Saturday, May 21, 2016

Life in the Slow Lane


When you're not fast, you run for other reasons than always being worried about time - fitness, quiet time, and the pure enjoyment of the run.  Training for a half-marathon was not always fun, pounding the pavement mile after mile, but logging 13.1 miles on race day for the Frederick Half was pure fun throughout most of the race.  Being in the slower pack of the race, I get to enjoy things that some faster runners might just breeze right by without even realizing they're missing anything.

Neighborhood Support - Somewhere around mile 7 we were in a perfectly quaint little neighborhood that came out to cheer on runners, even those of us in the back of the pack.  I think my favorite "cheerleaders" were the little kids who set up along the road to hand out high fives to everyone who passed.  I think they reminded me of my little boys who I wish could have been there cheering mommy on!

Camaraderie with Runners - There are lots of interesting people you can meet while running if you have the time to slow down and say "hi."  I was excited to meet Sid Busch during Frederick.  If you don't know Sid, he's a bit of a running celebrity who had a spread in Runner's World a few months ago.  Sid runs races from 5Ks to marathons in honor of fallen service men and women while carrying an American flag.  He's participated in runDisney races and several of the local Maryland races that I've done, but this was the first time I had the chance to meet him.  I also was passed (yes, I'm admitting it) by a man who jumped rope the entire half marathon.  How awesome is that?  And I did pass him back around mile 11.  I also saw about 25 runners wearing runDisney shirts that day which automatically caused me to talk with them as we were running together about their favorite races.  Nothing brings people together quite like Disney - even when you're almost 1,000 miles from the park!

More time for donuts (or other pit stops) - That's right.  I said donuts.  I was surprised, and excited, to see Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins at one of the fuel stops along the run.  When your time is not the most important part of the day you have time to stop and smell the donuts - and eat them too!  Other races may feature fun stops too - like the character greetings during a runDisney race.  When you're enjoying life in the slow lane, there is always time to stop for a smile.

Let's end with a little pick-me-up for some runners who might feel like they are "too slow" for a certain race or to call themselves a runner.  By embarking on the training journey and participating in the race, you're already accomplishing an amazing feat that many others don't even dare to attempt.  Whether you are running 8 minute miles or 15 minute miles, stand tall, stand proud, and enjoy the run!

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