Then it hits me. Last Monday morning, my alarm was set at 3 a.m. so I could wake up by 3:14 a.m. for my race. I never turned it off.
It was just Monday--although it feels like so long ago--that I was racing my 10k, which is the second one I've ever done. This year was much better than last. Right now I'm so tired and brain dead that I can't remember what it feels like to be energetic and ready to pound out 6.1 miles, but earlier this week I'm sure I felt that way.
The race was fantastic for me, I finished in 52 something and was 18th in my age division. 18 is my lucky number, after all. It was hard, too. Hard and glorious.
I ran with Adriana most of the way, but she sprinted ahead during the last half mile. She pulled out at a 51 something. We were in disbelief when together we passed mile three, and according to her watch, it was faster than the fastest 5k we've ever done. The race is mostly down hill, but we still felt proud of ourselves.
Lindsey did her usual quickness. She did a 45 something. Super awesome.
Our parents didn't come down to SLC to watch us race, but that's OK. It was a great way to start the week that was to be long and stressful. They had a lot of things to do.
It's over, though. This long week of rehearsals and Chrony are finished. These wee hours are Friday, and Friday means freedom for a few short hours. Then it's back to work. I can do this. It's like the last mile of the race. Every bone and muscle in your body is screaming and sobbing and all you can do is focus on every minute aspect of your stride. You know your face is awful and red and all the people on the side of the road who are watching you are probably really glad they're not you because you look so ghastly and agonizingly winded.
But you run anyway, and push your body and find there is strength untapped in reservoirs deep within your will to survive. The pain is to be embraced, taken in and basked in.
Now I just have to gear up for the weekend. Which I expect to be equally as grueling as the days before.