Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cold weather running and my epiphany

Although not cold by many standards, in Florida this morning was cold and clear. Our first cold morning of the season, it was 48 degrees F and I was excited to see how it would feel to run in the chill instead of the heat.

Uncertain how cold I would feel, but knowing I would warm up quick, I wore capri length jogging pants, a short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve running shirt thrown over it. Instead of the visor I had been wearing (more to keep sweat out of my eyes than the sun) I put a running hat on to keep heat in.

Setting my podrunner tunes to 170, I set off for my 5 mile run at a brisk pace. The cool air felt great and the stars twinkled brightly. My first mile breezed by at 10:06 - a bit fast but still a comfortable pace. I was already warming up so I pushed my sleeves up and after my 1 min walking break I pressed on. My second mile was at 10:26. This was feeling great.

The entire run continued like that - I felt like I could run on and on. I finished the last mile of the run in 9:46 and felt great! 51:51 for the 5 miles - my fastest run on this route yet. This weather is a lot like the weather around the date of the marathon. If we get a morning like this I will be in heaven.

As I ran today, I was thinking of a recent epiphany I had regarding why we pursue certain goals in life, accomplishments, our "blue ribbons." Without getting into the details of my epiphany, I was wondering if my goal to run a marathon was just another blue ribbon I was seeking in my life - an accomplishment in the eyes of the world. And in many ways it is, at least it started out that way. But as I train I realize that it has become much more. The journey to the race has been much more important than running the race itself. Oh sure, I am looking forward to the race - but I wonder if I would be pushing myself out of bed to run on mornings like today - when I don't feel 100% and its cold outside. Would I be running 5 days a week if I didn't have that goal looming ahead? Would I plan my schedule around running 18 miles on a Sunday morning before many folks are out of bed? I think there is a good chance I wouldn't. So the goal is serving a greater purpose. It is establishing an exercise routine, a healthy approach to life that benefits me, my family and the people around me. They don't care if I win a race (which is good since I never will). They care if I am healthy, happy and part of their lives. That makes me a winner in their eyes. And THAT is the real prize.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I couldn't agree more with the findings of your epiphany!