Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Like Nina Done Sang It. . .

Birds flyin' high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel
Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
yeah, its a new dawn its a new day its a new life for me ooooooooh
AND I'M FEELING GOOD

This was my song this morning as I headed out to do a four mile run with intervals. I love intervals. I love that I've finally graduated to build phase so I can leave that low heart rate crap to my long run where it belongs. I love that its spring - the Forsythia are bursting out of their britches, the Daffodils are exploding out the ground, the Tulip trees are beginning to produce their extravagant blossoms. Its a new dawn, folks.

Something else I've discovered I love - racing. Saturday's race turned a corner for me. I've only done one other race - Race for the Cure back in the day when Boy Genius was Baby Genius and I was fifteen pounds heavier and that was really a means to an end - a finish line that proved that I could do it, that I had trained and I ran a 5k and there you go. I was dreaming for a 10:00 minute mile back then and I came close. But it really wasn't fun. Proving something is often empty. After that, I stayed away from races. What was the point when I was at the back of the pack, embarrassed to be bigger than I thought I should be, to be running slower than I thought I should run (which, really, wasn't that slow. I made the mistake of comparing myself to Boy Genius's dad - who ran in the front of the pack) - I might as well just push myself on those anonymous training runs and be done with it.

But Saturday, I discovered something else. I discovered that, unless your one of the elite gazelles, the only person you're racing is yourself. You race the runner you were for the right to be the runner you've become. And the environment of a race is a much more fitting venue for such an epic event as taking yourself on. The buzz is contagious, the miles and the cheers and the crowd all help you to push past what you'd ever do on a training run.

The most beautiful thing about racing yourself is that, as you pull ahead fighting to go faster, your opponent doesn't begrudge your victory. In fact, you may hear her say, as she gasps for air, "you go girl, you fly." And when you cross the line, looking at a time you never thought you'd see in a million years, she's the one who's cheering the loudest. She wants you to leave her in the dust, because that proves that everything she's worked and sweat and cried and bled for made her more than what she was. I am more today than I was then. And tomorrow, I hope I'm more than I am today.

6 comments:

Fe-lady said...

Like your writing style and messages in your posts!
Very nice!

Phoenix said...

Thanks, fe-lady! I really enjoy your blog also!

Vickie said...

I think you have the right idea! Races are fun and if you are running against yourself, you will enjoy it more! You are just beginning! You go girl, you fly!

Bolder said...

you had me at Forsythia...

and, like Fe-lady says (did you know it's pronounced Iron-Lady, not F E Lady), you have a great style and message...

thanks for sharing!!

Phoenix said...

Thanks Bold, Vickie - you guys are makin' me awl verclempt.

jeanne said...

beautiful post, and i couldn't agree more. Aren't runners just the best, most encouraging people? (And thanks for your well wishes!) I found you on Bold's blog too! he's such a matchmaker!