Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.


Joe Prusaitis’ post


In case any of you missed Race Director, Joe Prusaitis’ story yesterday, here it is.  Enjoy.

So much of life is full of contrasts… and to be certain, so are most of the best stories.

I went for a run yesterday morning… very early, such that I was done before the dawn. And I know that I was half asleep for much of that jaunt. Barely aware of my companions, who would wait for me now and again to make certain that I still followed the same path they ran. If there was any conversation, I never heard it. It was surreal! The only thing that I was aware of was the pain in my muscles, my bones, my feet. The muscles employed to keep me balanced and upright were working hard and doing a very poor job of what they were asked to do. I wandered along through the woods, in the dark: oblivious to one and all. A blind and deaf tenant in my own body. After some time, this feeling ended when I found myself back home in bed. A dream maybe, but my shoes had mud on them!!!

This morning, I tried again, with much different results. Joyce & I picked up my daughter Erica and her boyfriend to join us for a very hilly 7 mile route over at River Place. We started at the bottom. I dont know why but this morning I was alive! I immediately moved ahead of the others, with Erica, Sean, and our dog Jazzy. I still felt my legs from the 50km 3 days ago, but it was not as bad as yesterday. The trail started easy enough with a few sets of stairs to climb and a few trees and rocks to dodge, but I picked it up a little and let it ride. I think maybe I was a little bit asleep still, but it felt good to be moving. I cut through the trees and dialed in a staccato rhythm up a flight of stairs… never missing a beat, and accelerating over the top and flying down the opposite side. Taking two steps at a time, my stride lengthened to the appropriate width for a full unbroken sprint downward. I leaned into it, my breathing strong and smooth, my balance perfectly aligned
and comfortable… Wow! I felt like I was flying… just inches off the ground.

For certain, there were rocks, roots, and cedar stairs to navigate, but my eyes collected everything and my mind sorted it out, sending the correct signals to my feet so that there was never any doubt. Some runs are magic, pure, simply, and clean. If I were to think, I would lose it. So I didn’t. All spirit and emotion, I pushed the pace and took the next flight of stairs… knees lifting, arms swinging, regular cadence for so many more stairs heading up. I was looking at the gazebo at the top of the stairs at the end of the trail and realized then that I had to stop. Damn! What was that? Was it done?

The dog was there the whole time, like a shadow coming and going. Sean came in behind me. I took a large pull on my water bottle, gave the dog some too. Diana & Joyce came in next. I was so dead yesterday, and so alive today. Unaware of anything to aware of everything. So much discomfort to so much joy. Wanting it to end to wanting to go on forever. These little daily runs seem to shift and change so quickly. I want to hold on to the right ones and keep them going endlessly, but thats not how it works. Each and every day is different, each and every run too.

I started back down, and hoping for more of that same mojo, I started fast, taking three steps at a time.

Joe Prusaitis

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