Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today I did a 3 mile run as a "running buddy" with a program called "Girls on the Run". It's a program that empowers girls by teaching them healthy eating, exercise, relationship, etc... strategies.
Part of the program is an approximately 2 month running training that culminates in the girls running a 5k in June. A "Running Buddy" is an adult woman who runs with a girl and provides encouragement and motivation throughout the run. The Buddy job is very simple and doesn't involve a big time commitment, just running 1 practice 5k and the actual 5k with the girl.
I had so much fun chatting with my girl as we ran/walked. Speed was not an issue as we are supposed to go at the girl's pace. It was a completely enjoyable 3 miles and as each pair finished we were cheered on by the coaches and then we all stayed at the finish to cheer on the groups that were still running. And the girls had so much fun running - happy to finish whether 1st or 5th or last.
I need to remember this is why I run. To be healthy, to feel good, to encourage others - regardless of my speed compared to other people.
3 miles slow and happy - priceless.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

12 miles

I have a chronic condition.
It is called "Never able to appreciate one's own accomplishments without comparing self to others and feeling inadequate and stupid". I mean see how long the name of the condition is? It's got to be bad with that long of a name.

I ran - well jogged, plodded, and walked might be better verbs here - 12 miles for the first time yesterday. I waved at several other runners and walkers. I smiled and nodded at 3 white bearded Sikh gentlemen. I marveled at Mt. Rainier. I fell, scratched up my hands and knee, got up and kept going. I tried not to cry after that. 5 minutes later I cried. I walked backward up some inclines. I watched the sun come then hide behind clouds then come again. I finished the 12 miles that were my goal for the day and was still not satisfied. Because even though my goal is to simply finish this 1/2 marathon, it drives me nuts when I look at my average speed and see how painfully slow I am. But what frustrates me most is not the slowness but my inability or unwillingness to accept that I'm not a natural runner nor am I training hard in enough to see times that would seem respectable to me. And "respectable" of course means what this or that other person can do and therefore what I "should" be able to do. My own goal becomes worthless.

There is a woman slower than I am. I have seen her often as I chug along. A beautiful ebony woman in colorful skirts. And she sings as she walks slowly along. She sings - hears angel songs - songs obscured by my own heart pounding in my head. She sings and smiles to herself and doesn't fear - or sings the fear away.

Oh how I wish I could embrace that goal. To know the joy of going her speed.