My loofah used to be pastel pink. It is now a grimy rose color. Evidence that I have been getting down and dirty, with enough dust, grime and burro residue on my skin to leave a ring of grey matter on the inside of the tub. Yes, perhaps this is too much information. But it is significant.
The dusty rose loofah is proof that I have been getting in my training, hitting the trails, getting calluses on my hands and toes, getting burro sweat mixed in with my own. A sunburned nose and great bruises on my thigh back up the story.
All in all, I have run about ten times (maybe nine?) with various burros and coaches – mornings, afternoons, hills, flats, sunshine, rain…
My July chest cold really slowed things down. The days I would have liked to be running, instead I was home recovering. But alas, there are only certain things in this world that I can control, and a summer cold is not one of them. I feel under-trained. I feel inadequate. But I am doing it anyways.
I have learned about being part of a tradition. About being part of the West. About being a mountain girl. About climbing hills. About being a runner. About the power of friendship and trust. I have become stronger. More patient. And maybe even a little wiser.
So come Sunday, I will have to put my transferable skills to the test. The goal, in the words of Amber, is “to hold onto my donkey and finish without getting hurt.” I will give it all I’ve got. I might have to walk a bit. I will try to finish in less than four hours. But if I can’t? If Thumper refuses to cooperate? I will be easy on myself and have faith that there will be more races to run, more pride to earn.
So on Sunday, I tackle the big one. I go with a big smile, lots of hope, and joy in my heart.