The main challenge I have been facing these past years, has been mojo-related. What do you do when running is no longer the love of your life? What do you do when your diet has gone to hell? What do you do when you get very jealous when you see others running? It's not easy, and I had to go through many different processes. But essentially, there are no shortcuts in running. You get back what you invest in time spent on your feet, and the quality of your diet. The diet I am still tackling. The time spent on my feet is working wonders.
And I had proof of how this is working, yesterday. I have done quite a few races during my mojo meltdown - mostly half marathons. Painful, under-trained, angst-ridden halfs - where I gritted my teeth and got through them. My body felt like it had been to the wars for a week thereafter, but I kept at it. Sunday I ran a 10K and it was with the spirit that I had before. That I would give it my all - even if it killed me.
The 10K was titled "Sharks Fitness Faceoff", and took place down in San Jose. It was baking hot, and when we finally started, I felt like I'd been standing in a sauna. Off we went. My first mile clocked in at 9:26. That was a pretty hectic pace and I need to slow down a bit. I did at mile 4 and walked a bit to recover, and then off again. I ran up all the hills, but it was tough. And I kept passing a bloke with his little girl, who was struggling - a lot. I tried to encourage her, though she never said a word. Then I met another woman all rock-taped up, and we started running together. We encouraged the others who were struggling, and the little girl again. Then we passed a woman with a stroller, and another runner had decided to run with her, and help her push the stroller. So we had a chat with them, and then carried on. At the last quarter mile, I was winded and felt like walking - except that the bloke and his little girl came up behind us, and encouraged us. There was no stopping. He got us through the last bit "no one walks now", he said. The last 200m, was a full on sprint. My ears were ringing, the blood was surging through my head and I felt like dying. Of course I didn't. I finished that race feeling like a queen. It still took me 1:11 minutes - a far cry from the 56 minutes I could once achieve. But I felt like my old self. And I know that I will go under an hour - soon. But yesterday, yesterday was all about why I love running. What I loved about racing. And I discovered I still love it. The cameraderie, the friendship, the sheer awesomeness. The sharing, the kindness, the sense of community. That is why I run.