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• ducklings, bark chips and champions, oh my!

I mentioned on Facebook that the theme for this week is success. Success is cause for celebration, which is what Run Momma Run is all about. The beauty about running is that there can be success around just about every corner. A new runner will feel better once they build mileage and stamina, seasoned runners continue to blast through PRs, people get healthier, lose weight, better their mood and, my favorite, meet people who share the passion.

Today was a successful day for me. I pulled my calf a few weeks ago (on that Hitchcock-y day when a blasted crow literally attacked me). Since then I’ve been icing, stretching, massaging and waiting for it to feel better. I tested the waters a few times with short runs that sent me hobbling back home. I even had to miss two RMR group runs. Ugh. But today, I finished a 20-miler and the calf was in stellar form. Success was my body’s ability to heal. My try-not-to-be-too-crabby hiatus was rewarded with a gorgeous morning run in Eugene complete with new baby duckling and gosling sightings as well as a brush with greatness and her new little one. I got to meet Nicole Teter, 2004 and 2008 Olympian and  U.S. indoor 800-meter record holder!

I started my run today at Alton Baker Park at 6:30 a.m. When I arrived the Miles for Mozart race booth was being set up in the parking lot and folks were milling around organizing one of Eugene’s fun 5Ks. Because my calf was healing, the distance I would do was an unknown. So, I played it safe and did laps on Pre’s trai from the park. (My running partner wisely opted for a trail run. She surely would have shot me if I tried to take her on 5 laps of a 4-mile loop. A bit crazy, I know, but I’m known to do goofy things like 15 miles on a nearby track in the pouring rain.)

Anywaaaaay, after each loop, I hit my handy-dandy Scoobie Shnack Shack and chowed on tortilla chips, Gummie Bears and Annie’s Bunnies as I watched the race unfold. After lap one I helped some guys find the start. On lap two, I got to hear finishers being announced. By the third lap awards were being handed out and runners were swapping smiles. After my fifth lap I saw Nicole wheeling her 6-week old son around in his cozy stroller while she worked with her husband, Andy Downin (former US 1,500 meter Champion and four-time All-American in cross-country at Georgetown), tearing down the set.

Eugene Women's Half Sept. 5, 2010

With a handful of chips, I shyly introduced myself and was greeted ever so graciously by the elite runner momma. We chatted about the upcoming Eugene Women’s Half Marathon that she’s directing and what a great event it will be for women in the community (and beyond). We talked about Sarah Bowen Shea doing a reading at the event from her book Run Like a Mother. She was excited to read it. I would love to hear her thoughts about it since she’s now a first-time-mom.

I had a 20-miler scheduled for today, but told myself I’d be happy with 15 and settle for 10. After my talk with Nicole, I did my best to walk back to the car not looking like my run took much out of me. It did. But that was my measurement of success.

How do you define a successful run?

One thought on “• ducklings, bark chips and champions, oh my!

  1. I can barely handle one lap on Pre’s Trail… you’d have to check me into a psych ward after 5! I had forgotten about 12 miles you did on the track. You are CRAZY! I say that with the utmost respect. So glad you had a great run & are back in the saddle again. I love the fuzzy new ducklings. I haven’t seen them yet this year. Luv ya!

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