It’s not how you run. It’s how you run your life.
These words, spoken at the memorial for Meg Menzies the day before the 2015 Richmond Marathon/Half Marathon by Meg’s father, resonated with me and many others as we stood together honouring a woman most of us never met. You see, while so much of our collective energy as a group was focused on the act of running, we realized that a bigger picture exists and there is more to this running movement than just running. It really is about how we run our lives far more than running fast, running far, running solo or with others, running in races or taking a break from running to rest.
So as I ran my final four miles of 2015 today, I thought about this quote and tried to see how I not only ran, but how I also ran my life in the past year. My running totals were very impressive to me, to be quite honest. As someone who never really enjoyed running, finding my groove and passion for the sport has been a real highlight for me. This year finished with these accomplishments:
- 1395 miles (average of 3.8 mile a day)
- 2 marathons
- 5 half marathons
To run that far and be dedicated to the training for those races, it certainly took a great deal of effort, consistency, determination and passion. I went into the year with the crazy idea that I could run a marathon. I took the steps to train for it correctly, and I was able to run not just one, but two marathons!
I had the chance to also help others reach their goals – from offering encouraging words and advice based on my experiences to cheering them on in person as they realized their running dreams. It costs nothing to be a cheerleader. And the happiness you feel for the person you are cheering on is priceless.
Sometimes it wasn’t easy to stay focused, and there were days when I wanted to throw in the towel. A few runs humbled me when I thought the goal was easy and yet I somehow couldn’t get through my miles. Having a bad run really can teach you a great deal about yourself. It also really helps you appreciate the good runs that much more. But if you quit completely rather than look forward to trying it again, you’ll never feel the highs you can feel on that good run!
And the time when I got a bulging disc five days before my marathon, well, let’s just say it took an awful lot of me digging deep to overcome the physical pain as well as the mental barriers that told me I might not be able to achieve my goal. In the end, I was successful, but only because I had prepared for the race mentally and physically for a long time and was willing to risk failure in order to be successful.
I also had many chances to simply enjoy running this year. Running with my husband to explore a place we were visiting. Or the time I dressed as a superhero to run a virtual 5K…
Of course, none of it would have been achieved if I didn’t surround myself with people who were encouragers. From all those on the MegsMiles and IR4 pages to the support of my family (and most certainly my husband), I wouldn’t have continued into the level of running if I didn’t find the ‘right people’ to be around.
At the end of the day, I hope others will see in me, in the way I run my life, those same qualities that got me through all those miles and finish lines:
- setting realistic goals
- hard work
- not quitting
- team player
- not being afraid to take risks
- laugh and have fun
- listening to my instincts
- relying on others at times, then returning the favour when they need me
- surround yourself with the right people
I hope to continue running my life with these same qualities as I tackle new challenges in the coming year…and beyond.
What qualities do you feel are important in how you run…and how you run your life?