Lessons in Running, Maybe Even in Life

One of the cool things about blogging is that as you write more you find people who start reading your blog.  (thank you Mr. Obvious, isn’t that part of why we blog to begin with?)  The thing is, if you post enough, new readers aren’t going to go back all that far back into the archives.  This is an incredible opportunity when you don’t know what to write next because you can re-hash old information and most people won’t notice it.  But in the interest of fairness, I thought I’d give a heads up to those of you who have read this from the beginning, so you can skip ahead a bit.

….

(those dots represent me giving you time to find something else to entertain yourself while I rehash old stuff to everyone else)

This whole blog started as a way to sort of journal my way through this half marathon training.  (I know, that seems like pretty useless information, it’s probably a bit obvious — was it REALLY worth repeating?)  That’s not really the repetitious part of it though.  This all got started with enrolling in this class with my wife at the college where she teaches called Change Through Challenge.  It’s a business course and the final exam is a half marathon.

The flyer from the Change Through Challenge Course (this one was from the full marathon version, ours is 'just' the half.

The flyer from the Change Through Challenge Course (this one was from the full marathon version, ours is ‘just’ the half.

I love telling people that, if for no other reason than watching their expressions as they try to figure out how those two fit together.

The idea is that there are certain principles that are key to success in business and in life.  But rather than just teaching the principles on paper, the idea of the course is that the process of training for something like a half marathon is the kind of things that develops characteristics that translate into business and life success.  Things like goal setting, preparation, consistency, how the little things you do make a huge difference in the bigger things you do.

I remember thinking what a great concept!  For someone else.  I’m still not sure how I ended up enrolling in the class, I have to think someone slipped some pill in to me that makes you do crazy things like sign up for a half marathon class.

Okay, those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, I’m done with the throwback comments.  You can come back now.  (Of course, the total number of people who have been reading from the beginning probably includes…  my wife and…  hmmmm…  maybe one or two others?  How it ever ends up being more than that even now is kinda beyond me to be honest.)

So to whoever drugged me, thank you.  Just don’t do it again.  This has been an incredible learning experience, and while it comes in the guise of a business class you could fit it into so many categories.  If there were a ‘life’ department, this would be perfect for it.

The lessons don’t come just from the class, and not just from the training.  Writing this blog, and the introduction to other bloggers and what they’ve had to say has also been a tremendous part of it all.

One of my recent lessons has been that I have enjoyed running.  I’ve learned too that you can enjoy something to the point where you can risk losing the joy in it.

I’ve learned that I love the things I see when running.  When you drive past something you don’t have time to really take it in.  Running (especially as slow as I do) allows you to really take it in.  Sunrises and scenery and yards and people.  The park where we just ran and where we will run is a great example.

I’ve learned too that you can get so into the running part of running that you start to miss out on what you enjoy.  I started to get lost in the music I would listen to, and then focus on my phone telling me what my heart rate was and what my pace is and how far I’ve gone.  I get caught up in thinking almost obsessively about my form and breathing and should I be running faster now or am I running too fast?  It all gets so mechanical and it can be so easy to just lose all the wonder and joy that can be around you as you go.

I think about a couple of experiences in two times I’ve done the Bolder Boulder in, of all places, Boulder.  The first year there was a group of kids that all dressed in what looked like Cat In the Had outfits, and they would kind of swarm along the route in a helter skelter way and then would all stop in front of a building or along with a spectator and get their picture taken.  I loved the joyful, playful way they were doing this run.  This year I just decided to get more caught up in the atmosphere of the race.  The Bolder Boulder is like a giant party because of the people who line up along the course, all the way along every single K of the 10K course, and cheer you on, play music, spray water at you, it’s incredible.  I remember one guy holding up a sign for runners to see saying “nice legs.”  I had to personally thank him.  People set up slip ‘n slides, and the way they’d cheer you on (even those of us at the back of the pack) is incredible.  It’s fun having rows of total strangers high five you as you make your way through the race.  I had so much more fun this year because I let myself get lost in the atmosphere of it all.

As part of my surfing around I came across this post.  The writer was telling of her experience running her first half marathon and I just loved the joy she described of participating in the run  It was just infectious.  It struck me a bit, and I guess that’s one of those additional lessons learned from this because I think especially now this far into training, it can start to wear on you.  I realized that’s been happening to me, that I’m getting lost in the aches and pains and preparations, and I don’t want this race to be something mechanical.  I love being able to accomplish something I never dreamed I could accomplish, being able to say I did this, but I don’t want it to be just that.

I’ve said my goal before for this race is to finish.  I’m not setting any time constraints, I just want to be able to say I was able to do it.  But here I am now 2 and a half weeks from THE RACE, and I realize there’s a greater goal.  It’s not quantifiable really, but…  what I really want is to just enjoy myself on the race.

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About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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One Response to Lessons in Running, Maybe Even in Life

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the reasons that I started running was that I remembered how free I used to feel as a kid, whether running home from school or just running because the urge to run took over. Being able to run just because you want to is one of the best feelings in the world! 🙂

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