I was given an amazing gift today -- a gift of time, friendship and physical ability. Toss in a generous portion of beautiful weather and it really just doesn't get much better!!
When I got a text last night that today's trail-running route was fifteen miles, my signature self-doubt reared it's ugly head but after a tough week, I was mentally amped to give it a go. I ate my tried-and-true carb-rich foods yesterday and went to sleep early. I woke before the alarm and headed out. I knew I wasn't ready for the full fifteen yet but knowing all the bailout points on the trail made for a low pressure situation.
After only two miles, I fell behind but certainly wasn't spent. (I really wanted to run nine.) I urged my friend to run her best, pulled out my pepper spray (probably overkill but better safe than sorry) and was alone for the next two plus hours.
Little did I know that I had a twelve-miler in me! And, boy, was it just what I needed. That much time alone gives you lots of space to think (much like shelling peas). More than that for me, it's just the unique thrill of beating myself up and pushing past the barriers my mind sets for my body. It was a glorious moment when I became aware that two miles had passed without any awareness that I was running -- ahhhh -- the wonderful high!
Before now, my longest trail run was eight miles so this is a big achievement for me and is fabulously close to my longest road run of 18 miles.
On a related note, my buddy, Julie, and I have decided that the 50K race is not in the cards for us this year as I had purposed. I can't express how much I've looked forward to meeting that challenge but with the flood and her resulting broken ankle, it's just not wise to run the required miles in two months. I've stubbornly run injured through the last half of a half marathon before and paid for it with five months of no running at all. It wasn't worth it.
God willing, we'll be able to train properly next year and collect that 50K medal. Until then, I've got my heart set on a race about half that distance. After today, I know I can do that....