I know, I know, it’s been almost a week since the race and I’m just now getting to posting about it – I’m sorry!! It’s been a crazy week and I’ve been playing a whole lot of catch-up.
First off, shout outs need to be given to Donna and Mike Davis and Earl Cornelius for putting together a fabulous group for the race – we had 12 runners out of the Rock Runners group participate and even a couple “groupies” come down for the fun as well.
Pete and I both had to work last Friday during the day, so our departure from Denver was rather late at 6:30pm. Regardless, Pete’s lead foot got us to Moab in a blistering 5 1/2 hours. We arrived at the duplexes just South of Moab and hit the hay immediately.
No less than 5 hours later did our alarms go off. Everyone was up milling about getting ready for the race – the atmosphere was pretty exciting! As we all went through the motions (eating, coffee, sunscreen, glide, coffee, race bib, coffee, etc.) and started to load the buses to go up the canyon for the start of the race, my head was full of uncertainty.
Okay, maybe uncertainty isn’t the right word – it was more like a battle of contrary thoughts. I usually go into a race knowing exactly what my strategy will be – whether it’s to go out slow and enjoy the race, go out fast and push myself or shoot for a specific time due to my training regime.
Well, the fact that I was injured a couple months before and that my longest run had been 9 miles at my DNF in Phoenix, coupled with a couple weeks of being sick and running on a bad foot (that’s a completely different story) wasn’t giving me very much confidence. But then I found myself surrounded by this group of runners (yes, Rock Runners!) that are extremely talented in their own rights, so I felt the urge to get some speed under my legs and keep up with the speedsters.
I went out at about 7:45 pace for the first couple of miles and quickly realized that this wasn’t going to by “my race.” I had to make the decision of either pushing myself another 11 miles through a pace that was not only uncomfortable, but also a little painful with my foot, or sitting back and enjoying the scenery. I fortunately decided on the latter.
For those of you that have experienced humbling race moments of holding yourself back and doing what’s best for your body AND your mind – you know how hard it is. The fact of the matter is that races like this one are really good for me to experience – they remind me why I love to run and that every race doesn’t have to be a struggle or a competition.
Here’s what I learned from Canyonlands (I always try to have take-aways from races to learn something and make use of the experience):
- I do not always have to “race.”
- Sitting back during a race is extremely humbling.
- Running a race at leisure pace makes me realize how much I love to run.
- Running a race at leisure pace also lights a fire within me of wanting to race – haha.
- I thrive in the elements – for all of you that disliked the wind, I was LOVING it!
- The Canyonlands are beautiful :)
- If you want to read about more ways to continue to love running throughout your life, check out this awesome blog by the fabulous Amy Smith: 5 Ways to Enjoy Running Throughout your Whole Life
I had an amazing (albeit short) time in Moab, thanks to the fabulous people that were a part of the trip.
I must also give a HUGE shout out to Mr. Bananas – Peter Jamrogiewicz – in finishing his first race ever! He killed the 5 mile going sub-50 minutes and finishing fifth in his age group.
Next up, the Running for Rachael 5K in Colorado Springs. This one’s for Dad – raising awareness for brain tumor research.