Enjoy the Journey of a race
I’ve been on a journey since last year training for my first 100 ultra trail race. I will be racing the Bryce Canyon 100 in June, which gives me a little less than 4 months left of training.
Here in Utah, as amazing as it is during the winter months we can get a horrible inversions which create hazy skies and nasty air. My husband knew I was going crazy with the inversion, so he insisted that we HAD to make a trip to Moab so I could run the Moab Red Hot 55k. Ok, maybe he didn’t force me, but he knows me well and knew that I needed to get out on an adventure away from hazy skies. Four days before the race I signed up and was excited and ready to run.
I was going to use this 55K as a training run and also experiment with some of my nutrition during a race. With that being said, I decided I was going into it to simply to have fun, enjoy the time out there and learn from my experience. I didn’t want to get my competitive juices flowing and worry about my time or place. Going into a race trying not to be consumed with my time can sometimes be a difficult thing for me, so allowing myself to learn not to always feel the need to be consumed in time is a much needed thing for me. I run out on the trails because I love being there, and once I lose that as my main goal it turns into something that is not as pleasurable for me.
It’s surprising how well you can do if you simply enjoy the ride. That’s exactly what I did during this race. I was in the race for the pure joy of being out in nature with other runners racing in gorgeous Moab. I didn’t look at my time and just enjoyed each step I took in the beautiful surroundings. Since I did not taper for this race by mile 28 I was feeling tired. In those moments when my legs were sore due to the rough terrain and my energy wasn’t at its peak, I still couldn’t help but smile and be grateful that I was there surrounded by gorgeous scenery doing something that I love… running. My goal in future races is to focus more on the joy of racing and not letting myself get too worked up with time or place. Of course, it’s important to me to strive for a good time and place, but does it really need to be my main goal with every race? Nope, and that’s ok.
I feel like I’ve grown since I started my journey towards my 100-mile race and I know I will continually grow with each adventure and race. I continue to see and make a deeper connection with why I run. This race made me feel very optimistic about my training so far. I was able to run a 55K on a whim and felt fairly good during and after the race. So here’s to many more adventures and finding joy in being out there.