I’m realizing you might notice a trend in a lot of these dedication posts. I’ll warn you about that right now.
Mile four is dedicated to my friend Vinny.
Vinny is a relatively new friend of mine, found (as many have been in the past couple years) through the Twitter Machine. He’s a Brooklyn kid (and we all know how much I have a soft spot for Brooklyn). And he’s a relatively new runner.
There’s something incredibly refreshing about watching the journey a new runner takes, especially for those of us who have been doing this for long enough that every so often we forget what got us started in the first place.
Recently Vinny completed his first 10 mile race. It is incredible to actually see progress and determination to get better on a fairly constant basis. He did so well, and I am so proud.
After his 10 mile race, he wrote this post. In there, he says:
That’s what I had to do this weekend. I was rolling through mile 3. Miles 4-6 sucked and were agony. But miles 8-10 were joy. Why? Because when I hit Mile marker 8? I knew god himself wasn’t stopping me from hitting that finish line. And I got rolling again.
Hoo-boy, let me tell you how that made me catch my breath. That line, that god himself wasn’t stopping him from hitting that finish line, that right there is what it means to me to be a runner. That point hits at different times in different races, sometimes stronger than others, but when you’ve never run a distance before, that feeling of strength is POWERFUL. And he’s right. Not a force on this planet or anywhere else is going to stop you from crossing that finish line.
Sometimes this is hard. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes you feel like you have made the biggest mistake of your life in agreeing to run a silly race.
And sometimes, whether it’s a 5k or a 10 mile race or that damn marathon, you feel something that you know some other runner somewhere else has. That is a powerful connection. It’s an even more powerful motivator.
So, my dearest Vinny, mile four is for you. For your half marathon dreams and beyond.