This past Sunday, I ran the Run Dirty 10K trail race at Lemon Lake. When Misty first started this race, I swore I would never run it. For one, I said I would never run a race period. (Look how that turned out!) The most recent excuse was that I didn't want to get hurt, and I didn't think after 4 knee surgeries, this would be a "smart" race for me to run. If I were being honest, I would have just said I was terrified of trail races. The uneven terrain, the tree roots, the holes...so many "obstacles" that could leave me face down in mud puddle or limping across the finish line. I don't know what possessed me to sign up this year, it just kind of seemed like the natural thing to do to support Fleet Feet and the Boys and Girls Club. But as the day grew closer, I became more and more apprehensive and wasn't sure I would even show up.
The bell sounded and I started my first ever trail run. Sometime after mile 4, I remember thinking, "this feels a lot like the last mile of the Indy mini". I was exhausted, my entire body hurt, and I didn't know how my legs were still working. Just as I was about to call it a day and finish the race by walking, I would hear someone yell, "Yeah Dr. B! Way to go!" This happened multiple times throughout the race and I can't begin to describe the kind of "push" it gave me. I would find myself picking up my pace, or dare I say, smiling. I believe I even gave a couple of fist pumps and thumb ups during parts of the race. I have never enjoyed a run more than I did on Sunday. The course was challenging, exciting, at times even a bit scary. I almost bit it twice, I twisted my ankle once, and my legs itched from the drying mud. I will never complain though...that was a race I will never forget. I pushed myself and overcame my fear of trail running. What I learned is that fear is just not knowing what to expect and overcoming fear is probably the most rewarding experience one could ever have. I think I smiled the entire drive home. In fact, I'm smiling just thinking of this race. The Indy Mini was my first race...the race I proved to myself that I can run. Run Dirty is the race that I proved to myself that I could run anything.