!!)
Why Would Anyone Go For A Run?
It has probably happened to most of us at one time or another: a well meaning, non running friend asks you to join them for a Friday night on the town. You turn down the invitation because you have to be in bed early that night. After all, the alarm is set to go off at 5:00 am so you can make it out for an 18 mile training run, or to packet pick up before a local 5k. The well meaning, non running friend gives you the “you must be crazy” look, and says something along the lines of “why would anyone want to get up that early, never mind to RUN!? I just don’t get it. “
Why? What a question. How do you even begin to explain?
How do you put the “runner’s high” into words?
Or explain the exhilaration of crossing the finish line of a race you trained so hard for? The immense sense of accomplishment you feel when you set a P.R.? Or the triumph of running just a little bit further than you did the day before?
How to you explain the camaraderie you feel with other runners? I mean, who else understands the feeling of shivering beneath a black garbage bag-makeshift jacket as you anxiously pace back and forth near a race starting line? Who else understands why one would willingly climb into a bathtub full of ice cubes and frigid water? It’s almost an instant bond when you meet another runner…you can go from complete strangers to discussing hill repeats and pre race porta potty lines in just seconds.
How do you describe that an extra hour of sleep could never compare to how awesome you feel after starting your day with some speed work, or a couple of miles around the neighborhood? The therapeutic clarity that comes to your mind in the wee hours of the morning as your feet pound the pavement?
And are there even words to express the way your heart races as you watch a complete stranger cross the finish line of an Ironman, one second before midnight, one second before the seventeen hour cutoff? Or the pride you feel to be a part of such a supportive community that will cheer just as hard for the very last finisher as they do for the first place winner?
There really are a million different reasons why we love to run. A million reasons that mere words could never do justice. So when that well meaning friend starts questioning your sanity, just shrug your shoulders, smile, and be thankful that you are one of the lucky ones who “gets it”.
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Heather Gannoe Bio
Heather Gannoe is a Grand Strand Running Club member and good runner. She was the third place ladies finisher (23:45) at the Tanger Outlet 5K on August 29, 2009.
Check out Heather’s blog, it’s inspirational!