Showing posts with label pride. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pride. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The post-race question I'm always asked

Enjoy it while you can
The exhilaration that comes after a race has about the same shelf-life as a loaf of freshly baked bread. Right after a race, once I've re-hydrated, re-fueled and rested, the world looks perfect. Endorphins are still plentiful and I feel proud and satisfied. The day after a race has its charms, especially for me, because it's usually a Monday and I get to re-live the experience with work friends.

By the third day, the pride is still there, but the bread isn't quite as fresh. I begin to ask myself questions like "Should I have taken two rest days as planned, or powered through and done an easy run today?" and "What's next to do after all that base training to prepare for my half marathon?" By Tuesday, not too many people are asking about my weekend.

I was asked (four times) yesterday, if I was now going to do a marathon (or in one case, a real marathon). My answer remained the same: No. If all things were equal, but I were 20 years younger, I would probably consider running a full marathon some day. But for me, the ability to run a 26.2 mile race isn't something that I feel I need to do. If I can break 2:00 for 13.1 miles, that would mean more to me. An accomplishment like that would keep me excited, long past Tuesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Every child gets a trophy

Proud to be a participant
There's a lot of talk these days about how parents reinforce mediocrity by rewarding children for doing nothing more than participating in a sporting event. The argument I hear is that children will develop unrealistic expectations about the level of effort required to achieve a real accomplishment. Personally, I have no problem giving a child a trophy for participation, especially in sports, where having an active kid is the real reward. I'm guessing that parents who reward simple participation in sports are likely more focused on practical things, like academics.

I say this because, in every race I've run, only three people get to the podium and the rest (age group winners excluded) get (at best) finisher medals. Actually, most of the time your finisher medal is your race bib and that's why every race number that I've worn is tacked up on a bulletin board in my office. Saturday's Cow Harbor number makes it an even 20 and I'm inspired by each of them every day. With the exception of one race where I came in second in my division, I've been nothing more than a "finisher."

Does it it bother me that this collection represents mere participation? Not at all. In racing, to participate is to accomplish. Just like 19 times before, I earned that trophy on Saturday.

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