I guess there are people in the world who dream about being
on the cover of a magazine…
Rock stars want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Athletes imagine themselves on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Country folk have visions of themselves on the cover Miniature Donkey Talk.
Confession: Being on the cover of a magazine has never been one of my goals, dreams or aspirations.
BUT that didn’t stop me from entering the Runner’s World Cover Contest.
I stumbled upon the contest when I was brainstorming ways to mark off No. 46 on my current life list (Win a Contest).
“I’m a runner,” I told myself when I saw it on the Runner’s World web site. “Why the hell not?”
All I had to do was answer three questions, pick one word that describes me as a runner and upload a high-resolution picture of myself.
The three questions:
• How did you start running?
• What is the personal running accomplishment you are most proud of?
• Why is running important to you?
Piece. Of. Cake.
After completing all the requirements and hitting “submit,” my dreams of marking No. 46 off my life list quickly vanished. I saw a link at the bottom of the web site for “Leaderboard,” so I clicked it. Unbeknownst to me, the Cover Contest had started 3 weeks earlier, and I was already 21,000 votes behind the leader.
Oh, well…No. 46 would have to wait, but I still had a huge smile on my face. Being at the very bottom of the “Leaderboard” didn’t diminish the satisfaction I received from the process.
Taking 30 minutes and answering those three questions were exactly what this runner needed. It’s what my running streak needed. It’s what my aching feet needed. It’s what my tired mind needed.
It was a jolt to my running lifestyle.
I wanted to share my three answers that helped provide this needed joggle. (I had a 100-word limit on each answer.)
• HOW DID YOU START RUNNING?
I think the most disheartening and tragic phrase in the English language is: “I’ll do it tomorrow,” and a few years ago, I was throwing around those 4 ½ words like a Nerf football. I was sick of it. I told myself: “If I make up one more excuse why I can’t run, I’m going to strangle myself with my shoelaces.” (Heck, I wasn’t using them for anything anyway!) So…I started running every day – at least 1 mile – and I haven’t stopped since. Too hot? Doesn’t matter. Too tired? Lace ’em up. Too sick? Go! No more excuses!
• WHAT IS THE PERSONAL RUNNING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
On one of the coldest, dampest and windiest days that I’d EVER run, I finally accomplished my goal of breaking the 4-hour barrier in a marathon. The most satisfying part, I stared down some of my most destructive demons to do it. With less than 5 miles to go in the 2014 Army Marathon, I actually whispered to myself: “What if I fail AGAIN?!?!?” But I refused to stop fighting, and I rebuked my inner demons: “What if you DON’T fail? What if you break the 4-hour barrier on this crazy, cold day? How sweet will that be?” So. Sweet.
When my son was a baby, I took part in a life-changing exercise. I was encouraged to write myself an inspirational note about the importance of staying active. The organization leading the exercise collected the notes and then mailed them out a month later. My note said: “Dear Drew…get your lazy butt off the couch and start being an inspiration for your son. Run!” After receiving my note in the mail, I started running every single day. Why is lacing ’em up and pounding the pavement important to me? Because I know my son is watching.
– – –
After I broke the 4-hour barrier in a marathon, I said “NEVER AGAIN!” Running 26.2 miles was officially in my rearview mirror.
As rewarding as the Cover Contest was, it didn’t change my mind about running another marathon.
It DID inspire me to start training for a 13.1-mile race, though.
In order to provide the necessary leverage on myself, I’m excited to announce that I will be running the inaugural Tour de Glen Rose – a half marathon through the streets of my new ‘hood on Nov. 15.