Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Training Races and Appreciating Friends

I could go on and on about what a wonderful day I had at Headlands, but instead I am going to focus on what this gift is all about...appreciating my friends.

Over the past few months, I have been given the gift of the best training partners, friends, advisors, and support team. These are not new people in my life, but the gift of each of them is so incredible that it is what carries me as I run, and especially as I ran on Saturday.

My goal for Saturday was made very clear: this was a TRAINING RUN! This was not a race for me. What this meant in my head was that I was supposed to finish with legs as fresh as I started, right?

Even so I was heading out to run...not hike around the Marin Headlands. And, run, I did. I went a little too fast on the first loop. Not fast by effort, but fast by time. I knew if I tried to push that pace for the 2nd loop I would not finish with fresh legs. So I turned it off, and really took it easy on the 2nd loop. I chatted with folks, I cheered for others going the other direction, and I just had a great time appreciating my gifts and the day.

It was on the second loop that I realized as I was running just how much I was smiling. I wondered for a bit what people going the other way must think, and then it struck me...my smile, my utter happiness on the trail was contagious. Who the heck smiles after 30 miles of running? What I came to realize is that someone who is at complete peace and happiness in their life can smile with every step they take. And in that moment, when people can feel your inner and outer smile...it makes them smile too.

I have the great fortune of being in a place that brings me to constant happiness: work, life, family, friends...each and every piece lifts me and it comes out in each step I take and the smile on my face.

OK, now for my moments of gratitude because I ran this race filled with so much, as always.

I would name each and every one of you, but you all know who you are!! I was called a "secret weapon" on Saturday, which made me laugh. But, honestly, each of you that are such a huge part of my life...you are my secret weapon. You fuel me with moments; you lift me up; you bring me strength; you support me; you love me; each of you is exactly what I need to be filled with such inner happiness...it is just incredible what a gift you are.

The best way to honor this gratitude is with pictures of all of those who bring me this inner and outer smile :) Thank you for the gifts! Headlands was for you, and we had a great time!
(as a side note to this, missing from the photos are Mike, Erin, and Bruce) Mike and Erin - I couldn't find the pics from my b-day...totally MIA. Bruce - after tomorrow AM I will have a pic of you (yes I am taking a pic after our run!!)
Other pics missing, but the people are not - my fantastic friends from all over who advise, support, and are just as important as everyone who has a photo up...need to get better at taking pics of out of town friends, too :)