It rained on Thursday. And with that rain, our crawlspace flooded for the third time in as many weeks. I was totally frustrated and fed up and ready to quit. As we worked to clean out as much of the water as we could between storms, I started to seriously consider withdrawing from the race. But then I thought more about it - a day on the trails might be just what I needed to clear my head and relieve some of my stress. So I decided to give it a go.
Friday morning, I'm laying in bed waiting for the alarm to go off before I get up, and I'm sure I hear rain on the roof. Rain that could possibly be re-flooding the crawlspace. Rain that would definitely be muddy-ing up the trails. Once again, the idea of withdrawing reared it's ugly head. Turns out it was just the sound of the fan in the hallway and not rain, but I still thought about withdrawing. I'm slow enough right now when it's dry - the thought of how much mud and slippery trails would slow me down even more was just downright depressing. Again, I gave it some thought and the stress-relieving, head clearing positive aspects of a day on the trails (even wet, muddy ones) won and I talked myself into running anyway.
It's now Saturday morning and the big question of the day is "to run or not to run?" For some, it's a silly question. Most race days, for me, it's a no brainer. But this one, this morning, was different. I didn't wake up all excited and pumped to get to the race. Ordinary race days I hop out of bed and get dressed in a flash and I'm ready to leave early. This race day, I dawdled; I procrastinated. I started putting on my race outfit, thinking that if I could just get dressed, I might feel more like running. Nope. Not even my lovely, fun, inspiring, green sparkle skirt could shake my "don't want to run today" blues.
There was a small part of me that wanted to run. But unfortunately, that part of me wasn't strong enough to beat the part of me that didn't want to run. It couldn't overcome the fear of slipping in the mud, sliding down one of the steep sections of trail and breaking some bone on one of the big rocks. It couldn't overcome the major feeling of unpreparedness that comes from the lack of motivation to train that's been plaguing me all spring. It couldn't overcome the mental hole I've fallen into the past week or so.
Running is a mental game. If my head were in the right place, I could overcome all of that and run this race anyway. But today, it's not. It's feeling too many doubts. And the Dirty Dog is not a race to run when you're doubtful. It's too hard of a course to not take seriously; you can't just wing it. You have to be all there; you have to go all the way and give it all you've got and then some. And today I just don't have it to give.