Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sometimes it's about something bigger than a finish time.

Today was my last practice (of the season) with Team Challenge. Six miles of hills humidity and hot sun but I managed to finish in under an hour (I slowed significantly at the end). That wasn't the hard part. And neither was the fact that more or less I have been training for a very long time to get to this point.

It was on the drive home, listening to, of all things, the 2008 Olympic Soundtrack. Produced by AT&T, this compilation of songs could make a rock motivated to achieve anything. Or maybe it's just me and my tendency to get emotional over music. One of my favorites is Kate Voegele (this video doesn't even do the song justice).

The point being, as I'm driving I start to realize all the deeper meanings of my training. All the money I am raising, all the people it helps, and the best part is still yet to come. To train for a half marathon on your own is exciting and nerve wracking in it's own right but when you do it with a group of people this incredible bond is formed no matter what speed you run, the shape you are in, or even if you give up training when it's over. You come together over the fact that you endured together, through harsh weather and hard long runs.

For many in my group this is the hardest thing they have ever done in their lives. Their first, of hopefully many more, 13.1 mile runs. I can still remember many moments from my first race, from the pre-dawn start to the tears crossing the finish line. I remember wearing that finishers medal on the plane ride home with such intense pride. And I remember back at home shedding more than a few tears listening to Mariah Carey's "When you believe". ( Yes I am a sap, don't judge me!) "who know's what miracles you can achieve, when you believe, somehow you will" That was pretty much all it took. I (most of the time) just believed I could keep going and I did. And more than that, because my first half was also a fundraising race/training program, the whole weekend surrounding the race was this incredible emotional time when patients and such spoke to us at dinner, we rallied around each other saying things like "the pain we will go through isn't half as bad as the people we are helping"

So to all my fellow Team Challenge runners and walkers, you should be so incredibly proud of yourselves. You had the courage to embark on this difficult journey and look how far you have made it. You are amazing.
And to all the people who were able to donate to such a wonderful cause, thank you.
To the coaches and mentors who showed up every Saturday morning to run with us, you truly rock. In times when I felt like the oddball out, the only runner amongst my group of friends, I could always count on feeling like I belonged at our practices. Talking about hydration, nutrition, training tips, and race stories never gets old for me.

It must be June because I feel like the school year is ending and I am signing one very long yearbook message. I'm just a big ball of emotions. Boston is going to be great, whatever time I run I am just happy to be a part of this whole event. Sometimes it's about something bigger than the finish time. It's about the people you're with and the experience you go through.

xx Sara


That Pink Girl said...

Such an articulate post - you did a great job of capturing the emotion behind such an undertaking. Thank you for fundraising for such a great cause!
Have a great race and enjoy every minute of it!

Denise said...

sorry i missed the last session...had a wedding friday night and there was no way i could get out of bed saturday morning in time to meet up with you guys. good luck in boston!

Rachel said...

this sounds exactly like how i felt when i did my first full with Team in Training. it was so much more than just running! i was super emotional then, too, and im still inspired by the people ive met and the cause we've all got behind. it makes running even more rewarding : ) enjoy every moment of your race next weekend! sometimes there are much more important things than time.