Last night I ran my first ever night trail run! Every time I race feel so invigorated and ready to sign up for 10 more races!
I almost didn’t make it to the race.
With my mom out of town at a retreat I had the added responsibility of doing the regular grocery shopping in addition to my usual Costco run. My poor car. I started and stopped little Beatriz more times than I can count. I left school, stopped at Costco, stopped at my dad’s to drop off his milk and my recycling, stopped at Publix, stopped back at Dad’s to get the forgotten empty recycling bin, stopped at the library and then stopped. My car still sits at the library.
I came back out from the library with my book, stuck the key in the ignition and turned. Click, click click. No start. One more time. More of the same. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had groceries in the back seat including milk, yogurt and sorbetto. I had approximately an hour to get those groceries unloaded and put away as well as getting changed and ready for the race. I had to drive 20 minutes to get to the state park. Of course in the back of my mind the cost of getting my little Beatriz fixed haunted my thoughts along with the knowledge that I had just gotten paid.
Now, since this entry is about the race I will skim over the details of how, thankfully, my dad came to my rescue and not only got me home but also got me to the race. While I don’t know what is going to happen to my car I’m thankful that this happened because I got to spend pre and post race with my dad. Great fun!
We arrived 45 minutes early. I hated arriving that early but I had no idea if there would be parking or not. 45 minutes is a long time to wait and have the anticipation build in my gut. Dad distracted me for most of the wait by talking politics with me. (Something I can easily get sidetracked with.)
Then the time arrived to line up, secure my headlamp and wait for the starting whistle along with several hundred other people. Dad has a lovely picture of me waiting with the headlamp. It’s a good thing no one can see in the dark because in my opinion the headlamp looks pretty dorky, especially on me.
The first 600 meters we ran on the park road, not trail. It was hard to move up or make passes because everyone clumped together so much. Once we entered the trail however it because single-track with very few chances for passing. I made a few however. Looking back though I wish I had pushed myself faster.
A little while later (I can’t remember the distance) we left the trail and ran approximately .75 mile on the park road. I made quite a few passes there but didn’t push myself very hard. I had no idea what awaited. I didn’t want to get to the end and run out of steam.
The last 1.25 (approximately) miles of the race were back on the trail. Wow. God spoke to me so much then. Running on that trail with no lighting apart from my headlamp focused my attention on the 5 steps ahead of me. I couldn’t look behind me. I couldn’t see to either side. I couldn’t run with my head up as far as I normally do because then I couldn’t see the ground right in front of me.
That is my life. I can look behind me but it’s not a good idea. I’m much more likely to trip and fall when I do. The same goes for looking to either side. If I try to see too far ahead I will miss what’s right in front of me. To run my best race I had to think about the steps as I took them and perhaps the next 2 or 3.
I would also likely God to my headlamp. God shows me all that I need to succeed in life, just like my headlamp illuminated just enough of the path to keep me on my feet as I ran on the trail. God could show me more of my future or other possibilities but He does not. Just like I could have used my headlamp to look to either side or ahead. In His wisdom though He hides everything not essential for spiritual race.
Of course, every illustration breaks down but as I ran on that trail almost all I thought about was how God used the race I almost didn’t even run to show me yet again how he works in my life and just how much I need to trust him as I take the next steps in my life journey.
The race results? All I have right now are unofficial. When I ran across the finish line I know I finished 28:50something. Dad said that he thinks I finished in the top 15 women. Other than that I have no idea.
I can’t wait for my next race! Just as much, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next.!