Ladies and Gentleman, are you ready to embrace the drama?
If so, then let me tell you a little thing about running a relay race, it’s full of drama.
Imagine this: 12 runners without sleep, very little “real” food or clean showers are crammed into two vans navigating their way through unfamiliar territory while running a countless number of hills and miles. They are hungry, tired and dirty which means everything feels significantly more dramatic than it would on a normal day.
Runger + Zero Sleep + Running All the Miles = DRAMA
Okay, okay so it wasn’t exactly an episode of Real Housewives of NYC , but I did feel the dramatic effects of running downhill for 7 miles, then uphill for several more miles without any sleep and with an upset stomach, but what I learned along the way is that digging deep when the pain sets in is the most rewarding part of running.
The 1st Real Script Rewrite
The first time I successfully rewrote the script was during the RnR San Diego Marathon. The memory of picking myself back up off the ground and telling myself I did not come to California to collect a DNF, but to collect a BQ will live on forever. I changed the script and it paid off.
But, I thought it was a fluke fueled by my intense desire to go after a reward I so badly coveted (a BQ). Since I earned my long sought after reward I wasn’t sure I would be able to change the script in that manner ever again.
The View From the Pain Cave: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay Leg #25
My 1st leg at Reach the Beach had an elevation loss of over 1,000 feet. Following that run, my quads were toast. By the time I was running my second leg my quads were already sore to the touch. Therefore, when it came time for my final run of the relay, I knew I was in trouble, but I didn’t know exactly how much trouble I’d gotten myself into.
It was the most challenging run I’ve ran in as long as I can remember. I wanted to punch the race director in the face for designing this route (I’m kidding, kinda!). How could they give this leg of the race to me??? (Everything feels personal at this point in a relay.)
I never really wanted to stop running, but for the first few miles of gutting it out on the climbs I wanted it to be easier and I wanted things to go my way (the flat way ;)). I wanted things to stop hurting and I wanted it to be over immediately.
Thankfully, the script started to change.
This is just running.
I’m not in danger.
I don’t live in Syria.
You don’t have Ebola.
Get a grip on reality. You are simply running!
Pain is just pain. It’s not good or bad.
It’s okay if it hurts!
GOOOOOO! Crush your legs, there’s nothing to lose!
I entered the pain cave, stayed inside and wished I could have stayed longer.
My 3rd leg ended up being cut short due to some confusion and I was actually upset, I wasn’t able to gut it out for the last .5. But, I learned that I was capable of rewriting the negative script that usually plays in my head and that when push comes to shove, I can dig deep.
Thank you New Balance, for the invitation to be on your media team and for allowing me to gut it out in New Hampshire with a great group of people!