It is a Tuesday morning, a few hours before the sun comes up. I have tucked myself into a lobby couch a hotel in tiny town Tennessee. I drove out here Wednesday + Thursday to spend an undetermined amount of time at the Big Dog Backyard Ultra. My plan + Read more…
Spoiler: I finished the Silverton Ultra Marathon 100k race…in 20 hours, 43 minutes. In an attempt to process the whole ordeal I’ve been sharing bits + pieces of my experience on Instagram this past week…but it feels remiss to let this whole event go by without truly writing about it. Read more…
I have a whole list of things I’m supposed to be doing. There’s a schedule + each color means something different + getting it all done will make me happy. Except, right at this moment, I’m listening to Shania Twain + Reba McEntire on Spotify while sipping away at a Read more…
It’s no secret that I haven’t headed out on a ‘training’ run in many, many months. Honestly, it’s probably been more than a year, even pushing 18 months? I could pretend this is because I’m waiting for some motivation to boot me out the door + onto the trails. Actually, Read more…
I was digging through my “laundry bag” on the floor of a tiny hostel room trying to decide if I had enough dirty clothes to warrant the $5 wash/dry downstairs. My mind was telling me no…then I got to the bottom + discovered the running clothes I wore for nearly 3 days in the Washington wilderness near Mount St Helens while volunteering at the Bigfoot 200 Endurance Race. Um, yea. Laundry day it was!
Technically, I could tell you all about the twists, turns, up + downs of the Never Summer 100K race, but what fun would that be? If you want to experience the crazy gorgeous course…go sign up for next year! Plus, my selective memory has already kicked in + I only remember the stunning views from the peaks, not the brutal climbs we fought through to get to them. Ah, selective memory…the only reason we keep going back for me.
Or is it? Maybe there is more to an ultra than just the Instagram worthy courses or bragging rights that come with a long day on the trail. Maybe – just maybe – the entire ultra craze is about more than just what the non-running world sees when they watch us beat ourselves up on rugged trails. No, really, it is. My day on the NS100K course affirmed this, again + again.
A few weeks [months?] ago there was a discussion about how much more fun training runs are if you make them fun…almost race-like, but without the pressure to perform, just in case things go awry while you’re out on the trail. I stand by this thought process, especially after my Presidents’ Day weekend of “destination training” in Moab on the Whole Enchilada trails.
On Saturday morning my alarm went off well before the sun peeked over the horizon and I started the drive toward Moab for a weekend of sandy camping, trail running and bacon eating. We rolled into Moab around 3pm, stopped by the Poison Spider bike shop for a new map and set up camp in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. There were four of us making the most of a long holiday weekend…but only two of us were stupid enough to think running our legs off counts as a good use of vacation time. Robb and Kami were there to relax and explore the area while Jeremy and I had big plans to run out/back along a 30 mile stretch of trails the guys knew about from previous mountain biking adventures.
I feel like the word “headspace” is kicked around a lot with ultra running, especially when people are referring to a “bad headspace”. Over the last year I’ve heard a lot of advice along the lines of “don’t get in a bad headspace”. I got the gist of what they were saying – to me it was ultra runner speak for “keep your head in the game”. However, I absolutely HATED that phrase. It felt insulting and when someone asked if I was in a bad headspace I felt belittled and judged, as if they didn’t trust me to think my own thoughts. A little extreme? Maybe.
Turns out it’s all in how you define “bad headspace”! It wasn’t until a friend and I got into the throes of a conversation full of constructive criticism that I realized my version of a bad headspace was a bit different from his [and maybe everyone else’s too!?].
On Saturday morning I was whiney pile of whines. It was bad. I knew that without a concert game plan for my Saturday I’d probably sleep in, even if I wasn’t truly sleep…which is exactly what I did. My excuse?! It was supposed to get up to 50 degrees and it was only 21 degrees at 7am…I was waiting for the heat of the sun! But by 9am it became obvious that Colorado sunshine was NOT showing up, so I pouted and whined…loudly…until I forced a friend into running her 4 miler on the trails with me. I’m pushy shovey like that!