I ran the best race ever last Friday. The 4 on the 4th, which has been sponsored by Ted’s Shoe and Sport for the past 13 years. When I say I ran the best race ever I don’t mean I was pleased with my time, in fact I was 2 minutes slower than I would have thought/liked. At any rate it still was the best or at least it makes top two! The other race that ranks happens to be a 4 on the 4th a few years back
Why was it the best race ever? Wouldn’t you like the secret so you too could be blissed out over a race?! This was one I’ll never forget:) And it really is simple… celebrate other peoples successes as much or even more than your own. Don’t put all your energy and excitement into how well you perform. Cheer for, encourage, support and enjoy everything that everyone else is doing.
I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I confessed to being let down and critical of myself after all or at least most of my own races. I always wonder and wish if I could have pushed harder. I have made the mistake of setting a goal for myself and being disappointed . I have even been upset when I have hit my target time. Some people think I am too competitive. I like the label my friend Sue gave me much better; she calls me driven. Whatever you want to call it, I can be hard on myself as a runner and that isn’t nearly as much fun as celebrating!
And on the Fourth of July this year I celebrated. Thanks to the Road Runners I had much to celebrate! Because the course is out and back I got to see my running club multiple times and it was a blast.
But actually the day was fun before the race even started. Being around such amazing people is a blessing! We were everywhere in our bright yellow, technical fabric, running club shirts. We grabbed our race bags and bibs in the pouring rain and then we hung out for a bit wondering if the race would be cancelled. Eventually we decided Ted was going to will the weather to cooperate. So, I gave a little pre-race pep talk encouraging everyone to run their own race and enjoy themselves. Then we went for a warm up jog around downtown Keene. The mood was light but you could tell everyone was excited and ready to race!
Right from the start I knew the race was going to be a tough one for me. Within the first 1/4 mile I got too close to another runner. Her kick landed on my knee and she almost fell down. Thankfully we were both ok but I felt a bit discombobulated! I had told the club I was “racing” so I did try to put in a good effort. I was doing fine at the halfway turnaround but lost some time on the little nub of a hill somewhere in mile three.
As I was preparing to turn the corner for the finish I looked at my watch and knew I was off goal but I was so anxious to turn around and re-run the course I didn’t care. For the first time I really didn’t care:) I was too psyched about cheering and high fiving the rest of running club. I wasn’t disappointed about the race at all. I was amped up and totally energized! So much so that I didn’t just cheer for people I had trained with I started cheering for everyone. (I probably saved my loudest cheers for Road Runners though)
As soon as I found the runner I was looking for I turned around to finish the race with her, hoping I could help her have a strong finish. I think I also distracted her with an embarrassing secret she promised to keep;) As I cornered the final turn a second time, I saw all the Body & Soul Road Runners. They swarmed around me and my running buddy Angie. Together we all clapped screamed and maybe even got a little teary eyed as every last one of us crossed that finish line together. It was the true definition of awesome!
Ever since the race I have been trying to put into words how I felt watching and celebrating what all the Road Runners accomplished. Proud isn’t right. Impressed or amazed might be closer? I think none of those words relay how lucky I feel to be part of such a special group of people. All I really know is that running with them and for them instead of by myself for myself, I had the BEST RACE EVER!