*Taps mic*…hello, is this thing on?!
You guys, I am still around!! And hey…I’ve been dabbling in some races. As a matter of fact, since we’ve last really spoken I’ve done not one, not two, but THREE of them! And I’ve lived to tell you the story. But first, we will be recapping one of my absolute faves. Running down in the country, Waxahachie TEXAS!!
This year since real training took a bit of a backseat (life, am I right???) and with two demanding jobs with little time for high mileage, I decided to run the classic marathon.
A birthday race of sorts! 26 miles for my day of birth, April 26th. The birthday weekend this past weekend was oh so fun, doing all of the things I love the most. Time with loved ones, good eats and drinks. And yep you guessed it, getting my miles in.
For those of you who have been reading a while, you know that I usually run the 50 miler for this race. So much so that I’ve even WON top female multiple years in a dang row.
50 mile finish buckles also = the icing on the racing cake.
So, it was a bit humbling to downgrade to 26.2, but well worth it. I knew I wanted to just go out there, play and have fun but I did not want to run out of TIME doing it. Haha. So the full marathon was just what the doctor ordered.
I arrived early and grabbed my race packet then ran into my awesome friend Tiffany, who was also rocking the marathon that day. Her brother who is a military dude and talented ultra runner decided to run the 30 miler. Yep, kind of an odd distance short of it being a 50k, but it gives a newer ultra runner the opportunity to rock that distance. This was a new distance also to the Hachie 50 race which is pretty cool.
The full marathon started promptly at 7 AM and we were off into the sunlight. Tiffany and I, who used to train for marathons together during the weekday mornings, started off together to catch up on life and such. We saw the most beautiful sunrise in the horizon during the very first mile.
During the first loop Tiffany was running strong, and since I knew I literally wanted to run this one for fun, I let her go. I knew since I had to do the three out and backs that I needed to save my stamina and energy for what was to come.
The first loop honestly seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. It was something about that first out and back that was so exhilarating. Just me, my jams, and my two feet going forward. It was peaceful mostly being out there alone, high fiving a few friends that I hadn’t seen in a while also along the way. I actually know the race director and his wife too so seeing them along the course was wonderful. The volunteers kept us fully stocked as well with trail snacks, pickle juice, crackers and cookies. I was not hungry at all during the first go ‘round but I did grab some electrolytes & cold water.
The 2nd go ‘round was a lot of the same, energy wise (and with the racing hiatus) I was feeling so good and just in the zone. I had a bit of a hot spot blister on my foot so I had to tend to that but once that was taken care of I was back out there.
During the 2nd go I made the wise decision to really just ENJOY being out there and to take in all of the sights and sounds around me. Everyone else seemed to be speed demons (especially with there also being a relay during the race) so I let them whizz by me as I continued to just enjoy without thinking about miles…or time.
It was during the 3rd loop, when a song came on that I play in my spin class called “ALIVE”. I really felt like for the first time in a long time with my running…that I felt that feeling again.
The gratitude of being present. Feeling feelings. Being alive. One foot in front of the other. Relentless forward motion. Nothing to worry about and no obligations that day. Just the beauty of nature surrounding me. Seeing runners high fiving one another. Hearing a volunteer tell me how strong I looked and to keep going.
When things don’t go your way…when all hope is lost…when the future looks doubtful…when friendships, things, life…doesn’t go as you exactly had it planned in your mind.
Keep showing up. For you.
Not for your running club, or your training plan or any other obligation that tugs at you and tells you that you must do things according to some fake blueprint.
Because showing up, again and again is a sign of your resilience. Of your strength. That you can overcome any obstacles that come your way.
I arrived to the finish line feeling good about the day. Tired feet, tired body, happy soul.
I was exactly where I wanted to be that day. And it felt damn good to SHOW UP.
Thank you, Hachie for a beautiful weekend and beautiful miles. This race will always and forever have a special place in my heart.
Official results can be found here.
How was your weekend? Have you ever run a race in the country?
What marathon holds a special place in your heart?
Hachie…and the Marine Corps Marathon. Also, San Diego.
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