Once upon a time there lived in a certain town a little city girl with dark locks of hair, the kind at heart creature who every one loved. Her father was excessively fond of her; and her husband and daughter doted on her more. This good girl had little red shoes made just for her. They suited the girl so extremely well that everybody called her Little Red Running Shoes.
One day her father, having made some pies while visiting, said to her, “Go, my dear, run a 5k and see how you do.”
Little Red Running Shoes set out immediately and registered that day. She even invited a friend, who lived in another nearby town.
As she was going through the distance of her 5k run she felt wonderful and met along her path a balding but jolly running coach who loved donuts. She met with the jolly coach afterwards, who almost discarded her but she brought him a box of warm, glazed donuts which he gobbled up in an instant.
He asked her what distance would she run next, She responded “I think I will try a 10k” . The girl realizing this would be double the distance at 6.2 miles but was not afraid. A couple weeks later as she walked up to the Start line and checked the laces of her red running shoes, she saw her coach on the sides lines and he said “Run your race and enjoy it“. Afterwards she gave him a full report and was excited to say that she actually beat her expected finish time. She showed him her shiny race reward with pride and rewarded her coach with more donuts for his advice.
After a couple months of continued training Little Red Running Shoes decided she would attempt to conquer the 13.1 Half Marathon distance.Her coach advised her to wait til fall for cooler weather and she would be better prepared. She listened and by October she was ready to once again cross the Start line. This one would be a bit more harder than she expected, she worried at a couple points with the extra challenging distance if she would be able to finish but she came through the Finish line at 2:24. This time her running coach had a warm donut waiting for her which she accepted happily.
Little Red Running Shoes continued her training through Spring and even got up to a whooping “20” miles. She went back to her coach and pleaded with him to let her try the Full Marathon distance of 26.2 miles. He cautiously warned her off of the mighty distance but Little Red Running Shoes was very persistent. She begged “Please Coach, I can do it“. Against his cautious advice she signed up for one that was in a nearby town so she would not have to travel far. When she went to the race expo to pick up her supplies she was greatly amazed to see how large the Full Marathon finisher medal would be. She thought to herself how proud her father and running coach would be of her when she accomplished such greatness.
Race morning came with morning jitters. She barely got any sleep. So many thoughts ran through her mind…..
“Did I drink enough?”
“Did I eat enough to carry me through 26.2 miles?”
“Did I eat too much?”
” Did I break in my new shiny red running shoes long enough?”
Her running coach met her at the start line as promised and told her the same words as before “Run your race and enjoy it” , she exhaled slowly as the start gun went off.
The miles ticked by easy at first but as the mileage increased it would become more difficult.
“Mile 10, what big hills you have!”
“Mile 14, should I have stopped for more nourishment?”
“Mile 16, ooooooo that strange watery drink does not suit my tummy well!”
“Mile 19, The heat, oooo the heat, Where did the shade go?”
“Mile 22, Why oh why am I doing this again?”
As she approached Mile 26 Little Red Running Shoes legs ached, her feet were blistered, her mouth parched but she slowly made her way to the grand finish to claim her prize at 26.2 .
“Look Coach at what I did! “Little Red Running Shoes exclaimed. Her Coach replied “Did you enjoy it as much as the Half, 10k and 5k?” . Little Red Running Shoes had to think long and hard, “No, its not as much fun as I thought it would be. Why do I feel so guilty?”
Her jolly coach responded “You are to enjoy the run, some will be more challenging than others but once you lose the joy you will realize which distances suit best .”
And, hearing these words, Little Red Running Shoes knew the Half,10k and 5k would happily be her distances of choice. Because YES she can have her donuts and run too !