Saturday, November 03, 2007

Aimees Soapbox June 2007

Aimee's June Soapbox
June 2007: Soapbox Smackdown Winners!
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Greetings Groovy Soapbox Readers!

Hey Groovy Readers! Feels great to be back! I was recently out of work for 3 weeks following some heavy- duty surgery on my noggin. But all is good now, and I am back running and back Soapboxing!
So without further ado, I wanted to introduce you to the two winners of the Soapbox Smackdown. (Even though we had four categories, I only had entrants in two of them.)

The first winner, in the Race Goal Category, is Dan East. Dan is a member of the Valley Forge Striders running club, a former officer of that club, and an all- around nice guy. He has been putting in some dedicated and determined training for some time now. He has competed at a variety of distances and has even competed in multisport events.
Dan wrote to me that he wanted to enter the Race Goal category because he had just run the New Jersey Marathon at the end of April. Now, Dan is one of those that will set specific goals, avail himself of new technology, and run with a support group of other running buddies. In short, he focuses and does all the things you should do when setting out to achieve something new.

So it's no surprise that he set and achieved his goal of a marathon PR. In the first 18 miles of the race, Dan established a consistent and do-able pace with the help of his Garmin 305. But then, as happens to so many of us at mile 21, the wheels fell off, to use Dan's own words.

Fear not, though, Groovy Readers! Our story does not end there! (And Dan wouldn't have won this contest if it did.) No, Dan did not quit, throw in the towel, or make excuses. At mile 24 he realized he could still achieve his goal, and so he dug down deep, ran the last 2+ miles, and got his PR by a very fulfilling 41 seconds. And so Dan is awarded our Race Goal prize for fighting the good fight and successfully running a 3:56:22 marathon.

Our second winner, who actually entered the Race Goal Category as well, is Jennie Byrd. Jennie's story, though, was enough for me to invent a new category just for her: the Perseverance Category.
Jennie had set her sights on chopping 15 minutes off of her half marathon time. A lofty goal, indeed! But the intrepid Jenny threw herself into her training program with vigor, adding weights, Pilates, and extra miles to her routine. Unfortunately for her, though, she did not realize that her chosen race, the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon, was a pretty hilly one. Sigh...

So, while Jennie did indeed PR at the Lehigh Valley race by 10 minutes, she did not achieve her stated goal. At this, our heroine felt despondent. She emailed me to tell me that she had "failed." All seemed lost.
But again, fear not, Groovy Readers!!! Like Dan, our Jennie also rallied and went on to learn great lessons, to race again, and to achieve PRs in other distances! Rumor has it, she is even training for the Chicago Marathon this fall. Yay, Jennie!

I am very happy to highlight these two runners because they both show that dedication, focus, and perseverance can win the day. Once again, we see that running is a metaphor for life. Thanks for your stories, Dan and Jennie! (By the way, your prizes will be at the stores.)
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