Running is hard. Physically and mentally. Sore calves, knee aches, shoulder tightness. Sometimes every pounding footfall is accompanied by the thought, “Why do I do this?”
No matter the experience level, no matter the years, novice, intermediate, and advanced runners know the feeling, the agony, the sheer stupidity, of running … for fun, for health …
For challenge. For growth.
Running is contagious. And, our office has been infected. One caught the bug, then another, and then another. Now, we all have an app in common (Nike+ Running) and compete, motivate, and tease. Sometimes we even train together.
Although one runs alone, it is oddly communal.
Last weekend, Jessica Theophile and me, Brice Tennant, ran the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon in Portland, ME. Her first and my second. Nerves abounded, excitement was palpable. We had been training for weeks. We had our personal goals … and doubts.
Jess crushed it. Not only did she complete her first 13.1 mile race, she smashed her 2 hour finishing mark by 11 minutes. I cut my time by 7, but my win was psychological. For the first time, I ran more than 6 miles and didn’t dread it. I actually found joy in pressing my legs and lungs onward. Watching the miles click by as I pushed my pace.
Next up, the YuKan Run TripleThreat in Rockport, MA. Jess will log her second half marathon and Jennifer Boyle-Lynch will own the 5K. I’ll be sitting this one out, since I’m traveling.
Growth boundaries hurt. They produce anxiety. But, they also produce excitement, confidence, empowerment, insight, pride … life. We may run as a hobby, but the courage we cultivate feeds our lives holistically.
Apparently, not all contagions are bad.
Thank you, to the city of Portland for hosting us. To all the volunteers who woke up super early on a Saturday morning to make the event possible — we are grateful.
Cover photo by Jessica Theophile. Medal photo by Brice Tennant. All Rights Reserved.