Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Lung Strong

I ran a 15k last Sunday. It's been months since running a race and so I was a mixture of slight worry and curious about how I would do. Thankfully, 15k is a bit over 9 miles, not the 13 ish of a half marathon.

It has been raining here all week and most of last week too. So, Sunday morning, it was raining lightly. I left my house later than I wanted to, got close to the start and managed to find a perfect parking spot not too far away. I walked to the start in time to hear an announcement that the race would be delayed 15 minutes for the weather. A few of us chuckled a bit. It had been raining and would be raining, why delay? I'm sure there was some reason, but it is a little bit funny.

Races are a lot of fun because of the people around. There are great people running it, wonderful volunteers and interesting vendors.  It's instant community in a way because everyone is there together and there is common experience. You chat to people beforehand

Towards the end of the race, I was getting tired. I cheered with the volunteers. I cheer at them, they cheer back or vice versa. It is fun, breaks up monotony, and gets my head off of being tired. Close to the end, there was a large hill. Ew! In my mind, the end had to be close. Finally, a runner just behind me yelled, "The finish is just around the corner, run faster!" So I ran faster. I am really thankful for that encouragement because I had no idea that we were that close to the finish. There was a turn and then the end so when he said it, you could not yet see the finish.

I hope that I am an encouragement to others who are running the race. Before the race, there are many people to say good luck to and chat about the race. During the race, I say good job to people who pass who or people that I pass. I cheer at the people on the sidelines. They cheer back. I also hope that my cheering maybe gives them a bit more energy to give to someone else who needs it.

Ryan was at the finish line taking a photo. It is really nice to have him there to say good job and to walk around with afterwards. I appreciate the support!

We had to wait a bit to see if I placed in my age group, and I did! During the run, I really have no idea how many people are ahead of me. It is fun to see the results sheets as they get printed. I look at my time, count women in my age group and try to get a sense of the placement. I get lucky because women in my age group usually win the race, which means that I place higher in the age group that I would otherwise. Yay!

A little over three weeks until the next race.....

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Running, Encouragement, and Water

When you volunteer for things that you really enjoy, it almost does not seem like it should be called volunteering anymore. Enjoying, being, helping, participating. 

I especially enjoy volunteering at race events. I love the excitement as people check in and get ready. The energy in the air is wonderful and positive. People are meeting each other as they prepare for this event collectively. During the race, there is great community and encouragement as people pass each other. "Good job!" "You too!" "One more hill to go...." etc. There is great congratulations at the end as well as you talk through what you just went through together. It is neat.

Being the person who hands over the race bib is a great job. They are officially ready to go once they just pin it on. 

A few weeks ago, I got to help with a water stop. It was somewhere around 90 degrees and over two miles in on a trail run. What a great spot to be! What a need to get to help fill. It was fun giving the runners a bit of water (learning how to get splashed the least while handing it over) and some encouraging words as they climbed one of the hills in the run. 

Sometimes in my head, volunteering seems like duty or something hard. Really, if you find things you are passionate about, it is getting to help people. It is a "get to" not a "need to." I leave those times hoping the I helped someone and knowing that I enjoyed it.