Monday, June 6, 2011


I finally registered today for the Mohican 50. To anyone who knows me -- most especially Roy Heger, he would get this point -- it feels like I am cheating. Like I am dumbing-down my effort, registering for the 50 and not the 100. (We both felt that way running the 100k instead of the 100 mile at Oil Creek last year.) Now to all those wonderful people, my friends and colleagues of the sport who have registered for the 50 mile or even the marathon, I want you to understand I totally respect you for having the guts to sign up, train, and (I assume) show up on race day. Please don't feel disregarded -- you are all amazing and I totally give you credit for the hard work and mental toughness this sport takes. I just have this expectation level of myself that makes running the 50 seem like a cop-out, like I am not strong enough for the 100.

Well, truth be told, I am not strong enough for the 100. For the last two years I have had hideous DNFs from this race. And frankly, this year I cannot handle another. So I am not going to even try. I can't get my mind around going up Hickory Ridge four times. I can't face the blatant truth of my inconsistent training all fall/winter/spring because at the time it felt like all I could do, all I could manage.

I have settled for so little out of myself for a year now I ashamed. And not only in regard to running, but regarding my job, my family responsibilities, and house/car maintenance. The only energy I have had I put into loving my daughters, caring for them, and suffering through day after day just showing up enough to get by in life.

Perspective. I have to gain perspective.

To most of the US, running a 50 mile trail race is pretty impressive. Working a full time job in Cleveland while I live in Medina, a single mom with a grass to mow, doing all that and running, seems like I extend myself. I have motivation, right? If it appears that way, it is only your perspective.

My father is going on his 25th straight week of hospitalization. He is 100% ventilated with a feeding tube, and doesn't sit up, cannot eat or speak. And my mother tells him every day (when he is awake) that he could have it worse. He could be -- I don't know -- trapped under a building in Joplin or in a coma or what, I don't know. Someone has it worse for sure, she says. It is all in your perspective. I personally think my father is in a living hell.

So that's why I registered. I finally committed myself to something. Because I have been rolling around my little house, belly-aching to anyone who will listen, for more than 8 months now, all about my poor sad life. But here is a gift: I can run. Despite the loneliness, or the knee pain, or the lack of motivation, or the time pressure, I am physically able to run. I have no business complaining about my life when I could have it like Dad.

I will run the 50 and finish the 50, and maybe, just maybe, if I can get over myself and my poor attitude I will be able to register and run another 100 still this year. Best of all, I will be part of a race that is a tradition for me and my family, for my kids and bff Sharon crewing me every year, where so many folks I love will be, all in one place. Thinking of them might just save me.

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