“I can’t wait to meet my running buddy, hear what she thinks about the program, and share some of my running knowledge,’ I though as I peeled my way to the practice 5k for Girls on the Run. Several years ago I heard about the program and while it piqued my interest my calendar never worked with being able to volunteer for it. Finally, this spring I was able to participate as a Community Running Buddy for a local elementary school.
After I met the girl who I’d be running with the whole group took off for a practice 5k. She shared bits about her life and I told her mostly stories about when I was her age. Sometimes she needed to walk, which was fine. After a little bit of walking, I’d asked if she wanted to try running to a spot a short distance ahead. I’d congratulate her when we reached the spot. Also, every mile her coaches cheered her on and we would either high five or fist bump.
The day of the community 5k all the schools in the area participating in the program gathered together. On the way to the start I scooped out most of the course and mentally prepared how we could best attack the course. However, as the race started I realized I didn’t need to focus on what was ahead. Instead the girl I ran with focused on the now. She enjoyed participating in a 5k. Every mile she beamed when she received a special prize for completing that mile. As we crossed the finish line as cliche as it sounds I was proud of her accomplishment. Running a 5k is a big dealing.
In training and racing I find it is easy to think about what’s ahead, what’s my pace, how long did the transition take etc. All are important things to consider, but that is not why I decided to swim/bike/run. I do it because I enjoy the moments.