At first glance, running seems like a solo sport. Something you do alone, it doesn't require 5 on the floor like basketball or a gaggle of girls all dressed in the same color and decked out with tall socks and shin guards.
And in a lot of ways, running is a sport that you don't need anyone else to participate. YOU just have to show up and get out there. The runner relies on her legs to move, her feet to take one step in front of the other, her mind (oh the mind...) to clear and allow for the space and the courage to keep going when really, all she wants to do is sit down in the middle of the path and not go an inch further.
What I never anticipated when I started running was the camaraderie that would come along with lacing up my tennis shoes. Maybe it's all part of the runner's high, the post race, post, "I just ran up that big EFF-ing mountain with you people" feeling. After all, you do feel like you are all flying high after a good run. Goofy smiles, senses heightened. And it's true, "When people exercise aerobically, their bodies can actually make drugs — cannabinoids, the same kind of chemicals in marijuana."
It's been a week since I hit the pavement. Truth is, I have been so stinking sore from last weekend's race that I was scared to get out there again. I went this morning and whoa Nellie- I love the light when it's peaking through the clouds and over the hills.
I haven't shared much about last Saturday. I have been processing it all and trying to find the words to fit the experience. I know it wasn't a marathon or an iron man race, but dang it, it was a huge accomplishment for me!
Bright and early, we showed up at The Great Basin Brewing Company. The place was hopping like it was a Friday night. In reality, it wasn't even 7:30am. People dressed in all sorts of spandex and moisture wicking clothes. All of them laughing, saying hi to people they hadn't seen since the last race, pats on the back or giant bear hugs. The room was a-buzz with great energy
As we went through the day, and along the 40 mile course, people talked and chatted as we waited for our team mates to finish their 5 mile leg of the relay. On the trail, people would pass and give thumbs up or a shout of encouragement that you were almost there. The smiles told the story, "Yep, this sort of sucks right now. My inner thighs are burning, my I.T. band is killing me, my ankle/knee/side aches, but DAMN we are doing something. We are challenging our bodies and our minds to GO".
The "Camel Back Crew" came in 34th of 54 teams. I am so proud to say that I ran over 10 miles in one day. My first leg I did 9.02 minute miles, the second 10.12 minute miles.
I couldn't have done it without my amazing co-workers who I have been training with, without my mom and my sweet little crew that made me signs and cheered, "GO MOMMY GO" as I rolled in to the finish line.
For the support I have gotten from my other running friends, both near and far- you know who you are and you each inspire me with every post on FB or Map My Run about your running accomplishments.
This running thing, it's not a solo sport, its one big happy team sport that I can't believe I am a part of these days!
Run, Vanessa, Run!