After weeks of blazing sun and cloudless blue skies, yesterday afternoon turned seasonably cool and cloudy as Mother Nature finally got around to flipping the autumnal switch. I'm ashamed to admit that bailing out was seriously considered when the persistent drizzle became a steady shower. I confess that an escape plan was hatched and an alternate itinerary was cooked up that included warmth and dryness. Very tempting. Fortunately, I had the good sense to really think about how I would feel if I didn't follow through with this race which I had looked forward to for months. The answer, loud and clear, was crummy. It was really important to me to do this. Not only for myself, but for all of us.
So upon my commitment to forge forward, I'll have you know that the rain stopped and the clouds parted. There were a few welcome glimpses of the sun, bright enough to set the turning leaves on fire. And as I climbed those butt-kicking hills in the second half, after rounding Observatory, it felt like you were with me. We were cussing and laughing. By my side in spirit, you helped me to stay the course ... reminding me, again and again, that I could do it.
And do it, I did. I finished those 3 miles in 50 minutes and 9 seconds. Of course, there wasn't a trophy waiting for me at the end. Honestly, there was no one and nothing at the finish line other than the timer, a few bananas and cups half-filled with lukewarm water. But I felt like a champion, equally proud of myself and relieved ... and yet my elation was only a fraction of what it would have been had you been there. For real. You were missed. Very much.