Skip to main content

"Turning mistakes into gold." -Eddie Veder

Debriefing. Discovering yourself in the wilderness. We must lose ourselves to find ourselves.
...these are all phrases I was brain-washed with as a Recreational Leadership Minor.

Ok, so if that last one is true, I must really be FOUND.

One of my goals this year was to discover more about myself, where my motivation comes from, and what works for me athletically.

I was contemplating this while running in negative temps at 4am (I woke up at 2:30am that morning I was just so excited to suffer). I ran 20 miles with only a 4oz sip of water, no salt, no electrolytes, no food (ok, I had a cookie). This was fun. It was filled with laughter. I mean, HEY, at least we weren't post-holing (sinking) all morning right?

So, what does it mean if the more miserable, awful, and suffer-filled a run becomes, the more I get satisfaction from it? I love bad trails. Blisters don't bother me, a lack of sleep is normal, and post-holing...well, that's just funny.

Scott Jurek talks about taking pleasure from pain in his book Eat and Run. I like to complain about pain. I don't mind it, but I don't pleasure from it. But suffering... I think that's different.



I am far better suited for a run like Hardrock 100 (ridiculously steep and technical) than a race like Pony Express 100 (flat, non-technical). As for Barkley 100 (the other notorious difficult race), well... anyone who knows me knows that if I started on one Barkley loop search and rescue would be out looking for me the next day.

Perhaps the satisfaction is from pitting myself against everything that can go wrong, and asking the universe if that's all they have.



I've also been paying attention to my attitude. If I'm irritated I find the irritation source humorous, and I can use it as a fuel source (it's better than creamed honey) and run with it for hours. Most of the time, my attitude fluctuates between the Edder Vedder song "Rise" and Weezer's "Troublemaker."



The strengths (like finding pleasure and humor in a suffer-fest) and attitudes are tools to use when the running gets tough. Or, at least I hope they will be. I can't be serious while racing, it just tastes bad. If I am happy or content, well, I imagine it would be like when I was content to walk for nearly 8 miles during my first 50 mile race. I was perfectly happy and content to just keep walking. Had I allowed (or encouraged) myself to get angry or find humor in the pain, I probably could've run every step that I walked.

What little discoveries have you made about yourself in the wilderness?

Comments

  1. Discovery: When during a very long run (30 to 100 miles) I am suffering with any number of ailments, I tell myself, or announce to nobody in particular "I will never do this again!", it means that in fact, I will be doing it again the next year.

    MVH

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

that WEIGHTY issue

It's been said to us climbers that what we do is dangerous, and irresponsible. How could we risk our lives like this? And distance trail running, if it compromises our health why do it? How dare we take that time away from our families? And yet, to even make mention about a different lifestyle, one of weight, obesity, and all of the very dangerous and risky components it involves is socially disgraceful, insensitive, and cruel. I bring this up only to show how much weight, in general, is not "ok" to talk about. It's a sensitive subject, even, no, especially, for those of us already at a healthy weight who use our bodies to their fullest daily...

Now, this blog is about running, ain't it? Yep. So while there's a lot of "weight" we could cover in this "weighty" area, we'll just go over one. Running.
Running and weight are intertwined. I'd like to say that this post is primarily for the ladies, because we typically store more weight t…

my children in wilderness; my partners in adventure

kids. it's one subject that everyone seems to avoid in the back-country. I daresay it's even more controversial than bolts/chopping bolts, the purpose of 200 mile slogs, or the benefits/costs of lake powell.

why is it so unpopular? most of us have kids, and we all were kids once. still, most outdoor peeps love a crag dog and will "oooh" and "aah" over an obnoxious pup getting tangled in their gear, but will groan when they see a few kids at a climbing crag. even in utah, other peoples children are generally viewed as distasteful as the little bags of dog poop the poop fairy forgot to come back and pick up off of the trail.

fortunately, kids are nearly as common.

"kid krushers"
"mini me's"
"the backcountry parent"
"badass babes"
"#nochildleftinside"
"free range parenting"
"little training partners"

the titles we use are amusing and endless...


I have two kids. I'm a single mom. I l…

Millwood 100 M "race" report

The most difficult “race reports” to write are the ones that are the most meaningful. With Millwood 100, it is both meaningful and not a real race, so it is twice as hard to capture the experience as words on paper. But I shall try.
First off, what is the Millwood 100 Mile? Millwood is (and yet another) Jared Campbell line in the Wasatch. (More and more my life is becoming a WWJD event… except more of WWJDS—What Would Jared Do Slower.) Millwood highlights the entirety of the Wasatch—along it’s 100 mile route it takes you through several 10,000-11,000+ summits, ridges, lower/over-populated flat trails, beaver ponds, exposed foothills, places where trails no longer exists or bushwacks where the never were trails, scrambles, rarely visited forks and passes, etc. The bad, good, and incredible aspects of the wasatch are all highlighted in Millwood. The vertical gain is somewhere between 40-45,000 ft of ascent… with the same amount of descent. Prior to my Millwood finish there were 3 Millwoo…