Sunday, April 29, 2012

XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail

Runners are a friendly crew, especially to other runners. We may be crazy in doing what we do, but we take pride in caring for our own. And never have I realized this more than today.

This morning, I competed in the XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail run, and after all that hard work of climbing up and over the mountain, I sprinted perhaps a little too fast down the other side. Right at the 2-mile marker on a hairpin turn, I mis-stepped and sprained my left ankle. Story of my life. Up until then, I was on pace (or so I thought) to win my age group. "Wow, maybe I will actually finish dead last for the first time ever," I thought. I was wrong. Turns out, I wouldn't finish at all. A mile and a half later of limping down the single-track path, I had to be lifted out by the paramedics.

What really amazed me, though, was the camaraderie and caring shown today by my fellow canyon climbers. After I fell, almost every person who passed me slowed to give a slap on the back or words of encouragement. Several even offered to stop their own race and walk with me to get help. The shooting pain in my ankle might have had something to do with it, but their collective gesture moved me to tears.

Yes, it sucks that I'm going to have to rehab for awhile. "Maybe it's a sign," a friend suggests in consolation. "Maybe that race wasn't meant to be." At first, I wondered how it could be possible that I wasn't meant to compete well today, given how prepared I was both physically and mentally. But then, I thought, "maybe it is a sign. I've put in a lot of miles over the past few months, and maybe I do need a breather." In any case, I've gained a renewed appreciation for the sport and for those who participate in the sport, and am ever more excited to get back and fit and ready to race! (Mental note - this one's definitely getting stored in my training arsenal as firepower.)

Philly Marathon, beware. Come November, you're going down.

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