Although not compelled to write about the RedHot55k, I am going to anyhow.
I’ve been in a bit of a limbo rut, dipping into dark and worthless feelings, but bouncing back to happy valley and mountain thankfulness, since December.
I lost my dog. He died in December. I registered for school only to find out I registered for the wrong class. I DID NOT get into the Wasatch 100, 2016. I had a fairly shitty run out in the always beautiful southern desert lands of Moab.
I have been reading about introverts, about depression, about hypoglycemic migraines and anxiety. I have been reading about happiness, Colorado, and even Ray Lewis. I have been reading and searching for some kind of answers to questions I can’t formulate or articulate. I continually pull my proverbial boot straps up and try hard to remember the anguish and sadness I was overcome with last year as I dunked my fractured tibia into ice baths daily all winter. –and, then I try to dig deep for gratitude that my legs are working, that my face feels the cold morning air, and my eyes fill with the monthly full moon in predawn hours. I dig deep, I push, I dissect every feeling from brain wave to toe nail, and yet I teeter on balance and can barely spot bliss.
So, perhaps this is not about the Red Hot 55k. Although, that day sort of culminated all the see-saw feelings of the last few months. I rode pretty high after the Wasatch 100 in September 2015. It was not feelings of invincibility, it wasn’t acquired speed, nor did it generate grandiose goals. It was peace and fulfillment. It was personal accountability that paid off and sent me soaring above the highest peak, metaphorically. I had a feeling I would not get drawn for the lottery this year. Perhaps it’s the ever present undeserving notion I have of myself. I thought; that day, September 12, was too good; there was no way the universe was giving that to me twice. And as I state, this is not a pity party… perhaps it is. So how do I shake it? I thought a great run in Moab would shake it; chasing that finish line feeling brought me nothing but exhaustion, irritation, and disappointment. I am consistently inconsistent. The need to link emotional and physical mood continually defines my personal performance. I really never know how I am going to run from day to day, rested or not. Training typically brings me hours of peace that I can repeat day after day because I can stop or go at my desire. I can fuel the passion or I can call it a run. The races- the races are a commitment that I HAVE to finish- no matter what.
So, the Red Hot in Moab started out really well. Beautiful day, plenty of gross gels, melodic motivation in my ears- then it stopped going well. I know what happened physically- I should have eaten more. I even know what happened emotionally, but I don’t know why. I just shut it down 5 miles before the finish. I just didn’t want to run anymore. I didn’t want to be exploring the beauty of the landscape by foot anymore. I wanted my dead dog, I wanted my dead mom, I wanted a good race and a good time, I wanted everything that the universe would not give me, and I wasn’t having fun or peace or a good run.
I don’t have a conclusion. I am in a limbo-ey rut; a blue slope that I am eager to catapult out of. I have another race in 3 weeks. It’s the first ultra and first trail race I ever ran. It’s out at the Great Salt Lake; The Buffalo Run, 50 miles. Another go at a finish line high.
‘Man, I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same”