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Thursday, February 16, 2012

I wish the whole world could be a big version of running events. Have you ever seen how awesome people are at 5ks and other events? Even the winners come back and cheer on those that are bringing up the tail end. Everyone's automatically amiable those days. And at the end, everyone gets to revel in the feeling of having accomplished something.

I never really was a runner until my later college years. One day, I just decided to enter a Half Marathon. I mean, usually people start a little smaller. But not me! And boy am I glad I did. My second run was a measly cross-country 3-mile run in hot, humid temperatures. I always say, if that had been my first run, I would've given up road racing right then and there. But the Half was one of the best experiences of my life. People were cheering at every corner the whole 13.1 miles. It felt like I was partying inside a huge celebration.

If you're thinking about entering an upcoming race, I encourage you to go for it! To help you decide, I've listed my most favorite parts about running road races:

1. You get a nice solid run in on a Saturday before most people have even rolled out of bed.

2. The quiet sound of thousands of feet on the pavement! I wish I had a recording of this so I could use it for meditation. Yes, it's truly that amazing!

3. You get some fun swag and usually a free T-shirt.

4. The amazing people who come out that early just to wave flags, direct traffic, ring cowbells and encourage runners. I need some of these people in my life every day. Imagine how much we could all get done with that level of enthusiasm and encouragement!

5. Vendors selling last year's shoe models for less than a cheap meal!

6. The feeling of community. No one cares how fast you are or what you're wearing, you just automatically belong. You're all there to run and encourage each other and that feeling of connection is amazing.

7. Water stations. I love them. People volunteer to just stand with their arms out to hand you a cup of water or Gatorade. Such a gracious act. And you totally have permission to litter afterward!

I'm sending in a 5k application today for my husband and I. It's become one of my dearly favorite yearly tradition with us. We plan on making running dates from now until April. How sweet is that?

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