Cheers to Spectators!

After months of training this past Sunday the BIG event had finally arrived … the marathon. My friend and I had both had a bit of a rough training cycle, so we had vowed to stick together through thick and thin. We both had our fears that the other would change the plan and decide not to run together. My friend thought I would slow her down, and after coming down with a cold a few days before the race I seriously questioned whether I could finish – and if I would have to tell her to leave me behind.

We had a plan to start slow and try to finsh strong. During the first few miles we were going a bit faster then planned but still slower than “race pace” so we felt pretty good. But over the miles things began to wear and we ran into a few challenges, and while taking a walk break I got a bit chilled and actually put my jacket back on.

I’ve always been thankful to the people who take time out of thier weekend to come and cheer for random strangers running by – but as I was feeling the chill in the air it struck me again. “Spectators are really awesome,” I told me friend as I looked around at the cheering crowds with colorful entertaining signs. “Keep going!”, “You’re doing great!” they yelled as we passed.

I’ve had the opportunity to cheer for others at races, and I have to say – it is no small task! To be out there for a few hours constantly clapping and cheering and shouting words of encouragement is DRAINING! During the colder months you are also enduring cold fingers and toes and faces! You expend loads of energy giving it to those passing by who snatch up every bit of encouragement they can to keep pushing forward.

As they say, energy is not created or lost, it just changes form. I’ve felt the boost from a cheering race fan or high-fiving kid! It can bring the smile back to your face and push you a bit further down the course to the next group of cheering supporters.

If you haven’t been to a race as a spectator I highly recommend you try it. It’s inspiring and uplifting AND you will make someone’s day as you make eye contact and tell them how awesome they are as the run by.

So to all the runners out there, respect and appreciate the spectators for all they do for us on race day!

And to the spectators, hats off to you! You ROCK!! The race wouldn’t be the same without you!

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How can I be 40?? I’m not old enough!

Crazy thing – it seems that despite my best efforts to deny it, according to the calendar I’m 40 today. I keep thinking to myself, “But I don’t feel old enough to be 40!”

That’s the thing with aging – age really is just a state of mind. While we can take some measures to slow the deterioration of the body and mind, eventually we start seeing those signs – the crows feet, sagging skin, grey hairs, the “senior moments”… But it seems that the core of who we are, what some call our soul, is not necessarily on the same clock. You’ve heard the saying “young at heart” – a youthfulness that defies our chronological age. My husbands grandmother once said when she was in her 90’s “I still feel the same on the inside as when I was 18”. It is this inner youth that can make us feel at odds with what the calendar tells us.

So I officially vow to stop living by the calendar. Don’t tell me I’m too old for that – I will laugh at you and do it anyway! It was just 2 weeks ago that I was ziplining over Bootleg Canyon and in a couple more weeks I’ll be running my next half marathon! I’m a firm believer in the use-it-or-lose-it philosphy, so I’m going to keep on using my mind and body to accomplish amazing things as long as they will let me.

My birthday will not be the ticking timebomb that some people associate their birthdays with, but a day to celebrate all of the amazing things I have accomplished, a day to set new goals and dream new dreams, and a day to surround myself with all of the wonderful people in my life… or maybe I’ll just snuggle up on the sofa with my husband, my 2 cats, a slice of birthday cake, and a good movie like last year and do all that other stuff tomorrow… 🙂

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