Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 HURT 100: The Love and the Hate

“What is my why?” I asked myself for the 100th time. To be honest I've never been entirely clear why I run ultras, this moment was no exception. I was 30-some miles into one of the hardest 100 milers in the world and I felt like any moment I was going to lose my stomach and I couldn’t figure out why I was doing it. It's not like I didn't know what I was getting into, this was not my first time running HURT 100, it was my 5th. I was pretty sure I knew my "why" before the race – this year I was going to set a PR and enjoy time with other runners. By “enjoy” I really should say “suffer”. I knew there would be suffering, but it wasn’t until the race started and I began that cruel ascent up Hogs Back that I remembered how much suffering this race really required. How had I forgotten? What was wrong with me that I could let myself do this again, and again and AGAIN. It had been 2 years since I had run this race – I took last year off from the race to enjoy Maui with my children who had never been to Hawaii, ages 9 and 12, and in that time I had made the race into some sort of jaunt in paradise. Dammit. Time is a potent amnesia and my body was letting my brain know what an idiot I was to have accepted this challenge once again. So was my stomach. Please make it stop.
Me and my crew extraordinaire, the one and only Catra Corbett
2017 was marked by a strong desire on my part to return to racing (but that wouldn’t really happen until the end of the year/start of ’18) as well as a good effort on my part to cope as a very overwhelmed human being. I'm not complaining and I say this because I know some people will judge my words, I'm just explaining mostly for my own understanding. 2017 was a necessary 'just survive and get through it' kind of year to get to where I want to be. My business was taking off and growing quickly (we doubled our numbers in 1 year) and with it, my work load was growing massively as well. I organized my most complicated and challenging events thus far. 
Loop 1, mile 20
This was the first year I’d be organizing three 200+ mile races in less than 3 months. As daunting as competing in all 3 may sound to you, the reader, organizing the events felt even more challenging to me, an experienced ultra runner and race director. Last year I organized two 200 mile races plus another 7 separate events for a total of 9 events. This year I had 10 events, including one extra 200 mile race that was really 238 miles, the Moab 240, and with it many more permits and a very increased work load and responsibilities that would’ve broken many people. It almost broke me honestly, but I chose it and dammit I wanted to be successful! 

My point in explaining this is to paint a story for the reader as to where my mind and body was July through early November. I was on site for organizing, marking and directing my 200 mile races from early July through October, a total of almost 4 months. From mid September until October, in just 2 weeks, I prepped for the Moab 240 (orders, final permits, employees, etc) flew to WA to see my children, had surgery for a hernia, and gave up alcohol for good. To say that I filled every moment with something significant is an understatement. September was one of the worst months of my life, with some of my lowest of lows and yet, my race directing business was taking off. It was a month of change, and although it was painful in many ways, it was a catalyst for all the good things that 2018 will bring.
Hogs Back, the first climb. You must do this climb 5x for a finish.
All three 200 mile races went incredibly well, however as a business we had some growing pains after my new truck’s engine died costing the business over $20,000, the business’ new RV broke down, and some internal strife (read: issues with our race crew including missing cash from merchandise and the need to let go of some people due to their actions being out of line with our mission). Through it all I began to fine tune some aspects of my race organizing team and through it all a deeper understanding of the kind of people I need to have on hand in order to do my job the best I can and continue to organize the biggest an best 200 mile races in the USA.

By the time November rolled around, I was ready to train for the HURT 100, my 5th time racing the event. Heck, I was ready to just run in general after all the work commitments of the past summer and fall. Work and life had other plans for me however. In November/December I put in an offer on a house in Washington State, opened the Tahoe 200 registration (we got over 250 people in 2 months), sold two trucks and finally got a new truck to replace my dead truck and closed on that house in Washington. Life stayed overwhelmingly busy. I made two trips to Washington State and got a new puppy and trained my ass off while dealing with a chronic hamstring injury. I raced the Ray Miller 50k getting a break through 3rd place after years of not racing anything less than 100 milers. By breakthrough, I meant specifically mentally for me. It was uplifting to see that I still had a little speed, but I worried that I had not raced longer than a 50k in prep for the HURT 100, a race that I knew would test every inch of my body and mind.
Mile 40, still smiling, but not feeling well
In December I trained with a bit more gusto running most days through cold, snow, and injuries including the aforementioned hamstring pain and a separated AC joint in my shoulder. Despite the injuries, I felt stronger than I’d felt in years. Yes, years. Just last summer I DNS’d the TRT100 when my new coach David Roche explained that it would set me back if I did – he was right to say so. Last summer I couldn’t even run up a short hill. My body was drained and I’d been pulled from the Desert Rats 150 mile stage race for medical reasons after a string of issues that culminated in extreme abdominal pain and a massive drop in my blood pressure (I was measured as 60/? As the doctors couldn’t even get a read on the bottom number). It was recommended that I immediately go to the hospital, I refused, survived, and ultimately was pulled from the race for my own safety.

As I write all this I realize that as excited as I was to return to racing, I may have returned too soon. I should’ve built a stronger base including more short distance ultras in preparation for such a tough 100 mile race. I found myself getting quite nervous for the HURT 100 as it approached. I was excited to have my good friend Catra Corbett joining me as crew and pacer and I felt confident that I was well trained and ready, yet I knew that it was ONE HUNDRED FREAKING MILES. Anything could happen and I hadn’t trained more than 31 miles in one day in prep. I really felt that I should’ve done a 50 miler, but I was carefully managing my hamstrong pain. I had done a 3 day but it ended up being shorter than planned due to my hamstring and 6” fresh snow. My three day block ended up being 26 miles-10 miles- 20 miles 3 weeks before the event. I hoped it would be enough.
Beatrice trying to convince me she will fit with all my other race gear for my trip to Hawaii
Race week: my runs were still feeling good, great actually, but my nerves persisted. I had high expectations for myself, after all this was my 5th year and I’d finished the race 3 times (twice in 2nd place, once in 3rd place and one DNF) and I thought I could get a PR. My fastest time was 27:58 good enough to just squeeze into the women’s top 10 fastest times ever. I felt like I had not really reached my potential at this race and I hoped this was the year I could do that.

I didn’t do it. Here’s how it went down.  
It's worth noting that on loop 1 we all thought there was a missile coming to Hawaii to possibly kill us all. Puts things in perspective. This is a screen shot from Catra's phone when they finally let everyone know that we were not in fact being bombed. 
Miles 0-20 (loop 1)
Felt stronger than I’ve ever felt on Loop 1 although I came in slower than my PR year. I ran it in 4:28 this year, my fastest being 4:17 and despite the relatively fast pace, I was still running 3-6th place woman. There were about 7 of us that were relatively close on that loop and loop 2. Looking back, I believe this was actually the most competitive year I’ve run the race. I felt good on this loop and 4:28 was not too hard for me, although the 4:28 felt a bit faster than it was. I was hoping to do a 4:15 on that loop, but keeping it easy and light was my plan so 4:28 it was. Running into paradise was waaaay slipperier than I remembered it from other years, however the rest of the course seemed drier, save for the creek crossings which were more intense and my feet stayed wet the entire way. Squish, squash, squish, squash.
Loop 1. Photo courtesy HURT 100
Miles 20-40 (loop 2)
This loop makes it or breaks it for most runners. If loop 2 is too difficult, it’s incredibly difficult physically and mentally to continue for 60 more miles on such difficult terrain. Basically this is the loop that went bad for me. Right away I got very nauseous. I panicked – I was fearful of a repeat of the abdominal pain that almost sent me to the hospital last summer and I knew that this pain would take away all my leg power if it continued. I thought fast and realized I’d had a lot of plain water at the Nature Center at mile 20 and I might need more electrolytes so I added Liquid IV powder to my hand bottle in a strong concentration. It worked within minutes and by the time I was at the top of the climb 3 miles into the loop I felt good again. I had two entire coconuts worth of coconut water at the road crossing (after banging my knee incredibly hard on the medal fence) and proceeded to Paradise Aid mile 27.

Leaving Paradise, a very gradual uphill began to feel tougher than it should. I wanted to walk but I knew I should be running. My level of effort to keep a similar pace to loop 1 was much harder than I hoped and I knew lack of calories and subpar hydration was taking a toll, as well as possibly my lack of training over 50k and a mind that wasn’t strong enough. I began to have doubts about my abilities creeping into my head. Stay positive I told myself. I knew everyone would be slowing down and I anticipated this loop would be 30-60 minutes slower than loop 1, a much bigger difference than was ideal. Dammit. General nausea was hitting me again on the way to Nuunuu Aid (mile 33) but I keep trucking along, I still had a long way to go. As I descended to Nuunuu I counted the women in front of me: 6. Wow, I was pretty far back I thought. Looking back, I realize I was being way too hard on myself, judging myself on previous years but this year was its own year and who knew what would happen? It was still early, yet I couldn’t see that at the time. I was beginning to deflate.
Coming into Paradise Aid Station, mile 27. Sweating is just part of this race. A lot of sweating. 
Nausea continued to get worse after Nuunuu and I struggled to keep pace. I had to sit down as I felt shaky and sick. I tried to get calories in, but I didn’t want to eat. Thoughts of dropping were comforting and I began to really consider ending the suffering I was feeling. By the time I reached mile 40 (5:30hr for 2nd loop and 10 hr total) I had decided I was done I just wasn’t sure how to tell Catra. I could not imagine continuing 60 more miles with the extreme nausea I was feeling. Catra convinced me to go to the next aid at mile 47 and I agreed because I knew I owed it to her to try. The climb out of the Nature Center was incredibly difficult as I had to sit many times to calm my nausea. I hate you Hogs Back! I felt so sick, and on top of that I felt sorry for myself. I wasn’t sure I could make it to the next aid. People kept passing me. Sit down, walk, sit down, hold stomach. Just before the turn off to the Nature Center, I texted Catra. I knew I needed to go back. I didn’t feel good enough to continue. And that was it. All my hopes and dreams of my race, of another finish that year were done.
Catra wiping me down at Nature Center, mile 20. 
You can be disappointed without being hard on yourself. That’s how I was. People kept telling me not to feel bad, not to be hard on myself and it was confusing. Why can’t I be disappointed? I wasn’t beating myself up, I was bummed out that it ended the way it did, but I did what I had to do for myself. I did the best I could in each moment. I did not have regrets; I was just disappointed. I didn’t want anyone to tell me how to feel, I just wanted to be home with my loved ones and a pair of skis. I was ready to take a break from everything HURT 100. Is that so bad? I’m a complicated human. I dream big, work extremely hard, feel fear, disappointment, joy, and love. I also felt that I did not reach my full potential which is always unacceptable to me. I’m not sure how to reach my full potential in races, but I’ll just keep trying. I guess that means that I will probably be back, despite the many (negative) feelings I had about the course while running it and afterward. Love and hate are really just ends of one spectrum, intimately connected. 
Still smiling, promise!

Couldn't be more excited to go home to my pups and kids

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Exploring Fear: Mitigating the Dangers of an Adventurous Life

Skiing Flagpole Peak, photo by Ray Sena
I have a complicated relationship with fear. I'd say that I am probably more adventurous than most people, however fear is always present in some form or another in both my professional and personal life. When I'm doing what I really love it's always present. I cannot separate fear from the joy I feel when I am most free exploring the world. It's just a part of the process. When I fastpacked the Bigfoot 200 course completely alone so that I could create a point to point 200 mile race in the Cascade Mountains, it was both exhilarating and terrifying. That course is incredibly remote and there was no calling for help if I needed it. Many of the trails I was scouting I wasn't even sure existed, I'd come up with a route on a mapping program ahead of time and there was a chance it might not work out. Some of the trails were very faint and there were times I wasn't sure I was where I thought I was or that the trails would continue. I had a handheld GPS and maps to keep me on track, however that wouldn't help me much if the trails I planned to explore didn't actually exist.
Sleeping alone at night in the middle of the wilderness in a bivy and going through torrential downpours was probably the scariest part. The Cascade Mountains are beautiful but can be an unforgiving and dangerous. Would I be able to stay warm enough if my rain jacket didn't work? What if my sleeping bag got wet inside of my pack? What if an animal attacked me while I was running/hiking/sleeping?
Read about my fastpacking Bigfoot 200:
Such amazing beauty while fastpacking the BF200 course 

There are countless times I've balanced my fears with my adventures. I don't think you can have a real adventure without fear and the possibility of failure or injury or worse. Fear can be a motivator and can save your life. Most the time I think fear is an early warning sign that you're entering into one of the following:

1. You're doing something completely new and your fear is motivated by the unknown. Maybe you are learning a new sport or trade. It may be a vague uneasiness that stays with you, but usually it's a mild form of fear. This kind of fear is usually good to explore with careful planning and assessment.

2. You're unaware of your physical limitations and perhaps in an extreme environment and your fear arises out of the possibility that you will deprive your physical self to the point of injury or death, for example: dehydration, heat problems, hypothermia, hunger. These situations require careful assessment and planning. Before putting yourself in an extreme environment for a prolonged time you should take baby steps. Take shorter outings in the environment. Test your body and equipment. You can quickly be in real danger if you do not prepare and plan ahead.

3. You're pushing past your psychological and/or physical comfort zone and this causes fear of the unknown. For example, perhaps you're doing your longest run ever or a new race distance or you're fastpacking alone. Most the time, pushing past these comfort zones is highly beneficial. Always be prepared and assess the situation.
Assessing the most fun (and safe) ski route down the peak. Photo by Tony Guan
4. You are alone and your fear arises from not having someone to rely on if something bad was to happen. You could feel these emotions in a regular daily run or during a longer unsupported route. Making sure that someone knows where you are and what time you expect to return is key. For longer routes carry an emergency beacon like a DeLorme or SPOT. Carry a cell phone or a satellite phone. Preparation and communication can save your life.

5. You're in actual immediate physical danger. You may be skiing down a mountain during high avalanche danger and cause an avalanche. You may be running and see a mountain lion. You may get injured and not be sure if you will be able to get back to your car/home. You may get caught in a storm or get lost. This kind of fear should be taken seriously and your intuition should be trusted. Careful planning, knowing what to do when injured or when making contact with wild animals and having emergency gear and warm clothes can help in many cases. Always let someone know your adventure plans and when you expect to return. Carry an emergency beacon like a DeLorme or SPOT. Have a cell phone or Satellite phone. When backcountry skiing have all your avalanche safety gear and even a avalanche balloon bag - this applies to any sport where safety gear can save your life.
I think that it's important to control your fears and to listen to them since they can point you both toward some of the greatest achievements in your life or alternately, toward injury or death. Finding that fine line between adventure and death is key. You wouldn't want to live a life of mediocrity, but you also want to live. You want to have as much time exploring and adventuring AND with your family and loved ones as possible. Life is a balance. We cannot live allowing our fears to control us, but we can use them to better assess the safety of our adventures and to achieve amazing feats.
Love my GPS device!
Here are some ways that I like to use to mitigate the dangers of my adventures:

1. Carry a Emergency Beacon: Most popular versions are Delorme InReach or SPOT devices. The InReach has tracking, maps, and you can text through your satellite subscription. Both devices have a button you can press in case you require immediate rescue. It will allow Search and Rescue to find you. Only for use in the most extreme and dangerous circumstances but a nice fall back plan if you do need rescue.

2. Have a GPS device AND maps/compass: Most important thing here is that you know how to use all your navigational gear. Practice, practice, practice! I am a huge advocate of handheld GPS devices. They have allowed me to navigate complicated routes successfully. I have the Garmin 64st, now a bit outdated so if you plan to get one, look for a more modern equivalent.

3. Carry plenty of warm clothing and rain gear: This is so important in so many adventures. When I go fastpacking I always have a truly waterproof jacket (testing it ahead of time can save your life), down jacket, tights/pants, extra socks, gloves, and a hat. No one plans to get injured on the trail, but if you do you will be ready to hunker down and wait for help. Keep ALL your extra clothing in a waterproof bag. If carrying a sleeping bag also keep that in a waterproof bag.

4. Carry more water and food than you think you need. Assess your route for water especially. Make sure you have more than enough water for each section. Bring a water purification device. I like the Steripen and the Sawyer mini filter. Sometimes I carry both.

5. Communicate with someone your plans. Let someone know where you are going, when you plan to be back and how to communicate with you while you are on the trail.

6. Carry the essentials for safety. This really varies depending on what and where you are going. For fastpacking trips of 2+ days I carry:
  • rain jacket
  • pants
  • hat & gloves
  • sleeping bag
  • bivy or small tent
  • lighter/waterproof matches
  • knife
  • light & batteries
  • GPS device and maps and compass- must know how to use or they are useless!
  • SPOT or Delorme Emergency beacons
  • water purification method
  • extra food and water
  • waterproof bags for clothing and sleeping bag
  • sports tape & duct tape
  • anti chaffing cream
  • sunscreen (if it's going to be sunny)
  • small stove (ok so I never bring one, but if you're hiking mostly or your pack is big enough go for it)
  • personal medications. I like to have aspirin, ibuprofen and bendryl just in case
  • hat: I prefer a trucker hat, keeps you cool in the sun and warm in the cold
  • and of course coffee :) Starbucks Via or instant coffee is good if you don't have a stove. I've been known to mix Starbucks Via with cold water in a Ultimate Direction water bottle
Put duct tape on your water bottle. I used it when I sprained my ankle badly on day 1 of the tahoe 200 scouting. Life saver. 

Now go out and explore your fear!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Trap of Being Busy

Photo by Howie Stern at the Bigfoot 120mi/100k in October

I hate to admit it but I have fallen into that trap of being too busy this year and one of my favorite things, writing, has fallen by the wayside. So I wanted to write a few updates here and promise to myself to find more time to write about running and running culture in the coming months. I have some articles I have been pondering in my head and I am excited to share them with you. For now, Here's some updates from the year:

  • I successfully directed 15 races this year, just 2 more to go, with three of those being over 100mi (two 200 milers and one 120mile/100k). 
  • I've created a brand new 200 this fall that will (hopefully) be permitted for next year (2017), the Moab 200 Endurance Run. It will be organized in memory of Stephen Jones who came up with much of the route. The race will be in a similar format to my other 200s: non-repetitive course, just one single loop from Moab south through the red rock canyons to the Abajo Mountains and north through the La Sal Mountains to finish in Moab, UT. To understate how much work this is to organize, I'll just say I have in fact been busy!
  • I raced two 100 mile races, HURT 100 in January (2nd place finish) and Tahoe Rim Trail 100 in July (slowest finish ever in a 100, but I finished!). 
  • I moved to Lake Tahoe (my dream for a while) in February for a year and have been traveling almost constantly to organize events.  I estimate I've only been home 40% of the year. Each 200 I organize takes about 1 month on site to organize. They are a huge, massive time, energy, and monetary investment. 
  • I hired a videographer for my 200s this year, Derrick Lytle, and he has made a few promos for the Bigfoot 200 and Tahoe 200 and is working on a documentary that follows three runners as they tackle the 200s. Can't wait to see what he comes up with! Check out the promos below the post so learn a bit more about the races.
  • I began cross country and back country skiing in March and I'm totally hooked! Now I travel with my skis, just in case I find some snow. 
  • My race organizing business grew by about 10-20% overall, but doubled for the 200s. Pretty excited about that but looking forward to a simpler time with fewer responsibilities so I can play more.
  • This was the year I added another best friend to my life, Hank the unusual chihuahua. Hank is such a blessing... as are all best friends. He fills an emotional void that only a special friend can fill. I still have the lovely River (Husky / German Shepard mix) and she is doing great. Unfortunately I have not been able to travel with her on some trips, but she gets to enjoy staying in Tahoe with her pals Marvin and Garrett while I am gone. Hoping to upgrade vehicles so I can fit River in my vehicle comfortably in the coming year.
  • Speaking of which, I plan to get a Sprinter Van for next year so I can travel with a bit more gear and space. My Honda Element (Hotelement) is just a bit small for 2 dogs, my gear, and myself. Plus if I'm traveling 60% of the year I might as well get a bigger rig. 
Road trippin'
That's it for now... stay tuned for some articles in the coming weeks and months as I plan to invest more time in my writing and I hope you enjoy it! For now, here's a few ways to follow my adventures:

Bigfoot 200 Endurance Run

Tahoe 200 Endurance Run

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Limitus and Other Ridiculous Concepts plus Why Breathing is Sort of Important

Organizing the inaugural Bigfoot 200 in 2015. You don't know stress until you
babysit a hundred f@cking runners for 4 days. Photo by Howie Stern
There's a reason they call my foot condition "Hallus Limitus." I'd like to start out by pointing out that the word "condition" has the word "con" in it. Just sayin. I guess I should back up. I've been pining for a real doctor diagnosis on my foot for at least 2.5 years. Before folks were required to have health insurance, lest they be fined into the system, I didn't have insurance. I honestly didn't think I could afford it at that time nor did I think I needed it, but I had this nagging and increasingly intense pain in my right foot, just under the big toe that was very sharp, deep, and gnawing. The pain felt as though someone was drilling into the very middle of the joint. The sharp and gnawing pain would last a few seconds to half a minute in some very severe cases (when I was deep into running a 200 miler last summer). After a DNF at that 200 miler (mile 175-ish) my foot was excruciating, which is saying something because I tend to ignore and downplay most pain. My foot was twice its normal size, throbbing, and it was hard to walk on. So naturally I thought I had a stress fracture or that I was going to drop dead. One or the other.

Relaxing in Tahoe this summer
One x-ray and a few doc appointments later, I was told there was no stress fracture and no arthritis. So what the hell was going on in that toe? I recovered, moved on... I thought. Yet whenever my mileage went over 70 mpw (miles per week) the pain would become increasingly intense, both during rest and running. Fast forward to two weeks ago, I now have health insurance, a foot doctor and a real live appointment with the doc. Another x-ray and lots of prodding later, I was told "Hallux Limitus." Ok, so what exactly is that? Hallux stands for big toe, and Limitus - the increasing lack of motion in the big toe:

Hallux rigidus is considered by many podiatrists to be the end stage of hallux limitus, or a state in which your ability to create motion in your big toe is lost or severely restricted. Hallux rigidus may lead to long-term damage of your first MTP joint, and it usually involves erosion of your joint cartilage and the development of osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease. Hallux rigidus is a condition characterized by near-ankylosis, or a state in which your big toe becomes stiff and immobile due to the partial fusion of your involved bones. ---

My doctor measured my toe and metatarsal bone lengths as well as the cartilage and determined that due to genetic foot bone lengths and my ultra running, this condition has developed to the point that its progression is guaranteed to continue. Now that I am aware that the issue is nothing I can just rest and recover from, I am ready to let it go. I guess I'm saying that I will do what I can to slow the progression of the issue but the prognosis is considered self-limiting and there doesn't appear to be a "cure." So I'll just integrate the experience, the pain into my life, as we do with so many painful things in life. I refuse to allow anything to "limitus" me, let alone my toe. I'd rather become friends with it. Friends in pain, and sometimes not in pain.
Biking is cool too. I've recently gotten deep into Mountain Biking. LOVE IT! Working on getting air lately. 
Did I tell you I've been unable to breathe properly as well? Might as well throw that bombshell in too. I have always struggled with bronchitis type conditions, severe pneumonia as a child where I was coughing blood, and more recently, a diagnosis of exercise induced asthma. Rather than go in depth into the process I struggled through to determine this recently, I'd rather talk about how I feel that racing hard 100s and other ultra runs has severely stressed my lungs. I think we all are predisposed to different issues. We tend to hold stress somewhere, for me it has been in my lungs. In Chinese medicine, the lungs represent grief. I think that this combination of grief from recent life experiences and stress from extreme long distance running has damaged my body's ability to deal with lung based stress, hence the asthma conditions, which can be so bad some days that it's hard to walk up my stairs from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor.

Before you even think to feel sorry for me: know that I really just want to explore my experiences in writing, and with my readers, but do not think for a second I won't kick your ass in my next race, if given the chance. I'm healing, taking time for exploring natural therapies as well as Western medical practices to get all these issues under control. I think that because it's very difficult for me to be vulnerable AND feel vulnerable I have been silent on these issues. I've only shared them with a few people. Now, I'm ready to write about them, to conquer them, to continue my path toward creating some of the most epic trail running events ever... Promise...and to running my strongest races yet.
Training a week ago on the Tahoe Rim Trail, 50 mile day despite breathing issues.
If you don't believe it, then I'll just have to show you how it's done. In the meantime, enjoy some 200 mile porn. My 200s and my 8 other events have been keeping me busy, full time. Especially this time of year with Bigfoot 200 just one month away and Tahoe 200 two months away!! So excited honestly, we have some amazing runners and we are filming a documentary about them this year. Sometimes, running isn't about "me" but even better, it's about leaving a legacy, I hope. One that pushes people beyond what they think is possible until they realize their true infinite capabilities. I'm not just talking about elite runners here, I mean to show the couch potato, the average runner that even they can inspire themselves, and thus the world. 200s are conquered by the mind first, the body second.