Chasing the 5k: Virginia Beach Rock n Roll 5k

“When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self—the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey.” ~Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open

My 5k personal best was set in November of 2013. I ran a 24:50 in the middle of marathon training. I fought hard for every second on the race clock. This summer I wanted a new PR. I wanted to prove I had become stronger than I was three years ago. 

My quest started in May. All summer I chased the clock. 

Official Results:

ODU Big Blue – 26:44

CXB Lowrent – 25:56

Corporate 5k – 26:52

Summer Series (pushing Chet) – 33:22

Allen Stone – 27:01

Rock n Roll 5k – 26:24


Along the way, I realized how subjective the race clock can be. Some courses are short (CXB Lowrent). Some courses are long (Corporate 5k). Some races are hot and humid. Others are windy. Some days my legs feel great. Other days they feel like cement. 

Chasing the race clock is a gamble. It’s a roll of the dice. What will be delivered on race day? 

I can tell you the details of every race above. I can tell you what races felt amazing and which races felt heavy. I can tell you what races I loved and which ones I survived, and none of that has anything to do with the race clock. 

Two years ago I sat across from the coach of my training team at a coffee shop. I was debating if I should join the team again. I was a little burnt out. I was a little guarded. I was a little deflated by running. I was cautious. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be surrounded by a team. In that conversation I referenced an article I had read that resonate with me. In that article Elite Runner Lauren Kleppin commented on her performance at the New York City Marathon. 

I was hoping to be an inspiration! I definitely survived, but I wanted to thrive.” ~Lauren Kleppin

I was stuck in survival mode, and I wanted to thrive on the race course and in life. He promised to change that. 

Two years later that coach and my training team flooded both the course and the sidelines of today’s race. At mile two I was greeted by a sea of cheers. I was reminded of how much I love this journey. 


I thrived on the race course today. I found my sweet spot. I pushed hard.  I silenced the doubts in my head. I ran harder when I wanted to quit. And I smiled the entire way. 

The journey hasn’t been easy. I’ve made progress and I’ve had setbacks. I’ve doubt myself and I’ve had runs that feel like anything is possible. It’s a constant tug of war between surviving and thriving. My 5k PR is still three years old, but I know that I’m stronger today than I was then. 

Today thriving is winning. 


I started the summer chasing the race clock, and I’m ending the summer feeling alive. There isn’t a time on a clock that can measure that feeling.

Today’s race:

Mile 1 – 8:09

Mile 2 – 8:20

Mile 3 – 8:41

Final push – 8:22

Age group – 5/199

Female – 23/961

Overall – 112/1520

While I’m incredibly proud of these numbers, I’m most proud of the road I’m on. I’m proud of my progress, and I’m excited about my potential. I’m proud of the team I call family. 

I’m proud I didn’t give up. 

Today thriving is winning. Thriving is winning because I quit trying to prove that I’m faster or stronger. Thriving is winning because friendship and team mean more than PRs. 

I can’t think of a better way to end summer!

New Breath

“What lesson did my soul want to learn? I liked this question. It was new. Right then and there I felt it pointing me in a different direction. I felt it leading me up toward the light.” ~Elizabeth Lesser

A few weeks ago, in the middle of my hot, heavy and stuck season, I was supposed to go for a long run. I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee and the farmers market. When my alarm went off, I felt stuck in bed. I cancelled my plans. Later that day, I was supposed to go to a family pool party. I sent the boys ahead without me. I simply couldn’t process any more that day.

Not everyone can understand what it feels like to feel every emotion so intensely. Not everyone feels every nerve ending in their body when life becomes too much. Everyone doesn’t feel hot, heavy and stuck, but some people do. Scattered through my life and around the world are people who have also felt like I have felt all summer.

At first I thought it was just me. Something must be wrong with me. My entire life I’ve struggle to avoid feeling this. Then I’ve struggled to identify this. If I could label it, I could overcome it. Am I depressed? Do I have anxiety? Am I crazy? I’ve googled “seasonal depression in summer” a million times.

My entire life I’ve bottled it up, and I held on to it. I let myself venture through this space alone.

During this season of hot, heavy and stuck, my body finally resisted. I was done fighting it. Maybe I needed to finally feel it. Maybe I needed to spend a day in bed when feeling became too much. Maybe I need to finally be okay with feeling it. Because words are how I process life, I need to share it.

That day I cancelled plans with my friend, I also told her the truth. I wasn’t cancelling because my alarm didn’t go off or because Chet wasn’t behaving. I was cancelling because I’ve hit a rough patch. I was cancelling because lately I’ve been so stuck in my own head that I’m physically stuck in bed. This was the moment the world started to feel less heavy. Her response back to me took weight off my paralyzed body. She said the magical words we all need to hear. She said Oh I so understand. I’ve been there too. And then she talked to me. She showed me that no matter how we or the world defines this feeling, scattered throughout my world and the entire world, others have also felt hot, heavy, and stuck.

In that same conversation, my friend recommended a book: Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser.

Every day this week, I’ve spent my lunch break sitting outside by the river reading this book. I’ve kept my highlighter close as the words on the page having me nodding along in agreement.

img_9196

“It’s time for you to answer the call of your soul…It’s calling, but you’re too scared to listen. You think you know what’s important, but you don’t. You think it’s important to keep things safe; but that’s neither here or there. What’s important in this life is to learn the soul lessons.” ~Elizabeth Lesser

This week I’ve felt a new breath forming inside of me. I’ve physically felt it pushing against my chest as it takes form and grows into what it needs to become. Feeling once again calm, light and free, I took a step backwards. I started looking for a reason for this new feeling. I tried to define it. Was it the cooler temperatures? Was it the book? Maybe it was empathy from a friend. And then I stopped.

If I’ve learned something in this season, I’ve learned that life isn’t meant to be defined or understood. It’s meant to be lived. It’s meant to be felt. This is the lesson my soul is trying to learn.

img_9206

“Rumi tells us that that moment when we accept what troubles we’ve been given, the door will open. Sounds easy, sounds attractive, but it is difficult, and most of us pound on the door to freedom and happiness with every manipulative play save the one that actually works. If you’re interested in opening the door to the heavens, start with the door to your own secret self. See what happens when you offer to another a glimpse of who you really are. Start slowly. Without getting dramatic, share the simple dignity of yourself in each moment – your triumphs and your failures, your satisfaction and your sorrows. Face your embarrassment at being human, and you’ll uncover a deep well of passion and compassion. It’s a great power, your Open Secret. When your heart is undefended, you make it safe for whomever you meet to put down his burden of hiding, and then you can both walk through the open door.” ~Elizabeth Lesser

This summer I’ve felt hot, heavy and stuck. I feel this way nearly every summer, but this summer I gave myself permission to feel it. This summer I shared it.

Summer is my season of hibernation. It is my season to sink and restore. It’s my season to allow myself the space to feel so growth can happen. I can’t tell you what is on the other side. I’m not there yet. Right now I’m in a moment of new breath forming. Right now I’m going to enjoy this moment of possibility.

 

Living the Layers: Stuck

I made a promise to myself. In this new chapter, I’d learn to Live the Layers. I’d remember what makes me feel alive. I’d embrace the change. I wouldn’t allow myself to shrink or hide. I wouldn’t strip myself of all the layers I love when life felt overwhelming or like it was too much.

I’ve held on to this philosophy. This is a huge win for me because if you ask my husband, he will quickly tell you I’m the first to “sink the ship”. When life gets tough, I have a habit of adding water to my sinking ship. If it’s going to sink, I might as well help it.

From day one at my new job, I fell into my new routine. I held on to my running. I held on to nutrition. I held on to family time. When asked How’s it going?, I struggled to respond. It has just felt easy. It’s felt right. My new job and my new team fit perfectly in my life.

But I’ve been stuck.

It’s not the new job or my running. It’s not what I eat or how I spend my free time. It’s me. I’m stuck.

I’ve got the details figured out, but I’m stuck in my own head and in my own emotions. It is me that has become too much. It’s my thoughts and my feelings that I want to desperately turn off. How many times this summer have I wanted to scream why do I feel everything so intensely? How many times this summer have I finished (or given up) a run wishing I’d find my mental game again. How many times this summer have I laid in bed feeling my ship sinking desperately trying to not add water to my downward spiral? I’ve lost count.

Last night was the kickoff of for Thursday night tempo runs for the fall training season. It was hot. I felt heavy. My head and heart were consumed by feelings. My run didn’t go as planned. My head didn’t win the mental battle.

IMG_2122

 

This is summer. Every single summer, this rings true for running and for my life. When it’s hot, I become heavy.

This is where I’m at – hot, heavy and stuck – desperately waiting for the season to change.

While I wait, I keep revisiting that promise I made to myself. I will keep living my layers. I will keep showing up. I will keep running. I will keep nourishing my body. I will not shrink. I will not hide. I can’t because the moment that I do, I’ve given up on myself, on my dreams, and on my potential.

I keep repeating my mantra: I am calm. I am cool. I am peaceful.

It is not easy. There I days it would be so easy to sink my own ship. There are days I want to quit fighting myself. There are days I want to just give in because not caring, not dreaming, and not striving seems so much easier than digging deep for my own internal strength.

But that isn’t who I am. For better or for worse, this is who I am. This is how I’m wired. I am a dreamer. I feel things sometimes too intensely. Right now I feel hot, heavy and stuck, but I know if I keeping striving the feeling that is waiting for me is flight. 

Some how I forgot how to use my wings this summer. I’ve been consumed by feeling hot, heavy and stuck. 

img_9097-2
Working on getting there

Living the Layers: Approaching Change

In one week, I am going back to work. After taking my time to find the right team, the right role, and the right environment for both my family and myself, a few weeks ago I accepted a job offer from Eastern Virginia Medical School for the role of Donor Relations Specialist. Everything feels right. 

As any type of change approaches, I can started to feel shaky in my footing. I worry about loosing myself, my passions, and my priorities as something new is introduced to my life. Change brings growing pains. Change brings discomfort.

 “The ego says ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer,’ and that thought makes you suffer more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.” ~Eckhart Tolle

When I read this quote for the first time, I immediately thought of my running. This is what I try to accomplish every time I attach a race bib to my shirt. Can I transcend the suffering? 

To grow into my potential, I know I need to push through discomfort. I need to stay rooted in myself to find success at the finish line. 

Running and life always mirror each other. This quote doesn’t just apply to racing. It applies to living. 

As my family drove home today from an amazing little getaway, the realization that I’m going back to work in one week hit me. The familiar feeling of nerves and anxiety surfaced. Familiar habits presented themselves. 

My brain works in compartments. It often times feels like my mind and my emotions are a dresser – each dresser drawer careful containing one aspect of my life: mother, wife, employee, runner, athlete, writer, and friend. If more than one dresser drawer is pulled out, the world can feel overwhelming. I panic. I scramble to find order and control. In one week, I’ll be pulling out the employee drawer. 

I have a lot to learn. I have a lot to absorb. A lot of my time and energy will be given to defining this new role in my life. My natural tendency is to neglect the other aspects of my life – to keep the other drawers neatly tucked away until I organize the employee drawer. 

This tendency makes me feel safe. It helps me feel like I’m in control. But it leaves me unfilled. It leaves my life off balance. 

The truth is I need to say yes to suffering so I can transcend it. 

During our car ride home, I messaged back and forth with my good friend Heidi. Our brains are wired the same way, so I know she always understands what I’m trying to say. How do we embrace the suffering? How do we transcend? 

Maybe, just maybe, the trick is to let it get crazy. Maybe, just maybe, I need to embrace the crazy. Maybe, just maybe, the crazy isn’t really crazy at all. The crazy is everything I love. The crazy is what defines me. The crazy is the pieces of living that I love. 

What do I need in my daily life to be the best version of me? With my roots firmly in place what do I need to layer in to help me transcend life. 

my roots and my layers

On a daily basis, I need to commit to my roots. Then I need to add layers.
Right now I need to focus on my roots and living the layers. 

In many ways this is what I (we) have always done. From the beginning of this blog, Heidi and I have tackled 40 day goals together. We have set annual intentions. Living the layers is just another evolution of what has always helped me live my life. 

in Gettysburg

It may feel chaotic. It may hurt. But by pushing through, by embrace the discomfort of change, I’ll arrive at my finish line knowing I transcended this new beginning. Every day I will know I’m striving to be the best version of myself. 

Today, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. Today is a new day that has been handed to you for shaping. You have the tools, now get out there and create a masterpiece.” ~Steve Maraboli

Standing on the Shoreline

Shortly after the sun rose, the boys made their way up the stairs to enjoy breakfast with an ocean view. Beach play immediately followed. As our caravan of kids made their way to the crashing waves, one kid was left behind. 


Four is hard. Four is no longer a baby, but it isn’t quite a child. 

In the pack of four kids, Chet is the only one who can’t swim. He is the only one was left on the shoreline watching waves as the other three kids caught waves. 

Four is hard. 

The first three days on the beach, the waves were aggressive. The shore break churned up the sand. Chet wasn’t ready to make his way past the crashing waves, but he wanted to be included in the fun. 

Four is hard. 

Digging holes and chasing crabs kept him happy for a moment, but his eyes kept gazing to the ocean. He wanted to be with the big kids. 

Four is hard. 

Some mornings we made our way back to the beach house. Some mornings we watched the waves from the deck while eating goldfish. 

On the third day, I asked his brother to pause for a moment before swimming out into the ocean. Maybe he could spend a few minutes with Chet jumping waves before he caught waves of his own. This changed the rest of the day on the beach. Chet didn’t feel left out or alone. 

On the forth day When Chet woke up, he said he was ready to go home. He didn’t want to go to the beach. He didn’t want to stand on the shore line for another day. But the current had changed. The waves were gentle. The water was glassy. When he realized he could surf too, his eyes revealed his happiness. It was his chance to be one of the kids. 


As I watched my boys play during our beach vacation, I couldn’t help but wonder. How many times are we all the four year old stuck on the shore? How many times do we need someone to stand beside us because we aren’t ready just yet to catch our own wave? How many times do we miss the perfect wave because the days before left us disappointed? 

If parenting is teaching me one thing over and over again, it is that being stuck in the middle is one of the hardest places to be. 

Four is hard. 

The middle is hard. 

Whether we are stuck on the middle of the mountain or on the shore line, the lesson is the same. To truly live life, you have to embrace the messy middle. Beginning may be the hardest step and the finish line may be the moment of shining success, but the middle holds the magic. The middle takes work. The middle takes commitment. The middle produces results. 

“The middle is messy, but it is also where the magic happens. ~Brene Brown

Parenting these two vastly different and equally awe-inspiring boys of mine is a continuous test of the middle. 

Exploring my life, constantly reaching for my potential, is a continuous test of the middle. 

Four days with my boys and our dear friends in the Outer Banks was the perfect reminder of the lessons my heart needs while living in the middle. This chapter of my life is closing. In 18 days I will enter a new chapter. I will begin a new career. I will ask my family to join me in this journey. 

We will find ourselves in the middle, and we will know that we are living. Some days we may watch the waves crash  along the shore, but some times we get the chance to ride the wave. No matter what, we have to keep showing up while standing besides each other while looking for the perfect conditions. 

A Summer Promise

I’m guilty of it. I’m guilting of rearranging family life to accommodate a baby. There are families that seem to effortless transition into becoming parents and adding kids to their pack. I was not one of them. Chet stunned me in many ways. While I didn’t completely abandon everything, I did quit saying yes to scenarios I used to love because incorporating a baby overwhelmed me. Four years later No has become a reflex again. 

This summer I’m making a conscious effort to saying Yes to the things we love. This weekend was the first of many YESs this summer. When my parents asked us if we wanted to join them to listen to a friend and local musician play music, we said Yes. When friends invited us to a join them in a family beach day, we said Yes. 

What if Chet gets tired and cranky?

What if Chet is naughty?

What if Chet won’t leave my lap? 

I should know better by now. My adventurous and curious little guy thrives on being on the go. He never stops moving or talking. 

On Friday night I played glow stick sword battles with Chet while Cole stood front and center absorbing the energy of the band. He talked to the saxophone player about learning and growth. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Sound. When our wedding song started playing, I got to dance with my husband (for a minute before both boys crashed the party). 

sunset at the Baja

On Saturday our entire family enjoyed an entire day in the sunshine on the beach. We stayed all day splashing in the waves and building sand castles. 

This summer I am going back to saying Yes to things that give me butterflies. 

Yes to more family beach days 

Yes to concerts on the beach

Yes to late night cruiser rides 

Yes to cookouts 

It’s no longer baby Chet that paralysis me from enjoying these summer moments (because he’s not a baby anymore). It’s the stress I assume I will feel if things don’t go according to plan. I’m sure there will be moments I’ll regret venturing out, but I’ll regret wasting away another summer even more. 

“The world is stuck because of the word ‘no’.” ~Dada Bhagwan

It’s time to revisit Saying Yes again. After all, it is one of the main reasons I started this blog. It’s no coincendenec that I always end up back here. Saying Yes has now become my reset button. When life and seasons change, bringing myself back to a place of Yes and possibility is how I make sure my wheels keep moving. 

(Maybe 40 day goals need to make a comeback too.)

Focused and Free, Shamrock Half Marathon 2016 

In a million ways yesterday was a perfect race. I ran to my potential based on what race day had to offer.  I felt strong and engaged. Mentally I found my sweet spot. 

In one way yesterday’s race fell a little flat. The race clock doesn’t match my potential. 

The story of the race clock goes back long before this race. My quest for a sub 2 hour half marathon started two and a half years ago. At the crawlin crab half marathon in 2013 (Read it here). I lined up ready to break two hours. I failed miserably. When my miles started to fall off pace a few miles into the race, I threw in the towel. I quit, and I finished the race feeling miserable about my ability. 

My second focused attempt at breaking two hours was at the Flying Pirate Half Marathon (Read it here), I showed up more than ready. Again I failed miserably. When my paces fell off, I gave up on the race. I gave up on myself. 

A few injuries, a few marathons, and a few life changes have happened over the last two and a half years, but the one thing that has remained consistent was my quest for sub 2. My training runs resulted in sub 2 13.1 miles, but it’s never translated to race day. This year felt like a no brainer. I showed up at the start line with three goals in my head:

A Goal: 8:xx pace overall 

B Goal: Sub 2 

C Goal: Do not give up on my race. 

For most, the C goal would have been a PR. For most there would be a drastic difference between Goal B and C but for me, it’s what I needed. My head tends to be all or nothing. I knew if I saw sub 2 fading away, my biggest challenge would be to keep my head in the game. Could I fight for a finish that had nothing to do with the time clock? 

Sunday delivered a day that was the perfect test of my strength. A Nor’easter by the name of Winter Storm Regis showed up on the first day of spring. It poured until about half way into the race. The winds fought back with gusts averaging 35mph. This was the day we were given to run, and I embraced it. Everyone was running the same race. 

I started the race with a few of the runners from our training team and the 2 hour pacers. For the first 4 miles I sat comfortably at the back of the pack (note to self: race day pace groups are not for me). There was way too much nervous energy and anticipation in the large pace group for me to feel comfortable settling into my own run. I could feel everyone’s emotions but my own. 

8:56, 9:18, 9:14, 9:16

By mile 5 I knew I needed to let the group go. I was using too much energy to stay attached to their pacing signs. I also needed to adjust my sock since my foot had started to bleed. I used the waterstop to adjust both my sock and my place on the race course. 

9:49

I let the pacers go knowing they would come back to me when the wind was at my back. I kept running north embracing the wind, and I finally felt myself mentally settle. 

9:19

Fort story can be a beast. The winds blow hard, and there were many times I felt myself stumble. I focused on the little things for the next three miles. Get to the water stop. Find the lighthouse. Get off the base. Go see my husband. 

9:20

9:34

9:44

I didn’t look at my watch once during the race for many reasons, but I knew this race was a race that wouldn’t be defined by the race clock. I knew I needed to focus on my C Goal. I needed to fight for my finish regardless of time. I needed to fight just for me. 

As I made the turn back on to Atlantic Avenue, I knew Christian would be there. Having just mentally conquered the hardest part of the course, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was proud of me. I knew at this point the 2 hour group wasn’t coming back to me. No excuses. No reasons to quit. I arrived to Christian a puddle of tears. I mumbled a quick “I’m okay,” and I kept running. He biked beside me for a block or two. He updated me on my friends. I then sent him on his way to the final turn. I needed to own my mental space on this run. I needed this race to belong to me. 

9:09

9:36

10:13 

I ran as fast as my legs would let. After a long stretch of focusing on one block at a time, I made it to the boardwalk. The finish line was waiting for me. 

Focused and free, I fully embraced the last mile of this race. As the finish line got closer and closer, my sweet friend Catrina popped out with open arms ready to support me. It was the best surprise of the day, and I welcomed a congratulatory embrace. 

Without a doubt, I had just finished one of my best mental races. 

Official finish time – 2:04:03

“Ask nothing from your running, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined!” ~Christophet McDougall

  

Equinox 

In less than two weeks the world approaches the small moment of time  when everything is in balance. Here along the Atlantic Ocean, the sun will rise. Twelve hours later it will set. Dark and light find harmony as our beach town begins to bloom. Spring will arrive. The equinox is approaching. 

As we transition out of winter’s hibernation, I can feel the ache of winter in my bones. My muscles are fatigued from fighting to stay warm all winter. My skin craves the warmth of sunshine. This is a new chapter in my life. The ache and the fatigue that is leaving my body is as much physical as it is emotional. The craving of warmth is as much my skin as it is my heart. As the world wakes up, I feel like I’m finding my harmony within myself and nature. 

My life is finding harmony. 

In less than two weeks on the same day as the spring equinox, I will line up with 180 teammates and thousands of other runners to run the Shamrock half marathon. The ache in my legs is proof of a season of hard training. The craving of warmth is evidence of running through many frozen morning. Shamrock weekend is just the beginning of my bloom. 

 

if you can’t find me, i’m here
 
I never expected to be here. Stripped of all career responsibilities, I have an amazing opportunity to fully examine my aspirations. My roots are rich. I’ve had nearly 36 years to create the perfect soil to encouraging proper growth. I’m seeing the strength in trusting my heart whispers.  As the winter cold drifts away, I feel myself reaching. I feel myself breathing deeply growing in the direction of the sun. 

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” ~John Muir

The plan for race day is a simple as the plan for this new season. Let my roots anchor me. Let the warmth of the sun guide me. Let my spirit bloom. Let the compassion of others push and pull me. This season belongs to me. 

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~John Muir

Tonight on our evening bike ride, an osprey flew over the river as the sunset. The osprey have returned. The air hints of summer. Nature is reminding us that spring is here to stay. 

This season will transition to summer, winter will return, but the changes cultivated will become part of who I am for every season of my life. 

“the sunset is your favorite color” ~Chet

Confession of a Pacer

I have a confession to make. I wasn’t sure if I could do this. I wasn’t sure if would measure up or hit the paces my team needed me to hit. When I was asked to be a pacer for the J&A Racing Training Team, I knew my heart was committed but could my legs preform. 

The first training team meet up resulted in a lot of anxiety. It felt like race day eve. I didn’t sleep. I had a nervous stomach. When I was introduced to the group, I felt like an imposter. I was a new face in the crowd. I had a lot I wanted to prove. I had a lot of self induced pressure. 

We ran that day, and our paces were exactly where they needed to be. I’ve never felt more relieved. 

 

Family
 
For the past 12 weeks, Friday nights have all been the same. I’ve been nervous. I’ve been afraid this would be the weekend I’d have a terrible run. When you’re pacing at your race pace, you can’t hide. There is no room for a bad run. I needed to be my best every Saturday. I wanted to be my best every Saturday. 

Confession: I wasn’t confident that a 9 minute mile was my comfort zone. 

Confession: I put a lot of pressure on myself to bring my A Game every weekend. 

Confession: I’ve never wanted to be successful at something as much as I wanted this. 

Every Saturday, I’ve got out of bed, my body alive with excitement. Each week my doubts have grown a little more quiet. Each week my heart has beat louder. It’s become more clear. It’s become more vibrant. I can do this. I am doing this. 

This past weekend our team had its furthest run to date. Everyone in my 9 minute group set out to accomplish 14 miles. After the first few miles, it was clear each runner in our pack was having a different day. Two were feeling strong and were ready to soar. Two were struggling with illness and need to preserve. I sent the two healthy teammates free. Go run. We will catch up. For the other two, we ran miles that felt good. For one that meant cutting the run short. For the other, we ran walked the final few. 

 

Starting Strong
 
Every single person on our team is race ready. Saturday was a formality. For everyone it proved what they already know about themselves. Their goals are waiting for them to achieve them. For the next nineteen days, our legs will become fresh again. Our spirit will continue to shine. 

Confession: I’m more excited about their race than my own. 

Confession: I’m more excited about them discovering their potential than what I can do on race day. 

I have my own personal goals for race day, but this entire training cycle has been my reward. I’ve erased every doubt my head was creating back in December. 

Confession: I hope I’m chasing them all on the race course.  

Confession: Every single runner on this team is the reason I will give my all on race day. It’s to honor them. 

“…there was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love *running*. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you’ve got, being patient and forgiving and… undemanding…maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.” ~Christopher McDougall

Confession: Seeing potential in my teammates had allowed me to see my potential. 

Confession: This team has healed my heart. 

Confession: This team has made my love more vibrant. 

Confession: I don’t want this season to end. 

“Running is the heart of what it means to be human.” ~Christopher McDougall

Confession: This team has brought me back to life. 

Finishing up Saturdays Mock Race
 
Thank you doesn’t feel like the right words. They aren’t strong enough. The only way I can think of to express my gratitude for this journey is to let my heart run this race, to pour everything I have into race day, and to leave every ounce of energy I have on the race course. 

I owe it to them, and I owe it to myself. 

19 days until race day! 

chalkmaster Josh inspires again