Running on St. Patrick’s Day

UnknownYesterday I completed another St. Patrick’s Day race. Everyone dressed up in green, some as leprechauns, some as rainbows and pots of gold. Many women wore green tutus and men wore bright green suits–although I cannot fathom running in a full suit. No thank you.

Although it was all in good spirit, I felt it appropriate to think of how lucky I am to run. The luck ‘o the Irish blessed us with this gift–for many, the gift comes naturally; for those like me, the gift takes a lot of work. During my hot race yesterday, here are five ways I considered for all of us to feel thankful for our luckiness in this sport:

1. Think of someone from each mile to mile you are lucky to have in your life. I completed this yesterday when my endurance started to run thin and temperatures soared. I thought of my running coach from back in the day who motivated me and called me late at night when I didn’t seem in happy spirits at track practice–just to make sure everything was okay. I thought of a friend who is losing her sight and can no longer run at night and how blessed I am to have her in my life.

2. Volunteer at a race. We all rely so much on volunteers to give us water and endurance drinks at aid stations, pass out our bibs at packet pickup, and hand out our medals as we cross the finish line. It is way past time to give back and pay it forward.

3. Clean up the trails. I have done quite a bit of hiking lately and see so many groups out picking up trash off the trails. With all our gels we leave in the streets during races and cups we throw to the side, we can make the world look a little cleaner because we all know we have left plenty of trash along our running paths.

4. Serve as a pacer. For me, I would need to pace a very slow group of runners, but I certainly could do it. I could help others wanting to cross a finish line and get them to their goal.

5. Become a fundraiser. I participate in numerous charity 5Ks, but don’t do any fundraising of my own to support the cause. It’s just my registration fee alone. I could donate more and ask my friends and family to help support worthwhile causes all the while getting in shape.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!