Runnovation

Meb-Keflezighi-600

Happy Marathon Monday! With the start of the Boston Marathon, there is widespread anxiety and excitement over who will win this year’s race. Whether it’s Meb Keflezighi or Shalane Flanagan, Americans have high hopes to make it to the finish-line first. While we sit back and anticipate this year’s breakthroughs, let’s have a dose of motivation, otherwise known as “runnovation”.  Below is a narrative I wrote as a reflection of my recent 1600m race. Hopefully, it’ll motivate you to go out and run at least one mile, while nearly 30,000 runners challenge themselves with 26.2.

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I like to believe that I am powerful. I take pride in every stride, every breath, every moment of joy intertwined with pain. Wrapped in a gift box, the memory of my PR latched onto me as we drove home. But it wasn’t just about the numbers on a clock. It was about forgetting all the poor races I have run and overriding those memories with better ones. It was about letting go of all my worries and running toward positivity. It was about feeling stronger and more powerful in my own skin. This race was undoubtedly my favorite, as it helped me become a symbol of pushing past pain for something greater—a PR, a beautiful memory that won’t stop replaying in my head, an evolution of positive self-improvement. My mind’s eye continues to watch all of last night’s triumphs, as I fall into a trance, mesmerized by the gentle hum of the car…

I wanted to run harder, recover the oxygen-debt from an empty bank account. I wanted every mile to remind me to keep springing forward from the worn-out blanks beneath my spikes. I wanted to run faster races, and I wanted to make my teammates proud. These ambitions flashed through my mind as the gun went off. Lap 1. Run harder, pump your arms faster, work for a more efficient body, and don’t give up no matter how hard it gets. Lap 2. Your heart will get tired, your muscles will scream, but find the strength to kick harder until not even the force of wind can slow you down. Lap 3. You are powerful beyond measure, so sweep all the blessings that running can give you. Lap 4. Kick your legs in front of your body faster, and don’t let this pace go. Let’s make our goals a beautiful reality.

I ran with the mere bits of battery life I had leftover. I reminded myself that all I had to do was try—that I’m not obligated to make every mile “perfect”. Despite how hard it got just to keep going, I used all the remaining ink from a dried-out marker, made space between “can” and “can’t”. Instead of looking for excuses to back down, my legs tirelessly worked for a better body, for faster races, for the chance to prove that pain should not define my limits.

Breathless and satisfied, my heart pumped with an endless hunger for more—more of the thrill, the taste of a spring breeze, the beating of hard-working veins against healthy skin. I want to do it all over again, but this time, with more courage tearing through the microfibers in my quadriceps, without limits in sight, without past races in clear view.

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