“Good morning,” I wanted to tell myself, yet no sound left my mouth. Instead, the hurting in my throat became worse as I felt it all the way in my ears. Awesome. Perfect. Excellent. Because this is exactly what one needs on a race day morning!
On April 20th, I ran my second 10k race. If the first race was about learning that I can do it, this one was about learning how to appreciate both my body and the trail when neither worked in my favor, learning from that experience, and pushing through.
I signed up for this race even before I ran my first race ever. Eight months, two 10K races (Chabot – Redtail Ridge Trail Run and Folsom Lake), two near-heat strokes, two really ugly patellar tendinitis in both knees, many and many shin splints, and 10 lost pounds (unplanned) later, I woke up from what could be called sleep only by a long stretch of imagination into a cold, dark, rainy morning. The race day morning.
During the past year, especially the past eight months, I’ve had many opportunities to sweat, swear and sweal my sanity, and it was and is in those moments (usually during a long climb up a hill or when it’s clearly dinnertime and I’m still somewhere else than at the dinner table) when I started to have those thoughts.
And why shouldn’t I share them, right? Well, there are probably some good reasons why I shouldn’t, but since when do I listen to reason, right… So here goes.
Food, dogs and… feeling good?
“I can’t see a bloody thing.”
“I can’t see a bloody thing, again.”
“I’m hungry, I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry… Squirrel!”
“I’m gonna die. I’mgonnadieI’mgonnadie.”
“This is insane.”
On YouTube, there are many videos with titles like “I went vegan for a week, here’s what happened” and “I exercised each day for a month, here’s what happened.” This post isn’t like those videos.
I used to be scared of dark. I still am, sometimes. I used to hate running. I still do, sometimes. Does this imply I might have a reason not to go running in the middle of the night? Possibly. Does it imply I would listen to this reason? Absolutely not.
Dogmeat. That’s what locals and trail runners call a 1.4 mile long fire road in the mountains near Los Gatos. Its real name is Priest Rock Trail, but with its 1,000-foot elevation gain, this loving nickname describes much better what your legs, back, core, and brain will feel like after you finish scrambling to the top.
I hate hills. That’s the whole and simple truth. There’s nothing to it, no “unless’s” or “but’s.” I hate hills. And that’s exactly why I took on this challenge.
This past Saturday, I did something that many people would likely call absolutely insane. I did my first ultramarathon.