Today, I ran my first trail race in a year. It was hard. It was long. It was painful. It was 2.5 kilometres. I ran the flats and downs, power-hiked the ups. My second daughter ran with me, keeping me company, listening to my out-loud self-talk – “…almost halfway, I got this…calves are burning…keep going, come on…one kilometre left, 500 metres, 200 metres…can I walk it in? Gotta run…!” Bent over at the finish line, I was able to gasp out: “Who knew a kids’ race could be so hard??”
Yes, it was the kids race. The longest short distance of my life. My husband and I had a good chuckle as I regaled the highs and lows of the race, including convincing myself at the half-way mark that I didn’t need to stop for a pee break at the outhouse. The last time he was cheering for me, it was a year ago and I was running a 50-miler in the mountains. A lot happens in a year.
Ego aside, it was cool to realize that my feeling of accomplishment at today’s race was as great as I’ve felt at any race that I’ve had to dig deep. Best effort has no minimum distance for best feeling. A year from now, I’ll probably be running longer distances faster, and I’ll still have those same moments of self-talk: “You got this, you can do it, you’re stronger than you think, dig deep girl.” The thing that’s great about doing what you love is loving what you do. It’s a journey not a race.