Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Burn Run

What a beautiful morning to run. Today's run was at 10:15AM. Thank goodness I left extra early. It took me 30 minutes to find the staging area. The map said it was off Kinnie Rd in East Syracuse, but it was actually off Chrysler Dr. I ended up asking one of those serious runners who pre run the course as a warm up where I needed to go; embarrassing to say the least.

My sense of direction is so bad that it cost me some time since I slowed down at the first turn thinking I was going the wrong way. I followed the arrow for the 5K and hoped it was the same course until later although I did stop before making that executive decision. I wonder if that is how George Bush felt when he stopped to think before making the call to move left on economic matters. I doubt it. Politicians aren't sincere as we runners who tend to think a little too much sometimes, hence the running. Gotta clear the head.

Alright then. This small item could be an account of the Burn Run, and it will be eventually, but I wanted to share with everyone a further development on my "new" run/race philosophy that I came up with on my drive around east Syracuse, lost in thought.

If you can recall a few posts back, I decided not to call races "races", but "runs". Running a race means pushing yourself to win. I am not going to win the race, but I win by finishing the race, hopefully feeling good and prepared to RUN another day. I will hold true to that first part of my developing philosophy; keep in mind that although enjoyment is a must, occasional personal best pursuits are necessary. That race will always be a fine character builder.

The latest development concerns talking with others post RUN or when meeting people; and asking them about their RUN. My first reaction after a race is to find a friend and ask, "What was your time?" Not good. Such a question pushes us back into the race mentality. Its places running value on time rather than participation. Let's rephrase the question, "great run don't you think, Joe. How did you feel as you approached and crossed the finish line?" That would be a more appropriate RUN question for those of us who RUN to stay motivated for running three or four times a week to stay in shape while age creeps in among us.

However, if Joe says he felt great during the RUN and that he hoped it was a new PR for him, then its ok to ask, "What was your time?" Time questions reinforce our self esteem for personal accomplishments or make us feel unworthy of running with others. While the "participatory" questions reinforce the accomplishment to RUN again.

I know, Boyd has gone commi-lib and is singing Coombya. No I haven't. I just want people to run. Its not about the fast gal or guy. Its about having fun, staying fit, and running another day. The biggest attraction of the Lake Effect Run Club is its "inclusive" orientation. No man, or woman, left behind. Run fast or slow; it doesn't matter. Just keep running. I met two ladies this morning who were doing just that. Today's 5K was their second. They had finished the Arc 5K and have goals to keep running. They made excuses about walking some, but who cares. I am so happy to see them run. I am even more excited about them having a good experience to want to run again.

That is what inspires me. Seeing someone's will defy the body by pushing themselves to where their mind makes the body stronger. Soon, these ladies' bodies will be pushing their brain to persevere to complete new distances unheard of. That is running. There is no longer racing. Racing is about winning an event. Running is about achievement. And its the achievement that brings us back to the road.

Ok, back to the Burn Run, a fitting name. The run was nice. the staging grounds around the fire station was a perfect setting. The refreshments, including cold Coors Light, bagels, oranges, bananas, and water were scattered at stations inside and outside the firehouse. The finish line was smothered by people cheering in the runners, 5Kers and 5milers.

The course started out from the corporate park passing two large fire trucks with an archway of balloons that acted as the passage way to Kinne Rd. A quick right followed by another quick right took us up a virgin road, newly paved and smooth. It lasted almost a mile when we made another right onto Kirkville Rd back toward Kinne Rd. At the intersection was the only water stop, about 1.5 miles into the RUN. My first mistake was passing this water stop thinking there would be another. There was no other.

Kinne Rd had some homeowners outside cheering, but not many. Most spectators, as usual, stayed at the finish line. I always hope for local homeowners to participate, but like most people they do not get involved.

We all ran up Kinne Rd to Chrysler Dr and ran up toward new Venture Gear. The 5K turned right onto Sanders Pkwy while the 5milers continued to the Fly Rd turn around. This was the hardest part of the RUN. We were in direct sunlight, it was hot, and there were no water stops. I wanted to pack it in. My plan was shot. I planned on having a GU and a water chaser somewhere near 2.5 and 3 miles. Oh well. To keep my mind off the pain of dehydration, I started clapping and cheering on the runners who had already reached the turn around and those I passed after reaching the turn around. it was nice to root them on. All responded with a smile, except the leader. The leader never smiles. The leader typically stays in a zone. I don't believe the leader has any fun. he may even have no memories of the race other than he won. Big deal.

I reached the finish and was met by my buds, all of them finished the 5K strong and are looking forward to running again. We shared a beer, laughs, and discussed our experiences of the run. I met up with a guy who passed me at the turn around, and he thanked me for cheering him on. He even visited the Lake Effect web site and plans on running with us soon. So, in all it was a fine RUN. Hooked up with 5 friends, met 6 new people who I hope to call friends, and ran a PR for a 5 mile RUN, 38:37 or 7:44/mile. I am satisfied and can't wait to run again.

See you on the road.
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