Thursday, December 26, 2013

Good Year or Good Riddance

That’s it!  I’m done.  I’ve run all I’m going to run in 2013.  2,746 miles.  Reflecting back, there was a lot to run through—much good, my fair share of challenges, and some things that took my breath away.  

The good is easy to recall.  My children grew and prospered.  I learned to love my job again.  I completed three 100-mile races.  I traveled.  I laughed HARD and often.  I opened doors that I thought were shut.  I learned from mistakes.  I deepened friendships to levels that I never thought possible.  I felt love and gave it in return.  I grew.

The challenges, while not as many, were deep.  I lost loved ones, both suddenly and slowly.  My son needed surgery.  My daughter got a diagnosis.  I went through a July, which I would just like to simply erase from my life calendar.  I missed a finish line that I whole-heartedly wanted to cross.  And, I have been battling two (most likely) related health issues that have had negative repercussions on several parts of me, including my mood. 

Lately, I’ve let my struggles, especially with my health, get the best of me.  I could not find a way to run through it.  It would avoid scheduled runs, justifying to myself, that I simply had too much going on, or worse, not justifying it at all, and simply not doing it.  On the occasions, that I did get out and run, I would find myself frustrated; too focused on my perceived walls to let my mind make an attempt at finding away around, or through.  I would stop.  I did what I try so hard not to do, I felt sorry for myself.

Running was waiting for me through the fog.  Since my last race, I have slowly, albeit haltingly, regained my passion and my focus.   I ran in the rain after work because it helped me transition from teacher to mom.  I ran on Christmas Eve, crunching through the snow, in search of Santa on his fire truck, just because it made me happy.  I ran at 4 am on a Sunday morning, because I awoke from a bad dream, and it looked so damn pretty out.  I ran and I recovered. 

I am again able to see the things in life that give me passion and take my breath away—a beautiful view; my smiling family; friends that have me levitate with happiness; my running shoes.  I know I have been difficult these past few weeks---I acknowledge, apologize and will attempt amends.

Maybe I should give 2013 just a few more miles…. 

I’m certain 2014 will have it’s own share of happiness and hardship, but I’m also pretty darn sure that I’ll run through it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Aptly Named Race

So Roger sent me a text.  He’s registered for a race, but has a family obligation.  Do I want to take his spot?  

Oh yeah, I do.   I’ve been itching to get to a starting line.  It’s been a rough month for me, and I really wanted to run through it. 

I laughed when I found out the name.  Oh well, it cant be that bad.

I got up around 6 am to head out to Rochester.  When I let the dogs out, I realized that it snowed pretty hard last night, and the roads were not cleared yet.  I decide to get going sooner rather than later. 

The roads were brutal.  It took me an extra stressful hour to get to the race site.   THEN, I couldn’t find the start.  Seriously, I was in the park and could not find the start.  Uh oh, I giggled as I thought of the name of the race.

The website clearly stated that you had to check in by 9:45 in order to start the 10 am race.  I peeled into the parking lot at 9:43 (insert name of race here).   I booked it from the car, wearing nothing but what I normally wear under my race clothes.  I was shivering when I got to the registration table.  They let me run, but I only had minutes to dress and prep for the start.  (Name of race).  

It is a rugged course that was to be run through an un-cleared, snow covered trail, in 12-degree weather, with a few ski-slope sized hills to add to the fun.   It snowed the entire time, very hard at times, and that snow was really starting to stack up.  The wind chill froze my hair; literally, froze my hair.   (Name of race). 

I loved the course, but it wasn’t my best run.   I wiped out a few times on the ice and snow.  I regretted not grabbing my yak trax or my microspikes, as the footing was somewhat tenuous, especially on the one near vertical climb I had to hit three times. It required both hands and feet to summit. 

As I neared the finish line, I let the name of the race slip from my mind, and I thought about how lucky I felt to be able to accomplish this.  The running gave me my center back and I felt ready to take on the hurdles that have been placed in front of me. 

The struggles of a challenging race reminded me, that sometimes, I just need to move my feet, in order to clear my mind.

And, the name of the race: "WTF" by TrailsRoc.

Thanks Rog!