Three weeks post OKC marathon and I did not set a PR. That’s okay. I went out too fast, looked at my Garmin way too many times, and did too much thinking in the last mile. I started planning how many distances I would tackle before I hit a new age group in August. Apparently I lost some of my focus in doing so. Oops. I had a great time, though, all for reasons not related to my race time or place.
While we were waiting on my dad to get there, I did a warm up mile and went back to the car. Before heading the stage area for the opening ceremonies, I started to take a picture. Random guy in the vehicle next to us was getting out and jumped in for a “selfie.”
He then jumped over for a picture with my husband. Note the bike tire making its appearance as well.
He told us that he was going to sprint the 5k, then jog the reverse distance. His first triathlon was the next day, and he once weighed 325 pounds. Awesome. (Side note – I eventually found out this guy is in my dad’s running group and he told me to tag him on Facebook.)
We then met up with my dad and I ran into another running friend from Sherman. Our daughters have been friends for about five years and she started running a couple of years ago. She did this race last year too. Her sister lives there and they both run. I think it’s funny that we met up at a 5k so far away. Small world.
After I finished (23:31) I had a guy behind me tell me, “I was trying to catch you.” I guess it was a strong finish. I laughed (as much as someone can right after a 5k) and headed back around to cheer the others through. My dad knocked down a new PR with a time of 28:08 and placed second in his age group!
My other friend also set a PR and placed second in her age group!
I heard someone ask my dad how he got started running and he pointed to me. He told them I may run marathons but my biggest accomplishment was getting him to run. Three years ago he was walking five days a week on the treadmill – motivated by a weight loss contest at work. I told him he could do a 5k by working in a few minutes of running time and building on that. He started the Couch to 5k program and was hooked. I’ve watched this retired football coach progress from walking to a 5k, to completing several 10ks, and he is now looking for the right half marathon. I tell you this because he once said he would never run farther than a 5k.
That is why Saturday was such a big deal. To me, it wasn’t about my race, my finish time or age group place, but about being able to share that passion for something that can’t be bought. It’s impossible to explain to those who haven’t experienced it. As my other running friend said to me, “I’ve reached the point where I need the run.”
Honestly, it doesn’t always start that way. I didn’t enjoy my first run – and many more after that. But it’s that way for me now – as a general rule 😉 and I love seeing that spark ignite in others.
Don’t count yourself out. You can do much more than you think is possible.