This past weekend I was back in Phoenix for my daughter Zoe’s lacrosse tournament, one week after running the Javalina Jundred 100. For an early morning run, I was compelled to return to McDowell Regional Park and run yet ANOTHER loop on the Pemberton trail (the JJ100 is comprised of 6+ loops on the Pemberton trail).
The morning of my run I woke with great excitement. It was a beautiful crisp morning and I was anxious to go run. I couldn’t wait to run the course without the pressure of time and just daydream the miles away. While my legs were still heavy from the race, I was pleased that I had no significant post race shakes or rattles. This was going to be a great run.
Within a mile or so I found myself in a reflective mood. I thought about what a great year it had been. I’ve had some good races and for the most part have been injury free. I recalled that exactly this week one year ago I had a hernia repair that had kept me from running for several months. Just months before that I had had my shoulder bolted back on. Being injured sucks! I complemented myself for becoming much better at taking care of myself – putting in quality miles rather than just miles, eating more thoughtfully, knowing when to rest.
Perhaps fitting with Thanksgiving being just a few days away, I celebrated the many wonderful relationships running has brought into my life. Several miles passed as I reflected on the many great runs and adventures I’ve had with Christian, Erik, Greg, and Peter – and how lucky I am that they have invited me to run with them. I did a mental inventory of the people who have been so supportive, and gracious. The acts and gestures are numerous – encouraging words, advice, discounts, pacing, free stuff, introductions, and miles and miles of companionship and good company.
I gave thanks for the support I receive from my family. While I understand they really don’t get the running thing. I know I am fortunate that they put up with the time away from home for training and racing – and the time at home being too tired to be of much use. I thought about the good memories of being crewed at Burning River 100 by Adrienne and at the Pony Express Trail 100 by Zoe. Thank you!
With just a few miles left before getting back to the car I thought about the coming year. I’ve put in for Western States with the hope that I can return after 29 years. Western States was my very first 100. I want to run it again after “taking off” almost 30 years from running, both to compare the experience and hopefully at age 50 run it markedly faster than I did when I was 18 (23:21). If I get into Western States I’m considering running the Grand Slam. How cool would it be to run Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch all in the same year? Then of course, I need to find a fast 100 miler to see if I can break 15 hours – perhaps Rocky Racoon…
As I returned to the car I took pause to celebrate how lucky I am to be able to run and for all that running has given me. And, I gave thanks for all of you who are a part of this great run in my life.
Picture courtesy of Matt Hart