Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hey, Flying Pigs! It's Not About the Destination

Eleven years ago I ran my first Flying Pig Marathon. If you've ever wanted to know if you're really qualified to include "goal-oriented" on your list of character traits, running 26.2 miles is the perfect way to fine out. Somehow I managed to find time for 6 months of training in the middle of being a wife, a mother, and a business partner. And, yes, I finished the marathon in a stellar 5 hours and 14 minutes.
For those of you getting set for the Flying Pig on Sunday, your training has all but come to an end. This is the week for worrying about "hitting the wall," eating and sleeping right, and figuring out the logistics of race day. Come Sunday, your weeks of training will culminate in a memorable experience. 
As I look back, my journey to the finish line was filled with memories. I remember Sunday training runs that took me all over Winton Woods and took longer than it would take to play 18 holes of golf. I remember race day morning and the excitement in the bathroom lines prior to the start. I remember the relief of hearing a barbershop quartet at the Eden Park Overlook after climbing that first hill. I remember the elderly woman on the curb at one of the last mile markers in Covington who looked me straight in the eye, clapped her hands, and said, "You can do it!" And, yes, I remember the finish line, but not so much for the end itself, but for the sight of a former soccer teammate encouraging me the last few steps. 
So as you Flying Pigs do your thing this weekend, take time to smell the flowers. Sure, your race time is important and the medal is cool, but as my friend Ross has said for years, "It's not about the destination...It's about the journey." 
And now a word from our sponsors: Eat more fruits and vegetables. They make you run fast! 
Good Luck, Racers!

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