I began thinking about how my life has changed since I've been running trails and more specifically longer ultra distances and/or training runs geared for an ultra distance. I was and am a tomboy growing up and always had my hands (feet?) in sports. I grew up in a neighborhood of 10 older boys and zero girls. If I wanted to stay I had to play and play hard. I am proud that I don't know what the most popular nail polish color is (I pick a color dark enough to cover my damaged running toe nails, enough said) or what trendy shoe is all the rage (my closet has road shoes, trail shoes and recovery shoes that's it). Instead, I am known as the "running friend" or in some blog circles "runner girl" (quickly changed to trailmomma) and I am okay with that. My little Peanut looks at my race medals and says "momma run!" That makes me proud and sometimes a little sad.
Of course training for such distances requires time. Lots of time. Never before did I think I would be spending 7+ hours (like last weekend) out on a trail away from my family. Even more importantly, never before did I think I would be spending 7+ hours away from my family and have my family still support me, love me and encourage me. I am truly lucky.
Never before did I imagine that on Friday nights I would be packing ziploc baggies and tissues just in case "nature calls" while I am out in nature the following day. I get paranoid if I don't do this. Last weekend, Pigeon noticed that my "tissues" are in fact little Kleenex packages with honey bees on them. I am superstitious. They have been my lucky tissue package since day one.
Never before did I think I would be avoiding my Friday night glass of red wine! Don't worry, I only moved it to Saturday evening and switched it from a glass to a bottle.
Never before did I think I would meet so many wonderfully inspiring teammates! This team has been training together since the middle of December. We have seen each others ups and downs, highs and lows. We have lost some, as in physically, lost some members out on the trail. Don't worry, we eventually find them (thanks to our awesome coahes). We joke and laugh with each other (usually about being lost) and I think some really good friendships have blossomed among the group.
Never before did I think I would actually see a mountain lion. To be clear, I have not technically seen one but to have been within 10 minutes of another runner seeing one . . . that is about as close to one as I would like to get thank you very much.
Never before did I think I would be watching as many JayZ videos on youtube . . . thank you Coach Nikon.
Never before did I know the correct definition of manscaping . . . again, thank you Coach Nikon.
Never before did I think I would be slathering on poison oak preventative cream before every run and following it with poison oak post run cream after every run . . . only to actually end up getting poison oak in various locations one of which I have learned today is my right eye. Lovely.
Never before did I think I would be running in giant monsoons of rain and through puddles that reach my knees.
Never before did I think I would enjoy the above so much.
Never before did I think my little blog would be read by people with so many different backgrounds, hobbies and interests. I started this for my family and now it is my family. The comments on my last post really lifted my spirits and my attitude. I can't thank everyone enough for that.
And finally, never before did I think I would be training for the American River 50 miler. I am looking forward to the race, the aid-stations, the finish and the adrenaline.
What did you think you would "never do" before you started trail running or just running in general?
My Peanut. My biggest fan.