Photo taken by Randall Levensaler

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

50 Miles of Amazing

It takes me approximately 20 seconds to walk…umm hobble, down 12 steps. When taking a seat, I now do the slow hover over my target area, and then let gravity pull me in for landing. These are two of the many gifts I’ve received from completing my first 50-mile trail race. 
Golden Gate Bridge

“Enjoy the pain!” My grizzly bearded pacer Jeremy Duncan reminded me that the discomfort I was experiencing was something I had been earning and should be happy for. He wanted me to know I was working hard, and pushing my body to limits it had not yet seen. At 40 miles in, his statement made no sense in my mind. All I could hear were the cries coming from my quads every step I took on a downhill.

Besides the physical torment, my mental space was totally facocked. I told Jeremy the aid station workers were lying to us about the distances, and not to believe them. I also had a very strong urge to cry every time the wrong song popped up on my ipod shuffle.

At this point, you might be asking why I decided to run 50 miles. Well…

I had the opportunity to view an amazing sunrise over the beautiful Marin Headlands outside of San Francisco as I raced on pristine trails.

The North Face Endurance Challenge is known as a high stakes “last hoorah” for the year, so it brings in athletes from all over the country. It is a great event to catch up with my long distance running buddies, let alone make new friends.

Family time! I get to spend quality time running and relaxing with my Salomon teammates…on houseboats! 
Team Salomon Houseboat

And most importantly…I get the chance to see what I’m truly made of. Racing the 50 allowed me to look for weaknesses and find new strengths. I was able to discover new places in my mind and push past old limitations. This was more than a race to the finish line … this was an educational journey that allowed me to search my heart and soul.

I want to say thank you to Salomon, PepsiCo, Julbo, and Pro-Tec Athletics for their amazing support! Your generosity has helped change my life, and has allowed me to reach for my dreams.

And finally to my tremendous family and friends, thank you for all the encouragement, love, and never-ending support. I couldn’t have done it without you.