Time to Say Thank You – Special Edition

Special Edition of “Enjoy the Run Blog”

What a week in the world of distance running.  Boston performances – well the word I am using to describe what happened in Massachusetts on Monday is “epic”. Both men’s and women’s races were poignant examples of the depth of the talent pool at the current world/elite level.  Regarding Ryan Hall’s performance – wow.  But did you catch the compliment his peer (competitor) and men’s champion gave him? Here is what Mutai said about Ryan; “Hall helped us a lot. He pushed it and he pushed it, all the time.” Talk about the greatest compliment one could hope for from another competitor. Prior to Boston (and even during the race) Hall’s critics were coming out of the woodwork like cockroaches at dusk.  Guess he exterminated those pests.

I like Ryan.  I like his transparency.  I like his openness. I like how he shares his faith and encourages the rest of the world. I will predict that he will identify and give credit to those how contributed to his most recent performance (and God).  Maybe even his career to date.

My question is to you – who do you have to be thankful for? Who was instrumental in your athletic development? Who was instrumental in helping shape you as you are today? Or will be tomorrow?

The distance running world took a hit in the last few days with word of Grete Waitz’s passing.   If you aren’t sure who she is – then give the sport and more importantly the landmark impact she had on women’s running respect and conduct a quick search of her accomplishments.  I still have a NY Marathon poster of Grete (I believe she won 9). She won a number of world cross country titles, Olympic silver medal, etc.  All this took place during a time where running for miles and racing for miles was not common for women. I am sure her battle with cancer reflected the tenacious pace she set during many of her races as an elite athlete.  One thing I know – she didn’t get there by herself.  At some point along the way she drew help from others.

Who do I have to be thankful for in helping me with my running and racing? A sister who ran cross country and introduced me to the sport. A high school coach who took me under his tutelage despite showing up for cross country practice in gym shorts, white tube socks to my knees and low top basketball shoes. High school teammates who worked hard, set a new school record (Drake Relays 3rd) in the Boys 4 X 880 (yds) in a 7:49 (record still stands), two college teammates (brothers – stud runners from Salina, Kansas) who showed me how to enjoy 5:30 AM 5 mile runs and a steady diet of 90 + mile weeks, training partners who pushed and pulled me at times (hope I returned the favor).  A friend who showed me how to enjoy repeat miles with a 200 m recovery jog at a 4:50 pace at elevation. And even some competitors.

Are you up for a challenge? Here it is; get your hands on a box of thank you cards.  Pick one person per week for the next X weeks and drop a thank you in the mail. Tell them what role they played in nurturing your progress. A written note carries tremendous impact. Be genuine. Don’t delay.  As Grete passed this week – each of us will as well someday. Better stop.  I need to get to the post office.

Next – back to Enjoy the Run Blog schedule with a Continental Divide Running Clinic 2011 Staff review.

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