Tuesday, June 18, 2013

9:26 min per mile

I have been running pretty consistently since January. It feels so good. Last October when I was trying to get back into it, my pace was over 10:30 min per mile. I told myself I would NOT let that defeat me. I had been slower before.Hell, I had not been able to finish even one mile before. So I decided to be proud of that pace, and I was.

That's not to say I wasn't envious of faster runners. I was just satisfied and happy to be out there. It didn't matter the speed. Just that I kept at it. I knew speed along with distance would come as a reward for my consistency. My reward, for sticking with it. I am in this for the long haul. So that was fine with me. I could handle it.

I have mentioned getting lapped by senior citizens before, and I was not joking.

There was this one silver haired man in particular. He has inspired me so. Every time I tried my feet (if you will) at running, he was there, on that track. I would get there and he would be running. I would finish my mile, eventually, painstakingly, my two miles and he would still be running.

I would watch him with awe and envy. One day I would say to myself, I'll be like that man. I'll be the first one here and the last to leave. I'll be slim and strong. The young people will notice me and maybe snicker that I even bother to run at my age, but my steady feet and consistent pace will earn me their respect.

As time went on and the years fell away. I finally dared to call myself a runner. I would run 3-7 miles at that same track at a 8:10 min per mile pace. I was small, strong and steady. Sometimes I wouldn't see the old man for weeks. His absence was felt. I would worry. My dad and I would talk about our admiration for this gentleman, and how we just wanted to be like him.

One day after a long absence, I saw him, at the track. I said hello, and told him how I always saw him and missed him in his absence. Then he said to me, "I see you all the time too. There aren't that many women runner's here. You're very fast. Good for you, keep it up".

I couldn't believe my inspiration had ever noticed me. I was elated. We got into the track, nodded goodbye and got to our runs.

I got pregnant, ran most of my pregnancy, and then after my sons birth ran sporadically at best.

During all of this time he was missing. My dad and I would speculate on his whereabouts. We live in one if the most expensive cities, maybe he retired and moved. We hated to think anything else.

Two weeks ago (after the almost crap accident) we saw him. I was excited. I asked him where he'd been. He said they moved out of state, but he was back working in the area for the summer. I told him I'd been worried, he laughed and asked how I was. I told him about my son. He congratulated me. We parted ways for our respective runs.

Halfway we were side by side in our lanes, he looked over and smiled. "You still got it", he said. My heart swelled with joy. I said something stupid, when what I really wanted to do was gush about how much he inspired me and how he "still had it". I was too fast, now that I'd taken a minute off my pace, soon I was ahead of him again.

I ran four and and quarter miles that morning. When I left he was still running. I couldn't have been happier.


  1. I love stories like these, hearing about the every day person that make the greatest impact in our life. Keep running, you are an inspiration!

    1. I was thinking of writing the link on a post it so I could give it to him the next time I see him...

    2. Yes! I am sure he would be so honored!

    3. Or he may be annoyed I called him the old man...

  2. I love how sometimes, someone can inspire us in the smallest of ways and they don't even know it.

    I love stories of strangers and how they affect us.

    I'm also overly emotional today and crying a lot because PMS and posts like these all over the internets.


    -The Insomniacs Dream

    1. Well it's about time I make YOU cry! ;) I love those kind of stories too, we just never know how we effect other people...

  3. Oh that is such a sweet man! And here I was impressed with my 37 minute 5k :)

    1. Whatever your pace, it's something to be proud of. Good for you, keep it up!

  4. Lovely story Mama. When we find inspiration in people we encounter in our lives it can forever change us. What a gift. Keep running mama. I'm rooting for you. xo