Do you take the shot?
The pressure is on, the clock is running down, the ball is in your hands. Would you rather be the one to take the shot or pass to someone else?
I’d always rather take the shot.
That doesn’t mean I always make the shot. In September I attempted to run the Hocking Hills 40K and was humbled by my first DNF. But I would rather try and fail than not try at all.
Over the last several months I have been training for the 1 Day for the KIA, 12 hour run on April 8. I ran 150-ish miles in December and January. In February I developed “Popping Hip Syndrome,” I went three weeks without running at all, and since then have run slow and labored. On Thursday I limped three miles around the neighborhood and could mot move faster than over 13 minutes per mile.
I contemplated not running in the Seamus O’Possum 30K today. If I struggled on the flat streets in our neighborhood, how would I do on the mud trails and hills of Delaware State Park? Friday I felt a bit better and did as much stretching as I could.
I figured I would give it a shot. I could always opt out for the 10 mile option, and the 30K course had a 16 minute per mile cutoff and I could walk that.
So I showed up not knowing what to expect.
In fact, I started at the very back of the pack, with low expectations. Immediately, I started moving through the crowd. Within about four miles, I knew this was going to be a good day. I moved in ways I hadn’t moved in almost six weeks. Perhaps it was the stretching, the soft ground, or the Irish music I was listening to. Maybe it was the gift of being back on trails and among the nature, which I love. Maybe it was all of it.
No matter what it was, everything came together. Through the woods and the mud and the cold and the mist, I had one of the best races I’ve ever had.
I did not go home with a trophy, like I did last year. But I averaged 12 and a half minute miles on a challenging course. I ran stronger than I could’ve imagined and gained confidence for the April run.
Maybe the luck of the Irish shined upon me. Whatever it was, I am grateful and it felt great to move freely again.
I am so glad I took the shot. Taking the chance made all the difference.