Yes, I’m still pregnant (39 weeks) and yes, I am still running. It’s just taking me a lot longer to cover the distance. So of course, this means I have lots of time to think and reflect on those trails. I ran 6 miles on Sunday to my favorite meadow and baby seems pretty content in there for a while longer, but as I tend to be impatient, I found some reflection points that I hope to come back to even when I am not pregnant:
“God has to nearly kill us sometimes, to teach us lessons.”
― John Muir
If you’ve ever been 10 miles away from a 100 mile finish, you know what I’m talking about. You hurt, you breathe a bit harder, you almost wish away those miles because you feel the finish line and therefore, the end of the suffering. It’s hard to stay in the moment. But you also know, those last 10 miles are where the work is done- not so much the physical work, cause let’s face it, your body is cooked, but this is where the mental work, the soul revealing, this is-who-I- am moments lie in your race. These are the moments you think about forever. What do you have left?
As I sit here, likely still a few days (or even longer) away from giving birth, it seems so easy to wish away these last days- to want to hold my baby, to want to run for hours and hours on the trail, to get rid of the constant heartburn, achy hips, large belly and all the other ailments I could sit and focus on. But instead, I find myself having acknowledged all these things, wanting to let myself be okay savoring the uncomfortable feeling for a bit longer. I have talked about this before, but running a 100 miles is akin in some ways to being pregnant. But more than ever, I have found this pregnancy a real lesson in ultra running patience that I hope to think about when I am hurting in my next race.
Things I will think about over the next few days and in my next 100 miler:
1. Find a spiritual focus and tap into it throughout.
2. You will suffer and you will get to the end of it.
3. Flow, don’t fight.
4. Go inward when you need to and likewise, use the energy around you to help give you power.
5. Smile, even when you hurt
6. Make your plan and then get ready to ditch it
7. Have a mantra and repeat it
8. The things that hurt are the things that make memories
9. Be grateful, always.
10. They don’t call it labor for nuthin… nor is ultrarunning supposed to be easy.