Usually when I run outside, I'm running basically in a circle. My favorite places are the track at a nearby school, the park with the lake or the other park near our house. One enjoyable part of circular routes is that there are almost always other people out there and, if they are going the opposite direction from you, you pass them several times. I enjoy seeing the various people out there at different stages of fitness and different ages. I especially like to see parents and their children because it is so important to set that healthy example. I'm often tempted to say something encouraging as I pass people such as "Good job" or "You can do it" but I usually don't because I'm afraid they'll think I'm crazy.
Today, Kayleigh and I went to the local park first thing this morning. She had worked out late yesterday so decided to slow down to my pace for as long as I could keep running. I was shocked to make it 20 minutes before I had to walk. At that point she sped up and continued her training. I walked for 10 minutes then ran the remaining 10 minutes. I reached the 5K mark at 38 minutes 23 seconds which is a new record for me. Not bad considering I'm still coughing.
About one lap into our run, a family of two parents, another woman, and two teenagers showed up. The two women walked at a slow pace. One of the daughters walked at a quicker pace. Then the father and other daughter started out walking quickly and then started jogging for short distances. Once Kayleigh left me, I was really struggling but every time the father passed me, he would say something encouraging. It was a huge motivation and kept me going. The final time I passed him was right after the 5K point. I said "I'm almost to my finish line" and he said "You got this mama". I smiled all the way to the end. Kayleigh was waiting by the car for me. I was about to tell her about how much he had helped me but before I could catch my breath she said "That guy is awesome. I wish he was always out here." He had cheered her on along the way as well.
It is a shame that we didn't get a chance to tell him how much he motivated us. I decided one thing after today's run though. From now on, I'm not going to hold back from encouraging the people I pass. It might be just the validation they need to keep going.
Also, happy birthday to my husband!