It was just before 8 a.m. My Garmin was strapped to my wrist, beeping that the battery was low and would I please hit the “enter” button to acknowledge that it told me it was running low. My running gear was set and I had warmed up with a 20-minute kayak tour and fueled with a Luna bar an Honey Stinger Waffle. Oh yes. I was ready. Bring it on. I took off down the road, taking care to note the beautiful blue sky and listen to the crunch of the gravel beneath my feet. Off for my run, I was starting to feel strong again. Finally. After that Musselman race sapped so much of my energy and my last long run put a small dent into my confidence.
But I felt a smooth, easy pace emerge as I ran up the first hill. My stride and rhythm had returned. My speed was slowly inching back toward my pervious easy pace, but I took care not to care. My mind wandered to my friend, Hitch, who finished his first Ironman in Lake Placid last weekend. The emotional recovery was rough going for him this week as he failed to accomplish his big goals. He learned a lot, but was struggling to put it all together. I get it. There have been times when people have been “impressed” at something I do or something I’ve accomplished and the praise lands on me awkwardly, because it doesn’t feel all that special to me. What Hitch did is special. I know, there’s a “yeah, but …” coming from him after that statement. Been there. I still go there go quite often. I spent the first mile of my run hoping to find some sort of inspiration or solace to offer him. But all I felt was the groove of my run. Wisdom wasn’t making a cameo appearance. Sorry Hitch.
Before my run I went to Running Ahead and mapped out my route (a) because I’m in an unfamiliar place and (b) because my Garmin was screaming “low battery” and I forgot to pack my charger. Today’s training was a 10K run and I wanted to make sure I got it all in, relying on forethought instead of gadgets. I had the 3.1-mile route planned out and once hit my turnaround, I decided that I was running my own race: The Amy Moritz Vacation 10K. I would work hard the next 3.1 miles but already knew the outcome. I would finish first overall. Rock on.
About 4.7-miles into the run, my Garmin shut off. (The low battery warning isn’t just my Garmin whining.) Whew was I glad I not only had planned the route but had stuck with the plan, instead of deviating onto a side road or adding a loop in a cul-de-sac. There would be no finishing time. No average pace. Perfect. This was the best 10K ever! Part of me wished I had the technological feedback because I felt strong and fast in that last mile and a half. I bet it was my best pace in weeks! But that’s OK. Because the important thing is how I felt.
As I passed by my starting point, I raised my fists in the air in a motion of triumph. I had won the Amy Vacation 10K. Sure I might have been the only participant and lacked an actual race time. But I still had to show up and I still had to finish. Instead of a medal or trophy, I rewarded myself with a night out with friends, including eating dinner in the haunted room of The Sun Tavern and getting gourmet Danish ice cream at a place called FarFars in Duxbury, Mass., though I have no idea what makes the ice cream “Danish.” I still wish I had received some wisdom or perspective to share with Hitch. All I could come up with is that the universe has different plans for him, plans which don’t include racing Kona this year, but likely contain something incredibly spectacular. The good news is we don’t have to figure it all out now. We just have to dwell in possibilities.