Today was the annual Reindeer Run 5k. Thank goodness they changed the course this year! Although we started on an uphill it was much better than year's past of FINISHING on an uphill!
Today I got the privilege and opportunity to run with a fabulous group of runners. Actually, most runners are fabulous and I know this. But today I ran with a handful of people who were either running their first race ever, or managed to get a personal best. Because the weather was so gorgeous this morning, and the course is light on the hills, I think most people managed to eek out a PR. Well, everyone except me. But I wasn't there to get a PR this morning.
About a month or so ago, I had this novel idea to start a Newbie Group in our local running club (Ask the Newbie). Although I'm not a Newbie anymore, I remembered what it was like just starting out and having so many questions. I just thought it would be fun and informative and take away some of that pressure that I know I felt when I first started out. After the club President posted it on the website I thought I had made a mistake. I second guessed the whole decision and figured the Newbie forum would get sent to the bottom of the postings as no one would respond. To my SURPRISE we have now had almost 3,000 views with 8 topics and over 80 actual postings. I will be the first to say that I had no idea that it would be a success.
But the successful posts are not really what has surprised me: it's the amount of people that have just completely come out of nowhere to run. For whatever reason, mostly health, some to just pass the time, others to make friends in a town where they know very few. Whatever the reason, they are all doing it.
I really don't think I've been that inspiring. Actually, I know I haven't because often on Sunday mornings, while all those go-getters are logging 12 miles, I can be found snuggled up in the comforts of my bed. I think what has inspired these people is the ability to not feel afraid anymore. To not feel like you AREN'T part of the group because you're at the back of the pack. That it's actually okay to be back there, because HEY, you are BACK THERE. To not feel like you're asking a bunch of past Olympic athletes a bunch of stupid questions that they don't have the time to answer. To realize that we all (even those really really fast people) had to start somewhere.
So, today I got to meet a couple of the Newbie Group for the first time and I got to run with more from the Newbie Group who boasted a personal best today. It was just awesome to see the sheer exhilaration on their faces as they crossed the finish line much faster than they had anticipated. And I just wanted to tell them how exhilarating it's going to feel next time when they run a race that's farther than a 5k, or when they set more PRs. Or when they look back on their life how-many-years-ago and think...dang, I never knew I had it in me.
I wanted to say that I am so proud of everyone today, but that's not really the truth. I knew all of you had it in you to do it. I just knew it. So, instead, I will tell you that what you did today, what you accomplished, what you completed without giving up...well, that inspired me. I may not have gotten a PR, or even beat my time from last year, but the inspiration that I got from all of you is better than any of that! Thanks!
And now, I'm going to call you all out. Because that's what friends (or sisters) are for!
1. Bryan who completed his 2nd 5k ever. He also PR'ed by 5 minutes. And his first 5k was just 2 weeks ago!
2. Donna who completed her first "official" 5k ever. She was so worried about the race directors sweeping the course and she wouldn't be finished....Donna, did you take a look back and see how many people you passed???
3. Deb who runs a million miles a week (literally it seems like the girl runs a marathon a week!), managed a huge PR today!
4. Kim, who I think has worked the boyfriend angle (who better to run with than a boyfriend??) so much that she got a quick PR today!
5. Deane, my weekly running buddy, who got totally talked into running this morning. I bet you had forgotten how fast you could run?? No more meandering Friday runs for these girls! It's all about speed from now on! (okay, unless we have something good to gossip about....)
6. Leora, who started with the Newbie Group to get acquainted with people in the area, but now totally smokes me on these runs!
7. Mean Pam, who ran her first organized race today and finished with a huge smile (and 7 year old in tow!)
8. Preston, Pam's son, who ran his first 5k ever. He hung with us in the beginning and then got picked up by Donna. Who knew runners were so nice? As far as I know he ran that course with a smile plastered on his face. I hope someone got a picture of him crossing the finish line as I have NEVER seen someone so excited to accomplish something! Way to go Preston! (and you beat you're Mom!!!)
9. Scott and Justice who finished holding hands....how very sweet (insert vomit here). Scott didn't seem to get too distracted that he was getting beat by a bunch of girls, and although it was Justice's first 5k, I think she could have easily beat him. I'm sure of it.
10. And Troy. Who's not a Newbie and didn't get a PR (although he did finish in a little over 21 minutes!) He placed 3rd for his age and I'm sure I'll never hear the end of it (just kidding). You did awesome!
Have a great rest of the weekend! I know I will!