Reason #2: Gratitude and God
A few months ago I had a slip and fall injury. During my massage and treatment, I was told I was still clinging to the bitterness. This was true. I was bitter and a bit angry that I was, by all means, out of the training game for a couple months. To encourage faster healing, my massage therapist was working with me on letting go of the bitterness and pain and instead focusing on the gratitude and joy trail running gives me.
So on my longer training runs, the times I've pushed the hardest and/or felt the worst, I've changed my thoughts-- this isn't punishment, training, or pain. It's a gift. The entire trip is a gift and I needed to be grateful my body could do what it was doing, grateful for the places I could go, and grateful for all the living I've managed to do in my 26 years of life. I thought about this a lot on my run this morning, especially after reading Zion 100 reports on how the RD (he's RD for Bryce 100 too) had the runners carry batons for each of the injured and deceased from Boston through the entire 100 miles. Some of these people may never be able to run another step again, and here I was this morning, barely 10 minutes after waking up, out on a trail in the brisk morning air.
While my life and my beliefs have been every which way, one thing has always held the same- my knowledge in a loving God. There were times I was bitter at Him, frustrated that after months of prayers we were still unemployed; bitter on my trivial troubles when I felt alone. I didn't understand why things happened the way they did, why it was to hard.
It took a long time to let go, and I finally realized that all of those struggles brought me to this point, strengthened me, and encouraged my family to be as close-knit as we are.
God isn't something I talk about often, especially after I moved to Utah. I discovered when I moved here that asking what religion you are is the next question out of a person's mouth after "What's your name?" I hated that, and still do. I feel uncomfortable being in a community where I feel judged by my decisions to run in the mountains on Sundays and all the time I spend running in general. But as I think of the reasons I think I can run 100 miles, I can't deny that this is high on my list:
I know there is a God. I know when I pray he listens. He gave me a body capable of this. Of all the talents I could have, I have this outlandish ability to wake up at 3am and frolick through the mountains for hours on end. How awesome is that? So if He's on my side, I can run 100 miles.