Cayuga 50 was a very important and meaningful race to me. It was the 3rd anniversary of my brain surgery and I am very thankfully healed, whole, and living my life fully. It was not always that way. Brain surgery for me was extremely painful and difficult to recover from. I didn’t share as much about it as I was going through it because it helped me to stay positive and focus on the good. At the time it was horrible. I wasn’t allowed to do anything, not even sleep laying down, not allowed to open a door!, not allowed to tilt my head to pull up my pants or anything, there were many, many things I wasn’t allowed to do, but thank God Almighty I am doing all those things and more now.
I just did the the most difficult race of my life and feel amazing. I know, deep down in my soul that I could have and would have finished if I didn’t get lost. I completed 32 miles of the 50 mile race. It is a disappointment and a huge success all in one. The amazing thing is that I had zero soreness, zero stiffness, zero effects from the race. My body felt like it didn’t run at all, and it still feels that way a week later. I was not prepared for any of this. I prepared for this to hurt, my first 50 mile technical trail race. Instead, I ran it cautiously, just made the cutoffs by minutes each aid station, and subsequently got lost on my way to the next aid station. It was a marked course, but this particular part of the trail was for different miles of the race, I took the wrong one, they didn’t mark exactly what mile, only marked with a pink flag, no directions. I know it’s my responsibility to know the course, I accept that. But it still is a disappointment. I had never been there before and it was all new to me. Plus the fact that it was marked, made it seem like the way to go, but it wasn’t for that mile in the race.
This race has been the most meaningful, important race to date for me. This race marks so many important milestones for me. I have come so very far, in really a very short time. I wasn’t allowed to start doing anything after my brain surgery until several months later. But when I was allowed, it was a long, hard road back to normal, let alone above average fitness, like now. Most 50 something year old women like myself do not do the things I do, they can’t. I could not always do these things either. Even before brain surgery, most of my life, I was not able to do these things. But I worked up to them. But it was after brain surgery that was the most challenging. After brain surgery I struggled tremendously. For instance, I have a Total Gym home fitness equipment, when I was allowed to start doing things several months after my brain surgery, I was only able to do level 1, and only 3 different exercises, and I was horrible at it, I kept falling off the Total Gym machine on level 1, level 1 is flat and very close to the ground, maybe two inches approximately. I felt pathetic but I didn’t share that with anyone, I focused on the awesome news that I was once again able to do the Total Gym, I didn’t mention how very difficult, I didn’t mention I fell off, I focused on how happy I was to be able to do it, do it no matter how it was being done. I strongly believe that when you focus on thankfulness and the good in everything, that your thoughts manifest your reality in time. Now, 3 years later, I am at level 10! Huge! …to me, how very far I have been able to come. I feel so very blessed and thankful. It has been very hard work, it has been very hard consistent work. I need to make sure you know that these things do not happen without consistent hard effort, day after day after day, month after month, year after year. Work it, consistently, over time, so God can do His part. God always provides, but you must believe for it to work. Amen. Thank you Jesus.
Be careful what you think, it matters.
I believed with all my heart that I would complete this race. I never expected the possibility of getting lost. I knew it was my responsibility to know the course. I reviewed the course thoroughly even though I’d never been there, I reviewed the course directions. I felt good during and after the race and continue to feel good, it’s something I’ve never felt before, so I know I could have pushed more, now I know this. But at the time, I went with the plan to take my time since it was my first at this terrain and distance. I completed 37 miles of a 50 mile carriage road trail race in 2016, 2 years earlier. I felt like I could have completed the whole 50 miles back then, but got violently ill after ingesting a later recalled fueling product.
This race had no issues. My fuel, hydration, the way my body felt, everything was great. Everything came together for the first time. I can’t wait to try again, and next time with more experience, confidence and less of the unknowns, although they’ll always be the unknowns in every race, it’s a great feeling to have progressed and to have come this far. I have come farther than I ever could have imagined. I know if anyone ever asked if I would ever do anything like this, I would think they were crazy, years back before I started my fitness journey in 2010 and lost 100 pounds on my own. I feel so very blessed. I am amazed. I am elated. I can’t wait for more. I have a strong feeling this is just the beginning ❤