Wednesday, November 5, 2014


"Always worth it if only to realize
Not always perfect but somehow deserving of time"
~ Sarah Blasko, 'Always Worth It'

This past Saturday it started raining around 9:30am; just as my high school runners were loading the bus for their xc meet.  From that point on, the rain never stopped.  It misted, it poured and everything in between.  It was windy and cold, too.  Good times.  Our first race was at 12:55pm.  We arrived in Wrenthem, MA at 10:30am.  And then we waited.  Fortunately, our bus driver decided to stick around (bless her), so those who weren't yet racing could stay dry on the bus.  Around 12:00, the first crew of racers, my sophomore team, headed out to warm up.  Within minutes, they were soaked. And, by the time they got to the starting line, they were both soaked and freezing.  I'm all about being tough, but this was brutal and I felt really bad for them.  There were three different races throughout the day and as each group and I huddled up right before the start I told them all the same thing:
~ embrace the weather
~ dig deep
~ have fun
~ remember that anything is possible
Basically, I wanted to emphasize that they were in the same boat as all the other runners on the line, that they could still have a great race despite the weather and that as hard as things seemed at the moment, they could still have fun out there.  They stood on the line, freezing, shaking, laughing, and (in some cases) border-line crying.  And then they ran their hearts out.  All of them.  Some of them  even had the best race of their season; rain and mud be damned.  The whole experience was epic for all of us in many ways.  On the bus ride home, as we wrung out our clothes and tried to dry out, I told them how incredibly proud of them I was.  I also told them that although they were totally badass for gritting it out, it would definitely not be the last time they had to run in crappy conditions and that each time they fought through it, they would be better runners because of it.

Translation: Head this way if you're nuts

And then it was Sunday.  I was signed up to run the Genesis Battlegreen 5K in Lexington, where I happen to coach.  Many of the girls on my team were volunteering for the race.  I woke up at 5:30 on account of daylight savings.  By the time I was fully functioning, it was snowing.  No joke.  It was also cold and windy.  On top of that, I was wiped from having run around like a chicken with my head cut off the day before.  As you can imagine, I really, really wanted to bail.  But I knew my runners would never let me forget it if I did and I wasn't going to let that happen.  A couple hours before the race, I got a text from my friend and fellow coach OB, asking me if I was going.  Reluctantly, I texted him back "Yep."  

OB & I were tucked in this crowd....
 attempting to stay warm. Ha!

The snow was in full force at the start of the race.  It was nuts.  I laughed to myself as I tried to recall all the things I had told my runners right before their race the day before:
~ embrace the weather
~ dig deep
~ have fun
~ remember that anything is possible
I put a smile on my face if only just to make myself think that I was having fun.  I did my best to embrace the snow as it spit in my face.  And I sure as hell dug deep, especially on the hills.  There would be no PR.  I knew that heading into it.  But I did give it my all, which was good for the win in the women's category.  And that was pretty cool.  Turns out, despite the madness of the situation,  I had been on to something the day before.  No matter what the situation is, anything truly is possible.  I headed into the gym to dry off and grab some food.  I made a point to find the runners on my team who were still there and let them know 2 things:
First: I could honestly tell them I completely understood what they'd gone through the day before.  I thought they'd appreciate that.
Second: I could honestly tell them that, no matter what, it was almost always going to be worth it.

Post race with OB.  Totally worth it.

Listen to this:
Vagabond - MisterWives  

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