The first weekend of this month I ran the Pandora's box 'o rox trail Marathon. I was looking forward to this race. The Granite rocks in this part of the Hill country I remember so vividly. Years ago my Dad brought our family to this area frequently to camp, fish, and swim.
My race did not go well. The first 14 miles were ok. But then I started to feel really bad. My head began aching as did the whole length of my back. Three times I stopped and laid down to rest. Runners going by asked how I was. One offered to share his orange. Trail runners are cool that way. The only thing that kept me going was knowing my friends were out there too. Three of my friends passed me at about mile 19. Their encouraging words and knowing my buddy Tom was at the last aid station kept me on my feet even though I felt like I was going to faint..
I finished and waited for others in Our group to finish. It was fun cheering them cross the finish line.
Two days later I felt like I was going to die. The headache persisted. As did the Pain in my back, legs and abdomen. Three days at home and I began contemplating the reason for running long distances. I shared my thoughts and the pain I was going through with close friends. Comforting to know they were understanding and cared enough to respond with compassion.
After two weeks of no running I met with a friend for a 5 mile trail romp at my favorite natural area. It felt good but I would only run one more time that week. Today I ran 4 miles . I began thinking two miles would be good enough but feeling ok, I kept going for two more.
I had been wondering, the last three weeks. do I want to keep running these ridiculous races? Maybe. Maybe not. I do very much enjoy the friends I have made running. And races are exciting. Watching my friends do well is the best part. We have a great group. Belonging is very beneficial to my physical, and more importantly, my emotional health.
I think I'll stick with it. I don't have to run long. Running or hiking will keep me fit, and by belonging we can be part of exciting and fun events like races and the Wilderness survival course I volunteered for last night.
|My rescue team did well!|
Yeah, I'll keep going. My friends will help with that. Maybe I'll run another race too. Not too long though. Just long enough to keep me well.