Gratitude 5K, the Un-cancelled run

The opportunity of social distancing, and stay at home orders, is that it makes us gratefulimg_9699 for many things that we previously took for granted.

This morning I went for a three mile run on a path I’ve run hundreds of times. There was nothing remarkable about the distance I ran or the neighborhood I ran through.

However, today was the first race in the series for The Un-cancelled Project. Designed by Run the Edge, the same people who created the “Run the Year” programs. The focus of Un-Cancelled is “about refusing to allow fear to make us angry or unkind to others. It is about moving our bodies, focusing on the positive, and celebrating the things that make us the most human.”

This project came with the opportunity to register for a virtual 5K, 10K, half marathon, img_9691marathon, or ultra. In typical over-functioning form I signed up for all five. Why not?

Each week is also coupled with a theme. The theme for this first week is gratitude. Runners are invited to think of things they are grateful for as they are running.

This morning I went out for the first of five events, the 5K. As I was walking out of the house I decided I should run the 5K with integrity, and not simply jog for 3.1 miles. However, I had just ran 19 miles on Monday and have not rested or done any speed work recently. 

I was surprised when, after the first mile, I looked down at my watch and saw I was averaging an eight and a half minute per mile pace. I was able to maintain this pace throughout the run and made my last mile the fastest. Finishing in 26 minutes and 6 seconds is no record, but pretty respectable 72 hours after a long run. This run also moved me passed the 500 mile mark for the year, I am on pace for 2020 miles for the year.

The human body is a remarkable thing. These days we focus so much on viruses and infections that we often forget how amazing our bodies are. 

The ability to move, to run, under a blue sky… to breathe freely without pain… to smell and to taste… to be surrounded by the people we love and who love us… a million things we take for granted are all gifts of grace.

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