No races this week. Just miles of training and another Gulf Coast sweat fest and another case of heat rash. Another 62 mile week and 16+ hours of training.
Yesterday, I saw a tiny baby turtle in the bike path. I moved it to the side so a dog wouldn't get it. I saw some birds flying in a V formation. They looked just like geese; but I don't think geese come this far south. I saw Frank. I saw Annabelle.
I've been thinking about my next race; a 24 hour, one mile loop. I haven't been training enough to expect much more than a marathon. Mention of which leads in to what I know about myself. I'll frame the discussion by mentioning two ultra ladies I follow.
Both ladies are in the upper sixties as far as age goes. One has done over 200 marathons and does go in timed ultras such as I plan to do. In a 48 hour or more event, she will walk over 100 miles. The other lady has been a runner all her life but only a couple of years ago finished a 100 mile race; and just finished a 300+ mile race across Tennessee.
This second lady is a doctor and, during the race across Tennessee, she knew at day five that something was seriously wrong with her foot given the level of pain. But she was determined to finish the race. The pain became more and more excruciating. She had a good crew who kept her going. At mile 298, 14 miles from the finish, she almost quit; but people helped her and supported her and she finished. Looking back on the experience, it was an enlightening time for her. She felt the love of the universe.
For many years, I have chased such a moment. But I tend to quit ultras when the pain gets too bad. It turns out that this lady had 5 stress fractures in her feet; hence the pain. And a long recovery, if not permanent damage. I know I would have quit; and perhaps missed the cracking of the ego and the enlightenment.
I look at the two ladies. Would I rather finish numerous marathons a year or finish one big kahuna of a challenge with immense pain? I can answer for myself: I'll take the numerous marathons.
And so I mourn the end of my attempt to achieve enlightenment by running ultras. Unless you count a good case of heat stress as a moment of enlightenment; that is about as serious as it gets for me now.
I return to my spiritual studies and my silent sitting. I love this part of my day.
This morning, I got in another high intensity workout on my machines. I could do this since I didn't kill myself doing an ultra. That is part of why I quit races if the pain gets too much; I want there to be a tomorrow.
It took courage to write this blog. Why? Because it is so ordinary and every day. No big achievements to tell you about. Just about the ordinary life of an mature female athlete.