After several days of decompressing from the Leadville 100 mile race, the day of racing already seems like a blink of a memory. The day started with excitement and fresh legs, cruising through the first couple dozen miles of runnable trails. As expected, the double 3,000ft climbs of Hope Pass was a mid race gut punch, with the high altitude segments causing more havoc on my alertness, digestion, and pace than I expected.
I could go on for paragraphs about each turn of the race, the highs and lows, the triumphs and mistakes, and the start and finish (although I don’t think anyone truly cares, and if they do, I say just get the hell out there and run it to get the experience!). But, after five days since the 19 hour, 6th place finish that many may still be ruminating or celebrating over, I’m left with the memory as an intense and satisfying blink in time.
Many say you can live a whole life in a day during a 100 mile race. I think the array of emotions involved in this distance does give a unique experience I have yet to find in anything else, but it’s hard for me to feel any duration of the event in my memory. I felt more pain and agony at the end of this race than any other in recent memory. Usually this sort of severe pain leaves its mental mark, but the more I run, the less each event holds weight in my mind, no matter how much it hurts. Time is warped after 2 hour training runs become the daily routine, and several hours (and more) long races becomes a regular event. But, the pain, failures, success, and triumphs are nothing more….just moments.
If I were to wait to find my fulfillment in running come race day, it could never live up to the expectations and anticipation. If these events do anything, it’s to make me 100% present in each and every step of life for a day, something I struggle with in the “normal” world. The price of this mindfulness though, is impermanence. The grand nature of these ultra experiences are only matched by how quickly they fade into non existence once a few days pass and the post race pains subside.
So, now, onto the next day, no resting on any laurels. Onto the next phase of recovery, the next run, the next challenge. There is no living in the past nor any one race in running. I find fulfillment is in the one step I’m about to take, wherever that lands me.
~Get Out and Get After It. Happy Running Ya’ll~