Race Season is Here!

On Saturday I ran the Madison Shamrock Shuffle 10K. As the first local race of the year, it is a great “rust buster”— a chance to break the seal of racing, either as a beginner, or a veteran. 

It’s a tough course, and my athletic expectations were summed up in showing up to my best and staying curious to what that may be for the day. Beforehand, I prayed that I would be humble and encouraging to my fellow racers. I decided to not look at my watch and instead solely dial into the sensations in my body. It was not my fastest, nor my slowest, but overall a very fulfilling and fun experience. It was pretty simply an accurate snapshot of my running fitness and capability at the 10K distance on March 16, 2024. 

As I was running (when I wasn’t breathing so heavy that I was only able to think about corralling my doubts and discomfort), I reflected on the amazing resilience of the human body, mind, and spirit. This was roughly my 10th Madison Shamrock Shuffle over the course of my 17-year stint as a runner and triathlete. My body has not only shown up on St. Patrick’s weekend, but carried me over so many miles that I couldn’t even dream of guessing a number. 

And, through these years, and over all of these miles, I have been shuffling through so many personal evolutions. 

Races are a fun way to reflect on all of the changes, as there is often photo evidence. When I look back, I see my smiling face among so many different friends and teammates. I have pictures with my young kids dressed up in St. Patrick’s Day green, getting ready to shuffle alongside me (and eventually ahead of me). 

I see myself in different roles. In different personas. In different seasons of life.

I remember times of great joy and excitement. Times when I felt grateful, certain, and content. Alternatively, I can recall times when things were hard, relationally, financially, emotionally, or spiritually. In some seasons of life, I was unaware, disassociated, tired, or disconnected. And, there were times where I was so busy that I was squeezing this race in to an otherwise packed weekend, shuffling in the race, and then sprinting off to a basketball tournament or swim meet. 

And somehow my human body has carried me over all of these miles, over so many years. 

Shuffling along. 

I believe that all of these evolutions have been important to me becoming the woman that I am today. To embracing my faith again in the fullest of ways. Now, I feel grounded. Aware. Peaceful. Still totally imperfect, but I have a heart bursting with love.

I will unveil more about this current personal evolution in due time. For today, I want to leave you with a little nudge to stop sprinting through your life. Pause. Slow down.

And if you need to move faster, try a shuffle.