By Lisa Leigh Connors
Last winter, I was training almost daily in preparation to run the Hyannis Half Marathon, my first race of that length. At the time, running 9, 10, 11 and 12 miles was really difficult for me, yet I felt so accomplished after completing those long training runs with my running buddy. I was determined to get to the starting line healthy, fit and on top of my game. But ultimately, in the end, officials canceled the race because of the record-setting snowfall and treacherous conditions. Like all registered runners, I was devastated because I had put in so much time, effort and discipline to prepare for my first long-distance race.
Here we are again, one year later. The Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and Marathon Team Relay are all taking place this Sunday. Fortunately for runners and volunteers, the weather looks mild and sunny, and even better, no precipitation is in the forecast. I have decided not to run it, mainly because I am recovering from a heel injury. Instead, I will be volunteering for the Cape Cod Athletic Club, cheering on runners and guiding them along to make sure they are following the correct routes. I’m so accustomed to running races, this will be new territory for me. I am excited to be on the other side, shouting encouraging words to my fellow runners and ringing my cowbell (because “we’re going to need more cowbell!”). In the meantime, I’ll try to think of phrases beyond the typical and sometimes annoying (to runners), “You’re almost there” or “You got this.” How about instead, “You’re looking strong,” “Dig deep,” and to borrow one of my favorite phrases, “Heads up, wings out.” Go get ‘em!