(18 November 2006)
Its not always easy to identify exactly where and when something started. For example, can you tell me when you had your first glass of Oreos and milk? Or perhaps when you bit your fingernails for the first time? Or even when or where you ran your first race? I have no idea when I ran my first competitive road race, nor could I tell you when Karen and I ran together for the first time. But if you get a bit more specific, sometimes you can pin it down. I DO know when Karen and I ran our first half-marathon together. We had enjoyed running together for quite some time, but during her pregnancy with Rachel, it was a convenient excuse not to run - as was the case for a month or two thereafter. However, when she realized she wasn't getting her weight back to pre-Rachel levels very quickly, she decided a running goal might help. And so we registered for the Valley of Fire State Park Half-Marathon. And on Saturday, 18 November 2006, we ran our first Half together. It was an inauspicious event, but looking back, quite a Running Start.
We would have been hard pressed to pick a better event to start running Half-marathons together. The course - though not without some significant hills - was in a spectacular setting of red rock and desert; it was a pretty small, intimate event that was reasonably well-supported; the weather was great; we were pretty well-prepared; and we had family (Alysia) with us to help us with Rachel.
(Thanks, Buggy! You got us off to a good start, even if we were so fast you missed our finish!) Notwithstanding the lame pasta dinner the night before, or even the rather run-down accommodations in a declining resort on Lake Mead for a couple of nights, we completed the goal we set out to do - probably even doing better than we might have expected (Karen finished second in her age group).
And little did we realize what we had set in motion. (Is there some saying about "humble beginnings"?)
I suspect I (we) have logged close to 5000, if not 6000 running miles since that event. There have been races across the country and even in foreign ones. But it started somewhere - in this case in the Valley of Fire. And that would be the message of this race and this event. Whatever we do - and whenever we do it - it is a step somewhere, in some direction. We may not know today where that step will take us, but taking it with commitment, purpose and with an effort worthy of who we are, will always be to our advantage - and just may make much more of a difference than we would ever imagine.
And in case you are wondering - why this blog now? I need to catch up on those early, pre-blogging, events to complete the record - and to really provide A RUNNING START.
4 years ago