Monday, June 4, 2012
June 3rd, 2012 – BGR & 19th Annual Love Run
The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”
Sunday was the 19th Annual Love Run in Westlake Village! This is a favorite race that I have run many times. And I have the race T’s to prove it.
This one was extra special because I got to meet some new friends.
For the last year or so, I have been part of a cyber-community of runners called “Black Girls RUN!” I read about them in Runner’s World Magazine. When I searched for a group, the closest chapter I found was in Los Angeles.
They run several times a week but they are mostly in Los Angeles County, so I have never done a run with them. It’s just too far away, but it’s nice to read of their accomplishments and see their fun pix and we are always encouraging to each other, no matter where we live.
A few weeks ago, I posted a request for anyone who might live closer to my area and asked if they’d be interested in getting together.
I read somewhere that you should “Ask and you shall receive”. And lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened!!! I met a lovely lady and we met up in Westlake Village and had a very pleasant 5-mile run.
The next day, I met another BGR Runner at the Love Run. She was doing the 10k.
Many months earlier, I had promised a friend that I would coach her to her first Finish Line, so that’s what we did.
I was in a bit of a quandary over this. I hadn’t heard from my friend (Lorenza is her name) about the race in months so I wasn’t sure that she was going to do it. So when I registered for it, the original plan was to go for a PR in the 5k.
When she texted me a few days before the race asking me if I was still going to run it, I told her I was and that I was glad that she had decided to take the plunge. I immediately told her that I would stay with her and pace her to the Finish.
However, I’m not sure that that was necessary….
It has been my experience that proper Runners’ Etiquette dictates that when you are running a race with a less-able runner, you go ahead and run your race. Then after you cross the finish line, you turn around and go back for them, unless of course, you are their coach or they’ve paid your registration fee for you, correct?
Here is the very brief story of my first Half: Training, nerves, anticipation, extreme exhaustion, blah, blah blah….
But a very dear friend of mine was running the race that day too and he is a far better runner than me.
Of course we started at the same time and place and he was off like a shot! I started out feeling good at the steady pace I had trained myself for and I kept it going at a pretty decent clip. But at the 10-mile mark, I hit The Wall like never before. I trudged through it and when I saw the 12-mile marker, I was delighted but still so tired and defeated.
When there was about a half mile to go and all hope had fled, I saw my friend walking toward me.
And at that moment, with all due respect to his wife and family, he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!
I just looked at him and asked, “How long have you been waiting?!” He simply said, “Don’t worry about that. Let’s go!” And he ran the last half mile with me and pushed me to kick it to the Finish!
That was absolutely the greatest act of kindness that had ever been shown to me by another athlete. I will never forget it and I will always be grateful to him for it.
It’s one thing to go back for a friend who is 5 or 10 minutes behind you, but he could have run the race TWICE in the time it took me to run it!! He certainly could have already been home and on to the next task by the time I was stumbling across the Finish Line. But he stayed and pushed me through the single most physically demanding thing I’d ever done (yes, including child birth. That was a breeze!).
So yes, my 5k PR will have to wait another day. Yes, if I’m being honest, I have to confess myself a little disappointed about that (and next time I probably will run my race then double back). But I will never pass up an opportunity to encourage another runner along The Way if I can….. Because it meant so much when someone did it for me.