I’m not new to running. I’ve completed marathons and half marathons but I’m fairly new to trail running. I’ve always loved hiking and spending time in the mountains. Last summer, I found a group of fun trail friends and suddenly developed a case of what my friends call FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Against my better judgement, I joined my group on long runs in which they give mileage and altitude guesstimates. That means I might climb one or three peaks in a day and go 15 or maybe 23 miles on the trail. I think it’s good that I didn’t really know what to expect from run to run or I might have stay home in my soft chair curled up with a good book.
A lot of chattering goes on during long training runs and much of it is about all of the trail races my friends have participated in and what they are signing up for next. With my friends encouragement or my bad case of FOMO, I decided to at least try a trail race. I started small with a short 4-5 mile trail race. In the fall, I did my first half marathon. And just like that, those races weren’t enough.
Again, I let my friends convince me that I could do a 25K. I did three training runs on the course at Antelope Island in Utah and by the last training run, I felt ready.
I signed up for the Buffalo Run 25K and tried not to think of myself as a wimp while one of my friends signed up for the 100 miler.
Everything seemed to go smooth until about a week and a half before the race. Suddenly, I found myself with a sore and swollen ankle and a stiff knee. Then I started stressing that I would be the slowest racer and come in last. No lofty goals for me. If I could run more than I walked and not finish last, I would feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
Somehow, I managed to get something a friend said stuck in my head on race day. Something that told me I was lazy every time I walked. I’m pretty sure I interpreted what was said differently than the way it was intended but who cares. It made me mad every time I walked. I managed to run part of the way up hills I had only walked in training.
As I ran across the finish line, I realized I was an hour ahead of what I told my husband and crushed my goal of not taking last. I almost felt a sense of euphoria. While I’m never going to be a speed demon, it is nice to know that I can run and that I’m never too old to try new things. I appreciate the race organizers and sponsors like Altra Running who insure these races happen each year.
In the end, it really wasn’t about the race, it was about the journey. I love the friends I’ve made through trail running. I love that I have developed enough confidence to sign up for future races with my husband. It looks like I’m not going to be cured of my case of FOMO anytime soon. It also looks like I’ve worn through my first two pairs of trail shoes. It’s time to get some more and break them in before the next race. Watch out Trail Tribe, I’m here to stay.
El Vaquero here I come.
Not a sponsored post but does contain affiliate links.