Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's not just about the run..

I am sure you have all heard the statement, "Behind every great man, is a woman,"(of course makes you wonder who stands behind a great woman...that is for another time, another blog.)  maybe you have even heard it said, "There is no "I" in team." Each of these are stand alone statements, we get the jest, that people don't make it on their own and a team is not about one person.

I have another line to throw out there for you to chew on, "It's not just about the run." I have had the incredible pleasure to be connected with Runner's World and those who consider themselves as part of the Runner's World Training Program.

The journey really began in January, running in the cold winter mornings, with my eyes set upon running my first 1/2 marathon. I had this infatuation with running, I liked it, I just did not seem to be as efficient with my running, while running on my own.  I suddenly found myself meeting some wonderful people, who met consistently to run. These folks came in all shapes and sizes, all ages, backgrounds, male & female, advanced runners and well, those like me that are not so advanced.

Now, I believe in setting goals, to having a vision & purpose for everything that you do, taking aim to hit your mark.  But, I further believe that one should take caution to not be so focused on the task, that you forget the journey and the people who are along the way helping one in fulfilling the journey at hand.

This actually can be a daunting self-exercise, especially when it comes to running, as running for most part is an individual endeavour. You can pass a ball to another member on the team, so to score the final point, but no one can really run for another person.

I say all this, mainly due to the fact, that I have discovered that running is not just about the run, but it's the journey you share with others. It's gathering with people that are like minded, heading toward a common result and goal of crossing the finish line, it's discovering new friends who have a passion and a love for pounding the pavement or the trail, it's knowing that your running partner will be there waiting to hit the trail, no matter how early in the morning you ask them to meet you before church.

I really want to take time to give a shout out to some folks that have been part of my running journey to date. These unsung hero's who have been so faithful this past year.

Special props to you Coach Kathy, I cannot believe that you do all you do and it's for FREE, then again how can anyone ever repay you for all you do to train runners, the emails, the pep talks, and fitting me for the right shoes. You are appreciated!

My Runner Girl Power-Runner Partner, Linda.  You know, I still am in awe of all you have accomplished, your encouragement along the trail, our long talks, and my grumbling about wanting to know when we were going to stop and eat. Time to time, I still like to ask you the question, "We are doing this because?"  Even though I know the answer to this question. It's just funny to ask, cause it still makes you laugh. You totally rock, there is no one I would want to fight crime with more, than you...can I wear my cape? RGP Activate...form of a marathon runner...whoo hoo!

There is also my "friend" Allen. You have been so faithful to call and check on how each of the runs have gone. You have encouraged me, when I needed courage, you have been a listening ear, with all my enthusiastic triumphs of the long runs and my somewhat discouraged moment of my 26.2. You made me a believer that I could actually break 30 on my 5k's and now, have me convinced that my marathons will only get better.  And no, this does not mean you can be my running coach.  Stay safe nation building....see you in December.

And then there is you, the Runner's World Runners Gang, I cannot begin to list how each of you have influenced and encouraged me as a person and a runner. Whether it's the enthusiastic, "hello's, good mornings, & whoo hoos" along the trail, the cheering on the sidelines on the training runs, the camaraderie that we share as runners. None of these things go unnoticed or unseen, they are well received and deeply appreciated.

I really encourage you to take time to consider and to ponder, that "It's not just about the run..."


Bobby said...

It's about the people and you are a good people. That's a swell runner partner you have also.

Kidney Bean a.k.a. Erin said...

You're words have never been more right on.

Susan Michaels said...

You have said everything that I feel. I can't imagine my life now without all my running friends. We have the best group of people and the most awesome coach ever.

50something said...

Hey Rachel-I'm so happy for you and Linda, I still remember how happy I was last year when I finished the R66. I hated to miss it this year but 60th surprise b-day party for 60 yr old BIL was more important in Charlotte NC. Just came across your blog today. I'm running Dallas Whiterock marathon on 12/14 so I ran 22m all by myself today, boy did I miss my running buddies but it was a perfect day to run and I did finish. Looking forward to seeing you on future runs...
I read The Shack this summer, loved it.

Rachael Alise said...

Hey 50 Something, very cool about running in's more fun to run the longer runs with a friend...but one has to do what one has to do.

The Shack was great...wonderful picture of redemptive power of love.