I got the chance to run a 10k trail race this last weekend with a good friend, Ben. The thing was this was was supposed to be a shake out run from my previous race the Rainer to Ruston 50 miler, but it ended up being so much more.
We linked up the evening before in Yakima to drive up and camp the night prior to the race. Had amazing conversation the whole way there and even got to talk about some issues. It was great to just have a like minded friend that could listen and give an outside opinion to what was going on. Once we got there we made camp, about 10 feet from the start/finish line, and passed out.
Once the sun came up we were up and so was everyone for the race. We heated up some backpacking meals for breakfast and tore down camp. We had the chance to cheer on the 50k, marathoners and half-marathoners before we would start.
Then Jerry, the race director, called for all 10kers to report for the safety brief. After that it was time to rock and roll. I told Ben this is going to be rough and I know I am going to be moving slow. Ready, Set, Go… We took off at a gentle jog in the group of people. Then we came to a single track of switch backs heading up the hill. Now, normally this is my downfall I usually walk these but I was able to maintain a decent jog up them.
We had made it about 2 miles when Ben started to have some lower back pain so we went to the walk and jog method. I know this sounds bad but this really gave me some perspective on movement and pushing through it. We could have just take a sharp left and walked down the trail back to the beginning but that was not going to happen. Ben kept pushing himself to move and taking breaks when needed. And then it happened we hit the aid station and he was good the rest of the race. That short break with a little food and water made the difference. We rocked out a great pace the rest of the way and I was so happy to see a great friend push himself to the finish line.
That was what stood out to me. We all get to the point where we are hurt one way or another and we can choose to bail or keep moving. I am learning that you can keep moving forward and take a short but effect break when you need to. Then once you receive the “nourishment” from that break it time to get back in that race and rock it.
I will leave you with two sayings I have on a bracelet that I wear. The first is “Shut Up Legs” and the second is “Run Your Race”. These apply to not just my running but my life.