Personal Bests. Personal Records. Wins. First Place. Runner Up. Age Group Winner. Overall Female or Male Finisher.
Wow! These all sound wonderful and thrilling to accomplish. I, for one, have reveled in the wake of a top finish. However, as I progress in my running “career” I’ve found new meaning in logging miles and collecting race bibs. When I was in high school, most of the girls in my school did not run and did not think it was fun. In college, I surrounded myself with a few more like-minded peers, but still the majority of people that I knew did not run. Every year that I kept on racing and putting more miles in my legs, I met more runners like me. Some were super competitive and others just ran for fun. From the very beginning of my running days, I’ve considered myself to be a slightly above average runner, so competitive racing naturally became a part of me. I had finally gotten my full of hard track racing while running on the incredible GBTC team. To this day, it is one of the best experiences I have ever had when it comes to running. As the years passed I got faster, but not fast enough to be considered an elite athlete and so I slowly found myself developing a different mindset towards running.
In my late 20’s-early 30’s I started hopping into fun races like the Hot Chocolate Run, 80’s run, Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon, Hood To Coast Relay, Halloween 5k, Holiday Dash, plus more, and I realized that it’s fun to compete but even more fun to just have fun! I also started noticing the number of runners that weren’t really there to compete, far out numbered the competitive ones. When I started taking stock of who was running and the stories behind their running, an emotional connection to the races and fellow runners budded inside. A shift from wanting to be in the front at every race to running for health, strength, and enjoyment took over. Leaving my competitive running team in SF (short-lived team member for Impala Racing Team), running on my own for a few years, and finally joining up with Oiselle Volée was the last bit I needed to fill my nutty running legs up with joy.
When I go on my FB feed I see friends from way back, who were never runners before, posting their running photos from various races and runs. I’d say that more than half of my FB friends are a part of a world that once didn’t exist in their lives. Being a part of Oiselle also gives me the opportunity to learn and meet people of all abilities who enjoy running as much as I do. To me, this is so beautiful to watch the power of running unfold. Some run for health, for fun, for a family member, for sanity… the list goes on. 20 years ago I felt like I was a part of a very small group – runners – and people thought I was a nut because I loved it so much. Now, I have runner friends to be inspired and encouraged by wherever I turn. So, to all of my runner friends who are worried or feel bummed by places, times, and wins remember that your efforts mean so much more than any of those things. You are contributing to a lifestyle or world that is deeply woven in some of us and it thrills us to have… company! Go out and have fun on your runs! Work hard, give it all you’ve got and remember that you always have a runner friend cheering for you!
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