Saturday, April 5, 2008
Are we there yet?
Today, I almost broke up with running.
I totally stole that line from a shoe ad in Runner's World.
But it's appropriate.
I ran a 12K (about 7.4 miles, I think) trail run up and down and up and up and up and finally another down through Platte River State Park.
The course was beautiful, but it's just too bad my legs were on fire and my ankles gave up on me at about mile four.
I am not a quitter. I hate giving up on anything. But when we came out of the woods and found a water station waiting for us and the sign said "Mile 2" I began to doubt that I could finish.
What I said was, "We're only at mile 2! Are you kidding me?"
Fortunately, I was running with two others, and one of them had a great attitude. At one point, as we walked up yet another hill, he said, "Hey, look at it this way - At least we'll all PR today!"
A personal record for all of us, he reasoned, because we had never run the race before.
He was also running in the equivalent of rubbery socks. He prefers to run barefoot, and after completing five marathons with shoes, he ran the Siouxland Marathon last September without any. No socks or anything - the entire way. Pretty cool.
I did finish the race. 7.4 miles or so (we took a wrong turn once, and the photographer had to lead us back to the right trail) in -- are you ready for this blazing time? -- 1 hour and 41 minutes.
Still, crossing that finish line felt great. And I somehow placed third in my age group.
There's definitely something to be said for perseverance, for battling through, for not giving up. The race today, for me, was just another reminder that sometimes we're stronger than we think.