I may have signed up for a 50 miler in August; Burning River 50 to be exact. What better time to get back to the trails than the hottest day of the year (so far)? Armed with my Orange Mud Double Barrel pack full of nutrition and hydration, I headed “home” to the dirt in hopes of running 24ish miles.
“You’re a special kind of crazy!”
“It’s too hot!”
“You’re running by yourself? No music, no company?”
“Don’t you get bored?”
I get it, I really do. The ultra runner mentality is lost on many. It is hard to put into words and those who know me know that there is very little that I can’t put into millions of words. Those same people also probably find it amazing that I actually can survive 5+ hours silent (except for talking to the wildlife of course) and alone. With just the rhythmic swooshing of my water bottles and the sound of my footfalls in the dirt, a zen like state is created and time seems to fly by as the miles tick off. My brain is busy and yet empty, my soul full and my heart happy. I’m home.
The trails are where I belong. It is hard to tire as your brain is constantly engaged with the next footfall. One wrong step and the next root will turn you into Superman careening down the trail until gravity wins. And yet somehow with the intense concentration of staying upright and moving relentlessly forward, my brain also finds time to wander. The thoughts are generally profound, yet fleeting. Much like my crazy Kylee, my focus never is allowed to stay on one thing for too long because the trail doesn’t allow for it. It’s like thinking of everything and nothing at all.
As I finish up the last mile, I’m always a mixture of relieved and disappointed. Thrilled to finally drink that IPA I’ve been longing for, but sad that my peaceful zen time is over and the real world awaits. Runs like these make me ponder why I am not living in or near the mountains. Maybe I need to remedy that?