Yes I know I have been a slack blogger, but hey training for three races is a lot of work (not to mention a full time job, husband and three dogs) The first race of this season is this weekend and I have to admit I am pretty nervous. This is the inaugural race for the Georgia Jewel 35, 50 and 100 miler so I am excited to be a part of it even if I am just racing the 35 miles. The weather seems to have finally broken and it looks like I will have a mild morning and lovely afternoon to race in. I don't have many expectations other than to finish in a good time and to give my best effort on the trail but as I begin to pack my gear for the 5 hour trip south, I am reflecting on the time that I spend running and why I do it. Just to put one foot in front of the other is the purist form of the human expression of running, but it runs deeper than that for me. There is a certain freedom that I can feel in my heart when I step outside to run. There is no judgement, no phone to answer, to fake smiles or laughs to dish out. It's me, the road and the distance between. In risk of sounding like a Nike commercial, I run to ease my mind and because I can. Many people deal with life with drugs, booze or some other excuse. My drug of choice seems to be mileage. Not that life is difficult, but the relief I get from laying down a few hard hill repeats or sprints is way more exhilarating than anything I can get from a bottle. If you ever stop to look around after a race, there is a sense of peace and accomplishment that permeates the air. That is a common bond that all runners share. It is what keeps me signing up and spending endless money on the simple idea of running from point to point for nothing more than a time and a medal. It's what is making me drive those 5 miles to go racing through the woods in the middle of Georgia. So if you aren't racing this weekend, raise a glass to me sometime between the hours of 6am and noon and think of the possibilities if you were to step outside and run! Cheers and miles!!! Much love and luck, by the way, to my peeps running at the Lake Hinson 24hr and my tri buddies running at the Augusta Iron Man! Run fast!!