Monday, July 9, 2007

I Am A Finisher!

It’s time to take a few minutes to reflect on yesterday’s accomplishment! Why would I call this an accomplishment or feel that it is? After all, it was just a half-marathon! I know, some would say "JUST"! I tell you, the emotions I experienced nearing the end of the race tells me it was an accomplishment.

As I re-live the experience in m mind, there is not one single thing I would have changed to make it any better than it was. Oh, maybe one thing...I would have preferred a different bid color to match my outfit! No, not really!

There were many memorable moments and scenes and experiences that made this event special. I mean things like, running through the Stampede Grounds and finding hundreds of folks cheering us on at about 7:15 am on a Sunday morning. Running through the Zoo as the animals start their day, that’s when they seem to be most awake and active. I did not get to see the warthogs, they are my favourite. Sharing a few kilometers with John Stanton, the Running Room guru. What an inspiration that man is! He is in his 50s, he is running a half marathon, and his race is not about him like it is for the rest of us. For each of us, this race is "all about me"! For John Stanton, this race was all about everyone else around him, the runners, the volunteers, the spectators. Maybe that’s why it looked like it was an easy race for him to run, his focus was everywhere else but on himself. Maybe he knows the true secret!

From past experiences with running, I know what is facing me with a couple of kilometers to go, but for some reason I think it might be different this time. I don’t know why I thought this, maybe I needed to know a reason for why I felt it was going to be different. I did not have a reason and it turned out being no different than in the past. This is where my experience begins to tell me I am accomplishing something worthy! I feel the lump in my throat and I begin to feel the moisture in my eyes. With a couple of kilometers to go, the pace quickens slightly, the heart beats faster and I cannot contain what I am feeling inside. My emotions spill out as I run. I wonder what the people along the sidelines think when they are see a grimace on my face and the odd tear on my cheek. Maybe they think I am pushing on in pain! I want them to now these are emotions of joy, of exhilaration, of release, of accomplishing a hard earned goal I set for myself! All this tells me I can deservedly call what I did an accomplishment!

I am a finisher of the 2007 Stampede Alberta Jeep Eagle Half Marathon!