Coach Mike Mead

November 2009

A Thankful Runner’s Bounty

Here it is November already! This is a month that is usually laid back as we runners slow down a little.

For the young runners, cross country season is coming to an end and these kids are likely to take a few weeks off from the running grind before they get geared up for track season. Many marathoners – unless you’re running Thanksgiving Day in Atlanta – are taking things a bit easier before preparing for the challenges that wait in the coming New Year.

In general, we runners are adapting to time change and colder weather, so we may not be as motivated as we were earlier in the year. Since we celebrate Thanksgiving Day this month, many of us usually pause to give thanks for our blessings and what we do have.

Most of the time (I’m guilt of this, too) we tend to focus on what we do not have, or what is not right with our individual worlds. During these current challenging and stressful economic times, many folks have a lot to complain and be discouraged about their condition.

I’ve written some columns during my time occupying this web space ranting about what is not right with running. But as this year is less than two months from being complete, I’d like to address those positives regarding the state of the sport we like called running.

First of all, more people are running these days than at any time in human history. If you read about the various marathons being contested throughout the world, I have not heard of any of the “biggies” being affected by the economic downturn. There seems to be more new races of distances longer than 10 miles being held and drawing runners, rather than 5K’s.

Runners need to be thankful for the variety of running locations that we have to do our thing. We are not confined to parks or stadiums. Basically we have the opportunity to run somewhere different each and every day. And for the most part, we have safe locations to run.

We need to be thankful for the technology available to us. Not just with the refined developments in shoes and apparel, but also with accessory equipment like timing and GPS. Even the simple running training log has gone web-based and provides us with much more information about our training. The internet and cell phones give us the opportunity to receive coaching if we so choose.

We have an abundance of healthy food options these days. Fresh foods are available almost all the time, rather than seasonal. We have an enormous variety of food types to choose from on a daily basis to make us better, healthier runners.

We have so much to be thankful for as runners today! On a personal note, I am thankful for my health. In my November 2008 column, I revealed that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last October. During the past year, I elected to have surgery to remove the prostate and then went through eight weeks of radiation therapy this summer. I am happy to report that my cancer is in total remission! I believe my faith and my years of running all contributed to a quick recovery.

I hope you will take a little time every day -- and not just around Thanksgiving -- to be appreciative for what you do have in your life. Running is a tremendous gift in so many ways. Just don’t let it go to waste.