Friday, December 04, 2009

Thanks Mr. Runner Dude


A week ago, I ran my third Thanksgiving day Detroit Turkey Trot. The weather was good, low 40's. A bit windy, but could of been worse. I left Jen and Madalyn in Cobo and headed to the starting line a few blocks away to try and push my way to the front of the pack. I made it pretty close to the starting line, which, for this race is key. There were 12,000 or so running this year, and I wasn't about to get stuck behind slow pokes out for a fun jog (yeah, I'm competitive like that). I got off to a pretty good start after still having to weave around people, jump over curbs and avoid running/kicking feet. I finally settled in behind some relatively fast runners.
The course seemed a bit different this year, it seemed to go much faster than I remember in previous years. I remember thinking in the past "will this 6 miles ever end?!"..
The worse part about this years run was probably between 3-4 miles, running straight out Michigan Ave. It took us 1 mile out and 1 mile back, basically and running out was heading directly into the wind.

On my way back, just before the 5 mile mark, I was feeling a bit tired. I was running slower, breathing heavier and let out a big sigh. Just then, an older gentlemen running past me, who looked way more in shape than me, slows down enough to yell directly at me "COME ON MAN, YOU CAN DO THIS - YOU HAVE 1 MORE MILE TO GO, COME ON!!!"
I don't know what came over me, but a flood of emotions hit me. I flashed back to the previous month of 40 mile a week training runs. 5-6 a.m. long runs, speed training, running in the rain, cold, etc. I took a deep breath and my legs took off. I ran past the old guy and began zig zagging through the crowd, zipping past the 5 mile mark and sprinting that last mile to the finish line.

Dude. I don't know who you are, or why you felt compelled to say that to me, but you lit a fire in me. Sure, I didn't win anything or place all that great, but I did beat my last years time, which was my only goal. So thanks Mr. Runner Dude. I appreciate your inspiring motivational words.

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Detroit Turkey Trot 10k - Time: 46:54 - Avg. Pace: 7:33 Min. Per Mile - 50th place age group (total 491), 530 place overall (total finishers 12,420).