The TexPat is still recovering from too much Honey Baked Ham and red wine this Easter weekend, but this Boston Globe article by Jennifer Graham on running is helping to rouse me from my stupor. Thank you Ms. Graham! The TexPat is a perennial member of the back of the pack crew at New York Road Runners weekend races and bigger events like the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco (and the upcoming half in DC) and the More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon. I was an occasional, recreational jogger when I was younger and fitter. Distance running and races became a part of my life much later – a healthy, motivating, uplifting pastime that entered my life at a critical juncture when I really needed it most. It would be hyperbole to suggest that it saved my life, but in many ways it has. I am fully aware that many self-proclaimed “real runners” sneer and snicker at me and my compadres who would be thrilled to run an “embarrassingly slow” 9 minute mile (can we say 10?). Luckily, they don’t own the open roads or trails, and unlike skiing or golf, the price of entry to become a runner is a mere pair of sneakers and the will to move forward. And for every pacesetter that brushes by me, annoyed that I’m blocking his way to break land speed records on the Central Park loop, there’s a woman who gives me a pat on the back when I’m chugging up Harlem Hill and says “we got this!” And on at least one occasion, there was a group of dudes in pink unitards and tutus cheering me up the nastiest, most spectacular hill on my Nike San Francisco marathon route. The tutu wearers, penguins and slowpokes like myself have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for wonderful causes that actually DO save lives by lacing up our sneakers and daring to dream the same dreams as the elites – to cross the finish line.