I haven't been ready to write about my running experience at Bandera, and subsequent race at 3M the next day. I've never run so much in a short period of time, and it took awhile for the impact of those events to really sink in.
I didn't know I'd be running Bandera until just a few days prior. I was inspired by my running club and my running partner, and have since learned that this really was the event to attend. It means a lot to a lot of people. Many run the 50K and the 100K, but I chose the 25K for myself.
It was a muddy and tough run on a foggy day, and I had a fair share of injuries and hurts. My mind was solid on the task, and I was happy to be in the moment. At one point early in the race, I passed a runner who had a prosthetic leg, and I was greatly humbled. I couldn't believe he would even attempt to tackle this slick, rocky terrain. I found out later that his prosthetic foot covering wore through, and he put his good shoe on it, and went barefoot so that he wouldn't ruin his prosthetic. I was also told in my runner's club meeting that by the end, he resorted to a crawl, and that no other runner would pass him. I am more awed by his tenacity than I can express here.
The next-day's 3M half marathon found me pretty bruised and worn out, and ready to sleep in. I dragged myself into the very cold weather and got my body moving. I had side stitched from the start line and slowly worked them out. All I wanted to do was finish the run and get back home. I wasn't as mentally fresh, and my right foot was killing me. Later, in mile 11, I began wondering if I'd actually fractured the bones in the top of my foot, and did my best to keep moving forward. I remembered the guy with the prosthetic leg and pushed harder. I saw my running partner ahead of me, and latched my will to his figure, letting his own self-will pull me along. I had absolutely no no desire left, no reserves of will power at all. Female cramps stabbed through my lower belly and began to drown the screams from my foot. I had no thoughts left. Another hill? And another to the finish line. The fucking finish line...
Suffering by your own hand to achieve success can be a huge opportunity for growth. It's true; I do seem to be a different runner. In the woods this weekend, I bounded from rock to rock at a new speedy pace with no fear.
I was part of the woods, playing a new form of music.
Thank you for giving me running. Thank you for letting me hear my own song.
(Thank you for giving me that realization the tying my shoes too tightly has greatly contributed to my recurring foot injuries. Easy does it, girl.)