1.  Anybody can run.  I’ve written before that success in sport is more mind than muscle and yesterday’s half-marathon bore that out.    We back-of-the-pack runners were mostly middle-aged women and few of us looked as if we’d ever been athletes.  But the lot of us finished, despite the ridiculously warm weather and the multitude of highway hills.   Meanwhile, a coterie of volunteers in our age range munched pizza and shook their heads as we ran by, telling us “good job!”  and each other “I could never do that”.    But of course they could!

2.  But you have to have a training plan.   Everybody I chatted with had followed a plan to get them over the finish line, and everybody made it.  The lone exception was a 20-year-old who had come with her sister, and figured she was fine as she ran track in high school and still jogged now and then.   But the sister was fast! and the poor kid ended up in the back with the elderlies.  She managed to finish, though, after adopting my strategy of running to a telephone pole, walking to a telephone pole—and cranking it every time the road tipped downhill.  Next year, she too will have a training plan.

3.  Nothing tastes better than a popsicle at mile 12.5.  God bless the folks handing out popsicles and encouragement at the top of the last darned hill.  I gave up even pretending to run and finished my treat just in time to semi-sprint across the finish-  to encourage those volunteers to give it a try next year.  Or maybe just because it was fun.