Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tecumseh - The Thoughtful Post

Eight hours or so traveling home alone can do this to you. Having made it home in time to go to church and out to lunch with my family, its time to sit down and put some thoughts down.

I had a superbly enjoyable weekend in Indiana at the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in the company of fellow running blogger Joe. My current thoughts can be summed up in a simple word: Grateful.

Grateful that I am able to run what many think is a crazy long distance. You know the comments - “I don’t even like to drive 26 miles.”

Grateful that I found running in the first place. Running is a physical activity that this life-long couch potato enjoys. There are no losers in running.

Grateful that running allows me to pursue another passion of mine, eating, without too much guilt. No, I don’t run more to make up for over eating, but if I’m offered a piece of chocolate cake I don’t have to turn it down.

Grateful for the support of my wife and kids in pursuing this pastime. They allow me the time to train. The fact that my boys are in their late teens, one is away at college, affords me a certain freedom. They also encourage my crazy 50 state adventure. As much as possible, Lisa and I turn an out of state marathon into a mini vacation. There’s something special about seeing her face pop up throughout a race. The ones she’s shared with me have been the most fun. Even my in-laws, recently moved to Pennsylvania, went looking for marathons in PA as an excuse to get us to visit (as though they really needed one). My little sister visited and my Mom showed up unexpectedly (from OH) the first time I ran Los Angeles.

Grateful for a job that provides me the resources of time and finances to run more than one marathon a year. Pretty much everyone at work knows of my passion for running. My boss interjects the fact that I run marathons into every introduction.

Grateful to Brian my first running partner. Although 20 years my junior he helped me achieve my initial dream of running a marathon and went on to run 3 more with me before he went off to dental school to pursue his career dream. Fellow coworkers Celeste and Terry were also there through the first couple of years and marathons.

Grateful for the great people I’ve met through A Snail’s Pace Training and the CA Cruisers. It is Dr John’s 108 marathons, including all 50 states that inspired me to pursue the 50 state challenge. Between us I’m sure we’ve run nearly 300 marathons.

Grateful for the people I’ve met through the Running Blog Family. The internet connects people in ways not probable before. Who’d have thought that I would get to run a couple of training runs with the a Boston Qualified Amazing Hip Jeff, or meet the ultra adjective ultra runner Nattie, or run the mountains with the race directing queen of the OC trail runners Jessica and her pals. Who’d have thought I’d travel to Indiana, of all places, to meet up with the ever persevering Joe. All people I would not have met had I had not taken up running and blogging in particular. There’s also all the bloggers I read faithfully and that seem to come back to my blog time and again. Their adventures in running and in life inspire and make me want to be a better runner, a better person. They are all the real deal. I’m truly grateful to be part of a community such as this.

I guess a quick trip across the country to Middle America, a place that reminded me so much of my roots, can make a guy a little introspective. Now it’s back to the regularly scheduled race report.

8 comments:

Robb said...

Interesting how physical pursuits like running cause us to look inward. Maybe because we have to dig deep each time we’re pressed during a long run. Whatever the reasoning, (perhaps there is adequate explanation) I am glad to have read your thoughts on how running inspires you Darrell. It’s good to be alive and grateful!

backofpack said...

Darrell,
Love, love, love this post! You echo many of my sentiments. Add: grateful for a healthy and strong body that carries me faithfully through it all.

From reading Joe's blog, it sounds like a wonderful day and a great run. Can't wait to read the next installment!

Anonymous said...

Love the post- we all should feel this way. Looking forward to the race report.

Celeste said...

Darrell, thanks for sharing this post- what a great reminder it is to each of us of how much there is to be grateful for- how very blessed we are :) Very refreshing thoughts- thanks again....

Juls said...

I can so relate to those comments like "I don't even like to drive 26.2 miles" and "I couldn't run a mile if you chased me" Go figure.

Lately I've been getting the "so are you going to give up running" when people find out that my recent injury was from running. I just smile. They just don't understand.

Be grateful that you don't think like them.

Danny said...

Nice post. I think most of your posts give a sense of these feelings that you have. This one spells it out.

Jessica Deline said...

Great post Darrell... It's always good to be grateful for the things in our lives that we may otherwise take for granted... Can't wait for the race report!

craig said...

Amen.