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Run, Run, Run, Run Runaway

Posted Aug 10 2009 4:33pm

This weekend was the run. THE run. The Wasatch Back. The Ragnar. You can call it whatever gets your heart pounding, it all boils down to 12 team members. 188 miles. Two days. Run. Eat. Rest. Repeat.

The entire experience is part silly, part sublime. And every step is pure therapy. Sleeping in the cab of a truck, eating spaghetti off of paper plates, showering in a hockey team locker room; it all combines to provide moments of solace, triumph, self-doubt, and ultimate release.

My training and a week that pushed me back into the fetal position emotionally, melted together into a goo that fueled personal records on some cathartic runs.

This was my first of three runs during the 30 hours and 15 minutes it took our team to cover the near 200 miles of the course marathon style. I fretted over this climb because it was something I had never done before. It looked ugly. On paper, it looked nearly impossible. But it wasn't. Instead it was a joyous climb on a gorgeous day. I was surrounded by wildflowers and friends that are fast becoming family cheering me on. I surprised myself. I would do it again. Just for fun. Really.

By 10 pm it was time for my second run. It was a shorter run, just 4.2 miles over the rolling hills that lead to East Canyon. I wanted to kill it. I wanted to feel sweat on my face and a little burn in the early chill just after sunset. I wanted to run out the anger and frustration and sadness I've felt this week. This strange stew of ambition and surrender to the sport combined for a new personal record. 4.2 miles in 28:14. That's a 6:43 pace--one I normally couldn't pay my legs to run in the flats. But somehow it not only felt possible, but comfortable. Who is this chick? Not sure, but I think I'll invite her to stay.

I was overwhelmingly proud of a couple of girlfriends rookie to the race and one to running in general. They battled it out, faced the fear, overcame the challenge and felt the satisfaction of a job well done. They were a great example to me of making things happen, accepting opportunity in the moment it presents itself and the wisdom in just. putting. one. foot. in. front. of. the. other.

I am tempted to connect the dots. To dive deep into the obvious metaphors that are aching for me to explore. I'm not going to do it. This is what I know: Climb. Run. Battle. Refuel. Get up. Show up. Do it again. And again. And again. Until the impossible is accomplished. Look back on it all and remember that you could have never been part of the party if you hadn't signed on for all the hard work. Today, tomorrow and the next; Just. Keep. Moving. Forward.
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