A retrospective: Hood-to-Coast 2010
I am still on a post-run high, a feeling of fatigued elation, having lived through another Hood-to-Coast. For me, this year was unlike other years. I felt drab, heavy, slow after having our little man just eleven months ago. I was upset with my training, or lack thereof. How could I get out for a run - ever! - between naps, going to the supermarket, work, and all the demands of day-to-day life? Training was limited to two runs a week; I didn't feel prepared. Even before I got started, I wanted to give up and cry.
I set out on my first of three run segments, feeling oh-so tentative and even irritated that I hadn't been able to prioritize running. I couldn't blame myself. I couldn't blame my family. Life is busy. What can we do? We had twenty-four mamas running Hood to Coast in the name of urbanMamas this year; I am sure I was not the only one who found it difficult to put the running before the kids, the dinners, the work, and the chores. It was a feat in and of itself to have amassed the mama group group, making sure that we had ample childcare coverage for the 30+ hours away, coordinating feeding/nursing schedules, hauling pumps, pipes, and parts so we could make more food for the littles while gone.
As I got going, putting one foot in front of another, with all the trees of Mt. Hood as our backdrop, my irritation about my lack of training dissipated. It's not about the time. Plop plop thud. I kept pounding the pavement. Up ahead, there were my fellow mamas, screaming, yelling, cheering, jumping up and down, clanking a cowbell. I smiled. Seeing them got me going faster. The energy out there on the route was electric. The spirit in the vans was encouraging. And, once the sun went down and the moon came up, the mood was delirious, kooky, and loopy.
We are all at different levels of our running. Some of us run faster. Some of us run slower. Some of us are more trim that ever. Some of us still have 15 pounds to lose, post-baby. Some of us have teenagers. Some of us have infants. Some of us are single mamas. Some of us are partnered. No matter our situation, training while a mama is hard. The best thing was: for the 30 hours we were all running together, we had each other.
As we crossed the finish line, all sporting our "run MAMA run" shirts, I felt like we accomplished everything that we wanted. It's not about the time, it's not about the pace, it's not about winning. It's all about the effort. It's all about the mamaraderie. It was another Hood to Coast, finished by dozens of mamas, with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you, mamas! See you again next year.