Sunday, October 5

On the Big Tesuque Run.

My time, the rank I attain, my outward appearance -- all of these are secondary. For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set for myself, under my own power, I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied. From out of the failures and joys I always try to come away having grasped a concrete lesson. (It's got to be concrete, no matter how small it is.) And I hope that, over time, as one race follows another, in the end I'll reach a place I'm content with. Or maybe just catch a glimpse of it. (Yes, that's a more appropriate way of putting it.)

-- Haruki Murakami, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Yesterday I completed the Big Tesuque Run, a 12-mile out and back trail run that begins at 10,000 feet and goes up to about 12,043 feet. Considering that I bettered my time from last year, I should be content, but I did not meet my personal goal and thus, I felt more failure than joy. (My goal being to run the whole way up and I was not able to do that.) But so it goes sometimes and perhaps I have learned something from the experience.

before the race

It was a tough run for me. I felt good that morning. I mean, I had my usual pre-race nerves, but nothing out of the ordinary. But within the first 100 yards of the race, I knew I was screwed. I felt dehydrated, my legs started cramping up and I couldn't get my breathing right. At one point I was close to hyperventilating. And mentally I could barely keep myself going. Numerous times I got so angry at myself that I was just going to turn around and go back. I mean, why bother walking up? (The runner's blues, perhaps, or hitting a giant mental wall while running a race...not quite sure how to describe it.) And I had some concern that I wouldn't be able to make it down. Every so often I would start to run, but my legs just couldn't keep it going. Shortly after the 3 mile marker, I was going to turn around, but then I saw the water station and thought that might help. And it did, a bit.

Anyway, I made it to the top and ran down the mountain at a pretty good clip considering that my legs still didn't feel right. I was running about 10-minute miles and a few times I thought my legs were going to buckle. Not to mention that at the top it was windy and cold. My hands were bright red and hurt. So uncomfortable. But I kept running. At that point, all I wanted to do was get down the mountain and be done.

I guess it's no small feat that I finished, but as a runner, walking during a race is just not something that I enjoy doing. My dad did much better than me, as expected. He finished at 2:20 or so and was fourth in his age group. I finished at 2:30, a few minutes faster than last year in spite of the sheer psychological torture!

i made it!

We just went out for breakfast and saw that the mountains are covered in snow. Snow! No wonder it was freezing at the top of the mountain yesterday. And while I am not psyched about the cold weather, the snow covered mountains are quite a lovely sight.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of you for making it all the way through, even if it wasn't exactly what you wanted to do.
    Still better than last year!


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