I must first say that I am physically more alive than I ever remember feeling. When I remind myself that I am closing in on 40 years of age, I am not scared, but excited. I feel better at 37 than I ever remember feeling at even 18. I appreciate it far more. I am doing something with my vitality, which honestly, I pissed away a lot of my youth on being down, and not knowing what the hell I was doing. Now, I don't know what I'm doing, but enjoying not knowing. The moment is really all you have. I recently came to the conclusion that moving backward is a very dangerous illusion. One does not move backward so much as forward with their back turned. You can't ever go back. And, quite frankly, you can't move forward faster than time allows. There are manipulators, such as exercise and physical detriment. Ultimately though, you are here until you are not, and attempting to maintain control is like pissing in the wind. One must learn to surf...figuratively, and if it is in your power actually. I must say, it is awesome to move with a wave. I miss it. I am considering fresh-water surfing Lake Michigan and/or Lake Superior just to get a little in. So....ya. My running. Alive. That's the only way to describe it. I don't feel right unless I'm running. I am absolutely addicted. I am running, and it is me.
I am 16 days out from my second 50 mile trail race. The North Face Endurance Challenge Gor-Tex 50 mile. I have been keeping up with my training runs, listening to my body when it says back off. Picking it up when it says so, and making sure not to over-train. I'll be camping out again at the race site. It is a cathartic experience when you get up, get your gear ready, and walk or ride your bike over to the race start, and run all day in a zone. It is like nothing else. My first 50, I ran for almost 13 hours, but where did the day go? It was an amazing 13 hours that flew by. I am going to again shoot for 10 hours. I have a better shot at it on this course. There is plenty of challenging terrain in the Kettle Moraine area, but far less elevation than Devil's Head/Devil's Lake. When I am road running, I love it, but it is much more meditative, in that I go on autopilot, and my legs gracefully let me have a controlled fall for 26.2 miles. When I am trail running for 50 miles, I have that very meditative state, but there is a state of consciousness that is there that I can't begin to explain. You'd have to see it with your own mind and body. I am far more in touch with my primal state. It's an 'upgraded' autopilot. I have to be aware of roots, rocks, leaves, mud, cliffs....yes, cliffs. All while maintaining my meditative state. Sound like fun, huh? It is heaven. HEAVEN!
I'm stoked. This is my last major race for the year. I'll do the Indian Lake Trail Run in October, then, a break, I think. At least until the Spring. I have to get back school. Plus my body hasn't rested properly in 3 years. So the plan is to keep my cardio up and build more muscle, then pick up where I left off, focusing more on ultras, and maybe crossing over to triathlons. We'll see how I feel when I get there. We'll talk to you soon, North Face is almost here. Safe running, everybody!