Thoughts on Running, Perseverance and Courage

My head and heart is heavy as I write this, thinking and praying for those impacted by the explosions during the Boston Marathon. Growing up in Massachusetts, the running of Boston Marathon was always met with tremendous fanfare and pride. Run on Patriots Day, the race starts in the suburb of Framingham, where my family ran a small automotive business and on occasion we would go out to cheer on the runners.

Back then, non official runners would run the course - a couple people in college attempted this with varying degrees of success. At the time, I was not a runner - I was always amazed at a person's ability to tackle such an undertaking. After all, I knew how long it took just to drive from Framingham to Boston, let alone RUN that distance.

Of course, I am still amazed at a person's ability to run a marathon - the amount of time one requires to train for one is tremendous. It requires discipline, hard work, pain, and, at times, misery. Last year, as I was recovering from my knee surgery, I read Haruki Murakami's book, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" (because when you can't run, you have lots of extra time to read about running). It is filled with his thoughts on running, like this one: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”. Yup, I can relate. After many years of running, my head runs through thoughts like, "The first three miles of a run pretty much suck, so you may as well run six".

I normally run by myself, and I don't run with headphones, but I like the solitude - I can watch the sun rise and the clouds in the sky. I can smell the lilacs, then the peonies of spring, followed by the sweet honeysuckle of early summer. I watch the leaves change in the fall and in the winter, there is nothing more peaceful than running in the softly falling snow. Of course, there is the driving rain and wind, making each step a struggle, and you want to just stop dead in your tracks - but then you think "just suck it up - only another 1/2 mile and you get to turn away from the wind". And you persevere.

The elusive marathon - it's still a goal of mine, God willing. And it won't be the end of the world if I don't ever get it done - I'm just happy to be able to run at all. Because in the solitude, it's the beauty around me that keeps me going while running:

Along The Run

There's already buzz around town concerning our race in two weeks - Will it be safe? How good are the emergency provisions? Will there be added police presence? I'm sure there will be heightened security and probably bag checks, like those at sporting events. I also know today's events will only strengthen the resolve of those who have trained long and hard to achieve their race goals, whether it be the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon. Because for a runner, the courage is in just starting the run. It's the same Courage and Perseverance that will help the folks in Boston get through today's horrible events.

Anonymous –   – (April 15, 2013 at 9:13 PM)  

I enjoyed this post very much. Beautifully written.

Sherry  – (April 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM)  

I will be watching for updates from you regarding the race. One of the gals in our Bible study group on fb is a marathon runner. I know of two that she has run just recently. I ran track in high school, but I was a sprinter and long jumper. I ran on a cross country team and also did it in high school, but only for conditioning. I never ENJOYED distance running. Maybe one day? hehe. Maybe not. Stay safe my friend and take care of that knee!!

urban muser  – (April 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM)  

a beautiful post. hope you are well shirley.

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