What Running Taught Me This Weekend: Humility

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By Kate

I’m not a super star runner but lately, as training as been paying off and I’ve been feeling stronger during races, I’ve been feeling more and more confident about qualifying for Comrades and running certain times.

So much so that I told my father (who is 36 years older than me and who plans to run Comrades again this year with me after having a 23 year hiatus) that he would need to run faster on his qualifier so that he could keep up with me and that I wouldn’t be prepared to run in a seeding batch lower than what I intended qualifying for.

I guess wisdom must really come with age because after my qualifier (which to give you an indication of how badly it went, is no longer going to be used as my qualifier) this weekend, I guess dad really does know best.

He pushed himself through his qualifier last weekend and ran a 4.19 so that we could be seeded together.  After having put all that pressure on him I went out and ran a strong first half but completely fell apart on the second half of my marathon.

After having thrown up on the side of road (and to add insult to injury, my gorgeous new clean running shoes I mentioned in my previous blog entry – not so clean any more.  I’m sincerely hoping a good wash will get vomit stains off my shoes!) I proceeded to run/walk the rest of the way, finishing 55 seconds too late to get the seeding that I wanted.

As I made my way to the finish line (the last 10km honestly felt like a marathon itself) I walked passed a man and a woman, clearly father and daughter.  The father also looked like he was struggling and I overheard his daughter say “come on Dad, it’s practically down hill, we should be running!”.  While I don’t know their circumstances, seeing that really hit home for me.  I’m running Comrades this year to run it with my dad – it’s been something he’s wanted to do with his daughters and now the time seems right for us to do it.

Does it really matter if I start in batch F or batch G?  Does it really matter if I run an 11.30 comrades instead of a 11 hour?  Or does it matter that I will be making my dad’s dream come true?

After all he’s done for me in my 24 years, it seems like a very small price to pay to stop being so focused on my goal of running a bit faster and focus on the number one man in my life.

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One Response to What Running Taught Me This Weekend: Humility

  1. Carol Ward March 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    This actually brought tears to my eyes, because I lost my father when I was younger than you are now – not that he was a runner or anything, but there are so many things that I would have liked to do with him, which I never will….

    PS: sorry to hear about your shoes :(

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