Sunday, October 25, 2009

Raw Inspiration: Marine Corps Marathon Day!!

(Peace Park)

It was a beautiful day for "The People's Marathon" in Washington, D.C.  I love this event. Somehow it makes the city a little kinder...people smile a little more.  Total strangers from all walks of life and from country-after-country join in to celebrate the human spirit - and what it takes to run 26.2 miles.

The runners in this photo have been at it for more than 6 hours already and are inching to the finish line.  They are the ones who I really wanted to cheer on - since I was one of them myself in 2004.  (That's another post.)  Today I celebrate them and how winning (completing) does not always mean coming in first. 
In fact, winning is sometimes readjusting your expectations of yourself, doing your best, and taking pride in an alternative outcome.  I was reminded of this today while on the subway (with 30,ooo other people).  A woman around my age boarded the train.  I noticed her wearing a medal and said "Congratulations!"  She looked down and said, "It is only for the 10K race.  I wanted to run the Marathon.  I trained for the Marathon, but then I got hurt and the doctor told me that I couldn't run it today."  

I replied by telling her that running a 10K is something that very few people have done and that she should be proud of the accomplishment.  (Not to mention that she was wise to listen to the doctor and her own body and not let her ego talk her into something that could hurt her in the long run.)  That seemed to lift her spirits, and she said that she wanted to try again by running the "Jingle All The Way" 10K in December.  She asked if I wanted to join her.  I said, "Yes, if I am not traveling!" 

So, just like that we were both in good moods and contemplating running through the streets of Washington, D.C. in celebration of the Holiday Season.  "Oh what fun, it is to run...."

I guess this means that I will have to start (um) training!  Have you run a marathon, or any other kind of road race / fun run?  Any (raw) tips on how to prepare, what to bring to the event, or how to recover afterword?

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