….and My Story Runs On….
Well, I was planning on writing a blog about my week of tapering before my 100K in 2 days…..but since there has been a major change in the weather forecast, and I hate running in the rain, I decided to share the learning lessons I’ve already had in the last few days about this situation.
About 10 days before the race, the race director from Aravaipa Running shared the race briefing via a YouTube video, telling us the last minute details. All was good…as a matter of fact, there was caution to stay properly hydrating as this day has typically been a hot one and it looked like it would be another gorgeous day in our sunshine state.
But NOOOOOOO, lo and behold, even though today, 2 days before, we have an amazing day with the high of 74…on Saturday, it will be raining ALL day! As a matter of fact, the weather forecast says 1 inch of rain. Sooooo, they had to make a last minute call to change the course of the race!
Quick back story: I picked this race because it’s on my birthday weekend and I love to push myself outside my comfort zone. I’m also doing this race to raise money for Girls On The Run. I’ve been training and feeling prepared until we started getting more rain than normal in January. The course has a few river crossings (I finally got over doing these and they would be a welcome sight on a hot day) but with all the rain, the water level has been rising and the current’s stronger than usual. I’ve trained on 95% of the course including the river crossings. But due to all this rain, in the last few weeks there has been concern about the safety of the river…would it become a duathlon? would they put some rope for runners to hold on to cross the river? This was starting to stress me out because it would be towards the end of the race (passed the 40 mile marker) and I would probably be doing them at night time.
Something happened over last weekend and all of the sudden, the forecast changed and we are where we are now. The point to point Black Canyon Ultra course which had a negative elevation profile, has now become an out and back to avoid the river crossings. Well, at least I don’t have to stress about those now! I can’t imagine how difficult of a decision this was to make but I believe it’s the right one to keep all the runners, crew and volunteers safe. So, now what???
Now I apply several of the lessons I’ve learned via my ChiRunning and my daily meditation practice:
- Making choices/decisions: I have a choice to run or not to run…..I’ve been training way too long and unless it’s lightening or completely unsafe (which I’m sure the race director would make a call here too), I am finishing what I started! This is an opportunity for me to push outside my comfort zone and I know in the long run (pun intended) this will be a character builder for me. Making decisions like these can be difficult but when looking at pros and cons, the facts (not emotions), and remembering my motivation behind this race, I can make a solid conscious choice. This same process goes for decisions to make in my every day life.
- Dealing with change: we had our “perfect” plan with my crew and pacers. We spent time putting it together: who was doing what, etc. I’ve learned via ChiRunning and meditating that being flexible and going with the flow is much easier than resisting. I use the Law of Detachment a lot..in my running and life. I already don’t have any expectations of this race other than to finish it. Of course I have a goal in mind but if I don’t reach it, it’s all good. Thankfully my pacers have the same mindset so we held an “emergency” meeting last night (at a brewery, of course!) to change the plan. Somethings may still not go as planned! Being aware of this and knowing how to handle it (go with the flow is the mantra!) will make things much easier than resisting something I have no control over. I choose to respond (consciously) to the situation versus react (emotionally) to it.
- Attitude: I have a choice to have a good or bad attitude about this…I can’t control the weather but I can control my attitude. I’ve never liked running in the rain and I avoid it all costs. Recently I’ve been trying to embrace it as I tell my runners all the time, you don’t have a choice on race day (well, technically you do, see first bullet point). One of the many reasons I love trail/ultra running is being out in nature in our amazing AZ weather. I can make this race miserable, bitch and complain about it, waste a bunch of energy and have a dreadful time OR I can choose to embrace the situation, make the most of it, and have as much fun as possible. I know this is easier said than done but it is something that I’ve learned to do and something I apply in my every day life. It does take work to get to this point but I’m getting plenty of practice…which is ultimately why I love running as it gets me out of my comfort zone, doing things I would’ve never dreamed of, reaching goals I never thought possible.
So the old me (pre running and meditating) would’ve been freaking out about this for sure…but instead I’m blogging 😉 (during the writing of this blog, I was continuously getting distracted googling various things about the rain which I’m sharing now..LOL)…which also made me feel better about all of this!
Some Resources for Running In The Rain:
From a technique standpoint, I know I’ll need to be a bit more careful, especially since the first half of the course is downhill. I’ll be focusing on shorter strides and keeping my cadence up but trying to keep the legs as relaxed as possible (and the mind too!). No resisting!
Some motivational photos I found:
Next, I’m googling songs about the rain 😉
Last but not least, one of my favorite quotes from Wayne Dyer:
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Let’s do this! Please share any advice you have too!
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)