I find it ironic that I would finally really feel the buzz of the race with only 4 miles left to go, and then come to find out that I would take 4th over-all and first female over-all in the Rocks, Roots, and Snow race in Ohio.
A group of friends and I had driven down to Ohio, despite the impending winter weather advisory, to run the second race in the trail series. This was an event that was planned earlier in the year with the hope, at least for me, to motivate myself to get out no matter what the winter weather brought……it succeeded! I don’t put any “race” pressure on myself in the winter, but having some events that I don’t want to totally ‘tank’ keeps me pressing start on my “runner machine” in the basement when the elements or Mommy duty step in front of the door to my outside playground.
And so, with 100% snow moving in, we all laced up and toed the line for the last time we would actually see our toes without any snow for the next several hours.
My friends and I have a loving ritual of me hugging them, them telling me, “nice running with you, Kacey” and then off we all go. I was there to chase fast front runner boys and so I wove my way up to the front. My plan was to get up as front as possible so once we were into the trail I’d, if plan worked, have fewer people to pass as I tried to hang on to the leaders as long as I could.
Plans are plans and so I took off as quickly as the others…….and then we got into the trail…….and I ended up trekking more than running just like the others.
I settled into a nice run. The footing was just as anyone who’s run in six-inches of snow can imagine, nonexistent. I warmed up just enough to not freeze, and I looked through all the beauty of the trail with frosted lashes that reminded me just how miserable I probably was if I let myself think about it.
A Snowier Second Loop…….
The final and even snowier third loop……..and my final four miles.
I passed the most people on my final loop as the footing was increasingly worse and as the snow fell increasing hard. Everyone was kind, pressing on in their own best way, and then there was the girl who started my “race” for me.
As I came up on a woman with four miles left to go, I wished her a great run and told her she looked fantastic. She said thanks, you too, as she politely stepped to the side allowing me to easily pass her. I appreciated the gesture and said, “you sure don’t have to but I appreciate you moving over!” It was in that moment we made eye contact and she had the best twinkle and a bright smile. I’ve never seen this woman before and chances are I may never again, yet somehow she knew me….
As space came between us, I heard her call out…….
“Hey, the boys aren’t that far ahead of you, go get ‘um! I bet you can do it!”
I peeked over my shoulder, gave her a thumbs up, and nodded as if to say, “Why yes, I think I will go catch those boys!” Because its what I do.
It’s really a metaphor for my life and has little to do with boys but more to do with pushing myself privately to pull into reach goals, dreams, and competitors who are faster, stronger, richer, younger, and prettier than me…….because I believe in me.
So I did….I ran faster, harder, stronger, and pulled up on a number of people. I also found the group of three boys the lady spoke of and the running Gods were cheering me on that day and I was able to go around them with still about two miles left to run.
As I emerged from the trees and in sight of the finish line, I could hear the woman’s words as clear as if she was right upon me…..”I bet you can do it.” I betted I could do it too……and I did!
Groovy Girls Go ……..For It In The Final Four