Whatever possessed me to do it, what reason I felt it necessary, we may never know. After an impromptu hike in the Grand Canyon taken on the misfortune of my good friend’s broken hand (sorry, friend; but you were my inspiration!)…I am staring into the future of a fall season filled with blisters, black toenails and wondering where the next port-a-john is.
Yes, that’s right, I have cheerfully registered for a 50 mile off-road ultra-marathon. Oh, 50 little miles, you say; big deal, you say, you’ve done way more than 50 miles. No, my friends; two wheels will not be involved in these dirty miles, my own two feet shall carry me from start to finish. Yikes.
Maybe I CAN use wheels! 🙂
I can not exactly tell you what (or perhaps whom) actually hit that register tab, I assure you it was not I who did so; but I do have an idea why I may have felt it necessary to allow it to happen. Boredom, and at the essence of boredom…is a dangerous imp luring you to do something foolish. A weariness had surrounded me for several months, zapping my energy and motivation, leaving me in search for something fresh and new.
Gemini at odds
I so easily grab onto a new routine and learn to accomplish it repeatedly without fail until it no longer requires gray matter to execute. In turn, my inner Geminii becomes bored. You see, my ‘twin’ believes: “Why bother if you don’t have to work for it anymore?” Inspiration becomes hard to find, performance suffers. I guess I’ll just sleep and eat cookies until I feel like doing something again. Wait. What? You said cookies. Oh yea…can you have too many cookies? oh yes. Yes you can.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Good things come to those who wait. Greater things come to those who get off their asses and do anything to make it happen.” Right! Don’t just sit there, change may find you eventually, but why wait?!
So as I listened to Mateuz M (thank you, Friend!) and after this particular weekend spent doing several engaging things I hadn’t done before; my Geminii began that pursuit to end the cookie naps. She needed a challenge to enchant and exhilarate her intellect and existence, I agreed. I love to ride my bike. I love where is has taken me. I have no complaints and am an amazingly blessed person. I just felt a need for something…different. A change in scenery, so to speak, and instead of waiting for opportunity to knock on my door, which maybe I would have slept through while drooling through a sugar coma, I went looking for that opportunity.
I came across the words adventure race and ultra-marathon and I kept coming back to them. I thought about how I felt after hiking rim to river to rim at the Grand Canyon. Sore. Doing it in a solid push through, as a challenge and to avoid being overtaken by the heat or monsoons;
I felt very sore. The barely able to walk, like a stiff robot possessing no joints type of sore. I also felt awesome. That pain felt awesome. Doing something that my muscles said “Hey now, what the heck are we doing here?” felt awesome. It was an invitation for my mind and body to learn to suffer in a whole new fashion; we are, after all, capable of so many magnificent feats; how could I not desire to achieve them all?! Dare I cross over to the dark side and get off my wheels to…run? On my actual feet?
forget everything else
Without much more thought than that about it…well, the price was also going up that same day…I typed in my info and registered for the Antelope Canyon 50 mile ultra-marathon. I felt excited and refreshed and inspired! And then my head went “Eek. What did you just do?!” That’s ok, my heart won over…I’m still excited! I will be diversifying my methods of training. I get to educate myself on the different ways to increase on and off-road mileage, how to fuel on this runner’s sensitive belly and experience a few places that I couldn’t… or didn’t have the
Hi! Hello! Howdy!
chutzpah to… go on my bike. Yay! Brain re-activated, motivational fire re-lit. Bye-bye cookies, hello blisters and oh, oh…a shart or two? eep!
Ok. I am not actually new to running. I suppose you could say I have always been a runner. As a high school kid in a mid-west state in the early 90s, you didn’t ride bikes for sport, there were no mountains to climb, you ran. I played basketball, but at barely 5’2″ and hardly triple digits in weight, I mostly got to watch from the bench. As a poor college student, all I needed was a pair of shoes and the fortitude to get out the door. Minimal equipment, minimal money involved. I competed in the 400m in HS, I was decent. I continued to run some in college, but really only to avoid the dreaded ‘Freshman 15’. I ran at least a handful of half marathons in my late 20s and actually broke the 100 minute mark. I ran a total of one marathon. It was hard. There was this very large wall I rammed into at mile 23. It was so big, I don’t know how I, nor anyone else, couldn’t see it just sitting there in the middle of the street. At any rate, I did finish that race, missing my goal time by about 10 minutes (because I thought I could outrun the pacer…of all the silly bs…) and upon crossing the finish line, I promptly walked away from running and onto a bike. Nine years and 10s of thousands of bike miles later, I am getting off my bicycle (temporarily, of course) and looking forward to running 50 miles on Navajo land in one of the most picturesque spots in Arizona. What better way to do it?!
With a thrilling new adventure on the horizon and my desire to learn, train and compete reawakened; I have also committed to the Park City Point 2 Point, once again in that eleventh hour and with 5 weeks to make it happen. What finer way to end the 2015 season, before jumping in feet first to endurance running mode (pun intended), than a super tough mountain bike race through some of the most beautiful alpine trail this country has to offer! Giddy-Up!
I’ll keep you posted on the growth, enlightenment and sweet sufferings along my journey to Antelope Canyon! I’m so blessed to have all my sponsors on my side in this little venture I’ll call My Insanity from now on! Please take a moment to visit their pages and I will keep you informed on all the ways they help facilitate my success!
Oh…the P2P I’m sure will bring on something to say, too!
Cheers to all of your intoxicating and bold adventures out there!