Running, Fire, Water, and a Race Recap

Actually, this is a pre-race report, rather than a post-race recap. There is a lot happening here personally, and I want to use this opportunity to remind myself, and maybe you as well, that when it comes to race day, there is only so much we can control.

Hurricanes and wildfires affected so many of us in these past few weeks. While I’ve not personally seen the affects of the hurricanes here in landlocked Denver, I know many of you are impacted by this. I have however noticed the air is a bit thicker, and although the sunrises and sunsets are “prettier,” my heart breaks for the hundreds of thousands of acres burning in the northwest. The smokey haze has turned the normally bluebird sky to a pale yellow, and the air has an orange hue. It’s darker, ever so slightly darker, like the day of the Great American Eclipse. The faint, but ever present smell of campfire has me questioning every minute I spend outside and every throat-clearing cough I emit.

My training through all of this, is nothing. Whether or not I get a quality run in or rest properly for this weekend’s race is small, and focusing exclusively on that training is selfish.

I’m tired and stressed out. The best thing I could be doing for myself and those around me is getting adequate sleep, but even that isn’t happening. My nights are peppered with wild pre-race and pre-wedding dreams, and some might even be classified as nightmares like completely forgetting to pack my dress and shoes for the wedding, or showing up to a race wearing my wedding shoes rather than my broken in Saucony Guides.

The fact is, I’m a wreck. It’s not any one thing, either, because it never is. Sure it’s the wedding, the writing, the videos…but it’s also being a single mom in need of a few more hours in the day, or a few more hands, or a little more room in the budget, or a few more pots of coffee. It’s wanting to help my kid succeed in school, but feeling like that is an uphill, one-woman battle every day. It’s wondering how can I enjoy this moment, writing on my laptop, when I have 100 other things I “have” to do. It’s wanting so much to cuddle with my 9-year-old because those days are numbered, but feeling desperate for sleep.

At this point, shaving a minute or two off of a Proof of Time for what basically amounts to a really long fun run is unimportant given everything else that is going on around me in this moment in this season of my life. Of course I’ll race, and race hard. I’ll pick up my packet and bib, toe the line on race day, and run whatever race my legs, lungs, and God will give me.

Do I have a better proof of time in me? I don’t know.

What do I expect from Saturday? Can’t answer that either.

Perspective is everything, and it seems strange that I’m just shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Meh.” It’s not that I don’t care about my results and my race day, because I do, very much. I’ve worked my butt of for this, my last speed effort before my “training shift” into Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Que sera, sera, I guess. Unlike Prairie Dog, my body won’t be racked with painful sobs of disappointment. The lack of control I have over what is to come on Saturday actually brings me a peace that I haven’t felt yet this training season. I’m okay…with whatever happens. There are bigger things to worry about, and more important things on my mind. Check out the race report video to see what actually transpired on race day. For all of you affected by “Hell and High Water,” please be safe. I will pray in my own way for all of you. God Bless.

Heather Jergensen

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