If you’re not in Utah, then you don’t know TODAY IS PIONEER DAY! And by the time you probably read this YESTERDAY WAS PIONEER DAY!
Pioneer Day celebrates the struggle of my ancestors and their deliverance into this mighty Salt Lake Valley over 150 years ago. In Utah, if you are a working drone like me, you get July 24th off as a State Holiday. WHICH IS AWESOME. In fact it’s so awesome, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a word to all the SLCers who seem to have that huge “Oh I’m so annoyed with all the Mormons” chip on their shoulder…GET OVER IT. I’m sorry about the liquor laws and I’m sorry your parents are mad at you for not going to church but, can’t we all just learn to get along? Love and kisses.
I chose to celebrate Pioneer Day with a sunny Pioneer Day morning run. Truth be told, I haven’t been much of a runner these days, in fact I’m supposed to run a marathon next month and I’m punking out and running the half…if I even run it. I’ve been feeling kinda down on myself for being such a slacker. “Remember when you used to run marathons and kick pain in the face and look like this!!!???”
I was in MAJOR need of a running confidence boost. A taste of why I’ve trained so many miles, and why I should continue to push myself. And this morning on my run, I got that boost.
Somewhere at about mile 1.5 of my 4-mile run I noticed that there were a lot of runners crossing the street up on 13th east. “Waz up?” I wondered. So I trudged up the hill and figured out that there was some sort of race going on. “Oh how fun! A Pioneer Day 5k!” I thought.
I have A LOT of respect for race coordinators and registration fees, even if I’m a has-been I still have a soul, and so I didn’t want to run rogue, but it looked like a small race, and it was on my way home, so I crossed the street and joined in on the fun!
I was running with some men, probably in their 30’s and they were HAULING. But, I was still fresh, and full of excitement so I managed to pick up my pace and keep up. I didn’t see any mile markers so I still didn’t know what type of race it was. But the police officers marking the course seemed pretty impressed/shocked, that this little girl was keeping up with these speedy men. The crowd was small, and people were staggered, but they were cheering for me and shouting for me! IT FELT SO GOOD! I got the rush you get when you’re on mile 23 of a marathon, and you want to die, and you feel like you might, but you also feel like a bad-ass because you’ve just run 23 miles before most people have even rolled out of bed and you only have 3.2 more miles to go. I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. And then I finally saw a mile marker, and coincidentally enough, I was on mile 23, of the Desert News Marathon.
NO WONDER these people were so excited for me, I was on pace with the negative 3 hour marathon finishers, I could have possibly been in “first place” for the women. I picked up my pace a little more and saw a water station up ahead.
And what do you think I did?
Hell no I didn’t take those runner’s water! THEY EARNED THAT WATER. I didn’t have 23 miles under my belt. I barely had three. So I ducked out of the race and ran on the sidewalk next to the runners until I got home. But I cheered for them when they passed me.
And even though I didn’t run a marathon this morning, or anything near to one, I remembered why I have run them, and why I want to continue to run them. I know some people will never understand it, but you can’t beat that high you feel when you run across the finish line and realize what you’ve just accomplished. You feel powerful, you feel inspired, you are so happy about what you’ve just done, you are filled with love. In fact, I dare say, if more people ran marathons, there could be peace on earth. Or at least a lot more hot bods.
Anyway, I’m gonna stop being such a slacker and run more. And if you want to run more, or start running I have a few websites that can help…because I love to help!
halhigdon.com provides some really good FREE training programs for any race length you like. Hal Higdon won the Chicago marathon a bunch of times. He’s a gnarly old man with old school training methods, but I think his training schedules are a great way to start, especially for beginners.
marathonguide.com has a comprehensive guide of all the marathons that are going on in the world. Yes, world!
So happy running. Or happy whatever makes you happy. God bless the Pioneers and God bless you.
Your Friendly Running Buddy
Alison Faulkner Robertson