Best Race of 2018

It was a bad running year due to the wonky foot and inconsistent training, so I skipped out on doing a review of my racing year. I just wanted to put it behind me and start fresh. But I came across a photo that reminded me of a race that I didn’t mention to anyone (except Trainer) that I was going to run. It ended up in a DNF – my second of the year — and was my best race memory of 2018.

One of the topics that repeatedly comes up with my mentors is the idea that I am often mistaken about what will make me happy. Meaning that what on its surface or at its onset looks terrible, will oftentimes turn out to be a blessing. This has happened to me too many times, and so it was again with the Camarillo 5K on August 12th.

Summer had been awful personally, but I was hopeful that this little mid-August 5K would give me something to focus my angst on. I thought I was going to kill it. My training had been good, and the course was fairly flat which made for perfect conditions for a possible PR and maybe a 1st female overall finish (it was a small race). Just the thing to cheer me up, right?

On my way there I was pretty down but forced myself to focus on the race and how I was going to win and feel amazing. Yay. I love feeling amazing. A few minutes before the start I bumped into a friend from track. We talked about our goals for the race, and while I kept my visions of race dominance to myself, she mentioned that she hoped to finish in a certain time. Cool. Off we went.

I was in first place for women when I started feeling an asthma attack coming on. Yes, I have low-grade asthma and keep an inhaler in my purse. I was getting short of breath, even more so than the usual for a 5K, so I slowed down and struggled on to the mile and a half point before finally tapping out, even though I was still in first place. My track friend saw me at the turnaround and was surprised that I was bailing. Oh the shame. I began the walk of defeat back to the car in anger and disappointment, ready to get the heck out of this stupid town when a thought popped into my mind: “Wait and run _____________ in.”

A 5K is painful, especially that last little bit. I remembered that my track partner wanted to hit a certain time and knew she could probably use the help. So I waited, and when I saw her come around the last turn I popped up beside her with words of encouragement and tried to get her to pick up her pace. She looked shocked. And miserable. Ha. Anyway, I just kept talking to her and cheering her on and running just a little faster than I’m sure she wanted to go. She finished strong!

The day went on a little better, and I was at the gym when this text exchange happened.


Let me tell you, when I started getting short of breath at the mile mark, it did not look or feel like this was going to be a good day. My plan was to win that race – not DNF! But God had another plan – a better plan for getting me out of my doldrums. What has been my experience is that for someone like me who is — well, I’d say pretty self-centered (Leo, OK!) — the very best way for crawling out of a hole and feeling better is not to think more about me and how I can make myself feel better. It’s by being useful to others. Things continued to be up and down the rest of the year, but that race definitely caused a shift and left me feeling lighter overall. One of my mentors suggests to bookmark these spaces where the presence of God is undeniable, so it was was pretty sweet coming across the photo and reliving that moment today. Guess it wasn’t such a bad running year after all.



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