Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Racing Symphony

Every time I go to a race I marvel at how many runners are there.  I never see anyone running when I am out at 0'dark hour.  Where are all these people and when/where do they run?  I am glad they do run.  I have decided that life is more full with running.  Without all these runners I would not get to experience the race day symphony.

Comparing a race which is all about the body to a symphony which is all about music may seem strange.  However, I think it is the perfect comparison.  One definition of symphony is "a harmony of sounds."  The Greek meaning for symphony is "agreement of sound."  The Italian style symphony had three movements just like a race.  (I looked this stuff up to help make my point)

Before a race begins all the runner's line up in the corral.  It is like a herd of cows waiting to be led somewhere.  But, that all changes when the race begins.  That is when the symphony begins.  I have thought for a long time that the beginning of a race mirrors a symphony.   I LOVE the sounds at the beginning of a race and really for the first mile or so.  Then those same sounds come screaming back at the end of a race. 

When the gun goes off, the drumming of feet begins.  The beeping of watches is sounded.  The clapping of spectators starts.  The beauty of running is in motion.  The symphony has started!  I love these sounds.  I never turn on my music during the first mile.  I want to soak in these sounds and be in the moment.

I remember when my marathon started and the symphony began.  I was overwhelmed at what I was undertaking and the beauty of what everyone was going to complete that day.  Those moments brought tears to my eyes.

The symphony sounds fade as the running pack thins and everyone settles into his/her own pace.  It is a quieter, more calm movement.  Maybe it is just me and someone else running.  Our sounds are less obvious but we continue toward the great ending. 
At the end of a race, spectators are present again. They are screaming, ringing cow bells, whistling....sounds galore.  The drumming of feet is fierce, strong, and powerful.  The announcer is cheering on the runners.  Watching are beeping.  People are struggling to breathe, to finish, to make it to the end.  There are noises everywhere and all in great harmony.  It is the great crescendo before the final step.  The symphony is coming to an end in hopefully a magnificent way.  The beauty that was present at the beginning has returned and pulls you to the finish.  Then just like that the symphony has ended.  You are left with the elation of winning.  The joy of running well with teammates.  The love for other runners. 

Photos:  Women's Olympic marathon 2012
The elation of running
Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan of the U.S. at the finish line after competing during the Women's Marathon. Streeter Lecka
I adore this picture of strength, beauty and LOVE
The most amazing thing about the running symphony is that each one is different.  It is what keeps me racing.  I love experiencing the sounds of physical strength and determination. 

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