I've toyed with the idea of running in a race and even - at one time - set a goal for doing a marathon. But the preparation never worked out, and then I kept injuring myself or kept being lazy, so that slipped into the background.
But I started again this year, and after making two miles regularly, thought I'd take a chance on running 3 miles and change.
The weather, for New Home, was excellent: overcast, mid-sixties, the perfect weather (or as good as you'll get this time of year) for running. Once the race had started and everyone fell into their rhythym, the most surprising thing to me - frankly - was how good I actually felt. Sure, my miles tended to slow down - from 7 minutes to 8 minutes to 9 minutes - and I had to fight the rather strange urge to use the restroom somewhere around Mile 1, but I never really felt exhausted or bad or like I had to stop.
As I came across the finish line tired, and walked away with Na Clann to the water and fruit, what I realized was that I still felt pretty good - in fact, better than I could have possibly imagined. Even today as I write, there are no residual effects: my legs and feet feel fine, no pulled muscles. It pleasantly reminds me of my first Highland Games where, except for some cuts and blisters, I was fine.
The running was fun but revelation - both that I can do such things and that even my less than disciplined efforts in improving my health are paying off - are worth as much or more than the simple but meaningful phrase "I finished".
Finishing is good. Finding out you are farther along that you thought is better.