The Rainer to Ruston (R2R) is an amazing race that I got to do last year as a relay with an awesome team. Then there was the challenge of the solo run of 51.5 miles and I was hooked.
So, I took a quite different approach to this race, I was NOT racing. Sounds weird, huh, not racing a race, but I had been continually injured for months due to not healing and having to race all the time. I was getting super depressed and angry with all my “failure” and I did not see a way to get back to where I was or where I thought I was. Then like normal I had a good friend and mentor give me a talkin to but in a very humble and insightful way. Doug Pfeffer some one I have come very close to since joining #TeamRWB and #themissioncontinues, invited me out to a clean up in the Olympic National Forest for a weekend. That is where there really starts.
I left a couple of days early to just go camp out a bit. During this time I really was pondering why I was still racing and if I wanted to continue. Part of me my brain was saying “No way. You can win or even place and all you do is hurt yourself when you try.” but my heart was in it “You need this!”. So, I met up with him the night before and set up camp just like I had expected. Then Doug dropped his tailgate and we sat and talked while looking out over the ocean. I asked how his biking was going since his injury. That is where he explained riding was his therapy and that is why he went back to riding to just enjoy being out again. That was the moment that I realized what I was doing wrong. I had forgotten why I ran.
So, now fast forward a couple of months. Race day….
Got up at 4:15 am to catch a 5:00 AM bus to the start line. Met a couple really cool guys that we all were running about the same pace for the first half so we kinda just stuck together. We where doing great with a 11:30 per mile pace then about mile 20 I had to back down and wish them luck.
This is where the run got real to me. I had decided from the beginning of this race that I was finishing no matter my pace or pain. This was a race I had dedicated and that was the most important thing to me was finish for them. Mile 20-35 not to horrible but was getting painful and was doing a walk/run but the course and people along the course were so positive I could not slow down, it was amazing.
Then I remember looking at my watch as my body hit the wall at 38 miles. My legs locked and then there was a sharp pain in my left foot. I had not brought the best foot wear for this race, wearing trail shoes for about 30 miles on pavement not my wisest decision. During the next 14ish miles, I had about a 17:00 per mile pace. Slowed down but I kept moving. That’s when it really clicked I started running for myself and own development.
The course is gorgeous and the people are awesome. If you are ever considering a fun relay or a 50 mile solo this is a great course with every terrain that I can think of. So not to ripped of Nike but “Just Do It!”