Thursday, March 12, 2015

Right Turns

It happened again.

I was praying for the end of my run by mile 2. At 2.68 I had checked my watch at least twice. I started wondering if there was something wrong with me. I showed up to run rogue, and instead I wanted to run away.

Why was running so hard today?

My legs were dead and my heart felt as though it was going to erupt from my chest. At some point I was struggling just to put one foot in front of the other, and all I could say to myself was, “Just try to hang on to Dead Ass Last and you can turn back with the group that is running 5 miles instead of 6+.”

So, I made a new goal.

I would hold on until the turn, and run the shorter distance. In fact, I got a little cocky with the new plan and I ran side by side with Harry Potter for a few strides. He mocked me gently, I pushed back, and then he dropped my sorry a** like I was standing on the street waiting for the bus. I pushed myself to try to catch him again, even though I know I can’t do that. I pushed myself because I knew I would be running the short route.

The pack bifurcated at an intersection.

All I needed to do was turn left and I would be Dead Ass Last behind the shorter distance pack. A right turn ensured an extra mile of torture.

I stood on the dark corner and watched everyone run away from me.

Head lamps and blinkies were the only thing I could see, though I could hear snipits of conversations. “...said so... Shamrock will be... was fine... elbow now... retirement plan...” FYI~ runners are weird

I had about 3 seconds to choose or I was going to find it excruciating to catch either group. Left for 5, Right for 6.2ish.


“Run Short!” my mind screamed.


I stepped left...


...and turned right.

My spirit sighed in relief even as my legs complained. I dug deep and caught the two women who represented the Dead Ass Last crew.

Why (the f*ck) did I turn RIGHT?

Chasing the group for an extra mile sounded like a terrible idea almost as soon as I did it. It became even more terrible sounding as we started the first in a series of climbs. Yet, I was elated by the terrible decision.  As further validation, one of my companions pointed out that being Dead Ass Last at Rogue is still faster than the average runner, by far.

In other words, we don't suck.  

The last climb was horrible, I might add. I almost quit. I dry heaved about a block from the end, and stumbled to a walk. One of the People I Don’t Know grabbed my arm – “NO! You DID NOT RUN THAT HARD TO QUIT NOW.”

I ran side by side with her to the end. And I appreciated every bit of energy she shared with me for those last steps. She was amazing, and positive, and all the things we need to be for each other on days like today.

Some days are harder than others. And in that way, Running once again proves that it is just like Life.

Today I further clarified my personal distinction between the pain of an injury, the pain of general fatigue, and the deeply satisfying pain of a hard run.

Running is hard. If it was easy they would have named it something else.

Like, “napping”.

~ savor the run ~

1 comment:

Melissa Cunningham said...

I always love reading your DALR adventures!!!!!!
keep it up chica,you rock!!!!!!