It's so good to be back!
I mean back writing in my blog. I had wondered if I would continue to write after Sinister 7 was over, since the theme "When we love someone" was for all those boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that I was running for, but over the last 8 months, it's become even more meaningful to me. This blog has become a place where I can speak without fear, without trying to impress someone, or trying to be someone that I am not. It's become a place where I can share, and perhaps set expectations. I'm planning on sticking with it. Writing has become a dear friend.
Hindsight is always 20/20. A week after the race, I understand clearly what happened, and what I'm going to do about it. Basically, my mind got the better of me. It's totally understandable... 75% of the male soloists that entered the race dropped out. Only 25% completed. That's pretty mental.
When I dropped out at the end of leg 4, I got into the van and we headed back to our host. I was so happy with the way things went, and even more happy to not be running anymore! I slept the night expecting that I would not be walking in the morning. I was wrong. I expected for sure that the following day I would feel stiffer. When we got to my Parents place in Magrath, the following afternoon. I was still feeling great. There was something not right about that. I had run 55 miles, and I would expect that I should be totally spent! Why was I not? It was around that time that I started to think that perhaps I have been underestimating myself. Perhaps it's the case that I really do have a talent for running. Perhaps I've been blessed with the right body type, the right metabolism, the right environment (thank-you Fast Trax!) to nurture my passion. I'm supposed to be taking the week off to recouperate, but I already felt recouperated on Monday night.
When I arrived in Magrath, I sent a text to my childhood buddy. I asked him for his number, because I wanted to talk to him. Here is a guy who has finished a couple of 100-milers now. I wanted to hear his wisdom. He responded back with his Magrath number! What was this?!? I had to clarify. Texts flew out and sure enough, he was on vacation and staying only two doors down. This is a coincidence that I sorely needed. I needed to talk to someone about my disappointment, but revel in a common passion. We talked for over an hour. It was wonderful. We talked about how you cannot try to eat the entire elephant at once. It becomes overwhelming. We talked about races we've run. We talked about emotions during an ultra. We laughed about how we both felt annoyed sometimes at aid stations. At one point during Sinister, I arrived at an aid station with a sore tummy. I looked at the food they were offering. I thought "Yuck... disgusting.. Wouldn't touch it with a 10-meter cattle prod..." He talked about being offered pretzels at an aid station and exclaiming "Do I look like I want pretzels???". We laughed at the idea of "What part of aid station do you not understand?"
As we talked, I remembered how much I enjoy the company of like-minded people. People who love to move. People who love adventure. When all was said and done, I had committed to run a very exciting race, in a far away land, and I'm super excited about it. What can I say? If you don't succeed, try try again. So, Monday night, three of us went out for a run. We ran all over town. We talked, we laughed, we relived, and we thought ahead. It was as wonderful as any run could have been. It was something I had been waiting for.
Thank-you you two Gentlemen.
So, I've signed up for the Iron Legs 50-mile race next month. It's going to be tough, but I'm ready for it. I'm feeling confident now, and ready to live in the moment. Success is near. I don't get a lot of time to train because I am first and foremost, a Husband, and then a Father. Following that, well... I am an employee, and then a runner/plumber/carpenter etc.
Virginie is going to come running with me at Fast Trax tomorrow. We're not planning on running together. We have very different styles. However, we'll both be able to enjoy the company of others, and that's what I'm most excited about.