Saturday, November 3, 2007

Enjoying the view from atop

It's true that all runners, whether seasoned veterans or newbies, elite athletes or back-of-the-packers, go through peaks and valleys during their running careers. This week has demonstrated to me that most members of our running club are surfing high atop a momentous wave.

Our club has become a close-knit group. We take pride in each other's good days and we share in each other's pain. I've developed close relationships with people in the group that I surely would not have, if not for the running.

But that's the funny thing - the actual running is not the tie that binds us - it's the mutual respect that we have for each other's effort and attitude that gives us those warm, fuzzy feelings. We have fast runners and slower ones, big runners and smaller ones, but their paces per mile is not a measure of any consequence - lacing up the shoes and getting out there is what it's all about.

We came off a high in July when we finished our longest race ever; there was a noticeable drop in enthusiasm and effort, not surprising after a big race, but a little disappointing nonetheless. My conclusion about our present-day group high is based on three distinct factors that came to light this week:

  • Our newest and most-improved member has been "lighting it up" out there with hard work, determination and a big smile - an effort that has surely inspired most others in the group;
  • A group run on Friday through torrential rains and gale-force winds that was best summed-up by one of our "senior" runners when she said she loved every minute of it; and,
  • A glorious Saturday run with brilliant sunshine, little wind and perfect temperatures - a gift from the running gods in exchange for our efforts on "monsoon Friday".

I know there's a valley coming, they're hard to avoid - but the group can ride this wave for a long time if members focus less on the physical act of running and more on the other things that being a member of the club affords us.

Membership has its privileges.


DM said...

There should be a fourth item mentioned here as well ...
* Our teacher, our adviser, our constant inspiration ... Mark. If it weren't for you, none of us would be runners today. Watching you work yourself back into running form after a serious back injury is amazing. Due to your committment and dedication you were back on your feet a lot faster than most of us thought you'd be. If you can be that dedicated, the least we can do in return is run in a little rain !

Love2Run said...

It's nice to have training groups to run with. You hardly even feel like you're running sometimes. Good luck getting ready for Halifax 08!

Demi said...

Good words.