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Finishing is Winning

I keep thinking about doing my best. There is a distant image of perfection of who I could have been in my mind's eye (Which, probably needs to be poked out.) Ah - if I had only chosen this path to fitness long ago.

There are so many things I could have been. Well, maybe not a Kenyan, but a lot of things.

When we were a kids, we dreamed of being astronauts, doctors, fireman and cowboys. Later on it was rock musicians and sports greats. In first grade I wanted to be married to the girl next door, but she fell in love with Tomas up the street.

As you are probably well aware, I didn't become any of those things. Well. I did get married, but not to the girl next door. Actually by 4th grade I think she had cooties which made her yucky!

If I had to do it all over again, I would have started running way back then. My friend Tom says that you can achieve the same results in about 2 to 3 years as you would have with a lifetime of running. I don't know.

Sunday I did the pastor a favor and skipped church to run a 10K race. He hates when I stand on the pews any way.

It was in the region known as the Worcester Hills, about an hour from Boston. Guess what? They have HILLS there; lots of them. From 30,000 feet it looks like a topless beach in the French Riviera.

As I look back over the last 2 years, I have come a long way in my running performance. My first 5K, the graduation of C25K took me 31:42. My best 5K time was 7 months later and was 25:08. That's 2 minutes per mile faster. About 10 minutes per mile, down to a pace of 8. You can convert to miles or kilometers HERE.

Runners use pace as a standard comparison - well, that and brightly colored shoes.

My 10K times have fallen from 1:05:37 last fall to 59:08 on Sunday. I have only done one half marathon and the next one is going to be under 2 hours! I have another one planned in August, and 2 more in September. Interestingly, my MFP pal, BigMech has been there for both my 5K and 10K PRs. He's like my lucky rabbits foot. Although he's lost 250 pounds (one of me), I can't keep him in my pocket.

Maybe my friend Tom is right, in another year I will reach my running destiny and achieve my top speed and performance.

Honestly, I don't really care. I love to run, not for the competition, but for the heart and for the head. In the fall I am shooting for my first marathon. I just want to finish - to say I did it. And then we'll see what I do next.

I have already applied for a spot in the Boston Marathon and I am waiting to hear back. Why? Because finishing, for me, is winning.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I appreciate the comments and votes!

68 votes + -

13 comments:

Mustangsally1000 wrote 103 months ago:
Nicely said...always with humor...and always an inspiration! I did my first 5K a couple of weeks ago...I had my best time for that distance, and finished before all the cake was gone! :D
secretlobster wrote 103 months ago:
I love this. I agree, I wish I'd started running earlier. I don't believe for a second that you can achieve in 2-3 years what others would in a lifetime of running. I really think that the longer you've been doing it (without serious injury) the greater advantage you have. I wish I could adopt your mindset of loving to run for the spirit of it. I'm a competitive jerk myself and pace means a LOT to me. That's really awesome that you just love running though, running seems to be a great ally that you can conjure up any time you need physical catharsis.
turkeyhunter60 wrote 103 months ago:
Well said. Totally agree that in lots of situations, finishing is winning. I still can't run around the block, much less a half marathon, but as our office relocates in two weeks, and I lose easy access to our office "boot camp", my training will probably take a different road-maybe including running some. Good luck with the marathon.
BigMech wrote 103 months ago:
Maybe we can run a half together and you can set a new PR :)
tamjak wrote 103 months ago:
I started running when I was about 30. I had done 3 marathons before having kids at age 40 and 42. Now that my kids aren't babies anymore, I am finally back to regular running, and hoping to get back to and surpass my 9:30 minute mile PR. I'm definitely not fast, but I always finish and I am always really happy that I ran or competed in any race. Marathons are a real challenge and if you can do that, you can do anything.
jagfan wrote 103 months ago:
Guess I have reached my peek! I have been running over 3 years now and I am still slow! Oh well, like you say, at least I have finished!
MaryRegs wrote 103 months ago:
in it to win it!!!! Thanks for your running advice-got the shoes, talking to a therapist today about the plantar faciitis...and I am on the path to running. Oh, and my husband is going to run with me!! :)
made2wonder wrote 103 months ago:
I completed a marathon 9 years ago. But I'm not a runner; I walked the whole way, about a 15-minute mile. So for me, it was all about finishing.
wisebadger53 wrote 103 months ago:
You have achieved so much that I'm sure the marathon will just be another milestone in your amazing transformation David. Thanks for letting us share your rambling today! :-)
Scoochie1 wrote 103 months ago:
I'm still only doing 2.5k in a single sitting but I'm working on it - when I run I think of all that can be achieved and I'll get there one day
Conniea121 wrote 103 months ago:
Like the idea of running just not sure how to get started.
susanonamission wrote 103 months ago:
Hey I walked my first 5k on Sunday at the OC Marathon. I am so proud of me! It feels good! Congrats to you!
dsjohndrow wrote 103 months ago:
Congratulations!

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