Yesterday my colleague Mike Harrington and I spoke to some students who were at Dunn Tire Park for a Bisons sportswriters' camp run by the Newspapers in Education program. We talked to them about interviewing, how it's really just a conversation and how sometimes you go in with a list of prepared questions but after listening to the athlete talk, you ask different questions.
Mike then explained to the kids why I was dressed so informally in my running gear -- I was training for a triathlon and writing about it for The Buffalo News and off to run after our talk.
We finished up with a few more pointers when a girl raised her hand with a question.
"What's the farthest you've run?"
You know that principle of interviewing we just talked about -- the one where you listen to what the person says and asks questions based on that? This girl got it immediately. Heck there are college kids who spend $40,000 in tuition who still can't get that right. Color me impressed.
"The farthest I've run is about 5 miles," I said, thinking that's about the length of the 8K I did at the Shamrock.
"That's 4 1/2 miles more than I've run," Mike joked.
"I've run 100 meters," the girl said.
"That's outstanding," I told her.
And I meant it. It's absolutely fantastic. I was so happy for her. I thought about her while I was out chasing the wizard on the waterfront wonder if he had any Coffee Crisps tucked in his robe.
Because whatever distance you run, whatever time you run, the point is you worked for it and you did it.
Granted, this morning I'm hoping for more than just an "I ran the Niagara County Bicentennial 5K" sticker. I would like my time to be at, or better than, my previous 5K time. I have my race plan, which is simple -- easy start and pick it up with each mile. I've put in lots of running between my last race and this one. I'm prepared.
But at the end of the day, it's about doing something I enjoy and having fun and knowing that whatever the results were, I worked hard for them.