Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Tsunami before the Calm 24 hours of Relentless Forward Motion

Race week.  It brings a tsunami of emotions.  What am I thinking....I cannot run for 24 hours.  True.  There is quite a bit of walking involved WITH the running (if all goes well).  Last year was not my year.  There were horrible winds that blew (my friend) Dena and I all over the course and we decided to 'pack it in' 62 miles into the race.  We left some unfinished business out there on the course.  This year I am committed to seeking my second 100+mile completion within 24 hours.  I am FULLY committed to 80 miles and I am MOSTLY committed to 100.  I can do this.  I've done this before.

 The week of a race I let doubt and anxiety creep into my psyche but I am old and hopefully wise enough to continue to ignore the fear of the unknown.  Any given day anyone can do anything they put their mind to.  I continually tell myself, "What the mind will believe, the body can achieve". 

I have started my packing for the weekend.  I tend to over pack because I would rather have too much stuff than not enough.  With the weather being iffy in the afternoon, you do not want to mess with mother nature and wearing dry clothes is a MUST.  Each year is a different story of what I need and must have.

 I have run in snow at Crooked Road, but never rain.  There is a chance of rain this year and I am reminded of a Lululemon Product Photo Shoot where I was running in 40 degree rainy weather and laughing about it.  It shouldn't be this cold but at least I have a frame of reference on laughing in the rain.  Who knows, maybe I will start singing.
 Whatever Saturday will bring, I will bring what I have and with the utmost energy and enthusiasm.  Heck- if I can pull off a 3:34:17 at the NYC Marathon with a hurt toe (I kicked a subway grate by accident after sliding on a paper cup in the road) then I can run/walk a 100 miles.  Right?! 
This picture epitomizes that I will go from girly grace to grit in a nanosecond.  Don't count this princess out.  I have plenty left to prove in the running world.

When I finally get to the starting line of the Crooked Road 24 hour ultra I will find my calm rhythm and crank out the mileage; one mile at a time. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Running DOES Connect Us! When a Partner Moves Away

Running connects us.  You've seen the tag line, phrase, etc. all over Facebook.  What does that mean?  Yes you feel a chain-link sense of community of like minded people but what happens when a link moves away?  

I have had the luxury of great running partners that have circled in and out of my life over my 4 decades of racing.  I try and keep in touch as much as feasibly possible but I know (and hope they know) what an indelible mark they have inked in my soul.

Everyone has that one friend that is up for ANYTHING.  Dena is one of those friends that said, "Let's do a 24 hour race" and BOOM we did it for the next 7 years in a row.  Several years we went step for step for at least the first 50 miles and some years we were just there breathing the same air.  Dena is one of those women who I strive to imitate; assertive, confident and driven.  

Dena has been dabbling in the triathlon world so our weekend long run has been disrupted but I know if I truly needed her she would be there in a heartbeat. Dena is moving to Atlanta (whelp) and I am SUPER excited for her, and SUPER sad for me.  Yes we will still stay in touch (I am currently teaching her that cell phones are actually a phone and not a texting machine) but running together will be few and far between. 

When she first told me she got the job I was ecstatic and then she told me she might be moving the weekend of our infamous 24 hour Crooked Road (best 24 hour race out there. Period.  You cannot convince me otherwise. Ever) ultra I was crestfallen.  Yes I just typed that word:  crestfallen.  This was OUR race.  This was OUR time to completely catch up in life. Who am I going to talk to for 24 hours?  Okay:  I talk to EVERYONE all day and night in that race so maybe that part will not change.  

If you see me during the race or on Facebook on November 18-November 19th, send me a little love. I will need it.

One more thing you might not know about Dena and me, we have run together every Christmas morning since 2012 (or is it 2013).  We wake up early and my family does not.  We run in the crisp early morning air with virtually no one outside.  We run the number of miles in the upcoming year.  This year would be have 18 miles for 2018.  I will probably return to me running solo to the cemetery a couple of miles away from our home wishing all the headstones a very Merry Christmas.  I do this every Thanksgiving also because my Mom has been buried in Maryland since 1992 and I have not visited her since then because I live so far away.  Hopefully she knows I am thinking of her.

Footnote:  This is what happens when I write- I sit on it too long and forget to post.Thank you, Sheri, for the reminders!