Part of this begins with an innate desire to see the world. Another driving force behind my training is to test my limits. The other, my burning desire to be Forrest Gump.
I’ve tried the testing part. Once for real, the Georgia Jewel 37.5, and a few times in practice.
The Red Rock Canyon is my favorite place. I can’t wait to drink in the views and watch the early morning clouds creep over the canyon like syrup rolling over the side of a fat Vegas pancake.
I want to know that I can do it. Please don’t read my blog and imagine for a moment that I’ve got this in the bag. When I trained for the Georgia Jewel, I had a much stronger physique and foundation. Right now, for example, I’m jogging 20 minutes at a 2.8 mph on the treadmill and feeling winded.
I have a long way to go, but I also have the time to get there. Anyone who knows me well, though, can predict, or even bet, on my failure from training too little, or my injury from training too hard. This, my dear, this whole experiment, is dangling on a tightrope across the Fires of Hell.
I’m taste-testing the world this weekend, running a muck in the windy city, Chicago, and visiting the Kurt Vonnegut Museum in Indianapolis. If you haven’t read Kurt Vonnegut, then I ask you to relinquish your time from my blog and go to the library.
Kurt V. taught me to better understand my mental health issues. Running an ultramarathon taught me I could withstand a lot more shit than I once thought. Kurt showed me true human suffering through his stories of being a POW during World War II. Ultramarathon training taught me how to stretch out my sore legs and the pain cave and remember that this, too, shall pass. I made it through that terrible day of endless climbing. Kurt survived an unimaginable journey through the worst moments of human history and wrote about it in the book Slaughter-House Five.
I want to write about my journey too. I know I haven’t had very many harrowing tales in this season. The other night, I almost fell off the treadmill. Will that suffice?
This journey, the one leading to the Red Rock Canyon, is about healing. My foot is about 80% better.
I travel on.
My mental health adventure is just beginning.
I travel on.
I invite you to come with me, through this training year, hell, even to the 50k. We’ll run/walk in a wolf pack! But, I understand that the struggles that we face as ultra marathoners concerning while we run, or at least what might make an average Joe wake up one morning and decide he wants to suffer voluntarily. On other thought, I don’t understand The Why on this. I know how it feels to train, try, and succeed. I also remember what it was like to train, test, and fail to start the Elsie Enduro last February.
The most important thing I learned while training for the Jewel, the journey creates the most memories, the training changes us more than any single race ever could (unless you fall off a cliff mid race and get mauled by a mountain lion at the bottom).
I travel on.