The Calm Before the Storm
It’s quiet. So very quiet. The canine flyball tournament I spend 8 months out of the year planning wrapped up Sunday evening and was immediately labeled an overwhelming success by its attendees (getting them home three hours earlier than normal always helps). We have a few quiet days before the next big summer event series in the office. I have no competitions for the next three weeks.
For the first time in a few months I feel calm. And focused. And somehow, despite a pulled hamstring and aching muscles, ready to run.
Really run. Like I mean it. Like I have the Tahoe Trifecta in eight weeks.
EIGHT WEEKS. EIGHT. EEEEEIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHHT! Did I mention it’s only EIGHT WEEKS AWAY?
This is the calm before the storm. Not just any storm. Nope, a running storm.
Yesterday I was sore, aching and yes, a little sunburned from spending three days alternating between squatting/sprinting and heavy lifting/pushing/pulling out in the sun at 6,500’. Most of all, I was tired. But I focused on eating well, keeping hydrated and most of all that tiny spark of motivation to go out on the group run with Dianne.
I don’t think I was entirely committed to specific mileage until I met up with the group. Two miles. No, three miles. But I really need five miles. But I think I can only run two miles. It didn’t help that my running partners for the evening, Dan and Dianne, were both equally indecisive. I wanted to run but I didn’t have confidence in how this run would go.
Our pre-run meeting was filled with the fresh faces of new folks joining us for the Walk to Run 10K program. Their enthusiasm was contagious. And then we applauded my heroes for completing the Tahoe Rim Trail ultras over the weekend. These are, of course, the same men who routinely convince me with little argument that I too am capable of doing some pretty epic shit. Not their level of epic just yet, but epic none the less. This was followed by an update on all the upcoming races. For the first time in weeks, I wanted to do them all.
Okay, not all of them. But I did immediately signed up to run and work a few events in August and September.
For all my motivation, however, last night’s run was nothing short of a pitiful plod in 90 degree heat. My muscles ache. I battled a side stitch. The sunburn on my neck and shoulders spontaneously blistered. I stopped more than I care to admit to stretch out hamstrings and calves. I should out my shoulders constantly. My posture was horrific. But all in all, I banged out four solid miles with Dianne. I cheered my fellow runners on. And when I was done, that tiny spark of motivation was easily campfire sized. By this morning, it engulfed the entire house as I woke up early and prepared myself a healthy breakfast (I have ten vacation pounds to lose, thank you very much!) while making notes on tonight’s training.
I am an extreme multi-tasker by nature. I always have been. Sometimes it means I struggle to prioritize what is most important at any given moment. But I refuse to give up what is important to me, what I enjoy. And I enjoy running a lot. I like walking in the front door as a hot sweaty blistered sore and aching mess.
And now I find myself with single minded focus to complete one of the most physically (and honestly, mentally) demanding yet fun and exciting week of my adult life in September:
September 23 – Half Moon Bay Half Marathon
September 28, 29, 30 – Tahoe Trifecta, Three Halfs, Three Days
Oh it’s on. IT IS SO ON!