Maybe it’s because I need to run fast vicariously, but I always ask our athletes to send us photos from their races. Their efforts inspire and motivate me – and I want to be loud and proud with their accomplishments. A couple of days ago, Oiselle athlete Jen Bigham (Rochester, NY) sent us this pic from the Brighton 5K, where she won (17:12) and PR’d (by 17 seconds). My reaction to the photo was immediate. I love it. Yes, in part because she ran fast and looks fit (um, Jen, can I have your abs?) but also because of the true grit. The obvious pain she had to overcome to meet the challenge. And therein lies one of my biggest running loves: when you train, and toe the line, and get out there to balls-out race, you go to a place that’s not about appearance. It’s not about pretty, or style, or even about gender. It’s about going down, down, down to the very depths of your abilities and finding out what’s there. And that in the big picture of life, traveling that road a lot – as a competitive runner/racer – makes you a stronger more capable person. And THAT is pretty.
Okay, so now we want to see pics from YOU. We’re building a “Painfest” album on Facebook. I’m kicking things off with my own hurt locker pics from the ’07 Portland Marathon. Talk about meet your maker…Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. (Submit yours on our Facebook or by email firstname.lastname@example.org)