Saturday, May 24, 2014

2104 Race #6: Sehgahunda Trail Relay

At least my hair looked cute. Thanks Mom!
(Thanks to the Celentanos for this pic)
My journey to this race started in the middle of a soul-crushingly long, cold winter. I went to a group run one Saturday morning and somehow as we trudged through calf-deep snow Pete, Alison, Bob and Todd, who were all training for the full marathon, convinced me to sign up. I think at one point I said "We're just going to keep running until I say yes, aren't we?" I didn't want to run the whole thing by myself and luckily Danielle agreed to be my relay partner, so team Sehgahunnies was born. Letchworth was calling and what else could I do but answer? Thus began a series of events that
would end up changing my life in amazing ways I never could have expected.

I've been sick all week so going into race day, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. And it definitely wasn't. I was exhausted and full of mucus and cramped up. But I've learned it matters not what happens, it matters only what I do with it.  "Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon. Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself." So I didn't get upset. I just kept running/walking/mud-wrestling. And actually I had a great time. I ran the first leg, about 6 miles, with Jenn, though I felt bad that she had to listen to me coughing up a lung the whole time. Other than not being able to breathe, I felt decent during that part. The mud was so ridiculous and everyone was so encouraging, cheering each other on as they passed or were passed. The second leg, a little over 9 miles, got a little rough. I ran out of water at one point and the cramps started to get to me. (But I totally peed in the woods like a champ.) The cumulative effects of the stupid cold and the extra effort of sloshing through the mud were wearing on me. But I wasn't upset, other than the fact that I felt like I was letting Danielle down by being the slower half of the team. It was a beautiful day, I had legs to run on, I got to see some amazing people I am lucky enough to know accomplish impressively awesome things, and I had a lot of hugs and a whole box of cookies to look forward to. What else could a robot want?
This is one of the races I will look back on during future struggles and think, this is nothing, I've run through worse. I don't have speed or innate talent. What I do have is an insane love of running and the ability to endure whatever comes my way, make the best of it, and keep on keeping on the road to Awesometown.

This is why I run
Today was a great day, but this race will always have a special place in my heart because the journey to get here brought me so much more than miles through the woods. It brought me new friends and back to old friends, it brought me new love, and it brought me to the place that feels like home.

And hopefully it made all the germs think "This host is the worst. She smells like sunscreen and bug spray and sweat and stinky mud and there is way too much jostling up in here. Not to mention she's drunk on candy.* Let's move out."

Lyric of the moment: "And I wonder, when I sing run along with you, if everything could ever feel this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again. The only thing I'll ever ask of you, you gotta promise not to stop when I say when..."

*Thank you to Sheila, Eric and Picasso for the goody bag of candy!

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