Such an odd distance the 30k is, but I declared this as one of my favorite races at a recent Downtown Runners and Walkers Huddle. I get its not just a distance you can throw on some sweats and go out for. The mileage is far enough that it takes a full commitment. Yet, its not so hard on your body that a little ice bath, rub down, and a burger and beer at the finish line can’t fix either.
Milford, MI is the backdrop for this continuous rolling hills course and brings out the who’s who of the Metro-Detroit running community. I love looking around the start line and seeing this record holder and that record holder and that guy who’s going to break a world’s record and this guy who’s training for the Olympic trials………I’m reminded what a neat community these runners make up and I’m even happier that every now and then I hear someone shout out Hey, Kacey! And I’m reminded how much I love this ‘distance’ family.
I hug more than I stretch before the race begins because to me, stretching my heart and the corners of my mouth up into a smile is every reason I run! Starting a little bit back in the pack laughing with friends and bantering that I’m only starting back there so I’ll have more boys to chase and pass gives a light-hearted feel to the start of what’s going to really be a grueling bit of running.
Because really, at the end of the day, when I’m on the clock, I’m on the clock.
I don’t usually have a time goal, I can’t do that kind of math. I’m probably less of a basket case because of that ineptness, but I can look down and see my mile splits. I know if I’m on or off for the day’s goal. Some days I really don’t have goals, just go where my Tulley Toes take me, but there are some days where the feel of a good race is indeed the goal.
I know I love running best when I ‘stay in control’ to start a race and then am able to finish as some say, “strong.” I don’t even mind if I “look rough” as Andrea put it in the last mile, that’s a full fledge balls to the wall of whatever is left kind of time in the race. It’s the six before that, that I don’t want to have to drag myself through.
I LoVe, LoVe, LoVe the feel of a race ending well. I don’t need to win, I don’t even need to see my time, I don’t care the splits, I want the feel. There’s nothing better than the feel of still loving running when you’re seven miles from the end. When you’re six miles from the end and the views are still captivating your imagination, its a good day. When five miles left has you still feeling like you could run forever, that’s a good race. With four miles left until the medal and you still feel golden. Three miles has you thinking back on the funny posters you’ve seen all day and still can laugh about. Two miles has you playing the mantra ‘anyone can do two miles’ and that last mile is all glory as you take in the final cheers and words of success right up until that moment the mat beeps.