This last Saturday Jenni and David Cragun held their first marathon training at the Sheldon High School track. I awaited Saturday morning with such great anticipation that I woke up at 5 that morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. It felt kind of like Christmas.
This time of year 7 in the morning seems unnaturally early because it is so dark still, but we had an enthusiastic turnout. Our group of about 10 runners huddled together in the cold, bouncing and stretching and swinging our arms at random intervals to keep warm in the early winter drizzle as we introduced ourselves and talked about running. We did some warm ups as a group, were led through some stretching by a veteran runner (who has run several marathons while raising her family!!) and then each of us ran, at our own pace-all around the same track, together.
The Cragun’s young children joined in with the running, even the youngest stood and watched and cheered us on. Evergreen trees stretched up to the sky on every side, watching us running, nodding their branches to the beat of the wind in approval. The drizzle grew a little more insistent and rain accumulated on our faces and heads flattening our hair and cooling our faces. Persistence, determination and joy flashed across our faces as some of us paired together and others drove on in solitude. We each were beating out a very personal song as we found our individual rhythms out on that track and yet we were surrounded and strengthened by each other.
Who, but a group of runners fueled by the same burning desire, would get up so early on a Saturday and go run in the cold Oregon rain? It was glorious!! As I looked around at our group of fresh faces I felt a surge of energy from the people around me. It was exhilarating to be beginning something-a first step in a new journey. The thought that we would be making our way towards running what we be for most of us a first marathon (or at least being ABLE to run one) was a bit overwhelming. There is something to be said about doing something as a group. We form bonds, we help each other stay on track, we cheer each other on and we generate a greater energy together than we could alone.
Thank you Jenni and David! Your time and investment in all of us-believing in us and helping us achieve, is making a change. To all of those who came last Saturday-thank you! You are tough and you showed up to start a journey that we will all hopefully take together. I look forward to getting to know you better. For all those who didn’t come but have been thinking about it….come!! It is CRAZY fun-yup, a little crazy and a lot of fun. It was very informative, we learned about some ways to improve our running and strength and were provided a training schedule by the Craguns to help with personal training.
I was so pumped after our first marathon training, that Monday morning I went out running in the rain and came home soaked, even my toes were soggy. What a great way to face the oncoming winter weather-a support group that will keep each other motivated and moving!!