Turn it up!

Another Thursday, another treadmill training run.

I upped my pace, running the first four sets at 5.0 mph; the fifth set at 5.3; and the last set in steadily increasing speeds beginning at 5.0 and ending at 6.5 for the last thirty seconds.  And it felt good!

Until I got to the adductor stretch when my previously strained groin muscle in my right leg made its presence known.

I don’t think it’s “strained” again so much as just reacting to being in the groove of consistently running.  So it’s good that tomorrow is a Rest Day.

In other running related news we had another meeting of the Planning Committee for ‘my’ 5K.

I call it ‘my 5K’ because really, the idea to put this race on was . . . well . . . mine.  (For reasons I don’t quite understand it’s a real stretch for me to embrace ownership of that.)

It’s a 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.  Almost as important as that is that it is being run in honor of the memory of one of the single best human beings I have ever known or known of in my life.  John “Bad Dog” McCormack.  John was a native Memphian, and a local Radio ‘Personality’.  I say ‘Personality’ in quotes because that really doesn’t do him justice.  John was both bigger-than-life and one of the most humble, down-to-earth, unassuming people you could ever hope to meet.  For twenty years John worked with his on-air colleagues Bev and Tim putting on an annual fundraiser for The House (for them the Ronald McDonald House was simply The House) and in those years they must have raised literally millions of dollars.  

In October 2009 John received his own diagnosis of Leukemia and his first reaction was gratitude that now he could truly relate to what The Kids at The House went through every day of their young lives.  In February 2011 John summoned up every ounce of strength and courage he had in order to be there for the 20th annual fundraising event.  And shortly after that he lost his own battle.  Arguably one of the most touching tributes to John was written by his friend and fellow ‘Local Celebrity’ Joe Birch.

Because of John’s dedication to The House, the idea of doing a race benefiting The House was inseparable from doing something to honor his memory.  I have been honored to receive consent from the people in charge of Bad Dog’s trust, as well as having been put in touch with an amazing group of people – many of them lifelong friends and colleagues of John’s – who comprise my committee.

Because the race was my idea I am the defacto Race Director, and my committee has designated me their Chairman.  I’m still wrapping my brain around both of these ideas.

The reason I’m going on about my race is this: If I hadn’t taken up running last summer putting together a 5K would never have crossed my mind.  I studiously avoid things that claim “This will change your life!”  In fact, the quickest way to move me in the opposite direction of anything – be it a book, movie, seminar, vitamin supplement, what-have-you – is to tell me it’s going to change my life.  Based on that please take it in the spirit in which it is meant when I say:

RUNNING HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!

I can trace everything that has ‘opened up’ for me in recent moths to having taken up running last summer.  I’m still working through all the whys and wherefores of it all, but basically I think it comes down to the fact that I tried something I had always thought I would fail miserably at and I.  Didn’t.  Fail!  I started slow, I followed a carefully drafted program, I put in the work, and it worked!

And there’s just something about that level of success that makes you want to experience it in other areas of your life.

Like planning and executing a successful 5K.

So thank you running.

And runners.

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