Love it. Hate it. Wonder why people do it. Can’t wait to lace up your Sauconys, Nikes, Adidas, Hokas, or New Balance? Wish you could. Ask why people get up early for it AND pay for it. Excited for a long Saturday run. Who would give up sleeping into run?
The mere word, running, may evoke one or more of the above mentioned thoughts or questions.
My 8th marathon season as a coach is complete. Each season, it it my privilege to spend six months with runners who want to cross a marathon finish line. While it may seem like six months of running, it’s really about the powerful human spirit, camaraderie, and living a good and always busy life.
Life doesn’t stop for a marathon. In the midst of managing training runs, some “just ten miles” and others “oh my gosh, twenty miles” our team is living life with:
full-time careers, work commutes, baby watches and new grandchildren, caring for elderly family members, the household: laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, kids’ school events: soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, band, drama performances, Thanksgiving and Christmas, flu season, injuries, other hobbies, and all the other unknowns!
Yet, our runners show up for months to train, and somehow manage to juggle all of family and work commitments so they can put in the miles. “Short runs” become double digits, all the way up to 20 miles. Then, suddenly a ten mile run earns the rightful “just” in front making it “just ten miles” and on these days, we can get home a little sooner and tend to all the tasks that don’t stop for a marathon season.
It’s never only about the running. Yes, the training calendar brings us together, at first. Later, it’s sharing our lives that becomes the bond and keeps all of us returning – to run yet again in the park, same scenery, but a new week and new parts of our lives to share.
Amazed, I’m always in awe of our running friends’ perseverance and willingness to rearrange their lives to fit in all the miles required to successful and trained for race day.
I’m “the coach” and yet I am the one who learns much, much more about living, juggling, balance, commitment, support and being the best that we all can be. With gratitude, I get to be the one being coached, too!
Cheers to our Geese, your life didn’t stop for a marathon. You did it and are still doing it. Here’s to many more.