I was very much skeptical about running a 5K this week. My Tough Mudder buddy was already registered and it wasn’t all that far away. I hemmed and hawed about it all week. Friday I started thinking maybe I might. So I did the smart thing and promptly went out and ran a very stiff workout. Not my brightest moment. I think it was a test of sorts to see where my legs were at. I’ve been pushing my mileage well up there and I figured I was fit enough. Though that wasn’t quite enough. I had this number floating in my head that I wanted to run it in. Ah, yes. I was indeed putting some pressure on myself. As saturday went by and my mood was dismal I really wondered if I should just scrap the plan. I hate early mornings and this was a 8 am start. I set my alarm and figured I’d see how I felt in the AM. It was the typical nervous night. I woke 4 or 5 times to roll over and check my clock. 5 am rolled around and I lay quiet in the darkness. Light was barely inching in on the sky. I rolled out of bed and headed for some coffee and toast. the breakfast of champions. I stood watching the sky lighten and saw the hummingbirds wake from their torpor to come start feeding. They too are a little slow in the early morning. Sitting quiet and drinking deeply, just as we savor our first cup of coffee in the morning. I started off toward the race and just over the first rise past the farm I saw the blazing red sun lifting from the horizon. It was so breathtakingly beautiful I literally had to pull over. I sat in the mist watching the herds on angus grazing beneath the massive red sun. I can’t even begin to put words to that scene. I made my way to the race and registered while waiting on my friend. It was peaceful and serene beside a lake. The same mist was lifting here as well. The chill abated. As the excitement of racing came closer I started to have doubts. I knew how I ran at home. I knew what I could do on my good days. I was about to ask myself for something more. We jogged to warm up and as the trail hugged the lake we saw a heron. There alone looking out from a dead log. It was magical. To me the heron means so much. They quiet my mind when it is at its worst. I see them often when time are tough and I grab on to that image. I hold tight to it. I think they come to me when I need them. I know, I know. crazy. probably, but it makes me feel better. I saw that heron and I just felt right. I knew i would lay it out there and run. I wasn’t going to hold back. I ran hard. I wasn’t comfortable with the distance since I had never raced it before. I will say it is a challenge especially given the hills on this course. I’m not a great downhill runner and it started with a tough downhill. after that it was a lot of climbs. I pushed myself and as we came into the last half mile a nasty hill stood between me and my goal. I started up it. My legs were dying. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to puke, lay down or cry. Instead I stared at the guy in front of me. I let him pull me up that hill. I willed myself to keep pace. I did. I beat that hill. The last quarter was a sprint. I saw the clock. I came so close. 24:07…24:08…24:09…24:11.8 I had just missed my goal by 11 seconds. But I had managed a tough course. I had fought the urge to stop. I had run on tired legs from too hard a workout on Friday. I had done it. I had run faster. In the end I was 3 out of all the women. I was within a minute of 2nd. it is like blood in the water now. I have the motivation I was so lacking these past months. I will run a sub 23. I know I can do that. It is my goal now.
The day drew to a close sitting with my hummingbirds. They all know me now. I am the feed lady. Tonight I actually held the feeder while they came and fed. it was amazing. I know. Nobody has heard such positive shit from me in eons. A friend said gee it is like a disney film. I joked I might break into song. okay maybe not song but there was some twerking in the living room.
Is it the Super moon? Is it just a damn good day with all sorts of amazing events? I don’t know. All I can say is it is about fucking time. I needed a happy day. A really fucking happy day! For me. Just for me. And today was all of that and more. I will sleep soundly tonight beneath this big beautiful moon and dream of running faster as herons and hummingbirds guide my way.
Thanks whoever is controlling this cosmic universe. Whatever god or entity. I needed a pep talk and this really really did the trick.