1 Apr

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Tomorrow I am going to run my 5th ultramarathon.  It’s weird because I still remember my first 5k.  The feelings I felt and the thoughts in my head then were the same as the ones I have had at the end of every ultramarathon…really every race I’ve ever done.  Granted in a 5k, there’s a lot less time to be uncomfortable than there is in a 50 miler…  But ultimately the human body is capable of an awful lot.  It’s the human brain that tries to say stop.  Knock it off.  Go sit on the couch and eat some potato chips.  And so running is just about telling that voice to shut up (for 30 minutes or 30 hours or anywhere in between…just depends on how far you’re planning to go).

 

Sometimes it’s really hard for me to explain to non-runners why spending hours in the woods is where it’s at for me.

Maybe it’s something about the deeply spiritual experience I have–knowing that I am so small, just a little piece in a massive picture, and even if I still don’t know who or what is responsible for that picture, I’m thankful to be here experiencing my place in it.

Maybe it’s playing in the woods for hours, splashing through puddles, hopping over creeks and fallen trees, feeling the sunshine on my face (or raindrops or snowflakes, as the case may be tomorrow).

Maybe it’s the way that the worst day can turn into a good one with a little (or a lot of) trail therapy.

Maybe it’s the way that even the best day can get better with some trail therapy.

Maybe it’s the amazing people I’ve met–people who have shared deeply, who have let me share, who are down for crazy adventures–4 am wake up calls, hours-long traipses through the forest, exploring new trails, sharing snacks, random stop offs and road trips.

But mostly I think it’s something about knowing that you are capable of more than you think, of what other people think.  It’s feeling completely and utterly worn out, but in the best way possible.

 

So tomorrow I’ll run my 5th ultramarathon.  I can’t believe I got here.  But man am I glad to be here.

 

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