I ran 3 road miles after work with my good buddy and co-worker "O" yesterday, and then we were back at boot camp. Our trainer at work introduced a new routine with a body bar! This guy is really good. He's always challenging us in different ways. But one thing remains constant, Squats!
Today I was out for a 4+ miler in Leon Creek, my easy-to-get-to-from-my-front-door trails. Surprisingly, I was running pretty strong considering I had just run a 50K three days ago. For me that's surprising. It made me think of two things. First, how after my first Marathon in 1998 I did not run for six months. And second, how back then I could not even think about placing in any race, much less run 7 miles in two days this soon after a marathon.
Back before my first marathon, when I was in my 30's, I enjoyed running 5 and 10K's. The only reason I decided to run a marathon is because a friend told me " your not a runner until you run a marathon." I fell for it. It's not true. A 5Ker is as much a runner as a Marathoner.
In races I was always finishing in the top 25 to 30 percent in my age group and strived to remain there. Sometimes I was in the top 25 percent overall! And SOMETIMES, I JUST MISSED PLACING. I think I was stronger physically then (I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now but with the same body fat percentage as now) but now I am better trained. And the number of entrants in my age group has dwindled. I'll claim a victory in longevity. I just hope I can hang on. I'll try, and my Rockhopper friends will help.
I thought about how much I enjoy running for the sake of running. For the natural high. For the feeling of moving like the wind. I enter races more for being out with my friends and other runners who many times become friends. Sure, I'm enjoying the awards but my feeling is if I do well, GREAT! If not, Oh well, I tried. I've met many wonderful people running. Many have become very close friends. We share accomplishments and find comfort with each other in our shortcomings both athletically and personally.
After the 50K last Saturday a runner I had been leap frogging with all day (and left behind with three miles to the finish) came to me as I was checking results and called me an unpleasant name after he found out I was in his age category, therefore causing him to miss out on an award for placing. I laughed it off. I Thought he was kidding and began to tell him my race story. As I've been replaying the moment the last couple of days, I don't think he was kidding. He didn't smile, didn't offer his story of the race and just walked off. This began to make me angry. Then I thought, I can't let that bother me. But it made me feel sad. Not for me but for him. I hope I'm wrong about him. Maybe he was kidding and just has a dry sense of humor.
Yeah! That's it! He enjoys running for the sake of running. Just like me!