For The Love of Running
I am supposed to tell you why I love running. Well here is a little secret, I don’t love running. It is hard work and satisfying but I don’t love it. I think that it is easy for newer runners to question themselves as to why they don’t love running when so many around are totally in love. Fear not my friends, you don’t have to love running to find love in it. Running not only gave me the love of my life and wonderful husband but it led me to find some of the best friends that a girl could ever ask for.
In joining the Trilanders and becoming a Gazelle Girl, I found a non-judgemental group of friends that helped encourage me, laugh with me, are supportive and help me to be a better athlete. Joining a running group can be a wonderful tool, it helps hold you accountable and it makes your runs fun. If you have fun while you are running you will continue to run, you are distracted from the pain of that hill, or how tired you are after work and struggling to show up. You can lace up with your friends, get a great workout in and discuss whatever the miles bring to you and trust me no subject is off-limits if you are out for 18 miles. This community that is achieved is what I love about running.
Running brings me a sense of belonging, a sense of achievement, a community and if I am honest it brings me more food because I can eat that now that I have burned all those calories. I belong with these wonderful people who make the miles go quickly. I have personally achieved distances that others told me that I could not run. This is what I love about running.
I became a Gazelle Girl Pacer because as the race director for the St. Rose 5k, running has taught me to give back to my community. I am able to volunteer to cheer others on and help at other races. I get joy from seeing others striving to reach their goals. I will do anything to help them cross that finish line. I will walk them, run with them and never leave until we have reached that line. Quitting is not an option. I ran a trail marathon two years ago that changed how I look at running and what I can give to it. I saw a woman at mile 23 of 26.2 give up and quit. She was crying, tired, struggling and so close to finishing that I cried when she quit. I begged her to keep going, we can walk 3 miles and I will walk every step by your side. She walked off the course and I knew then that I had more to give, and Gazelle Girl was where I could do it. With tears in my eyes, I finished my marathon and began my search for a way to give of myself to this wonderful race. When asked if I could help out and be a pacer when someone was unable to, I jumped at the chance. This will be my second year. This is what I love about running.
I love that the Gazelle Girl race is a safe place for women to put themselves out there and accomplish getting to the finish line together. We can push each other, encourage each other and become better women and runners for it. I love the sparkle and glitter, sweat and sass. I love being able to look up to another runner and strive to be as fast as her or as confident. I love the hugs, the tears, the friends and the family that we become. I don’t love running, occasionally I hate it; however, I love what I am able to achieve, what I am able to witness, what I am able to see other’s accomplishments. The gift that running gives me is the gift of life, health, friends and seeing nature and I do love that.