Fall In Love with Running this Fall

imageI am the eternal optimist. Let me tell you right off that I haven’t always been this way; times past, I have been quite the critique and complainer, what some people call.. high-maintenance, but a couple of years ago I made an important discovery.. my Aha moment if you will. I figured life is full of disappointments and dread but juxtaposed to this is its wonderful surprises and beautiful things.. depends on who’s looking and from where; remember my “perspective is everything” mantra? You see, battling disappointments can be a consuming past-time, who has time for that, so I decided to lean on the side of beautiful things as I really don’t have time for much else. Fast forward today and finding out yesterday that I missed the cut off 1:02 under qualifying mark for Boston 2015 by 22 seconds.

After the initial dread and tears which lasted a few minutes, I cannot allow for days as others who’ve described their past experiences, I smiled. Because I’m proud of me. Proud that I qualified within my first year of trying and that I came so close. While I’m in solidarity with the 1,946 other qualifiers who didn’t get in, I have so much hope for next year. Now to be honest, it is no easy feat to qualify: the sacrifice, commitment and hard work, that went into doing so is a testament to running excellence and is reason enough to be proud of your achievement. For some though, it might be impossible to do so again.. It is for those that my heart goes out; that you will never know the reward of your effort. May it be enough that you qualified. For others like myself, we know that runners never quit. It is the indelible spirit that unifies us, that we will train harder, run faster, do better and we will RUN BOSTON.

So tears aside, the race goes on and there are some great races all over the country to choose from if you’re going ahead with trying for Boston 2016 right away. Just so you know, the qualifying window opened last week, so all qualifying races that you run from here on until next year can count. I’m playing around with ideas such as Philly, New Jersey, Marine Corps DC or Anthem Richmond Marathon; all in beautiful Fall and with good courses to do a fast time. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to make sure it’s a qualifier.

The best things about running in the Fall season is nature and its transforming beauty. I heart its colorful changes, musicality and cool sunshine. And I get to do it from beautiful New York, oftentimes, in lovely Central Park. Therefore, it was only fitting that I ushered in the season with a 12 mile exhilarating run there two days ago. I felt so buoyant, so hopeful, so filled with wonder then and even now. I hold on to that, not allowing the disappointment of yesterday to steal my joy in today and in the promise of some beautiful Fall runs.

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Let’s Rock n’ Roll DC!

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I tend to approach races with an overly confident demeanor. My philosophy has always been that 90% of any task is attitude, hard work makes up the other 10%. Though that has worked more than less times throughout my life I’m beginning to believe it may not necessarily hold true for running..not marathons anyway. To be fair to one’s body and those who wonder, it takes as much kick-ass attitude as it does hard work; every heart-thumping, feet-pounding and limit-defying moment is bathed in determination and sweat. To me, that counts for nothing less than 50/50 and so I’ve tried to have a more balanced approach to this one.

It’s my first time running in the nation’s Capitol and as with any first time course, I’m excited, my adventurous spirit cannot be tamed, but this time around I’m going for bit more realism. We’ve had some really funky weather this season and the last few weeks have been no exception though the last couple days have been pretty darn good. The advantage here is that DC’s temperatures are quite similar to New York’s so there should be no big surprises. Shouldn’t I say, cause well.. your guess is as good as mine what’s going down weather-wise come Saturday. Tough, mother-of-a-month that it has been to train in, I’ve managed to get some crazy running in amid some aches and pains here and there. I’m definitely over-due a siesta after Saturday -big smile- and I’m so looking forward to it.

During my self pep talks, I mentally run the course and psych myself up so I feel ready for race day. I go through the fuel and gel stations, mileage and my pace and try to incorporate some sight-seeing along the way. There are benefits to this; I’m able to lose myself in my surroundings a bit and enjoy the beauty around me. Also, during this time, less attention is given to the pressures of the race and I’m able to live the moment. Additionally, I’m big on experiences and every race is an experience I love to revel in, at least when I’m not in pain, so while some races are more memorable than others, I like to think I take away something valuable each time.

High expectations is another facet of my type-A person. I run around expecting the best from myself every time. Within recent times I have been not-a-little disappointed with my performance and sometimes lack of proper judgement, and while that would be enough to faze the average Jane, I remain fearless and determined as ever with eyes fixed on Boston 2015 and a goal of 3:35. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and hopefully wings for feet.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This Irish-named girl feels lucky! image

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