But my thoughts are on tomorrow.
This all-day rain is turning the trails into a muddy, sloppy mess. The trails will be tougher to navigate, the rocks slippery and dangerous. Our feet will be soaked for most of the race. Plus, the weather forecast calls for a cold start, near freezing.
I have a baby, don't I have an excuse to skip out on this race, just this once? I know how nice and warm and cozy the house will feel tomorrow, how sweet the baby will be as I snuggle with her. Yes, sometimes the juxtaposition of tough trail runner and new mom hits me hard. The contrast is so stark.
However, I know myself. I know I will wake up and follow the plan I've made to get myself out of the door and away from her. I will dig deep and do what's uncomfortable tomorrow FOR her. I will do it so she knows one day, she can do something that challenges her too. She will know she doesn't have to take the easy road.
I began my Mountain Mist journey 13 years ago and hope to achieve the high honor of 10 finishes next year. I was 25 years old then, a young little thing and really free too. I was at Auburn earning my Master's degree, not even married yet! Through many changes in my life, this race remains a constant. Tomorrow will mark the 11th time I've toed the start line of Mountain Mist (yes, I started it twice while pregnant). It will hopefully mark my 9th finish. I've gone through having 3 babies in that time, one only 7 months ago. I can't expect this body to do the same thing it did at age 25, can I?
I know this. I won't have an amazing time tomorrow. That's okay. I will DO SOMETHING. I will not sit in my bathrobe as I have countless days since the baby's birth. I will not give in to what is easiest.
Here is a quote I really like that speaks to doing something challenging.
"Did you not call this a glorious expedition? And wherefore was it glorious? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terror; because at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth and your courage exhibited; because danger and death surrounded it, and these you were to brave and overcome. For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourable undertaking."
--Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
I hope that tomorrow will not be smooth and placid. Bring on the rain and mud and cold. I can't wait for my fortitude to be called forth. I want to do something that requires me to be courageous and brave. So, good-bye Baby for the longest time I've left you yet. Hello to adventure and to showing my kids what to do when they meet something tough.