Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ridiculously Long Running Report

I've been dreading this race. Terribly. I'm not so typically affected.

Since I got my coach I've been working harder on the sport that brings out my deepest fears/abandonment issues. Let's do it and not discuss further. 

Let me back up. I got a coach for a reason. Goal setting. Accountability. 

I think I need these things because I start strong in races, then at some point I realize it's so freaking hard and there's still some distance to go. 

My coach fixed this. My ass is whipped into shape. Today's half marathon taught me that.  

I still have a lot of work to do so that I can be "fast". For example, my friend won the half marathon. And I'm the slowest one in my training group. Nobody makes me feel bad about myself, and I just pretend to keep up. This must be working, because I am stronger. 

So what happened today? Do you remember the post from a few years ago where I was sitting in my car post race and being all hysterical? Yeah, today was the same course. My fourth time here. 

I warm up hard so the pack start would feel easy. We take off at sputtering paces, sometimes too fast, and sometimes halting to a walk. We jockey for positions on the single track trail. Mile 1 passes and I score my first twisted ankle. Ladies start taking Gu and it slows them down. I wait on mine and take the pass. Mile 2 twisting that ankle and wondering what the rules are for dropping to the 10k. I get a side stitch. Breathe. Run in a way that my legs move but my upper body doesn't. Squash the stitch. Awesome. Go. Run. My coach appears out of nowhere, calls my name and tells me to pace myself. 

I wrench my ankle hard. I cry out and my glorious pain echos through the Smithville, TX spicy pine tree forest. The potato shaped rocks bounce the sharp sound back at me as fiercely as my nerves shatter. I hang onto a sapling as I force air into my lungs. Jog. More. Go. Run. Nobody's here to carry me out and I'm no quitter. On this terrain, every 3 miles equals 43 minutes if I try really hard. 

I trip over a root or a group or rocks, or both. Land like a frog fingers down, palms high, booty in the air. Cool, no damage. Jog. More. Go. Run. Shake out the neck and shoulders. Whiplash.

Dance on the rocks. Think of people I love. Only positive thoughts. 

Please God, help me feel your presence. I don't doubt you're there. I just need help feeling you. I can't do this alone. 

Last fall, face plant into a clump of dried grasses. A soft landing!! That prayer worked. 

I think I may be the dragonfly. 

It's me. 

The rest comes in time. 

At the finish, a bunch of people are there cheering me on. I try to step aside and gather my thoughts, but I guess friends don't let you do that. Now I realize I wasn't running alone. 

It's so easy to give love, but I have to learn to receive it. 

In time.