Friday, October 10, 2008

A Real Runner

I began running in seminary, as part of a whole-seminary challenge to run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April of 2006.  A friend and I trained hard, decided we weren't ready for a full 10 miles, and completed the 5K race.  I've run off and on since then.

Michelle and I decided to participate in the Great Glen Trail Running Series at the Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch.  These trails are at the base of Mount Washington and are open for a variety of outdoor pursuits throughout the year: walking, hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.  The trail running series ran for six weeks and covered a 3.4 mile trail.  The first 1.4 miles consisted of a serious trail run - up and down hills, over rocks and roots, and several stream crossing.  The last 2 miles were on the cross-country ski trails and were graded (though still with some ups and downs).  

The runs were difficult.  Each week, I ran hard, and tried to improve my time (and I succeeded, clocking in at 52, 50, 48.5 and 47.2 minutes respectively).  But I never feel graceful or at ease when I run.  I have a hard time catching my breath, and my face turns all red.  

Last night, as I was running, I cam upon a mom running the short course with her two kids, who were about seven and four.  As I came up behind them, I heard the mom say, "Move over guys, there's a real runner coming."  Me.  She called me a real runner!  It gave me a total boost.  As I continued running, I realized that she was right.  I might not be the fastest runner (in fact, my times for the trail run were always the slowest).  But, I can run a 3.4 mile trail run and finish the course.  That makes me a real runner.  

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