Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day | I ran because he could not

Today is National Running Day

Last year, I had no idea that this day existed. I am not sure what I would have been doing last year, even if I knew.

At this time last year, I was still struggling to run my first mile, without stopping. It seemed like such an unheard and unobtainable goal, at that time. My first “run” was just under 25 minutes. Yes, I “ran” a mile in 25 minutes. With constant knee and butt pains from bad form and BAD shoes – (of course, I had no idea what I was doing!) – power walking seemed to be what I was capable of doing.

Yet, the brain kept telling me to try. I don’t know the exact day I ran my first mile, but I remember the elated feeling of that accomplishment. Two laps around the local park. Since I didn’t own a real timing watch and certainly not a Garmin at that time, I figure the first REAL running mile was about 15-18 minutes and I was EXHAUSTED.

1 mile back 2, 3 and then 5 to 7 and then my first 10 mile in October. Then, my crowning glory – the Vegas Half on December 4, 2010

I never get tired of relieving that moment in my head. I often catch myself looking at my Finisher Medal and still smiling. You see, although I have won many of Age Division and Overall Awards – that first Finisher Medal means and always will mean the most to me.

Today, I celebrate not only being a part of an incredible community of runners. I celebrate I can call myself a Runner and Athlete, at the age of 49. I celebrate that I can finish a 5K race in the same amount of time I “ran” that first mile (25 minutes). It’s almost mind altering to think about that. I am 3 x’s as fast as I was a year ago. Wow.

Why did I run today? Because I can and I appreciate how I am able to run. Recently, a close family friend has become disabled and his ability to walk, run or even mow his lawn has been greatly altered. In a blink, my life can change. Today, I run - because I can. Today, I ran for my friend.

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritonist, Athlete and Public Speaker
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  1. Great post Charlene....I try to remember all those that can't run whenever I'm struggling. I love your description of how you started and where you are now. Amazing!

  2. Hi Barbara, thanks for your kind comments. Hope you had a great National Running Day!


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