Why Not Me?

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It’s mile 15.5 of the Watergap 50k. I’ve stopped to take care of business on the side of the trail. Guess I shouldn’t have eaten those blueberries or that broccoli yesterday. Or well, maybe not a pint of blueberries. Noted for next time.

I glance at my watch, which I never do in races, and notice that an hour and forty five minutes have elapsed. I’m halfway through and feeling good. I feel light, like I’m dancing. I feel confident.

Seeing that time, assuming I don’t slow down too much and accounting for a single track portion, would put my around 3:40-3:50 finishing time. A pretty big PR and a fast time for me.

Doubts, they begin to take route in my mind. Who am I really? A lady from a small town, with no background and few decent races. We’re those just lucky? When will I blow up? When will the shoe drop? What am I doing going out like that?

Then, I start running again, and decide enough is enough.

Why not me? Why the FUCK not me?

Why shouldn’t I try? What is honestly stopping me?

I start to think about all the women I look up to. The ones who make me believe huge things are possible. The women who have fallen, and gotten back up, time after time. I think about my training partners, my team, and how much I believe in us. How much I believe in them. How much I know they believe in me. I think about a friend who just set an FKT and how fucking hard that is, but she did it, regardless of the setbacks.

I remember the countless messages I’ve gotten from women I do not know. The ones who say my story resonates with them. My honestly. My open mindedness. My fails. My successes. I remember how much the support I’ve gotten warms my heart.

How much I want to make them smile, to make myself smile.

It was time I start believing in taking risks, making decisive movements and then hoping to God I can hold on.

Why not me?

WHY THE FUCK NOT ME?

In the final 15.5 miles of the Watergap 50k, I made two wrong turns and took one more bathroom break. Easy fixes. They didn’t break my confidence or stride like they used to. I wouldn’t let myself waste energy punishing my accidental mistake.

I pressed on believing I could maintain the pace. I visualized future races and how I will need to execute for longer.

Between miles 26-28 are single track trail with some sketchy parts, especially when I’d been running smooth for a few hours. I slowed down and took my time. It messed with my flow. At mile 28 it took a lot of mental effort to increase my pace back to what it had been.

My mind wouldn’t let me give up. I was ready to execute. I finished strong, smiling, and spent.

I took the overall win in 3:45. First overall. 3:45.

My marathon split was 3:03

My 50k PR is now 3:45

Im still coming to grips with this, but it’s easier this time.

I believe in what I can do, in progress, in what women can do.

Why not me?

WHY THE FUCK NOT ME?

To all the fabulous women who lace it up and kick it I need to say this;

Why not you?

Ellie Pell