Our trail runner book club is reading Into Thin Air this month. First, how have I not read this before now?!! Second, whaaaat? I'm not a climber and have no desire to become one (although a trusted source swears that you can have a fear of heights AND be a climber), but man, this story hit me so hard. Even though I finished it weeks ago, I can't get the people and events out of my mind, and they'll be with me tomorrow as I take on Lookout Mountain 50, here in Chattanooga.
One of the messages from the book: never stop dreaming.
(see he CAN smile in pictures) Those pins represent some of my top dreams too.
Another favorite part of the book: the descriptions of how it felt on top of Everest. To be there striving for greatness but up against decreasing oxygen, incredible fatigue, and crushing elements.
No, it's not even close to Everest, but ultras have this element of nothingness at some point. It started out as a great idea, a fun adventure, a spike in adrenaline. But at some point, your body is just on a mission to survive, and you lose the ability to find joy or sorrow. You are just tired. And why do we put ourselves in these situations that push us to that nothingness? I'm not sure, but knowing that you can push through joy, pain, joy, pain, nothingness, and beyond is something. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable -- that is the challenge, tomorrow and in life.
But don't worry, the nothingness isn't all of it. There will be a lot of happy moments tomorrow. And if they don't come to me, I will go out and find them (as long as they are within arm's reach of that trail, and I don't have to move very quickly to get to them).
My drop bags are packed with a variety of things that might appeal to me in the moment:
Hammer Gel -- Apple Cinnamon, the best flavor of all time!
Tailwind (which will be the base fuel!)
Justin's Nut Butter
And practical stuff like:
Portable phone charger
We did our shakeout walk through downtown Chattanooga.
And my flat trail runner is all laid out.
High of 45 tomorrow and no rain predicted. So basically, it will be a perfect day for running!
Text me if you are bored tomorrow! Your text will probably be the thing that helps me run another mile.