It’s going to be a good day when the first thing on ones ‘to-do’ list is a 9 mile frolic around a gorgeous lake. It’s going to be a GrEaT day when the forecast for this run is a bright blue sky, light breeze, and temps in the low 70’s…..in July? Why, yes! Let the day begin.
I lace up, stretch, hide my key in the gas cap door, look up, and notice the first of what was to be a run of many lessons. There’s a truck parked in designated parking and there’s a wheel chair left, abandoned, near the down tail-gate…….my first thought was how cool for this person to be getting out to enjoy this amazing day, and second, how blessed am I to be about to foot power my own self around this lake.
I start off after a good stretch and a Hal Higdon inspired two minute warm up walk. I’m feeling pretty good today and know that if I keep resting and running in a slow, comfortable zone, I’m going to heal. After seeing the lone wheel chair, I’m in an even greater mood and look forward to where this run will take me.
I’m blessed to be watching the sun shimmer off the calm lake, and the sounds of the breeze and birds chirping is better than any play-list.
I start thinking about some recent running conversations I’ve had with friends about getting started and staying started.
In a recent evening with one of my brother’s friends, running was the topic since earlier that morning I had ran the Big Sky State Games half, and he was saying how he was interested in a half marathon as well and was told to start training after the first of the year. Now, this took me by surprise because I’m not sure why anyone in their right mind would encourage someone to pass by summer and fall running (in Montana I might add) to take their first steps out the door in the snow covered streets of January (in Montana I might add).
With as neutral tone as I could muster I said, “why not start today and train for the half in Billings in September?” He appeared to be in decent health, had a bike, and was less than 30 so figured he had plenty of time to get some miles under his belt in time for the event. I gave him the link to my tried and true, Hal Higdon plan and told him myself, and one of my running besties have used this man’s plans to running success.
Another recent conversation someone wondered how their motivation for running had dwindled. They wondered how they just didn’t even have it to get out for a couple miles. Honestly, I wonder too, but know stress can be a powerful enemy and energy drain. I personally set a three mile, gut-it-out- goal on tough days when I want to skip it all together. I figure the first three miles of ANY run are always the hardest for me and if I can at least gut those out, I’ve done my mind, body, and soul good. Sometimes, once I get to (or close to) the three miles I’m feelin’ it and keeping going isn’t so hard. Either way, I’m a winner.
I’ve also got a friend who is giving running a go and I’ve watched her (via Facebook) go from walking a 19 minute mile, to running a ten-minute mile. She’s over-the -moon with her progress and I’m smiling ear to ear for her.
As I continue around this paved path around the lake, I’m signaled over by a frantic looking woman. “I’m sorry,” she begins, while standing by a potential turn in the path that I’m not even sure I’ve ever noticed. “I’m trying to do the 8 mile path and don’t know which way to go.” I stop, tell her to keep the lake on her left, don’t turn away, and just keep going. She’s so grateful it’s hard to be bummed for any time about having to stop my run. I’m again reminded that each person out here is making dreams happen. Here it was a lady who had never traveled around this lake that I’ve run so many times I could draw a detailed map from memory. We’re each working goals and I love that I got to be a part of keeping her on the path to hers!
I continue the circle passing couples holding hands, friends walking and talking, runners of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and I’m learning that each one is having the time of their life. Some may be breathing a little harder than another, or going a little faster than another, but when it comes down to it, each person is happily accomplishing a goal; even me. So, don’t wait. Finish reading this, make child-care plans if you need, or bring them along! Either way, lace up and go…..really, don’t wait for any ‘right time,’ the lesson learned is to lace up and get going………
Groovy Girls Go ……… Right Now