Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thoughts On My First 10K

Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring. ~Jimmy Carter

Hi Friends,

 Hope this Summer is shaping up to be everything you hoped it would be. Our days are always pretty exciting in July. We take our week off to get away, travel to Oregon and enjoy some of what we think Summer is all about. This year I have been trying to shed a few pounds and act as much NOT my age as possible.

While making plans for my adventures I work around the family time Brenda needs with her family, so I tend to make plans that can be changed easily or that really are right off the top of my head.

This year I Googled about the best runs around Medford and Ashland to see what popped up. I was leaning towards a different run every day. What intrigued me most from my search was the Ashland 4th of July 5K and 10K runs. It seemed to have all the coolio things I enjoy... running, Ashland, The 4th of July ... it might be a perfect solution to my activity calendar. After signing up online and paying my fee I was stoked for the 4th to arrive so the games could begin.

We got to Medford and I explored some running routes around the in-laws house that sounded fun. I actually got mentally lost a couple times and decided to make my short runs into longer, whats that around the corner runs. It was great.

The 4th finally arrived and I got up early for my first 10K. I was really excited and left the house before  anyone else opened even one eye. I wanted to get to Ashland early to see the little town wake up and get a good parking spot. By the time I arrived runners were already warming up by running up and down Main Street. Folks were pinning their bibs on and swapping stories too. The serious runners toed the line and the gun sounded about 7:45 AM and we were off. I had no plans to win or even compete in this race so I settled in to a spot that kept me out of the way and hoped that I would not clip anyones heels as we made our way down Main Street. Then we turned and what we got next was one of the greatest tours of Ashland you could ever get. Down we ran, passed little homes with beautiful yards in a area of town I had never seen before. It was an Oasis of green fields, streams and small streets. This must be what heaven is like. We made our way to the Bear Creek Greenway and ran back towards downtown along the creek for a few minutes. Then we started climbing the hills back towards downtown.  The town had come alive since we left with families and parade entrants lining up for the 4th of July parade. It was great to turn onto Main Street again and see all those smiling faces.

As I made my way down the final stretch of the run, I remembered someone telling me that you always run as hard as you can as you get near the finish. Not because you are winning, or even among the finishers. But because you will always remember the joy of pushing hard for the finish and the thrill of running hard those last few blocks. I did and it was great! I even managed to find a picture of me running towards the end, having the time of my life.

I finished near the bottom of my class, but what a wonderful day. I am already making plans to be in Ashland next year for the 4th of July run and maybe staying for the parade that follows. Many thanks to Ashland for letting me run around like a wild man in your little town and not calling the police. Also many thanks to the organizers of the run for making me feel so comfortable.

Peace, Love and Bliss,