I love to run! Runners love to share information! I usually share statistics and excitement, occasionally sharing my injuries. I want to share with you the other side of my story, the real picture as a runner. The intention is to share a vulnerable glimpse of the parts that we don’t share. In the spirit of truly seeing me, let the story begin!
Before the Race
The week before the race is full of good intentions, such as watching rest, nutrition, hydration and following the training plan to perfection. Yet, there is a voice in the back of my mind that is telling me that it is too little too late. I wonder why I don’t put this amount of good quality attention on myself all the time.
The night before the race is rarely restful. There is a of good excitement, for certain! There is also a lot of anxiousness about what will my tummy do, how much do I want to carry with me versus relying on aid stations. And then there is the setting of multiple alarms for the fear of sleeping through and missing the race all together! There is one great word for this: meditate. I teach it. I practice it. And I can most certainly begin to utilize this tool for moments when it would be beneficial as well as being a daily practice.
The morning before the race typically runs like comical clockwork because my partner and I are on two completely different schedules. This is where I have learned to stop trying to control things that are simply not mine. I have learned that my own priorities serve me best. The very real runner issue that few talk about is the when will the poop happen. It is really nice if the body handles this before leaving the house. Otherwise, it is an added step of making certain you have toilet paper stuffed somewhere just in case the porto potty doesn’t have some. Even worse than needing to use the porto before the race, is cramps and stopping during the race.
During the Race
I am very competitive. I have learned to keep track of my heart rate and I know the moment in each race when I can basically cut loose and not keep it down in a zone 2. I call this the “Forrest Gump” zone because one can run a much longer time if you stay in the zone. Still, there is a constant ratio of monitoring my heart rate zone against the pace time. This is a spot for me about setting intentions. I want my intention to always be a personal record! The healthy reality is that completing a race healthy and free of injury means so much more than the time. This is really hard for me to handle in practice.
There is a constant consideration of how much water to drink. It is a constant thought in my mind. I even have my own Garmin watch set to stop timing if I stop moving. This means that I can see my actual running time, even though the official race timers don’t care. The real race time is from start to finish, regardless of how many times you stop to pee or tie a shoe.
During the race there is a low hum of attention on the playlist, phone battery and earphones. I love listening to music while I run! Sometimes, I get so happy with the song on my playlist that I try to sing along. Then I realize that no one else can hear the music and I am expending extra breath. I return to just listening. After 5 miles, this phenomena rarely happens. During my most recent race, I realized at mile 10 out of 13 that I was not going to have enough phone battery to sustain listening for the remainder of the race. I reluctantly and sadly turned off the headphones and put the phone into conservation mode.
Sometimes, the inside of my thighs will begin to chafe. It burns and hurts, and the upside is that it heals and goes away quickly. Now, I no longer laugh or wonder why there are some aid stations with dixie cups with dollops of Vaseline petroleum jelly topped off with a tongue depressor. When I am 8 miles into a race, that is a gift on the table!
After the Race!
The things that most runners let you know about are the great things that happened, the shoes, the miles, the times, the smiling pictures with medals hanging around a neck! The real life runner things that you might not realize is that I am standing next to a person that I love dearly and we smell awful! I have this mix of sweat and urine odor and there is usually this thin salty film on our bodies that creates a washed out, pale appearance. So all those pictures of us kissing each other at the finish line have a whole other experience if you are standing close!
Hope you have enjoyed this peek into the whole picture of my running life. There is a sense of freedom when I can show up completely myself! I want to do this in every part of my life.
Is there a place in your life where you have different filters? It takes a lot of energy to hold true to all the stories we create. If you would like to explore more of this authentic living for yourself, let’s chat! #livetoracegirl #intimacycoach #realme