This post is nothing like I thought it would be.
I’ve actually been trying to sort out in my head for days as to what to write. This was a post that I had been formulating in my head since January, certain of the content. But then the unexpected happened – an ankle injury – and it changed everything.
I had been training for the American Odyssey Relay since November (aka around the time when I needed a goal, something to train for, and a physical way to let my overflowing emotions get out). I’d been training harder and harder, trying to run faster and stronger.
I had the motivation behind me of 11 other amazing women. I was running for them in this incredible team relay. The relay starts in Gettysburg, PA and finishes in Washington, DC with 12 runners running three legs each beginning Friday morning until they finish on Saturday (yup even through the middle of the night). That is a 200 mile (!!) run….and I had 18.8 if those miles to do.
It was a totally doable goal, and I felt on fire with my training. I felt fast (for me) and strong. Until one day when I was only able to limp home from a training run two weeks out from the race.
I was frustrated, but two weeks seemed like a long enough time to recover. I rested and grew spiritually, knowing that this was the best training that I could be doing. I was expecting my ankle to be better and to have this spiritual story and strength behind my run.
Then a week passed, and I still could barely walk. Waves of discouragement, self-pity, and sadness overcame me. It may seem silly to you, to be so sad about not being able to run, but this was something I had fought so hard for, trained so much for, and something I felt could control (as opposed to other stuff going on in my life). But I guess lesson learned, right?
When the day came to drive up to meet up with my team, my goals had refocused. Since I could not run, this event was more about everyone else and not about my own personal goals. It was time for me to shake off these feelings of self-pity and sadness and be the best support I could be for the other runners.
Did I accomplish that? Sometimes. Did I falter at times? Unfortunately yes. There were times when my frustration with my ability to even walk places made me lash out. When my 2.5 hours of sleep during the race made my grouchy, and when my “I need everything planned out and on schedule” nature made me crabby. To my 5 teammates in Van 2: I apologize for those moments and so appreciate every single one of you for your love, grace, and forgiveness.
However, it is through all these times that I learned my lessons that I actually needed to take away from the race.
I learned that I need more humility and patience in my life.
I also learned that I can sometimes function very well on 2.5 hours of sleep. (I don’t recommend it though).
I learned that a post I thought would be a moment of physical triumph and pride turned into a lesson of grace and humility. Yes, I’m sad I didn’t run but I now see I probably got the greatest lesson and inspiration I could out of this event. I grew as a person instead of just as a runner.
Now…all these moments and wonderful lessons would not have been possible without each of these amazing women and bloggers. I encourage you to visit them all and be inspired!
- Cassie from Primitive and Proper
- Karah from The Space Between
- Heather from The Heathered Nest
- Jessica from Pace of Me
- Jessica from Dear Emmeline
- Beckie from Infarrently Creative
- Chaney from May Richer Fuller Be
- Sarah from The Thriftress
- Paula from Sweet Pea (my local friend and carpool buddy!)
- Vidya from What’s UR Home Story
- Alexis from Flecks of Lex
Last, but certainly not least, our team was overwhelmed by the amazing brands that sponsored our team and made this race happen.
D Lawless Hardware
Design Your Wall
Southern Landscape Group
Rehab Associates of Central Virgina
Annie Sloan Unfolded
Muscles and Lungs Crossfit Aruba
Now I’m going to rest up, heal, and devise a running plan so I can do the Virginia 10 Miler in September and the Richmond Half Marathon in November! Who’s ready to get outside and exercise this summer!