“Until you face your fears, you don’t move to the other side, where you find the power.” -Mark Allen, 6-time Ironman Champion

Today’s trail experience was incredibly fun. Incredibly challenging AND incredibly fun. We had set up to do a triathlon club workout at the Lunch Loop- bike and/or run. 7 of us arrived all ready to run (with the exception of John who had just been out biking his fatty around. He swiftly changed and joined us.) 2 womens and 5 mens.

We headed up Pet-e-kes and discovered immediately that this would be a challenging run. Not just because we’re a bunch of hard-core running triathletes (who would come out on a Saturday morning to run in 25 degrees), but more so the iced-over trails that had melted the day before, re-frozen over night, and been blanketed with a fresh layer of powder that morning.

I know what you’re thinking: Oh, Elisa! But you have those fantastic Nike Waffle Spikes! Surely your brilliance did not neglect this fact! I despise disappointing my many readers (all 1 of you), but I did indeed neglect this fact! I ran in my 0-traction triathlon shoes. Hiking boots had slaughtered the well-being of my toes over the past to weeks and they deserved some room.

But! Fear not! This was a challenge I was prepared for. What happens when traction is minimal? Sure, you could slip, potentially fall…maybe even fall on a hand that just had 5 stitches removed and was currently oozing infection…. OR you could focus your awesome body on stabilizing every single step. I opted for the latter.

And it was worth it.

The trails climbed and climbed, until we were about 3 miles in. At this point those of us who were not prepared for the 13+ mile run that the others had intended, turned downhill. We finished strong (ish) and delighted in hot chocolate at the TH. Total run distance was pushing 6 miles.

I got home and was exhausted. I had been on 4, 5 and 5+ mile runs before. Recently even. But this one took it out of me. I showered and crashed on my bed for a solid 20 minutes! You have to understand the way my kids work; they have a signal, like a homing beacon, and when I lay down it’s like an alarm goes off. “Mom’s down! Get her!!” So 20 minutes was pretty good.

So now for the thoughtful part. How often do we neglect our stabilizers? I’m certain that’s what took it out of me this run. All of those little in-between muscles- trying to keep me from falling, and catching me when I slipped. They need love, too.

What in life counts as our stabilizers? Routine? Habits? Is it those little self-care items that we should be doing every day but we don’t because they just don’t seem that important at the time? I think there is something to this. Maybe I’ll think about it when I hit the frozen trails of Monticello this week.

I also beg your forgiveness for the lack of pictures. I left my phone/camera in the vehicle. It would have made for some great pictures of the group as i was pacing it for the first 3 miles. (That means I was in front…) So here is one of the three of us that finished together:

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