Did you ever hear the phrase "exquisite pain" and be like wtf does that even mean? Me too. This phrase has always baffled me. Like most things I don't fully understand, I'm drawn to exploring it deeper.
"Will you win?" This was the question my 7 year old niece asked when I told her about an upcoming race. Upon answering with a definitive "no", she inquired further, "why are you doing it, then?" Why, indeed. I do it for emotional stability, physical health, to connect with nature, to work towards a goal,… Continue reading Why are you doing it, then?
I'm not ready because I wore my body down little by little with every race after which I did not allow space for recovery. I'm not ready because I refused to miss an opportunity to take advantage of the warm, beautiful weather. I'm not ready because I never go to bed early enough for the 3:30 am wake up calls, and the sleep deprivation is compounding. I am not ready because I am depleted. Every run seems to feel more fatigued than the last, to the detriment of my attitude, my enjoyment and the quality of my company for those I run with. I am tired of feeling slow and weak. I am tired of tripping and falling on the trail. The only way to correct these things is not to push harder, but to pull back.
For what it's worth, it is NOT advisable for two adult humans to sleep in the back of a Subaru with the seats folded "flat" at a trail head where 100 other people are "sleeping". Though it is totally comfortable enough to eat Pad Thai and play Head's Up.
So – what happens after mile 30? Does a secret door open up to a magical universe where fairies ride on the tips of unicorn horns, the secrets of life whispering forth from the flap, flap, flap of their wings? Nope. It was pretty much just more running and more pain and more joy.
Leave it to a songwriter to describe the purpose trail running serves for me better than I can myself...
As I saw Nikki Kimball running towards me, I had a surreal moment. In the split second that felt like minutes, I at once saw the progress I'd made both physically and mentally over the last three years and it hit me that I was running and running well on the same course as the person who inspired this pastime of mine.
Currently, I'm staring down the race schedule that somehow snuck up on me in the midst of all this. I never did get on a specific training plan, but for the last couple of months I've averaged 160 mi // 35,000' gainz, so I haven't been grossly neglecting the miles or the vert - just the speed-work and hill repeats that are critical to a solid performance. smh
In this era of vision boards and manifesting our desires, how is it different to 'create the life that I want' versus being attached to outcome? I once felt I had a handle on this concept, but as I contemplate it now, it seems to me it's a matter of how much control one has over the outcome that dictates how much suffering attachment creates.
Self-worth, for those of us not innately blessed with it, has to be and more importantly, can be earned.