Dirty 30 part one – personal lessons from my first ultra

One of the main drivers behind my desire to run ultras is curiosity.  Come to think of it, the main driver behind most everything I do is curiosity…

After reading Born to Run about 7 years ago, the book that introduced me to the concept of both trail running and ultra running, I became fascinated with the topic.  I was living in Atlanta and ran mostly road, topping out at about 5 miles.  I had no idea that I would move to Boulder or run ultras.  By the time I decided to move out to Colorado, I was completely captivated by trail running and trail runners – I had visions of bumping into Scott Jurek every time I went for coffee and becoming BFFs.  Well, I have run into him several times, but I’m pretty sure he just thinks I’m a creep…  Turns out he’s not the only trail runner in this town and I’ve made a good few trail friends here, most of whom can confirm that I’m not a creep…

Continue reading Dirty 30 part one – personal lessons from my first ultra

Transcendence

The other night I went to the Trails in Motion film festival, leading up to the Golden Gate Dirty 30 race that I’m running tomorrow.  Featured in these films were a couple of local legends – Courtney Dauwalter and Clare Gallagher.  More importantly, several films showcased athletes who may never podium, but who demonstrate an inspiring amount of heart, grit and perseverance, who put themselves in unique positions to experience both suffering and joy.

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Re-calibration and redemption

It’s no secret.  I’ve been flailing.

Anyone close to me lately has seen the signs that I lost my way.  I can’t stop thinking about my last blog post – although it contains many complete sentences, it feels completely incoherent.  I’m leaving it up to demonstrate that sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on the right and positive things, to demonstrate my humanity.  The funny thing is, that post took me forever to write and edit and write again, while this one is just flowing out of me.  A sign that I’m on the right path.

This is the natural course of these big lessons in resistance.  As the pace of change has quickened in my life, I have been resisting instead of remaining open and vulnerable. As a result, I’ve experienced a lot of darkness, confusion, grasping for control, the going down of rabbit holes and general overall emotional flailing.  While my unconscious has been busy processing all the disruption in my life, my ego went hog wild, partying and breaking valuables.  It’s not all that surprising, but while I was in it, I just knew I was miserable and couldn’t figure out how to get out of it.  That’s when I remembered.  I have a say in the matter.

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Craving leads to suffering, suffering leads to craving pizza

When I was in high school, I was attracted to guys who were interested in having deep conversations about philosophy or economics or anything I was curious about, which was everything.  The first and last to break me was one of those.  He was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and a true original thinker.  I met him when I was his math tutor.  He was crazy smart but didn’t care about proving it.  He introduced me to the author Douglas Coupland and more specifically the book Life After God.  I read it at least three times, reveling in the fact that someone could articulate with such sarcastic wit, the existential curiosity that lived within me.

Continue reading Craving leads to suffering, suffering leads to craving pizza

Rejection. Failure. Loss.

Nobody wants to deal with any of these, but if you’re a human adult, you’ve certainly encountered all of these things and probably taken them a bit too personally a time or two.  If you’re me, you have become intimately familiar with each one of them, like a trio of sister-wives.

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Two tales of forward progress and facing fear

The One Where She Ran 

If you read my inaugural post, you may remember that I confessed to being too intimidated to join any of the RMR runs because it’s a large group of fast and furious runners that are much stronger and fitter than me.  I promised that for every comment anyone made committing themselves to doing something they were afraid of, I would join one RMR run this year.  Well, this week I attended the first one facing that all too familiar fear of “I’m not good enough”.

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Changing my tune

I’ve had a cold all week, where every day has felt worse than the last.  I’ve been able to keep in good spirits, or at least make jokes, rather than focusing on my suffering.  I’ve been spreading this li’l gem far and wide, as it pretty much sums up the last three days of my life.

Congratulations if you made it past that.  And sorry, humans are gross.

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Others get divorced and buy a Porsche

I’m gonna need a new hydration vest.

On December 30th, I wrote that post on goals, fully intending to sign up for the Mount Hood 50k as my annual destination race.  My schedule was coming together nicely… Continue reading Others get divorced and buy a Porsche

Attitude

I choose to be happy!

What does that even mean?  It means reducing behaviors and triggers for negative thought patterns that make me a miserable, angsty, shoegazer.  It means having fun and surrounding myself with people who make me laugh.  It means radical honesty, saying no, discipline, music, and saying yes a lot more often.  It means giving fewer fucks and doing what feels good instead of what looks good.  It means dancing to Sia at the gym even if I look like a total douche because it feels so good to do things that make me feel healthy and strong, particularly when accompanied by sweet jams.  It means making myself a priority.  It means having attitude.  It means knowing how to avoid falling prey to self-doubt.  Most importantly, it means not wasting another minute feeling less-than, unworthy, or insecure. 

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