Sunday, May 6, 2012

For Your Health

Today’s post is a little off the usual theme of Medical Education.  But then again, maybe it isn’t.  Why are those who do medical education involved in teaching others?  Among other things, because they enjoy the love of teaching.  I certainly do.  Today’s post is teaching by doing.
Yesterday, I ran in the Indianapolis “Mini-Marathon”, a 13.1 mile half marathon which is supposedly the largest half-marathon in the United States.  Wow, what an incredible day.  I have run it before, but there was something different about yesterday.
I got there early, after waking up before my alarm woke me up.  I stretched, got my stuff all ready to go (including having my phone with me, as well as gel packs), and was ready to go in my corral early.  I didn't see as many people that I know as I usually do.  It was great to see Dan Fulkerson, one of our Neurosurgeons.  In the corral, just before the start, I found another one of my Riley Hospital colleagues, Dr. Scott Walker, a pediatric anesthesiologist, and met his family.  An incredible sight of the race just before the start is here.
In the past, I have tended to come out too quickly, and I was determined not to do that again.  The first mile was just about where I wanted to be, and the next two were perfect.  I was feeling great at this point, and was on track to meet my goal.
For me, the nemesis has been the race track, which is just before mile #6 until just after mile #8.  I was determined not to slow down on the track.  I made it to the Yard of Bricks at a time which was perfect for me.  I felt really good at this point. 
Then I just plain petered out, along with many other runners.  I walked the water station at the end of the track, and just couldn’t recover.  The heat had gotten to me, and I simply couldn’t go any faster.  My legs were aching, along with my feet.
My GPS timekeeper shows the times from Mile #9 through the end with slower times during each consecutive mile.  This was a bummer, but I think that the lack of long training, and the heat took its toll on me.  But the atmosphere was just incredible.  It was wonderful seeing people running for causes, running for loved ones, running for their own health, or running "just because."  This alone is a reason to run the Mini.
For example, I saw military personnel decked out in full gear, with heavy backbacks, who did the entire race with this gear!  I saw a man who had an obvious stroke but who kept trudging along (actually passing me!).  I saw kids pushing their parents on.  I heard so many words of encouragement and songs from the many bands and cheerleaders along the way.  My favorites: the Circle City Cloggers, and the high school students decked out as Christmas ornaments!
So why have I continued to run the Mini-Marathon?  I am certainly sore afterwards.  It definitely takes a while to train for this (lesson for next time: train a bit longer, focusing on the longer distances).  Is it the thrill of running?  Is it the excitement?  Is it all of these things, plus some unknown factor?
Who knows?  I’m not sure, but I just signed up again for next year!  Here’s to my health and yours!

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