13 July 2009 By Rachel’s

Jupiter Peak Weekend

Just like my beloved and very much missed triathlons, I am falling in love with the trail running scene. This year has been a very tough one with injuries, illness, etc. But, the contrast to the moments of joy and peace and excitement that are beginning to fill my life once again have so much more meaning.

Jupiter Peaks trail run in Park City, UT was just one of those moments. My body is still not in full form, I am 10 pounds over my typical race weight. How that happened? I’ll just say it doesn’t matter because it is all changing. My body is becoming healthier each day and with that, the weight will drop. On race morning, it was one of the most perfect days I can remember in a long time. Perfect weather, perfect everything.

Art drove me to my race (yay for me not having to drive!), when I got there, I saw so many familiar faces. Local friends who were there to race. Others working the scene. New racing friends I met from La Sportiva and other races I somehow found my way to through out the summer. I felt at home and excited. So excited that when I went out to do a warm-up, I ran about 10 steps, found friends, talked, turned my head, talked some more, found more friends, turned my head, saw a new face and made a new friend, and on and on until race start. Uh ya. So at least we know my voice and my spirit were warmed. I feel like when my energy is soaring, nothing else matters. I can do anything at that point.

So the race started. I focused on my breath, the moment and not worrying that super fast Megan Kimmel and Caitlin Smith were far up the road. I am not where they are. Someday soon, I know I will be back. In the meantime, I set out to remember why I love to run, adore nature, community, being in the moment. My uphill to Jupiter Peak went quite well. The down hill was a bit slow as I am still a little gun shy about my falls I took at Mt. Diablo and Barr Mtn. I am getting over it, though. I laughed at how I could run up a hill relatively fast, (3,000 ft. is that a hill or a mountain? Dunno, it was up!) and get smoked in the downhill by as much as 10 minutes by some of the runners who crested the top at the same time I did. I will be there soon. I know it.

I ended up third overall woman. Yay! It is my best finish since I raced at Diablo. I feel so lucky. I thought often about giving up on the season during the times when I would get sick again, or have to work through another injury. But there is no way I would do that. My heart would never let me. Running and biking and racing in general reminds me to live and love life with all of its ups and downs.

One of the coolest things of all about finally beginning to come into form 6 months later than usual? I still have lots of racing left to do this year and an eager mind and body to do it!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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