|A real smile at my finish at TRT100|
To understand this, you must understand that I'd traveled a long way, both physically and mentally to run this race. I trained through the fall and winter. I arrived almost 2 weeks early in Hawaii to train in the humidity and heat. Through the support of many people and sponsors, I was in Hawaii to run and be competitive in this race. I could not fathom the idea of a DNF so early. I hadn't even begun to suffer the pain of a 100 miler.
Back to mile 3. The sprain was bad enough that after writhing around on the ground in pain, I propped myself up on a rocky outcropping, trying to figure out how I'd get 3 more miles to the aid station. My ankle began to swell instantly. Five minutes on the side of the trail and the eventual winner passed me, asking if I was okay. A few minutes later I decided to try to put weight on my foot. I needed to know if I could walk. As I hobbled down the trail, I slowly realized I could jog on it.
After 15 minutes, I was running again. The ankle ligaments were so stretched out that my ankle turned 3 more times so severely I was again left sobbing on the ground, grasping my ankle, to the horror of onlookers. Are you okay? a hiker asked, panicked. I couldn't answer. Instead, I rolled around trying to get control of the pain. Fumbling in my waist pack I found ibuprofen. I popped one and staggered up, moaning something like, I'm okay, in a big hurry to the horrified onlookers. I can only imagine what a hideous sight of masochism I appeared to be to the onlookers. By mile 40 it was tape the ankle or DNF. Lucky for me, taping the ankle stabilized it enough to let me finish in 3rd place.
|My ankle after the HURT 100|
|Trying to get control of the pain at R2R. Blisters, dehydration, and more.|
|This was the view I saw that morning on the Wonderland, taken with my camera.|
|That's the look of real joy.|
I experience in the external world my internal environment. Fears turn into mountain lions, bears and nightfall. And yet...Joy is the mountain with a sunset like a blush making my cheeks pink. Peace is the first glimpse of Mt. Hood above an alpine meadow with glaciers carving its side. I feel as though I am those mountains I am circumnavigating, covered in glaciers, cutting into my flesh. But the glaciers turn into streams and feed the alpine meadows. The meadows grow and feed the animals and insects. The streams hydrate us as the glaciers slowly melt.