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Antelope Canyon 50: Pre-Race Report

[caption id="attachment_633" align="alignnone" width="960"]IMG_7142 PC: Cherri Marcinko[/caption]

I always choose the last taper run with care. It is mentally significant, even though the run itself is merely a chance to stay loose before race day. Today I chose the City Creek Canyon trail, which was my first trail run in Utah. I lived close to it during a rough period of life, and often late at night I'd hop onto the trail... 11pm, 1am, seeking peace. The dry grass and rutted dry dirt reminded me of canal roads in Idaho. It felt like home. Isn't that what we all want to feel when we're nervous? The simple feeling of belonging? Of home?

More and more running has been a refuge, a place of balance, a lyrical moving meditation for me. At this race I hope to find that balance more within myself. A dear friend and talented Chakras/ Color Therapist/ LNP/ Meridian coach Kathy Heinsohn took the time to chat with me this week. Many of her words have stuck with me through runs and races over the years, and I wanted to feel ready for what this year would bring, as the first race of the year has become significant to me. She told me simply to "go run and know that balance and being grounded will come as you follow your heart."

[caption id="attachment_632" align="alignnone" width="2064"]IMG_7123 PC: Steve Frogley[/caption]

My heart, for once, actually wants to run hard. I want that freedom in motion, that joy in dead legs. I want to know my training has paid off. I want to test my mental fortitude.

Antelope Canyon is a testing race. I've drastically altered my training to help get me ready to run the Kokopelli trail in it's entirety later this spring. With Antelope Canyon being very similar in terms of sand, vertical gain, and arid temperment, it should be a great place to set a benchmark in training. I've done fasted state long runs as well as limited my caloric intake more and more on runs, hoping that a lower-calorie approach to ultras will help my stomach tolerate the running better.

[caption id="attachment_631" align="alignnone" width="1024"]IMG_7087 PC: MVH[/caption]

I will never be the best, nor the fastest, nor the most knowledgable, nor the most improved, nor the nicest, nor the best-looking, nor the fittest. But I can be a pretty decent person, a well-rounded runner, a good friend, and someone with an infectious passion for life and moments and experiences and joy. I'm hoping for those grounding roots at this race...

Funny that a race I desire to run my hardest is also one I seek peace at the most? But then, is that not distance running?

[caption id="attachment_629" align="alignnone" width="1760"]IMG_6428 PC: Craig Lloyd[/caption]



  1. Really cool post. Best of luck on Saturday. Save me a spot by the fire at the finish line. I'll need somewhere comfy to sit and rest my under-trained legs.

  2. Hope you have a lovely race. Would you mind sharing what brand of skirt you're wearing in that last shot? Thanks!

  3. Have a great race on Saturday! Just because you're running a 50 miler, it doesn't mean I'll give any slack in climbing gym next week. ;)

  4. Jennilyn, you inspire me, more and more my mind is wandering back to our 10 miler in the swell and I felt it was a little of a cross roads for me. Either do my marathon and stop running all together, or keep running, always. And at this point I'm sticking with it. You inspire me!

  5. it's the la sportiva andromeda skirt, 100% seamless and soft, and the most comfortable item of clothing I own. :)

  6. let me know when you want me to pace your first 50 ;) but really, let's run again sometime.... up one of the mountains near you. I enjoyed that run together immensely. and thanks.


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