Rock the Ridge and Winning
By Lisa Zucker Glick
At this time 27 years ago I was in a hospital for severe, debilitating depression. Running, singing and dancing have been part of my wellness for many years. On May 6, 2017, I participated for the third time in the Rock the Ridge 50 Mile Endurance Challenge (RTR). RTR is a fundraiser for the Mohonk Preserve. While billed as an ‘endurance challenge’ the event is designed for the average runner/ hiker to be able to complete the entire distance with a generous cutoff of 24 hours. There is a registration fee as well as a fundraising minimum to participate. This year I chose not to fundraise and simply paid the entire fee myself. The trails on the Preserve are my trails, in my backyard. Protecting and caring for the great gift of the Mohonk Preserve is my pleasure.
I also had the honor of being an ambassador for the event. I lead two “Taste
Of Rock the Ridge” training runs and spending time with some fabulous folks. As an ambassador, this was not a requirement but my choice.
I am a slow runner, often at the back of the pack and chasing cut- offs. I’ve started a group called “Tough Turtles” to encourage slower runners to feel empowered.
My slow, steady running enables me to enjoy the journey while testing my limits.
Speaking of slow, this year was my slowest time of my three RTR’s. The first year I finished 50 miles in 11 hours and 39 minutes. The second year it took me 11:13.
This years’ time- 13 hours and 33 minutes. THIRTEEN and a HALF hours! This is two hours slower than my previous year’s averaged together.
At first, I was a bit disappointed and surprised. After I had time to process things I realized there were many positives for my slower finish.
I was on my feet for the longest amount of time yet for an event. It's excellent training for a
100K coming up for me in July. I felt fantastic for the first 40 miles!! I enjoyed the day by staying in the moment and not looking at my GPS. I had an epic finish in the torrential rain. I still finished before dark. I got to enjoy the trails for more time. I recovered very quickly. I enjoyed running and chatting with my fellow Ridge Rockers. I did what I was capable of doing that day. I ran/hiked 50 MILES no matter what the time.
Could I have gone a little faster? Probably yes but that’s the way the day unfolded. Did I not train hard enough because of winter conditions? Maybe, but I stayed healthy, injury free, and had joy in my training hours. I also had time to dance and sing which is an important part of my life.
Two days after RTR I taught four fitness classes. One week after RTR I ran 13.5 miles on the rail trail. Eleven days out, I ran 6 miles, played guitar for a concert, taught a fitness class and took a spin class.
At 57 years old I consider this winning.
Winning. What is winning? To me winning is succeeding at a goal. I have tremendous gratitude to be able to run/hike outside for multiple hours in the sun, rain, snow, through the rocks, trees, streams with people who share my joy. Running Rock the Ridge helps me to achieve so many of my goals- joy, gratitude, giving back, helping others. I’m calling this a winning at life.