This is going to be my worst and best year of running.
My worst year of running: grade ten, after a summer of pneumonia. I first figured out that something wasn’t going according to my teenage summer plans when I was sitting in a theatre coughing non-stop and getting stares of hatred from others.
September: remembering how to use those ridiculous locks (I still hate them, and instead choose locks where you spell out your combo. Yes, I’m that ridiculous myself), figuring out my timetable, figuring out my crush’s timetable (so I could walk down the hallway close to his class or locker or both, again – see above comment about my ridiculousness), and a return to cross-country running club. That fall, my running coaches, Don and Linda Bergstrom, gave me a homemade card. It was on red paper, and reminded me that I was recovering and to trust my body. Their words: you will be fast again. Keep at it. And be kind to yourself.
Keep at it. They were right. My fifteen-year-old self did get fast again.
Keep at it.
I’m no longer a fifteen-year-old and I’ve almost given up on running in many ways. I don’t run often. I’m slow. Not just in comparison to my fifteen-year-old running self, but slow because I know what fast feels like for me. For me.
Me: Carey Rudisill, 39-year-old runner. I’m slow in my own personal terms of running. I live in the Kootenays of BC. I have two dogs, nine laying hens (as of today), one rat, one ten-year-old daughter (who I refer to as The Kid) and a partner who I refer to as The Man.
Over the next eight months, I will write bi-weekly guest blogs for Active Women until I run the Broken Goat, a 25 km mountain trail race, in July 2017. Broken Goat is part of the Pace Trail Series designed and run by P.A.C.E. founder Rene Unser. On the website, the 50 km portion of the race is described as BC’s most rustic ultra.
I wasn’t drunk when I signed up for the Broken Goat 25 km trail race in Rossland, BC. Not even close. In fact, I recruited some friends to run it with me this coming July (note: the 50 km and 25 km portion are sold out, the 12 km still has registration spots).
I ran the Broken Goat 12 km race last year. I ran it to finish, and I did. If you were running behind me in the race, you would have heard me swear. A lot. And, say at the end: never again. I did everything wrong for the race. Everything. I didn’t train enough, and I didn’t eat enough at the station. I bonked. Hard. I finished the race second to last with a time of 2:51. It was a horrible race in many ways. But, I call myself a runner and runners have great, good, okay and also horrible races.
The 12 km started with a vertical ascent up Red Mountain. I didn’t want to do the vertical ascent at the race start again. Ever. (If you read this article and still want to run Broken Goat’s 12km – you are awesome. I did just warn you about the start.) The run was also amazing. Beautiful. The switchbacks. Running trail. The smell of the forest. The soft feel of the ground. The view from the top. All these things make me remember the good stuff. But, the start was straight up. I figured (in my rational thinking) that if I trained and ran the 25km race I wouldn’t have to run the ascent.
I want to write about running with my fifteen-year-old self/running ghost. I want to rub myself with her running mojo, her power in believing in hard work, that things work out.
And, yes I know I’m not that fifteen-year-old. I don’t expect to run her race times. I’d love it if I did. But, I want back that fifteen-year-old spirit who believed what her coaches told her: keep at it. You’ll be okay. You’ll get fast again.
Note: this writing blog will be here every other Friday – see you in two weeks. Comment below because writers love comments. And, if you have any questions put them there too.
For those who like visual images, check out the website for Broken Goat below.