I have been writing/journaling/blogging, just not here, so it's been a wee bit. I am feeling ready. North Face Endurance Challenge is in 7 days, and as I write this I would have finished my first ultra in 2 years. The last race I ran before I broke my leg just happened to be this exact race. It will be a homecoming. I am also running the half the next day. I am approaching this with open eyes and the only expectation being to get across that line within the cutoffs. I just want to be 'back'. I want to feel 'back'. I had checked out when I couldn't run. It was a pretty dark time. I am not at my peak obviously, but my diet is coming back, my running is increasing again. I miss the feel of being 'wild' running through the trees, seeing things that only I have witnessed being present miles in on a trail with no human soul for miles. I love meeting up with other people that 'get it'. I love running for hours at a time by myself, only to see someone pop out of the woods with a big smile on their face....as big as mine. I'm not sure, but I am fairly certain that I have never been happier than when I am running through the woods, through snow, rain, sunshine, climbing up switchbacks, running down ridiculous descents. Every bit of it is amazing.
My body is giving me a little sass. My left ankle is safe, but achy. My right knee is achy but safe. It took me a bit more effort to stay on my diet and to get it back, mostly because I let it slide when I wasn't running, but the more I got back to it I was like, "Oh ya, I did eat that, didn't I?" "Oh ya, that is really bad to be eating while training, isn't it?" The more I keep my eye on the prize the better I'll feel, the quicker my body will recover, the faster I'll get' the stronger I'll get. It'll come. What is awesome is that I am a far more patient person at the end of all this. Just give me trail time and I'm happy. I'm not a religious person, but the trail is as close as I get to a church. It is sacred. Whether it is along a river, in the trees, up a ridge, through the sand, I want it and I want more of it. I laugh a little easier. I smile a little quicker. For me not running is death. Spiritually, emotionally, physically as well. My body tends to deteriorate quicker when I'm not using it for what it was designed for. It took me a long time to discover that because I grew up in a family that doesn't run, doesn't go to the gym, doesn't really take care of themselves. Sorry to my family if you're reading this, but it's true, and you know me. I am honest, and I am comfortable with the truth. I live the truth and i am freer because of it. So after that little digression, it took me until 2009 to figure out that I should've been running a lot longer, but quickly making peace with the fact that I am doing it now and there is no service in ruminating about what I didn't do or should've done. I have to commit to now. So that is where I live, and damn if life isn't getting pretty good. 40 can suck or 40 can kick ass, but one thing is for fucking certain at this point in your life, and that is that which ever way you take it, it's a decision. Whether it's conscious one or not, that is entirely up to you. So with that, I hope to see some of you out there swinging and running through the trees in a week. I hope you've experienced that joy. Yes, joy. That's a new concept for me, but that is for another post on another day. Love all y'all. Beast mode: Engage.