I just crossed a big one off the 2017 goal list and I will not deny, it feels good. It took months of hard work, planning, organizing and perseverance, but in the end it was worth it. While it had nothing to do with Synergy Business Coaching, in some ways it had everything to do with it. Training and running for the Mendocino Trail 50K(That is 31 miles for you Americans) taught me that life is work and work is life.
Is it something I could try? Sure why not. Is it something I could finish? I didn’t know. 31 miles is a lot for me, the new me anyways. In the old days, before kids and mortgages, businesses and employees, I could do anything I want, when I want. Time was an endless coffer to fill up with anything I pleased. I bounced like a butterfly from one thing to another, enjoying each sweet moment whenever and however long I pleased. But, now?
Nowadays if I am ten feet away from accessing my calendar I get nervous. Everything is about my calendar, scheduling and organizing. Fitting new things in is hard, moving around meetings and figuring out who can watch the kids if my husband or I isn’t available takes up a good portion of the day. Living life takes a lot of time and the more you want to live? Well, the more time you need. Trying to think of the endless amount of training and miles that I would have to fit in my schedule somewhere almost seemed impossible.
Did I really have it in me to train and run the biggest race of my life?
My plan was not just to wing it and I knew that I was not going to be able to have the same commitment levels as I have had with past races. This was different. This was 31 grueling miles, 90% trail and 4200 feet of elevation……and everyone is watching.
Now, too be clear that is the way I saw it, which I know is not entirely true. Yet, every question, curiosity and inquiry into what I had decided to challenge myself with came from every corner. “You are doing what?” “How many miles are you running?” “Have you ever done anything like this before?” I was bombarded for four months with interest on something that I was still unsure that I was going to complete.
So, I began. I trained, I ran, I crawled and I hiked. I would put my screaming two year old in her stroller and pump out 3 miles and threw my hydration vest on and squeezed out 15 miles. I would do it the rain, the mist, the mornings and the evenings. I would battle it out on the treadmill with re-runs of Friends, hoping that Monica and Rachel would keep me going just another “dreadmill” mile. I ran.
Two weeks before the race, I found out that the course had changed. We have had the wettest winter on record here in California and the Mendocino coast has been beaten down; trees down, trails missing, mountains sliding and animals roaming. It has been a battle to even make it on the trails, nonetheless get the true training I needed. It was two weeks before the race, weather had finally cleared up to allow for an outdoor run and I am told it is now 32 miles, not 31.
Excuse me? What did you just say? 32 miles? It messed with my head, I will not lie, for as feeble of a training/race plan that I had, I had one. Another mile did not fit into the equation. Another mile could mean failure. Another mile was against the rules. This was a 50k, nothing more, nothing less. As I sweated out the change for a good 48 hours, I tried to figure out all methods in which one mile would not cause me to fail.
Organization: I planned my training well. I used my calendar in such a way that really organized everything I was trying to do and had to do as an accountable business owner, mother, wife and long distance runner. Having a dream only works if you actually integrate it into your schedule and time.
I had been organized, I had done what I was supposed to do and one more mile really shouldn’t matter.
Inspiration: The only thing that drove me in the end was inspiration. Inspiration to achieve an unthinkable. Inspiration to continue. Inspiration to finish. I had to finish. There was not another option that I allowed myself to have and what inspired me most, is what drove me to achieving it.
The change didn’t matter, the miles were not what were important and the hiccups were merely bumps amongst the hills I climbed that day. For 6.5 hours I ran and found exactly what I was looking for. Because running has taught me not to fear starting lines, new beginnings or challenges. It isn’t a surprise that I signed up, followed through with training or finished standing up. That fits with my personality. The miracle isn’t that I finished, it is that I had the courage to start.by