I signed up for Seabrook Race Weekend Pelican Challenge waaaay back in September, before I even moved to Texas. And then, I had the fiasco with my knee (ACL strain). In January, I had no idea whether I\’d be able to run this race or not. In addition, I\’ve had a growing annoyance with pain in my left heel. It sometimes acts like plantar fascitis and sometimes in the totally wrong location for PF. So, I\’ve been cutting back on weekday mileage as it was on concrete, as hard a surface as man has invented.
In mid-February, after visiting doctors and having an MRI, the verdict on the knee was ACL strain which was pretty much over with. I began to increase my weekend mileage. Then one day this banner went up along NASA Blvd. I saw it as I was driving to the park for a weekend long run.
I felt tears well up as I knew that I could do this race.
Packet pickup happens. I got swag:
Here is a picture of some birds which is in Meador Park.
The peace of God is shining in me now.
Seek not outside yourself as idols fail.
And off I went to my days half marathon. Well, the persistent ultra runner in me wanted to do more than 13.1 miles; so the day included walking both before and after. Saturday\’s half marathon was a huge morale booster for me. As annoying as my leg issues are, I bet half the people in the race have worse ones. I love these Texas races where there are so many walkers and others shuffling along with some sort of half limp. And mixed in with very fast people.
I just kept to a steady pace and finished in 2h35.
Saturday evening, I always listen to A Prairie Home Companion and work out while I listen. This Saturday was no exception. I rode the ex-bike, lifted weights, did core and rode the elliptical. That persistent ultra mentality thinks I need to keep going so when 12 hour race day comes along, I\’m able to keep going for the required period of time.
I feel the love of God within me now.
The world of love has been revealed to me.
Come unto God with wholly empty hands.
These are powerful thoughts. Plenty of food for hours of walking and jogging.
Day 2, Sunday:
I wake up before the alarm and get up too. I\’m not feeling any worse for the wear of Saturday.
On Sunday, marathon walkers start at 5:30, marathon runners at 7:15 and half marathon at 7:30. This is pretty cool. Once again, all shapes and sizes are on course and I see many people from yesterday. We know each other as brothers and sisters. Knowing looks are exchanged and some nodded acknowledgments.
the imaginary inner ultra runner is once again affecting my behavior as I walk 2.5 miles before the race starts. During my walk, I visited one porta, one real bathroom and one bush.
And then the race starts. I begin my steady jog. Nothing too memorable to say. It is a bit hotter than yesterday. I take some extra water beyond what I am carrying in my fuel belt. I make one pit stop. I wonder why the previous occupant would leave a piece of crap on the seat. Oh well.
My name is on my bib. People shout out, \”Go Laura,\” and \”Good job Laura.\” I begin to wonder, who is Laura. I mean, I realize that I don\’t think about being Laura very often. Who is Laura? What do I stand for? Who am I? I am this idea. My life is carrying out the idea. If I had stayed in the convent, I\’d not be in Texas. I\’d not be carrying out the idea of long distance running.
And I do love running.
During the last couple of miles, I do start to feel tired. By that time, I\’ve already been 14 miles. I think about how this weekend has truly been about drinking the dregs of my humanity. I know I\’ve sucked the life out of me; and I have an abundance of life to empty.
I finish a bit slower than yesterday; but my left heel doesn\’t hurt as bad. I collect my medals for a second half and the two day Pelican challenge. And then I am walking to the car.
It is still before noon. Who knows if another workout will occur today.