I’ve just received the program for Race #4 of the Salomon Trail Series, to be held on 23 September, down in Anglesea. It is the culmination of several months of thrills, that began way back in June. We’ve progressed from what seems a measly 10.8 km effort up to the final length of 14.6.
The question is, can I do it? Before you say, it, no, I’m not doubting my ability to run the distance. Recently, I completed my first ever 22km run. So I can do the distance. The question is, should I?
The full story is I’ve joined a relay team that will be completing a 100km ultramarathon the day before, on 22 September, down in Anglesea as well. My leg is 21km on the beach, and coastal rocks. So I’ve been training and training to meet that goal, make that distance. It has been tough.
But I’d signed up for the other race months ago. Both are delivered by the same wonderful group of people, Rapid Ascent. And I’m like a kid at a cookie jar – I just can’t get enough. They offer up these tantalising bits of terrain, these views I’d never otherwise get to see. The photos – there are those who call them Trail Porn – pull at me. I want to be on that trail, in those woods, seeing those views. Then there are the people doing the race – lighthearted, sparkly-eyed, full of life. Being among them – these people perpetually on a runner’s high because they are perpetually running – is uplifting. Like a kick of caffeine from really strong PowerGel. Their company gives me wings.
The doubt talks to me though. It is the soreness in my muscles after teaching BodyPump two days in row, running 6km in my Teva Five Fingers when already tired. Increasing my long run from 10 to 22 km in four months. I went to teach last night at the gym, and there was a little girl who’d finished her swimming lessons in pajamas – it was 5:20 pm. I looked at her pajamas, and I was jealous! Jealous. That’s how tired I am from all this push-push-pushing. I want my jammies at 5:20 too.
But there’s also the part of me that usually wins when I have these conversations with myself. It says something like, don’t be soft. That’s the voice that speaks when it is cold and rainy outside, and it is time for my run. Don’t be soft, get out there and do it.
I wonder how I’d feel on 23 September, tucked up in my warm bed, recovering from the race on 22 September. I’d picture the starting line, the energy, the nerves. I’d think I was lucky to be snug and warm in bed. But the regret would hit me at 9:01, just after the race began. I’d have missed it. And I’d never get to live that race again.
So I expect I’ll be out there, a bit sore, a bit slower than usual. Because there’ll always be time to sleep. I’m headed to You Tube now to find one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs – “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”
See you out there!