Sunday, September 24, 2017
Friday, September 22, 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017
I decided at the last minute today to head up to the San Joaquin River Trail and go for a run. I haven't ran hard on the trail in a long time, and figured I'd try to do that today.
As I mentioned earlier, my Achilles tendon has been bugging me, so I knew I would have to listen to my body and see how things went. I knew that I would have to take the first mile easy and see how things would warm up.
I'm happy to say that the run went well. I was able to run relatively hard with almost no discomfort. I'm not writing this entry to talk about my Achilles, I'm writing it to talk about my run... the important part of my run.
Over the last couple weeks I've been thinking a lot. I've sat down with a few friends over the last 2 weeks, we've talked about life, death, what this life and existence might mean, what's important in life, what's not as important in life.
I wouldn't call my self a religious person, but I would consider myself somewhat spiritual. I think it's hard to run on a trail, in the wilderness, and not feel like there is something bigger than you out there.
I love runs like the runs I had today, where I'm by myself, just running as hard as I can on the trail... completely focused on my surroundings... my breath... every step I take on the trail... where you feel like you're part of the trail... and completely at one with the moment. For me, this is the closest to a religious experience that I will get right now.
Running hard on the road or track is one thing, running all out on the trail is another. For me, it takes 100% of my focus on the trail or I'll land flat on my face. That's what I love about running hard on the trail, when I'm 100% focused on it, the trail is an amazing experience. Running hard on the trail, through the trees, with the river in sight, in the middle on nowhere, just going where the single-track takes you... it's amazing and sometimes overwhelming.
When I'm in that zone on the trail, I'm not just running, I'm feeling alive!!! I'm able to clear my head, feel focused, happy, and feel level headed.
I though a lot about my life today. The people that have come and gone, people who I have pushed away, people who have walked away, the ups and downs of life, and where I've been and where I might be going. I've been going through a lot of self-reflection over the last few months. There are many things about myself that I know I need to improve on... that I want to improve on. I'm very far from being perfect (and never will be), and very far from being the person I would like to be, but I have time to make adjustments to try to be that person.
I've spent most of my time the last year training on the road, on the track, and at the park. Today while I was pushing myself on the trail, I realized how much I miss taking the time to drive a little bit out of my way so that I can run by myself in nature, away from everything and everyone. I forgot how centered and refreshed I feel after a hard trail run. I'm definitely going to make it a point to hit the trail at least once a week right now.
I have a road marathon that I'm training for right now that will require a lot of long runs on the road, and speed work on the track. With that beings said... I'm still going to try to get up to the trail whenever I can to keep myself centered.
Until next time...
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Life, a lot like running a very far distance, will have it's ups and downs. The trick is to realize that you will have good and bad times, and that you need to enjoy the good times while you are living in those moments... and to realize that the bad moments will pass.
I had to remind myself several times that I had already finished this race 7 times before, and that I could pull off one more. I had to remind myself that it's o.k. to have a bad mile, or 2, or 3... or even 10. I had to remind myself why I started this journey in the first place back in 2010. I needed, and still need, to prove to myself that I can do something that sounds crazy. I need to accomplish something that a normal rational person wouldn't even be able to comprehend. ...and if I can inspire someone to do something crazy, something that they are unsure about, to try something that feels bigger than they are... well, I guess I will feel like I've accomplished something worth accomplishing.
until next time...
Friday, September 8, 2017
I'm sitting in my hotel room with my friend Chris, trying to clear my head and relax. I need to get to bed soon. Headlands 100 will start in just under 10 hours. I need to be up at 5am, so I really need to head to bed soon.
It's crazy how much my life has changed in the last year, 2 years, 3 years, since 2010 when I first ran this event.
I've had so much positive and negative in my life... I can't help but wonder where I'll be next year at this time.
So many things run through my head when I run this distance. The hard part about this distance isn't only the physical aspect, but the mental aspect is what will make or break the day. Can I keep my head together, fight through the lifetime of emotions that often play through my head. Being in your own head space for over 25 hours straight isn't always easy. Sometime the random dark demons come out, and sometimes they stay around for miles and miles.
I want to finish faster than I did last year. All I could think about this morning is that I'm going to have to embrace the discomfort tomorrow, and see how well I can push myself without physically and mentally breaking down.
Buddhists in Tibet believe that the further and more difficult a distance you travel to
Holy places, the greater the spiritual reward... I can't help but feel like this race has become that yearly journey for me.
Well... I could write more, but I should get to bed.
Until next time...