I like waking up at a reasonable hour everyday. Maybe a little more reasonable on Sundays. I don’t sleep in much anymore, got no time for that anyway. Up and at ‘em each day but like I said, only at a reasonable hour.
Except on race day.
I wake up earlier than reasonable. Grab the essentials and set off to the starting line. Joined by thousands of others who share the same passion, commitment and insanity. Freezing in the winter, sweltering in the summer. Yet, when the city sleeps we’re poised and full of adrenaline.
Running has always been an activity I’ve enjoyed. Sure, running isn’t for everyone but for me, feeling that high of accomplishment, mental and physical cleansing of thoughts and sweat is euphoric.
On race day.
I don’t run to beat my physical competitor. I run to beat my mental one. I run for health. I run because I can. I almost never concern myself with time. Although I try to beat my previous best. Reaching the destination is the goal but ultimately it’s about the experience, the energy, the journey.
The camaraderie is tangible. Runners nod at each other and acknowledge what it takes to be here. Taking little for granted, people, random strangers congregate, eager.
Pheidippides set the standard 2,500 years ago. Didn’t have much of a choice, did it the only way he knew how. Since then, millions have undertaken the challenge. Sure, running isn’t for everyone. But once at the starting line, there’s no turning back. No regrets. You’re left with only the inspiration to continue forward, to experience and in turn share the thrill of exploring capabilities, expectations, parameters, pitfalls and lessons learned for next time.
Especially on travel day.