Today was the last day of running camp and we ran at a place called Magnolia Road outside of Boulder. Magnolia Road is an out and back run at 8200 ft with lots of hills. It is absolutely beautiful and the perfect running road--something straight out of a John Denver song. It's a training ground for pro athletes, many of whom we saw this morning. Our running group had already taken off when my daughter and I arrived at the start of the road. It was okay with me to go on our own given the altitude, my knee, and my general struggle with running, but to be honest I would love to feel like I'm able to be in the mix.
We actually really enjoyed our time out there, and I covered about 5 miles total with a mix of walking and running. I'd have a moment when something would rise up in me and I would run, but I just couldn't sustain it. I feel as if I'm of two minds when I'm out on my runs--one is like the older brother sitting on the little brother insisting he say uncle, and the other is the little brother absolutely refusing to give in. I feel like the past six years have ultimately been about me working to empower that little brother mind.
We arrived back at the start of the road before most of the group had returned from their runs, and I sat down on a boulder. One by one the pros came through, and then our runners started coming in a steady stream. They were exhausted, sweaty, and proud as they came over the top of the last climb. They would have been giddy if they hadn't been so tired, I think. They were amazingly energetic for having just finished such a challenging run, and as I listened to their conversations I could feel myself slowly sinking into sadness--that place you go when you feel lonely even when you are sitting right in the middle of something. What the f**k is wrong with me? Why can't I do this? I thought as I sat there. Three years ago I was at my peak fitness. I was lean and strong and absolutely could have run that road. But I'm in a different place than I was three years ago.
As I sat there I recognized pretty quickly that I was feeling sorry for myself. A lot has happened in the last three years on a global scale and personally that have not been in my control, but I learned that my attitude is fully within my control and how I respond to life globally and personally is as well. And how I respond to my experience today on Magnolia Road was fully in my control, too. In that moment I took ownership for the things that I have or have not done leading up to Magnolia Road, and I resolved to make changes going forward.
The best part of the whole experience is the feeling of gratitude I was left with as we drove back down into town. It's a Sunday morning in August and I put myself in a situation that landed me on an iconic running course among great people. And even given my half assed effort, I was out there doing something I could not have begun to imagine for myself six years ago. My body has proven time and again that she is capable of amazing things, and I want to honor that by doing everything in my power to continue to take care of her and challenge her and give her the best of what she needs.
And then we can come back to Magnolia Road and she can show me what she's truly capable of : )