Welcome to another edition of Just Run!
In case you missed the previous editions, here you go:
After last month’s depressing tales of our worst race ever, we decided to raise everyone up with stories of our best race ever.
My best race ever had nothing to do with the finishing time on the clock. (I was quite slower than I thought I’d be). It wasn’t because I ran a perfectly executed race plan. (What race plan? I forgot I was racing a few times along the course!) It wasn’t because my training for the race was on point. (My training was a mess). In fact, if I looked at all of that, you would say it was an absolutely horrible day.
So why was it my best race ever?
Back in 2016, Mount Washington was the first race I ran in 14 months. It was the first race after my worst race ever and DNF at Boston. I had to deal with months of injury rehab, no running, and not to mention the emotional roller coaster that goes along with that. I was so afraid to run a race again for fear of getting injured and not being able to run my pre-injury paces.
When I entered the Mount Washington lottery in February of that year, on a whim, I never thought I’d get in. The chances were slim to none! But then I got in and was scared out of my mind. Doubt crept in like crazy. Should I train for race this intense when I’d only been back to running for less than 5 months? Will I get hurt again? How am I going to finish an all uphill race when I get injured running on flat ground?
My training for Mount Washington was marred with a cranky piriformis, a niggle in my quad and an L4/L5 that hated me for almost half of the 12 weeks of training. Once I got all of those things calmed down and was feeling strong and confident, I rolled my ankle 6 days before the race and didn’t run a step up until race day. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. So much for my confidence. If you looked at all of that, you’d be surprised I even made it to the starting line.
But I made it. I felt strong for the majority of the race even if I wasn’t running the pace that I thought I would. I soaked up the race environment. I enjoyed the scenery. I worked hard and pushed my body to do things it hadn’t done in months. Surprisingly, my body responded well. It remembered it could do hard things. It remembered that it wasn’t fragile and easily broken.
Mount Washington was just what I needed to get that feel good running feeling again. It wasn’t an easy race by any means. It still is the hardest race I’ve ever done, but it was exactly what I needed to make me feel strong, confident and ready to dream big.
If you want to feel on top of the world, I highly suggest running a mountain race that does, indeed, finish on top of the world.
Sometimes, it’s not all about the numbers.
Ready for more feel good best race ever recaps? Check out what my friends are sharing.
What was your best race ever?