Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why

Contrary to what one might think, I stopped at mile 108 because I felt like I'd completed what I came to Tahoe to complete.  My body felt good, really darn good for that many miles.  I can't explain it and it defies my usual idea of "completion," but I had the most amazing journey.  I remember two things very clearly. The first was the moment I turned a corner to see Lake Aloha in its glory--- the most beautiful sight I've EVER seen on trail, and I have seen some amazing things.  I saw a silver mountain of rock made up of sharp metallic blades and pure blue water to a crystal blue sky with round rocks clean as polished dinnerware bubbling up from the lake. I have never before stopped in such awe and in my surprise I uttered, "Ohhhh!" 

The second moment came when I was suffering greatly from stomach pain in the latter part of the first day, so much so that I was retching, unable to eat, and I heard the telltale rattle.  Stopped in my tracks, I gazed on a frozen rattle snake, it's head turned to me, it's tongue the only part that moved in and out to the sound of my breath.  At that moment I realized that I wasn't so bad off after all. 

I'm not sure what's next for me, but while running I realized that what I thought was important really wasn't important.  I had a bit of an existential crisis. I lost interest in setting a record even though I was still on course to break it.  My adventure and its "goal" had changed.  I no longer wished to receive praise or to uplift my ego through my running, instead I wanted to run for myself.  For my very own adventure.  My mind rebelled from finishing times, records, ridiculous FKTs.  My body still felt good at mile 108.  I could hardly believe it.  The answer to "can I do the 170 mile TRT?" was answered for me in a  resounding yes!  How could I feel so good and be done?  The answer for me was another question: Why not stop when I feel good?

6 comments:

  1. WOw Candice, what an amazing journey, you are AWESOME!! Thank you for continuing to inspire me-and so many others! Proud of you for making the right choice for you! Well done!

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  2. Love the reason....keep on going with this thought and life will be good. My best to James, missed you guys to say goodbye.

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  3. A friend of ours, who I will not identify, but who as won many races, including Hardrock, and set many records, said to us recently " I am so over ultras". What this runner does now is just what you describe.... Run for the joy of it, experience the journey, embrace the beauty.
    You are so incredibly strong, mentally and physically. We saw how hard you trained. Nobody but you can define what this running journey should be for you, and what difference does a record mean anyway? Ten years from now, will anyone really know or care. Life is a treasure- find the joy and live it! Well done!

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  4. You are enlightened;)Aloha lake is one of my favorite places on earth I am so lucky to live here.I wish I set you up with my girlfriends who were ready to pace you.It was fu-cking hot.You are amazing;)Happy Trails Betsy Nye

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  5. i love a good epiphany. or any kind of epiphany, really. some people go their whole lives without one. the best part is, it's not written in stone. nothing is. you can always change your mind later. or not. ain't it great? congrats on a truly special run.

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  6. Aloha, I really dug this post. Good for you on a lot of levels. Thanks for sharing it.

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