Friday, November 30, 2012

A Different Kind of Race

Ever since I started running in 2006, I ran every single race with the clear and singular purpose of improving upon my times. I was always (literally) chasing a goal that I had set for myself.
Nate and me after last year's Gobble Wobble
Until Thanksgiving last Thursday.

I'd been signed up for the Southborough Gobble Wobble for well over a month, but hadn't done a single ounce of training for it. Since, you know, I haven't really been running much at all. Compound that with the fact that the night before the race I managed a measly three hours of sleep and that's a situation that normally would set my teeth on edge with sheer nervous energy.
But two weeks before the race, I had made a pact with my little brother: we would run the race together. This was a first for us, since as stated above, I was always chasing my time goals. This simple change altered my entire outlook on the race. I wasn't the least bit nervous at the start line (a first for me!), or worried that I wasn't going to be able to finish. I was just focused on getting us both through the race. We set a comfortable pace and chatted along the course. I didn't even wear my Garmin.

As Nate and I neared the finish, he told me of his intent to sprint from the 3 mile mark to the end. Since he sprints far faster than I do, I let him go on ahead.  The competitive part of me chafed the teeniest bit at that but soon let it go. It wasn't worth letting that part of me taint my accomplishment of running a race wherein I wasn't nervous or worried.

The race that morning was exactly what I have been needing.  It was a reminder of why I enjoy running and how it helps me off the road. It reminded me to be thankful that I could run and that I don't need to compete every time I lace up my running shoes.