Today's run hit the double digits. Today was the first time we did 10 miles as a team.
was not ready to run. I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want
to run in the rain. I did not have any kind of desire to get on the
course. But I knew I needed to and doubted whether or not I would be
able to make next week's training, so I pushed to get out of bed.
arrived late and then I started out behind and figured that was fine. I
took my time and started by walking and then doing some extra
stretches. Even the basics of the run started with a few SNAFUs. When I
took off my camel pack to stretch I saw that my water pouch was
leaking. It was wet through the bottom of the pack and was soaking my
shirt, sweatshirt, and pants. And when I started my ipod, I found the
battery was dead even though it was left charging all night. It was not
a good start. But I knew those things were minor and just kept going.
My pace was slow but steady and I had to keep plugging along. By 3
miles I was stretched out, feeling loose and pretty proud that 3 miles
feels simple and easy on any given day. I had to make a pit stop and
then got back on track, only there was no chalking to indicate the way
and no teammates in sight. I had no idea if I was going the right way or
not. I had not taken an instruction sheet and I had not heard the
general course overview. Despite all that. I kept going figuring at
least I'd get the run done, even if I was on the wrong course.
4 miles, I saw some teammates in the walking group and then started
seeing others on their way back. At 4.5 there was a water stop and
Coach Mel was there. She joined me to go up the hill (the last bit
before the turn around) and then stayed with me all the way back. She
let me set the pace and we talked the whole way back. I'm much slower
than she is, but her presence made me want to push harder, run longer
and more often. And talking made the time go quickly. Not only were
miles 5-10 bearable, they were easy, they were fun even.
kept me company on more than one occasion and has never fussed about my
pace. She gives me tips on form and answers questions and keeps
conversation going. And her energy, enthusiasm, and skill inspire me to
keep trying and working on being better. And every time I am grateful
for her presence as a coach. She has been a leader, an encourager, and a
guide. I am blessed by her with my training and inspired to look at my
own "coaching" as a pastor in light of her example.
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