(Yeah, I know you have...admit it...I won't hold it against you.)
Well, I did a few days ago while sitting on the couch discussing the upcoming Cruxy Half Marathon in Vail, CO at the end of September. *cheers*
Now, I am an educated woman who likes to think she knows a thing or two about the country she lives in. I am well traveled and have friends who live all over this fine land. I also have a cable package that includes The Weather Channel. So why the f*ck did I think I would be running in extreme heat in Vail, CO at the end of September?! Hello, the high is like 66 and the lows are in the 50's!
Perhaps a better question is "Why didn't any of YOU tell me how stupid I was being?!" (Thanks a lot...hehehe)
Sorry, inner drama queen coming out (but I can explain).
Earlier this week I had reached a point where I was looking around thinking "WTF?". I don't want to use the phrase "burned out" but I had started to reach "that point". I was running and really enjoying myself but at the same time my dreams were starting to fade. I was starting to look at myself and think "too much....you are never going to do it". The heat was killing me and I was trying to justify it by saying that I would be all set for Cruxy. It was a bummer....and had me starting to second guess myself.
But like the saying goes..."When life throws you lemons...make a drink and follow the WS100 Endurance Run!!" (Well....maybe not....but still...)
As we all know...this is my run. It is my dream run. To me, this run is better than any other run out there. Race day is a day where if you don't like running then you stay away from me. It is a day where "what mile are we at?" is the only question that comes out of my mouth! I view this race with such childlike innocence.
You don't believe me? Ok...here...here you go....
I'll admit it....I'm not ashamed. I hit the trails and mentally pretended that I was running the race myself (and pulling out a "never before seen...who the hell is this?" victory.) Is that so wrong? I don't think so. Dream big or just stop! It could happen...who knows! Sure, my mental scenario was that the weather was too much for all the Elites...but that I had trained in all the bipolar weather Kentucky had to offer...so I was just killing the course. I believe at one point the North Face, Inov8 and Salomon teams were sooo impressed by me that they came out to pace me along the way. The folks at IRunFar were speechless! At the end, yes, even Kilian Jornet left the finish line just to find me and experience the amazing run I was making. It was history...never before seen power! Laugh if you wish...but when you are in the 90 degree heat with like 99% humidity and you just realized you forgot your water....you get desperate and find motivation wherever you can. Survival of the fittest people! It could have been worse...I could have been singing along the way (just ask the people on the trails that day...not good).
Pure power people!
Anyway, back to the race. I was not disappointed. Everything I did involved having my twitter feed on constant reload (shout out to IRunFar!) I actually tanned while keeping up with the race. I ate while keeping up with the race....I....never mind....I just kept up with the race. It totally broke the funk I had been in. At one point I was all like "it is so hot out" and then I read that it was over 100 degrees there and they were still going. Holy Motivation Batman! After that there was no complaining.
So I am back on track. I am training in the heat at just about zero altitude for a race that will be on the cooler side in a mountain. No problem there. I smell victory a mile away. This will be EPIC.
Just kidding. Yes, I am still concerned about the altitude...but the nice thing is it is flat...up...flat...down. That works. Get past the first 5 miles up....rest on the mile flat...and try not to blow up on the ride down. Plus, home is in Breckenridge and I will have a week to train. Don't kill my vision of this people...runs like this are just mental. Brain over brawn.
Yep...that just about sums it up....brain over brawn. And for the next few months I will be training on raw emotion.
On July 9th it will be two years since my mother passed. It still hurts like hell. It is a loss I can't describe and I am just now accepting that the void will never be filled. She is not here to witness this stage in my life. I feel like she is missing so much. No matter how long I run...the pain never goes away. No matter how exhausted I am....I still miss her. I lost my best friend and I hope her energy is still hanging around (most likely shaking her head in disbelief) and giving me the energy to keep going and dream big. If you still have your mother...then you may not fully comprehend the impact she has on your life. The bond people...the bond...as the saying goes...."you were fearfully and wonderfully made." When that bond is broken...it is a shock. To whisper into your mother's ear and tell her it is "ok for you to go" is just not fair. But...in the end her memory and the guidance she provided makes you be a better person.
As if July didn't suck enough...August follows up with a nice doozey of it's own. I have often said I feel the "energy" of those I have lost while on the trails. Being in nature kind of gives me a "connected" feeling with them. August 26th is my nightmare. 7 years ago someone made a pretty crappy decision. I always say the one thing that sucks about suicide is that someone has to find you when you are done. Well....that person was me. He decided that I would be the person who would have to live with that vision for the rest of my life. That memory is something that fuels some runs when I feel like I have nothing left. It is a vision and experience that makes me want to run. Sometimes it is not always pretty views and wonderful experiences that motivate. Sometimes it is the vision of someone hanging from the door frame of the apartment. It is that raw guilt you are left with once they leave a letter blaming you and your inability to change. It is the selfishness of others and the reminder that the human race can be pretty f*cked up sometimes. As much as I still hate him for what he did...he always said to do "what makes you happy" and to "be good to yourself first". That friendly advice has really helped me the past couple months as I work to get myself on an equal nutritional playing field as everyone else. The whole situation reminds me that I am lucky to be alive...lucky that I was not there that night...and that I can live my dreams and life like there is no tomorrow. I can still love...hurt...miss...and enjoy all those around me. My life is amazing and I owe it all to his decision NOT to take anyone with him. Plus...I am pretty sure my training will have me in good enough shape to knock his ass out when I see him in whatever "afterlife" there may be.
My mother, Mary Alice :)
Too much information? I don't think so. Both these events have really shaped who I am...how I interact and how I love. I am very open about them because so many people have experienced similar situations. To loose a parent is horrible. To be blamed for some one's misery (when you know it is not your fault) because you cannot be who they want you to be....it sucks a little less...but still a great deal. Both July and August will be challenging because it is hard to train when you are emotional. It is the next step. The next challenge. I will get past them like I always do. The pain will come and then lessen but not leave and I will be stronger than a year ago. You just wait and see ;) Now if I could only be a little braver in life...well then I would be set. Sometimes I am such a shy little girl!