You all know I’m religious to an extent, raised Catholic in a Portuguese/Dutch family full of people who are hard headed and sturdy in their faith. I’ve always believed in God, but until my world changed drastically two years ago, I didn’t know if God was really listening. I know now that he is listening. He is listening loud and clear and keeps sending me the signs that I am on the correct path and headed right where he intends me to be.
I’m 19 days out from the Way Too Cool 50K (31 miles) on March 8, 2014. This is one of my favorite races, beautiful course, awesome volunteers and an overall amazing experience. I can’t wait to go out there and try to PR on this course after my 7:07 finish last year (hoping to break 7 hours this year). Yesterday was our 23 mile run in preparation for the race. I was running “solo” without two of my awesome running partners for the first time in a long time. I was a bit apprehensive about it but decided that I would just go for it and leave it all out on the course. So I started and the first 2 miles were AMAZING! I was flying down “roller coaster” feeling amazing, until the side cramp hit. What? What is this? I walked for a bit, stretched, drank a bunch of water, took some more electrolytes and tried to get moving again, but I couldn’t run the downhills. I was in so much pain in my deep abdominal muscles that I couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t let up. Being a massage therapist, I started doing some therapy on myself to try and loosen it up so I wouldn’t hurt so bad and could get running. No dice. It wouldn’t work. I could only run the flats and uphills but not the downs because you engage your abs so much. I spent the next 16 miles trying to get my abdominals right. It was very frustrating and painful as my entire body was tensing up due to the pain and discomfort I was fighting. Even in the pain I was only moving at about 2 minutes slower than I normally do so it could have been much worse.
Finally around mile 16 I got relief. Something had worked right, pressure point/massage work, food, water, who knows but it got better and I could kick it into high gear. This is also when I first saw the clouds part, the sun come out and felt the warmth on my face. I stopped, let out a sigh of relief and turned my face to the sky for a moment to just take in the beauty around me and feel the warmth of the sun. God was there with me as He had been in the whole run, but he was calming my fears, relaxing my emotions and reminding me that things happen for a reason. I can’t have amazing running experiences all the time, you have to have some bad ones to make you appreciate the good ones. The remaining 5 miles of the run were wonderful. I did have a bit of discomfort in my abdominals because they were so exhausted from fighting the true pain I was in earlier in the day, but I was able to finish at my normal pace and only 11 minutes off my goal time for the workout.
God works in mysterious ways. He challenges us with situations we think are right but shows us the way when they are not. He puts people in our life who make us happy and help us realize our true selves and keeps us on a path to where we should be. Two years ago my life was on a different path entirely and I can say that now my life is EXACTLY where it should be. 2014 is turning out to be my best year. I’m blessed with friends, family, co-workers and a dual-career I love so much. I’m also meeting new people left and right who are making my life more magical than I ever expected they could. Years ago I was a giving, loving, caring woman who put those around her first. Two years ago after some drastic changes in my life, I became very jaded and put myself before everyone else. I wanted to be selfish, so I was. That was never me, however, it was just my coping mechanism for all I had gone through. But, I have missed the old me and when 2014 started, I knew I was on the path back there. Then on my birthday God put someone in my life who has made me realize that I still am the giving, loving, caring woman I have always been, I just had to come back out into the world. This person in particular has brought me back to the woman I was years and years ago. He makes me realize I can give everything I have and be so happy when I do. I tell him every day how amazing he is and constantly thank him for changing my life for the better. Thank you MW.
God’s classroom of silence is ever welcoming to those who will listen. I’m putting my faith in God these days with running, relationships and life in general. With all the goodness in my life right now, he obviously knows what he is doing. 19 days from Way Too Cool. I’m ready. Bring it.