Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reach the Beach

Reach the Beach is basically non-stop for 2.5 days, so it’s incredibly hard to summarize in a paragraph or two. It’s fun and fatigue and exhilaration and exhaustion. Every year has been different because of the different people on the team, running different legs, and different weather. But, this year was definitely a good one. Here’s a few of the things I noticed in particular:
Body Awareness: Because my next run is never far away, I have to pay close attention to what my body needs. When I finish a leg, I have to take the time to cool down and stretch. I refuel with healthy, whole foods. When I do eat, I eat just enough so that I have time to digest before my next leg. When something hurts, I figure out exactly what kind of pain it is and find a way to help it. It’s a cool feeling to be so in touch with yourself. Too often I ignore the signals my body is sending. I eat past the point of fullness, I eat chocolate and ice cream when my body wants veggies and whole grains. A day past the race I can already feel myself moving back towards my old habits of eating according to a clock and cravings instead of body signals.
You can do more than you think you can: I easily fall into running ruts. The same routes, the same paces, the same distances. But I challenged myself in so many ways in this event. I ran more legs and total distance than ever before, and ended up feeling better at the end. I ran a faster average pace on each leg than I have been running during my training speed workouts. I ran in the morning, in the middle of the night, in the afternoon- totally dispelling my notion that if I can’t run in the morning, I might as well not run. I need to give myself more credit for what I can do, and keep pushing my boundaries.
The fear is still there: In past years the night leg was my favorite. It was just me, the vast sky filled with stars , and the blinking lights of the runners ahead of me. This year I was terrified the whole leg. I started out on a narrow trail in the woods. It was pitch black and I was alone. I kept waiting for someone to jump out of the trees. Then I was on a small rural road. I only saw a few other runners, and nearly jumped out of my skin when they came up behind me. Obviously this is because of getting attached last fall. I hate that my ability to run alone in the dark without fear was taken from me.

Van 1 is ready to rock!

Sunset at Silver Lake as we wait for van 2 to come in and hand-off to me for leg 2

So many white vans!

It was freezing!! Look at the snow on the mountains!

1 comment:

  1. I am planning to have a vacation trip to that stunning place.