Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Running for the Joy of it!

This spring and for the last year or so, I was focused on getting faster.  When I’d get to the start line of a race, my goal was to PR.  For the majority of the races, I succeeded.  There were very few races where I just took it easy unless pacing.

This fall was to be a continuation of “mission speediness” with a lofty goal of shooting for a BQ.  However, with my recent injury, my goals have been adjusted.

The injury has reminded me why I’m out there.  Yes, I enjoy going faster, but one of the main reasons that I enjoy running is for the JOY of it!  My sister, Denise, with her infectious smile has always demonstrated to me that it’s not what place you finish, but that you run happy and you enjoy the race experience.

Sunday at the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, I truly enjoyed my time out there.  I made sure to interact with as many volunteers, spectators, and runners that I could.  High fives and jokes for everyone.  I made it a point to try to thank every volunteer out there.  I usually try to do this, but I was even more intentional about it on Sunday.

When I saw the balloons in the air during the first couple of miles, I commented to the other runners that we were getting our money’s worth.  It was definitely an awesome scene!  The weather cooperated for the balloon flight and cooler temps for the runners.

photo I love seeing friends at the races; either seeing them running or cheering people on.  One of my good friends from the Frisco Running Club, Christy, had the funnest race sign ever.  I’ve seen a lot of fun race signs, but this one was so much fun, that I couldn’t help but play along with it.

Christy had the sign shown to the left that there was a shortcut to the left, so I made it look like I was going to go off the course toward the left.  Once I started doing this and was getting closer to her, she changed the arrow to the right.  It was the funniest thing that I saw all morning.  So, of course, I photo (1) started veering to the right.  After straightening out and continuing we both had a great laugh!

I’m sure that the runners behind me thought that I totally lost my mind, but sometimes you’ve got embrace your inner Mark Lindsley!

I hope others enjoyed the sign as much as I did.  When I asked Christy how/why she put the arrow on a spinner, she said she did it because she didn’t know which side of the course that she’d be on.  I’m glad that we took it to the next level.

Races are not all about PRs… I measured this race in smiles!  I was so happy to run this race comfortably and pain free.  In honor of my teenage son, Cairo, I did kick it in high gear and finish it cross country style.

1 comment:

John Bick said...

I love it when you fast guys have as much fun as us mid-pack runners. Always seems like the grumpy faces are at the front and at the back. Why do it if it isn't fun? I get that there is sometimes disappointment, but just finishing is a reward that few will ever know. Now, if you can figure out why I wasn't on the official results page for the Balloon Half, I’ll give you a dollar.