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reset.

"What do you have coming up next?"
I had no answer. There are things I've wanted to do, things I've felt like I must do. But I couldn't plan them, not yet.
sunrise

Friday morning I woke to a 3:20am alarm. I quickly wiggled into my white thrift store sundress, excited to "gear test" it on an alpine ridge on a "run" in the 4-5 hour range. I had told the guys that I'd be 'dress'ed for the occasion.

I grabbed my pre-packed bags and was out the door before 3:40. Off to the Little Cottonwood Canyon park-n-ride. We were to do Hidden Peak, the AF Twins, Red Stack, and Red Baldy. Only minor 3-4th class scrambling but a lot of ridge work. I was excited to get onto the ridge.

Craig and Scott leaving Hidden towards AF Twins
The usual morning banter put me at ease. Then, between Hidden and the AF Twins, a sunrise. With smoke and particles in the air from nearby fires, the sun glared red and across a painted sky. I couldn't get enough of it. I resorted to stopping to stare, run/scramble a bit to catch back up, then stopping again.

Craig taking in the sunrise
Once on the summit ridge for the AF Twins Scott tried to take a jumping picture of me. 30+ pictures later... the best one was still the first. We laughed and hurried to get to the summit.

jump!

Along the ridge between Red Stack and Red Baldy I had time to sit and think. It was a beautiful morning. I was happy. I knew I still hadn't forgiven myself for Bighorn. I've felt that, had I respected myself more, I would've stopped. Any sane person would've stopped. I've promised myself I would never go there again, a promise based on a crippling fear. But I still hadn't forgiven myself. I knew that I hadn't finished as a form of self-abuse... but I still hadn't come to terms with pushing through that.

Craig after Red Stack

And on the way to Red Baldy, I forgave myself. I remembered why I run at all... This was what I loved. The summits, the scrambles, the ridges, the sunrises. The laughter of friends, the goofing off.


I owe it to myself to push my limits. I owe it to myself to try again. Perhaps I found a limit at Bighorn. But I owe to these mountains to train again, to push again, to try.

an accidental photo of me laughing at the guys

On an early weekday morning, being silly in a sundress at 11,000+, I had found my reset button.
moving on
Saturday I watched the Speedgoat finish. Due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to watch Sage's incredible finish. I did make it in time to watch the top 10 women run in. Each of them I knew by name and knew just a bit of their beautiful stories.

photo(c) www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa
Was this what I wanted? Competitive races and media and medals? People smiling and clapping?

No, not really. There is a part of me that will always want the positive affimation that I'm doing ok, and that in someway I can help encourage or inspire others find the peace the mountains offer. To discover a "reset" button in their own lives and fitness journeys. But my joy comes from challenges that most races don't offer. The time I'd have to sacrifice to train to race at a more competitive level would pull away from my time spent on ridges and high mountains.
with my husband Ben scouting the Cottonwood Ridge Traverse for WURL

"Why don't you do speedgoat?" A final question was asked to me before I left. Again, I had no answer other than to say one year I would.

Then I turned my back on the race and looked up. Monte Cristo seemed tall and powerful as it gleamed in the sun. It took my breath away. I scanned the entire cottonwood ridge. I resolved to take 2 hours off my time from Ferguson Canyon to the ridge to Superior. I felt inspired, in awe.
on Monte Cristo last week

Perhaps there is a balancing act I have yet to discover and perfect. A balancing act that still allows me long ridges and occasional bush-whacks while still having me do speedwork and tempo runs on a weekly basis. A training regime that enhances my mountain running ability rather than relying solely on mountain running.

Scott approaching the saddle between Red Stack and Red Baldy
So, I've registered for races, shorter distances that I've never raced before. I've put dates on some of my other goals. The plans for summer and fall are beginining to take shape. New goals are set and I am finally ready to move on. I want to try the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase simply because I've never done a race that short... (oh, ok and it summits two peaks). I also signed up for the TNF EC 50.


I'd like to try to run a fast 50, something I haven't tried before. It's local and while I know the permitting drama has probably prevented the RD from posting the elevayion and race maps, he seems like a good guy and the races have a solid reputation. He also sent me a discount code for anyone else who wants to register: JEATON15 takes 15% off an entry.

So, here's to the reset.
finding inspiration in the little things. Mountain columbine above 10k

Comments

  1. I love your posts! I love your attitude and your zest for life! I love you and miss you!!!

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