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Zion Double Crossing FKT: Report

Craig Lloyd on West Rim somewhere

"Now I spend the summer remembering the good intentions which vanished.
In part because of laziness, in part because of carelessness.
What's wrong with feeling nostalgic?
...August is coming to an end and September isn't arriving,
and I'm so ordinary!
But there's no need to worry.
It's alright.
It's okay."
 -The Great Beauty

I know race reports are supposed to be all flashy pictures with a story cleverly told in mile markers and splits.


Jen and I coming to Hopp. "This is our seflie spot, remember?"

But, this isn't a race report, I don't think in terms of splits and places, and I'm typically not very clever.

Here's the stats:
Goal: Don't puke (for the first time ever)
Goal: Have fun
Goal: Perfect day. Find 100 mile mojo. End season on a high note.
Start Time: 5:06pm
Finish Time: 5:56pm (24:50)
Course: West Zion (Lee's Pass in Kolob) to East Entrance, then back. Roughly 97 miles and 19,000 feet of vertical gain
The crew: Craig and I for the entire double, Matt Williams first 13 miles then he was crew chief extraordinaire, Jen and Josh last 48.5 miles (second crossing), Becky the last 13 miles
Goals met. Though, I didn't eat much (one 4 hr stretch only got in 80cals) and had to sit and wait out a few near-puking spells.
No blisters. No blow-ups or melt-downs, no major hiccups. (One spring we had counted on wasn't flowing, but we found snow to fill bladders with). Perfect weather, company, and day.
The Data: (because I'm a strava junkie) http://www.strava.com/activities/217307202
Craig's Report: on Refuse2Quit

Gear:
La Sportiva Helios
Injinji socks with lots of Trail Toes
La Sportiva Breeze Jacket
Terramar Cloudnine Top (love the thermoregulation)
Gnarly Feast for recovery

sunset in Kolob, the timing of the entire run was scheduled for this
And, here's my story:

During the traverse the only pictures worth taking were ones impossible to capture.
So I took them in my mind.

When I was about 6 years old I started taking pretend pictures. I knew I had a poor memory, but I was convinced that if I focused reeeeaaallly hard, and attached the significance with feeling and the visual, I could keep it in my memory forever.

I'd tuck my hair behind my ears, form my fingers into a camera, squint one eye haphazardly closed, "click!" I'd giggle, immediately closing my eyes, just to make sure it was still there.

My first pretend picture was on a car trip. I wasn't buckled, and was bouncing around as we drove on I-15 N through the gorge towards St. George. I was in a 12 passenger van, my Dad was speeding, my mom was squeezing his leg hollering for him to slow down, the air was hot with tension. The vents weren't pointed the right way, there had been fights amongst my many sisters about it and no one cared anymore. But the view! I had to crouch below the window just to see the tops of the limestone. How young was I to fall in love with rock! It made me feel so small, so fulfilled: powerful and yet powerless, overflowing with wonder.

second time in Hopp Valley, glad the sand is ending

There were other pictures. The truck parked amongst the granite boulders my first time to Joshua Tree and the smell of cigarette butts. The look on his face before my first real kiss. The whispers of footsteps on dirt winding around the canyon, rays of sunshine dancing around me, discovering trail running. My children right after birth.

This mental scrapbook I keep of moments that can't be captured had images added to it during the Zion double. That's the highest compliment an experience can receive from me.

almost to Kolob for sunset again. love all those kids in front of me.

Sitting below massive white walls, the moon reflecting and bounding with energy through the air, leaving me breathless in awe. How could I feel so complete? Whatever life meant, it was there. All of it. Joy, wonder, inspiration. I drank it in, sitting in the switchback alone. Hands in the sand. Feeling.

"You know, it's too bad a camera could never do this justice."
Craig was a ways back, leaning against a cliff.
I stared into the canyon, immersing myself into it, focusing reeeeaaallly hard to add it to the scrapbook.
"Yeah. But some things are better when they exist only in memory."

Later, the alpenglow. A deepening friendship with Jen. Laughter, pain cave redecorating, humor and pranks.... serious moments reflecting on pain, loss, and mishaps. Dancing in the moonlight, for no reason at all.
finding peace in motion

A camera can only capture so much.


Josh's first full Zion Traverse!

"We need to take a picture. Right. Here. It's my favorite view of Kolob. I don't want this memory with only pictures of the sign at the finish.
I want to remember this."



100 miles, starting here

one of several "60 seconds of peace"

Thanks again to my sponsors, who support me in whatever craziness I choose to endeavor in, and allow me to pursue my dreams away from races and in wild places. Thanks La Sportiva, Gnarly Nutrition, and Terramar!

Comments

  1. Very inspiring. Thanks for the great report.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely report/musing to capture all of the parts of your ZTX2 that could be with words. That last picture, for me, summarizes all of the parts that can't be recorded: internal, blissful, and personal.

    ReplyDelete

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