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After my 1st 5k - Boordy Trail Run
"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." ~ Thomas Paine

Do you ever look around and take notice of the other runners on the course? Do you make small talk with the person you are next to who has the same pace as you? Do you soak up the atmosphere and SMILE?

When I first started running I was always so focused on how I felt that I never paid any attention to anyone else. My first 5k I had on my headphones, put my head down and just ran. I never let myself see who was around me, or soaked up the atmosphere. I didn't see the runner next to me as I turned the corner to go up a hill. I probably cut people off without even realizing it. I barely noticed my son screaming my name and my husband holding my daughter on the last leg of the race. I was oblivious to the race, but more so, I was oblivious to the accomplishment, experience and the FUN!

If you look around when you're running, you'll see a multitude of people. You'll see the runner who makes it look effortless. The runner who is slower but has a huge grin on their face because they just don't care. You'll see the person who wants to give up because they are in pain. You'll see the runner with a disability being helped by someone else. Running can often feel lonely even if you're on the course with a group. No one can get you to the finish line but yourself. However, if you look around, you can find so much motivation in the strangers you are running with. People you have never met before are out there to achieve the same goal as you.

It is amazing what can happen when you take off the headphones, lift up your head and reach out to those you are running with. Imagine what a difference it could make in your run to focus your energy on the person you pass and simply tell them, "Great job!" Or when people pass you, wave and smile.

Racing is not just about the run. It's about the people, the achievement, the sense of accomplishment. It's about inspiring other people and feeling great about yourself. Most of all, racing is about having fun!

As you prepare for your upcoming race, try not to focus on the amount of miles you have. The hard physical training is over, there is nothing more you can do. Think about how much fun the race will be, and who you may meet along the way. When you're out on the course keep your head held high, look around at the spectators cheering for you and thank them. Offer support to a fellow runner who may need a boost of confidence. Take the attention off of yourself, the heat, the huge hill you're climbing. If you simply focus on the fun, excitement and atmosphere you'll be guaranteed to have a great run! Also, and most important, don't forget to SMILE! 

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,

Holly

Cristin
6/1/2011

You are so right! Up until recently, I never ran with anyone or thought that I could. I would shove my ear buds in and painfully pound out a few miles. But since I have started running with other people and realizing I can actually have a (GASP!!) conversation, running has started to beome something fun :)

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Holly
6/1/2011

Cristin, I supposed 'ear buds' would have been the more appropriate description of my gear. haha!
I am always dating myself without even realizing it. I'm so glad you have found the fun in running!

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Chrissie
6/2/2011

When I ran the Port to Fort 6k there was a blind man running. It was great to see him out there and kicking my butt. You really can do anything when you put your mind to it.

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Ashley
6/3/2011

WOW Holly!!!!! you have a real talent - writing (and running!! :). good luck and an early congrats are in order!!

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Cori
6/8/2011

SOOO motivating Holly!!!! I am still using my ear buds to run to the beat of the music. I find it helpful for me as a novice runner, but after reading this it makes me want to give running with another person a try:) I am truly a loner when it comes to my runs right now, enjoying the alone time...but having a running partner sounds great too! Thanks for the motivation!!!!!!

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