After a particularly hard run this last Tuesday I sat down with my computer and started writing a post titled Everyday Is A Struggle. I talked about how hard it was running out here because I wasn't used to the altitude and how on every run I felt like new runner again, with my lungs burning and my legs just not wanting to turn over. I wrote about not only how every run was a struggle but about how every thing in general was a struggle due to missing friends and family more than I ever thought possible. After a while in front of the computer I had wrote what was on my mind but I just didn't feel like the words where there the way I thought they should be, so I closed my lap top and went to bed with full intentions of revisiting the writing Wednesday and posting it. But then things changed.
I was at the Denver office all day Wednesday so I got back to The Springs just in time to change, eat a snack and get over the The Boulder Running Company for a 5:30 group trail run I had heard about. This would be only the second time since I have been here that I've ran with other people. All my other runs have been spent solo on the trails behind my apartment and my thoughts have always went to how hard this was and wondering if I made the right decision in moving here. I needed a run with other people, and I needed it BAD! I'm a very introverted person but with a week and a half of alone time under my belt some social interaction was in order.
I was a little concerned that I would not be able to keep up with anyone since any time the trail starts going up my heart rate decides it should do the same and begins beating out of my temples! The first couple of miles were pretty easy with some time spent on the road getting to the trail head but my I was still struggling slightly to get into a rhythm with my breathing. We hit the trail dropping into single file with me right behind the lead guy and three other people right behind me. I spent the majority of the next mile following him step for step, if he picked it up I picked it up. I didn't want to be the reason the three behind me had to slow down! My breathing was a bit labored and I just kept thinking to myself, "I don't know how long I can keep this up!" Then I glanced over my shoulder expecting to see the other three right on my heels, but to my surprise we were pulling ahead of them!
As the lead guy picked it up a bit more I decided to stop at the top of the climb and fall in with the other three. I didn't want to do anything stupid with the 100 next weekend and I really didn't know exactly where we were going since this was a new part of the trail for me. The others crested the climb and I said "I don't know where I'm going! I'm gonna stay back with you guys!" With a bit of a chuckle I fell in behind them and off we went. A couple of the guys asked me if I had a Marathon in May after we discussed what was on our schedules for that night. After I told them I had a 100 next weekend the conversation picked up, with questions from them about how long it would take and so on. The girl we were running with just kept quite as she is an ultra runner herself.
Before I knew it we were about 4 mile in and my lungs WEREN'T screaming! We were going down the trail at a decent clip and I was keeping up! I was pleasantly surprised! After that first loop the two guys peeled off and the lead guy from earlier, Jen and I went out for another loop. We all chatted about what our race plans were for the summer., both of them were looking at some 100K's that sound fun, so I listened and put in the back of my mind races to look into after the 100!
We finished our second loop and hit the road for a short jaunt back to the store. Once we got back I decided to run it out to 9 for the night. I said my good byes and accepted the good lucks and set off for the last bit of my run on a great high! I finished up and drove home and felt great. I had just had one of the best runs since I had been here! I didn't set any records with my mid 9 min/mile pace, but I felt strong! I had just kept up with two local ultra runners! It doesn't sound like much but it was a big deal for me. I feel like it may have been the turning point in my running out here. Since Wednesday night I've had two other great runs and I feel like I'm adapting to the altitude a bit more every day. I'm still a long way from being completely acclimated but I'm confident that with in the next few months I'll be running strong again like I was back home. Just in time to start going higher into the mountains!
So all in all maybe the reason the words just didn't seem right Tuesday night was because they weren't 100% true. Don't get me wrong, it is still a struggle every day to realize that I'm a 1000 miles away from the people that are most important me. Its tough to accept the fact that I wont see any of you on a daily or monthly basis like I'm accustomed but maybe I just needed some human interaction while doing what I'm most passionate about to realize everything will work out in time, and everything will be exactly how it is meant to be.