Me and 30,000 of my closest friends got our run on at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K this morning—the unofficial start of the Chicago race season. Between the incredible weather (70 degrees and sunny) and the four days off from the gym, I felt strong and finished the race in 57 minutes and some change. If you’re counting—and I am—that’s four minutes faster than my 2006 Shuffle time.
I realized around mile three why I love running (and I use the word “love” loosely—it’s usually more like love/hate). When you’re running a race, there’s a kind of clarity that surfaces. There are so many parallels between running and life, and it’s completely cheese ball, but it got me to mile four (gut-wrenching determination and luck got me to the finish line). Here goes… feel free to ridicule me:
Life/running lesson 1: Chances are you’re not going to be the person who finishes first, but you’re here and you’re going to finish—one way or another—so might as try to enjoy it and do the best you can. And really, it’s all about you. It’s not the guy next to you, or the ass-hat who won’t get out of your way… it’s your race, your life and you have to live it/run it for you.
Life/running lesson 2: There will always be people along the way who want to see you succeed, who cheer you on, and there will be those who don’t care, and sometimes, you’ll be alone. Luckily this time I didn’t feel alone—in reality or in spirit. My sister Sarah ran a half marathon in New York City this morning as well. Thinking about her, knowing that she was running at the same moment I was running, made five miles seem doable compared to the much hillier road ahead of her. And Megan, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read my blog (but should—everyone should), a running buddy of mine, stuck with me the entire course. I doubt I would have done as well without her there.
Life/running lesson 3: Eating always was, always is, and always will be paramount in any endeavor. Thank goodness there was stuffed French toast, courtesy of Gallit and Peter, to greet us at the finish line… OK it wasn't exactly “at” the finish line, but close enough. Oh yeah, and my trainer has promised me sushi (at Tank no less) for beating my time from last year. Yes… eating will always be the most important thing ever. (Have we learned nothing from A View from the Park?
Next stop… the Chicago Distance Classic. Here it goes again… most likely. I’m like 90 percent there.