I wasn’t really looking for another race for this season but a link came up in one of my social media feeds with a listing of local races. It spiked my interest and I made the mistake (or maybe not) of taking a peek. I quickly scanned past most races because I usually don’t travel for races or they were too close to races I’ve already signed up for or they were on one of my kid’s birthdays…. whatever the reason, I was able to scan through quickly and move on without adding more to my list and less in my pocket book.
Then I started thinking about races that would be cool to do. I instantly thought back to when I was little and the local road race associated with the town festival that would start in front of our house. We were the 10km mark from town. Runners would be dropped off, do some warm up stretching and short runs back and forth. The police would have the traffic stopped. There would be someone with a megaphone counting down to the start of the race. “10 minutes to start time! 10 minutes!”
I would watch all the excitement from my bedroom window and eventually that wouldn’t be close enough to the action. “5 minutes to start time! 5 minutes!”. I would sit on the front steps of the house and eventually end up as close to the road as I was allowed to go. I still remember the energy and excitement. The focus on the runners’ faces as they chatted with each other and lined up behind the freshly drawn line on the road.
“Boom!” They were off. I’d watch the runners pass me by, some giving me a little wave or thumbs up. I’d stay until the last runner and police vehicle would pass and then carry on with my day. I never saw who won when they reached town. I never saw if they received medals or not. I never saw if friends and family cheered them across the finish line. I couldn’t even tell you where the finish line was in town. I was still impressed and mesmerized by it all. I didn’t run to race then, I was a child and I ran because it was fun and playful. My little mind thought that was exactly what the racers were doing too.
Now, I’m running to race, I have a calendar on my desk telling me if I should run, strengthen, or rest today. How far and fast I should try to go today. I have gear to support my runs and an appropriate playlist on my iPod to help me keep pace. Now, I’m one of those people that line up behind the freshly painted line on the road.
I am also still that little kid sitting in the grass of her front lawn. That little girl gets excited when lined up waiting for the “Boom!”. Giggly and smiles from ear to ear. That little girl is who I am in the middle of a run when I forget to pay attention to all the training tips and just run. I get lost in the fun of it. It is why I continue to run.
That race that started on my front lawn doesn’t happen anymore. I did, however, come across a race in the next town over. I thought about it and then decided to get lost in the fun of it and registered! I have added the Salmon Festival 10 km race to my summer plans. I get to be the runner giving the thumbs up to all the children watching with excitement in their eyes. I can’t wait!