Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Every day is running day

Today I woke up to my social feeds announcing it was #nationalrunningday, a day to celebrate running in the United States. When I looked a little deeper into who was putting the day together, I saw that the day has the support of a lot of the major running bodies -- the marathon majors, Running USA and the Oregon Track Club, among others.

I thought about the need for a running day this afternoon, when a running buddy and I met for a run (8 miler for me). It was our usual Wednesday catchup run, where the pace slows enough to chat about what we've been up to since the last time we went for a run, about how our prep for the Chicago Marathon would begin in earnest in a few days.

As we met, he handed me a souvenir, a wristband for Boston he picked up in New York last weekend, the proceeds go to The One Fund.

Run Now wristband

These wristbands, like those famous yellow ones in the past, are a signal to others, and made me remember that we are running's best ambassadors.

Ever see how your obsessive running sparks others to take on the sport? In the years I've been running marathons, I've had countless chats with friends and co-workers about how to pick up running, what shoes to wear, how to build up to a 10K, what to wear on a late fall evening. This blog alone, which I've been maintaining for eight years, has in its 1200-plus posts a lot of answers to your search questions about race strategy, how to taper for a half marathon and what it's like to run in Toronto.

Over the years, I've been lucky to be asked to talk to running groups and I love the look on new runners' faces when I tell them about goal setting -- be it your first half or planning for your fastest marathon. You see what I already have -- people on the cusp of realizing why they love this sport.

Running is addictive. The act is simple, the benefits are considerable and the community is amazing. I'd like to think that each one of us who hits the trails sends a positive message. That's why I wave at other runners, catch drivers stalled at the intersection looking on as I power on during a winter night, and why I write for an audience who wants to catch up with other runners.

The Boston Marathon bombings shocked the running community, but it also quickly revealed the strength in our numbers, the passion we have for our sport. Long distance runners are a different breed -- we often suffer silently, but we all take pride in being part of a massive movement. As I train this summer, I'll be thinking of the challenging workouts ahead to tackle alone, and of the two special days in October and November, when I'll line up at the Chicago Marathon and a month later embark on a 26.2 mile trip from Staten Island to Central Park, ready to run with my fellow ambassadors.

Those days, we call them race days.

Every other day? They're running days.


Robin said...

Beautiful post....

Running the Distance said...

Well said. This was a great posy. Can't wait to be on the start with tons of other runners in Chicago!

runnergirl said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment recently. Much appreciated! I'm glad to see you're still out there running and blogging about it all.

Gina said...

There is really no other sport like running! If you are running and living active lifestyle, check out this blog: A lot of useful information about athlete training, diet plans, fitness programs and other important things for athletes, as well as for others who want to be fit.

Amber said...

This is cool!