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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Spooner

Attitude of Gratitude

Today marked my actual first "Run Race" of 2014. It was by far one of my slowest times for the 13.1 distance. So, why am I grateful and why am I writing about it?

For starters, I almost no showed because I knew my "time" would be off and I have been fighting the mental battle.  I have been battling a really bad bout with a Bronchial infection, which gets worse when I train. So much so that on Tuesday the coughing was enough to throw my back out of whack.  I had just hopped off my trainer, the coughing got so bad that I had no time to brace my back.  The pain was ridiculous. But, no movement makes it worse and my back history has proven that.   I have to work through it or my legs stop working. I have been in this place before,  in 2001 for 6 months. I could barely walk and sleep was foreign to me until I had an epideral injection in my bulging/herniated discs.  I have come a long way and the pain haunts me. It's crippling.

 So, why am I thankful/grateful?

Austin is a tough course, I knew it going in. I set a goal, stuck to it, and didn't waver. I was not as  trained for this run as I wanted to be, I could have pushed the pace and I know I would have paid dearly, instead I chose to stick VERY close to the 3:10 marathon pace group and set my goal at 1:35. I knew when they split, it would be up to me to hold it steady, even on the hill that can break many runners.

Last year at this time, I had a similar battle, however it was 6 weeks post my 4th knee surgery. So, it seems the early season races get me at a bad time, all I can say is sometimes its more mental because I know my performance won't be great and I have to deal with the reality of that.  But, it's also about learning.  I know as I get older the PR's will be fewer and far between, I have to be happy with what I can do at any given time.

If you ran next to me today you probably heard me coughing softly the entire run, I knew any hard cough would derail my back, I was patient and played a smart race based on my condition.  I stayed focused and didn't let negative self talk change my plan on running smart and staying within a pace I knew I could maintain without a fit of coughing to completely derail my race.

Something happened at mile 11, or rather someone, which is really the catalyst as to why I am writing this.  I caught up to a guy that was spewing venom at himself, how horrible he was running dropping ever foul word in the book to himself, at himself.. His words "God D*****, I should be done by now, This is F****** ridicules." and so much more,  He must have been in his late 40's early 50s.  I am not sure, I just couldn't believe how consumed he was with anger.  How much energy he was wasting on anger.

 Running is for HAPPY PEOPLE!!  Running makes me HAPPY!!!  Even when it hurts!!  That's why I keep coming back, without it, I am miserable and so is everyone around me :).(Rob concurs with the last statement)  He pushed the hill, then as we came into the finish I passed him around the final turn into the finish, he was once again muttering complete discontent with his performance.  I was glad when passed him so I couldn't hear him anymore and  I was grateful.. Grateful that I ran today, grateful that I didn't allow my self talk from stopping me from toeing the line.

1:35:25 I am happy to be a "runner".. I did write Boo on my bib :o)  LOL

Somedays, it's not about your BEST performance, it's about doing the best with what you have on that day.  Learning while you go and learning about others around you.  Somedays, being content with where you're at versus abusing yourself about where you want to be, where you THINK you should be based on some imaginery number in your head. There is always something to learn in every race and every training day, it's your choice to learn or stubbornly refuse to look at the positives.  I choose to look at the positives.

How can I be bummed when one of my athletes/good friends gives me this at the finish??(Jeanne Hoffman)


This delivered at my door (Ed Cortez)

Today I RAN. Something I know many people only wish they could do.  I am grateful everyday I can embrace that which God has given me, a strong mind, body, and spirit.  A passion to do what I love.

 Don't take running for granted win or lose, PR or not.  Embrace the moment, embrace this amazing life, others are always watching… I'll see you, on a run!

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