“Empathy is the faculty to resonate with the feelings of others. When we meet someone who is joyful, we smile. When we witness someone in pain, we suffer in resonance with his or her suffering.”
A Difficult Day at Lake Perry Dedicated to an Even More Difficult Subject
This is not only a race report because I dedicated this race to anyone who is suffering from or who loves someone who suffers from mental illness. Especially anyone who found this battle unbearable and did not get the help they needed in time; that hurt themselves or even worse took their own life. If you are suffering please seek out help and if you see warning signs in someone suffering from depression or other forms of mental illness, please step up and help them carry the load until they are able to get things under control. Don’t let someone that you care about take irreversible actions to solve a problem that might only seem unmanageable at the moment. Whether we realize it or not we are all connected and everything we do affects someone else, directly or indirectly. Don’t let suicide become a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I have included links to get information, seek help or get involved if you wish to.
|Front of Shirt|
|Back of shirt|
Friday night I was not feeling great but I went ahead with what has become my go to pre-race meal of baked potato soup in a bread bowl. Saturday my alarm wakes me at 3:30 a.m. to let me know it is time to get ready to head out to
for the half marathon. This is nerve wracking and exciting because today is a
preview to the trails I will be on in October for my first and maybe only 50K. I have laid out
everything I need and start off with some oatmeal and coffee after getting
dressed. Then pace around nervously while I try to loosen up some tight muscles
until it is time to go. Let me clear something up for those who do not know me;
I use the term “race” loosely because with me it is a social event and the only
things I compete against are myself and the thought telling me I don’t belong here
doing this. I drive the sixty plus miles to where the race is being held with
the top down on my Jeep and arrive early as usual. The temperature is in the mid
fifties for the ride out but they are calling for it to warm up quickly. I have
seen pictures of these trails but I have never been out here before; I would
soon learn that it is much more rocky and hilly than I had previously thought. Lake Perry
|awaiting the start|
I hear Ben, the RD call out ten minutes to race time so I wander to the start flags where I see Steve and we head to the back of the group congregating at the start line. I finished right behind Steve a few weeks ago so I am guessing we will be running a good part of this together. Once we got going and turned onto the trail I was moving pretty well and knew it was going to be a long day but feeling okay. A group of us stayed together for a couple of miles and then some moved up and some moved back while a few people passed our group. About three miles in I came up on a couple and the girl looked like she just took a spill so I stopped to see if they needed any help. She said she was hurting but they would figure something out and I should keep going, I asked if she was sure, then went on. Steve said he was going to back off a little because the pace was a little too much, he joked about his tortoise pace which ended up working well for him. I was pulling away on the flats and down hills and he was catching me on the inclines almost every time. We came to the manned aid station which was listed as being at mile 6; I looked at my watch and thought we were doing quite well. As we got back on the trail I asked Steve (who was wearing a GPS) if that was 6 and he said, no it was just less than 5. Well that took a little wind out of my sails. I decide to keep pushing myself when I could and walk the hills if I need to which worked for a while. A few times during the morning I was running with a girl who said she ran some track and on the roads but this was her first trail run. I shared some things I thought might help her along the course, I hope some of it helped her.
|On the trail|
|Best view of the day (except the finish line)|
The most peaceful part of the morning was going along the lake and hearing the waves splashing against the bank. I really wanted to run down the hill and jump in but I kept going. This feels like the longest half marathon I have ever done (I did hear it was 13.5 miles by the way) and certainly we have GOT to be getting close when I turn a corner and see Rick from Mile90 photography (race photos are courtesy of http://mile90.smugmug.com/ ) He says “only a couple miles left from what I can tell.” I looked at him and said “you have got to be sh***ing me? This thing is never going to end.” He says “you are doing great!” I appreciate the thought but move on thinking that this half must be 15 miles.
Are you Sh***ing me?
This is the longest @$#% half ever!
At an unmanned water station I come across a guy from
Carolina who is cramping really badly. We passed each
other a couple of times until I caught up with him and he was leaning on a tree
suffering from bad leg cramps. I gave him my last electrolyte tablet to drop in
his water bottle since I had an extra and I went ahead after he said he would
be okay. My water bottle is about empty again and finally I can hear people
talking. As I come out on the road a lady says just up that hill and you are
there. I didn't look up the hill I asked how far because of needing water. She
very kindly says "really just up that hill and you are done" and she patted me on
the shoulder. I turned and saw the flags from the start and knew that the
finish would be right around the corner. Another eighth of a mile or so, thank
God because I was more than ready to be done. Once I got through the finish
line and got my medal I wandered into the building and there was food around the corner which I took
advantage of and was very happy to see some chairs. I hung out for a little bit
and visited with people enjoying being still. Then of course came the challenge
of getting back up out of the chair; not pretty but I was on my feet again. On
my way to my car I thank Ben and Coco who run all the Trail
Nerds events and I strongly suggest if you are ever around the Kansas
City/Lawrence, KS area that you check out one of their races. It is a great
group of people and some of the best run events I have seen. Check them out at http://www.psychowyco.com/ and let’s go
hit the trails!
If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals.