No Scrubs

I ran the Blood Sweat & Beers trail race this past weekend. It was a fun run despite the heat and high elevation of Auburn, Ca. There were some gorgeous river views and it was a well-organized event. After crossing the finish line, I was treated to a couple of refreshing Hoppy Brewing Company beers that I enjoyed even though it was before 10am. When in Rome right?
View of the river from Blood Sweat & Beers Trail Race
While I was in the restroom (a strange way to begin a sentence even for me) waiting for a stall to become available, there was a woman at the sink cleaning up. This of course is not odd to me as I often bring a change of clothes or at the very least a comb to smooth out my sweat and knotted hair after a race. She, however, was quite irate. She took a million paper towels in her hand - Wet and waded them up, and then began scrubbing her legs. Her legs were quite dirty as mine were as well. It was a trail race after all – You’re going to get dirty. Unlike my compulsive counterpart however, I did nothing about them, for I was hitting the river soon to go for a swim and enjoy the company of my friends who came out to support me in the race. I took pride in the dirt that had collected on my skin. She apparently did not. Scrubbing at her legs and all the while complaining to her friend about how she will never do another trail race again, and that the event website should have warned people of such. I couldn’t help but think what else she was trying to scrub away.

Perhaps she had a bad run, or maybe she took a hard fall. Perhaps this was her very first trail race as she is mostly a road runner. Whatever it was I thought about myself and how many races I wanted to scrub out of my memory. I couldn’t think of any. I have had many bad runs and a few bad races. To forget them would mean forgetting my mistakes, and then how would I learn? How would I know how to properly fuel and hydrate? What not to eat the morning before a race or how playing mind games can get me through the most trying of runs. I would rather not forget. For each and every time, the pavement and the trails hold my triumph and my failures. And regardless of my mood or how I felt immediately after that run, in the end, I am always glad I got out there. And I am happy that I am able to run.

Scrubbin' away their sins - No, Just an afternoon cool down.
I recently started swimming again. Many, many moons ago I use to be on the swim team. Of course all that was practiced has been forgotten. I have yet to swim a whole mile without stopping and it is frustrating. I am once again a beginner, who through trial and error will eventually improve. I hope to apply the same rules in running as swimming. So if you see me in the restroom after a race or drying off from laps in a pool, rest assured that though I might be changing my clothes or combing out the tangles of my hair, I will never scrub away the marks left from a good or bad training day. You will also never catch me scrubbing the sink…It’s true. I make a horrible housewife! That is beside the point though. 
What about you? Does scrubbing away the past make you a better runner?

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