The Gift That Keeps On Giving

So, this past Christmas, I was exchanging gifts with one of my good friends and she told me that this year was going to be a different sort of gift and that she hoped I liked it.  She then proceeded to display four or five seemingly identical letter sized envelopes.  “Pick one!” she instructed.
I chose and opened the envelope to find the registration form for an upcoming 5K Trail Race here in San Diego.  She explained that she thought we both could use the motivation to get back into running (something that had slacked for both of us though more me than her) – and so the gift was that she would pay the registration for the event for both of us.  Good idea since I’d definitely put on the pounds over the holidays and wasn’t (and still am not) very happy about them.
Well, the race is Sunday morning and since about February I’ve been getting out at least once a week (in addition to playing tennis 1-2x per week, too).  It was pretty painful getting re-started again (though this time seems like its taking longer to re-establish any sort of form or stamina – stupid age!) – but I’m getting there.
So – I’m just about to head out for what’s likely to be the last run before the event – and will try and get in 4+ miles so that I know that the 3.2 on Sunday morning will be covered – though I have to admit I wasn’t so thrilled with the elevation map for the course.

The other week she asked me what my goal was for the event.  I told her that it was to set a time-mark that I could shoot at beating in the next event that I do.  I guess the gift is still working.

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33 thoughts on “The Gift That Keeps On Giving

  1. About the finish: would it help to be reminded that gravity is a conservative force [1], so all you have to do is keep the energy you gain from going down the first hill and apply it to the last one? <grin>Seriously, this is way cool. Enjoy the race!John[1] No matter what those pesky creationists say…

  2. The first half looks like fun…the second half looks a little scary to me! :-} What a wonderful gift to give, especially since you enjoy running! Best wishes Sunday!

  3. Just lift your knees higher on that hill. You will have to go slower and it will work the calves a lot. Try not to put your heels down as it will waste energy and reduce momentum.

  4. Thanks Jacolily — it's funny, sometimes I hate it, but mostly it's okay. The worst times are when you go for the first time after a long time off (like this was) — which should be incentive enough to NOT stop.

  5. Thanks Budd — it's been really depressing how badly my form has deteriorated over this hiatus. Fortunately, the trail I run most often mirrors this course in that it is downhill early and uphill on the return — so I've gotten some practice finishing on the uphill.

  6. The small petty part of me said, "Make sure you beat Cori's time from that one she ran at Thanksgiving" — the other side of me said, "No this is about mutual encouragement and good health — not competition — there's enough of that on scrabble… ;) "

  7. That is hilarious. My sister Esther ran a half-marathon this last Sunday (her second in as many weeks) and said that she was passed by a 90-year-old woman with a hunchback wearing a pink cardigan. No lie.

  8. You're brave to enter a race, Steve. Congrats. Anything that motivates us to keep exercising is worth the effort, I say. And personally, I find that I'm in better shape if I exercise outdoors all year than if I go to a gym. (Mountain trail running is really fun, by the way). Best of luck!

  9. Your friend obviously cares about you alot to give such a motivating thoughtful gift. Kick ass Steve and keep trucking long after this one. And yes that last hill looks like a killer!

  10. Thanks Ellie — I don't know about "brave" — though if there's anything to keep me humble, it will be to shuffle along while everyone else has already finished! I also like exercising outdoors more than a gym — another benefit of San Diego!

  11. Thanks jennytales! It's been quite sometime since I've run a race, so I'll take some happiness from the re-commitment to more exercise and setting a mark for myself… :)

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