The Quest for 50 5Ks is coming to a close
Tonight I’ll be running my 50th official race since turning 50 last September.
There were times I thought that I’d never make it. When the snow banks were over 6′ high and the tempts were 20º low, it looked doubtful. A managed to have a strong fall running season, a middling winter season and took the spring and summer by storm.
There were weeks when I would run two or three races in a week. Not all race were big events, some were not even officially timed, such as the Marathon Sports trail runs.
Last night a few friends were egging me on as to what my next challenge will be. 50 5Ks in 6 months? Other crazy ideas I didn’t even listen to. Some people think personal challenges are foolish.
We all face challenges every day and quite often we prevail. Often failure to prevail teaches us more than success. Often we feel unworthy of our success or that some how it came too easy and we should have worked harder or set a higher goal.
Many times after a hard race where there were moments I felt like I just might die, I’ve berated myself for letting up for that moment. That moment of doubt and softness of will. In the moment I was all in, afterwards it somehow did not feel like enough.
Are we worthy of our success?
Somehow saying we succeeded seems boastful and immodest. Some people brag of their success. I prefer to make note of them but feel embarrassed when others make note of anything I do. I’m just an average middle-aged guy doing what I love. How could there be anything notable or remarkable about that?
I know when I tell people about what I am doing I am often talking to people who would not or could not do the same. When I casually say what my goals are sometimes I feel embarrassed when I then find out the other person has different goals than I do. But why?
We all have something to overcome. A goal to achieve, a place we want to be in our lives. Each goal is as unique as the individual who holds it. We should all be in awe of the person who finally gets off the couch and decides to take control of their lives. Their goal may simply be to walk a first 5K. They don’t care about running.
We should all be in awe of the folks who come in last at the race. Any race. They are the ones who have struggled the most. They are the ones who battled the daemons with the greatest valor. They had to overcome all of the doubt and butt cushion inertia to keep going.
Now that I am near the end of my quest I ask my self, did I accomplish anything? Why? Was it worth it? I’m not sure that running 50 5Ks is much of an accomplishment. I ran all of my races as hard as I could, won one of them and had a few age group awards. So I guess I ran competitively. I tried not to take anything for granted or make any race just another one to check off on my quest.
It took a lot of focus, planning and determination to hit my goal. It took a lot to run each race at 100% of what ever I had at the time. Sometimes it seemed crazy and I wondered why I’m doing this and why continue? Why am I chasing this crazy goal?
With great humility and respect for everyone I run with I must say that I did succeed. I will reach my goal tonight. I don’t know what it will mean or how I will feel when I make that last turn and run into the parking lot. I hope that at least for a few moments I will feel worthy.
*This is extemporaneous and un-edited.
Run well my friends!